Kitchen Layout Help

CheapGuyInRomeMarch 10, 2014

I'm trying to layout my kitchen in my 1920's remodel. I don't really need a lot of storage or cook a lot. I would like to make the minimal amount of changes to the exterior of the house.

Currently I can't decide if it would be better to close up the entrance to the living room and place the kitchen in the room with the double windows. Or raise the window in the room where the kitchen currently is and make a small L shape kitchen.

Sorry for the mid demo pictures.

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Is that storage under the stairs where it shows the door opening or is that more stairs for a basement?

The rest of the layout would help for the surrounding rooms. . Is the other side of the room going to be used for a breakfast area or dining table?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:07PM
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Please post the lay-out and each image by itself. They are all much too small to read the dimensions or to clearly see the space you're working with. We also need more complete dimensions than you've posted. How wide are the doorways, how wide is the wall to each doorway, how wide is the wall between doorway and post, where do they lead, etc?

Do you want an eat-in area in that space? If so, how large a table/how many people do you want to be able to seat?

As melly stated, it would be helpful to see how the kitchen relates to the rest of the house. We don't need that to be an accurate drawing, just enough to tell us where doorways and hallways lead.

Unless you state otherwise, I'm going to work on the assumption that you'll be using standard appliances: 30" range, 24" DW, 36" sink cab and 36" standard depth fridge. If you are doing other than the norm on any of these (perhaps a counter depth fridge), you need to tell us because that will affect the kitchen plan. Are you going with a microhood (MW over the range)?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:42PM
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The door leads to more stairs for the basement..I'm looking to do a kitchen, dinning area and possibly a half bath. There was a half bath in the original layout.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drawings

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Thanks for the link to the images. But let me reiterate my above request, "Please post the lay-out and each image by itself." To clarify that, I need you to imbed the images - or at least the image of the blank floor plan - in this thread, not a link to your Flickr account. I can not do a "save as" of an image in your Flickr account and until I can do that, I can't modify your plan to give you ideas of what to do in your space.

Here is a link that might be useful: New To Kitchens? Posting Pics? Read Me!

This post was edited by lisa_a on Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 16:47

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:44PM
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Here is the dim file,

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:48PM
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Here's an idea for you that provides a kitchen, dining area and half bath in your current empty space.

I swapped door and window on the top wall and reversed door swing so that the door opens towards the kitchen area, not the powder room.

The powder room has a 24" wide pedestal sink between plumbing stack and wall. Pocket door avoids the door swing issues. That said, you might have room for a swing door (swinging in, not out).

I added walls to make a hallway from the back door to the front door. This will help avoid the "bathroom in the kitchen" scenario that the majority of people aren't keen on. You might not care but future home buyers will more than likely prefer a sense of space between the two.

I placed the fridge against the chimney stack instead of next to it to shrink the aisle from a whopping 70" to a more workable 58", which is still 10" more than is recommended by the NKBA for handy landing area for fridge items.

The thick gray box next to the existing opening now window above the sink denotes a larger window here. Sinks don't have to go under windows but most people dislike a sink that is off center of a window.

The only way I could find a way to add a dining area was to give you a banquette. This should not require raising the window sills. I widened the LR entry - opening it all the way up to the chimney stack - so that there was ample aisle behind seated diners to walk from the kitchen to the LR.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Lisa, Many thanks, I'm thinking I maybe able to live without the half bath downstairs in place of a decent size dinning area. I like the ideal of switching the window and door I never would have come up with that ideal. My current place has an extremely tiny kitchen, I only have a sink base and a lazy Susan, as well as two 24 inch uppers, two 12 inch uppers. I had to add a two foot long roller cart that I store pots pans, and baby items such as gallon water and formula on. When I get home I'll probably figure up how many cubic feet of storage I currently use and play around with a few different ideals as well.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:17PM
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You're welcome.

Are you able and willing to move the back door to the side of the house? If so, I have an idea.

Also, are you willing to go with a narrower and/or counter depth fridge? So called apartment-sized fridges (27" or 30" wide) may be more appropriate for your small space. Ditto for 18" DWs. Bosch and Miele are 2 good choices for quality, small DWs that reportedly hold as much as US brand 24" DWs.

