Fixes a problematic layout? 18th Hour request for help?

akcorcoranFebruary 1, 2013

OK, first context: I was supposed to order all my cabinets this past Wed but for one reason or another we postponed to next Wed. All appliances have been ordered (though probably a little play there.) Windows ordered though not in place. Plumbing / electric in progress - would have to scream, "STOP!" tomorrow a.m.

Why I'm begging: In this last little bit of time, as I was poring over the plan, I turned to the forum to ask whether to change some doors to drawers (answer: resounding, yes!) but a really helpful poster (breezygirl) pointed out that I have sort of nightmarish situation with my island squarely blocking access between the fridge and the stovetop.

As of right now, ALL of the workspace and storage is oriented to the sides perpendicular to the sink. There are no drawers, anything on the side opposite the sink.

HELP?! So, I'm turning here to see:

Trying to avoid scrapping entire plan, Is there ANYWAY to make the fridge to prep, island, stovetop situation better here?

If I have to assume the big items stay where they are for structural reasons (see below), I'm specifically trying to see if there is a way to re-work the island and prep sink, so that I've got easy access to the fridge for ingredients but the stovetop for cooking.

SO, if you assumed the whole island was in play (even moving the microwave drawer, is there a better suggestion for how this could work?

Ideas? Can the prep sink turn, move, be eliminated? (Truthfully, it wasn't there originally - just an island but the sink moved b/c of transition issue stated below and in went a prep sink.)

How can I make usage better given locations in room now or do you see any simple shifts that could help?

I really don't know that I could start from scratch at this point without adding months to the project and incurring lots of expenses from work already done. :-(

THANK YOU for any 18th hour expertise you might lend to my situation. I'm at your mercy and really really appreciate it!

~ A

P.S. Limitations (and why we ended where we are now):

1) Only one exterior wall (back wall where window is now.)

2) Transition from old house to new house is roughly 48" from right side wall. This is a 1917 colonial and that corner of the house is holding up the weight of the house - it has to stay. So, window or stovetop or anything has to either be in the new space (right) or old space (left) but cannot straddle that middle.

3) Similarly, 1917 colonial has no channel for vent unless directly out (not even deep enough for hood vent) - better to be in new space but then right up against cabinets on right.

4) Locked into Fridge and freezer as 32" Elux Icon All Frigerator and All Freezer - alltold, it's about 72" of wall space for those babies.

5) Electricians/plumbers have begun work but are not far enough along that it cannot be changed - no plumbing is actually in, just planning; no electric is live, just pulled. Still,I'm trying to avoid change fees.

PLEASE EXCUSE THE ROUGH PHOTO OF THE CLEAN PLAN -- I wanted to have labeled it for you.

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Here's renderings of the kitchen as of now.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 5:29AM
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Birds Eye View - Note: Island shifted back about 2 1/2 inches b/c walkway was too narrow between extra seating area of island and wall.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 5:31AM
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Viewing from Stovetop side - prep sink faces you. Note - Two-door cabinet of left side of the island is actually three big drawers.

This post was edited by akcorcoran on Fri, Feb 1, 13 at 5:43

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 5:35AM
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View from door way from butler's pantry (fridge side)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 5:39AM
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so-the ability to turn and make a straight shot to the fridge from the range vs the need to turn around and shift one step over to walk to the fridge and back is the issue??You'll be prepping and getting it ready at the counter to the left of range,so the walk seems quite direct. Once you are in position and cooking, that back and forth to fetch and retrieve winds down. I wouldn't make changes-I'm not keen on the 2nd sink-might put it at other end of that side of island so people coming in to kitchen can use it,but not critical. When it's time to install the island,it could be moved down 4-6 inches or so if the "walk" is still an issue-make a sharper radius at the corners/or reduce the overhang 2 inches or so if you need to adjust the passage thru at lower left of island.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:04AM
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I agree with herbflavor, it is fine! You have a direct line from fridge, to sink, to range, even though I would find the cleanup sink location better for my prep, but I am not tookie about my sink. The prep sink would probably be more of a hand washing sink.

It is going to be pretty, that's for sure!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:21AM
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It's somewhat redeemed by the ample island "landing zone" for food. If this had been a new house, I guess the aisles could have been made 3" bigger all around.
Maybe still not too late to round the corners of the island top?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:44AM
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We all have parameters to work within when remodeling vs. new build. I posted my layout for upcoming remodel a few weeks ago and got a lot of criticism for the way certain things are laid out, one of which is the exact "problem" you have with having the island between the rangetop and fridge. After mulling over the many suggestions I got about cleanup sink placement and the "problem", I decided to stick with what I had. No, it may not be ideal to most, but I determined that the issues that would arise from changing my layout for the umpteenth time would negate any benefit I'd receive from changing it.

