Kitchen Layout - advice/suggestions needed

JSpannFebruary 1, 2014

Looking for suggestions on the best layout for this kitchen - we hope to build in the next year.

Here are a few thoughts I have:

I circled the general area where we intend to extend the garage a bit and add a walk-in (huge) pantry.

Considering that, what would you put over where the pantry was intended?

The island is terrible. I plan to make it much larger and would like it to seat 6 - we currently have a family of 5 and plan to make it 6. Any suggestions on the best way to do this? If it becomes kind of like a half-hexagon shape, will that make the distance between the island and the counters too large?

I would love to know how you would lay-out this kitchen!

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No way to seat 6 in that space. That's a 12" island, or 10' with one around the corner, or 8' with seating on two sides with a minimum of 48" behind those on the ends, or 60" if it's a passageway or backs up to other seating. You're talking about making the kitchen the entire space shown with no table. Which is doable, if you have a separate dining room and no major pathways through it. Also, the pantry shown is of adequate size for the size of kitchen shown. Do you really need a larger pantry?

Possibly the home is too small for your needs if the kitchen is any indication of the rest of the home's size.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 8:40PM
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I might be disoriented, but I'd rather have the powder and mud room off the back of the garage (accessible from backyard?) and expand my kitchen and enlarged pantry toward the front of the house. Maybe this would free up more island room?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:36PM
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I may be a little confused. I agree with the pantry and powder room access by the outside. Is your mud room situated toward the outdoors where your kids will mainly play ? Is that the same daily entance/exit your family uses. Is that dining nook your only dining and lastly, where does the left top doorway lead?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:16PM
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Sorry, just saw your responses! Thank you for taking time to look at this with/for me.

I am including the entire houseplan -- which obviously we are tweaking, but to give you an idea. Excuse the big fat "bid copy" stamp. haha

The powder/mudroom you see will be where we are coming and going most of the time -- from the garage. I like the idea of a potty that close for us to access when coming/going. The house will include a finished walk-out basement where the children will mostly reside. That will include bathroom, rec room, bedrooms, etc. When theyre dirty, they'll be sent through that entry :)

I do want only a single dining space - I don't like extra unused (or less used) rooms, and for me I'd like to keep things open and stream-lined. I have done a mock up for the great room and dining areas and plan to extend the great room about 3' out the back and also extend the dining area most likely that same 3 feet out the back, to accommodate seating.

I'd really like a large island that includes seating... how much wider than 16.5" do I need to go to get that? I'll post a picture of the idea I had in mind. I want the sink on the island since the kitchen does not have windows.

I definitely want a HUGE pantry. Not a closet, a room. I want to keep small appliances hooked up inside it (like blender, toaster, etc), and a lot of space for food (I stock a LOT of food... prob more than the average person), and I maybe would even put a freezer inside it (versus in the garage or basement). I'll also have a spot for broom, etc. That said, would it be best to just drop that current pantry space and open it up to the great room (and use that as more space to expand the island?) or would you use that spot for.... the Refrigerator? Microwave + cabinets?

The kitchen matters a lot to me. It is where I spend the majority of my life :) I realize it isnt a huge kitchen, but I am hoping the functionality of the pantry will help make up for that?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:55PM
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Here is a clearer view...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:58PM
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a very kind architect did some magic on our houseplan.... here is an updated idea of the house plan! the pantry will be a walkthrough on the right (long) wall (using some garage space).

We won't have either of those two doors in the dining nook.

Do you think this will work? Any suggestions for improvements?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 12:14PM
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It depends.

In your first post, you said you wanted only one seating area, but then said you also want to seat 6 at the island. I personally don't see the point of seating 6 at an island if your other seating is right there in the same room. I'd be more inclined to put the sink/cleanup area closer to the dining table, and add a prep sink if possible to the island but closer to the refrigerator. I would do away with the island seating altogether except for a couple of stools.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 12:37PM
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Yeah, I realize that does seem redundant... but, after consideration, I do think it is still what I want. I want to encourage the family to be "out" rather than "in" (their bedrooms), so I want to have landing/perching spots for them. I envision weekday breakfast, homework, projects, casual chatting while I am working in the kitchen, etc - to all happen on the island. I am going to keep it one level. Meanwhile, I will use the actual dining table for dinner (we have sit down dinner basically every night... it's a priority for us) and possibly lunch... but I don't picture my kids and husband coming to stand in the kitchen/sit at the dining table to hang out, ya know? But at the island.... yes.

I am thinking of maybe a prep sink near the fridge... maybe my best bet would be taking this to a cabinet guy and letting him mock up the area and then go from there.

