Kitchen floor plan: need feedback

purrusApril 4, 2013

Hi everyone,

Well, I finally hired a real designer, and I really like his ideas. We are going to work iwth a local custom cabinet maker--it really was not as expensive as I expected.

Anyway, here is our current kitchen:

Pictures of our current kitchen:
Looking from eat-in kitchen

A better view of the fridge wall as it currently stands

(Blurry pic, sorry!) View as one enters the kitchen from the front of the house

View from kitchen, past eat-in kitchen, into living room

dining room (the wall in the foreground of the picture will be mostly demolished during the reno)

View into kitchen from entryway

Now, for the plans for the new kitchen:

Top-down view

View of kitchen from entryway (note: old eat-in kitchen is now part of regular kitchen. We are getting rid of the window by the old eat-in kitchen and putting the range there instead. The sink is staying put.)

View of sink area with new peninsula/half wall between DR and kitchen. Note: the weird wall-looking thing on the left hand side is just the back wall of the DR, which bumps in about a foot and a half compared with the kitchen's back wall.

Whole view of back of kitchen

View from kitchen into DR (DR will be the new eat-in kitchen; I plan to build a banquette along that wall as one amazingly helpful GW'er suggested) NOTE: our DR bumps inward so the weird-looking partial wall by the peninsula is actually the back wall of the DR. (Stupid layout issue--no idea why the builders did that.)

View from DR into kitchen

View of fridge wall

Thoughts? Here are my concerns:

-Is it strange to walk in and see someone's range as soon as you get past the threshold of the front door? I don't think you will see it right away, but a few steps forward and you will. I think I may be overthinknig this.

-The slender cabs by the range are for cookie sheets and spices. I'm not sure how I feel about a pull-out spice storage rack like that and would love feedback about how it ahs worked for others.

-The KD has planned recessed lights everywhere (seven total) including over the sink, but I think I want a pendant there. Thoughts?

-I'm weirded out by the range being so close to the living room, but I think that's just because I'm not used to the idea. From looking at the pics of my existing kitchen, does it seem like that would be strange to the GW community? (The range will be about where my current kitchen table is.)

These are all random questions, but mainly I want to know what you all think of the layout in general. I'm going to ask him for a more precise version with measurements, but for now, this is what I have. Thanks in advance! You have all been amazingly helpful. For what it's worth, these plans strongly resemble what another GWer suggested a few weeks ago when I had a completely different plan in mind (this GW'er's name escapes me, but s/he was remarkably helpful). This KD walked in and immediately came to the same conclusion that this layout would work best--you people are brilliant.

This post was edited by purrus on Thu, Apr 4, 13 at 15:54

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Another question--should I be bothered by the lack of symmetry between the upper cabs and the lower cabs by the range? The lines don't line up at all.

Also, in case anyone is wondering, I'm going with white shaker cabinets, and either black or white/gray granite counters.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:18PM
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The thing that strikes me about the uppers left of the stove is that they are a lot narrower than the ones to the right. I don't see dimensions anywhere. Can you change that set from two double-door cabinets to a double plus a single? I think the door fronts would be more consistent that way.

Can you get rid of the stub wall between the kitchen and dining room? It looks like you couldn't decide if you wanted it to be open or not. If, from the dining room, you see the backs of cabinets instead of drywall, you can access the corner space from the dining room (looks like you have a lazy susan there now?) You could put a narrow cupboard for cookie sheets next to the sink, and put wider drawers on the peninsula. On the dining room side, I'd put a bank of drawers for tablecloths, napkins, or other things specific to that room.

You also might want to use all base cabinet drawers instead of doors.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:34PM
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I can't see any of your pics? anyone else having this issue?

I'm using google chrome with ad block. could that be the problem?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:41PM
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None of the images work for me.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Hi annkh,

I am going to ask about more drawers, for sure.

Yes, the uppers to the left of the stove had to be narrower because of a header that is structural that can't be moved. I can't remember what he said the dimensions are... I will think about that double vs. single issue.

The stub wall is not really a stub's the actual back wall to the existing DR, which bumps in about a foot and a half. It's a really stupid layout detail which is the whole reason why we aren't extending the kitchen into the DR instead!! So there is no moving that, but it also won't look as weird as it does in the picture.

