Real layout, with measurements, for your critique!

purrusFebruary 25, 2013

from my contractor.

My biggest concerns remain:
that the fridge is too far from the dw/sink/range
that the peninsula isn't wide/long enough for prep work (we had to move it over to make room for the dishwasher)

Constraints: the way the room on the right (which is our existing dining room) juts inward (hence the weird shape). I asked about bumping out the DR and it's out of our budget... way out. At least in combination with all of the cabinetry, etc.

Compounding the other constraints is the recent news that indeed we will have a little person joining us in the fall. So, we have to get moving on our plans. I'm hoping to order cabinets within several weeks!

Anyway, I clearly need help here. Thoughts??

Current kitchen:

Proposed kitchen plans:

This post was edited by purrus on Mon, Feb 25, 13 at 21:28

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Well, first of all, congratulations on the new addition!

I'm not a layout guru, and to be honest, I'm having a hard time reading your plans. I do agree with you that the fridge seems set back to an awkward amount. I think you'll also hear people expressing concern about the sink and stove being on opposing walls, leading you have to bring boiling water across the floor into the traffic to, say, drain pasta. I know that raises safety questions.

Would it work to get rid of the eat-in kitchen and make that wall a long run of counter? It looks like this plan coverts the existing DR? Does it also incorporate the eat-in kitchen?

That bump out is awkward, but I think with some creativity, it can become an interesting feature. I'm not sure this plan achieves that, though.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 3:09AM
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robo (z6a)

I had some thoughts about your layout before that I think I forgot to post. I don't love your proposed layout as is. The range is isolated and so is the fridge. I am not sure your peninsula is functional, your eat in space is small, and your dining areas are separated which complicates dish storage. Your range is in a major traffic path which I think would be quite frustrating. Your sink and dishwasher runs are crowded. I also am not in love with the bump out with angled cab. The angled cab doesn't look efficient. I also think that if your back window on the right does become a door, you're putting yet another traffic path through your work triangle.

How about something like this? Bounteous preps pace and you still get a little peninsula. You could move the fridge left and keep a little coffee bar there. You could also move the stove right and out a pantry at the end of the run.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:00AM
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robo (z6a)

Here's another option. In this one you preserve the window on the left and get your coffee bar. I think I was trying to centre the stove to the entryway and that's why the awkward sink cabinet in the corner. If you went that way, squish the sink toward the dishwasher as much as possible eg drain board on left or big bowl on right.

Another advantage of these layouts is they keep snack raids on fridge or pantry out of your work area. A disadvantage is the ballroom floor (wasted space) in front of your stove which obviously you fixed before with the peninsula.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 8:15

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:10AM
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I really like the layout robotropolis posted above. I agree with you and your GC that the proposed layout has too many issues.
Congrats on your new addition! (And your kitchen...)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:11AM
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Thank you again for these ideas, everyone. I am SO appreciative. I am so extremely overwhelmed with all of this (and other changes) that I'm finding myself paralyzed.

I am having trouble imagining that our windows would have to change with these layouts, I think. I'm not sure why but I have a hard time picturing the kitchen extending into the current eat-in kitchen. I definitely see what you all are saying about traffic issues--carrying boiling water across a traffic area and adding a door to an already problematic flow, for instance--I guess my main issue now is worrying what it would cost to remove one window and buy either one or two new ones to fit the new layout.

Re: wasted space (I agree that this is so frustrating!!), would a tiny island be possible?

Would I have enough storage space in the above layouts? I have no gift for picturing these things, so I apologize.

I guess I could put some barstools on the other side of the peninsula, right? I'd like to have someplace for kids, family, friends etc to hang out with me while I cook (I'm the only cook in the family).

Thanks again!

This post was edited by purrus on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 8:42

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:28AM
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robo (z6a)

In layout 2, to keep your window on the left, you could get a butcher block on wheels that can be out when you're cooking and store in front of the window when needed.

Also, depending on your budget, you could do a banquette with storage on the back wall of your dining room. This will get you a little clearance for stools on your peninsula. And everyone likes hanging out on a banquette!

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 8:48

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:41AM
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I think that robot is on the right track. Go back to your contractor and ask about the windows.

I had a kitchen in a former home with a very similar design, almost exactly, actually. If we had stayed there longer, I also planned to move the kitchen into the dining room area. However, we didn't have the issues in the DR that you are having.

I would have struggled to give up the large picture window in the breakfast nook. I sat there daily and watched birds, deer and other wildlife behind my home. Perhaps, the window can be reused as a large window at counter height running over sink and prep area. Reusing materials, even if you move them to a new location, would save money.

Another thing to consider. The future sunroom. Is this the only place it can go? Is that spot the only location for a door out to it? Sometimes we get ideas in our head and they block creativity. Perhaps the focus should be on putting the best possible kitchen in what is now the DR space, and make the future sunroom work around it, rather than the other way around.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:52AM
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Oh god, I do love me a banquette. I have about a bajillion banquettes pinned on Pinterest. They make my heart pitter patter!!

