Best Layout for small kitchen with three doorways

Karen KirmseFebruary 17, 2013

We are just starting our kitchen planning process. We would like to stay in the existing space.

I really want an area to sit and talk to the cook but there is not a great place for that. I have an ikea planner sketch shown with my best idea of how to do that.

Is there a better way to use this space?


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Welcome to GW.
Looks like you might have room for a pantry in the corner. Sort of like this:

I am not sure of the dimensions, so it may be too tight.
I like the peninsula with seating. You don't lose much cab space, and you gain a place for two to sip tea or coffee and chat.
I am sure others will come in with more ideas.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 3:12PM
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robo (z6a)

Is the door to the laundry room just to the laundry room? As in, not much through traffic?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Karen Kirmse

It is the laundry room and garage - very little traffic. We dont park in the garage (used for storage) and no one but myself seems to do any laundry. :)

Thanks for the pantry idea - there is not much room there, but maybe if I shrink the proposed cabinet on the end and move the fridge over it would be possible.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Does the sunroom run as wde as the kitchen. Is it year round space. If so the wall opening could be enlarged, the frig moved to replace the peninsula space on the wall. The range could go on a large island with seating across the sunroom end.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:38PM
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If you can get three feet between the fridge and the wall, there is enough space for a very nice pantry. I would put 8'' shelves on the exterior wall, maybe pegboard on the fridge side to hang brooms and mops?, and perhaps 18'' deep shelving on the back wall.
Make all shelving adjustable, and have one or more shelves built than you think you will want.
I would definitely angle the door to gain that invaluable shelf space on the exterior wall.
I think 24'' is enough width for access. I hope others will volunteer info on this.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:30AM
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That peninsula and those stools, (those are stools right?) are going to be a killer. The space is too small and sitting looking into the side of the cabinets will not make anyone happy. The room will feel bigger and more workable taking the peninsula out

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:39AM
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If the doorway by the peninsula is really little used and you are content with stools that can tuck under the overhang when not in use -- e.g., camel saddle stools, which are pretty comfortable -- what you are proposing would probably be fine.

One alternative, if you want to spring for a truly counter depth fridge would be to move the overhang and stools to the end of the peninsula, which would allow you to extend the runs of upper and lower cabinets to the door frame.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:09PM
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Karen Kirmse

I appreciate all the input. These are great ideas.

I was thinking the pantry would be too tight - but I think we can squeeze 3 feet for it. And I would prefer it to a cabinet.

The sunroom is an old enclosed porch. The doorway out to it is the old outside door which is why it is so wide. The room is only about four feet wider than the door. Two feet per side.

Moving the seating further from the door and taking out some upper cabinets is a good idea.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:08PM
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I agree with poster above - think you need to get rid of peninsula and chairs, it cuts up the room. You may not be able to accomplish your goal of an eat in kitchen this time unfortunately. Before I remodeled I had the 1940's kitchen with the pensinula jutting out and getting rid of that really opened up the kitchen. I have 2 door openings.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:37AM
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Opinions are wonderful. You have to weigh them and each differing one gives you new insight.
Personally, I LIKE the peninsula seating. I would want someplace to sit in the kitchen.
Here is another possibility:

I think I would consider moving the fridge all the way to the left:

Keep in mind that these suggestions are just to give you ideas. Use bits and gather ideas to do something entirely different.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:30PM
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Karen Kirmse

Bellsmom, thank you for the suggestions. I have rearranged my layout to match what you sketched to see how everything fits.

Now I am trying to decide if it is worth shrinking the cabinet next to the fridge to get a bigger pantry.

I should probably put some tape on my kitchen floor to see how tight everything feels also.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:03AM
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I like the peninsula as well. We sit at ours every day. Sure the room would be more "open" without it, but it would just be empty space. I'd be sure to mock it up in 3D or ar least with tape and stools to check the proportions, though.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:21AM
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I, too, like the tweeking by bellsmom. My suggestion is that you use a regular door with the pantry rather than the bifold door. This will allow the use of the elfa basket containers on the door. Look online for them at the website. They come in different sizes and depths and are easy to rearrange. I use this system in my tiny pantry. It holds a ton of stuff and is a great assist in organizing all of those small items that so easily get lost.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 1:50AM
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Ideally you need more prep room between the sink and the stove. Looks like you only have a bit more than 2' there. I would feel really cramped in that corner.

