Overhang or no overhang-- I want to hang myself!!

cploverApril 26, 2011

So a few weeks ago, I posted what I thought was my final kitchen layout. I was really excited and thought that that phase of my remodel was done. Then over the Easter weekend we had my family over and they were not sure about the banquette idea (I too was getting cold feet on this). They also thought the fridge in my original layout was not in the best place and it would be nice if I could move it next to the pantry and make it flush with those cabinets, by sliding it into the bathroom closet. I told them that I had thought of that but did not think it was possible due to the "false" floor in the bottom of the cabinet. Talked to the GC on Monday and he said it should work!! Whoo-hoo! (However, it is not shown that way on this layout--since I do not know how to do that) So I was very excited by that piece of good news. But when I went to move things around on my layout, I noticed that my peninsula leaves less than 9 feet of dining room width and if I add a 12" overhang as I was planning that would substantially shrink the dining room to less than 8 feet wide. What should I do!! I have never had a peninsula or breakfast bar, so I am really at a loss. I am also scared to commit to a layout that will only work with a banquette.

Thanks in advance for opinions/ideas!

Here is the proposed layout:

*Prep sink will either be as shown or in the corner cabinet--still trying to figure that one out too!

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Newbie- Cute title to your post (LOL)

Moving the fridge is an interesting idea! I can see there are advantages to relocating the fridge, but a few disadvantages too. First, when you open the fridge, you're blocking the doorway...but if you use the dining area entrance more, when entertaining, that shouldn't be a problem.

Your landing space is very small and right next to the stove. Have you thought about reconsidering having lowers and uppers in the pantry area? Even a 12" deep landing space for milk, veggies, etc. is better than none.

I like that the fridge is not blocking your work path in the kitchen, as it was before. That could make it very hard for family and friends to help in the kitchen...and moving the fridge gives you plenty of space for the microwave.

Normally, I think banquettes are nice in the kitchen, but since this is your ONLY table, I can see why you're hesitant. I think you have plenty of room for a round table and chairs up by the window and still have space for your overhang and stools. Since you have two doorways, by the stools, it's not prime dining space anyway, except maybe when you add leaves for a family dinner or party...and then people usually don't mind being a little squished together.

I think the prep sink in the corner gives you more counterspace, but that's really up to you and how you cook/prep in the kitchen. Did you get any helpful ideas from your friends and family, on backsplash choices? Hope you had a great Easter :)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 12:46PM
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For reference, I think this is newbieremodeler's previous final layout, as discussed in this thread.

For clarification, are you intending the fridge to be recessed past the visible room walls such that it would be flush with the pantry?

What are the traffic flow patterns? There are a lot of doors to work around and it is difficult to determine whether the positioning of the fridge will be impeding traffic flow.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 2:15PM
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It is nice to have a recessed fridge. However, the fridge in the lower corner opens into traffic. In addition, it now completely upends normal workflow fridge>sink>prep>range.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 2:37PM
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What's your concern about the banquette? Sounds like maybe your family isn't used to that kind of seating arrangement and the unfamiliarity alone is making your nervous? Or is there some specific need or worry that isn't being addressed with banquette seating?

If it's just the former...unfamiliarity...let me reassure you. As numerous posts here and articles in various mags indicate banquettes are popular for a reason. They take up much less space and are typically cozy and welcoming.

Yes, you need more space and a "sprung", upholstered bench, with a sloped back (like in a real restaurant booth) to be extremely comfortable. But a thickish cushion (at least 5") and lots of pillows will render a bench that is AS comfortable as most dining room chairs.

The one other thing that can be a complaint about a banquette is that folks can be "stuck" in the middle. But in your case, with openings at both ends and a fairly short banquette, it shouldn't be much of an issue. It looks like you are planning to seat two or perhaps three folks at it?
And one of them is a child, so much the better...no rocking on chairs and no escaping the table!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 2:38PM
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Newbie, I know that with my FD fridge I need more than 3 inches of clearance to pull out the drawers for cleaning. I don't know if this would be an issue for you.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 2:44PM
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Newbie- I think it depends on how many people you plan to seat at the table. Two could easily fit at a round table, with stools and the overhang...and plenty of room left over. Four people would be a little tighter...while more than that is going to be very close. Probably okay for the occasional dinner, not so good on a regular basis.

