Another TINY kitchen--help with layout

kirkhallFebruary 6, 2014

Hi all,
I spend a lot of time here on GW, but usually mostly only comment in Build and Remodeling. I enjoy layouts--moving spaces around, etc. So, I'm not spatially challenged.

However, my own home does have a space challenge. My current kitchen is about 8'8" by 7'5", and C-shaped. This house, our house, a cape cod style 1 1/2 story home, started out at just around 1400 total sq ft with around 800 on the main floor. A few years ago, we added on (the family room in the picture below. We didn't touch the original kitchen except to take down the exterior wall and make a bar height peninsula overhang where there used to be the wall. We also recovered the countertops (still laminate).

It is SOOO much better, and has worked for my family of 4 (2 children, now in grade school). We needed that family room space, and the upstairs space that we gutted and remodeled last year. House is now about 2100 sq ft total.

Now, I have my sights on planning for an eventual kitchen remodel. I live in an area with many high end homes, but mine is "older" (1980). The houses they are building immediately behind me are about 3400sq ft, and 3/4 of a million dollars. The upgrades, remodeling, etc that we have done and continue to do are all financially okay if we are ever to sell. But, more importantly, we are living so much better.

So, given our current cramped kitchen, what would you all do? The pantry is in the new space. And, I LOVE it. What I don't love is having to walk around the peninsula to get to it (I use it often). The fridge sticks out a couple inches into the 4'2" open doorway between the LR and the kitch/DR. And, it is really a 1 person kitchen. With 2 girls at home, and a busy lifestyle, but with an "at home" parent who preps most meals, the kitchen is cramped.

I've got a few ideas; I like floorplans. But, want your opinions.

Here is my layout, currently:

Nothing is set in stone (all appliances are electric, though venting the stove could be a problem depending on where it ends up). The shaded area of the peninsula is the old exterior wall, now half wall/split in the peninsula counter top heights. That wall has the sink plumbing, but it can be moved, imo.

I've considered a corner something--maybe the sink? Maybe the DW? Maybe the stove?

And, my first preference would be an island and L design, just because I am so tired of walking around the peninsula.

(eta: the wall behind the fridge is a load-bearing wall; as is the back wall of the pantry (left wall) (old existing exterior wall of the house))

But, I'm hoping some of you professionals have a grand plan for me! :/ :)

This post was edited by kirkhall on Thu, Feb 6, 14 at 20:20

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I think your idea of doing a L-shape with an island makes a lot of sense. I would extend the long part of the L all the way to the corner pantry and then do (right-to-left), refrigerator (next to pantry) about 2-3' then the range, round the corner and on the short part of the L put the cleanup sink. Add a prep sink on the right side of your island more of less opposite the range so you have a good work triangle and can prep and look out the bay window or chat with your girls at the island. Also, put in a microwave drawer in the island so you can have a real exhaust vent instead of an OTR microwave. Corner appliances waste a lot of space.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:46PM
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Here's a quick sketch...just an idea :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:15PM
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You both are so speedy!

Okay, so the one thing that might be set in stone (mostly) is that there is a double light switch on that pantry wall facing the peninsula--about a foot in. It operates the kitchen lights and the pantry light. And, I am not sure where I'd be able to move it to, if there was a big fridge right in front of them...

Would reversing the whole layout work? (Fridge where it is, sink/DW over by light switch/pantry end)?

The dining bumpout is really just a bumpout. I think the original builder did it that way to get a little extra sq ft to fit in a dining table without extending the foundation. There is nothing to look at through that window. Views are more through the french doors and the windows on the right in this picture, which is really south.

Also, I think you are both being generous to give me a cooktop AND an oven. ;) but, our "range" works really well, and for a small space, that might be the preference. However, if I were to splurge on something with regards to appliances, it would be a raised DW. Adults in the house are 6'. I already injured my back a few years ago, and have been longing for a raised DW ever since. ha!

LL--I know you'll appreciate this--I would like to eventually put in a banquette in my eat-in space (the only dining space in the house) to help move the table out of the way a bit more. If you have any lovely inspiration pics, I'm open.

I'll be offline a bit tonight--have to go rehearse in symphony--so don't take any silence from me as a negative.

And, Thanks in Advance!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:28PM
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Ooh, I love my raised DW.

I came up with this. From the pantry side to left:

-- Raised DW (plus panels), MW can be above it.
-- small cab (6-9") to give you elbow room, (or it can be a 36 sink base with a smaller sink)
-- sink
-- small cab (18'?)
-- range on the corner (for 30" range I think you'll need something around 48", but i'm no expert).
-- small cab (6-8"?)
-- fridge
-- if you can steal some area from the walkway 9-12" deep full height cab facing dining
-- island (if you can go to 11' there also, I think it can be about 5' long, depending on the fridge though. Width can be 24 or maybe a little more (with 1" counter overhang can give you 42" aisle in front of the DW).

Although you're tall, you might want to consider toe kick drawers.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 9:30AM
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Deleting long post totally ignored by rude OP.

This post was edited by may_flowers on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 19:50

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 11:58AM
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May- I think the peninsula is going to be an obstacle, even with a narrow pantry in the U.

With a banquette in the bay window (which will look lovely btw!) and stools at the island...I don't believe the island will 'encroach' into the family room space, any more than the pantry.

In a great room concept, there aren't definite divisions between areas. The idea is to have separate zones all working together in one living space. I think it will be a wonderful room, when Kirkhall finishes the remodeling :)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Here's my first idea for you to mull over:

It's still a small space but hopefully it will offer additional function for you.

The first thing you'll likely notice - don't freak out ;-) - is that I eliminated your walk-in pantry. I did a quick calculation and estimated that the 4' wide bank of pull-out pantry cabinets will provide approx the same amount of storage space.

My reasoning for making this swap was to give you an honest to goodness dining room. Given the size of homes going up around you, I think creating a dining room space instead of a banquette space (as much as I love them) would be a plus in the long run. It also creates a more generous aisle between LR and FR, making the space function and visually appear larger than it is, IMO.

Oops, I forgot to mark the size of the table. It's 42" x 72". You could extend it to seat 2 more at the table. An 18" table leaf would mean 30" between wall and table at the right end and 40" between wall and pantry at the left end. 30" would be enough for one person to pull out a chair and sit down but does not allow room for anyone to walk behind a seated diner.

The FR area becomes more of a Keeping Room (search for "Keeping Room" on for ideas). Here's another option for that space:

Modern Family Room by Austin General Contractors Texas Construction Company

The rectangle on the bottom wall, next to the sectional can be a shallow hutch, a bookshelf or a sofa table. If you don't do a chandelier for this area, you'll want to plan for table or floor lamps.

