Save my marriage - tiny kitchen layout help needed!

southerngalinnycMarch 24, 2013

Hi ya'll happy spring.

So wish I could enjoy it right now but am MISERABLE over my kitchen design disaster. Existing kitchen is horrible - teeny tiny and very awkward layout. House was built in the 20s, and I think may have last been redone in the 70s... We can't move any exterior walls, windows or doors. Its a 5 bdrm house, and while DH & I have no children, we want to sell soon and most likely buyers will have them.

Current " design" for dining (which is meant to be a formal) and kitchen attached.(hopefully you can make it out)

Existing walls are in bold black except for the existing wall between kitchen and dining room which is in gray.

I am not at all happy with the diagram I have drawn now (btw orange lines are conceptual new walls and each box is 3" x 3") and am quite certain that I am breaking all kinds of rules of good design. The refrigerator is in an awkward place and I am really struggling.

(if you click on this it may be easier to see than the photo below)
March 24, 2013

I want to blow out that gray wall and have open kitchen to dining room. DH hates that idea but is coming around. I wanted to open up the space where the existing entry to the dining room is and take floor space from the dining room.

Originally I wanted open up the side of the gray wall with the existing entry way and push an island or partial island out about 2-3 feet into the dining room on the existing interior wall closest to the hall and put a sink or a stove in the middle. DH says we can't do that because we will destroy all the floor joists trying to get the plumbing to the sewer pipe or to down vent a stove both of which would need to be at the long back wall where I have the sink now. Our floor joists run from left to right across the dining room kitchen area.

Another issue is that we do not have HVAC, and there is a permanently installed wall unit (hate that too) on the exterior wall of the dining room to the right of the french doors that I will have to lose in order to move the existing gray wall more than 12". (not really gaining much space on that side of the kitchen for opening up a wall).

The yellow area is where we are adding/moving a powder room. That is currently a very, very cramped "eat in" area in the kitchen.

Any feedback, suggestions or therapy would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks in advance!

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So wait, is your drawing both (1) existing walls/doors/windows AND (2) proposed locations of fixtures (sink, stove etc.)? I ask because the gas range appears to be sitting right in the doorway to the dining room.

If that's the case, could you explain where everything currently is? In other words, what's the "before" picture?

Assuming what your diagram shows is where fixtures and cabinets WILL be in the future, I think with a little tweaking it would be great. Here's what I would suggest:

- Like you said, blow out the part of the kitchen/dining room wall that doesn't have cabinets on it (essentially, the bottom half of the wall).

- Put a wall behind the stove and the cabinets on either side of the stove. Since your space doesn't have room for an overhang, seating or clearance (i.e. space between the range and people in the dining room), you really would gain nothing from having that be a peninsula that's open to both the kitchen and the DR. But if you let that be a wall, then you gain space in the kitchen for some important stuff: (1) a good vent hood (if you're building a new wall it's very easy/cheap to put in the ductwork for the vent); and (2) wall cabinets on either side of the vent hood, for more storage in the kitchen. Yay!

- Instead of a 24" cab to the left of the stove, make it a 12" cab so the stove can move down. As drawn, there's not enough space between the stove and sink. 12" more and you've got an great work space that you'll use all the time--just make sure you don't put any appliances on that counter (coffee maker, toaster), just use it for prep space, and you'll be very happy with it. You could even consider making the cabinet to the left of the stove be 9". I wouldn't go smaller than that because you need some clearance between the range (in particular, the handles on your pans) and the doorway.

- I see you want a 24"x18" farmhouse sink. Want to save a LOT of money? Get an Ikea Domsjo farmhouse sink (link below). It's 24" wide, exactly as you want, but it has two HUGE advantages over anything else you're going to find: (1) it's REALLY inexpensive, and (2) it's 27" deep, in other words, you DO NOT have to put any countertop behind it--it goes all the way back to the wall. That makes your counters cheaper and easier to make.

Here's a link where you can buy the Domsjo -- the other link shows you how it's installed, so you can see why it makes the countertop simpler:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 8:17PM
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If you want to sell soon, you will never recover the cost of the kitchen remodel.

Clean it thoroughly, price it "as is" and let the buyer handle the headaches.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:46PM
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I agree with LazyGardens. If you plan to sell soon, you would be better off leaving it as-is - just clean, paint, and add some decorative touches.

If the current design is really bad, then price it accordingly - reduce the price by a few thousand dollars (or use it for bargaining later). It will cost more to remodel than the amount you would have to reduce.

However, if "soon" is really 5 to 10 years down the road and you want something to enjoy now, then accept that you probably won't get back more than about half of what you put into it (%-age will depend on how long it will have been since the remodel, economy when you sell, & housing market in your area) and continue with the remodel.

If you choose to continue, could you please post a drawing of the current space with no cabinets/appliances, etc....i.e., a blank slate, along with labeled measurements. Those boxes are awfully tiny to sit here and count and labeled measurements are usually more accurate than relying on counting boxes.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 11:08PM
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