Help With Kitchen Plans - Brutal Feedback Encouraged! :)

Sarah BrennanFebruary 27, 2014

Hi - I'm usually a lurker and have gotten some fantastic ideas from this forum while we've built our home over the last several years.

To move in, we put a temporary kitchen (affectionately known as our "Craigslist Kitchen") in our home so we could get the occupancy permit a little more than a year ago, and we're finally ready to start work on the "real" kitchen! I'd love some feedback on our plans - I know so many of you here are super creative and amazing designers! Be as brutal as you want!

The colors we have planned are an antique white on the cabinets that don't reach the ceiling, and the bar and a medium stained maple for the tall cabinets and the island. And granite in the green family. I didn't want an all wood kitchen just because in our great room I feel it might be an overwhelming amount of wood, but I don't want white on the cabinets my husband will touch. He works in construction and tends to come home pretty dirty. :)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not certain as to if or why you're into sadism, but "brutal" is hardly necessary. Neither would the term, "honest" since no one is mean, nor dishonest in their opinions.

So to that I say ... ready?
[drum roll]
I like your kitchen. Brutal enough for you? Slap happy silly?

I'm far from a KD, but I can tell you that the way I cook, I take things out of the refrigerator and put them on the counter (like you have) to the left. You only have a tiny counter space there and I'm here to tell you that's a PAIN IN THE BUMMY.

Now, if you were to switch your microwave wall with the fridge, you'd have a whole long counter where you'd probably prep right next to the sink. That also puts the fridge nearer the table, where others will be coming and going without trying to cut through your work alley.

I"d swap your DW with that cabinet right next to it. The DW away from the sink makes a lot of water mess.

Now that giant island. The corner on that is going to become a bottleneck and I see a lot of very bruised hips. I'd round that corner in some way. Probably making the island actually not so deep. Maybe a regular depth island on the diagonal? (Others can offer better suggestions.) You don't indicate whether or not there's storage in there, but reaching across that darn thing to wipe or serve is quite a distance.

I am not a fan of corner stoves or sinks, but have no idea how to place that. Time for the experts.

I hope you enjoy your new kitchen. Please redonate those appliances and cabinets if you can and if they're in 1/2 way decent shape. There are those of us who have permanent, Craig's List kitchens and could probably use them.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So, I take it that you are a single person with no other users of the kitchen? Because it's designed for a single person rather than a couple or family to use. And that's as much as I can comment on without a measured layout, other than the clearances look really really tight. Sure, it's gonna look pretty, but it won't work well unless you are the sole occupant.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very pretty with all the separate wall cabinets. How wide are those cabs? They appear larger than your fridge cab, so I'd consider dividing them into three doors.

I agree with Christine that you should swap the fridge and microwave cabinet. You'll prep more by the clean-up sink, so that keeps fridge and sink together. The microwave cabinet looks very funkily hobbled together to me, so if the fridge fits there, that side cabinet will probably look better as part of the fridge surround. You'll be fine with the trash cabinet separating the DW from the sink as long as it's not a humongous trash cabinet. I have that set-up with a 13 1/2" cab and there's no dripping or bending to load the DW.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You'll be fine with the trash cabinet separating the DW from the sink

But why not just switch the two so the DW is next to the sink?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've never used a corner range, but I wonder how easy it is to wipe up a spill inside with it in the corner and tucked back half a foot or more? I'd pull it out even with the edges, if it were to stay in a corner. And, is that wasted cabinet space?

Will you prep on the same counter (island) where you eat? Just thinking that you have three sinks, maybe you'd use the sink on the wall for prep since it's close to the fridge and range and trash and dishwasher?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you have vegetable peelings or other yuck, you just drop them into the trash instead of dripping over to the trash. I think it will also be easier to unload the DW into that upper cabinet standing to its right. If she puts the trash on the other side of the sink as is conventional, she loses that wide drawer base next to the stove.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I still don't understand - I just meant switch the trash and dw, not do away with the drawer stack next to the cooktop. If you have drippy vegetable peelings, you'll be dealing with them on the prep counter next to the sink anyway - just wipe them into the trash or compost bin from there. Personally, I'd rather wipe trash off the counter into the trash bin than have to lean over from the sink to load dishes into the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As LWO pointed out, it's not functional for more than a single cook. Given that it's a huge kitchen, that seems a waste of space.

I would opt for a MW drawer in the island, move the fridge to where the MW/appliance garage is and get the range out of the corner and along the wall where the fridge is.