Analyze your family's habits, cooking style, etc. to determine what's best. What's best in my kitchen may not necessarily be best in yours and vice versa. I don't believe there are any hard and fast rules in kitchen design.

All that being said, I would leave your layout as is.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:55AM
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Hi all - Oh, I'm starting to feel much better - and just so breezygirl doesn't feel bad, I see the issue. This is not your traditional shape for an island - and that prep sink popped in late in the game. that sink is the only thing that creates an "orientation" to where you stand vs not having anything there.

The first round of designs had one of those ginormous hoods that came all the way down to the counter which I eliminated. Sure they look nice, but to herbflavor's point, I think I'll be working most often to the left of the range but that's sort of another thing about that corner opposite on the island not being available.

The other worry is there are no drawers available pulling out towards the sink. Initially I thought that was great b/c I won't be pulling something out while someone is trying to stand at the sink or pass by BUT it also means that I've got to go around the sides to get to any storage beside the banks of drawers on the outside cabinets.

I like the idea of having that little sink - I'd love to give my tween girls prep jobs they can do and the nice thing is that someone can be at the rangetop and someone at the island on the other side (or sink and range) and not be bothered, BUT we're back to back if at the stove and prepping right behind you?

Any thoughts on where exactly I could move that prep sink if I wanted to keep it?

I could move it to the other side of the island but that's such a great spot for putting out food - and our big farm kitchen table is right next to that (if you see on the one I labeled,) so that's the best spot to put out food for our everyday dinner.

I have a lot of space for walkways - 42" between the island sink and island, around 40" between fridge and island, 4' on range side.

The trouble spot is that bottleneck by the corner of the island and the wall that juts out next to the pantry. Much as I tried to eliminate it, it is the major supporting corner of the original house and the steel beam now holding up the addition. It just can't go. There is about 38 1/2" right now between that corner and the corner of the island.

Were you, Casey, suggesting I make the acual lip over the island more round? I was sort of keeping the shape it is now b/c otherwise, you really can't sit there at all - too narrow to put anything on? Now it goes from 10 to 12" out.

Anyway, continue to be open to your suggestions. I'm amazed at the expertise here. Spacial perception is NOT MY THING! I'm pretty terrible at this unless I can see it, walk it - that's a problem when nothing exists!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Really, the best arrangement would be to swap the cleanup/main sink area with the stove and put the prep sink on the corner closer to the fridge. This would unite the cooking and baking areas, besides eliminating the problems Breezy is talking about. It would move the dishes to a more accessible location from the family room, and also, if you have people who will clear and load the dishwasher while you are cooking, it means getting that open dishwasher door into a less busy aisle.

BUT, to me, the prep sink is what will help make this particular layout work. Make sure it's large enough to really serve you... Room to fill a big pot, room for your most often-used colander, and room to wash veggies and prep chicken without banging your knuckles on the sides.

What I would strongly consider in the idea of changes, though, is moving the dw to the other side of the sink, as it adds just another thing to a busy path and work area.

This post was edited by rhome410 on Fri, Feb 1, 13 at 13:36

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:35PM
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I think your layout is pretty good as is. I would personally hate to switch the range and sink as then people would be going back and forth past me at the range/prep area as they crossed from fridge to sink and plates and back. That would drive me stark raving crazy as I like to have my prep aisle to myself. I don't mind going to the fridge for multiple items at once, as I can control when to go there vs I can't control when people are walking through my aisle if I had prep in the center of a traffic area.

So I think have the layout generally right given your trade offs. You have a private prep/cooking aisle that other people don't need to intrude into as they can get to fridge, pantry snacks, microwave, water, and trash outside your work area. That said, I would consider some tweaks:

For sure I'd want to switch the dw and trash to the opposite sides of the sink. That would keep the dw out of the way of secondary prep zone and more importantly it would put trash closer to your primary prep area. It would also let you slightly center the window for a more symmetrical look but that's not a big deal, it's really the flow that would be improved.

Not sure I like the prep sink where it is. I would personally consider moving it down the island by switching the sink and drawer base ... though that will put it close to seating which may be an issue depending on how you plan to use seating at the island. Is there a way to shorten that wall beside the pantry so you can lengthen the island slightly?

