help! kitchen layout impasse

jenmaApril 21, 2010

I need help! My husband and I are doing a gut reno and I've been all over trying to figure out the layout. . . I want white painted cabinets and a peninsula (next to the stairs) with the farmhouse (shaw's sink) and dishwasher on the peninsula. Then where do I put the stove and frig? DH doesn't want the frig trapped inside the U, whereas I don't want it immediately when you walk in the front door. See picture. I guess my big question is: how big of a window do you need in the kitchen? The open dining room has three big windows (and views of a lake). I think we should close in the backwall window, my husband thinks it should stay. What to do?

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Can you post another layout with your proposed kitchen plan penciled in? I can't be sure of what I'm looking at in relation to what you're saying.

I'm not sure closing up that back window would do much, since it's getting pretty close to the little hallway to the door and you'd block it off if you got cabinetry too close. Hope that makes sense.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 6:55PM
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Here's a more detailed layout. Basically here are my questions:

Do I want to keep the window at all? Make it smaller?
Do I want both my frig and stove/OTR micro on the back wall?
Do I want to spend more money on a real vent so that I can more the stove to where the chimney used to be (see blocked out area)?

I don't want my frig right when I walk in, nor do I want it trapped in the peninsula? I don't want the stove/OTR micro on the inside wall (because they don't work well enough to vent several feet). Here's where I'm stuck. . .

Thanks in advance! I've learned so much on this forum!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 7:45PM
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Sorry, but I'm still confused by this plan. How do the stairs run? You have a closet and other things blocking the door in the top left corner? How tall is that window you're proposing to remove? (More precisely, how far down near the floor is it?)

I've just noticed that the biggest problem in viewing your plan is scale. We need it to be to scale so we can get the right impression of space and shape. For example, you show a 67" (Maybe 69") window that is far smaller than the space next to it that is marked 45", and a 39" window that is about half the size of an area marked 34". Can you redraw on graph paper, using each square to be 6" or 12" so we can see this space more accurately? You will get a lot more input that way.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 8:02PM
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OK, OK. . . I'll technically challenged. I'll redraw and repost. Thanks

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 8:10PM
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graph paper is your friend!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 10:14PM
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Take graph paper (you can download free graph paper online...Google "graph paper") and draw it up to-scale.

Include the DR since you want the light from the DR to light the kitchen as well.

Then, either scan it in or take a digital picture of it.

Then, upload it to Flickr and post it here.

Instead of a link, though, post the actual picture in the "Message"'ll get more responses that way.

Checkout the "Read Me" thread as well...

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 11:29PM
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One thing that really sticks out to me is the 85'' ceilings. I would be wary of removing windows or you'll end up feeling like you're in a shoebox.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 10:54AM
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OK. Here's a more helpful (hopefully) layout. Sorry to be so annoying with the oddly shaped drawing (my husband took the measurement.) Geometry isn't my strong suit and I'm struggling with our KD with layout (basically they don't want to advise you on window placement--just cabinets.) I am worried about removing a window with low ceilings, but then again it's a 1000sqft house and it seems excessive to have a 6 ft window in a room that already has three large windows in it. Here are my questions:

Do I want to keep the window at all? Make it smaller? How much smaller is too small?
Do I want both my frig and stove/OTR micro on the back wall?
Do I want to spend more money on a real vent so that I can more the stove to the side wall?

I don't want my frig right when I walk in, nor do I want it trapped in the peninsula? I don't want the stove/OTR micro on the inside wall (because they don't work well enough to vent several feet). Here's where I'm stuck. . .

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 4:40PM
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I'm assuming that the door you are referring to is a back door entrance, is that right? Going with that assumption, there is still a coat closet and a broom closet between the door and the refrigerator. If you get a cabinet depth refrigerator, I think it would work. Given the design, and where you have placed the sink, I think the refrigerator is in the best spot.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 5:18PM
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I couldn't see the image in your last post; let's try this:

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 5:43PM
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If your budget permits, how about putting refrigerator drawers or a beverage center on the end of the peninsula, opening into the walkway, so that people don't have to go all the way into your work space to get drinks? Is that your DH's main issue?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 5:44PM
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what about a galley option?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 6:28PM
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Window is revised from original in both of my sketches.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 6:44PM
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Seems you could remove or reduce the broom closest enough to fit the fridge and keep the window? It could be a great place to bake. What direction does that face and is there a pleasant view?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:07PM
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Thanks for the comments!