I added a window seat to the bump-out, providing another spot for you and your family and friends to curl up to visit, read, or whatever. Add a small cafe table and it becomes a spot for coffee or adult beverages. Add drawers to the middle section for more storage. The end sections can be open storage or you can add cab doors to hide items from view.

Okay, on to the kitchen. I put the fridge next to the pantry, keeping all food storage in one place, as well as putting it close to the table. The DW can be raised or kept at the same level to give you more counter space. I tried to figure out a way to give you dishwasher drawers, one on each side of the sink because that would give you more continuous counter and be good for your back but I just couldn't make it work (and I really tried).

You can increase the counter between sink and range but I wouldn't decrease that end cabinet to less than 10.5 (12" counter) so that you have room to set a pan down to the left of the range.

I added a prep sink to the island but you could also leave this clear counter space. There is a bank of 12" deep cabinets beneath the island: use this to store seldom used items, like trays you only bring out at holidays.

I have another idea but it would require a more extensive remodel. I won't draw it out unless you tell me that you can increase your budget to allow for the additional changes. So my idea is to remove the bearing wall between the LR and the kitchen, creating a larger kitchen, a great room and a generous DR. You won't increase your square footage but it would convey that your home is larger than its modest size implies, perhaps putting it on par with the amenities in the much larger homes being built around you.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:39PM
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This post was edited by may_flowers on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 19:47

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:56PM
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Much to think about.

Lisa--in response to your concern about my lack of a dining room-- I don't think I am too concerned with banquette only eating. I'm in the PNW (outside Seattle) and formal is not really what we do here. Even in these very expensive homes behind me, a formal dining room is not included (see below). The extra space comes in a huge "bonus" room upstairs, for the most part.

I think I have more room on my first floor than they do, overall, because I don't have as much garage!

I think I will defend my "need" to keep my pantry. ;) I LOVE it, and the house needs it. When I built the addition (before I found GW), I put it in knowing that I was going to use it as a pantry, but that potential future owners might use it as a coat closet/area. Until the additional remodeling (upstairs) that we did, we had no interior connection with the garage. So, that back, french door, was the main family entrance. We now have turned one of the old original, small, bedrooms into a "mudroom" with a door to the garage! It is so nice, and so the pantry is being used by me as a pantry, and probably will be anyone else who'd live here.

That said, I'm not crazy about putting the dining table in front of those french doors. Even though they aren't the primary family entrance anymore, they are still frequently used doors (and the door I let the dog out with). One of the things that bothered me about the original house, before we added on, was that I had to always walk past/through the dining chairs to get to the back door (which used to be right next to where the DW is currently). So, the prospect of walking around the dining table/chairs to get to the back door isn't exciting to me.

About a larger remodel, Lisa--this is all future stuff. When we do it will depend some on how large of a remodel it will be (budget flex). I have pondered moving the doorway to the kitchen from the (front) LR, or adding a doorway. I don't think I want to open it entirely up (as in, you'd see from the front door clear through to the family room) though, because I don't have a super tidy personality. (It is more important to have a working life/house that works for me than me spending all my time cleaning... we're pretty relaxed housekeepers).

I'll draft up a couple of my thoughts that are different than what has been posted so far (one of them was very similar to LL's, and another very similar to sena's. A recent post about needing to see peninsulas got me thinking of another way (except, turning the peninsula). As well pondering a near-"galley" style. The "galley" one would probably have me breaking into the LR wall for a door.

This post was edited by kirkhall on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 22:12

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Here are a few banquette pictures. I don't know how much seating you want/need, but here's a larger table... From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

And although this one is smaller, I really like it! So cheerful and cozy :) From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

The L-shape kitchens do seem to work better in the space. I like Lisa's too! Do you want a second sink? A separate oven? Or just a basic fridge, sink, dishwasher, range with microwave above? Then the island could be all prep!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 3:03PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I haven't read all the posts, because I'm just ready to sign off, but as soon as I saw the layouts that were not using that nice bay window for a seating area, seem so wrong. [g] LOVE a seating area right at a bay window. Both those photos are great Lavender Lassie. Any floor plan that allows for that type of seating at the window to me is a winner. Is there a way to create a little view out that window?

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 15:12

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 3:10PM
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Thanks Prairiemoon--I suspect that location for dining will end up being a winner in my book as well.

LL--I don't think I need a separate oven or double oven. Basic works. I think I just feel like I need better access to the pantry, and more counterspace.

As is, I use the little corner between the fridge and the range as my main baking zone. I use the front edge of the little foot of space between the sink and the range as my main veggie/meat prep. When I take things out of the fridge, they land on the DW countertop surface.

When that half wall was the exterior wall, I could reach from left to right both sets of upper cabinets (because, there were uppers on the exterior wall.) Having a whole island surface for prep would be fabulous, but a small prep sink might not be out. (depends on island size, probably)

I have a convection range and so, as is, can cook multiple sheets of cookies at once, etc. The house, being only 2000ish sq ft isn't going to be for a huge family, ever. It is sized most appropriately for a family of 4 or maybe 5 (we have 4 bdrms, officially, but one is on the main floor and will be our "guest/office". I suspect anyone else buying this house would use it in a similar way. It could also be used as a main floor master, though the upstairs master is nicer.)

Does anyone have a DW "across" an aisle from the sink? (for example, one in the island, one in the L?) If you open the DW into the aisle, does it matter much? I can't mock that up well.

Also, I am okay with a 36" aisle between an island and the L (gasp!). My thought is that the traffic should be kept out of the working L. And, if I'm working in my zone/L, others would stay out of it. So, keeping the fridge on the outside of a leg would be important.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 3:30PM
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Here's a quick idea, with work table/movable island. It could possibly have wood or marble top...great for prep/baking...and a few stools that could slide under for 'helpers'. Not sure about banquette design, but here's one possibility.

I edited this to make the work table a bit larger, if you think 3' is enough space between perimeter and island...and if it moves that makes it even more flexible! From Kitchen plans

And May...with a work table/mobile island, you could move it to the pantry, if you needed a surface space, to set down several 28 oz cans of tomatoes, at once :)

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 15:54

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 3:40PM
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2 more.

The DW is across the cab b/w the fridge and the range. The red thing is something like this to give you additional prep space. Just noticed I forgot the light switch, unless you change that this won't work

The second, the red thing is a counter extension and cab with cutting board can be next to sink or range.