Are there any things I should keep in mind as we proceed?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 2:59PM
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If the island is more of a hangout/homework/quick meals area than chances are you don't need 6 stools. If you are all there at the exact same time, then go sit at the table. I would reduce the stools to 2, 3 or 4 at the most.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 3:59PM
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The refrigerator is a long walk from the table; you might want to consider switching it with the stove. Having the sink (or cooktop) in the island greatly reduces its practicality and usability, IMHO. Our kitchen layout is very similar and we dislike it b/c it's basically a galley kitchen and very cramped, and we don't have any children. I can't imagine living with this kitchen layout with a couple of children underfoot.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 4:19PM
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Our kitchen layout is very similar and we dislike it b/c it's basically a galley kitchen and very cramped, and we don't have any children

Ha ha - I have a galley kitchen, and was just commenting last night how incredibly efficient it is. It doesn't feel cramped at all.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 4:36PM
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I may be messier than most, but I couldn't have a sink in an island that my kids are doing homework/projects at. I'd get their stuff all wet.

Also, my range is directly across the aisle from my sink right now and I don't like it at all. I prefer the range and sink on the same run of counter with the primary prep area between them. I really don't like transferring hot pots of pasta across the walkway, especially when I have littles underfoot.

One more thought prompted by your prep sink near fridge idea... our friends just built a house. They have four kids and installed a small in-counter drinking fountain near the fridge and another outside on their patio. Saves a lot of dirty cups!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:05PM
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I agree with benjesbride. I never understood how people can have the main sink in an island. The island would be a mess in my house. DS has commented "good thing we have a backsplash behind the sink". I guess some people are more splashy than others. Now that I have my sink in the same run as my range, I think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. That drinking fountain idea is cool as long as you can fill water bottles from it.

Of course each kitchen/family is different.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:15PM
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My reason for the sink at the island is because of the house... No window in the kitchen means I would be staring at a wall with my back to everyone if I put the sink in the parameter.... That sounds dreadful to me. I plan for a massive, deep sink.... Hopefully that would combat any major splashes? Obviously if I plan to do dishes or if a child plans a project, we can work that out... I postpone, am careful, or "go sit at the table w/your work ", right? I agree that it would ideal to have sink and range on the same run, but I don't see that as ideal with the cons that it would present. Any ideas? No major wall moving :)

I am reconsidering whether I need 6 seats now ... Although 4 kids and my husband... Plus eventually school friends (this house will likely be long term)... And family that will likely come by bc they will be close to this house... Eats up that space quickly. Maybe I should have mentioned family size!

My kids and DH would totally dig the drinking fountain idea!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:34PM
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The seats at the island. Really think about how many will be there at the same time 95% of the time. We have 4 seats plus one extra we bring out during parties.

I understand about the sink.... but just wanted to throw this in. I had no window over my sink for 20+ years. Not an issue. Now I have a window over my sink (just happened that way). Guess what? When I am working at the sink and am looking down in the sink. The only time I look out that window is when I walk over and specifically look out.

Same with prep. Many say they want to see out a window or into the room when prepping. For most prepping your might find your are looking down and at the food and your utensils. The only time I look out my windows (nice view) or into the room is in between prep.

Ok I stop now!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:53PM
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That sounds dreadful to me.

Do you really spend that much time at the sink? Wash, load, be done.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 6:10PM
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What about swapping the kitchen and dining room? I like being able to see the backyard from the kitchen. Also, if the dining room is primarily for dinner-time, direct sunlight might not be as important in that room as it is in the kitchen since you're probably in it all day long.

Perhaps if you closed up the door from the deck to the dining room, you might have room for a nice L shaped (fridge - sink with window - range) kitchen with island. Plus, if you revisited the large pantry off the back of the single car garage, the door would likely be right there close to the kitchen.

Sorry if this is a duplicate message. I'm a newbie. Also not a KD.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 6:26PM
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P.S. I'm thinking since you have a huge pantry, you wouldn't need walls full of upper cabinets and could have really nice big kitchen windows.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 6:31PM
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hmmm, lots of good points!

Right now my back is to everyone when cooking and that is what makes me think about the sink issue, but I am at the side when washing dishes in my current kitchen and that is OK... and truth, I dont stare out the window while washing... mostly, I just dont want to turn my back on my audience while doing my work. I want to be 'open' for conversation. Can I get both the range and sink on the right wall.... while also including a doorway for a pantry? Hummmm.

But then, if I take the island sink out of the equation... won't I just end up doing all my prep on the area between the sink and range and the island wont get used... ? That'd be a lot of money to spend to not use it :)

And it also seems like fitting my range, ovens (want those pretty darn close to my range), DW, sink, entry to the pantry... and one person suggested moving the fridge over there too... all on that one wall, would be not the greatest idea... :)

Is there online kitchen planning software that any of you recommend?

Meanwhile, I never even thought of the idea of switching the kitchen and dining areas! The only thought I have is how much light I might end up blocking by doing that... and if that would be a bother for our plumbing (since the plumbing runs to that half bath and laundry). I will ask my GC...

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 6:50PM
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Here is one more (yet another... haha), question for the masses: for the walk in pantry, would you prefer the entry be mid-kitchen, end of kitchen, etc?

The red box in the garage represents an "example" pantry - pretty sure the 5' wide is my choice, not sure on length just yet ( this space on here is 9' long...the fixture at the end is the size of our little freezer right now, I was just getting a feel for fit...). Where would you choose to stick the door to such a space?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:18PM
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