Humbly Seeking Kitchen Layout Input on New Build...

uponthehilltopJanuary 5, 2014

Hello, I previously started the following thread:

In that thread, one of the first things I mentioned was about plumbing already being "in" and being on a slab. After much discussion, my husband and I are seeking opinions on the entire layout of the space, as though it is a blank canvas. In the end, the cost of moving some plumbing around should not be catastrophic and if it gives me a dream kitchen, then it will be worth each penny to make the change.

We are a 3 person family and we are completed by our little schnauzer. I am the only cook in the family. Occasionally for holidays my daughter (6) helps in the kitchen but usually the kitchen is my domain alone. This is a new build and is the first house we have ever built. The home is 3720 square feet.

My vision for the space is to have a warm, welcoming kitchen for gathering and for living day to day life. Homework at the island bar top, quick breakfast being served, but having a "WOW" space for entertaining.

I am linking to a picture of our overall plan, and then there will be a second post with a picture of the kitchen dimensions.

I am a wide open slate. I like traditional design. There are 10 foot ceilings in the kitchen.

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Here is the close-up of the kitchen dimensions.
We are in the framing stage now, but thanks to the weather that will be halting for the next 3 days, allowing time to consider changes.
Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 3:10PM
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The island is very tight for seating, but if you do posts and turn the end into a table like piece, then use backless stools that can slide under it when not in use, I think this can work. It leaves you using the water connection on the island for a prep sink, which successfully splits the prep and cleanup so that you can have multiple workers. The fridge is just across the aisle from the prep sink, which is just across from the cooktop. Visually, I'd prefer to have the fridge and wall oven bookend the cabinets across the aisle, but functionally, each needs to be fairly adjacent to the cooktop. And at least it gets the safety issue of the traffic aisle running through your prep space fixed.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 6:13PM
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Live wire oak's design is almost exactly what I thought of when I looked at your plan. You probably could even get water through the wall from the laundry room without having to cut into your slab, so it should be an easy fix and get you a much more functional and safe kitchen.

The only thing I would do differently is to move at least the microwave, and probably the oven too, to the opposite end of that counter run, toward the island seating, but I never use the microwave when i am using the cooktop, and i also never transfer things between the cooktop and and oven, so if you do those things that wouldn't work for you.

I wish there was a way to turn the island so the long side faced the breakfast / hearth room and your nice big windows, but it doesn't seem like there is enough space to do that.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 7:06PM
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I like LWO's design, but I still wonder where the dishes and flatware are going to go, and if the pantry door were around the corner, you could extend the cabinets that way.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 7:28PM
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I like LWO's design, too.

Here's another idea:

I moved the hallway kitchen entry so that you have a slightly shorter walk hauling groceries in from the garage. It's a little less direct from kitchen to DR but unless you use your DR on a very regular basis, it won't be make much difference, IMO.

The clean-up zone is on the laundry room wall, as LWO has it, with the cook top/oven, oven/MW stack and fridge in the L portion. You could swap fridge and oven/MW stack, which will net you a little more room to the left of the cook top/oven. If you do, you may want to add a beverage/snack fridge at the end of the island to keep family and company from walking through your cook zone to get to the fridge.

The prep sink in the corner allows prep to be done on either side of the island. Trash pull-out is placed so that you can access it from the prep or clean-up zones.

You mentioned wanting a "WOW" factor: have you considered a 48" or 60" range instead of the cook top with oven mounted below and a wall oven? If you go with a MW drawer near the fridge (if you're like most people, items generally go from fridge to MW), you would eliminate one tall element in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 7:51PM
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bpathome, why can't the dishes and flatware go in the cabs above and next to the sink and DW? They could also be in drawers in the island across from the sink and DW. I don't quite follow your concern about their storage.

I prefer the pantry door where it is because there is handy landing space just outside the pantry door. Plus, it's current location makes it feel a part of the kitchen, not a part of the FR.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 8:01PM
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I like your kitchen the way it is.

EDIT: But if you're worried about aisle clearances and widths, could you switch the oven/MW and Fridge and steal a foot of space from the laundry and pantry and "sink" the fridge into the wall to keep it from protruding into the traffic area? Wouldn't hurt the huge pantry but it might make a difference in the laundry room.

This post was edited by JDez on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 2:26

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 8:16PM
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I have no cabs on the pantry wall, left wider aisles in front of the cooking, and the cabs on the great room wall since a lot of appliance doors would open to those aisles and there'd be traffic.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 8:37PM
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A quick THANK YOU to everyone! I have an abscessed tooth and had to take a pain pill. Heading to bed for tonight, but didn't want you guys to think I was not responding.
Will respond to everyone tomorrow. You guys are AMAZING, thanks so much!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 10:29PM
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Ow, ow, ow! I hope you feel better soon.