Edited to add comment re light switch

This post was edited by sena01 on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 19:05

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 4:45PM
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I'm in the PNW, too (outside Portland) so I know that formal dining isn't as critical here as it is elsewhere in the country. That's not what I was suggesting. My concern isn't about having a banquette as your only dining space, it's about having a small dining space as your only dining space, along with a small kitchen, but two generously sized, comparatively speaking, living spaces. The floor plan you posted of a neighboring home is pretty much what I am suggesting you consider.

You stated that the newer homes are larger because they have a bonus room. If they don't have more bedrooms than your home, they are no more suited to large families than your home. Since your main level is larger than theirs, why not turn that into a major advantage for now and the long run?

Here's an option for you to consider.

I kept the window seat. You can use it daily or only when you need to extend the table to seat more (the blue shows the table expanded with 2-18" leaves). Your children are small now but if you stay in the home long enough, they'll be bringing home boyfriends or girlfriends someday and eventually spouses before you know it. And until then, it will make it easier to host Bday parties and soccer parties and such.

Moving the kitchen to the family room area gives you ample room to opt for a 36" cook top and either double ovens or an oven/MW combo with plenty of counter between them and between the cook top and the sink. Or you can keep you current range and get a 2nd oven.

I placed the DW next to the sink but you could always swap the DW with the 20" cabinet and do a raised DW.

I placed the fridge at the perimeter of the kitchen so family can get items without getting in your way.

You'll notice I kept your walk-in pantry. I totally get pantry love, I've got it, too. ;-)

Windows will need to change but I kept the same amount of glass, MOL, to retain the views to the south. You could always expand the windows more than I show, too. Getting rid of the wall between LR and kitchen means that the great view to the south could be enjoyed from the LR and perhaps visible from the front door, too.

The new French doors are shifted over from the current doors but it's a fairly unimpeded path to make it easy to let the dog out.

If you were to take on such a remodel, your home would live as large as it is, IMO. Yes, it would cost more but I think it would give you a very good return on your remodeling dollars, both in how much better it lives for you now and when you resale, whenever that may be.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 5:08PM
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I like the direction that LL is going in, though for the banquette it would be nice to extend cabintry off the right side for a message/command center of sorts, and to line up with the refrigerator/island. For your switches, you could build out a wall to encase the refigerator on the right side and move them to the outside of that wall. I'd also look into recessing your refigerator into the pantry wall to accomodate a full depth refrigerator. While a range may work well for you, I'd definitely suggest another spot for the microwave other than an OTR one. If you swap the range and sink and add the prep sink to the island then you will not be overlapping the prep and cleanup zones.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 5:29PM
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LL, are you recommending a BI fridge? Or a smaller sink base? Or a combo of the two? I can't get the math to add up without an adjustment in these two items.

11' = 132"
- 24" DW
- 1" for panel between fridge and DW to support counter
- 36" Super Susan cabinet in corner
- 36" sink cab
- 40" cab for 36" fridge (could be 39" depending on cab mfg)
- 5"

The only way to get it to work is to go with a 36" BI fridge (36" cab), gaining back 4" of the needed 5" and reducing the sink cab an inch (if not doing custom, may need to go down to a 33" sink cab).

The range wall works: 7'5" = 89"
- 30" range
- 36" Super Susan
- 21" cab to left of range
- 1.5" counter overhang
.5" to spare

You could also put a 6" pull-out spice cab between range and corner cab, reducing the end cab to 15". That change would create 18" of counter between range and corner.

At about 65" long, the island would provide a nice prep area. It's large enough to add a prep sink but given how little counter the kitchen will have, I'd be tempted to leave it empty. That omission nets a grand total of about 138" of counter in all. Lots of small chunks of counter on the perimeter but a nice long stretch of counter on the island.

kirkhall, valinsv suggested a great solution to the light switches. If you do that, you will need to include the depth of the switches in the fridge cab width.

Re: aisle widths. A 36" aisle won't be a 36" aisle in front of the fridge (unless it's a fully integrated fridge) and range because these appliances stick out beyond the edge of the counter 3-6". So a 36" aisle becomes 33" or less.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 6:39PM
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What if you were to adapt LL's latest proposal and square off the walk-in pantry?

You get a longer stretch of counter between sink and range to do prep, which makes this small space work better, IMO.

I did not lengthen the island so that the kitchen doesn't intrude into your FR.

You could probably do a 42" x 60" oval table with 2 seated in the window portion of the banquette. You'd need to extend the bench on the sides so that there was enough room to seat someone at the head and foot of the table. Then you could seat at least 6 in the dining area, with 2 at the island, for a total of 8.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:08PM
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I like where this is going (the L versions).
Sena, I also like your alternates--I hadn't thought about making the "galley" style work with using just the back wall and a longer island. That was the kind of out of the box thinking I knew I could count on GW for. :)

But, back to the recent L configuration that Lisa posted, inspired by LL...
The pantry could probably be extended, as Lisa has. You are all putting in a much larger island than I had previously drawn (I think I had only about a 3x5 island). It is good to see the options (I think the one above by sena @9:30 is about what I had considered). Also, what would a non-rectangular island do in the space? Bad idea?

Lisa's question post above demonstrates that while I can do layouts, I have no idea what some of the kitchen forum terminology is... what is a BI fridge?

And, what would you all think, functionally, of taking these last 2 versions, and swapping the sink/DW location with the range location? Essentially putting the deeper appliances on the back wall, and clean up sink near the dining area? Does that fit?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:38PM
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BI stands for built-in. ;-)

Yes, that switch would be possible. Give me a minute or three to draw it up and post it.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:49PM
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What would be the goal of a non-rectangular island? Do you mean like a pie wedge (1/4 of a pie) with the rounded edge offering counter seating?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:50PM
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The object would be to keep the island edge from poking out into the walk space between the LR around island and out back door.

I need to take a picture and post of my floor at this point. It, of course, isn't set in stone, which is why I didn't draw it in above, but I like the flow...

But, I have to take kiddos to sports, and will be back later.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:53PM
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Here it is:

This is, IMO, the best plan so far. You don't get your raised DW (or dishwasher drawers, either) but you get better work space around your range and an island that functions better for prep as well. I added a prep sink so that you have a nice work triangle and family can set or clear the table without getting in your way.

If you can expand the eating bay nook a couple of feet at least towards the FR that would give you the option of extending a table even more to seat more people when the need arises. btw, has anyone recommended using a pedestal or trestle table for your banquette table? No table legs to get in the way as people slide on and off the bench.

BCC is blind corner cabinet. The 3" is the spacers you'll need to allow cab doors and drawers to fully open. You might be able to get by with 2" but I did 3" to make sure it all worked if the larger width were required.

