Layout help - My Mom and Dad's Kitchen

pudgybabyMarch 10, 2013

Edit: I want to make it clear that this is a total remodel and the brick arch will be removed. They are looking to make their kitchen more functional, as it is all squished into the left half of the kitchen with the fridge right next to the range which is right in the corner and the sink around the corner. Thanks!

2nd edit, to answer some of the excellent questions (I called Mom and asked her the questions - you're really making her think about things differently). Thank you, everyone for your great questions and suggestions! I realize that this kitchen is really constrained :( Let's assume that the budget is unlimited. They are ok with moving the stairs and they are ok with removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room. The dining room is not huge: I don't have dimensions, but they have a large table with 6 chairs and there is adequate space on the side to walk comfortably. Mom thinks they could only take about 1 foot of the dining room for the kitchen, but they are willing to do that. Let's assume for now that they are NOT willing to swap the kitchen with the dining room.

They definitely want eat-in space, and are hoping for 4 spaces. This is a big priority. Pantry space is not as much a priority (they store extra food in the basement, which is down the stairs, around the corner, then down another 1/2 flight of stairs - not ideal, but not too far). The garage is down the stairs and around the corner - this is where the groceries come in.

The range is vented now - kind of. There's a small fan up there, like a bathroom fan. I'm sure it's not to code. But there is ductwork that goes outside, although I'm not sure of the diameter of the ductwork. They never use the fan now because it is not at all effective.

Thanks again, everyone!

Below is my original post:

Help, please, with this challenging layout! My Mom and Dad have a tri-level house with stairs that take up part of the kitchen floorplan. This will be a total gut-remodel, and you can assume that anything can change except that they will not replace the bay window, but it happens to be at a typical table height. The wall with the sink is load-bearing. The master bedroom and bath is behind the half wall that the stairs go below (see the last picture), so I'm thinking that there must be a beam or something in there for support?

They have a lovely view of the Mississippi River out the bay windows, and they like to eat there, overlooking the river. They sit there a lot, reading the newspaper, drinking coffee, etc.

They prepare food from scratch for most meals, often making extra and freezing for later. They host family and friends at least once a month - my sister and her family of 4 live just down the street. They have a small garden and do a little canning. My Dad makes bread in the bread machine frequently, so it sits out on the counter.

One of their goals is to make it easier for both of them to work in the kitchen together.

They would really appreciate any advice and help you can offer, and I thank you as well!

Here's the current layout (my Dad measured and drew it):

Here are pictures of each wall, going clockwise around the layout, starting with the river view:

The opening is to the dining room:

The sink wall:

The stairs going down to the family room:

Editted to make it clear that this is a total remodel, and the brick arch will be removed.

This post was edited by pudgybaby on Mon, Mar 11, 13 at 22:16

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I might white wash the brick to give it a more uniform look and keep a nice range centered in that arch. I would then move the fridge to where you now show the microwave because if you were to put it on the sink side of the stairs, it would be hard to access.

If you have the width, An open shelf island might be nice as well as handy.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:47PM
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doesn't appear the microwave location will really allow a fridge. I think I'd show them/encourage them to get a french door/bottom freezerdrawer fridge...[cabinet depth]and center it in the brick arch.I think they'd love it. Move the range over to the opposite wall and probably get above range microwave unless they are opposed to that. The area of microwave with the bulletin board/catch alls and papers/etc looks about18-21 in deep and 30 in wide. do something there with tall storage/perhaps with a bit of counter for toaster/coffee pot. if they'd want to keep a microwave there then create a niche at 54 in up from floor and you can still have counter for the other small things. there's a lot you can offer with vertical tall storage. With fridge only in the arch,you'd have some counter to the right for breadmaker to sit-it'll be displaced from it's corner if range moves across.You have a soffitt-do you have a goal of removing? Above the range, at least aim for a recirculating fan but perhaps a real hood could be vented up and then sideways out[but maybe not].

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 12:08AM
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OP here. This will be a total renovation, and the brick arch will be removed. Total gut-reno, so please think bigger in terms of the kitchen layout changes. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:47AM
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if you repositioned stairs closer to window then you'd get depth in kitchen space as the walk aisle shifts to closer to window.Proceed to remove wall between kitchen and dining room and run an island in the expanded footprint...but what is the budget and longterm goals here-first show the adjacent spaces and give a clue more about their expressed desires. With the elevation and stairs,you're constrained on that side,and if they don't want to incorporate dining room, then the existing footprint is what you have to work with.The bay window and wall with steps are not walls you can really do much without changing the steps.....that leaves the brick wall and back sink wall-so what are you hoping for?Where the layout doesn't allow a lot of changes,people can adjust their goals and do quite a bit of upgrading with the style, using materials/surfaces.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:41AM
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What is the layout of the dining room, and how much of it are they willing to incorporate into the kitchen? Would it make any sense to have the dining area and kitchen area trade spaces? Where do groceries enter the home?

Is an eat-in kitchen a priority, or would they happily give that up to gain more prep space?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Does that range have real venting now? Can it be moved and still provide venting?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:00PM
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robo (z6a)

You should post measurements of the TOTAL space to work with, otherwise responses will be limited to what you provided.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:43PM
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OP again. Answering your excellent questions, which I also answered by editting my original post - now I need to shamelessly bump this up!

Thank you, everyone for your great questions and suggestions! I realize that this kitchen is really constrained :(

To answer your questions:
Unlimited budget
Eat-in space (for 4, hopefully) is a big priority
Pantry space is not a big priority
Not willing to swap dining room with kitchen
Willing to move stairs
Willing to remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room
Dining room is not huge. They could steal about 1 foot from the dining room
Groceries come in from the garage, which is down the stairs and around the corner
There is a tiny vent for the stove, like a bathroom vent. It is vented outside, but I don't know the diameter of the ductwork

Thanks again, everyone!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:23PM
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