Feedback please on my first stab at a kitchen layout

kam76March 1, 2013

This is a new build with a semi-custom builder. Windows and interior walls/doors can be moved but I would prefer to keep exterior walls in place.

I cook quite frequently and though I am the lone adult cook I have two children that frequently help me. I am striving for as much light as possible. This is a two story house so there are rooms above the kitchen. 9' ceilings.

I have been reading this forum like mad and reading everything I can about proper layout. It is a little hard to read on the paper so:
BB= Butcher Block
C= in counter compost container
FZ= Freezer
PS= Prep Sink
P= Pantry

I would love any feedback you have!

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At quick glance several things jump out at me. Is that the only bathroom on the main floor? If so, it's placement would be an issue for me. I'm also not loving the notion of split pantries. In my experience, you lose track of what you placed where. You definitely have clearance issues between the stools and table/chairs. You need approx. 2' of space for someone to scoot out and sit. No way would you have room for people to sit at both.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:18AM
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I don't know, but there are several things that wouldn't work for me. The island would barely be used as prep space it is just too far from the stove to be convenient. The bar area to the breakfast nook is too tight with stools there. The pantries are so far removed from your working spaces. I think if you increased your island size it be a little better. I'm also not liking that there are not any prep space that allows two people to stand side by side. With little helpers sometimes you want to be able to stand next to them to help while you are also doing something.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:54AM
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The thing that strikes me is the relative lack of counter space. Is there another door into the bathroom other than through the butler's pantry? That trek would get old fast.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Kathy Rivera

Why do you need peninsula seating, island seating, a nook AND a dining room?

And I agree with linelle...that's a huge space with almost no usable counter space? Does the builder have a floorplan he/she usually uses and you are tweaking it? I'd be interested in seeing what the original plan was for that kitchen space.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:55AM
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Can you elaborate a little on what the butler's pantry is for? That space would be a great place for the regular pantry, but I'm not sure what you envision for that space, so not sure if it can be moved elsewhere.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:55AM
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Why does the back pantry (it's not a butler's pantry) need a 5' wide opening displaying the garage wall to the public spaces? Close up that opening a bit and you can scootch the fridge down and lengthen the island.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:01AM
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robo (z6a)

I'd lose the bar and make myself a nice big island with a curve, a prep sink, and lots of seating and counter space. I love and totally get the bathroom/mud room/pantry. I like powder rooms hidden away and have toured a model home with that setup I loved.

My inlaws have a similar setup with breakfast nook but the bump out is after the sink wall, between kitchen and family room. She gets a longer sink wall and a window at the sink, both of which I prize. 90% of her prep is on the island which is angled between sink and stove and is at least 5 feet on that end and 8 feet for seating for four on the back end (with a curve).

This won't embed for some reason..

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen with curved island and breakfast nook to side.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Fri, Mar 1, 13 at 10:16

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Thank you all for your feedback. I am going to take several of your suggestions and re-draw

1. nix the high bar into the nook for more counter space/ no stools
2. make the opening to the back pantry smaller
3. Scooch fridge, range down
4. Make island bigger, I am not a huge fan of rounded islands. I don't know why....

Does anyone have any suggestions for what do with that second corner pantry? I was thinking maybe a desk with some shelving above? I think I could come up with some kind of organization system so less used items could be in that farther pantry...but I do want the best use of space. I do a TON of canning/food preservation so the back pantry was going to be mostly for that kind of food storage/storage of equipment to do that (big pots/dehydrator) the freezer etc. Also I figured if we needed the space during a party we could put drinks back there. I was going to include a wine rack in one of the cabinets back there. I have almost no upper cabinets in the main kitchen and I am okay with that (I think) I have very few now and I don't mind it. I just want a kitchen with as much light as possible.

The bathroom is the only "public" one on the main floor, the other being the master. I measured the distance in this house to our public bathroom from the kitchen and it is about the same and I don't have any issue with it. Plus I want to be sure to have a bathroom in the mudroom as we come in muddy and gross a lot and my husband likes to shower off.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:41PM
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robo (z6a)

Would you consider a chunky island with seating on two sides?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:08PM
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Here's just a rough sketch of what I would be looking at doing. I like the idea of having the bath access near the back area, but I don't like having to walk through the mudroom area to get to it as you then will potentially walk through that dirt area. We live in the south and still our mudroom has plenty of dirt dragged in on the floor. Not sure I'd want to walk through that several times a day to access the only downstairs bath.

It does close off your back entry are more though, but by closing it off you actually get a lot more counter space and can have several zones and lots of space to put stuff when you are canning or a large area to bake. It is by no means perfect. Just to illustrate some other ideas and it could use more refinement..