Oops, forgot to mark the sink cab size. It's 36"

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:12PM
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I have absolutely nothing to offer, but I wanted to say how impressed I am with the time and ideas you're getting. I'm constantly amazed at the eye and patience you all exhibit!

You're going to have a great kitchen/living space!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:23PM
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Do you mean a rounded island like this?

I also drew what I meant by expanding the bay nook. You can seat 4 - 6 - 8 at a table in that area. You aren't constrained by size of a U-banquette, plus when seating 6, only 1 person is penned in the middle (my hubby hates banquettes for this reason while I like them), instead of 2 people. I'll try to find inspiration images via houzz and post later.

Get your kiddies? So it isn't snowing up there like it is here? We're getting socked, well, socked for the PNW. ;-) School was closed early yesterday and closed today.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:28PM
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Lisa, I may be wrong at this late hour (it's 3:30 A.M. now where I live), can you check your dimensions? I think you need 8 more inches to have a 42,5 island.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:36PM
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Good grief, Sena, what are you still doing up?

Oops, I counted squares and forgot to look back at the OP's original lay-out so I would be off 4" for sure (thought it was a 16' expanse, not 15'8").

So let's do the math. The room is 15' 8" or 188" from the pantry wall to the bottom wall, not counting the bay. That adds 24", making the total span from top wall to window 212".

- 25.5" perimeter cab plus 1.5" counter overhang
- 42" aisle between perimeter and island
- 24" banquette seat
- 38" table (42" wide table, overhangs bench by 4")
- 44" aisle between table and island
38.5" remaining for the island. Yup, off by 4". Thanks for catching this, sena.

Kirkhall, you can still do an island in the shape LL started with and I amended. I'm rounding up to 39" for the island width, made up of a bank of 24" deep cabs facing the top wall and a 13.5" seating overhang at the right end, which is less than ideal but doable as long as it's primarily used for perching and visiting, snacking or by the kids. ,To the right of the seating overhang, add a bank of 12" cabs facing the banquette.

If you'd rather a slighter wider island, you could shrink one or both aisles a bit to recover those 4".

I have less than the recommended 44" between table and island. We have 43" now but was 41" when we had a wider table and I do appreciate the extra 2". Our aisle is the main path from front hall to back door and FR, too. You could also split the difference - take an inch or two off each aisle on either side of the island - and be okay.

We have 39" aisles where our DW is and the aisle becomes very tight when the DW door is open. Yes, it keeps people out but it's also a nuisance when unloading the DW. I have to partially shut the door to get past it to put away items on the other side of the DW door.

Here's a banquette nook, similar to the one I drew up in Plan D:

Traditional Dining Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators AND Interior Design Studio

You could also run the bench straight into the wall at the FR end and have an L configuration, sort of like this, but on a larger scale:

Beach Style Kitchen by Grand Rapids Home Builders New Urban Home Builders

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 9:11PM
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May, I apologize if you felt I ignored you. I tried to acknowledge your thoughtfulness for my keeping a peninsula even after I said it wasn't something I liked about my current kitchen, by stating that I had not ruled out a peninsula, but in a different orientation, especially after seeing that other thread about peninsulas (and because you posted your thoughts for mine). (That is when sena posted a peninsula/U that took into consideration the placement of my pantry and my need to continue to use my pantry.)

In the present orientation of an "upside-down U", it doesn't work for me. I am glad yours works well for you! Everybody is different and has different needs. That is why I like GW so much. When everyone shares what they love and what they'd change, the person posting can decide what will work best for them.

CEFreeman, I have been pleasantly surprised. I haven't been around nearly as long as some members of GW, and esp kitchens GW, but maybe 2 yrs commenting on the build (mostly) forum is helping. :) I am thrilled though, to have so much time and experience weighing in on my space and kitchen. And, for all the sketches, which is my big limitation at home. I don't know how to use the paint or other computer graphics things, so when I sketch, it is all on graph paper...

Lisa, no snow up here--despite your winter weather. My aunt is unexpectedly stuck/stranded in Battle Ground though... We've just been freezing, but clear skies, mostly, and no snow. I'm glad for no snow. We are already going to school late into June. No more snow days, I say. :)

I do like this latest option. Even, if I have to squish the aisles a little to get it all to fit (thanks for catching that!). And, yes, a turning of the corner was what I was thinking when asking about a "non-rectangular" island.

Ready for my other brain child regarding the banquette? (I just haven't totally figured out how to do it, mechanically). I have always thought I'd probably do the banquette more like in the sketch in 20:28--with a straight edge, so if we needed to, we could expand into the family room for larger gatherings. Nothing new there.

But, my brain child is to figure out how to make that window bench--the straight part--be able to pull "forward" (toward the kitchen) enough to be able to really expand the table without the wall corner getting in the way.

Is that ridiculous? I'm not sure how often it would even be pulled out. And, mechanically speaking, I am not sure how to do it exactly, especially since I'd like to have the banquette bench be storage for less-often used (MIL-gifted) random kitchen gadgets.

Thank you all for the conversation and sketches! If you have any other brain childs you want to share, please do! I love this kind of stuff.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:30PM
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for posterity, and others who have a TINY kitchen and are looking for help (because I kept looking on GW Kitchens forum for smaller than 10x10 kitchens, and they were far and few between...) --May's original post:

I have the same U layout as you. The U has its advantages, so let's see if it can be improved before going to the L + island. I'm not fond of how the island encroaches into the dining and family room space in LL's drawing, and I'd rather have deeper prep than 24' on one of my counters, as well as usable drawers.
I'd push the peninsula down to the pantry, giving you a larger prime prep area between the sink and stove. A one level peninsula gives you a deep prep counter, which functions almost like an island.

I'm thinking of ways to store your everyday items in the kitchen instead of the pantry. Your fridge wall has a lot of adjacent counter that probably isn't used for prep, so I'd add to the left of the fridge for a pull-out pantry, though sena's hutch is pretty and convenient for setting the table. It'd be nice to extend the wall with cabinetry instead of drywall. I'd extend that leg just enough to get a decent-sized base cabinet next to the fridge. We have 16'--the top drawer is spices and the middle drawer is bread and snacks. I have a large upper cabinet between the fridge and corner, which has all my baking ingredients and bottled items. I have a 12' pantry pull-out next to my fridge, which holds all my canned and boxed food. My cabinets go to the ceiling, so I have shelves that are still empty. Ran out of stuff! Even the cat food got its own shelf. So it is possible to get enough storage in a small U with modern cabinetry.

It looks like you could add a few inches to your peninsula leg too. We extended ours into the hallway by 5' and used a smaller sink base so that we could add a trash pull-out.

