Help with revised kitchen layout?

CamGMarch 19, 2013

We took Greendesign's advice and moved the fridge at the end of the run of cabinets. Below is the plan we got from the builders.

My concerns: I think the 3'7 from the cabinet run at the top to island might be a bit tight. I can't tell for sure, but it looks like there is about 4'4" between the island and the broom closet. I think we ought to make move the island 4" further from the sink, so the clearances would be 3'11 and 4'0. These aren't luxurious clearances, I know, but I think they would do for us and the small space we're dealing with.

My other question is whether we ought to do a counter-depth fridge. I was hoping to have a textured front black fridge to minimize fingerprints and the like, and I don't know if we can find a counterdepth that is textured. They're obviously also more expensive and have less space. But, that would mean we wouldn't have to walk around as much fridge to go from the dining area to the sink.

Any other concerns? We're approaching the speak now or forever hold you peace stage... thanks!

This post was edited by CamG on Tue, Mar 19, 13 at 14:55

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Cam- Good to see you! I was just looking for an update on your project on the Building A Home forum, yesterday :)

I like your kitchen plan, but it does look a little tight between the fridge and island. A possible bottle neck, if you have people getting into the fridge.

That corner pantry is nice, but have you considered putting the broom closet and fridge in that space, with the oven in the fridge location? It would be open less often and probably wouldn't stick out as far. You could have a pantry on the back wall (where you have the oven now) and you'd have better access to the island, when you're baking. As it is, you'll probably have a stool back facing the oven, with no counter space nearby. It's a bit of a walk, with hot pans or cookie sheets, around the island or over to the range area.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:25PM
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Here is an approximate list of black counter depth refrigerators excluding true counter depth built in models.

"Counter depth" in a freestanding model means around 28" deep so at the refrigerator front you will have 3'3", not 3'7", and if you went with a conventional depth refrigerator you would have about 2'10" of clearance to the island, since a conventional depth fridge now approaches three feet in depth. Your drawing looks like it is a counter depth refrigerator of about 27"-28", although the doorswings are backward, the freezer is Always on the left on a side-by-side except for Northland custom models.

Here is a link that might be useful: Black Counterdepth Refrigerators

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:42PM
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LL, glad to hear someone is thinking about me! I don't think the drawing is clear. That is a range, not just a cook top, so there is quite a bit of space for baking. My thought with the fridge where it is is that the kids could easily access it for water refills and the like without interrupting cooking. I wouldn't want a hot range right next to where kids are running outside.

The cabinet next to the broom closet is a microwave shelf in the upper. Thanks for your thoughts, I'm looking forward to sharing our progress!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:55PM
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Thanks for pointing that out about the fridge, palimpsest. Is it weird to have the fridge on the left of the sink where the main door is on the right?

We are also planning on a 15" overhang--if space is tight, would it make sense to do 12" instead? Thanks for any thoughts.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:20PM
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What's the distance from the range to the edge of the island? What specific storage is in the island? How many do you want to seat and will you use it a lot?

I am asking because you may be able to shift it down a bit, shorten it and eliminate the binding at the refrigerator area altogether.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:26PM
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We've had a 12" overhang for years and years and always found it to be plenty. Only when I started reading here did Iearn that some consider it "inadequate." We don't have short legs, either-- I guess we just don't "belly up" to the bar, if you know what I mean. If it helps you out elsewhere, I'd do it, but maybe you want to measure how far your knees go under a table when you are sitting normally. If you are sitting higher, you need even less.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:43PM
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I'm hesitant to embrace this plan, but I don't know if I have better options to offer you.

As for the mw at the bottom of the page, with a broom closet next to it, and seating across the aisle, your only landing space is across from mw is where people are potentially sitting at the counter. Hmmmm. Are you ok with this scenario? At the minimum, I'd suggest a pullout breadboard type thingie (can't think of a better description, :-)) under the mw that you could pull out when you take hot things from the MW. Just because it's a mw and not a true oven doesn't mean that things don't come out at a burning temp and need to be set down in a hurry.