Last thing is re the narrow base cab beside the range. I would keep it for cutting boards and frequently used trays. The over-oven storage is great for extra sheets, muffin tins, roasting pans, and your other flat storage, but it's across the room and grabbing heavier cutting boards from overhead, especially if they're frequently used, will get a bit annoying. So I'd keep the cabinet, or even consider changing the cabinet to 2 deep narrow drawers for cookie trays and cutting boards which is what we did. This is one of the favorite things in my kitchen, and it supplements my overhead tray storage:

Good luck with your new kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:36PM
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What would you think of rotating the prep sink so that you would be standing in front of the DW? Since the DW would be used most often at the end of the meal during cleanup, I think the conflict there would be less than the cooking/prep conflict of orienting it the way you have it.

Or, you could move the DW to the other side of the sink......

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:13PM
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I could live with the layout as is, though I'd have to get organized about gathering stuff all at once. But I really like rhome's idea of swapping the cooktop and sink. I'd want the prep sink oriented toward the refrige and windows on either side of the cooktop then, but more windows reduces uppers. Hmm, that's a tough one.

I will say that I think your prep sink is too small. I LOVE having a prep sink, but one of my major reno regrets is that it's small, fits in an 18" base. My go-to pot for steaming veggies, cooking rice, etc, doesn't fit because of the handle. Big annoyance, among others. I really wish I'd stolen space from somewhere else and gone with at least a 21" base.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:25PM
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Hi all - I wish I could just sit in a room with you all with a paper and pencil! ;-)

There are limitations on why we can't switch the two (range and sink) - we have a 1917 colonial which basically has brick behind the studs - no room for any of the proper venting or gas for a rangetop unless we push in to make more of a gap from the inside to out to create a "deeper wall" before drywall, which means we lose square footage everywhere.

And, my first post was rambling, I know, but we cannot move the window right - maybe an inch or two but no more b/c it is where the old house transitions to the new house - and the whole three-story 1917 brick colonial and slate roof cannot rest of a window. Believe me, we investigated ways to change that but they were all $5K or more in construction costs.

Just a personal preference thing too, I really like to stand a window at the sink. I know I don't have to but it's one of the few things that makes me happy when I'm at the sink! :-)

But, I'm going to roll through all the suggestions and see what I can incorporate here.

To all of you who suggested flipping the dishwasher for the trash, that might be a good one - it all comes down to that window again, let me see what I can do there.

And, taggie, that sort of activity pattern is kind of why it ended up with almost two work zones - or a work zone and a "traffic zone" - I have two tweens who are in and out and all over and the big fridge is over there as hubby's beer fridge bev center AND then the butler's pantry where the magical ice machine is. So, the cooktop area is all blissfully away from that. :-)

fouramblues, it is actually a 21" base now b/c I had her up it, but that was of course facing the direction of the stovetop.

The key is that island... hmmm... Going to pull out the measuring tape and sstart doing some walking around...?

Love your ideas - thanks, everyone.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:49PM
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OK, back today from meeting with the kitchen designer. We hemmed and hawed and when examining all the aspects of what needs to fit in the kitchen, the structural limitations and our usage, the layout stayed pretty much the same. I tweaked a few types of cabinets and sizes here and there, but we didn't make any large moves.

I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing - and wish I didn't feel that way since it's a crazy expensive purchase and something you have to life with for ... ever, basically, given our remodel.

Couple things:

- We discussed switching the trash and the dishwasher. She thought either could be good and saw the merit in moving it. Let me be clear that my kitchen window and sink placement canNOT move even one inch over to the right. That's likely what folks think could happen to balance out the move but there is a structural restriction there, unfortunately. Ultimately, we didn't move them but I still could - Here's why I am hesitant to do that.

So, big advantage is that it's one less thing opening/creating traffic in the work area of the range top / prep area. And, the trash is convenient to that work area.

Disadvantage seems to me to be (remember, window/sink placement cannot change):

a) while it relieves obstruction by the cooktop area, it creates a traffic jam over by the fridge area. there is virtually no passage from the butler's pantry to the kitchen (and thus our family room) AT ALL because the open dishwasher blocks access to the kitchen.

b) And, maybe this is just us, but I tend to NOT be doing dishes while cooking, usually it's cooking activity, eating/enjoying then (drat) the dishes. So it would seem to me that I'm kind of repurposing the same work area but now at a different time? And it leaves the activity of putting things back in the fridge, wrapping things in tupperware, etc. all free b/c that's on the other side of the island by the fridge/freezer?

c) If i move it to the left of the sink, that kills the large bank of drawers there leaving NO real drawer storage to speak of. I'll have 15" left which is either a really skinny bank of drawer or more likely tray-type of storage. So, now I have a dishwasher but no where to put things?

d) there is only one upper above that area where the dw will now be (left of the sink,) and again, no lowers to store things. I'd likely put the plates/dishes in that upper above but I've got to go take glasses and silverware over to the other side of the sink (above and next to the trash.) Maybe I'm an oddball but I tend to love fast unloading of cups and silverware and don't mind carrying my plates & bowls to another location?

e) I very much agree that having trash by the prep area is a better idea than on the other side of the sink. for sure. So, I am planning on having a pull out trash receptacle underneath that 21" cabinet with the prep sink. That creates the benefit of access to a clean up location in that vicinity but without all the disadvantages of losing the storage if the dishwasher is on the left.