I don't like appliances in a corner when there's no window. We thought of putting our sink there, but I much prefer looking out over another room than into a corner.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:40PM
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It's very nice of you to re-post May's comment. I didn't think you ignored her, so hopefully she'll stop back by and see your response :)

This is similar to Lisa's plan...and to one I did on another thread. It changes the bay to a small, cozy eating area for a few and adds a prep sink to the island....and a cut out over the main sink to the current living room, which could be the dining room. Also makes the pantry larger and adds a small pull-out one, next to the fridge. Just an idea...may not work IRL. From Kitchen plans

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Sat, Feb 8, 14 at 3:26

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 3:24AM
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Kirkwall the other thing you may want to consider is the Hilo game table by harden furniture company. It's a coffee table that can be popped to dining height. We have two in our living room. They come in very handy for parties. They were about 1500- 2000 dollars each. I think design within reach has similar but more modern aesthetic tables. I've attached photo of the hilo

This post was edited by NashvilleBuild42 on Sat, Feb 8, 14 at 6:09

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 3:57AM
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Oh, lots of good suggestions while I'm sleeping.

The second table on this page has a drop leaf on the long side.

Thought could be an alternative for the nook, so aisle could be maybe a foot or so wider when the leaf is down. I have no idea abt the dimensions, but if its around 30" when leaf is down it may make life easier for you.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 5:54AM
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And one more idea. Since you're tall you may consider up lifting doors for the uppers.

It makes unloading the DW, prepping much easier imo. When open you get the advantages of a kitchen with shelves, but can be as untidy as you want (main reason why I love them:-))

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 6:29AM
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Kirkhall, I have a vaguely similar house in the DC area: we think it was originally a teensy Cape which had 2 additions in the 1980s including an addition off the back that we use as family and dining rooms. Our tiny narrow kitchen sits between the new and old spaces, so I sympathize with the dilemmas you're dealing with here.

I can't add to all the great detailed layout advices you're getting here. But I wanted to encourage you to try mocking up the space particularly for the dining table. I'm not into formal dining and I'm a big banquette person - we just received one we ordered from Ballard several months ago and it gets a ton of use. But I'm not sure if a 5ft bay window is going to give you enough space. We don't entertain much, but I don't think our family of 4 could have too much company with just the banquette (ours is a 74x74 L shaped with a 42" table.) we had friends over last weekend, and the banquette was great for adults to have a glass of wine while I finished stuff in the kitchen, and then for 4 kids to pile on for pasta (VERY glad I got Sunbrella fabric!) but there is no way all 8 of us could have had dinner there at the same time. I'd also note that with tall adults, the squish factor seems heightened - my tall husband will probably never sit in the middle. (My ginormous kids don't care of course!) Either way definitely get a pedestal or trestle table.

There are a couple of amazing banquettes that have been shown on this site; you can do a search. I'd especially encourage you to check out 2littlefishies posts on this issue - she has a huge custom one that is perfect. But I suspect it's a lot longer than 5ft.

You also might consider how much the chairs butt into the traffic between the family room and the front living room. It may be fine, or it may be too cramped, but the best way to get a sense is to block the space out with tape or boxes to see how it might feel. I'm finding it hard to find the right balance between kitchen, living, and eating space, and will probably end up with a formula that suits no one on paper but works for our family - hopefully you can find what best suits your needs and space!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 7:17AM
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I wouldn't focus so much on if the dining space is large enough with a banquette. You could always use the living room as a dining room or part of the family room if needing to. I would if you decide to keep the kitchen in the current area just make it a nook.

I would also look at moving the living room opening up to where the current stove run is now and move the kitchen to the lower right corner with the dining in the bay area and family room in the top left. Pantry moved to kitchen corner. This way the walk way is out of any areas and you can access all the areas without it interrupting any of the spaces. It think there would be room for some shallow storage along the walkway too. Moving the kitchen to the corner puts the stove on an exterior wall and thus easy to vent. Sorry not so I can sketch it out, but hope you understand from the description. Would require making a couple of smaller windows out of the large one for optimal placement of appliances.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:46AM
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Busy morning! But, I'm back.
LL, I am considering your latest design, but I think I like the one above better... We don't have a foyer (or any space to have one) so I like that there is a wall obscuring the kitchen from the front door.

But, Lyfia's suggestion to move the doorway (so it lines up with the front door, actually) and put the kitchen in the lower right corner, is a possibility--more expensive than these other options that maintain my windows in the current positions, etc, but something that I've considered. Similar to what Lisa posted above, but maybe still a bit smaller kitchen. I don't dislike a small kitchen--it just has to function well. And, I do think, for me (in this house), a kitchen can be too large. So the suggestion to maybe keep it compact in the lower right corner with eating area still at the location of the bumpout, but have a walking path along the "top" edge of the layout is a possibility.

Also, it is neat to see some other table options. That pop-up coffee table is neat (but expensive!). I probably have to adjust my expense lenses some though, for a major kitchen remodel, because I am a person to buy a lot of (furniture, in particular) from Craigslist.

We currently have a trestle, oblong table...with chairs. But, the chairs in the back (along the windows) are pretty much pushed back to the wall and that is where the girls sit. Adults are on the outside/kitchen side--for ease of us getting in and out and up and down for more milk, more water, ketchup, napkin, etc... The errands of dinner time eating. I had to switch to that style table after we had a regular 4 legged table and it was getting to be a pain (literally) for the girls to get their legs behind/under the table. So, yes, a trestle table/pedestal is necessary.

I am not sure why the 5' is a hangup. To be clear, the 5' is the flat portion of the bumpout (and the walls are even all the way to the floor--it isn't just a bumped out window). So, to make sure I am explaining it correctly (and the drawing is accurate for this), the "opening on the front end of the bay is 8'6". As long as people aren't sitting all the way back on the bench (which would be 2 feet deep), I think 3 should be able to sit across there comfortably. In fact, we have 3 chairs across there and have put 8 around our table. I think having it be a bench might make that (getting 3 across the back, when there are many people over) even easier though.

Sena, thank you for the pictures of the up-lift cabinets. I have seen those before, and yes, I think if I go with an "interior" corner layout, having cabinets will still be important, but for open feeling, having obscured glass will also be important (rather than open shelves, or glass cabinets). And, I like the up-lift idea--it is true it could help avoid the "swing-my-head-out-of-the-way" maneuver when opening an upper cab.

smalloldhouse. Thank you for your sympathy. I hope that this post serves more than just me--others like you and I with small, interior kitchens. The cape plan is not common in our area, but it certainly isn't uncommon across N.A.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 2:05PM
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kirkhall, I can't think how to make a slide-out banquette work but even if it were possible, it's not a solution, IMO. Because you'd need to slide the bench all the way out of the bay to be able to expand the table to seat more people, the whole dining space would move 24" into the aisle between dining area and island. The 43.5 aisle for Plans C, D, and D-1 would become 19.5" aisles. That's not enough room for someone to pull a chair out and sit down, much less for someone to walk behind seated diners. You'd create such a log jam that you'd force traffic through your kitchen, something you said you do not like.

