Kitchen Design Help Needed - New Construction

HarmonFebruary 19, 2014

Future wife (gf) and I are building a house and have selected this floor plan. Posted it over in the "Building a Home" forum and several people suggested posting over here for feedback on the kitchen. I have received some helpful suggestions already in the other forum.

GF really wants an island and wants to make sure we have sufficient upper cabinets. I'm leaning one of two ways with the kitchen:

(1) Keep basic current design but move the wall between the great room/living room (LR) and kitchen one foot to the left so that there will be 42" instead of 36" clearance between the cabinets and island. I realize 48" would be better but don't want to add square footage to the house and would rather not take the living room down to 17' wide.

Would probably also move some things around such as the refrigerator to the other end of the counter, and per other forum members suggestions move the cook top to the opposite counter. (We are using a cook top & wall oven rather than range as depicted.)

I prefer a more open design so I would like to nix or at least cut down the partial wall between the LR & kitchen, but I don't see how to with this design and still maintain some upper cabs, room for all appliances and room for the island.

(2) Go completely open design. (I'm leaning towards this, but it will be a hard sell to GF unless the island is spectacular.) Perhaps make the counters an L-shaped design closing off the entrance between the kitchen and Hall/Utility areas, and then adding a large island with sink as a divider between the LR & kitchen. I would like an island something like the pictures below, but have no idea how much that would cost.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Harmon
    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:09AM
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Harmon

Kitchen Island 2

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:11AM
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Harmon

Hopefully this is a more legible view of the floor plan.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:20AM
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Harmon

Let me try one more time ...

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:50AM
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NashvilleBuild42

Harmon,

It is very difficult to see the specific measurements for the kitchen. Even when I blow it up. Perhaps it is just me. I hope others will chime in to help you. However be warned they too may need a different diagram with a magnified view of dimensions.

Glad you posted over here.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:50AM
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Harmon

Nashville,

It's not just you ... it's hard for me to see too! See if this is better. It's what I came up with overnight after playing around with Lyfia's concept from the home building forum.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 6:55AM
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NashvilleBuild42

That's better but not what people want to see. Can you mark on that how long each wall is. How wide entrances are etc. A graph paper layout of the area is extremely helpful.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:59AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Be prepared to give up the wall oven and cooktop for that particular ''must''. You don't have room to have it all here and have it be functional. You don't have enough walls for that. Or acual space. If I'm reading the diagram correctly, the kitche is only about 12x10. And only 1 1/4 real wall. Something has to give here.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:09AM
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Harmon

Ok, I think I got the diagram legible time.

Holly - Can you elaborate on why the diagram I posted won't work? Did I not attribute sufficient space to the appliances? BTW, I believe the kitchen space is 12' x 12'. (Edit - Oops, may be wrong about that. It does look more like 12 x 10.)

This post was edited by Harmon on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 8:37

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:35AM
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NashvilleBuild42

Harmon- in the layout you posted there is no landing space between fridge and stove. The sink takes up majority of island so lack of prep space. The island seems really far away from the other cabinetry. The thing with islands is you want to hit the sweet spot not too toght (less than 36") but not to far away either. I think your sketch is too far to be useful as landing soace or prep. The DW really works best when placed next to the sink. Just for starters...

I'll try to work up something but from the build side it seems you aren't that interested in relocating doorway to utility room or the master, is this still correct?

This post was edited by NashvilleBuild42 on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 9:28

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:08AM
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sena01

I didn't read all the posts in your other tread in building forum, but I got the impression that you want to keep the angled wall b/w the GR and the hall.

In case you can find a satisfactory way to remove that angled wall, you'll have about 12'4 at the bottom wall ( if no wall b/w GR and kitchen) . I think what you have on the fridge wall is about 10'. So, if consider having the island parallel to the bottom wall, I believe you can get something about 6' long, whereas one parallel to the other wall would be shorter than that.

How's this?

GF and you'll get a sizeable island, plus uppers and no wall b/w GR. You'll probably have a blind corner, so need something like Hafele le mans, or use that corner from the utility.