What do you think of my logic here?

I should add a point about execution of that trash though. She thinks I should retrofit something, but then I have to open the cabinet door. Here was my idea - isn't the obstruction in a cabinet under the sink on the top portion in the back? With a 21" cabinet, I could make it a cabinet that accommodates a double trash can set up where they are turned horizontally.

Then, I could only put one in the FIRST section, leaving the second one open. That would give me the easiest access to pull out trash (and I could store trash bags and a few low cleaning items in that back section.) Wouldn't that work? So, this photo is the actual Fieldstone double trash for a 21" cabinet, the sink bowl would be ok b/c there is a faux drawer front above it (has a little tilt down for sponges, etc.) and then wouldn't the back section being open be enough space to accommodate the plumbing, especially if my plumber knows that going in so we plan for it?

Having that type of trash access right there by the prep sink and stovetop would be AWESOME in my mind!

Separate post about the prep sink...

This post was edited by akcorcoran on Sat, Feb 2, 13 at 3:49

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 3:18AM
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Second issue was about that prep sink. We played with all sorts of options to move it and, again, it stayed where it is - which I have to say I'm still mixed about.

Do they make a prep sink that is essentially made to be in a corner so you can use it from two directions equally as conveniently - that would solve all my issues b/c I could stand at the island to prep on either the side with my back to the big, clean up sink or with my back to the stovetop. The faucet would need to be corner-based, I suppose? Not sure that even exists.

Anyway, I digress. Because this is a large room layout - not quite a great room b/c there are some divisions, there will be a farm table for everyday eating next to the island as you move away from the kitchen towards a family room/fireplace area. There is also access to a very large covered porch out that way. SO I didn't want to move the sink down towards the seating area of the island b/c that is really where we'll want to put food out if we're serving buffet style.

I'd like to rotate it but without moving the other parts in the base around, I just create a wasted space b/c the cabinet for the sink is wider than it needs to be (just a puzzle game.) Talked about moving the parts but - and this is complicated without the layout burned in your brain - it puts the drawer microwave all the way over by the stovetop - not good. I need a 27" for that microwave and don't have that on the wall where the sink is so...

The only other way to gain a block of storage in that island is to kill hubby's beverage center (or "beer fridge" as he calls it.) That would give me a whole 24" x 24" block to work with and move around (expand to 27, move the microwave, put in drawers that open towards the sink.)

While it's certainly an option that I'm considering, I feel like he's asked for so little in this remodel where my lists of "must haves" would reach the top of the Empire State Bldg, so the poor man might as well get his beer fridge?

And, the last thing is that if the sink functionally faces the outside wall, it's literally just across from the real sink. Wouldn't I really just use the real, big double working sink?

Kitchen designer Maureen's point was that if this is an 18" sink now and it's facing the stovetop, then it's really useful. I can fill or empty pots there, prep ingredients that go over to the stovetop etc. Rinse, drain, etc.

So, there you have it. I walked it with her, we drew a bath from here to there - and the reality is that all the space is more convenient than it looks when it's in a real room and not on a piece of paper.

That said, the lingering nagging feeling to me is just about working and socializing with my family. So, one of the reasons I LIKE where the stovetop is in the kitchen plan is that my back is not to anyone at the table (kids doing homework) or the family room beyond. I hate that - when your back is to everyone, this way I'm at least sideways. And, the same could apply to prep at the island using that prep sink - now my back is to the stovetop and I'm still sideways to people visiting.

BUT, I'd much rather FACE them? If my kids sit in the two little stools at the island, if I stand on the side of the island facing out (with my back to the sink,) I look at the people sitting at the island, sitting at the table or down a way, sitting in the family room. Heck, I could even watch the Ravens win the Super Bowl on Sunday on the tv down there!

I realize that I can stand there no matter where the sink is but that prep sink being oriented towards working on the side instead of the back makes me think it won't be as convenient.

I don't know that anyone is reading anymore but here's the full architect drawing for our remodeled first floor. Dining Room, Foyer and Living Room are all that exist in the old house.

