Help with Kitchen Layout, new build

nepoolJanuary 12, 2014


Everyone was very helpful with my previous kitchen remodel so, I'd love some help with my new build. I'm still working with the draftswoman on finalizing the house layout details, but we are almost there. The kitchen has a few problems I'd feedback on how to solve:

My goal in this kitchen was to set it up so that guests/family would have no reason to come into my workarea (This is why I moved the fridge to the left of the island and added a prep sink to the end, and why I angled the island the way I did). Problem is, my husband doesn't like the way the stools are facing (the wall) instead of the view outside and the living room (I tend to agree with him).

Can anyone come up with a nice island shape/layout that would make us both happy? I'm open to anything except multilevel.

I am thinking of extending the wall that separates the dining from the kitchen out to 6 feet (currently 4). There is a deck off the French doors, so I thought the fridge in the new location would be convenient for that, also.

Thank you!

This post was edited by nepool on Mon, Jan 13, 14 at 17:33

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I actually really like this, because I think the stools are there for people who are hanging out with the chef at work or for the mornings when my kids are eating breakfast while I'm making lunches and whatnot. But that is just how I see them being functional. I bet you'll get some great advice on here from others.
It would help to know some background about you in terms of who you are and how you see this kitchen funcitoning-- do you have kids (what ages?) will there be a lot of cooks working together? do you entertain a lot?
Good luck! We are just finishing up our new build and the advice i got on here about designing our kitchen to it's maximum potential was PRICELESS.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 5:37PM
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Hi, yes, forgot to include details.

This is a new home build, but I did a full kitchen remodel on the house I'm in now 5 years I've used this site previously. We are a family of 4, 2 adults, and an 11 and 14 year old. Ever since we redid this kitchen with a 6 ft island and seating for 4, we always eat at the island when we eat as a family. We eat in the dining area when there are more than 4. That's how I see us using this space (and why there is no 'breakfast area'). My husband cooks a little, but does mostly cleanup, so mostly a 1 person kitchen.

We do entertain a bit and want to factor that in. Normally 4-8 guests in addition to us. Holidays we host ~20 people total.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Are you using the Building a Home forum to get advice on the rest of the floorplan?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 6:17PM
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I think you have room for a rectangle island with 2 seats facing outside, 3 facing range wall. With comfortable island seating I don't think guests/family would be in your work zone.

Do you have any plans for the long row of cabs on the right of the range? Maybe you can move the range a little to that direction. Also, I think having the prep sink near the upper end of the island may be better. You'll be closer to the fridge that way.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:01PM
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Thank you Sena. I'll try redrawing with a wider island that allows seating on both sides. Good idea on moving the prep sink up.

You think I should move the stove further away from the sink?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:20PM
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Now that I looked at your dimensions more closely I realized you'll have a long walk b/w the fridge and prep sink/range. Would you consider an under counter beverage fridge on the DR side and move your main fridge at the end of the range counter? If you keep 1 fridge I still think it's better to have it on the range wall. Then you can have the prep sink near the fridge end of the island and range could be in the middle of that counter.

Even with 1 fridge anyone going to the fridge from the LR/DR can go directly to the end of that counter run. I think the wider area behind the island would be a more attractive route to take from the deck as well.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 3:22AM
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Hi- I won't have another fridge upstairs.

I updated the picture with your suggestions. Fridge on long run, prep sink near fridge, island widened at end for more comfortable seating (facing each other).

I've also attached an updated picture with widened island w/facing seating, prep sink on the top of the island, and fridge closer to DR.

What's the benefit to having the fridge on the long run? Is it just so the cook doesn't have to 'cross over' the walkway to get stuff and the work area stays all on one side? I'm still worried about people/kids cutting through 'my space' to get drinks.

Fridge & prep sink on long end:

Fridge & prep sink on Dining Room side.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 7:38AM
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Sorry for my English, what I meant was something like below. If you keep some plates, glasses, MW or whatever they'd need near the fridge and have trash b/w the bar overhang and prep sink, I don't think anyone would go deeper into your work area.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 8:31AM
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Sena's suggestion works better than the one above it. It would be extremely tight and inconvenient at best to have stools on the refrigerator side of the island, unless you have at least 6' of aisle between the two (and 6' of aisle would be too much for everything else).

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 12:08PM
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Thank you both for your input!

I agree with that- if the fridge is on the long run, it needs to be on the very end- keeping out of the stool area.

Neither of you like the fridge near the dining area? It seems like the fridge at the end of that long run puts it about as far away from the prep area as if the fridge is near the dining wall. Is the fridge on the long run preferred because it doesn't cross the over the walkway area and leaves everything in the work zone?

