Kitchen Layout Opinions

thecatsmeowthMarch 13, 2013

The image is my modified design of the architects plans, so everything isn't quite perfect (like island size and walkways). The actual space is 20'6" x 14'4". It's open to the living room with the dining room and walk in pantry south.

We'd like an island stove (downdraft) with the narrow outer island being a seating area. This is really the only requirements I'm fixated on, so I'm hoping to get advice on the layout from others here. Thanks in advance!

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Do you actually want to spend most of your time standing in the corner between the sink and the fridge? Because that is where your prep area is in this kitchen. And that's what 70% of the time in a kitchen actually works out to be. Only 10% of the time is spent cooking. (20% is cleanup.) So, with that island cooktop (and the wholly inadequate downdraft ventilation and clearance for seating) you'll spend 90% of your time facing out the window or in the corner rather than facing people inside the home.

There also isn't enough room for two islands in this kitchen. There IS enough room to do a nice sized island, and do it right where you are prepping on it and facing out into the home 70% of the time, and no one crosses over into your hot zone like you'd currently have. But, it would involve giving up this layout. You can do SO much better and it can WORK so much better. IF you want it to.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Here is a MUCH more functional version where you will spend your time interacting with guests instead of being separated from them with your back to them..

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:34AM
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THIS ----->"But, it would involve giving up this layout. You can do SO much better and it can WORK so much better. IF you want it to."

Otoh, if you have zero interest in making changes, I would at the very least put the DW on the other side of the sink so you do not have to prep over it and plan for a good hood instead of downdraft.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:39AM
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What's the recommended size for a 2 island kitchen? I realize that most people don't care for downdraft ranges, but we have positive experience with certain models.

I'd rather play around with the island size/range location to allow for primary prep room on the island (which was the plan).

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:22AM
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I'd rather play around with the island size/range location to allow for primary prep room on the island (which was the plan).

I'm confused -- you mean on the island as originally envisioned, with no water and with a range? Or do you mean on an island along the lines of what LWO proposed?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 9:57AM
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THe kitchen would need to be MUCH longer and wider if you want to prep on an island with the cooktop there and if you want two islands, one with seating. Not quite double in size, but getting there. Unless you'd be OK at twisting back and forth between the prep sink and the cooking zone. Even then, if you put the prep sink under the window, you'll probably still end up prepping in a corner next to it. Human nature is to do what is easiest. That's why a source of water is needed on an island to make it the primary prep zone.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 9:59AM
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I'm "stuck" more on the double island than I am with the island range. While I don't have dimensions, the picture below doesn't look like it's in a kitchen any bigger than what I'm planning.

I didn't have an island sink in the original layout; it was something I was still considering. (Didn't know how to draw in a pasta filler which was my first thought). It doesn't seem like you need a huge island for the range either (below picture) so I feel like it's still possible (just obviously not the way I've drawn it).

Still wide open to suggestions, I'm just getting my thought process out there :D

Mediterranean Kitchen by Spring General Contractor John Termeer

Traditional Kitchen by Shallotte Home Builders Blue Sky Building Company

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:49AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Bad pretty designs are still BAD designs. Period. And those are horrible for functionality. Plus, they are EXPENSIVE, and since you are trying to just scrape together enough to build a garage apartment at this point, then attach the house, you'd do much better to plan something more modest in the main home. It can make the dream happen much faster and you can move out of your parent's basement that much quicker.

To do the double island thing, your kitchen would need to be 26" perimeter cabinets, + 42" aisle + 42" cooking island + 42" aisle plus 26" cabinet+ 15" overhang + 60" for backing up to traffic path and that is basically 18' wide, a full 4' wider than you have. As a functionality thing, why would you want to be separated from your kitchen guests? That's not conversation distance? You're not going to hold a conversation with those two islands. You'll shout back and forth, and the guests will just come and stand at the island where all of the action is and be uncomfortable because there is no seating there.

To do the cooking and the prepping on the island in a U shaped kitchen makes for an enormously long kitchen. Perimeter cabinets 26"+42"aisle + 15" safety zone of landing + 36" cooktop + 12" safety landing zone+ 36" prep space + 18" sink cabinet + 12" landing zone + 48" aisle + 26" perimeter cabinets, + 3" for island counter overhang. That's a 23 foot wide kitchen.

An 18'x23' kitchen is huge, even if you're building 5000 square feet. Did I mention expensive? Per square foot, the kitchen is the most expensive room to build in any home. If your custom home's costs are around 200 per square foot (national average for a fully custom home), you can bet the kitchen costs are around $500+ a square to make that even out with the porches and bedrooms. Do you really need to spend 200K on one room in the house? Even as a fantasy exercise?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:40AM
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