I have been suggested the island option and somehow it just doesn't sit right with me. Long islands flow in the wrong direction (you have to turn your head to look at the gorgeous view). Basically, it looks odd to me when it's taped out on the floor.

Yes of course, I could eliminate the broom closet/full height pantry, but do you think that having a French door frig opening right onto a walkway that's only 37" wide wouldn't be odd? This is the main entry into the house and I worry about trying to get in the house while someone is trying to get in the frig. . .

The view of the back wall is of a terrace garden/ledge and the neighbor's house on top of the terrace hill. Nothing too great or special.

Also do you think I'm going to regret the OTR microwave? IS it worth an extra $500-1000 for a real hood? This is a budget reno and I'm already splurging on the sink, but I don't want to regret anything!

Another option my DH suggested, anyone seen a long window instead of a backsplash to let light in?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 10:08PM
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Why can't you have a 'real' hood vent on the back wall?

Have you considered a corner range?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 10:17PM
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    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 10:20PM
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This may not help too much, but just a few thoughts...
I do like the idea of an island as suggested, but i can see your point about the view.
Could you put the fridge on the other side of the 67" window and leave the stove in the other spot?? Can you vent a hood from there?
I do have an OTR microwave and there are drawbacks. It's loud, which drives my husband nuts, and the suction is just ok.. (Is it really $500-1000 just for a hood?) In hindsight, i might have found a spot for the micro, and done a hood, but honestly, the OTR is really fine. price it out, since the OTR are more expensive i think.
I love the idea of a beverage drawer...out of the kitchen. keeps guests out of the way while cooking and teenagers as well!! I would have put it in a hutch drawer that is out in the guest area or at the end of penninsula as suggested.

Do you have enough natural light in the kitchen? If not, then keep the window. I personally like as much natural light as i can get, but you may have enough light from the dining room. Ripping it out and putting in a smaller one will would be you need new windows anyway? then maybe it's good timing. Would some kind of transom window, high up work? just for the light, maybe. Just some thoughts.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:26AM
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I'm looking at your layout and the first thing I noticed is that all your prepping will have to take place either facing the wall or looking out the back window b/c your sink takes up so much of the peninsula space and you say the back window doesn't have a great view.

Studies have shown that work in the kitchen breaks down as follows: 70% of the time is spent prepping
20% is spent cleaning up
10% is spent cooking

So, what zone does it make the most sense should have the best "view"? The Prep Zone.

Are you absolutely wedded to having the sink in the peninsula? Not only is it taking up prime real estate for prepping, but it also puts the sink in the faces of those sitting at the peninsula as well as putting your dirty dishes on the counter closest to the DR...and even if you have a raised bar, that raised bar really only hides things from those people whose heads are lower than the countertop (42"). Anyone walking by or sitting at the peninsula will see it all just fine.

What am I getting at? I think a much better idea is to put the sink & DW on the back wall, range on the side wall, and perhaps a Prep Sink on the peninsula.

Taking the main sink off the peninsula gives you two things:

(1) Allows you to prep on the peninsula...that 70% time

(2) Gives you a large expanse of work space for baking projects (it's very convenient to the range), crafts, school work (if you have children/are planning children), buffet space, etc. It's not only fairly long, but it's also quite deep...a great space to have open!

The sink in the back will put dirty dishes further away from the DR so the fade away into the background.

As to range hood vs OTR MW...first, OTR MWs are more expensive than regular MWs. Second, they're usually pretty ineffective for venting b/c they're not deep enough, they don't vent well, and they're not very powerful. Third, they're not very safe to have to reach high up to get to the items inside the MW and over hot food/steam/flame (if gas). Fourth, it's a bottleneck for work...if someone is working at the range, it's not easy getting to the MW.

There are some reasonably priced hoods out there...check out Modern Aire, for example (several people here have said they're priced reasonably and work very well).

Refrigerator/Utility Cabinet...I would either move the utility cabinet down into the Mudroom or eliminate it altogether (I would probably move it). Then, move the refrigerator over so the window can remain as-is. You will have a french door, so the doors are narrower than a single-door and will take up less room. As to the refrigerator being in the doorway of a frequently used entrance...I think it will be an issue even if you leave the refrigerator where it is with a smaller window, so I don't think moving it will make it that much worse.