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:18PM
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Here is the orginal layout (Note we replaced the other powder room with a laundry in the master closet, just works better for our family). Ha! Maybe I made all of this worse and I should just go back to this version? :)

Okay here it is redrawn with some of your suggestions not sure why the grid lines look like crap, if you click on it it should take you to photobucket and it will look better.

here it is without the gridlines:

Lyfia thank you so much for redrawing that for me! I like what you have done but we are trying to not move exterior walls (it is not a total custom builder) so moving exterior walls costs $$$ (I think they have their set floor plans and those are most efficient for use of materials). We will consider it if nothing else can be done but I would really like to avoid it. I did scooch the fridge over (I actually made a mistake on the first drawing and the opening wasn't 5 feet into the back pantry) but I did get more island space I think. My questions are in red, what do I do with that blank space after scooching the fridge over and having it be recessed into the wall so it is counter depth? Fire extinguisher? Put an outlet back there and have a coffee pot. Shelving? What about that 6 inch space to make the back pantry wall line up with the scooched back wall? Little spot for a broom? Make the pantry bigger? I am torn on having upper cabinets at all (I like the look with none) so I wasn't sure if I should nix the window in place of more upper cabinets.

Shown in gray I have a 5 foot long pot rack that I will be using in this kitchen (I know there are a lot of differing opinions on this one) but I have beautiful cookware that I use daily and have had a pot rack for 12 years now and cannot imagine not having it. So I drew it in. I will not be needing a large drawer to store my cookware. I am 5'9" and I measured the distance to my pots now and I would be able to reach them as placed. I don't really want it over the Island blocking the view. I also own a Hoosier cabinet and was considering nixing one of the pantries to house it but not sure. I use it now as my coffee/tea station and I don't know that I want it that far from water and the nook where I will most likely be enjoying my morning cup. I need to keep one of these corner pantries because I have an antique stained glass transom window that is going to go over one of them similar to style in the picture below. Well not that I couldn't put it some where else I guess, but just what I envisioned in my head.

Revised layout

Transom above corner pantry

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 1:36AM
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I didn't move any exterior walls. I did move the garage door, but that is not moving the exterior wall, just the opening in it.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 8:49AM
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You have a lovely space to play with.
Here are some comments and ideas. Some may be useful.

1. I moved the prep sink to the left of the island before I switched sink and range. Might well move it back to the right now. I forgot about it until after I posted this.

2. The cooking area looks pretty good except for one problem. Food often goes straight from the cooking area to the table. This involves going at least 20' around the island and around the peninsula if you are eating in the nook. No suggestions on fixing this occur to me unless you put the range on the peninsula. I tried sketching it this way. Some people would consider it a possibility, some would not.

3. The cleanup area has two problems I see:
A. It is on the peninsula between the kitchen and the dining nook, a very visible area. It is nice to have the cleanup sink somewhere where piles of dirty pots and pans are least visible. Again, if you switch range and cleanup, it might be an improvement.
B. Dish, glasses, and such are ideally stored near the cleanup area. You have very little such storage on the peninsula. Again, switching range and cleanup sink is a consideration. I tried it in the plan below. Don't really like it, but I would consider it.

4. It seems to me there is a lot of waste hallway area in the back storage/mudroom area. I sketched a possible idea to consider below. In my experience, one can always use more closed storage--either wall and base cabinets or pantry/clothes closet style.

5. The dining nook just asks for a comfy built in bench under the windows. Don't know if it will work. Just an idea.

6. This whole area is a maze of walkways. Again, I don't see what to do to avoid it, but they do eat up usable space.

So, maybe there are some ideas here you can use.

Ooops. I see I didn't indicate the transition of cabinet to seating along the top right wall in the banquette. I think I would stop the base cabinets at the window and start the seat parallel with the seat on the other side of the table.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Sat, Mar 2, 13 at 20:56

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 10:42AM
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I think it was that jog in that was throwing me off. If you don't jog in there it doesn't change any exterior walls. Unless I am missing something. Thank you again for coming up with this idea, I really like it!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Not sure what you mean with jog in. The area to the right of the garage door? If so that was the mudroom area to keep stuff out of the way. Can put a window there too to let in light. I took your shell and just drew some new lines within the existing foot print.

Oh I just realized what you mean. Looks like I cut the line by mistake there for the exterior wall. It should be just like you had it straight across and that jog was for coats, shoes etc. Like you had drawn yours except I made it deeper than the one you had drawn. Sorry about causing the confusion.

This post was edited by lyfia on Sat, Mar 2, 13 at 14:15

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 2:12PM
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