This post was edited by sena01 on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 9:14

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:13AM
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sena01

Nashville, hope this makes sense, but this is what thought.

I'm horrible at using paint program but the red shows new utility door, black box is closed entry to kitchen from the hall, and the walls inside the green boxes are removed.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:00AM
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NashvilleBuild42

Sena, usually i have no problem understanding your layouts, today I guess my brain is not working correctly. Is the ref/sink where the stove is currently? Or is it along the now closed utility closet wall? How much space do you have between the fridge and island? Did you take down the wall not in green by the two green boxes or must someone with 7 bags of grocery clear the corner and enter kitchen where the 6'2 wall used to be? Atleast in your plan the fridge is closer to the pantry.

I'm having trouble placing the clean up sink where the dish cleaner can have a view of anything interesting. I'm still playing around with this, but waiting for clarification on the flexibility of op.

This post was edited by NashvilleBuild42 on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 10:29

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:22AM
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Harmon

Sena,

So I was all proud of myself for doing some very, very basic drawing in MS Paint (that took me way longer than I'll admit) and then you whip out a 3D rendering in five minutes ... I'm not feeling so accomplished any more ... haha!

Thank you for your suggestions! I would really like though for the front of the island to face the living room. I guess that may mean a shorter island, but a profile view kinda kills the look I'm hoping to create. Any ideas for accomplishing that?

Oh, and I'm not stuck on keeping any of the walls between the "hall", LR, and kitchen. Just having a little bit of hard time visualizing what it will look like without them and if that will be asymetrical with the other side of the LR and if that matters. I would like to retain (if possible) the entry from the "hall" into the kitchen for grocery carrying as Nashville said ... although pretty sure I won't be carrying 7 bags at one time. :)

Honestly, I'm still having a hard time understanding why my drawing is fatally flawed. If there needs to be a landing between the cook top and fridge, I could swap the dishwasher & cook top which would leave plenty of counter space between the cook top & fridge and also get the dishwasher closer to the island sink. Maybe even put the cook top in the corner like the first island pic above. Also, do I really need two sinks?

If I've miscalculated & there's just not enough room on the vertical wall for a refrigerator, cook top & dishwasher, couldn't I just move the dishwasher to the other wall? Surely there would be room on that wall for a wall oven and dishwasher. I've seen some dishwashers located inside the island, but didn't think that was necessary since it doesn't eat up counter or upper cabinet space.

Again, thank you for your help!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:25AM
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NashvilleBuild42

Harmon. Now you have me questioning my math :)

The width of the kitchen is 12'5. The length where you are trying to place a double oven range top and fridge is 10 ft right?

10* 12 = 120 inches

120-30 fridge= 90 - 24 (although some DW need 26") = 66- 36 range top= 30 - 15" (minimum for side of fridge) =. Short of a 30" double oven

Can someone tell me if in crazy today and reading that wall dimension wrong? Although holly semes to think it was around 10 ft too.

By my calculations if you placed BOTH the sink and DW in Island could work with the fridge, range top and double oven on that wall. However, you may find prepping a hassle. I see some pitfalls with that approach

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Harmon

"Harmon- in the layout you posted there is no landing space between fridge and stove. The sink takes up majority of island so lack of prep space. The island seems really far away from the other cabinetry. The thing with islands is you want to hit the sweet spot not too toght (less than 36") but not to far away either. I think your sketch is too far to be useful as landing soace or prep. The DW really works best when placed next to the sink. Just for starters...

I'll try to work up something but from the build side it seems you aren't that interested in relocating doorway to utility room or the master, is this still correct?"

Ok, thanks! Great feedback! Here are my questions/responses:

(1) Landing space - Can't I just swap DW & cook top which would create landing space between fridge and cook top and also get the DW closer to the island sink?

(2) Yeah, I know I got the island too far away from the counters ... easy fix though. 48" is generally considered ideal correct?