So, as always, it's all about trade offs. Bigger kitchen means smaller dining room and vice versa. If you want the larger kitchen, with the great layout, then I think you're looking at smaller table or banquette. A bigger dining table for everyday, means a smaller kitchen. Only you know how you plan to use your space.

With just you and DH, I'd probably start with a smaller table with a leaf or two and two chairs, with the ability to add more (even folding chairs stored in the garage) when you have a party. When/if kids come along, you may decide to change to a banquette. If you're keeping the window you show in your plan, you could use table or banquette, with relatively few changes. Hope this helps :)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 3:49PM
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Prickly- The Fridge will be set back and flush with the pantry cabinets, I just could not show it on the layout. And yes there are a lot of doorways. The kitchen entrance will not be the main entrance because I know having a fridge that opens into a door way is not ideal.

Melissa- I am just not sure about the banquette because of the window. To have one I would have to put in a slightly smaller window. If I do not like banquette seating then the window may look weird because it is small. I think my main concern about the banquette is just that it is new.

Chicken- GC said they could put the fridge on drawer glides to be able to get behind it to clean, etc.

So what does everyone think? Overhang? No overhang? Would 10" be too shallow? 12"? None?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 3:54PM
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Thanks Lavender- Easter was wonderful, I hope yours was too. No ideas yet on the backsplash. I am too concerned about this darn peninsula! ;)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 3:56PM
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Sorry, Newbie, but I would NOT move the fridge. That new location is just very awkward, recessed or not. I like the look of the built in fridge banked by cabinetry - it is a very clean, slick, look. But you would have to put the fridge right in a primary walkway. The other place you had it just seems more logical - you would get up to refill a water glass from the table and it is right there - they don't have to enter the workspace of your kitchen. It makes for good work flow, as Marcolo already mentioned, and it isn't really any farther from people sitting in the family room.

As for the banquette, I'm not into them either, so I support your decision to change that, however I do think that means not having an overhang at the peninsula. For me, that would not be a big deal, and a compromise I would be willing to make. This is your only dining area, so I would do what is necessary to make it as comfortable for you and your family as possible without changing the basic function of the kitchen. Removing the overhang and that seating will not make your kitchen less functional, but will improve the function of your dining area.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 4:23PM
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I responded to your first post early on - don't know if you saw it, as I have a similar kitchen. We currently have a narrow (1' wide x 5'long) peninsula where you are planning yours. We really wanted an island, then tried to figure out a more functional peninsula, and none of it worked. Our only dining area is where yours is - it was very important to us to have a good size table there; to accomodate our daily use, and guests as well (our architect calls it the "breakfast area"). We decided against an island or peninsula - the kitchen/dining areas just aren't big enough to accomodate them and a regular dining table. If someone wants to sit, they sit at the table.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 5:11PM
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hi newbie...

we just demo'd our kitchen and put the fridge in the dining area. it is really convenient having it there for drinks/refills, especially if someone is working in the kitchen. i would really think twice about moving it way back there. we are trying to figure out how to put it where you had it originally! cabs already ordered and arriving Friday!

and as marcolo mentioned already, it is in the natural work flow where it was.

but you asked about the peninsula...

if you only want the overhang for seating, you could have one that folds down. plllog has this, linked below.

then if your round table has a leaf to make a long oval, you could still seat people on toward the peninsula side of the dining area.

the banquette is a personal choice, but i think it locks you into how that space is used. i'd only get it if you really like the idea of having it.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 8:55PM
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What bothers me about the new fridge location is that, even recessed, the doors and freezer drawer will block this space. Also, trying to stand in front of the freezer to rummage around or refill and you'll be cursing that counter behind you as you're bumping into it. If the fridge needs to go on that wall, I would swap it with the pantry cabinets on that wall.

If that round thing (that looks like a washing machine) is actually a prep sink, I don't think I would bother with an overhang and stools. The sink would be in the way.

Any overhang would need to be more than 12" if you wish to sit there. I like the flip-down implementation in the picture. That's pretty neat! And it solves the space problem.