I love your ideas for the cabs facing the DR, but unfortunately that wall has to remain drywall for HVAC needs.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Ugh!! What's going on!!? I edited my post to add a clarification and now the pictures aren't working!! Sorry... will try to figure it out.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:43PM
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FIXED. That was annoying. All I did was edit the text of my post and the images disappeared. I had to go back in and manually re-insert them all from PB.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:55PM
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All I can add is, do drawers on the mw wall. Do you need all those upper cabinets? If not I would consider some open shelves. Overall I like it!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 4:30PM
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Debra, the only reason I might be in favor of a single non-drawer cab is for my two large stockpots. They are industrial sized and I think would be a waste of drawer space. Or am I mistaken?

I am going to ask about a drawer under the sink... I can't find the thread where people were posting pics of their under-sink drawers, which were customized. I could do that, not sure what the expense would be but since these are custom cabinets it seems like it'd be possible if I can fin a picture.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 4:37PM
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A troubling thought: there's no drawer space for my kitchen linens (dishrags, dishtowels, etc). Any thoughts as to where those might go? I want to make sure to think through everything like that so that I don't end up frustrated with no good place to put something.

Right now, they are in the tiny drawer by the sink and it's perfect. But I guess I could put them in a basket in the upper cab, huh?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 4:48PM
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I agree you need a spot for those large pots. I keep my dishtowels and cloths under the sink. I don't have much room under my sink with the GD and the tank for the instant hot water dispenser. Drawer there would be good if you can do it.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 4:51PM
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I agree with annkh about the lack of symmetry on the cabinets that flank the range hood, especially if the range is in a place where it might be the first thing you see in the kitchen. We had cabinets that were different by about 2.5 inches in width (one set had a middle rail and the other didn't) on either side of the stove and it drove me nuts. When I was designing the new cabinets it was non-negotiable that that the cabinets on either side of the hood matched.

Also, I wouldn't worry about finding a place for your kitchen linens. That is a huge kitchen with a ton of drawers. Certainly there must be a place to tuck a few towels?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 4:54PM
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Yes, I'm going to have to do something about those uppers by the range. It's already bothering me.

As to whether I need all those uppers-- I have a lot of specialized baking pans and equipment and some china I don't use that often and I was thinking upper shelves of the uppers would be a great place to stash those things. Right now those things either live in the basemet or in a china cabinet I'd really like to get rid of. I don't know yet where daily plates will go. A lower drawer would be fine but I don't know if they'll fit

Does anyone have pull out spice storage like my kd has suggested by the range? Do you love it or hate it? I have tons of spices and really want to make sure I can easily get to what I need. Right now I don't use some thugs because of storage issues.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 9:04PM
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What are the narrow bases on each side of the stove?

If you end up with 3 doors to the left of the stove, you could put the single closest to the stove, and put in a spice rack inside the door. I had a photo similar to what my cabinet maker is doing for me, but I can't find it. The shelves are not full depth, so they don't interfere with the rack.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:02PM
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annkh. That's a good idea! I just started a new thread on spices actually. Yes, the narrow bases are for cutting boards/cookie racks on one side and spices on the other. I'm not sold on the spices being down there. Plus I have too many sheet pans and stuff to fit in only one cabinet of that width.

Here are the options for hte spice racks like shown in the drawings:

I think the first one has adjustable shelves and the other doesn't. I just am not sure I relish the idea of getting on the floor to find what I need. Also, you can see things from the tops with these sorts of pull-outs.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:10PM
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I now have plans with measurements!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:15AM
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So the upper doors to the right of the stove are 15", and to the left are 12". I would definitely switch out the ones to the right for a 32" with double doors, and a 16" next to the stove, with a spice rack in the door (make sure the hinges are on the left side). I don't think spices in a base cab would be very convenient, and apparently the hot spot in the kitchen is bad for spices. And it sounds like you can use both sides of the stove below for tray storage.