(3) Doorway to utility room yes. Maybe it's hard to see in my sketch but i walled off the utility room extending the horizontal wall between the kitchen & utility room. Open to other idea, but would like to keep somewhat direct access between the garage and kitchen/pantry if possible for the reasons you stated.

(4) Doorway to master bedroom. Not absolutely opposed to changing it. Just don't see a way to do it well. Since the upstairs bonus room will be unfinished for awhile there will be a door on the left side of the stairs landing that will remain closed shutting off the stairwell.

Thanks for your advice & suggestions!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:05PM
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debrak2008

Here is a link to 31 design rules laid out in an easy to understand way. Its not that long.

Here is a link that might be useful: 31 design rules

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:11PM
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Harmon

"Harmon. Now you have me questioning my math :)
The width of the kitchen is 12'5. The length where you are trying to place a double oven range top and fridge is 10 ft right?"

10* 12 = 120 inches

120-30 fridge= 90 - 24 (although some DW need 26") = 66- 36 range top= 30 - 15" (minimum for side of fridge) =. Short of a 30" double oven"

Nashville - On the vertical wall just trying to place a fridge (aren't most fridge openings 36"?), 30" cook top, and a dishwasher. There is no double oven. I have a wall oven with microwave on top (maybe that's what you mean by double oven) on the horizontal wall.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:17PM
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NashvilleBuild42

And again I'm not sure I'm reading the plans right. But I abandoned the idea of an island and went with a peninsula. In doing so I was able to squeeze in a DO. The kitchen would be ok for two cooks but tight and there is a traffic aisle straight through the kitchen. So this isn't a great plan but just to illustrate...

24" 3 db 30 range or cooktop 24" 3db 30" 3db 30" fridge

27" double oven (which is hard to find may need 30" there) 18" tpo 30" sink base DW 18" 3 db

15" overhang

Not really ideal as two prep spaces are directly across but you could tinker with sink or stove and create more space between the two prep spaces. There is no getting around that traffic pattern.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:20PM
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NashvilleBuild42

Large fridges are 36. With a 10 ft wall if explore a 27" sub Zero or liebherr built in. But if you want the 36" I think you will have even more difficulty balancing storage appliances and a double oven.

I'm no expert, clearly. Lisa a, buehl LWO pal and others can come up with amaZing plans. So they will probably find a better way than I did to squeeze it all in. I just wanted to give you something else to think about.

Also for daft people like me you may want to label layout with wall a b c d so it's clear what walls you'd like to place x y z on.

Double oven or wall oven and microwave would all require the same space 27 or 30". I'd advise planning for 30 as it gives you more appliance choices now and in the future.

This post was edited by NashvilleBuild42 on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 12:30

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:26PM
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Harmon

"Here is a link to 31 design rules laid out in an easy to understand way. Its not that long."

Very informative! I'm bookmarking it ... thank you!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:28PM
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Harmon

"Large fridges are 36. With a 10 ft wall if explore a 27" sub Zero or liebherr built in. But if you want the 36" I think you will have even more difficulty balancing storage appliances and a double oven.

I'm no expert, clearly. Lisa a, buehl LWO pal and others can come up with amaZing plans. So they will probably find a better way than I did to squeeze it all in. I just wanted to give you something else to think about."

Thank you! BTW, there is no double oven.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:31PM
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lavender_lass

If you add a few feet to the width of the kitchen/dining room, you'd have more room for the island. I'd also add a few feet to the depth of the LR and DR, since you wanted more living space on the other forum...and it's your only dining space.

Sink and cooktop are now on same side of the kitchen, with fridge and oven/microwave on the other. Plenty of prep space and baking space, with island in middle. You could have a different top (maybe wood or marble) depending on your preferences :)

Oh, and I know you had pantry under the stairs...you could access this from the hall or dining room. From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:36PM
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NashvilleBuild42

Technically a microwave is a type of oven :). This you'd have double ovens, ok admittedly I'm stretching. However as I sad above a MW/oven combo or a double oven both require the same amount of space. So my comments still are applicable.

