kitchen layout

urbanchilliApril 2, 2013

Looking for some advice on a layout for our kitchen remodel. We've been living with this kitchen for a few years and finally saved up for the remodel project. Our current layout is below.

We both like to cook and regularly have friends over to hang out casually. No kids yet, and we'll probably move before they are cooking age. We rarely use the dining room for eating and the path to it through the kitchen is not high traffic.

Our main issue with the current layout is lack of counter space. We end up doing most of the prep on the small space next to the stovetop, which is less than functional. We are generally flexible with the layout and open to any changes that make sense.

Specifically, we have discussed removing the pantry area and having a peninsula or island free of the stovetop, freeing up some cabinet space. With raising the cabinets to ceiling height (96") and getting access to the now blind corners, I think it will be enough to make up for the lost pantry storage. We've mulled over the following four options, but again, we are open to most anything.

Thanks in advance!

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I would remove the pantry area and go with a design like C. The peninsula will give you additional seating and countertop space. If you are worried about storage space from losing the pantry, you could build a shallow pantry out of wall cabinets on the backside of that wall (parallel to the peninsula).

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 1:39PM
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A pantry on that wall is a great idea! We currently have a desk area there that goes unused except for cookbook storage.

I'll run through our thoughts of peninsula vs island quickly:
+ More counter space, a larger area to gather around.
- There really isn't enough space for stools, so it doesn't add seating and the corner base cabinet is not easy to access.

+ Having an island allows for a wall and base cabinet to the left of the sink.
- Smaller aisles, less counter space, separates prep area from sink.

Because counter seating is not really an option and either will provide more counter space than we have now, we are leaning towards an island. What do you think of a prep sink in an island that size? Other pros or cons I'm not considering?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:42PM
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I'm not sure what size you are thinking of for the island, but it looks like it would be fairly small to have a prep sink in it and still get any useful counter space out of it. If you don't have room for stools or seating on the other side of the peninsula, what about the idea of using base cabinets on one side (24" deep) and wall cabinets on the other side of (12" deep) which would give you the same amount of work surface AND extra storage (plus you could make better use out of that corner cabinet). If storage really isn't an issue, I would always opt for the extra seating option for resale purposes and if you ever need it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 7:36AM
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The thing I don't like about your 4 options is that the range and the sink are separated by an aisle. There does not seem to be a good reason for this. Imagine dumping out a pot of pasta....

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:01PM
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It looks like that "dining room" that you aren't using is 14' long, but how wide is it.
Adding that to your kitchen space could allow an island on the family room/kitchen table end without any counter runs boxing it in on each side . Think of a fan curved seating area on the end of a wider island.
And that added space can lead to more options.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:59PM
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This is a tough one. I assume you do not want to move walls or windows? If so, I keep thinking about putting your range and fridge on the right wall with no turning the corner. That way, the island can stretch northward and the long side of it is directly across from the range for prep space, and you have the room on it for the prep sink. However, you would then have only about 15" of counter on either side of the range which is a little tight. That's because you need to put a 9" pullout pantry between the fridge and the wall so the doors can open fully for getting drawers out etc., and I am also assuming a 36"wide fridge (no side panels).

If you can remove that wall at the bottom right and gain that 24" of space, it would make a world of difference.

Your left and right aisles are tight, so you need to consider if you want to A) put the fridge at the top of the right wall so that it's extra depth sticks out mostly or fully into the open top aisle, or B) put it at the bottom of that wall so that snackers are not walking past your range to get to the fridge. I would PROBABLY go with A since you don't plan to have kids in this house, but it's a hard choice.

I would also swap the sink and DW so that you can fit a 30" or 24" wide tall pantry cabinet on that 38" wall north of the garden window.

You will have to put your MW, if you have/want one, on the sink wall, south of the garden window. It can be a normal model on an open shelf in an upper cabinet or as a drawer model in a lower cabinet.

BTW - this layout leaves you with NO hard to access, expensive blind or regular corner cabinets. Corners are an inefficient use of space.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Thanks for all the helpful critiques.

Unfortunately, the horizontal walls are load bearing, so I think taking them out is more of a structural project than we want to get into.

Here are a few more layouts based on your suggestions:

1. Same as D above with a pantry as suggested by NickandMilo and a prep sink in the island to bring a water source near the stove. This decreases the usable counter space in the island, but is still more continuous prep space than we have now. Placement of the MW becomes a question. We use our MW quite a bit, so we would want it near the cooking zone. I know this forum is not a fan of OTR MW. Maybe the Sharp MW drawer in the island would be an option - I've read good things about it here.

2. Layout with no corners as proposed by tracie.erin.

3. While we can't take down any walls, we may be able to widen the doorway to the dining room and allow for a longer island.

Thanks again for all the creative suggestions!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 4:46PM
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I like the idea of widening the DR doorway. That will give you a nice flow.

You will want counter space in front of the range - or as close as you can get it - so I'd move the prep sink down on the island to allow for at least 42" of clear prep space on the top end of the island.

Move the island left so you have a 48" aisle on the right and 42" on the left. Right now I think you are going to have problems getting the fridge out for repair, if you ever need to, with that 45" aisle. I might even go to 36" on the left and 54" on the right to alleviate jam-ups between the prep sink and fridge.

Finally, the right side of the kitchen is limited on cabinetry so there's no way I'd give up an island cabinet for the MW. Is there any way that you can deepen the pantry cabinetry to 24", then install the leftmost cabinet to face left, then put the MW in that? You can even put it behind a door if like KevinMP did if this Whirlpool model will work for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Teensy MW

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 2:44PM
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