Lots of people put tray storage above the fridge, but since I already have that covered in my kitchen, I'm putting pull-outs above the fridge. Like the photo in the link, but mine will have a high back and side, so I'm putting a shelf in the pullout part. One side will be for cereal, the other side for paper towels, napkins, tissues.

Here is a link that might be useful: high pull-out

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:01AM
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That is an interesting idea for above the fridge but I'm thinking I will put my large stockpot up there along with rarely used appliances like the juicer and blender.

Yes, I can definitely use two slots for sheet pans, cooling racks, and muffin tins-- oh and cutting boards!! Shouldn't be a problem.

I asked te kd about those uppers by the range and his response confused me-- will post later (writing from my iPhone!).

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 12:57PM
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purrus - your floor plan is similar to ours. Overall, I like it - how could I not since it is similar(although we do not have the peninsula and have wall ovens instead of a range.

Are you putting in new windows - if you can, bump it out a bit to give you some space behind the sink - I wish I had waited on our garden window and would have put it down to the counter and just had it as a bay instead of garden.

I included some pictures - probably too many but might give you some ideas.

I didn't want anything that would avalanche in the upper cabinets - so towels, dishrags, pot holders, food storage containers etc are in drawers.

My flours (I have about 10-12 different varieties) are in glass and tupperware in the uppers.
The shelves are not warped - it was the camera setting. I am also swapping out some of the MadeSmart containers for ones with taller sides.

I think the pull outs to the right and left of the range are throwing off the symmetry.
You also mentioned needing a place to store dishtowels etc.
I am sure I missed some of the pieces of the thread but I will add a few thoughts.

I store my big pots in my Super Susan corner cab - I think you have one of those.
I store my lighter weight cookie sheets etc above my oven and fridge - the heavier weight items are not something I want to crawl up on a ladder.
My cutting boards are in a narrow cabinet - not a pull out - I almost switched to drawers for this but decided against it.
Oils and spices so close to the oven... not sure that is a good idea but others have done it.

Suggestions for improving the plan.
I wish I had put drawers under the sink - I still hope to swap them when I save a few if you can do it, go for it!
I would ditch the cabinet to the right of the range and start your bank of drawers next to the range. Then add a small bank next to those drawers - My smaller drawers hold my pot holders, dish towels etc or you could put the cabinet next to the DW for cutting boards and cookie trays, etc

The cabinets to the left are a total of 48 inches? I would make 2 sets of 24 inch drawers out of them to align with the top cabinets or whatever configuration you use.

For spices - I went with the spice stack - others use a drawer. I wanted to leave them in their original containers whenever possible - I am tired of pouring into containers.

Here are some things we did
First an overview picture - we could not get the cabinets to be all the same size but I think it can be OK. What bothers me on yours is the difference between the top and bottom alignments.

Cutting board storage near knives etc - this is the one that I thought of switching to a drawer but it would have been too thin.

This is a small bank of drawers near the DW and yes, it really stays that organized. The drawer above has pot holders and trivets in it - but I added a divider and have my egg slicer, avocado and apple corer(sp) standing up along the side.

This one shows all 3

Spice Stack - you can get this one and there is a smaller model as well.

SuperSusan holds a lot (and lots more in it now!) - Not sure if tall enough for your tallest stock pot - but I could measure mine.

On your other side - I saw an angle cabinet - we put some of the food oils and taller bottles in this location - you could also use your pantry next to the fridge. (we have some tall ones in our pantry as well)

Here is our above oven storage - slots and a place for pots - the shelves are adjustable on the right - but you could do something similar above the fridge.

Good luck - you are almost there!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Well you are all really going to think I'm nuts, but I have tried to plan out where everything would go so that I could tell whether I had the right kind of storage for everything.

Caveat: I'm not sure whether the little drawer above the trash is a real drawer. The pull on the bigger part makes me think that maybe it's just a fake upper drawer. I don't know...

Anyway, here it is. Am I forgetting anything important? Or do you guys think I should rethink anything fundamental?

I really want all of the "I need a snack RIGHT NOW" stuff out of the cooking zone, so that's why silverware, plates, mugs/glasses etc are all over by the fridge/microwave, even though I realize that means they are further from the dishwasher. I decided I could live with that.