In the kitchen, the bummer is that the sink and window is drawn where I'd LIKE it to be, but that was structurally impossible b/c it's at the transition point between the new and old house. Thx, architect - you'd think you'd notice that! So, it had to move left to where it is now. And, the wall that shows just the R / F is now the All fridge, all freezer and pantry (we went with 32" models instead of 36" models and that wall was actually longer.) Finally, the butler's pantry is different now - bigger and more fxnal. We moved the powder room to be on the new hallway through the foyer to the "Hearth Room" (known to most as a great room but that is too modern-sounding to me) BUT, you get the idea of how this kitchen sits with the rest of the house - and the area in which we'll live 99% of the time.

Thanks anyone who's still reading. I'd LOVE to still hear your thoughts?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:16AM
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Not to be labour the prep sink issue but the only other thought we had was to add a 9 or 12 inch cabinet to the left of it with it's current config. That would move it off the corner a little bit. But then it just breaks up the big usable space and cuts down on the drawer storage. Not sure it's worth it. :-(

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 5:22AM
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Not that I might be talking to anyone but myself BUT I also found this thread about corner bar sinks -

anyone have a thought as to the fxnality of some of these (and or rectangular vs. round - I'm inclined to go rectangle b/c of the extra space in a 21" cabinet, I could get 18" of useable space.

Any other thoughts on making that a corner prep sink to solve my anxiety? :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread on corner bar sinks

This post was edited by akcorcoran on Sat, Feb 2, 13 at 10:57

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:52AM
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I think your kitchen will be great. There are almost always some tradeoffs to be made in any kitchen ... rare is the 100% perfect space ... but the important thing is you have thought about yours in detail and in advance and are making the best choices for the way you and your family will cook, eat, and entertain.

Yes the under sink trash will work and it's a great idea. You'll just need to cut the back out of the rear piece so it can clear the pipes. I have a pic on my other computer that I can post for you later today.

Lastly I personally think you're stressing too much about the corner sink. You will be just fine socializing (or seeing the tv) from your prep aisle. A 90-degree angle is a very comfortable socializing angle ... people converse that way at restaurant and dinner tables every day. So unless you are in a body cast and cannot turn your back or neck I'm not really seeing the problem. :)

Me, I would not want a corner sink in your space, I would rather have the largest straight sink as will fit in the base head-on. I couldn't see myself ever prepping major jobs that need water at the small 24" space by the fridge and across from the cleanup sink. It's an inconvenient location and not even a large enough space. If you make your main prep aisle as functional as possible with as big a sink as will fit there then it will be a joy to prep in and I'm sure you'll find it easy to socialize with friends and family from that spot.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Here was my idea - isn't the obstruction in a cabinet under the sink on the top portion in the back? With a 21" cabinet, I could make it a cabinet that accommodates a double trash can set up where they are turned horizontally.

Then, I could only put one in the FIRST section, leaving the second one open. That would give me the easiest access to pull out trash (and I could store trash bags and a few low cleaning items in that back section.) Wouldn't that work?

Yes it will certainly work. Here is mine that is under an 18" sink cabinet. Mine is sideways because there's plumbing and also a water chiller behind it. If you have only the plumbing and no cold/hot appliance there, you can certainly have them make the trash can go the other way with a small container bin for cleaning supplies to the side. Or you can just leave it and not worry about the secondary storage if you're going to put an instant hot behind it.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:08PM
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To me, I think the path between the range and the fridge isn't that problematic; it looks like the only time the island would block the path is if you're standing in front of the right burners. If you're in front of the middle or left burners, you have a straight path behind you, slight turn to the fridge. If the fridge could open on the right, that would be more convenient for getting stuff out while cooking, but would probably be a nightmare in terms of putting groceries away when you'll want to switch back and forth between the fridge and freezer frequently. Could you push the island "down" towards the family room by a few inches? Given how open it is to the family room, I'm guessing there's seating in there, and I'd rather lose the overhang and have less of a "barrier island" to the fridge, but that might not work for your family.

As for the prep sink, I'd want it directly behind the range for draining heavy pots of pasta, if nothing else! However, I also see your concern about having someone washing in the prep sink while someone is cooking at the range. Either the person washing could use the main sink, or if you really want access to the prep sink from both sides, could you put a TapMaster/foot-controlled pedal on the short side? (Hmm, can a single faucet be controlled by both a foot pedal and a faucet?)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:55PM
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The only thing I see lacking is a trash can on the island. I think you'll find yourself prepping there more than you think. If you could rig something like taggie described that would help.

It would have been nice to switch the DW and trash but you have restrictions and analyzed and discussed with your KD (who seems open to changes which is a good thing) the pros and cons and made a decision that works best for you. If you can add trash under the prep sink that will give you, if you prep in the corner between sink and range, a close spot for dumping your garbage. With a specific clean-up sink and prep sink, the issue of the DW isn't as big a deal because dirty dishes can be thrown into the clean-up sink and you still have your prep sink to use. I would keep that.