If you really want the range in the corner, build the corner out more so that the range is not tucked back inside that corner. Even with a 36" wide range, only one person will be able to stand at the range at a time in your plan. If anyone is stirring a pot on top of the range and someone else needs to put something in or take something out of the oven, the first person will have to come out of the corner in order for that to happen. I'd find that a major PITA.

However, if you really want to keep the range in the corner, read the following blog posts about corner ranges and cook tops written by CMKBD Kelly Morisseau. They can be done but they are trickier to do; know what you're getting into with this set-up.

A Design Reader Asks: Help with range in the corner?

A reader asks: A cooktop or range in the corner?

If you are open to getting lay-out ideas for your kitchen, post a measured overhead view of your space.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why the different cabinet heights? The ones that don't reach ceiling will become dust collectors. Have you considered making them all reach the ceiling?

I know nothing about corner ranges. There was a woman who did a custom walnut over ikea box kitchen that had a corner range. I think she said it was one of her best decisions? Valdez or valz or I'm sorry I'm having a chemo brain moment. I'm sure someone else will remember it. You may want to read her thread concerning the range placement.

How wide are your aisles?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 2:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have our trash pullout in the island, pulling out toward the main sink so it's handy to cooking, prep, and cleanup areas. The way your plan is set up would not work for me. You scrape a plate then have to close the trash or go around it to load the dishes in the dw. In the best of all worlds, you might be able to organize yourself to make it work. But I really wonder how often you'll encounter that ideal situation. It wouldn't happen in our house! And I don't plan for ideal, but what will work in less than optimum moments.

I, too, would prefer a to-scale drawing with dimensions in order to give further opinion or suggestions. Right now I can almost feel the bruises from backing into that corner while tending to the stovetop or oven.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 4:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

All of that space---and so little of it in the right spots. In a home with a kitchen of this size, is there not a pantry elsewhere? Can the MW not go in a base or be hung from an upper or be on a simple shelf that lets you have counter space? Do you never want to work in the kitchen with children? Teach them how to cook? Make tacos or pizza with a spouse? A corner range works great for a territorial solitary cook who doesn't want any help distracting them from the business of food production. For any other cooking style, it's not at all conducive to parnerships.

What's on the other side of the table? I'd almost rather see the pantries consolidated there with a series of 12'' deep ones, then shallow up those cabs by the table for a small appliance area there with the MW in the mix somewhere. If the fridge went where the pantry and MW is now, that would make for a nice breakfast area/snack center. Then get the range out of the corner to put on the short leg of the L.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 7:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also don't understand why people do upper cabinets of varying heights. Some very nice kitchens have that feature and it usually looks choppy and crenellated.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sarah Brennan

Oh my goodness - thank you all so much for your responses! I just finished reading them all to my DH. :) We appreciate all the feedback!!

CEFreeman - You say you're not a kitchen designer - but you have great input! And yes, everything we don't reuse will end up at the Restore. Haha - I didn't even think of being able to reach across the island to clean! Making it shallower is a good idea - as well as angling that corner by the range.

And while, yes it will primarily be a single person kitchen (I cook, DH cleans) any suggestions on making it more two-person friendly? Besides moving the range from the corner - we're kinda partial to that look. :)

May_Flowers - The wall cabinets are 42" tall. The first thing DH said when he was looking at the plans "are they too wide?" But our KD raved about that size cabinets so we just kinda went with it. We'll have to look at three door ones. I didn't even think about them being wider than the fridge.

Lisa-a - I LOVE the idea of putting the MW in the island! We had actually initially suggested that, but the KD talked us out of it. I'm going to have to revisit that!! We know so little about a good kitchen design so we sometimes don't stand up for our ideas, thinking she must know better.

The ceilings are 9'. And I agree with most of you - I prefer cabinets to the ceiling, but again, we were advised that may be too costly. (However out KD was EXTREMELY expensive - got the quote today - so we're going to be shopping around and hopefully find a place more reasonable.)

And rhome410 - when I read DH your post, he LOVED your suggestion of putting the trash in the island! It was one of those "why didn't we think of that??" moments! That change is definitely a must do!!

Wow - I should have known better than to hire a KD! So grateful for all the feedback! Of the whole housebuilding process, the kitchen has become the most stressful to me. But you're making it much easier! Thank you!!!!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, I guess I'm a little thick, but there are some things I need:

What are the dimensions of this kitchen and the cabinets, appliances, island, windows, doorways within?
Is your mw really wider than your fridge?
What is under the mw? Is that an appliance garage?
How come the 3 inside cabinets don't go to the ceiling?
If you don't want your husband leaving dirt on your cabinets, why will the ones with the dishes, glasses, cups be white?
Are there any cabinets in the island?
How much space is between your sink countertop and island countertop (not cabinets, countertop)? How much between the fridge door and the island countertop?
Do you actually need seating for 10+ in your kitchen (6 at island, 4+ at table)?
Why is the table smushed up to the cabinets at one end, with a football field of space at the other?
Why is your range crammed into the corner?
Where is your pantry?