My parents used to have bench seating around the table. They took a long time to study booths at restaurants in order to find a comfortable layout. The thing about a bench is that you cannot lean back. If you don't get the proportions right, you can end up with bad posture and back pain when sitting for long periods. So design with care if you go that route.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:19PM
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I am not as worried about blocking that doorway as there will a second entrance into the area and the fridge will not be open that often. However, trying to get something in and out of the freezer/fridge may prove difficult.

Weedmeister- The prep sink would either be in corner cabinet or the cabinet shown. I cannot move the fridge down on the wall because the stair well is there and there is no room. The only reason I can recess the fridge is because there is a closet behind the space.

My purpose in having a 12" overhang was more for the extra counterspace for a baking/prep area than for having seating, so pllog's extended leaf would not help me.

So frustrating....I thought I was done! :(

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:15PM
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If I were Queen of the World, Ironcook would get 10 points for the fold-down peninsula bar seating idea.

With that set-up, you could get a movable banquette seat to slide up under the window for use when the peninsula bar seating is open, and be able to rearrange the dining area with the table in the center of the room for when you want a more formal dining room, with the bar folded down.

I agree with everyone else that you will grow to dislike the fridge on the far side of the kitchen. It is much better placed in your earlier layout.

Here is a corner bench to consider

Below is a link to Ballard Designs, who make padded benches for banquettes and other uses.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ballard Design

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:34PM
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Nancy-That corner bench is gorgeous!! I wish I loved the price as much! ;) But I have a talented carpenter uncle and a mother who can sew, so thing may be be possible. I think I need to sleep on this because I am feeling as one fellow GW'er says to have "Analysis Paralysis"

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:45PM
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thank you for the kind words, but it is plllog's idea all the way! she was kind enough to share it with us on one of my threads: "do any of you sit down to prep?".

i just posted it that way because the link might be hard to find in the thread. but here it is if anyone is interested. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Do Any of You Sit Down to Prep?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:43AM
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Where is the kitchen/dining room in relation to the living room? I recall that you have a long narrow living room. Is there any chance you can steal a little bit of square footage from the living room? Just a thought.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:24AM
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Newbie- I posted an idea on the other forum, but just stay open to all possibilities. When I had to downsize my plan (at least the kitchen area) nothing seemed to be working for me, until I switched the dining and kitchen spaces...and then it finally came together.

Ironcook- Demo...congratulations! Take lots of pictures so we can see your progress and enjoy the before and after photos :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:57AM
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I think your original layout with an overhang on the peninsula is superior to the new one in every way. Not only is the peninsula seating nice, but it gives you a deeper workspace when needed. Plus, visitors just love to hang out at a counter as they watch you prepare dinner. The fridge is also in a much better place, not only for cooking and prepping but also for accessing from the table and other rooms.

I don't think your layout is banquette specific. You could fit a rectangular table pushed against the wall with seating for 4 at the ends and open side. Or you could have a bench against the long wall with chairs opposite with a rectangular table. Remember, the table will overlap the bench somewhat so won't have as big a foot print as it would have it there were chairs on both sides. Having said that, I really like the banquette.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 2:00PM
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I'm late to the game here, but I think you new layout is terrible. Even recessed, the fridge is in the way. If you had to move the fridge to that wall, I think having it on the other side of the tall cabinets is better. That said, I would go back to the banquette. You have a small space and that layout is more efficient with much better traffic flow.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 3:37PM
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Cheril27-I think I would be okay with not moving the fridge, the problem becomes that that dining area keeps getting smaller.

I like pllog's idea but my hope for the overhang on the peninsula was for more countertop space not for people to eat at.

Thanks for your help-- I think I should just spend my money on a much needed vacation and forget the kitchen. This is just so frustrating. Any ideas for a new layout-- would be much appreciated.

mcmjilly- Here is the current layout of my home. It is a one story ranch, approx 1400 sq ft.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 3:43PM
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Newbie- I posted this on the other forum, but there are people over here who have done this...so I'll post it here, too.

Have you talked to your GC about taking out the load bearing wall and making one light, airy and larger space? It would make entertaining so much easier and get rid of the bowling alley feel of your living room.