I'm weighing that benefit vs. the benefit of having the drinks closer to the deck. Have to really think about this.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Personally, I want my fridge in the kitchen. By placing it on the dining room wall, it's basically out of the functional part of the kitchen (meaning you have to walk around the island to get to the fridge, which to me would be a pain). If availability of drinks "out there" is important, then consider sena's excellent suggestion of a bar fridge nearer the dining room.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 12:40PM
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It seems like the fridge at the end of that long run puts it about as far away from the prep area as if the fridge is near the dining wall.

Do you plan to use the sink under the window when you're prepping? Since you have a sink on the island I assumed that will be the sink you'd use for prep, and when you have the fridge at the end of the long run, the sink/fridge/range triangle would be conveniently close to each other imo.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 4:19PM
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Won't have another fridge upstairs? Why? What is the appliance currently shown on the DR wall? is that a wall oven? I'm just not completely clear with what everything is in your plans, but I like Sena's plan a lot. It makes sense and creates the perfect prep space on your island.

But for drinks for people out on the deck, I actually think an under counter beverage fridge or even a drawer would be worthwhile to keep people out of your work space. But for primary food storage, I think the place Sena shows it is perfect. One of the primary reasons for our remodel was the constant running around the island to get to the fridge (located adjacent to our dining area) while preparing meals.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 4:48PM
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I removed the first layout at the top of the thread so as not to cause confusion. There are 2 choices now:

1) Sena's suggestion with 2 stools on dining room side and 2 stools at the end of the island, with the prep sink between the fridge and the stove on the island

2)the other option is with 2 stools on the dining room side and 2 stools in the work area side, with the fridge on the dining room counter near the patio door and the prep since 'upisland' closer to the main sink and stove.

Option one makes more sense from a workflow perspective but option 2 give my husband a better view into the Family Room and out the backyard, and gives us easier access to the fridge for the deck.

I'm resistant to another fridge because we will have a full fridge in the basement out to the walkout.

Does anyone like/dislike the angled part of the island? Should I just go straight? I Thought the angle might be another way to keep people out of my workspace.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 5:39PM
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I continue to think that stools on the "working" side of the island is a terrible idea, and since that plan also keeps the refrigerator on the "other" side, I definitely vote for No. 1.

It looks like the only view from the island would be into the "dining area". Your husband can have a view into the dining area (not sure what for) by sitting on the stools at the end of the island.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 5:49PM
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Just flipped through my houzz ideabook and noticed this picture I previously saved. I think putting the fridge on the back wall and switching from a double patio door to a single would give me the best of both worlds (fridge near the exterior door AND not have to cross over the workspace area to get to the fridge). Any opinions on that?

I continue to not like the idea of having the fridge at the very end of the long run of cabinets because of distance from the deck... putting the fridge here, may solve that:

Traditional Kitchen by Hinsdale Kitchen & Bath Remodelers Normandy Remodeling

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 7:40AM
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Sena's plan works much better than the island with the sperm tail interrupting your walking path.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:51AM
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Moving the fridge next to the exterior door could be a solution, but if you have helper(s) in the kitchen then, I think it would be better to move the main sink and DW elsewhere. Because if someone is trying to cleanup or set/clean the table while you're prepping/going back and forth b/w the prep area and fridge you'll be in each other's way. As far as I can see that means moving the cleanup to the right of the range. That can give you two prep areas, one on the island and the other in front of the window.

As to the island seating,I guess (and I'm no expert, this is just what I think might work) you'll have to have at least 65" clearance if you want seats on the working side of the kitchen. When island is that far from the counters I think that would make it too far to be a functional prep space. In that case prep sink can be on the exterior wall, but I'm not sure if that's what you'd prefer.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 8:16PM
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Thanks for the pics, Sena!

Main sink will stay on the window wall, and generally don't have 2 working in the kitchen at the same time.

I've reconfigured the seating so that there are 2 seats on the non-working side, I seat at the very end, and only 1 seat on the 'working' side. Having the fridge 'up island' either near the sink or on the dining room side keeps the work area pretty far from the seating area. Still pondering which of those 2 spots is best for the fridge.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 8:16AM
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I think having the fridge next to the outside door would be much better than having it on the DR wall.

I couldn't find it in your posts now, but I remember the distance b/w DR wall to the range wall as 18-18,5 feet. That would make the fridge quite far from both the sink and the range.

Even with the fridge next to the deck door I think you'll still have a very open and comfortable kitchen similar to your inspiration photo, because you have enough length on that wall..

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:16AM
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