Seeking comments on kitchen design

ctcookMarch 1, 2014


This is my first time posting, but I have been lurking for a while and getting lots of ideas for my upcoming kitchen remodel. I'm nervous that there are some flaws to the design that I'm overlooking, so I'm hoping to make use of the brainpower here on the kitchen forum.

My story is that my husband and I have 3 kids aged 9-13. i like to cook and we like to entertain. I'm usually the only cook, but I do enjoy making pizzas and cookies with the kids sometimes. The biggest flaw with my current kitchen (other than being 50 years old) is a lack of counter space, so having room to spread out is a big priority for me. I really want to have an island, even if that means having narrower passageways than would be ideal.

Thank you in advance for your time and I welcome all comments! Here are the pictures of my design:

Overhead View:

Range Wall:


Peninsula Front:

Peninsula Back:

Pantry Wall:

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Sophie Wheeler

2 doorways to the family room? Have you thought of closing one off? All that space unused in the breakfast area? Could you adapt to eating ylur meals at the dining table? Walls between the family room and dining room. Could you think about taking one of them down? Moving plumbing?

If you could take one of the walls down and close up one of the family room entrances, there's a better layout to be had.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Thank you for taking a look, hollysprings. To answer some of your questions:

We have only 1 doorway to the family room right now, and adding a second is something I'm really looking forward to, to connect the 2 rooms better. Unfortunately I can't open the wall any more because there is a large fireplace on that wall on the family room side.

As far as removing the wall to the dining room -- that's not in the budget for us. I also like having the dining room and living room more separate and formal.

Also, I should have noted, even though you didn't mention it, that I haven't used the wall with the window on it because the window is only 25 inches of the floor. I can't make any changes to that because all of the windows on the front of our colonial-style house match exactly. It would ruin the curb appeal to mess with one of the windows.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 6:01PM
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Couldn't you eliminate the peninsula and use a longer island with the sink and DW in it?

If you stick with this layout, I have a few thoughts about your range wall and peninsula. I have the same layout and space for those areas. But first, can you explain the assymetrical placement of the range?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 7:28PM
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Actually, my original design did have a longer island and no peninsula. I ended up changing this design because:
1. As you enter the kitchen from the front door or upstairs, you would confront an island '' barrier'' to walk around.
2. There would not really be enough room for seating at the island since the kitchen is just a little too narrow.
3. I would rather be able to look out my sliding glass doors to the back yard while working at the sink instead of into a blank wall.

The asymmetrical location of the stove is because I was trying to get more workspace around the corner from the peninsula. Also I didn't want the stove too close to the sink and dishwasher. Plus I'm hoping to keep pots and pans in the drawers by the range. If I center the range I will have 28 inch drawers. Is that wide enough for pots and pans?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:21PM
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Have you considered using the bottom wall (in your original drawing)? If you transfer the cabs from your peninsula to there, plus add some uppers or wall ovens perhaps, you'll get more storage possibly. Then you could shift the island left a bit (and maybe shorten?) to compensate.
Or you could do something like this:

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:59PM
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I have half your layout. Mine is a U with a fridge, cabinet, and pantry pull-out on the leg opposite the peninsula. I've had this layout for 12 years, with a remodel two years ago.

Peninsula recommendations: You'll need to switch your DW and trash pull-out. You won't be able to unload your DW into the cabinet without setting everything on the counter first. That will shorten your prep space between sink and stove, but you still have plenty of prep. My set-up from end of peninsula to corner is DW, trash pull-out, and sink base, so I do most of my prep for food going to the stove on the 30" counter to the left of the stove. I don't have an island so I put my trash and DW together, giving me 48" of counter on the end of the peninsula.

I see you have a 2" and 4" filler, but you need 3" fillers so your trash and drawers don't collide.

I see one door on the back of the peninsula to access the corner, but with a width of 36", you can have 12" deep cabinets along the entire back. Or will there be seating?