If you're interested in finding a way to extend a table, you'll either need to follow others' suggestions and find another place to create a larger dining room space OR consider my suggestion, drawn up in Plan D-1, and expand the bay area by at least 2'. And more would be better. For instance, if you were to double the size of the bay, here's what that might look like:

The bench would be a straight across bench, no sides. For your immediate family, only 1 would need to sit on the bench. When you expand the table to seat 10 (marked in red), 4 would need to sit on the bench. It will be a bit tight for those 4 to get in and off the bench but it's doable, IMO, because I'm assuming that's not going to happen on a daily basis.

Eliminating the side bench allowed me to replace the 18" BCC with a 36" corner cab, giving you a little more elbow room between corner and sink. I left the entry way between counter edge and lower wall at a generous 65.5 to give the entry a gracious feel and also to avoid immediate jogs in the traffic path to get past the table and chairs. That also leaves a generous 63" between counter edge and table corner when the table is expanded. This will be a busy aisle so the extra inches will be appreciated.

Oh, I also shifted the island a bit to be a more visually accurate representation.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 3:10PM
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Lisa- That's a great option! And for the record, the BIG kitchen was nice, too :)

Kirkhall- I think my favorite plan is the movable work table with no prep sink...and this banquette. From Kitchen plans From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

That being other idea that incorporates a lot of earlier suggestions, including small nook for coffee.

I know you don't like the table by the slider, but if you don't want the dining room in the living area...what if the TV goes in there instead? Then make this the keeping room, as mentioned earlier? From Kitchen plans

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Sat, Feb 8, 14 at 17:06

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 4:44PM
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I hate to see you cut your family room down in size.. Have you considered furniture placement with regards to all these plans? Definitely keep that in mind. A lot of homes are being built with a great room and they don't all have bonus rooms. So if you could open the area to the living room like in an earlier plan, that would be nice (costly, I'm sure). If you want to keep your family room, decide how your furniture and TV will fit and then pick the kitchen that works with what you want.
How about enlarging your pantry and getting rid of the window by the sliding door. That space seems wasted there. Then you could recess your fridge into the pantry. Your island could be made longer depending on how you arrange the family room furniture. I think I'd leave off seating at the island and go for a 5 foot round table with banquet. You can fit a lot of people at a 5 foot table. Just don't put a chair at the end in order to keep your aisle between the table and island open. Add a chair when you have a lot of people.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 6:03PM
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Hmmm. Lisa, I wish I could expand the banquette, but due to the HUGE beam that is sitting on that corner (the old house corner) holding up the upstairs from when we took out the exterior wall, I think that will be cost-prohibitive, if not impossible.

LL--The newest idea is a good one--at least food for thought. If I had to pick one right now though, I think it is between these three:

sena's 2/7 9:30--it would be compact, within the current space, probably fairly inexpensive to full off, but functional.

Lisa's around 2/7 20:12 or 28--a little larger area, I think, still mostly within the current space (not too much encroachment onto the family room), maybe a little more expensive (more cabinetry, more plumbing), maybe without the prep sink like LL's sketch 2/8 16:44 (just with sink/stove reversed) functional. Well, all these are functional. :)

And, then, I do like this latest one with LL. It would be the most expensive to pull off, and it would have the most challenge with the stove venting (joists above run left to right across the load bearing wall, rather than along that load bearing wall), would be looking at a soffit to vent. It is a larger kitchen, but might take too much away from the family room.

Hmmm. 2/7 16:45--sena's are also appealing--but small. Good thing I have time to really think these things over! (My friend recently had to redo a kitchen after a water leak issue. That would be too much pressure for me! Too many important decisions all at once and quickly!)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 6:08PM
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Karenseb--I think you posted as I was drafting my last response.

I like what you've done. It is true that right now that hollow/window by the pantry seems wasted. Until we had the mudroom, right under that window was my "office"--there is a desk there right now and it used to house the phone. Now that we have a substantial mudroom, and we don't have a landline, that desk is redundant space. I could "recover" some of that space into a pantry and recess the fridge.

Again, with your plan, I think I'd need to swap the sink/range locations due to the venting issue. But, I think that is minor (as long as they fit on that short wall).

Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 6:14PM
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Oh, well, drat, dang that post in the way of a great idea. ;-)

lyfia's suggestion above sparked an idea:

(width of top space is an estimate. If you provided it on previous drawings, I overlooked it, blame tired eyes.)

I moved the opening towards the top wall as she suggested but the rest is my own crazy idea. I'm throwing it out there, not really knowing what might be possible but what the heck. We're snowed in here - and now freezing rain - and I'm bored. ;-)

I moved the kitchen to the top right corner, which puts the corner pantry right where the kitchen action is. Yes, I know this is where your current back door is but I thought that perhaps it can move to the far right wall between kitchen and DR area. I put in corner windows and a corner sink to give you a nice view towards the back yard.

With a 9' long banquette, you have the option of extending the table for additional seating. It will get a bit tight between table and right wall when fully extended.

The blue rectangle marks the family room area, aisles through the space excluded, but including the bay window area. A pair of chairs would be very nice in this area.

As I wrote above, I don't know if it's possible to move the exterior door or change windows but thought I'd put another option out for you to consider. You never know what may come of crazy ideas without trying.

It never occurred to me until just now that you may not know what I mean by "CD" on the fridge. That's counter depth. They usually extend no more than 3" beyond the counter, not including handles, so this type of fridge is a plus in small spaces (we have one, love it).

This post was edited by lisa_a on Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 2:46

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 2:45AM
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Here's one based on Karenseb's suggestion.

Counter overhang is 1" in the drawing.

I have on 101" side a 36" corner cab, 30" sink base with 24" sink (probably a bigger sink can be used). My raised DW has 1,5 cm panels on each side, that's approximately 1,18" in I think a raised DW can be considered on that wall).

Tried a 36" table, would be tight but doable I think.

I have the pantry door b/w the fridge and the range counter thinking that it would be easier to reach the pantry when someone is using the fridge, but if that'll interfere with your FR furniture design then Karenseb's layout will make more sense.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 4:21PM
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Well, Lisa, the snow made its way here last night, so what was going to be a very busy (work) day for me, turned unexpectedly into a snow play day with family. That is okay. I think we'll melt off by tomorrow AM for school though.

