Kitchen layout--are we on the right track?

mtimmerFebruary 26, 2014

We'd like your feedback on our kitchen layout. This is a new (to us) house in which we're removing a wall between the kitchen and the living room and starting from scratch. The original kitchen was 12 by 12 feet and this drawing pushes the island into the dining area by 18 inches.

We spent lots of time here reading the pros and cons about putting a cooktop on the island. At the end of the day, we felt it made sense for us due to our cooking style. We're thinking a cooktop with an oven underneath, although that could also be a 30-inch range. We have no need for a double oven. (And we've always been happy with our countertop microwave.)

Regarding our cooking, we don't stir fry (or fry at all) and the high temp cooking will be done outside on the grill, so we're hoping to get by without a huge hood. And thereâÂÂs not much of a crowd--95% of the time it is just the two of us.

I do have concerns about the aisles around the island being too tight, which is a result of trying to make the island bigger to maximize prep space. Our thinking is we're okay since we don't have gobs of people coming and going (or even sitting at the dining table), but we'd appreciate a gut check on this.

I do hope this all makes sense and appreciate guidance on anyplace we may have gone astray!

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rhome410

Respecting your wishes, I won't object to the island cooktop. For your use and purposes, it sounds reasonable anyway.

2 things I would suggest are to get the dw out of your work triangle and to avoid having your sink and stove in back-to-back positions. It'd be better to have separate space for each behind.

I just noticed your roomy aisle between stove and sink, presumably to address the crowded behinds issue... But this makes it less efficient for the prep and cooking relationship with the sink. I would narrow that aisle to 48" and offset the sink and stove as suggested above.

Are the window and door sizes and positions set in stone?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:28PM
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sjhockeyfan325

You said that 95% of the time it will be just two of you yet your plan shows 7 seats (4 at the table and 3 at the island). This seems like a total waste of space. I'd make the island slightly shorter (and therefore the aisles slightly wider, especially at the refrigerator). I don' think you need 7-1/2' for prep space, especially since you have a fairly good size run of counter space between the fridge and the sink. I also agree that 56" is too much space for the other aisle (we found that something between 48" and 52" is ideal, but definitely not more than 54"). I'd scoot the cooktop over a little - it wouldn't bother me(so much) to have the sink across from the cooktop, but having the dishwasher across from the cooktop is one of the reasons I did my last remodel!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:43PM
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buehl

To add....that 39" aisle is going to be more like 30" to 34" in front of the refrigerator (the final depth of the refrigerator will determine the exact aisle width b/w the island's counter edge and the refrigerator handles). That's a really tight aisle... You need another 6", at least, for that aisle - and 9" would be better.

Hmmm.....are you measuring the aisles counter edge-to-counter edge or cabinet-to-cabinet. If cabinet-to-cabinet, then your aisles are 3" narrower than you show.

Regarding the cooktop - you are putting in an overhead hood of some kind....correct? (I hope so....) It's not just frying - it's also boiling water and other cooking - you should be venting out the steam and, if you don't like smelling last night's meal the next day, venting out odors.

Please, at least have 24" on each side of the cooktop for emergency landing space and a safety zone. Ditto for the seats behind the cooktop.

The aisle b/w the table and island is also too narrow if you plan to have anyone sitting on the right side of the table. It's even worse with the backyard door right there - it's going to be a major thoroughfare.

Have you considered banquette-type seating w/a bench along the left wall? That would free up approximately 18" - which would give you another 12" b/w the table and island (42" + 12" = 54") and 6" to add to the aisle b/w the island and refrigerator.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 2:27AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Aisles are much much too narrow. There will be no circulation round the island becuse no one will be able to get between the fridge and island or someone seated at the table and island. You just choked off the kitchen rather than made it more accessible. Not every kitchen can successfully have walls removed and still work.

If you're going to leave the breakfast area so cramped, you might as well eliminate it and expand the kitchen into that area. And yeah, that would let you get the cooking zone off of the island and save yourself a couple of thousand in dealing with those logistics.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 7:08AM
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mtimmer

I very much appreciate the comments so far. Buehl: great point about the countertops making the aisles three inches tighter. I knew that, but wasnâÂÂt thinking about it when mocking this up and I need to adjust.

I was already pretty sure we had 1) too much space between the island and the sink and 2) not enough between the island and the wall with the refrigerator, but it was good to hear that from others.

Interesting points about the seating. WeâÂÂre not really sure how that will work out and I just penciled some seats in. But sjhockey fan, youâÂÂre correct weâÂÂll NEVER have seven people eating here at once. I really like the idea of banquette style seating against the wall as a space saver. (Although IâÂÂm worried itâÂÂs also a handy step for our beagle to climb on the table!) We may only take out chairs for the right side the couple of times a year that we have guests. Also thinking it could be an oval table to ease some room. That said, I would say that even with the door to the backyard there, we donâÂÂt anticipate that being a busy pathway with just the two of us.