Here's one idea...with a picture of a sectional/ottoman that would work in the space. I like ottomans and footstools, because they're great for putting your feet up, offer extra seating at parties...and are much safer for small children, just learning to walk...which I believe you said is in your five year plan :)

If there's room in the garage, I'd steal a foot of depth for a large pantry, on the back side of the kitchen. It would give you lots of extra storage and take up very little space. A cabinet or table, behind the sectional, would give you a place for table lamp(s) and more storage in your entry...which you said you needed in a different post. Hope this gives you some good ideas!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 5:04PM
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Lavender- I asked my GC about removing the load bearing wall and he said that he thinks it could be done, it is just a matter of how much $$ I want to spend. The goal of this remodel was to gain a more functional dining/kitchen space. If this was my forever house or I had lots of cash burning a hole in my pocket I would considering removing the load bearing wall, but unfortunately, I think I need to make the best of the space I have.

That said any other ideas?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:25PM
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if you mean that the fridge will be recessed into the closet behind enough that it is flush with the cabinets on that wall (recessed about 24"), then I understand what you're after. I think you'll still be bumping into the cabinet when the freezer is open. You should do some measurements. Or consider a SxS instead of a FD.

As to an overhang, as long as you are not going to sit there with stools, then pick a depth that makes sense to you. But remember that much over 10" requires more heavy duty support of the stone.

Would you match the overhang on the wall across (dishwasher)?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Weedmeister- I currently have a SS and HATE IT! I am really hoping for some sort of bottom freezer. If I had my druthers I would just opt for an all-fridge model but then we would have to go without an icemaker and that would not please DH. I was hoping to completely recess the fridge, but could not show it on the drawing above. However, I now see what you and other GWers see in that it will be very tight with the cabinet near the range. I am not sure what you mean by matching overhang on the wall across? All of the countertops will be soapstone. The only overhang I am considering having is on the peninsula.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:14PM
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You asked for my input here, so I'll take a stab at it.

I am all for the fridge move, as I never liked how it closed in your sink run, blocking view and light, and took valuable dish storage and counter space you could utilize there. Moving it will put it handier to the stove. If you're busy cooking, I hope others might go around to access it. There are always give and takes, and for me, this would be better.

I don't think you need the seating at the peninsula, like you said, but agree the deeper workspace would be nice. I'd go for a 'happy medium' and expand the countertop to 30". Standard overhang on the kitchen side would be about 25 1/2", so about 4 1/2" on the dining side. Actually, I think you could be OK with as much overhang that will leave you a full 8 ft for the dining area...but without seating, most likely. I don't think a fold down with the seam would be helpful in this case. And I always feel like if there isn't room for it to be up all the time, there isn't room for it. --The same way I feel about rolling islands.

Banquette/No banquette: With 8 ft, if you have a 3 ft deep/wide table, that leaves 5 ft to divide for seating. Not great, but if you could put up with a bench against the wall, it would give you room on the kitchen side for chairs. If you wanted chairs all around, it'd give you 30" on each side...Again, not the greatest, but we kept our table in our last house 30" from the wall and people could get in and out of their chairs, and had no problem walking behind already seated people. Of course, this may depend on the size of the diners!

You can always set up things to emulate a banquette before committing to one and spending the money.

I can't remember if it's just 2 of you in the house most meals, or more. If 2, you could leave the table snugged up to the wall most of the time. Is it possible to use the living area for bigger dinners when necessary? We purposely left our dining room doorway wide, so we could extend the table through it into the other room if we had a big crowd for a sit-down meal.

I hope any of this helps.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 1:49AM
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I can see both sides of the fridge debate. Like rhome said, it's a matter of trade-offs. Some are easier to decide than others. The important thing here is to decide what's right for YOU given the pros and cons given here of each layout.

I agree with rhome about the overhang. To me, even an inch of counter space gained with extra counter depth would matter in a small kitchen. If you don't plan to seat bodies there, do whatever amount of overhang that still leaves enough dining space on the other side.

I, for one, love banquettes, but I'm used to the restaurant booth bench we had in our old kitchen which was comfortable. I've sat in some homemade ones that were tortuous. Banquettes are a great use of floor space around tables and give a lot of personality to a space. Sarah Susanka uses them quite a bit and gives the specific dimensions and slopes for optimum comfort in a couple of her books. I've also posted the a drawing of dimensions that restaurant booth makers use (DH works for a restaurant supply co) in a previous banquette thread. I can link it again if you want.