In that last pic, where I have things that are intended for finishing off coffee or daily seasoning of food, I am wondering whether that little angled upper really needs a door. My ILs have a cab like this (used for the same purpose actually) and it has no door and I rather like it. (She also has lovely pottery to hold her honey and sugar, which I would hopefully acquire at some point if they are to be on display!)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 4:27PM
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a2gemini , thank you for that awesomely detailed response!!

I love all of your ideas! I realized I don't have any narrow drawers, and that is probably not good. However, I really do think I need two narrow cabs for all of my cooling racks, muffin tins, half sheet pans, and cutting boards (and I honestly need to get another cutting board since I am always running out of clean ones in the midst of a project). I've decided to ditch the spice cabinet next to the range and put the spices maybe in the upper RH cabinet by the range instead. (as shown in my last post). I have decided that the stock pot above the fridge is OK since we are both tall, the stock pot isn't very heavy, and also the cabinets will be deep enough to be even with the front of the fridge.

As for how I will organize the spices inside that cab--still unsure. I love that spice stack, and with a label maker I could probably even find stuff. I have like 60 spices (insane!) and really have a problem finding things right now, so it's super important to me that I am able to use what I have after this happens.

I really LOVE how you used that angled lower cab and I think we will do exactly the same thing! DH has a scotch obsession and it should hold at least some of his bottles and get them out of the LR closet (yes, they are in the LR closet... so annoying!) .

I'm not sure whether my lazy susan is a "super" susan or not . That is on my list of things to ask our KD. I'm not sure a super will fit my space or not. Right now I have the lazy susan enlisted to hold baking goods since I envision mixing for baking taking place on the peninsula since the stand mixer will live right there.

I'm currently working on my KD to get me a drawer under the sink.

I know what you are saying about the asymmetry between the upper and lower cabs by the range . I just don't know what to do about that yet. I really need to think about it some more.

I LOVED seeing the pictures of your kitchen---it is beautiful, and it makes me feel so much better about what we're doing with ours!! Thank you so much for that labor-intensive post!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 4:45PM
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The two narrow upper cabinets above your pantry cabinets alongside your fridge can be used for cutting boards, cookie sheets, etc. I made my pantry a little taller than yours--2/3 of the floor to ceiling cabinet is a pull-out pantry, and the cab over it stores all my narrow pans, trays, and cutting boards.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:44PM
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purrus - thank you for the compliments. I think your DH and my DH would like to meet to discuss those single malt scotches!
In time, I will use my label maker for the spices - the Spice Stack holds 27 bottles - but if you have any shorties - it holds even more. I just want to decide on the final "keepers" I tossed a lot of them during the remodel and my baking spices are closer to the ovens (but not as many)
They were working on a larger one - not sure if they ever came out with it. BBB only carries the smaller one but you can find the larger one on-line.

Someone gave me hard time as they counted all of my cutting boards and couldn't believe I had that many. To make it more symmetrical - you could move the cabinet next to the DW - I think it would be close enough to the oven. Then to decide - drawers, cabinet or pull out - Oh, my!

The caves in my other post were to get my DHs bicycle helmet and bottles off of my kitchen counter - I have a helmet and bottles also - so now they all have a home!

I will be watching for your progress - so exciting!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:47PM
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May_Flowers, I'm pretty sure those are supposed to be part of the pantry too. They will be one big door, and open to have pull-out shelves. At least that's what I think I am going to do... I don't think I want a big single pull-out.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Hi a2gemini,
That's a thought--moving one of the tall cabs so it's by the dishwasher. You don't think the symmetry would be differently thrown off since each side of the range would have a different cabinet next to it? I wouldn't mind cutting boards being closer to the prep area, or for that matter the sheet pans too since I will probably be loading them up nearer to the prep area than to the oven.

I'm envious of all those cutting boards. I only have four, and one is a gross thin plastic one from eons ago. Two are really nice skinny pressed board/wood ones from Crate and Barrel--those are my faves, and then I have another huge plastic one that I plan to get rid of with this remodel.

I think for these things I just want a cabinet. Anything else would take up too much room IMO! (Less room for acquiring more cooking stuff!)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:43PM
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