Range wall: The asymmetry creates problems for the uppers. The lowers can hide behind the island, so not so much of a problem. First, the range is planned as a focal point with the hood style with a display shelf, so you'll notice the wonkiness. The 24" door to the right of the stove is too wide--you'll need to step back every time you open it. If you steal 4" from your 34" corner base and give it to your 24" base, your right upper will increase to 28", so you can divide that door into two 14"s. The upper to the left of your stove can be 30", giving you 14" and 15" doors flanking the hood. (My flanking doors are 12" and 13"). So now you add a 15" cabinet adjacent to your 30", hinged on the left. That cabinet will be accessible, whereas the end cabinet you have now is not accessible from either side of the peninsula because of the door swing. I did not put a cabinet at the very end because you can't get in it (my old kitchen had one), and I wanted a display cabinet somewhere.

Now the base cabinets flanking the range will look better with only a 2" difference. I have 2 4-drawer banks and fit all my pots and pans in the 30" in single layers. I like your drawer arrangement on the right better than the three shallow drawers on the left. My drawers are three 6 3/4 " and a 9 3/4" (custom)--I didn't want to stack pots in a 12" drawer, and my stockpot is in the cabinet over the fridge. Also note in the photo that my base cabinets are not symmetrical--(28" and 24").

So I think you gain a lot by losing that 4" in your prep between sink and stove. I guarantee you that 30" is enough space.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:28AM
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Thank you for the great suggestions and the picture. It's great to see a kitchen so similar to my (imagined) kitchen.

I will definitely center the range and re-think the drawers. Glad to hear that you can fit all your pots and pans without a problem. I could put my stock pots above the fridge too.

I know that the cabinet extended over the corner will not be readily accessible. I had planned on putting my china in there and getting out a step stool on the occasions when I use it. So setting aside the accessibility issue -- do you think it looks OK? And what do you think about it bumping out to 15 inches? My idea was that it would be sort of symmetrical with the refrigerator that bumps out on the other end of the run. Am I way off base there?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 8:55AM
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I like equal door sizes on that wall. This is where you hope it all balances and gives you a workable cabinet. Cabs don't need to go to the end of the peninsula, but be aware that if you want your tile to start at the first cabinet, some counter won't be tiled. I'll have 12" untiled, but that's not unusual.

With a 30" base cab and 24" peninsula cab, you have 56" of wall to fill, with 12" left over to the end of the peninsula. If you divide the 56" into fourths, you'll have 14" doors across that wall. Your 36" cabinet shrinks to 28", same as your right upper. Voila! The loss of 8" isn't bad because it brings the third cabinet closer to the corner and easier to reach into. That third cabinet is a separate 14" cabinet (which holds a dinner plate) and is hinged on the left. If your last (fourth) cabinet is doored, I would consider hinging it on the right and accessing from the other side of the peninsula. Otherwise, hinge both those doors so they open toward the stove.

You can fudge around on the door sizes here, giving you larger cabinets. My left doors are an inch wider than my right, and you don't notice it. Maybe you can go 2" without noticing.

I considered a 15" deep counter-sitting cabinet on my peninsula, but I was afraid it would interfere with my prep or dishwashing. With the peninsula design, you don't need to balance out the fridge. You're going to have a lot of cabinetry, so I'd keep things simple.

I asked about your peninsula plans since you have 36" and you don't show anything on the other side except one cabinet. I don't think your cabs are 36" wide, so what's the deal there? Counter overhang? Our dining room is adjacent to our kitchen, so we added 12" of cabinets and open display. The two cabs on the end hold our china and wine glasses. (We still haven't bought pulls for them!) So that could be a solution for china storage. Bar stools could block your family room entrance, so I wouldn't like that. Whatever your plans, panel the back so it's not an odd door at the end.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:47AM
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My very strong personal preference is kitchens designed around the window - where the view and natural light is maximized and made a focal point.

I would always recommend working with some kind of 3D software to design a kitchen because it helps with visualizing sightlines from different angles. Even if you are not planning an IKEA kitchen, you can use the IKEA kitchen planner to input your room dimensions and constraints, and put in cabinetry, etc. to figure out basic layout issues.

In your space, I would study the Frankfurt kitchen from 1920s Germany and figure out if ideas could be adapted to your kitchen. Although your kitchen is larger, there are some common elements including window on end wall and opening on left hand side (when facing window).

Specifically, I would include:
1. prep counter in front of window (that hinges up for window opening/cleaning) like the 3D rending below shows:

\* use an IKEA Grundtal stainless shelf below the window as a foot rest when doing prep

2. put the sink close to the window on the right hand side (as in the Frankfurt kitchen)

That would be my starting point.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 12:04PM
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