I'm sure you've thought of this, but consider putting a cab above your fridge to equal the height of the cabs next to it for symmetry.

It's easy to get frustrated with a plan when you've worked so painstakingly on it. I know you thought you were done with this part. Take a deep breath and try not to think about it for a couple of hours. I know that's hard to do, but the success of your new kitchen rests in coming up with the best layout you can have given the necessary tradeoffs. Wait....that sounded like I was putting more pressure on you! So NOT what I was trying to do! :) Give it some space. It will happen.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 3:22AM
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Thanks Rhome and Breezy! I really appreciate the extra feedback. Rhome your explanation for the fridge move are my thoughts exactly. It is difficult with the space to follow all of the "rules". I do not think this fridge placement is the best but it does have a lot of things that make it better than where it is now. The GC is coming to the house on Saturday, so I am hoping he can give me more feedback about the fridge. I am okay with the fridge blocking the doorway when open (a trade off) and maybe a few extra inches at the peninsula as opposed to 12-15" would be a good tradeoff.

Breezy- I think the banquette makes a lot of sense for our small and narrow space. Its just hard to commit. I think I will go with Rhome's advice and try to emulate one before committing.

As for the fridge type, I think I need to think about that more. I really truly and deeply hate side-by-side fridges. I have one now. Does anyone do the traditional freezer on top? I really had my heart set on a french door, but I am open to change that if need be.

Thanks again for all the input! If anyone else an opinion, my ears are still open!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 3:04PM
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I suggest a french door fridge with DRAWER freezer on the bottom. I hate the doored freezers. Most are drawers it seems like now.

I hate SxS too. You can still find the freezer on the top, but they are so ergonomically bad for anyone over 5' tall. I get into the fridge dozens of times a day, but only into the freezer a few. Why put a freezer up at eye level when you don't use it as often?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 3:57PM
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A lot, or at least some, of French door freezers have a drawer for the freezer, don't they, rather than a swinging door? That means it shouldn't hit anything. I think French door is your best bet in that tucked-in spot.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:12PM
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I scrolled up and down a few times to look at your layout. (so forgive me if this idea doesn't really work) what about this....

you don't want seating at the peninsula, correct? just wider counterspace?

that wall the range is sitting on is load bearing... does that mean the ENTIRE wall is necessary?

what I'm thinking is this: widen the doorway opening (by the proposed fridge spot) just a bit (maybe an extra 6 inches?)... then scoot the range wall cabinetry down a bit... and instead of an overhang, just have deeper cabinetry on the peninsula... not sure what your actual figures are, but perhaps 30 inches deep? if you could squeeze 33/36 inches, all the better.

does that make sense?

this idea does force the seating area up in the corner, which favors the idea of a banquette, though. ( fair warning though, I personally like banquettes)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:21PM
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lawjedi- I think I understand what you are proposing, but I do not think that is possible with standard depth cabinets (Ikea in my case). Maybe I don't understand.... why do you want to scoot the range wall cabinetry down?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:29PM
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Thanks Breezy & Rhome- If it were up to me I would put in a fridge only fridge since I have a huge chest freezer in the basement. But DH would really miss the icemaker, so that is a no go. I am wondering if I can bump out a little in the LR to better accommodate the fridge. Even 6" would help.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:47PM
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ok... standard cabinets. then just a tiny overhang of 6 or 9 inches. I'd almost be tempted to put a shallow shelf in there for cookbooks or something. a small overhang w/ no seating, but empty space tends to invite clutter in my opinion. (just gonna put the vacuum here... or the flat of water... or.. or...)

I suggested the widening the opening by the fridge for 2 reasons...

1 - there seemed to be concern about blocking the entrance with the open fridge. I experienced this at a friend's house the other day. yes, she had another entrance in the kitchen, but boy was it strange to be standing next to her, waiting for her to find the _____ in the fridge before being able to go through the doorway.

2- I like wider entrances. they seem to make spaces more open/more inviting. you talk about having people over - wider passageways are awesome for preventing "bottlenecks" in traffic patterns.