Regarding the amount of prep space on the island, weâÂÂre basing that on how much prep space we have in our current home, which is 3.5 feet. Perhaps we donâÂÂt need that much? Also, excuse my ignorance but IâÂÂm not following why having the dishwasher across from the cooktop is a bad thing. We donâÂÂt have a dishwasher in our current house and weâÂÂre actually considering leaving it out in this one, although again itâÂÂs penciled in.

To answer some of the other concerns, yes we will incorporate an island hood. The point in mentioning how we cook is that weâÂÂre hoping to have a more modest hood there, although we recognize that as one of the drawbacks of an island cooktop. Re the safety zone for cooking, there is 24 inches to the living room side of the island, but we were thinking 18 inches on the end by the pantry, which I thought that was acceptable based on the 31 rules. Should we be thinking of more on that end?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:39PM
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sjhockeyfan325

Also, excuse my ignorance but IâÂÂm not following why having the dishwasher across from the cooktop is a bad thing.

Because when someone is working at the cooktop, and the other person wants to either load or unload the dishwasher, it is really annoying. Somehow my DH always thought dinner-prep time was also the perfect time to unload last night's dishes. Couldn't wait to change that setup!!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 2:22PM
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rhome410

Also, excuse my ignorance but IâÂÂm not following why having the dishwasher across from the cooktop is a bad thing.

Why set up a potential conflict if it's avoidable? Even if one of you needs to access the dw only once in awhile while the other is cooking (to set the table, find a utensil, do a bit of kitchen spiff-up?), it could become an aggravation.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 5:03PM
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mtimmer

Yes, that makes a lot of sense. It just never occurred to me--probably since we've been living without a dishwasher for the last 18 years. But I'm curious where folks would recommend that we put it. We had just presumed it would go next to the sink. Of course, there's a good chance we won't even have a dishwasher.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 5:45PM
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canuckplayer

I think the DW should go on the left side of the sink and be out of the way better. If the door needed to be open, it wouldn't be cutting off all access to the pantry and fridge.

As for your table, you could move the 2 chairs which are at the back, to each end of the table and push it against the wall, if you are concerned about the dog getting onto the table at a banquette.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 7:28PM
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rhome410

But I'm curious where folks would recommend that we put it. We had just presumed it would go next to the sink.

Yes, by the sink, but on the left, as Canuckplayer said...so it's handy, but not 'in the mix' of the busy work area when opened. I think we probably all thought we'd said to move it to the left, or thought you'd know what we meant. Sorry about that! ;-)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:47PM
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mtimmer

Somewhat sheepishly I'm thinking: "duh, of course that's where you move it." (BTW, I'm not sure if "duh" is a technical remodeling term, but I just may adapt it for this project.)

On that subject, in the coming weeks we really need to think about whether we even *have* a dishwasher. But perhaps that should be the subject of another post.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:06PM
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debrak2008

Why would you consider NOT having a dw? Your kitchen is big enough for it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:50AM
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annkh_nd

My Mom and Dad built a house in 1977. Mom didn't want a DW. The builder was quite certain she would change her mind, so he made a spot for it, wired it, and built cabinet doors and a removable section of toe-kick.

Now she's getting ready to sell the house - and it still doesn't have a DW, but she made sure the realtor knows it's ready to go!

Mom moved into an apartment with a DW, and while she doesn't use it all the time (she doesn't generate a lot of dishes by herself), she likes it when she does use it.

The last DW DH and I bought has a "top rack only" feature, which we thought we would use a lot when our kids went off to college. It turns out we just run the DW full, but less often.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:31AM
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mtimmer

Re the dishwasher, I suppose it's because we haven't had one for the past 18 years and it's never bothered us. Just the two of us and it takes about five mins to do the dishes after dinner. (Admittedly, sometimes the next day.)

Will this be one of those things that we never knew how much we missed until we put one in?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:42AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Not from my point of view will you miss it. I used to be in the habit of washing by hand and when we did the kitchen over, we put in a dishwasher. But something has happened to dishwashers. Dishwashers used to just do the job and you rarely had to give them a thought, but we just replaced a dishwasher with a new one and it is horrible. Nothing comes out clean even with pre rinsing. The cycle lasts for hours and the interior of the dishwasher has to be washed out good about once a month, which I never had to do with the old Kitchenaids. This dishwasher is only 3 years old and I'm considering buying a new one. It appears that to get a dishwasher that actually works, we would have to buy something that costs about 3x what this one cost. So if you are on a budget, I would not expect to get a dishwasher that actually works.

I do however believe that if you needed to move for some reason and sell your house, lack of a dishwasher would become an issue. 99% of People, it seems to me want a dishwasher and if a kitchen doesn't have one, who is going to rip apart the kitchen to put one in? I agree with annkh, the builder was right, if you can put the wiring in for one, where it should go, that is something to seriously consider. Otherwise, you might include the dishwasher and just never use it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:15AM
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sjhockeyfan325

but we just replaced a dishwasher with a new one and it is horrible. Nothing comes out clean even with pre rinsing

FWIW, I have never had a dishwasher in my life that cleans as well as my new one.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:34AM
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