Keep in touch and post pics when you're done. :)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 5:18PM
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only other thought we had was to add a 9 or 12 inch cabinet to the left of it with it's current config. That would move it off the corner a little bit. But then it just breaks up the big usable space and cuts down on the drawer storage. Not sure it's worth it. :-(

I would keep it on the corner. I have mine on the corner and its usability from both sides of the island is wonderful. Cutting your usable prep space down is a big negative, too. In the best of all worlds, it would be across from the stove, but not straight across. But your island orientation from your stove is what makes that impossible. I think you have thought through all of this and have made good decisions regarding your desires and your limitations. There is no "perfect," and if you can feel satisfied with the reasoning for keeping the plan you have, that's great... and a big hurdle in kitchen design and planning. Sometimes you have to decide not to stress yourself any more and just get excited about the new room, which, no matter how you tweak it now, is probably way better than what you've had before. :-)

Round vs rectangular. Round sinks look cool and work well on corner. Sometimes big enough is big enough, so if a round sink isn't too tight, it'll well do the job. I think you're right that a rectangular shape gives you more interior work space for your buck and your cabinet size. There are also more options in more sizes, so you can more likely find the biggest possible sink for your cabinet. If you LOVE round sinks, if I were you, I'd try to find one. If you don't pine for round, I'd stick with rectangle.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:14PM
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This is so helpful. I think I'm getting to where I'm feeling comfortable that this will work for us, mainly because you all have pushed me to really think about form vs function.

Artichokey (love that!), I so wish I could push the island down towards the eating area/family room but my pinch point that I'm most worried about is that corner (the edge of the wall by the pantry and the island.) It's actually only 39" between that wall and the corner of the island and that's with the short radius of the seating (10"). The rationale there is that there is NO work happening there - it's literally just a passage way. You'll never have people standing there for more than just walking through. If make the corner radius any more round, there is really no actual seating there and I'd really like my two girls to sit with me in the kitchen, you know? I know if I killed the overhang, I could go a little farther down but I'd like the kitchen to be a place we LIVE, not just work, so I'm trying to hang on to those two little seats. ;-)

taggie, I am trying to create that exact trash scenario. Did you order that or aftermarket rig it yourself? Fieldstone has the double but not a single like that (and I hate to saw off half of a crazy expensive cabinet!)

We are having an insta hot/cold in there (and I was hoping a small disposal - have I just killed my space for trash? It's a 21" cabinet? Having trash in there is KEY, I think. I think I should take the picture of your gadgets and plumbing under the sink to my gc and plumber - you've made it all fit, right?!

And, now that you've introduced it to me, I am SO getting a Tapmaster! LOVE that idea. Do you have the push pedal model or Euro? Yes another thing I'm adding to the back (plus breezy's never MT) Can I fit trash?

rhome410, thanks for confirming to keep it on the corner. If I add trash there, I actually like that I have about 40" of space next to it (including the overhang so that's over kill,) and I like that the sink is on my right - weird idiosyncracy, not sure why.)

I have no inclination towards round sinks so maybe larger rectangle works fine. In fact, I have no inclination towards sinks or faucets AT ALL - that's a problem since I have to pick them within the next week. Baby steps...

I'm moving over into the "love your future kitchen" phase - slowly but surely. I feel more informed and maybe that's what's helping. I've dreamed of a new kitchen but never had a dream kitchen in mind, if you know what I mean?

I did go to the granite place today and got a mock up of the Crema Bordeaux on the countertops (seam is in the sink that's not there now...) THAT I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I guess I'm just more visual than functional. (my husband would storngly agree with that statement - doesn't make me the best planner!)

Thank you to all you lifesavers. :-)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:11AM
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I feel badly that I made you panicky with your layout. I just know that, for me, working with the layout you have would, as I said a couple of nights ago, drive me completely bananas having to run around that island all the time to reach the fridge, freezer, or pantry. My style of cooking is probably different than yours since most of your food is pre-made so my view on kitchen function is different. I cook every meal from scratch by myself, and usually the meals are a bit complicated or gourmet-ish so that takes multiple trips in/out of food storage (mostly cold storage as I use lots of organic veggies). With the little ones running around melting down because they're hungry and tired, small things that slow me down stress me out when I'm working alone for 90 minutes on a meal. (DH works late and travels a lot for work.). My views are obviously a bit skewed. Again, I'm sorry.