I think the fridge is going to feel like a monolith boxing you in at the sink as well as create a bottleneck while setting and clearing the table, especially if you have any more than 1 or 2 children at home. If you really think that this is the best spot for the fridge (not sure on that one myself), is there any chance the wall can cantilever out behind it so that you can put a normal fridge in and have it be counter depth?

I've had both an island that runs perpendicular to my stove, and one that runs parallel. I much prefer one that runs parallel so I can spread out and work directly across from the cooktop and oven. Having the narrow end face the stove was a bit awkward, and when it was like that, I found myself swinging around the corner to have the long length of island to work at. The way you have it drawn now, if you are trying to bake at the island while another person is trying to use the dishwasher, you are going to be on a collision course with each other. I had that setup a few months ago and it was quite aggravating to me. The kids jobs and my jobs were at odds with each other! Maybe your children are not home when you are baking and this will not be an issue for you, though.

I like your corner pantry, but it does feel like it's chewing up quite a bit of real estate. I'm wondering if Lavender's idea of putting the pantry on the bottom wall would be a better option.

How much stuff do you plan to store in your broom closet? If space is really tight, you might like to do as we do, and store brooms hanging on a peg rack on the back side of the basement door. It isn't totally ideal, but it's one less set of things in our kitchen.

All right, maybe I do have some options for you. I went ahead and played with your plan in Paint. Unfortunately, you'll need a microscope to see it. If you click on the picture, it will get a somewhat bigger.

Let me try to explain what I drew: From the top left, I removed the fridge from this wall. I slid the sink and DW closer to your dining room and gave you a dish hutch style cupboard to the left of the dw. I slid the stove up toward the top wall a bit. This left room for the MW a bit below the stove, and the fridge just below that. At the bottom of the kitchen next to the fridge is a pull-out broom cabinet. I've seen pics of these on GW and they look pretty spiffy.

On the bottom wall, I slid the doorway farther to the right to fit in a good sized shallow wall pantry. No more losing things in the corner! By making it shallow, this allows you to swing the island around so that it runs parallel to the stove wall, as well as making it deeper from the cooking area toward the dining area. Maybe there is enough room to fit a small prep sink at the bottom corner of the island. If I understand your floorplan correctly, the fridge, island sink, and mw, are now all near door where kids go in and out. You could store some kid-friendly dishes near this area and they can grab a snack without interrupting the cooking and cleanup flow.

Hope this helps. : )


    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:18PM
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I really appreciate the thoughts. I think my wife is pretty set on the walk in pantry, so I think your suggestion is probably not feasible... I realize it's that pantry that makes this design so difficult.

You've got me really wondering about that fridge. Especially if it's a pretty deep one, that does worry me about seeming boxed in.... argh. This is an insomnia post, so I'll look back over things tomorrow. We don't have much time to make more edits and the builder has already moved things around for me several times, so I'm hoping to get this figured out or be satisfied with the current plan. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 3:15AM
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I understand the frustration, as well as the "let's get it done already" feeling. One thing that might be interesting is to measure the number of inches/feet of storage she'll have in the walk in pantry as compared to a shallow wall pantry. It might be a surprising comparison.

Also, as I thought over what I drew last night, the pocket door would have to be moved slightly to the left to allow space to walk past the fridge that sticks out on the right wall.

I wish you and your wife the very best as you plan together.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 2:24PM
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Cam- Totally understand about your wife and the corner pantry, but my friend has one and it sticks out into the room and you do lose a lot of potential counter space. Also, it's dark in there (even with the overhead light).

Just a rough idea, which may not work, but it would give you a bigger window over the sink (which I mentioned on your other thread) and when you work at the island, you're looking into the dining room, not the back wall. The second sink is a nice bonus if you can do it, so there's one sink for prep and another for clean up. The fridge is further from the door, but the kids can easily access it by going around the island (pantry side) rather than through the work area. Again, just an with it what you will :) From Cottage house plans

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Oops! Forgot to mention your wife's desk area. It looks good there, but you might be able to make it a bit wider and have it double as a buffet area. Glass uppers overhead could give you some display space for nicer dishes/collectibles and if you have a holiday dinner or need the extra space, you could temporarily use it as an additional serving area.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 3:28PM
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