Also, do you know if code allows you to put a range in front of a window? If so, does code require that the window be non-operable? It's not ideal but given the constraints of your space, it may be necessary. A year or more ago, a GWer posted her reveal of a lovely, small kitchen installed in an older home with the range in front of the window. If that's not possible, are you willing to close up a one of the windows on the top wall?

If the above are possible, here's a potential lay-out:

I swapped out the side windows for a 6' slider patio door (left opening), re-routing traffic to the backyard from the kitchen to the DR.

The U-kitchen layout is possible with an 18" DW and a 30" counter depth fridge (linked to one very reasonably priced possibility below) and the range in front of the window. You could go with a 36" wide, counter depth fridge but keep in mind that the fridge cab will increase to 39" or 40" wide.

The MW is a GE Spacemaker II, which is small enough to fit in a 12" deep pantry cab unit, like this:

Traditional Kitchen by Minneapolis Cabinets & Cabinetry CliqStudios Cabinets

Or this:

Traditional Kitchen by Grantham Design-Build Firms Yankee Barn Homes

Here are images of ranges in front of windows:

Spaces by Austin Architects & Designers Tim Cuppett Architects

Eclectic Kitchen by Chadds Ford Kitchen & Bath Designers Kitchens By Design

Eclectic Kitchen by Seattle Home Builders Ventana Construction LLC

Transitional Kitchen by Martensville Home Builders Northern Sky Developments

You will need to check what code requires in your area; this isn't possible in all regions. And definitely keep fire safety in mind when choosing window trim. Personally, I'd opt for a tile or stone sill and tile the wall and around the window's edges at least 18" above the burners.

BCC stands for Blind Corner Cabinet.

The hutch in the dining area can be used to store seldom used items or you can turn it into a drinks cabinet.

You can also create storage in the banquette benches (a drawer at the end of the one against the peninsula would make for easy access storage).

The thick gray line between sink and bench denotes a half wall, 4.5" deep, 42" - 45" high to serve as a buffer between guests and sink and also to provide a place for switches (disposal switch if you don't go with an air switch).

Oops, forgot to include the bench dimensions. Benches are 24" deep (deep enough to cushion the backs as well as the seats), table overhang is 4". The bench against the peninsula is 78" long to the wall.

I Xed out the wall dividing the dining area from the living room in case it's an option to enlarge the opening between dining area and living room.

Anyhoo, if you're game to making a few additional changes, this is what could be possible.

Here is a link that might be useful: LG 15.7 cu ft counter depth fridge

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 5:20PM
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I found an ideal, something like the above would allow me to keep the space open into the living room as well keep the exterior of the house the same. Based on my small dim's the stove would probably have to be in front of the opening. I'm currently using around 55 cubic feet of cabinet space.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 3:07PM
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I've read your post several times and I'm still not clear on what you mean. Do you mean put a cab like this between kitchen and LR, moving the range to this wall? Are you wanting to shift the kitchen portion to the side wall (with the large windows) and put the DR near the back door?

If you do that and close off the LR doorway, I would suggest that you eliminate the wall to the right of the chimney stack so that you have a way to get from LR to kitchen without going through the dining area. Does that make sense? I'll draw up what I mean tomorrow.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:51PM
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Hopefully I help more than I confuse. From the Dimensions I loaded, I'm thinking of putting the refrigerator and sink along the 10'9 wall to the left off the door to the back yard. Along the two living room wall. I would like to create a pass through to the living room and place the stove below the pass through. Keeping the open feel between the living room and the back of the house.

To the right of the door to the back yard, I would potentially put a half bath and breakfast area.

The house I rent currenly has a really small kitchen so I just calculated my how many cubic feet of storage I use, so that as I review the different options I have a baseline of how much space I'm gaining or losing, Which may not be the best way to look at it.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 11:01AM
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Here's my interpretation of your intent (hopefully I understood correctly):

There are no exterior changes with this plan, only a few changes to the wall between kitchen area and LR. The solid gray lines are floor to ceiling walls; the black-outlined white spaces between these gray areas is a half wall, similar to the half wall shown in the photo you posted. The wall behind the range keeps grease spatters in the kitchen, plus it gives you a place to mount the hood. It would look like the kitchen linked to below (scroll farther down the thread to see what it would look like from the LR side).