My thought is still that the best place to prep is across from the range facing the food storage for many reasons listed above. The biggest reason is that it gives you the most amount of prep space.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:52AM
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No worries, breezy! You made me challenge my thinking (and all the other good ideas helped me improve the kitchen, for sure!

I think we probably do prep differently. I don't remember mentioning that we own a food business (Let's Dish! is its name) - too often writing at 3 AM, obviously!

We do have family dinners every night but it's a little less kitchen intensive than for most. Our business makes fresh meals from scratch in the store and then bring them home to cook when you need them. The beauty of the business model is that our store does the prepping - chopping organic herbs, slicing, dicing and mincing veggies, etc. and we order all the all-natural or farm-raised proteins so I use what I need when I need it, and then we bring it home and cook it, adding the various elements of vegetables, sauce, flavors to the proteins (or marinated protein.) It's more prep at the store and then cook/execute at home. So, my Lemon and Dill Salmon, Thai-Marinated Flank Steak, Parmesian-Crusted Pork Chops with Herb Potatoes, or Citrus-Infused Tilapia all require little effort for me at home. To be honest, my favorite meals are the crock pot ones, however, house smells fantastic, incredible flavor and ZERO effort or clean up. (It helps that it's our store too - I know, I don't even do the prep there.)

SO, most of my prep at home is focused on the side elements. I love a good salad, yummy veggies and other assorted aspects to round out a good dinner.

And, we're big breakfast eaters (eggs, pancakes, french toast) - I actually suspect it's the latter that will have me cursing the island that I have to run around so it's just going to mean that I bring the whole container of eggs, milk and butter over to the stovetop.

My girls are 9 (next Wed) and nearly 11 and they participate in the cooking. In fact, my 9 year old makes a full dinner at least once a week. After dinner, one always does the loading of the dishwasher. They make their own breakfast and school lunches in the morning.

I think that factored into my "splitting" the kitchen a little bit - rather than just working behind the island (Back to sink,) it gives me an opportunity for sometime to be on two sides, three really if I wanted.

OK, so sharing that might have helped earlier on, now I realize. But in the event that we don't always own the store, I still want to have a functional kitchen, you know?!

So, I really really appreciate your advice - breezy and all of the experts who have voiced their thoughts. I realize that blindly following a KD's advice is not so smart and so I needed to challenge myself to think through it.

All in all, my biggest woe is that the island is deep but narrow (4') as opposed to the traditional shape. Originally it was at least 4' 6" and then those big fridge/freezer units pushed it back smaller. And, the window had to go where it is now.

Structural issues are what they are, however, and I think I've used the space as best we could. It's crazy when you're complaining about a 16' x 14' kitchen when you've had a 12' x 8' one. :-)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:10PM
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akcorcoran: I think I was the person who mentioned Tapmaster. I don't have one so I can't recommend between types, but it seems like a great idea. Hope it works out for you!

breezygirl: I cook from scratch (food allergies), but after one too many times of thinking I had all the ingredients and realizing someone had eaten something unintentionally, I've started pulling everything out of the fridge and putting it on the counter before I start prepping. For me, akcorcoran's kitchen would be too big - I wouldn't want to walk that distance from the range to the fridge - but her layout can work for people who cook entirely from scratch. I'd just pull everything out and put it on the island, then work from the other side.

It just occurred to me: akcorcoran has two preteen kids! Why are we concerned about HER walking around the island to grab ingredients? Isn't that what preteens are for? :)

(I'm half-kidding, but only half-kidding; I helped my mother prepare dinner every night by being the "go-fer." She'd sit at the range in her wheelchair and I'd get stuff from the fridge or pantry, measure it for her, bring something to the microwave, etc.)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:21PM
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Not sure if it's in your budget and/or if you're willing to give up cabinet space, but refrigerator drawers might be helpful near the stove to store eggs, butter, etc. for use during cooking.

Sadly, it's not really in our budget, but I'd love to be able to have one of those :)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Wow - that WOULD be a luxury and I do have a 24" to the right of the range top ... can you even put one there though with the heat...? Hmmmm...?

I think hubby would say that with a 32" All Elux Icon fridge, a 24" Elux Bev Center under the island on the other side and a 18" Uline Bev fridge in the Wet bar, we've got plenty of refrigeration (wow - that makes us sound like winos!)

But, it's a good idea. Two places would have been next to the range (if I could do it) or in the island next to prep sink, but then I give up my bank of 33" drawers?


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 3:36PM
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taggie, I am trying to create that exact trash scenario. Did you order that or aftermarket rig it yourself? Fieldstone has the double but not a single like that (and I hate to saw off half of a crazy expensive cabinet!)