Lav in you plan how much room is there between the sink and island? Adding feet open up more possibilities. Is that possible within your desired budget?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:49PM
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live_wire_oak

First of all, the wall between the kitchen and great room is load bearing. Some portion of it will need to remain, or intrude into the hallway. And costs will go up because you may need some steel there. It's already spec'd at a really big beam to carry the weight of the existing opening. Removing the wall isn't going to be a $1.98 change. And it leaves you without a lot of wall space for all the things that need wall space in a kitchen. Therefore, I'd get rid of that opening to the hall in favor of having it be more wall space. Second, if the width of the kitchen is the 12 and change, then obviously, the other leg is at least 2' shorter, if not more.

This is taking the original blueprints in order to be sure of what will work in the space. It leaves a stub of a wall to the one side of the fridge (gotta make sure that it's no more than 30" if you're gonna use a standard depth, or 24" if you're gonna use a cabinet depth. This gives you all you want, just maybe not in the orientation that you want it. But, unless you switch plans entirely (my recommendation) this is about as good as you can get.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:51PM
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lavender_lass

I added 2' in width and 2' in depth (DR/LR) or as close as possible, without graph paper :)

This way, you could have 4' on either side of 2' wide island...or slightly wider island.

The OP seems to have plenty of budget to do whatever he wants...so why not stretch space, if his fiancee likes this plan?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Harmon

"First of all, the wall between the kitchen and great room is load bearing. Some portion of it will need to remain, or intrude into the hallway."

Well, that just sucks! I do, however, greatly appreciate the information. I had thought about the possibility that it was load bearing previously, but had completely forgotten about it. When you say it would be expensive I assume you mean thousands rather than hundreds?

I do appreciate the sketch, but don't really care for how it looks. Don't like the orientation of the island and don't like the lack of access to the kitchen from the "hall". If that's my only option, I'll probably just go back to the original plan and move the LR/kitchen wall one foot to the left (if that would even work since it's load bearing) to give another 6" clearance on either side of the original smaller island.

I'm not quite ready to scrap this plan, but I am at least thinking we need to look at other plans. Not sure how much damage that would be since the builder has already ordered these plans from the architects. Anyone have experience with this?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:18PM
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debrak2008

Keep in mind that almost all kitchen layouts in stock plans need work. Those designing these plans do not plan functional kitchens.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Harmon

"The OP seems to have plenty of budget to do whatever he wants ..."

I do really appreciate your suggestions. They have been quite helpful, but not sure where you get this statement. I have said quite the opposite.

As I have said repeatedly (when people began to question the cost of construction) every change we have made has not affected the sale price by one dollar. When we have added square footage in one area we have cut a corresponding amount of space in another area. We are very intent on keeping the base price of construction at or near static because we know there will be some places we are likely to want to upgrade finishes or exceed our allowance (e.g., tile, lighting, garage doors).

I also have a wedding ring and a honeymoon to pay for this year so I definitely have a budget. :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:29PM
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live_wire_oak

Open concept kitchens that work still have to have some walls, and that takes careful orientation towards the other rooms as well as siting within the home. The architecture in this kitchen is against any other orientation for the island, unless you want a pretty small island. The architecture has to have the long leg of an L facing the family room to give you the layout that you want, generally with the fridge and range or cooktop on that, and the shorter leg of the L will end up with the cleanup sink. And really, for what you say you want, a 10x12 kitchen isn't really quite large enough to do it well. Especially when the walls of the kitchen are more like 8x10. (Also, those space wasting weird angled walls really turn me off to this plan as a whole. They're the design equivalent of "conversation pieces" of ugly china that your grandmother gives you and you have to dust. Stuff that's thrown into a design to make it more "interesting" rather than to make it more functional. You CAN have both. This isn't it.)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Harmon

Live Wire Oak,

Thank you for your input. It has been invaluable and is entertaining to read even when I don't like what you are saying. I have found another floor plan. Do you (and others) mind looking at it and sharing your thoughts? I posted the link in a new thread:

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg021811157745.html

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 6:18PM
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