There is an 18" tall pantry cab against the bit of existing wall, then an opening, then the range wall, then another opening, then wall again to the entry opening, which I widened to compensate for the loss of some of the LR opening. The calculations are based on a 3" filler between pantry cab and wall so that you can pull it open without knocking up against window molding and sill.

I added cabinets on the backside of the peninsula to give you more storage. I know you said you don't need much but I also noted that you wrote that you store baby items and well, your storage needs will likely increase, not decrease. If you don't need the storage for kitchen goods, you can use the cabs to store school supplies and such.

The fridge is a full depth, 36" fridge in a 40" wide cabinet. The run of cabs on this wall is pulled out from the wall by 6" so that the full depth fridge's size isn't as obvious. It also gives you deeper counters here, always a plus. There is a 3" filler between DW and wall.

The dining area is a banquette. No idea if you like banquettes but the only way to fit a decent sized table and maintain decent aisles is with a banquette, IMO. NKBA recommends a minimum of 44" aisles for room for people to walk behind seated diners. 36" is sufficient for a scootch (my non-technical term, ha) behind seated diners aisle.

Sorry, but I could not figure any way to give you a half bath as well. Your space just isn't big enough, not without sacrificing dining area or kitchen area big time. Actually I did figure out how to fit in a half bath: see my Plan A above. The dining area is small.

Hmm, I have an idea that could give you kitchen, dining area and half bath but it will mean changes to the exterior. Are you interested in seeing my idea?

Here is a link that might be useful: finished! Vintage Cream in the City

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 1:36AM
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I looked over all of your plans and links and spent sometime in the house this week as well. And I'm thinking something like my SketchUp Drawing.

A peninsula between the kitchen and dinning. A 2 by 3 pantry and then a 15 inch cabinet on each side of the stove on the back wall.

33 inches for the fridge and then a 5 foot peninsula for the dishwasher and sink. It's small on storage but the pantry will be a big help.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Sorry I haven't responded sooner, been very busy.

I'm going to be blunt: this is not an optimal plan at all.

First problem, as you noted, it has limited storage. Where are you going to store dishes, glasses and silverware? In the pantry? A 2x3 walk-in pantry won't offer as much storage as you think or hope. You'll only be able to put shelves along the back wall, not the side. To gain enough storage, you'd need deep shelves, which means that you'll only have easy access to items in the front section of the shelves. You'd be better off with a 24" wide pantry cab with pull-out shelves installed in front of the plumbing stack.

Secondly, all traffic from front hall or basement to back door is through the kitchen. When you need to drain a big pot of spaghetti, you would have to cross that aisle, which is a safety concern. If your sink was near your range and not across the aisle, it would be better.

This plan, which requires one exterior change, addresses the above issues with your proposed plan:

I eliminated the peninsula seating. Your dining area is not wide enough to accommodate both table seating and peninsula seating.

Sink and range are together, putting these two busy sections of a kitchen close together. There's also storage for dishes, glasses and silverware.

The 10.5" wide pull-out pantry cab holds a 8.875" wide pantry pull-out from Rev-a-Shelf (it requires a 9" opening so cab size I listed is the minimum width for the pull-out). This provides storage and gives you the space between fridge and wall so that you can fully open the fridge door to pull out drawers.

Remodeling a kitchen is expensive. Making this one exterior wall change will make your remodeling dollars be more effective and a more functional kitchen will likely net you a better return when you sell. Gotta run.

This post was edited by lisa_a on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 0:38

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Lisa Thank you very much for the advice and help I can take blunt. Alright I made some changes let me know if this is any better or if I’m still dazed and confused which is normally the case.

There is a space roughly 9' by 4' on the back of the house which I was just going to tear off because the shed rough starts out at 8 foot high and ends at 6, but I can easily re-frame it and do the attached.

I created a walk in pantry where the back door originally was and relocated the back door to the dinning space. Hopefully this will solve some of the traffic pattern concerns to the back door.

For storage where the pantry was in my previous plan, I would put a 24" inch lower with two drawers for large pots and pans and a full 60" x 24" inch upper only 12" deep in front of the plumbing stack to hold plates and glassware.