Having asked so many questions, I'd like to give some opinions without knowing sizes:

I agree with posters above, the fridge and mw should be swapped. The fridge is used many times in a day, and needs to be in the main work area.

Instead of cramming that range into the corner, how about a cooktop and wall oven. The wall oven could be with the mw. If you wish, the cooktop could still be in the corner, but pulled forward. I personally would move it, possibly on the huge island. But, I also realize a lot of people don't want a hood obstructing the "sight line".
If the cooktop were on the island, that corner could be used for your appliance garage and additional drawers or cabinet could be below. In my "ultimate dream kitchen", I would have an appliance lift behind the base cabinets in the corner. With the touch of a switch, the appliances rise up when needed, but when not needed, they lower down into the counter behind the base cabinets and leave the counter clear.

I also agree that the dw should be next to the sink. But, the trash doesn't necessarily need to be beside it. It could be right of the sink. You scrape into the trash, rinse in the sink and put into the dw. Or, the trash can be in the island, across from the dw.

If your pantry is in the breakfast area, why not swap the BC (beverage center). with the pantry? Or, if possible, move the door beside the current fridge location, over to where the BC is, put the pantry where that doorway is and still put the BC in the breakfast area.

IMHO multiple height cabinets give a chopped up look. I think it gives a more cohesive appearance with all the cabinets the same height.

Hope you are able to give all the dimensions. There are some very amazing GWers on here. Some have the software to show the finished product (wish I did) and their designs are terrific.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The kitchen IS the most stressful. No other room in the house has more "bits-n-pieces" needed. It's not just the finishes that have to be covered, but how everything is used and goes away inside. There isn't another room, where you have to stress so much about the layout. Once the kitchen is finalized, the rest of the house is a breeze, in comparison.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know you say you love the look of the oven in the corner... have you ever cooked that way before? Just looking at it makes my hips feel trapped. I tend to get close to things as I'm working and hate the feeling of a counter edge jutting into me. It's one of the (many) driving forces of my own remodel. Currently my range is 12 inches off of an inside corner - but as all ranges do, it is a bit deeper than the counter -- and therefore a jutting edge. I am constantly digging that into my hip as I work in the corner.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sarah Brennan

Hmmm - so lots of feedback that the corner range may not be a good idea.... DH and I are going to lay it out tonight by moving the current cabinets where they would be and see how we feel about it. Below is one of our inspiration pics from Houzz.

Traditional Kitchen by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Isabel Beattie @ K Cabinets Oakville

Also - here are the dimensions of our the area we have.

Canuckplayer - love your suggestions! Especially the applicance garage maybe in the corner where the range is now. The upper cabinets are currently 42" and the drawer bases below them are 36". Yes, that is an applicance garage under the microwave, and the only pantry space in the current plan is next to the door facing sideways. Maybe replace that and the microwave area with a large pantry cabinet if we don't move the fridge?

I can't wait to compile a list of all the suggestions and make changes accordingly! Thanks again and keep 'em coming! :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sarah Brennan

Its so easy to say something looks nice in a picture, but I'm glad we have you guys to tell us it may not be functional! The only other kitchens I have worked in were my parents - which was a 200 year old converted school (not the greatest kitchen would be an understatement but a cool house) and an apartment kitchen which was functional but very small.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Note that the Houzz picture has counter space on either side and no island jutting into the back/butt of the person cooking there. Or the people trying to get by the person cooking there.

All in all, IMHO, a corner anything, where someone might stand for more than a moment is just a bad idea.

If you have the options of moving things around to test this? More power to you! But leave it there for a week, not just to say, "Oh, that's fine. We can get by."

Never fool yourself into thinking you'll be the only one in the kitchen, particularly if you have kids or pets.

Sounds like you asked these guys at the right time!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

CEF, you're pretty good at this even if you do say you're "no kitchen designer". I thought the corner stove in the Houzz picture didn't look so awful, and now I know why :-)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Step back from the stove and bruise your butt on the corner of the island?

Eating in two spaces within a few feet of one another? Island is long on seating and short on workspace, rest of kitchen is short on counter space for working.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you move the stove to the short wall, you'll have a nice clean counter from sink to stove. That is prime prep space. Please don't go mucking it up with a big, boxy corner appliance garage! What do you plan to put in the garage?