(& in that light, if I remember correctly you do not have children yet - but they might be in your future? sorry if this is wrong... but if it's true, looking at your floorplan, you have the much-loved and definitely used "circle".... kids love to circle around the house... chasing each other... chasing dogs... whatever. but if there is a way to run the "circle" they will. the wider opening keeps it just a tad safer)

I guess I might add another reason as well... looking at your floorplan, your 2 walls (sink and range) **almost** line up, but not quite. The symmetry/internal level in me likes things either perfectly lined up... or offset enough that I know it is intentional.

as always... all this stuff is just my opinion from my experience... but offering up the ideas for you to consider what works for you in this stage of planning.

(& while I get why people like the fridge closer to the dining area, I totally respect the not wanting the fridge to block light from the window coming in... but I'd change out the full pantry cabs for a pantry made to look like a hutch. I'd like more countertop over there for landing space... or more importantly as a place to put tons of groceries before loading the fridge)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:55PM
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Could your plans accomodate a swap of kitchen and dining room functions like LL proposed (but without removing the load bearing wall)?

With an L-shaped kitchen along the left and upper walls (where banquette is now) you could plan an efficient work flow. Especially if you combined it with a row of cabs (base and wall) and counter along the wall between the space and the living room. You could reserve the principal L for intense active cooking and relegate things like a beverage station or snack area to the range of cabs along the livng room wall. This could have a hutch-like look, or just be similar to your other cab run. It could also be slightly narrower than norm if it projects too far into the space. In addition moving your L-shaped working space/counters to the banquette-corner location would allow you to increase that counter depth to 30" which has a dramatic improvement in functionality, and also makes it easier to make the fridge look more set-in. Easier to have a true exhaust vent too, along a garage wall/cieling

Along the closet/basement staircase wall you could have aditional pantry space disguised as dining room furnishing. And for your dining room table you could have one in the middle of the space, centered on the window, if that works.

I prefer this set up because it seems to make for better circulation. Do you bring your groceries in from the car in the garage? Then they wouldn't have to cross the dining space to get stowed. Also the entrance from the backdoor wouldn't run smack into the side of of your proposed sink wall - instead it would arrive at the roomier space around the table.

I don't know if it's feasible to consider moving the stove and sink, though. This is a simpler plan but may improve functionality and allow the two functions to share the same open space more effectively.

I'm late to this discussion so maybe there are technical, cost or other reasons that I'm not aware of.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:56PM
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Newbie- I posted another idea, on the other forum, which I think is what Kaismom was proposing. Let me know what you think :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 5:11PM
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I didn't want to distract from your discussion on the recessed fridge, but since L and others are talking about the more open plan...I think this is what Kaismom meant, when she said to keep the load bearing wall, but still have an island. Just turn it and make it a peninsula. I left the hutch by the dining table, the pantry in the garage and just turned the sectional. I left the smaller doorways, but if it's in the budget, I'd put a little larger opening, into the dining area, to be more centered with the window/slider.

The peninsula let's you keep your prep/bar area, which would also make a great snack center, with the addition of a microwave drawer...or a nice baking area, maybe with another oven. It's handy for setting down groceries as you come in from the garage, too :)

What do you think? Oh, and sorry about the blue line...tempermental scanner.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 6:09PM
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This is why we don't listen to relatives giving us ideas about how to lay out our kitchens.

It is very, very easy to wave one's arms and say, "Put that over there" triumphantly, when one doesn't actually have to stoop to the level of figuring out what this new twist of the Rubik's cube does to the puzzle. That's for the little people, you see. The relatives are just there for the Big Ideas.