We are having an insta hot/cold in there (and I was hoping a small disposal - have I just killed my space for trash?

Our cabs were custom so the shop just made it to spec, but I think it's pretty much the same as the pic of the fieldstone cab but with the back and bottom back cut out. You can ask your KD and GC to be sure. I really think it's worth almost anything to have trash in the island; walking it across the kitchen would really suck given how much trash you can generate in prep.

You can definitely fit the hot water tank and disposal there. By instant cold do you mean just as cold as the water line gets, or do you mean a chiller? Because you won't get a chiller in there too. It's either GD+hot or chiller, not all three. I would go with the GD and not a chiller because at prep you don't want the extra traffic there anyway.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:55PM
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Hi all!

Taggie - You're totally right. Not doing an insta hot/cold - already nixed that so it's just disposal, maybe instahot but I think I'll put that at the regular sink.

By the way! I found a photo on Houzz of what will be virutally identical to our kitchen layout, right down to the location of the dishwasher. OF course, the prep sink isn't there... but that should make mine better, yes? It's a tad bit longer on the stovetop wall side, otherwise, pretty much the same. (I was looking to decide on lighting and think these lanterns are too small and should be oriented the other diretion, the length of the island, don't you?) BUT, it was helpful to visualize b/c I think using this space will be ok for us?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 3:52PM
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That's certainly a beautiful room!

Pendants over the island are often oriented for the seating area, and for the view from the facing room, which is why these would be set as they are.

The greater distance between dw and the stove helps in that room. But, yes, your prep sink will help make your kitchen much better to work in!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 7:16PM
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If you cook like Rachel Ray (she grabs about 30 ingredients in both arms and moves it all to the prep area), the layout is fine. If you're a little ADHD and forgetful like my wife and I, it's less than ideal.

As a few have pointed out, swapping the cleanup sink and the rangetop would be ideal, but that's not an option for you. The other option would be to consider moving the rangetop to the island.

I'm a huge fan of having the range on the island, but this is an unpopular view because 80-90% of cooking time is prep time. My rationale is when you're entertaining, you should be done prepping and on to cooking when your dinner guests arrive, and you can finish cooking the meal while chatting with guests rather than having your back to your guests.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:09AM
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Ha, davidahn! If I cooked like Rachel Ray, life would be very different in our house! :-) I will say that we have sort of a "team" dynamic for cooking in our house, because of our food business but also because of how we like to raise our girls in terms of helping to make and clear dinner. It is rare that only one of us is ever in the kitchen preparing a meal so there will always be another hand to ask for xyz.

It's funny, I started with the cooktop in the island b/c that's how my parents had theirs and I loved sitting across from my mom and talking while she cooked dinner. She, on the other hand, did not - I only found out later! She felt that others couldn't participate and it was always hot and if she got distracted talking (we like to talk in a household of all girls!) something always good over or under cooked. But, I agree with you on the whole "back to the guests" issue which is why I ended up putting the cooktop on the side at least - side to the guests didn't seem so bad. ;-)

I am still trying to figure out the light alignment. The lighting store said to go with them the length of the island, so perpendicular to the orientation of the seating area. I have two lanterns that are very minimal structure with more glass but they are 14" in diameter in the box area (17" up top where all the metal loops out). Lighting guy says parallel to length of the island, what do you think?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:02AM
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Here's another view of the lanterns - I may even take the glass out and just have the structure and candles... have to see how I feel when it's all in.

(BTW, for those who have been helping me in the Silgranit thread, there you see the shape that is in the Diamond sink line. That's one of the reasons I wanted it on the kitchen and for the prep sink... but maybe I'm taking it all too far. Just trying to soften up all those appliances / hard lines.)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:05AM
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These are sizable pendants, and both you and the lighting expert think you should run them the length of the island, so all good reasons to go for it. :-D

I don't think sink shape will do much about the lines of your appliances. ;-)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:35PM
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You're probably right on both counts. Going to look at sinks today - trying to tick off the decisions! Thanks, everyone!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:14AM
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So, it's been a while but I thought I would post an update - the kitchen is not finished but the cabinets are in progress and I am SO excited! I think the layout is going to work out just fine for us. It's the difference between seeing it on paper and walking around it.

obviously, island isn't in place and sink, range, granite, appliances aren't here yet but here's a sneak peek.

AND, the big puffy window will be gone for a real window. We were just keeping insulated as long as we could given the current temps here in MD!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 9:16PM
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And the fridge/freezer/pantry wall - We have all-fridge/freezer Electrolux Icons going in.

(Ignore the distance between the board and the wall - pinch point. The island isn't in place yet.)


    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 9:17PM
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