Lisa, I think your newest design (E) is probably a wonderful dream kitchen. I like it, but I suspect the cost will be beyond our savings abilities. (Same for Lyfia's suggestion, really). I love the idea of that, but now I'm thinking practically. However, who knows! I do like it.

I did know CD fridge. :) Just the BI was knew to me. Our current fridge was a CL find--new, coming out of a condo that was recently constructed. I think the person just wanted a different style. It is a french door, 33" wide GE fridge. Beats the old 1980s, broken seal, almond colored old one we had all to pieces (esp for roominess and ease of use for my tall self...)

It does make me wonder still, how a corner something would fit in my current kitchen space. Who was the big proponent on another post a while back, for corner appliances in small kitchens? Was that jakuvall? And, why is it common to shy away from that?

Sena, I really like your program (which is it?). I consider myself pretty good at seeing 3d from 2d, yet your program 3d images make it quite a bit easier/quicker to get the feel of a space.

I like how spread out, and large it feels. I think my concern is on how the fridge (being as bulky as it is) would block a lot of the light that comes in through the double french doors and the large 6' window directly to the right of the kitchen space. It is a design worth holding on to though, and weighing the merits and disadvantages, and working with others to come up with a working whole.

I do like the narrowed doorway and a 101" wall. Might help with the "cramped wall" feeling of that left wall in some of these other plans.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 5:10PM
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Wow! If you can move the door to patio....I really like Lisa's last design. The bay window would be wonderful in the family room...either with sofa against wall and TV on wall opposite bay...or TV on long wall with sofa 'floating' opposite. Depends on whether you want to see TV from kitchen. A couple of cozy chairs and small table (maybe pouf/ottoman) in that bay window would be nice :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 5:10PM
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LL--Yes, "Wow!" was my reaction too! I am just not sure how long we'd have to live here in my current space to save up to do it! (house prices are supported, but we'd still have to come up with the money to do it since we plan to live here, not sell...) But, it is a keeper plan.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 5:14PM
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Kirkhall- What do you do in your family room vs. living room? Where do you watch TV? What kind of seating? Other activities? I just realized we're all making up these plans without knowing how much family room space you need.

What about living room? Could that be TV room? Dining room/library? How do you use your spaces? How do you want to use them? That makes such a difference! :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 5:25PM
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Good questions, LL.
When we built the Family Room, it was to be a place for the "plastic explosion" that seems to happen when you have small kids--lots of random types of toys. It has turned into the room with Ikea expedits all around and cubbies of mostly Lego (yes, I have girls, but I have one big boy too Ha!). So, there isn't actually very much furniture there. But, the intent was (and someday probably will be again) that the FR will be the less formal room AND contain the TV. The LR is 14x18 (so not large) and has the front door, the stairs to upstairs, and the "hall" to the back bedroom/bathroom and mudroom/garage. It was going to just be the sitting room (more of an away room to the business of the FR). The girls' rooms are upstairs, but aren't large. Most toys seem to remain downstairs. As they are getting older, their toys are getting smaller. But, the Lego collection has gotten larger.

I still envision the FR to be the busy family room (I have no idea what a keeping room is. Seems common in Southern plans, but I don't really understand the concept). The LR (with fireplace) really does not have the space, with the needed traffic patterns, to have more than a 3 seat couch and a chair. And, like I said, the front door opens right into the LR. So, my thought is that it would be (and I try to have it be) the cleaner/tidier sitting area that a guest might see, without seeing the working part of my house.

Make sense?

Lisa's latest plan does offer that. As do a number of these plans, as long as the FR space doesn't get too small. If it gets too small, then I have 2 too small rooms :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 5:33PM
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Kirk- too bad about budget, I love lisa's newest plan!

Can I throw out a totally wacky idea?

Has anyone though about keeping the window seat with a tiny bistro table to hop on laptop , read paper, homework or drink coffee or tea. Then continue the kitchen along the 16' wall with either an I shape with island. Then place the actual dining in the old kitchen.. And you'd still have a decent sized play/family room?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 7:20PM
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Given your casual lifestyle...this is what I would do. You basically have two large, lovely areas that could be used for family/TV room or family/dining space. How you use those spaces will probably change as your family's needs change, but this would give you the most flexibility.

Keep the load bearing wall as a solid 'end' to the island or put in a big column/post or two...but I would open up the kitchen to both spaces! This would give you the little nook in the bay window and plenty of stools at the island.

Then, adding lots of storage in both large spaces, should give you room for all the Lego blocks and anything else you need :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Would moving the fridge to the LR wall help with light issues?

DW can still be a raised one. You'll need some panels, fillers on that wall I think. The gray thing in front of DW represents door when open. I think a 15" cab b/w corner and sink would be enough.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 9:23PM
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How about just making the living room the dining area? Should only be messy when actually eating. Have casual seating at an island, move walkway as I previously suggested and put the kitchen all in the current part kitchen, part hallway, part eating area. This way all rooms in your house are used and they all become used and not just something to look pretty. I would put pantry space by the kitchen, but keep the other to store toys.

Just seems like access works better overall with moving the walkway.

This post was edited by lyfia on Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 21:55

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 9:54PM
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I would worry about losing that wall in the family room. Since it is a "family" room, I assume that videos, TV, computer, stereo, etch will be in there. Where will you place the TV and plug it in for everyone to see? Will you need electrical outlets for any lamps? Your couches will be in the center of the room probably if the TV goes on a wall.

I mention this because we are trying to fix these problems. The previous owners of our house opened it all up. It is impossible to arrange furniture. We have heavy duty extension cords running across the floor so we can have a lamp and laptop plugged in. It will be many years before we rip up the oak floor just so we can have outlets by the couch. I am just saying be careful and plan everything before you take down walls. We also had to put in two roof supporting beams because the previous owners just took out the outside load bearing walls (45') and did not do it correctly. One beam was bolted into an I beam and 3 out of 4 bolts were sheared off. This was supporting 45' of roof. None of this was seen in inspection of course. About 50% of our remodel money went to structural beams, rewiring the entire house, and re-sheetrocking walls and ceilings.

1. Do you really want a very large kitchen? Or do you just want a lot of storage space? Is that where you want everyone to hang out? Do you have 2-3 people cooking at a time? Do you want a big kitchen to help the house sell in the future? Do you do a lot of baking? If so, move the wall.

