Looking for comments on small kitchen layout

srvancottMarch 13, 2013

About two months ago, I posted some preliminary ideas for a kitchen layout in a house we were buying. We closed on the house last week, so I've had a chance to take more accurate measurements and draw up a plan. This is not a final plan, but we're getting pretty close to final.

As a note, we are planning to keep the kitchen within the existing footprint (7'9" x 11'9") and do not plan to modify the windows. I'd appreciate any improvements you would be willing to suggest with that in mind. Thanks in advance!

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Another sketch, looking toward the wall with stove

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:26PM
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Last sketch, showing wall sink is on

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Glad your plants will get good use out of that layout, because you won't. There is no place to actually cook.

Sink under the window, DW to the left if it fits, range where you have the sink. Start there.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:30PM
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Marcolo, thanks for the quick comments. Problem is the bottom of the window is only 16.5" off the ground, so we don't want to install cabinets in front of it. Hence the low window seat type area there. I think that's about all we can do in front of the window.

I attached a picture of what the current kitchen looks like to give you an idea of what we're dealing with. Although our layout isn't ideal, I think it's an improvement... what do you think?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:38PM
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Marcolo's recommendations are spot on. You're allowing that one window to prevent you from having a real working kitchen. Your new layout has almost no counter space. Of course, the cost of relocating the plumbing to the window location is also an issue. If you can't afford to make these changes now, please save up until you can. At the very least, continue the counter in front of the window. Others on this forum have done that very thing.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:10AM
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Random thought. What about a countertop that folds down across that window? Butcherblock would probably be the easiest to do that with.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 2:09AM
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In front of the window, have a normal-height work surface (counter) w/o a cab underneath. Just bridge the window from side to side.

Maybe you'll get lucky and the work surface will be close to the height of a muntin bar, so even on the outside it won't look odd.

Just put a little ledge on the far side to keep stuff from rolling off - nothing really high is necessary.

I have a range in front of a low-ish window. I tidied up the back of the range so it looks just fine.

Your kitchen is too small to devote space for a window seat or for the plants.



    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 4:46AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I like the idea of some kind of a fold down counter that would bridge that space. That would give us the counter space, and we could store appliances, big pots and pans, etc. underneath. Does anyone have pictures of this kind of a thing? I found a few online, but nothing that looks close to what we'd be building. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:08AM
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Why not replace the window? Before you say cost, did you actually get estimates? consider diy?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:21AM
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robo (z6a)

The thread below shows a sink in front of a low window.

Here is a link that might be useful: Example sink in front of low window

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:27AM
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Concur with recommendations to not use the windows to inhibit best use of your space. You could even run counter/cabinet in front of both windows for awesome counter space in your kitchen, and still have great light from the resulting "counter height" windows. We did something similar in a townhouse kitchen, looked great inside and out.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 9:31AM
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Robotropolis - thanks for the link. I like the way that cabinet looks in front of the window. And MaggieQ - thanks for the comments and encouragement that you did something similar. We might consider something like this now, although the idea of just having some kind of bridging counter and keeping the cabinets low like liriodendron and crl suggested still appeals to me.

Debrak - we are doing the whole project diy, right down to my fiance's brother building the cabinets. We haven't looked into the cost of taking the window out, and I guess it would be an option.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 9:55AM
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I had my window shortened to a bit above counter height to solve a similar problem. And my house is brick, so this was probably more costly than you will face, but it made a big difference in what I could do with the layout.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:11AM
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Your key functional problem is a total lack of prep space between sink and range. That's why the sink has to go in front of the window. Or keep the sink where it is and put the range there, but then you're going to have to pay for an island hood.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:16AM
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Marcolo - thanks for your comments. I think you've won me over to the 'sink in front of the window' idea. I just didn't see how it would work before, but the pictures and comments from others helped convinced me it can work ok.

I'll draw up some revised plans when I get home from work and post them for comment. I'll start with your original comments - sink in front of the window, range where sink is now - and go from there. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Cool. I forget: what style is your house? That may guide the way you want to put the sink assembly together. For example, in an old house, you could do a soapstone counter with an integral soapstone backsplash only over the sink area, to control the water And keep things from falling behind the sink. It need not be very high. You could even build the sink out of soapstone as sort of a recessed vessel sink, like Casey's sink. Other approaches are possible, depending on the style of your house and the look you're trying to achieve.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:34AM
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robo (z6a)

Here's one thought I had. Advantage: lots of storage and even a little pantry. Disadvantage: the space between range and fridge is too tight for me personally unless you get a counter depth fridge which could be $$.

I know the sink cabinet is a little too big for the space but wasn't sure what else to do without putting a useless cabinet next to the dishwasher since the space from wall to window is only 3'. You could do a drainboard sink and maybe some trash rollouts in the sink cabinet. Or put a 12" pullout between wall and dishwasher and go down to a 24" sink like the IKEA domsjo.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 2:20PM
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Robotropolis - I like the idea of having the sink in front of the other window, but I didn't have much luck sketching up a plan and getting things to fit right. I only ended up with a 39" work aisle between fridge and opposite counters. Maybe we can still make it work, but I got stuck on that option and worked a bit on this...

A plan based on suggestions by marcolo and others. I really like it, but I think my biggest concern in the fridge sticking out right to the door opening. Would a french door model make this less of a problem (since the doors are narrower)? Any other comments on this latest sketch? Where would the best spot for an under-cabinet microwave be?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:08AM
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Marcolo... to answer your question about house style... it's an older home, probably built in pieces starting in the 1800s and added onto over time. The interior is a relaxed country style - think patterned wallpaper in neutral colors, exposed beam ceiling, brick fireplace, etc. I haven't looked too far into sink materials so far, but the soapstone sounds like a good idea. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:17AM
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if this kitchen will remain in this footprint long term,why don't you pay to center the opening then? You'll gain wall to place a true cabinet depth fridge against...and probably a narrow pantry cabinet in the corner and maybe even 12 in of counter on passageway side of fridge.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:26AM
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a suggestion - continue percolating on your kitchen remodel but live in the house a while before committing to anything. this house will be better understood to you once you move in and live there for a while. design is an iterative process and cannot be rushed. take your time. while the kitchen is not ideal, you can get by with it in the short term.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:19PM
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