I think this amps up the storage and addresses traffic, my question would be how small of a table would be needed to also have peninsula seating. I like the 49" Pottery Barn Shayne table, but I'm not sure how the tightness would affect resale or what's the norm.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 12:53PM
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It occurred to me just now that you may not be familiar with even the basic guidelines set out by the NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) for kitchen planning. These guidelines help create a starting point for kitchen planning. They are guidelines so they can be bent (or sometimes broken) but it may be helpful to know what they are. These are minimums, not maximums, and in some instances aren't always adequate. For instance, they recommend 12" to one side of a range or cook top and 15" on the other but that doesn't take into account today's larger sizes of everything from plates to pans.

I understand your goal with your latest plan but I'm confused why you'd suggest modifying an existing lean-to when you seem to remain opposed to making any changes to existing windows. The latter will certainly be cheaper than the former and it likely won't require any permits, provided you use the existing headers. Rebuilding an existing structure and raising its roof will most certainly require that the structure be brought up to current code, necessitating additional costs and permitting. Your remodeling dollars will stretch farther with my Plans C and D than they would in your latest plan.

Here's another to consider:

This one does not require exterior changes and quite possibly won't need any changes to the existing walls between kitchen/dining area and hallway/living room. (I'm suggesting a wider entry into the dining area but that's not necessary to make this plan work.)

I swapped the location of the sink and range so that you can keep the large opening between kitchen and LR. It will be similar to the photo you posted Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 15:07.

I eliminated the extra cabs at the peninsula to give more room to the dining area and to provide an ample aisle between basement, back door and front hall.

What is it about the PB Shayne table that you like? Is it its size, style or price? Have you sat at one like this? It's a great concept for small spaces because it provides additional storage but you sacrifice leg room. Not sure if you realize that.

I designed the above with a 42" round table (seats 4) that extends to 60" (seats 6). That's a fairly common size so you should be able to find one that size that you like. I wouldn't go wider than that. While the space can accommodate a larger diameter round table, that's not the case when it's extended.

You asked, " small of a table would be needed to also have peninsula seating?" Recommended minimum aisle width for back to back seating is 60". People do bend that guideline but even if you bent it to the point of breaking, I still don't think you have enough room for the Shayne table and peninsula seating.

Here's why:

Your proposed dining area is 10' 6' or 126" (wall to peninsula counter edge). I added 3" to the peninsula overhang to give you the recommended 15" seating overhang for a 36" counter. Yes, you can get by with less, but you don't gain much in the long run. I have yet to find stools shallow enough to go completely under a 12" overhang so the legs will stick out into the aisle. And that's assuming you go with backless stools.

- 36" aisle between wall & table (room to edge behind seated diners)
- 49" Shayne table

To get closer to the suggested 60" aisle width, you'd need to shrink your table width to 36" to 38" wide by 60" long. That would give you a 52" to 54" aisle between table and peninsula. Narrower than that and there isn't sufficient leg room for diners facing each other to sit comfortably, IMO.

The only way I think that you have enough room for the Shayne table and peninsula seating is to go with a banquette bench along the window wall.

- 20" bench (table overlaps 24" deep bench by 4")
- 49"

All that said, I have to say that I'm not a fan of your latest plan. I'd hate not having any counter to the right of my sink. Heck, my oldest son's apartment has a larger kitchen - more counter and storage - than you've proposed in any of your plans for your home and it's a good bet that his place is much smaller than your house. I don't think you are maximizing your home's potential for a decent sized kitchen.

Sorry if I sound scattered in my post. I'm recuperating from a bad head cold and my brain cells are still sluggish.

Here is a link that might be useful: NKBA recommendations

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 3:59PM
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Since you expressed willingness to rebuild the shed, creating a new entry and pantry, I decided to incorporate that space into my latest lay-out for you.

This is a modification to my Plan D above.

Exterior changes are to existing doorway (widening it to accommodate fridge and cab) and existing window (raising it to counter height). This lay-out assumes the ceiling height changes to the shed.

I used the additional square footage to recess a 33" wide, standard depth fridge so that the box was MOL flush with the adjacent counter. I say MOL because you'll likely need to build a skinny 2 x 4 wall (turn studs sideways to normal configuration) so that you have wall support to mount the pantry shelves to. I designed this skinny wall to be flush with the exterior wall, however, you can also do this wall slightly proud of the exterior wall so that only the fridge door sits proud of the counter.

I used the rest of the area behind the fridge to create an open pantry. If you need deeper storage (for small appliances and such), you can go with 15" or 18" deep shelves along the back wall of the pantry.

