Long, Open Kitchen layout...Help needed!

ntredwayJanuary 28, 2013

We are building an addition to our current home. The addition includes an extended kitchen which will be open to the family room. We have been working with a kitchen designer, but I am not sure of the layout. I just feel that it will be cramped and am worried about storage. Please take a look at the images and let me know what you think.
I am open to all options, but am hoping for an island and a pantry for large item storage. I have already purchased double ovens, so any plan will need to incorporate those. I like to cook and have been a bit limited due to the lack of storage/flow in the existing kitchen. We are a family of 4 with two active little boys. There are typically two people in the kitchen, but during holidays/special occasions I can have up to 5 helpers. Thanks in advance for any advice!

P.S. Long wall is 29' long. The cutout in corner is ductwork that is being removed. Short wall with cabs is 12' long. The short wall in breakfast area is 15' and the wall with the French doors will on be 5', making the area more open to the family room.

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My kitchen is an extremely similar layout, opening into our family room. My 2 small kids will often be in there w/ me on stools helping me cook and it is not a problem at all. As far as storage goes, I have a few more upper cabinets than you do because my microwave is over the oven and I don't have the wine rack area, and depending on how much stuff you have I could see some problems w/ storage of serving pieces & glassware- I have a butler's pantry as well where all of my nicer glassware, vases & serving pieces are. Personally, I would get a small wine fridge down low somewhere and have a cabinet instead of the rack. If you have a piece of furniture in a dining room or elsewhere that holds serving pieces then that would solve that.
Also I can't tell from the picture how much storage you have built into the island but that is definitely a space to maximize. I love my island seating for the kids also but I'm not sure if you have space for that in your kitchen? Helps with all the little helpers & their presence in the kitchen too...

Looks like it'll be great though!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Also, does anyone feel that the eating area is wasted space? I will have a formal dining room in the new layout. I have never had one before, just an eat-in kitchen. I don't know if stools at the island will be enough or if I should really have a table.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Me again! I think it depends on your family & how/where you like to eat...if you're an eat together at the table family & your dining room is formal & not really that type of setting then I think you'd miss the eat in kitchen feel. I love having the island & bar for my kids to sit & play or eat at but when we eat as a family, we do sit at the table (our kitchen table is in the space between kitchen island & family room sofa- we have hardwoods throughout the first floor and an area rug under the sofa/coffee table on the other side of the kitchen table so things are sort of separated out).

That being said, in our layout (like I said, very similar), on the other side of the peninsula/sink/bar area, we have a sun room- windows and a outdoor type sofa, chair & coffee table- I think if you really don't want the table for eating there, making it into a nice sitting/reading area would be great...

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:06PM
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Thanks for all the information. If you think of anything else please let me know. I'm all ears! P.S. do you have a built in corner pantry? If so how do you feel about it as a storage space?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:11PM
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have you considered a banquette rather than a table with freestanding chairs? Cabinets can extend into the eating area along the long wall that take the place of the pennisula. The island can then be longer and not as wide. You can still have seating and your main sink can be in the island.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Yes- we have almost exactly the corner pantry set up you have, strangely enough, though on the side opposite the fridge we have a double oven (did you not want double ovens as part of your remodel? Just a thought ;) ).
I do like it, though in my last house I had more of a long & thin walk in pantry that I preferred b/c of easier access to the shelves. In the current one, we have a narrower set (?2ft wide) shelves to the right when we walk in and then the left side wall is longer (4 ft) so the shelves kind of tuck toward the back (if that makes any sense- there is like 8" between the side of the right hand shelving unit & the front of the rear end of the left hand shelving...no idea how to explain that). Therefore, I have a little trouble seeing what is back there (I'm only 5') and have to pull out a stool to dig around on the upper 2 shelves. I have a lot of junk in there that I really need to store elsewhere which would free up space. I also have to keep the larger appliances in there (stand mixer, crock pot, electric griddle, etc) because I don't have room in my regular cabinets. I purchased some plastic bins to try to organize my different categories of pantry items and also have found the metal racks that slide onto shelves ('undershelf baskets') to create a little shelf under them to be very helpful for things like napkins, tin foil, saran wrap, boxes of plastic baggies, etc- makes better use of higher shelves that have wasted space up top.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Is the open passage about 15 feet? [half the 29 foot dimension?] Swing a peninsula out from run where wine rack is situated.....looks like you can have it quite long and still have good walk thru to kitchen itself. Skip the island-the peninsula will have seating for people mingling around family room and kitchen. I'd omit the raised bar near the sink and pull that leg in a bit.think about a banquette with the back either along where bar was or along windowless wall of dinette. This gives you 2 destination spots for seating-peninsula closer to family room or the cozy banquette area[or table]. I don't think the bar seating immediately next to a table in this big open plan is really playing up the good points. If you don't like the peninsula with seating idea,then push the island into the foreground some and do seating around it,and forgo the raised bar. The island might be making you walk in circles a bit too much anyway. A seating zone that unites family room and kitchen,along with dinette off to the side would be better,since you have a lot of sq footage. It's lovely.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:43PM
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ncdel: again thanks for all the great info. I do want and have purchased double ovens. Not sure why she didn't include them in this latest plan. I have actually been thinking that a long thin wall pantry may work somewhere along the 12' wall. I was thinking that I may push the wine rack area into the family room. There is a doorway to the dining room next to the 12' run and then a blank wall between another doorway leading to powder room and front door. I think the blank wall would be a good place for the wine bar area.

mother: I have thought about a banquette and getting rid of the peninsula. I think that may solve my problem of feeling that the design is cramped.

herb: Actually we have altered the plan slightly and the wall with the french doors will only be about 5' long. That means that the passage will be about 24'. I currently have a peninsula that comes off the exterior wall of the house and I HATE it. I just feel really trapped in the kitchen. I think that is part of my problem with the current design layout. The peninsula makes me think the kitchen will feel cramped. I love the idea of brining the island to the foreground and getting rid of the raised bar, maybe just get rid of that whole run and extend into the eat in area?

One of the issues I am having is convincing DH that the current kitchen plans need to be tweaked. He is very visual and if he can't see it he can't understand how it will work. I love all the ideas, please keep them coming.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Our kitchen is 10 1/2' by 21' long. It is a long, uneven galley. We extended cabinets all the way down the long wall and put a window seat and table along the window wall as motherof3sons suggested. You would gain wall cabinets by doing it that way if storage is a concern. Our kitchen is completely open to the family room (no doors) for the last 8' feet. We also have a formal dining room. I'm not entirely sure I'd prefer my layout over yours, but our is also 8' shorter and I really wanted the extra storage space!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:12PM
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