You should think through where you'll do most of your prep and design your island accordingly. With the amount of counter you have around the main sink and the natural light from the window, I don't see any motivation to move to the island for wet prep. Does it really improve work flow to prep on the island for food that is going on the stovetop? I don't think so. So that leaves the island mainly for baking, which doesn't need a water source.

If you want to use the island for main prep, and if you do move the trash there, forcing you to prep mostly on the island, I'd double the size of the prep sink. But do you want to lose that much counter and cabinet base for a sink? You are also thinking about putting a microwave in the island now, eliminating more drawer storage. So would the sink in the bar area be enough of a second sink?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sarah Brennan

And for those of you who asked - yes there will be storage in the island. Here is a pic, but even before posting here, we knew the island was going to be totally revamped. :) The sink on the island we plan to use for basic prep - washing veggies etc and the sink under the window, to put dishes pots and pans before they make their way to the dishwasher. I think we will also be adding a 2nd dishwasher in the island as a luxury.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 2:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You didn't have a dimension for your window, or how far it was from the corner, and I left the island out, but here's what everyone is talking about moving the range to the short L. It works SO much better!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 2:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Small appliance zone behind table, with MW in base there. And with a countertop that can serve as the landing zone for the fridge leftovers to be reheated in the MW.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In the 4th and 5th drawings of the first post, the beverage center and the refrigerator are shown on the same flat wall (on either side of the doorway). In the more recent mock-ups, that wall is also shown as flat.

However, in the OP's recent drawing giving the dimensions of the kitchen, there is what appears to be a powder room which sticks out perhaps 2' further than the wall between the corner and the refrigerator.

Will the powder room be removed, or is the drawing incorrect? Or if not, how far does that wall stick out beyond the wall on the other side of that doorway?

There is also a small rectangle at one of the corners. What does that rectangle represent, how large is it, and must it remain there?


Just an observation about the Houzz corner range:

It looks more open because it is more open than your first design.

The Houzz counter between the range and the sink is cut back at least a couple of inches from the counter depth at the sink. When you look at the distance between the range and the angle of the counter next to the lower cabinets on the far side of the range, the distance looks like somewhere between 3 and 5".

On the other hand, the same space in the first design looks more like 8-10". (Maybe someone with more experience would have a better estimate of these two distances.)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 3:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sarah Brennan

Live_wire_oak - thank you so much!! Thats awesome that you did that! Now how do I hire you? ;)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 3:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Missing: Good eyes about the bump-out. That helps explain why there were things in the dimensions drawing that weren't in the overhead schematic. The two drawings are also reversed views.
I believe that corner rectangle is just crossed lines for the measurements. One measurement is 10'4", the other 18'10".

Sarah, what dimension is your island? What width are the two aisles?
Having now seen the dimension drawings, I understand why the BC is where it shares with the great room.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like what LWO came up with, but the fridge may be too far from the range.

This can be another alternative, though I'm not sure if you have enough room for the range b/w the window and the corner. I kept the fridge on the short wall, with MW next to it. MW can be on a shelf or below counter, and there may be an appliance garage as well.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 7:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sarah Brennan

Thanks sena01 - that could be a great solution - we wouldn't have to move the water line for the fridge! Thanks for taking the time to do that!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:49PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Moen Motionsense faucets
Hello! I just installed a Moen Motionsense kitchen...
Need floorplan advice/help
Hello everyone! Looking for floorplan advice on our...
Does this butler pantry addition add or detract from my kitchen?
My midcentury home has a very open plan and lots of...
Reviews for 'Steel' Ascot freestanding ovens
Hi, does anyone have the above Italian made range in...
Baker Cherry Shaker doors vs IKEA Laxarby doors
Please advise on Baker doors. I am going to get IKEA...
Sponsored Products
My World Gardners Friend Valance
$29.99 | Bellacor
Whitehaus WHN1913G Stainless Steel Sink Protector Grid WHNU1913 & WHND1913
$57.00 | Blue Bath
Area Rug: Elegance Multi 5' x 7' Contemporary
Home Depot
Bigger And Better Magnifying Glass
| Dot & Bo
P024 SS Sink Undermount/Topmount/Vessel
Adeco Black Metal 5-shelf Baker's Rack
Malibu Constellation New Buck Runner: 2 Ft. x 8 Ft. Rug
$58.40 | Bellacor
Downrod: Hunter 48 in. Extension Downrod Iron 26015
$16.81 | Home Depot
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™