Desperate for Help with Kitchen Layout!

gnocchinowFebruary 16, 2014

I've been planning my new kitchen layout for more than a year, and have been in an awful state of decision paralysis over layout. I would LOVE any critical feedback from the terrific members of GW. I'm a serious cook, this is the last kitchen I'll probably ever have, and I'm afraid of making any big mistakes.

I have a smaller home that has a small kitchen and eat-in nook. Since we don't actually use the kitchen table much -- we mostly sit down in our formal (but casual) dining room-- I'd rather use the eat-in-nook to make my kitchen bigger�yet still keep some seating for resale purposes (someday).

A few notes:
-We currently have an "L" shaped layout with a narrow island. There is a pantry closet on the wall opposite the sink. The island, while narrow, is too big for the kitchen, with only 36" aisles on either side�and no seating.
- I've attached some renderings of the prospective layout. Pardon the crudeness- I did it myself on my iPad and the app is limited in its features. So use these pics for layout purposes.
- In the new layout, I kept my sink, dishwasher and range in their current locations. The refrigerator is presently to the right of the range with a small counter in between. In my new layout, I've knocked out my pantry closet on the wall opposite the sink, and put my fridge there.
-I've filled much of the old eat-in nook with my peninsula, and tried to keep seating for 4 stools.
- The peninsula will be 75" long to accommodate 4 stools. It uses 24"D base cabinets and a 12" countertop overhang.
- At the end of the peninsula (to the right of the fridge), I put a 12" D base cabinet (13"D w/counter) and standard upper cabinets.
- My garbage/recycling will be in the cabinet to the left of the dishwasher.
- For what it's worth, my finishes will be classic: white shaker cabinets; AB honed counters; SS appliances; White subway backsplash. Probably do 2 pendants over the Peninsula - something from Restoration Hardware. I want to love it 20 years from now.

My questions:
1) The walkway between the end of the peninsula and the 12"D base cabinets is 38" wide. Is this sufficient for an aisle way? If so, I could probably get rid of the shallow cabinets -- but then I'll have a blank wall...

2) Any problems you see with the layout - or any changes you would make based on experience?

Thank you so much for your help!

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Here is view to walk into kitchen from family room. Aisle into kitchen is 38". Too narrow or ok?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:09PM
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Here is view of basic work zones. Garbage/recycling is in cabinet to left of dishwasher. I plan to use peninsula for main prep area.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:12PM
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It would be really helpful if you could post a floor plan showing all the walls and all the dimensions. You could identify where you currently plan to put things and then everyone would be in a position to tell you where you're wrong :-). (Just kidding - this group is incredibly helpful - I planned my last kitchen without a KD, just this group - and it was nearly perfect!).

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:13PM
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Thank you sjhockeyfan! Yes, the feedback from the GW group is so helpful! Here are the wall dimensions. Although the entire area shaded blue is labeled kitchen, the area to the left is actually my family room; the space to the right is my kitchen. Unfortunately, the app I used does not display the location of doors/windows in this view, but it gives an idea of scale and wall space.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:29PM
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I have exactly 38" from the end of my peninsula to the wall in my main entry hallway. We've successfully brought Christmas trees, patio furniture, and a 84" sofa through there. Are you accounting for your countertop overhang though?

Your main wet prep area WILL be between your sink and stove since you have plenty of room. You will probably also make sandwiches near the sink and who knows what else. I squeeze into 30" between sink and stove for most prep and use my peninsula for rolling dough and a few other tasks.

But SJhockey is wrong!! Before we tell you where to store everything, we'll need to work a banquette in in front of those windows in lieu of a peninsula. ;)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:41PM
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I am not a layout expert, but something I noticed in your comments that I would caution is the use of the peninsula for the main prep area. I have a very similar layout in my existing kitchen and as much as I would love to use the peninsula for the main prep, I always use the corner between the sink and range. IMO, it's just too far of a distance to be cleaning, cutting, etc. and then carrying the food over to the range.

What is the gray space between the dining room/kitchen/foyer? Is there any opportunity to open walls around this space?

Another idea - have you considered attaching the peninsula to the refrigerator wall where you have the 12" deep cabinets? This might leave more space in your nook where it appears you have a beautiful bay window and you could put some chairs there for a cozy reading nook / potential for a small table?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:54PM
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Thank you May_Flowers. I had not realized my main prep area would be b/w the sink and range, but this makes sense! I thought I'd mostly prep at the peninsula, and so I switched my garbage cabinet from the cabinet at the right of the sink to the cabinet at left of the dishwasher. But I think you've convinced me to switch it back. Yes, a banquette was part of my original plan. Love them! But in the end, I decided a bigger kitchen was more important to me than an eat-in kitchen -- specifically because we use our dining room for most meals and we could still incorporate seating for 4 at the peninsula.

Thank you as well Spartans99. Appreciate your feedback on prep area as well! The gray area b/w kitchen and dining on my rendering is a mix of things: stairs going upstairs, stairs going downstairs, a powder room, and a furnace return. None can be moved without great expense, so I decided to leave them alone (believe me I tried). I also tried putting the peninsula on the wall to the right of the fridge. That's what I thought I wanted--and it would have allowed for a banquette w/table in the nook. But then I detached my current kitchen island, moved it to that location, and then lived with it for a few days. Visually it looked good, but in practice it felt too detached from the rest of our kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:34PM
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