That is why people who offer layout advice to me are always met with a dumb smile, or, if the behavior persists, with a plate to the head.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 6:43PM
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Lavender- I like the idea but I think the "peninsula/island" might be wasted space. I do not think I would use it to prep since it is too far from the range. Also the cook has her back to the island, so it would not make for great conversation. Hmmm.. need to think on this one some more. I thought I had everything so I could buy on Saturday for end of the Ikea 10% off sale. Some how, I don't see that happening.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 1:41PM
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Lavender- Here is the Ikea version of your design.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 10:53PM
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The picture above is the mirror image of what we will be doing. Except I'm centering the range along our 11 ft wall, with cabs running to & wrapping around the second corner. Then we have the entryway to the kitchen, then where you have the peninsula shown, we will have a 6' long hutch/pantry/buffet against the wall. We have 24' length total for both rooms.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 7:51AM
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Elba1- I would dine for an extra 3 feet of space! So did you opt not to do a peninsula? For some reason, I cannot get my mind around the concept of not having one. However, I am not sure if I would get as much use out of the one I just posted as my original peninsula. I think the problem is that I have mentally cooked in the other kitchen and not in this one! ;)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 10:42AM
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Newbie- Whether this plan works or not, remember what Buehl says...70% of the work done in a kitchen is prep. That's when you'll want to be able to interact with your guests. Clean up is about 10% and the rest is cooking, so having a place to do prep work is important. Where you like to do your prep work, is up to you :)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 10:50AM
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Newbie, Why don't you close off that doorway to the kitchen from the Living Room? In a house as small as yours walls with efficient layouts are better than excess small doorways. You said you rarely use it, and based on your floorplan I can see that traffic will naturally radiate towards the larger opening to the dining room.

Also, you keep referring to that space as a "Dining Room." In actuality it is not - it is a breakfast room / eat-in kitchen. But, you obviously want a Dining Room, so I would probably not do the banquet.

OK, you have a GC, but you have not yet started construction, right? Then here's what I would do:

Don't screw with that closet nook because it will mess-up headroom above the basement stairs. Instead, take that money and spend it replacing the dining room window that faces the backyard with patio doors. Then the back door behind the basement will not force traffic through the kitchen in the summer. My Grandparents had the same thing - a door right behind the basement stairs, but no one ever used it (except Santa) because there was another door to the backyard in the den (where your dining room is). Also, the doors will really open up the space visually.

I'd keep the fridge on the sink wall near the dining room - this is easy access from the LR, DR, and great if you put a patio or deck off the dining room so you can carry food right out. But, I would hide the side of it facing the dining room with a shallow hutch to keep dining room dishes and stuff - it will look good and serve a purpose.

Then I'd close-off the small doorway to the living room and turn that wall into an "L" and shift the working part of the peninsula 9" into the kitchen and add a 15" counter overhang for chairs / stools (so peninsula counter will be 39" deep). This will give you an extra 12" AFTER the counter seating for the dining room (36" doorway - 12" extra DR space - 15" overhang = 9" to shift existing range wall layout). If you want you can turn the upper part of the doorway to the LR into a pass-thru.

BTW: My house has the same exact layout from the front door through the living room, make a right under archway into breakfast room and turn right into kitchen. But mine is a galley. I have a staircase in front of my entry and there is NO other doorway into the kitchen from my living room. My fireplace is also on the same wall.

OK, I'll post again when I look at the layout more closely. But you gain 36" by nixing that doorway, and you really should not have to walk a maze to get from the front door to the back door. That actually is the WORST thing about my layout - my back door is where yours is - so EVERYONE is ALWAYS walking THROUGH the kitchen! If we didn't add on (were moving the kitchen - old will become a pantry / hallway) I DEFINITELY would have turned the breakfast room window into a back door (and we have a radiator under it, so that would have cost a lot, but STILL would be worth it).

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 1:28PM
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OK Newbie, I figured it out:

Exterior wall, staring at garage = 250".
First, I'd advise swapping the garage door swing so it swings into the garage, not the dining room.

These are base cabs and appliances only. Uppers are easy.

13"wall, 60" Patio doors (5' sliding or French swing OUT), 18" wall, 12" deep hutch, 36" fridge, 9" pull-out (foils), 24" D/W, 30" sink base, 12" cab, 36" wall to basement / back door.

13+60+18+12+36+9+24+30+12+36 = 250.

Dining Room = 91" wide next to fridge / dish hutch along it. This narrow portion is only for approx. 36" from back wall (depth of fridge).

You will have two sinks, so I put a 30" sink instead, so you have 33" counter between fridge and sink with foil storage next to fridge. 24" is too small if one person is at the sink and another person at the fridge. There is a 13" counter on end of sink. This leaves 36" to the basement doorway, but you now have a better back door in the dining room, so this old doorway won't be used much. Also, the pantry will now end one foot shorter.
Note you will have to shift the old sink window over towards the basement a bit if you want the sink centered.