I forgot to add that my drawing is based on the assumption that you are going with a fully integrated built-in fridge - that's what it looks like on the drawing - and not just a built-in or counter-depth fridge. The former is only 24" deep (not including handles) so your aisle clearances are not impacted. If my assumption is incorrect, then definitely swap placement of fridge and oven/MW column and shift the island a bit or shorten it so that you will have ample aisle room in front of the fridge.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 11:51PM
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livewire - Thank you SO VERY much for the plan! I loved it but my hubby instantly saw issues with the oven/micro combo right by the doorway to the hallway and the formal dining room. Hubby couldn't visualize the island for some reason. The guy who jokes at me about my vision skills cannot see what you meant. I think I know exactly what you meant, and the island would be LOVELY!

Misiwa - thinking it over about moving the micro/oven combo.

LisaA - I like your design, but unfortunately we are planning to go with a counter depth refrigerator. Do you think it could be pulled off with a counter depth fridge instead of a fully integrated? I haven't ordered our fridge yet, so you have given me something to think about!

BP - You sound like my mom, lol! So worried about dishes and utensils. I appreciate the concern, it makes me think about something like Lisa's design with the main sink not in the island....

Jdez - Thanks for the vote of confidence. By "like it is" do you mean the original kitchen or something that has morphed since that point?

Sena01- I personally really liked your idea. My husband just thinks I would miss my cabinetry on that side. Thinking it over...

Okay, I hope I did not leave anyone out! I want to thank each and every one of you for your input and especially those of you that took the time to draw my kitchen out or design it on a computer program!

I apologize for not being on here sooner. My tooth is killing me, and my daughter started back to school today. Had an emergency call from my builder and had to drop everything and meet him earlier today. Safe to say, it has just been a Monday!

You guys really are so helpful. I am open to more ideas or critiques...

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:30PM
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A CD (counter depth) fridge will eat up several inches of aisle. My CD fridge (doors only, not including handles) sits proud of the counter by 3". Not an issue for me since that aisle is 46", leaving me 43" between fridge door and island. However, for you, that means only 38" of clearance between fridge and counter. I know of at least one GWer who has 39" between CD fridge and island counter and she says it's not an issue but IIRC, she doesn't have any island cabinetry opening towards the fridge whereas the plan I drew for you does. You'd have to do a mock-up to see whether this would feel crowded for you.

One possible way to sneak a few extra inches of aisle would be to do 24" deep and 21" deep cabinets back to back for the island. That would leave you with 48" on the short end of the island, enough for 2 stools. 21" is the standard depth for bathroom cabinets so this shouldn't require a special order but that will depend on your cabinet line.

As I wrote above, the other option is to swap fridge and oven/MW stack locations.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 8:11PM
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I meant that I like the way the kitchen is drawn up on your plans. Only because I thought you said somewhere that the oven/MW wouldn't get much use (it's out of the way) and I can see where you can make it look similar to your inspiration pic. I can understand what the experts are saying, but I do like the original.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 9:55PM
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Here's a variation of what I posted yesterday.

You can increase the aisle between island and fridge to gain you the extra clearance for a CD fridge. I put the fridge on the end of that counter run with the hope that people would cut through the clean-up zone not the cooking zone to get items from the fridge since that provides the shorter route from breakfast room and FR.

The other plus with this fridge/oven/MW set-up is that it reduces the chance of anyone running into an open oven door if they should enter the kitchen quickly from the hallway.

This post was edited by lisa_a on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 3:44

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:22AM
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I hope you're feeling better today.

I've come up with something else. OK, I admit it is not ideal, because of the distance b/w the fridge and the range and you'll have to use the island for oven landing,. Cleanup could be on that pantry wall as others have suggested, but I think fridge, and oven/MW doors remain open for a shorter time than DW doors, so if you move the entry door to the left, this may be another alternative.

I have a smaller island (3'8" x 6') , but I'm FAT, so can't stand the idea of less than 40" aisles, even in somebody else's kitchen:--)) I think seating would be quite comfortable. You get back your cabs on 3 walls and still have a net 42" b/w the island and range and fridge walls and only ovens open to that aisle.. I have 48" in front of the cleanup thinking that aisle would be a busier one.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 7:19AM
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I just realized you probably have another eating area at the top of the kitchen. Then having the cleanup at the bottom wall doesn"t make sense.

Your house will not be a small apartment, so I think you shouldn't accede to several feet of tight aisles to reach your main living quarters. Did youhave a chance to evaluate JDez's suggestion to steal a few feet from pantry and laundry? If you can't do that I suggest you to assess the size of the island or (though everybody seems to hate the idea) have a peninsula instead of an island.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 11:40AM
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