Brownstone Kitchen Layout: Feedback Requested
We are redoing the kitchen in the back garden level of our 1880s brownstone. DW and I have come up with a couple of layouts. First, the "normal" kitchen layout:
And here's what DW and I are calling the "mega" kitchen:
So the "mega" kitchen obviously has a lot more storage, counter space, larger range, etc. It also has some nice symmetry - the base and wall cabinets flanking the range and sink are exactly the same on both sides. It also puts the pantry on the right side of the kitchen, which is nice. However, it also feels like the refrigerator is just a bit too far away, and that the eat-in kitchen area is just a bit cramped.
On the other hand, if we go with the "normal" layout, we will have to run a soffit between the end of the kitchen (on the right wall) and the exterior wall (on the bottom). Since this is a townhouse and the left and right walls are adjoining other homes, we are planning on venting the hood through a 3.5"x15" rectangular duct that will run between the upper cabinets and the ceiling and be covered up by the crown molding. With the "mega" kitchen, those would be hidden by cabinets the whole run; but with the "normal" kitchen, we'd have to see the soffit. That, and the pantry then gets moved to the left side of the kitchen, which is a bit far.
We're mainly trying to decide between these two variants, though we're of course open to other constructive feedback as well. For the sake of completeness, here are some panoramic pictures of the demo'd space:
As you can see, we taped off the floors to visualize the "mega" kitchen. The doors you see on the interior side of the kitchen are the back of the formal dining room. DW is firm on not opening those up to create an open floor plan, as she really wants a separate, formal dining room. On the opposite wall are the two windows that will eventually be taken out and replaced with bifold doors. That's obviously not happened yet.
Any and all help appreciated.