2. Do you want more space in the family room? Do you have a craft or sewing area in there? A toy/game area?

3. As an option, I have seen several eating counters that don't take up much room. You can make them chair or stool height and in any shape you want. You can make them movable so you can keep it pushed to the bay window when you only need 4 seats and move it out and add a leaf for more seating. If you like I will see if I can find some examples. (It is not like a table and chairs.) This will give you more room for an island or longer walls.

4. I don't prep much on my island. I didn't want to break up my Sea Pearl island with a sink. If I need to prep at the sink I use my cutting board that fits in the upper lip of my sink. I also have about 32" of counter space between the sink and the rangetop. I really don't use more than a 32" space on the counter. I have three sections of 28-32" countertop space: one for a dish drainer, one for prep, and one for the coffee pot. I have a 4x8' island that seldom gets used for prepping. It is a great landing place for hot oven dishes, making sandwiches, landing space for refrigerator items, and charging phones. (Also for piling on junk! LOL I have used it once or twice for folding sheets and towels if it wasn't all cluttered up with tape measures or drills.) So think how you will use the space. Do you need large runs of counter top? I have two 8' tall pantries in my kitchen. They are 42" and 46" wide with two deep drawers under each. Walk in pantries waste a lot of space. I also put my dishwasher up higher. I have a 13" drawer underneath it and a huge storage space above it. Large dishes, etc. Everyone loves that I don't have to bend over to load and unload it. The pantries and DW cabinets are 24" deep so that is a lot of storage.

If you want to see those eating counters, let me know. I will be buying a movable table that stays up against my island. When we need more room, we will just move it away from the island. I don't have a bay window like you. Let me know if you want to see that picture.

Don't you just love GW? Take what you like of the ideas all these wonderful people give you and run with them. Trust your judgment. Your kitchen will be wonderful because you put your heart into it. Peke

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 2:37AM
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Lyfia, I hear you, but if the front "LR" was a dining room, in our family, it wouldn't get used. My entire life, I've always had an eat-in kitchen--grandparents have eat in kitchens, etc. When I lived in the midwest, everyone had a dining room in addition to the eat-in space, the the dining room was just really a craft area that got cleared 2x a year for large family gatherings. Both sets of grandparents live about 3 hours away, where the family farm also is. So, for larger family gatherings, we are much more likely to be at the farm (either at the grandparents' house, or the cousins) than here. 8 adults is probably the most I'll need to accommodate; a few more if you count kids, but kids are also happy to eat in a different spot than the adults. I think it most likely that if I had a really large gathering (once in 3 years that it might occur), I'd set up a separate table either in the LR or the FR to accommodate the extras.

I like to use my peninsula now, as a "bar"/buffet area for those large type gatherings. Which brings me to Peke's long comments (thank you!)--

I would like to be able to have multiple areas in the kitchen where a couple people could work simultaneously without needing to occupy the same space. I think I prep like you--I'd be fine with a 32" counter space. But, I would also like the flexibility, that while I'm working in the 32" counterspace, someone could pour themselves a glass of milk without having to be in my space. Or, someone could be mixing brownies, say, and I could be prepping the next ingredient, without having to reach over them (that is getting more and more difficult as my older daughter is about armpit height now)... A lot of the time now, that mixing is done on the kitchen table (which means I'm carting water from sink to mixing bowl at the table, etc). Or, I just kick everyone out of the kitchen and do it myself.

So, I envision the peninsula/island/extra counter to be another spot for someone to be able to work, without clogging up the whole kitchen function.

I still want to keep a dining table (as opposed to a counter) because we do make an effort to eat, nightly, as a family, facing each other, etc. There is no TV in the same room or on during dinner. So, our dinner times really are the family conversation time. We've been lucky enough to make that choice and have it work well for our family. Our girls also really, really love that time. Bedtime is smoother when we've had that too. If I understand an eating counter correctly, they are more likely to sit everyone in a line (like what you'd see in most island bar seating arrangements). We prefer to sit in an L or C shape.

My primary grocery is Costco (it also happens to be the closest one to my house). So, when I shop, things come home in bulk sizes. The walk-in pantry allows me to put too large items on the floor (and I can close the door). It really does function very well for me while still being fairly compact (since the door is an outswing, and on an angle. The inside is really shelves on 2 sides with a little extra floor space (and crawlspace access door)).

The Family Room is games and toys.

I really like Lisa's plan E, but also plan D. I think I can use the shape of the pantry in sena's recent post (21:23)--I also like the plan.

And, YES! I DO LOVE GW for the amazing creativity, experiences shared, as well as eye to function that everyone has. In a few short days, we've covered many more iterations/variations of kitchen for my space than I've thought about for over a year! And, that is truly wonderful.

My next Q to all you who are still reading:
DO ANY OF YOU HAVE A DW/SINK relationship such as the one drawn in Sena's 21:23? (With the sink 90* to the DW)? I've never had this (which is why I've been stuck on a corner something). How does it work, as an efficiency thing?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 3:05PM
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It's a pity, Peke, that the POs didn't think to add floor outlets when they tore out walls. My folks did this for their great room plan and it worked so well. We have one in our upstairs landing and will be adding one to the bonus room just as soon as we get new carpet (which won't happen until all the other remodeling is done).

kirkhall, I definitely understand budget constraints. It's why we delayed our kitchen remodel for 6 years. I started out thinking we'd just do a face-lift but once I really started assessing my kitchen, I realized that there was room for improvement in its function, which meant a much more extensive remodel and that just wasn't possible at the time. Delayed gratification isn't fun but I'm going to be much happier in the long run (kitchen remodel happens this year!!!).

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 3:08PM
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Lisa, I agree... I didn't respond to anything last night, because I just wanted to mull them all around in my head. And, your E design is probably best for the whole situation. But, I don't want to toss out any of these other great ideas that have come about in case E is just out of our doing.

Here are some pictures (because I said I would; and because I had to go dig them up for another post on here for someone else)--

Looking toward french doors (after new countertop was installed, so everything is clean). You can see the Pantry door.


"my floor" Here is where you see the "creative" thing I did with the FR/hard floor. When those french doors were our main family entrance, remember we live in rainy PNW, our back door was a primary means of pine needle ingress as well. I hated having pine needles (well, doug fir, actually) woven into my carpet before the addition. So, I knew I didn't wan't carpet right at that new main entrance. We also didn't do hardwood everywhere, because, so far, that isn't this house (had littles crawling at the time, too) and I knew some day we'd likely want to do something different with the kitchen floor. So, my "inexpensive" solution was to put sheet vinyl down in our walking path from back door to kitchen/dining where it meets up with the carpet in the LR. By then, the rain and fir needles aren't stuck to your shoes any more. :) To the right of this "swirly" there is now carpet (this pic was taken during the construction)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:18PM
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