Range wall / peninsula, starting at corner, doorway to LR closed in. Corner to peninsula overhang edge = 147". This leaves 103" for the dining room AFTER the 15" peninsula with seating.

Starting in corner:

36" corner cabinet with Super Susan, 6" pull-out for spices and oils, 30" range, 24" drawer cab, 36" angled corner sink base creating peninsula, 18" cab forming peninsula end.

36+6+30+24+36+15"overhang = 147


Peninsula: 36" angled sinkbase, 18" end cab. An angled sink base can hold a larger sink and it is MUCH more comfortable than being in an inside corner.

With a 36" deep fridge the aisle between the peninsula end and the fridge is 39". TRY to get a shallower fridge! French Door fridges are NOT made for small kitchens! I'd go with a side-by-side.

Still, I think this is the best place for the fridge because people will not bother you when they get a drink.


Back wall pantry:

Starting at corner - the same 36" corner base cab from range wall = 36" along wall with 24" deep counter.

Then two 24" wide, 12" deep floor-to-ceiling pantries.

In the corner above the Super Susan cab I'd put a 36" high inside corner cab (with two doors or bi-fold doors) mounted at the ceiling. Either a 36"x36 or a 24"w with a 12" to butt the pantries. Below it I'd put a 24" high, 36" long wall cab sitting on the counter facing towards the range as a shallow appliance garage. This will make the pantry appear to cross over the counter and wrap onto the other wall of uppers. If you get the two-door corner upper you can make the door facing towards the dining room glass and the other door wood. Then the cab below and the wall pantries above the counter-line can be glass too, and the ones below the counter-line wood. That would look good and keep the room airy.

This gives you 30" of counterspace from the range to the corner and 24"-30" of counterspace between the sink and range. Much more than your current layouts. Also, the drawer base cabs you have now are too small for pots and pans. 15" drawer bases only have 12" drawers, and 15" of counter next to the stove is just not functional.


The "hutch" next to the fridge should be a 36" high wall cab with a counter above it and a 42" glass wall cab mounted at the ceiling. Mount them to a plywood panel behind and create a backsplash between them. This can be used for dishes. The peninsula can be used as a buffet. Just be sure to use a 39" deep one-level peninsula counter, not a raised bar. This will increase your prep space immensely.


This layout has the same width dining room as your current layout but includes the 15" deep seating in the kitchen area. I really think you will benefit greatly with the 39" deep peninsula. Plus all the extra prep space around the stove (and extra storage in the Super Susan).

The back end near the new patio doors is narrower because of the fridge / hutch, but if you get a narrow dining table with leaves you can leave it smaller most of the time and extend it out through the wide opening into the living room when you have lots of guests. But most of the time a table with 4 chairs and 3 stools at the peninsula will be enough.

Now that I think about it, I'd probably use a 15" cab as the peninsula end (not 18") and extend the counter with a 3" lip over it - more foot clearance.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 4:10PM
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Nat- I appreciate your ideas! However, I really REALLY want an opening into the kitchen. That opening is not currently there so if look above at my layout, I need to cross through my LR and into the dining area to get to the kitchen and backdoor. I hate it. I truly do. So that is why I want to add 36" opening. I know my life would be a whole lot simpler if I did not do that and I would gain my precious counterspace at the peninsula. Trade-offs. I know. :(

Also I talked to the GC today and he said no can do with the fridge recessed into the pantry wall. Oh well, I guess that ends that idea!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 4:26PM
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Thanks Lavender. I think I am going to stick with my original layout. I guess I really like prepping near the stove and water, so the original GW layout I think will work best for me. With this layout I gain counter space and a pantry. I know it is not the ideal layout, but given the size and overall dimensions of my kitchen along with the added doorways, I think this will be the best I can do.
So I guess I am off to Ikea to order so I can save 10%!

Thanks everyone for your help!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 4:33PM
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Newbie- I think it's a wonderful layout! It's great for cooking, it just means a little less room for dining...but any plan will have compromises. With a little creativity, I'm sure you'll find a great solution to the dining area and be very happy with this plan! :)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 4:59PM
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That's right, we are going without a peninsula - good luck!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 6:20PM
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