I would evaluate moving the sink to the left, perhaps lining the right end of the sink with the center of the window. This would HUGELY improve your work/prep area.

The words I typed by the sink may not be readable. I am not sure if I would put the DW to the right or the left. Ditto the trash. Depends on your dish storage.

If you search on HOUZZ and GW, you can find many sinks that are not centered under windows. They can look fine. (Much better in real life or pics than they do on a diagram, where the lack of symmetry is so apparent) And in your case, the bigger prep area is SO desirable.

I like the idea of planning snallow (4'' or so) shelves on the back of the door. You could gain a huge amount of space for canned goods and spices there. That the door can be opened all the way back into the adjacent door area makes it even more practical to do this and still have full access to the pantry and its contents.

And I REALLY like the idea that you will mock this up with tape on your floor. That can really help.

I hope some more people comment for you. We have some here who are really great with layouts.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 9:47AM
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I'm "allergic" to reading a room by dimensions, so when I designed mine, I had to visualize the space with the cabinets, counters, appliances, etc. But I think we have similar footprint.

I think your space, according to your design, is about 11 feet? Mind was almost 12 but still very similar. IF you are set on the idea of a peninsula since you can't do an island (like I was) what about flipping it to the other side so it faces the dining area/action versus having its back to everything. Here is my design - maybe you can use some of these ideas. Good luck - the fun is just beginning!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 11:00AM
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Is there any possibility of relocating the sunroom door to the right so that it would be more directly across from the laundry door? That might not be a huge expense, but without moving a lot of utilities, you could have a try U shaped kitchen and put a bistro table and chairs in front of the window -- talking/sitting spot as well as landing spot when coming in from the garage or laundry room. It could also bee a reading chair and side table or do the window seat like rebeccamom123 showed -- add another chair if you feel you have the room. I think it would make a HUGE difference in how you use and enjoy the space.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Karen Kirmse

Thank you everyone for the great suggestions.

I have tweeked the layout a bit.

The peninsula is moved slightly to give more seating space (unfortunately reducing prep space)

Pantry is added in.

I have shown the sunroom and fireplace (roughly).

Lascatz I really like the U shaped kitchen idea but I am afraid that with the fireplace it will be very expensive to move the doorway. Only the door next to the pantry can move much easily.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 2:10AM
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I think you are going to make the pantry work. And, the peninsula looks good also.

As you pointed out, you DO really need every inch of prep counter space. This way you have only 2 feet or so between sink and stove where most prepping will happen. And that 2 feet is in a corner. Definitely not optimum.

If you have not done so, do search HOUZZ for off-center sinks. It would give you a MUCH better prep area if you can make it work.

Here is a link to 35,000 pics of off-center sinks at HOUZZ! Just to think about.

Here is a link that might be useful: Off-center Sinks

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 10:05AM
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I really like the sink area that Bellsmom drew up for you. The prep area under the window would be fantastic. I have a prep area under a big window, and it is wonderful to be able to look out while prepping, to not have any uppers in my face while working, and to enjoy the nice light that streams in on the counter. If it's a bright day, I can work at that counter without turning a light on.

In the drawers below my counter under the window is a stack of drawers, top drawer with measuring cups and spoons, middle and bottom drawers many of my baking supplies, flour sugar, oils, etc. To my right in the upper corner cab. are the smaller goodies including vanilla, chips, baking cocoa. It makes for an efficient, bright, happy spot to bake.

The way you have it laid out, once you have your fridge ingredients in hand, you could virtually stand in one spot and get everything done. Reach to the left for water, reach to the right for the stove. Reach to the left and set dirtied prep items in the sink. Stand at the counter and work. I love the efficiency of it!

You have a lot to gain by offsetting the sink. : ) It looks like it's going to be a nice kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 11:04AM
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