I did not put a door on the pantry. I didn't consider it necessary, plus it would impinge on the fairly narrow space. Yes, you'll see the pantry when you come in the back door but because of how the shelves are set-up, the pantry won't be visible except from a small area of the upper left corner of your DR and even then, you'd only see a small section of it.

btw, my pantry has a 27" aisle and it's never been an issue for us, even when there were several teenage boys in the pantry at the same time, hunting for snacks. I really should have taken a picture of that. ;-)

I gave you a narrow island to serve as your breakfast bar and as additional counter space. It can also serve as a buffet bar. It would be similar to the narrow islands pictured below, just not as long as most of them. The chimney column on the wall between LR and kitchen prevents an island longer than 48". 34" clearance between chimney column and island corner is on the slim side but since it's 2" wider than your hallway entry, I figured it would be in proportion to your home's architecture.

Here are images to help you visualize a narrow island.

Contemporary Kitchen

Traditional Kitchen by Westfield General Contractors Anthony James Construction

Transitional Kitchen by Ridgewood Architects & Designers TerraCotta Studio

Mediterranean Kitchen by Oakland General Contractors Mueller Nicholls Cabinets and Construction

Mediterranean Kitchen by Glendale Interior Designers & Decorators Marlene Oliphant Designs LLC

Traditional Kitchen by Denver Architects & Designers Christine G. H. Franck, Inc.

The island can be on wheels, however, I think you'd be better off with a fixed island so that you can add an outlet to it and increase its function. It will also make it safer since it will be less likely to be toppled by a toddler.

The table in the DR is the PB Shayne table that you like. IMO, this is as large a diameter table that you should get. And a slightly smaller diameter table, say 42", would be better, IMO.

There are additional costs with this plan but wow, what a pay-off in terms of function, storage and looks! One big plus, IMO, is that traffic from basement door or hallway to back door is routed past and not through the kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 3:54PM
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Here's a slightly modified version of G that doesn't require a rebuild of the shed. It does require purchasing a counter depth fridge but that will certainly be cheaper than rebuilding the shed. It also requires exterior changes to the existing entry and window.

The 6" deep pantry on the bottom wall takes advantage of the between-stud wall space. It will stick out 2" into the room but most of the storage will be in the wall, like this:

Transitional Kitchen by Falls Church Architects & Designers Ballard + Mensua Architecture

Traditional Kitchen by Milton Interior Designers & Decorators E.R. Miller

Traditional Kitchen by Falls Church Kitchen & Bath Designers Savena Doychinov, CKD/Design Studio International

Here is a link that might be useful: 33

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:40PM
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Thank you very much, your help is very very appreciated and I have learned so much.

I guess a good place to start is with some background on the project. I bought the house as a tax foreclosure from the city for around 4K. I have a building permit, and the interior of the house is going down to the studs with exception to a few exterior walls where the plaster is in great shape.

I'm open to addressing the shed roof on the back of the house because it's falling apart and needs to be addressed, I can't work around it, I can save the original windows the current siding is in decent shape on the entire house except for on the addition on the very back

I looked over the plans and I do like the latter one's many of the pictures you included are already in my ideal books on the Houzz App.

I'm still around 6 to 8 weeks from actually starting on the kitchen so I have sometime, but I'm still like my last plan. The house is small and in the event of a family gathering I think the peninsula, eat-in and living room would flow well and make the house feel larger and more accommodating, I have a small family so a big family gathering is still a total of 8 people tops.

To keep my last plan maybe it would be better if I swapped the sink and stove, this would allow the stove to be in the middle of the peninsula with 15 inches on either side. I would have to double frame the new sink wall to keep the plumbing from being in an exterior wall, freezing is definitely a problem in this part of the country. This would allow 24 inches on each side of the sink. Lastly, I could make the peninsula flush with the fridge and expand the overhang to 15 inches.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 12:33PM
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I've gotten down to two ideals, I like your option H above, but I made a change to my existing plan, currently you can enter the kitchen from the entry way, what if I put the refrigerator in the current opening and shorten the entryway, this would allow for a 30 inch sink with 24 inches on each side of it. I really do not want to put the sink on an exterior wall, and I still would re-frame the storage area.

There may be better designs that you could come up with if I use the additional space, but I really want the peninsula.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 6:02PM
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