And, I love that butcher block cart!

Controlfreakecs, it's so nice to talk to someone who has dealt with similar issues! I am so frustrated by the number of weird layout issues in this space.

My contractor did ask me about the possibility of either having the sunroom elsewhere or to have its only entrance be from the deck (which is behind the current kitchen and eat in kitchen). That would mean it would be a three-season sort of sunroom. No matter what, the addition of a sunroom is a low priority compared to a number of other pressing household changes ... making out basement a walkout, replacing the ancient garage door, building a small studio for my husband in the basement, redoing the upstairs bath, possibly building on a master suite above the garage, etc. Of course, it would also be relatively inexpensive compared to some of those items, so it might win out for that reason.

I definitely see what you mean about losing the view behind the future eat-in kitchen if I follow robotropolis's plan and have the breakfast nook where the DR is now (and then build a sunroom). I think that would definitely hinder the enjoyability of the breakfast nook. We regularly see lots of deer and other wildlife out that window.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Controlfreakecs, if I did nix the sunroom idea, what might I do with the existing kitchen? would it be part of the new kitchen or something else?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:15AM
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Robotropolis, in that first layout, would I just get rid of the left window? Just wondering.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:28AM
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robo (z6a)

Get rid of or raise and replace with non opening glass. Or move the dw on to peninsula, move the stove a bit to the right, and keep 2 or 3 feet of window to left of stove.

Here is a link that might be useful: cooktops in front of windows

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 9:47

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:40AM
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I don't know, I'm not that good at working "blank slates" for other people. However, I think by removing all restrictions and just focusing on what the best kitchen would be might open up other ideas.

Honestly, my favorite layout is the first one Robot did, with the range were the big window is currently. It is the most functional so far. That is why I suggested you ask about moving the window. You could have a large window over sink and prep area between sink and range that would give you the same feel and light into your kitchen. I was just acknowledging that I think I'd have the same mental block to closing off our old kitchen window, I just enjoyed it too much.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 10:27AM
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robo (z6a)

Not sure why I put the dishwasher to the left of the sink in that one...normally it should be on the right. I may have been trying to get the sink under the window.

Another bonus for storage is depending on yor cabinet maker, you could make the back run of cabinets 30" deep with 15" deep uppers. If you had a flat cooktop or slide-in stove you would then be putting more countertop between stove and window in back of stove, which would lead to less grease getting on the window.

Something else to consider: that 4'9" window to the left could possibly fairly easily become a 5' sliding patio door.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 12:09

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 11:23AM
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I definitely do want the sink under the window.

I doubt we'll be using a cabinet maker... I think it'll be Kraftmaid, but from a local dealer that my contractor works with.

Unfortunately, I have a pretty new freestanding range that I love. For money reasons I really need to work with that. I'd love to get a slide in or a cooktop/wall oven combo, but I don't think we can afford to do that on top of everything else. I'd rather put my money into layout changes and more cabinetry/countertop space.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Purrus, maybe you've gone through this in another thread, but:

What are your absolute must haves? What are the appliance sizes you plan to use? Is the exterior brick? That would make moving the windows much more complicated and expensive.

I saw some other pictures in another thread. What is that cabinet on the current fridge wall next to the wall oven and is that getting removed? Where is the powder room door? How wide is the front hallway? What is the length of the wall opposite the current eat in area (opposite the big window)? What is the length of wall that the fridge is currently on?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:36PM
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If your dw needs to be on the left I can't imageine it would be a problem for you. I have always had my dws on the left of the sink and I'm right handed.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 1:01PM
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robo (z6a)

RE DW on left, just thinking about tripping over it getting to the range is all.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:02PM
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I wouldn't do an angled penisula. I would run the cabinets and counter straight into the bumped out wall next to the current dining room and then take a straight peninsula off it, if you go that route.

I also like Robot's ideas.

Could you put a sink on the range wall, or is there no plumbing there?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:17PM
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The entryway is 44" wide.

I have thought a lot about DW placement, and the only way to have the sink under the current window is to keep the DW to the left. But I DO hate the idea of tripping over it. I don't know... it won't fit to the right if I do a peninsula.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 1:28PM
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I don't understand why you would be tripping over the dw door no matter where its placed. Why is the dw door being left open? You open, it load/unload, close it.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 1:41PM
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robo (z6a)

debrak -- that's definitely how my husband feels! I leave them in to air dry with the door cracked or open. Hate to waste energy on something my house can take care of itself.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 1:54PM
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OK, I suppose that is a good point, guys! I just know how things get around here... hectic, and will be more so once the LO comes along. Our dishwasher is a Bosch that has no drying cycle so we just leave them in the DW with the door cracked to dry anyway.

My neighbor, an interior designer, just stopped by and I asked her what she thought since she lives in a similar house. She thinks I'm getting way too overzealous and should leave the layout similar to what it is but moving the fridge inward, and pushing the existing peninsula further into the existing eat-in kitchen area.

I just don't know anymore. :(

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 2:17PM
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