These are all just suggestions, so take them as such...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 1:25AM
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I'm not sure this is helpful and I broke quite a number of rules, but spring is in the air and the weather here is wonderful.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 9:36AM
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I am having some fun, too. Here is a combo of bmore's awesome corner pantry and what I sketched yesterday. I think closing off the stair wall and moving the fridge closer to the living area would be good.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:55AM
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The pretty pictures are so awesome and help with visualization! I guess I ruled out a stove on the island because that is a higher price point (slide in stove) and it always seem dangerous because I sat at the island doing homework as a kid and then the island chimney (doesn't work well and even more money). . . I always wanted the stove on the backwall to allow for direct venting. My mom's kitchen has an annoying vent running through all her uppers to vent to the outside (grrr!) wasting valuable space. But I think we could vent through the ceiling.

I think buehl makes a very good point. The view should be for the area you use the most. I guess I always think we're using the sink, but maybe that's a memory bias because I hate clean up!

It's so hard figuring out where to cut corners and where to spend. I've already decided that cabinets (since they are hard to replace and $$$) should be the highest priority. But a hood is really important too.

I love the walk in pantry and so would my husband! That's something to consider.

As far as new windows goes, the windows are newer (guessing 15-20 yrs old) so they are good enough not to be replaced RIGHT NOW. But they are on the long term replacement plan and while we have the walls open, it makes sense to replace any windows we want to be a different spot down the line. Also I hate that the neighbor's are on top of the hill looking down on us in the house (I like privacy). I know I can plant some privacy hedges, but part of me just wants to remove the window. But it gets great morning light that the other windows don't. Decision, decision!

I never realized what a can of worms an older project gut renovation home is. . . Like pringles, once you start, you can't stop!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 4:32PM
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I should have added a caveat to my comments on the Sink & Prep Zone. If you have only one sink, you will most likely prep next to that sink. The most natural place is b/w the sink and range...for most people.

If your sink is either on the peninsula or the back wall, that will most likely mean prepping to the wall.

If you have two sinks, a Cleanup Sink and a Prep Sink, that changes things. If the Cleanup Sink is on the back wall and you have a Prep Sink on the peninsula, then you will probably prep b/w the Prep Sink & range to take advantage of the view.

If you can only have one, then maybe it would be better in the peninsula so at least you can easily look to the side while prepping for the view.

I would not put the range in either the peninsula or an island. You're right, it's a safety issue...especially if it's near a busy aisle (in front or behind it) or you plan seating behind it. If you have a 24" buffer on three sides (sides and behind it), it's better. But then venting becomes more expensive b/c island/peninsula hoods are generally more expensive (larger and more powerful plus finished on all 4 sides instead of 3).

Your peninsula, though, is too short to have both the Cooking Zone and the Prep Zone on it, so you'll still end up prepping to the wall if you need more than a few inches for prepping. Besides, the sink would be on the back wall...

This is what I would suggest...

You have 60"+ (or 5'+) of open space to prep at or do major projects. If you move the Prep Sink to the other end of the peninsula next to the corner susan, it is more convenient to the range, but it reduces the amount of workspace for prepping b/w the sink & range and you then only have 45" of wide open space on the other side of the Prep Sink. However, either location will work...they each have pluses & minuses.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 6:05PM
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Buehl- do you think it's excessive to have two sinks in such a smallish kitchen? I guess I'd never thought about two sinks being in the 15K budget; I figured that was a luxury kitchen item. It seems that KDs really rely on your personal wants/needs. We're young and have been living in NYC (aka not cooking) for most of our adult life. Any other suggestions on what to read to learn how to design a good kitchen that I'm going to love for years to come?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 6:10PM
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The size of a kitchen doesn't determine whether a Prep Sink is useful or excessive...layout does. If the addition of a Prep Sink makes the work flow better, and it does in this case, and you have the counterspace, and again, you do, then a Prep Sink is an asset. In your case, the Prep Sink allows you to

(1) separate the Prep and Cooking Zones from the Cleanup Zone (a plus),

(2) utilize more of your counterspace so none is wasted b/c it's not really useful due to location relative to everything else,

(3) allows you to prep where you have a view and can visit with others and also be near the Cooking Zone/range, and

(4) allows you to a nice expanse of open space for large projects.

Besides, I don't think your kitchen is that kitchen is approx 15' x 10'6" and a Prep Sink is essential to making it work really well.

However, I don't know if you can put in two sinks for 15K...are you DIYing it at all? If so, you can do a lot more for the money. I even question whether you can put in that many painted cabinets for 15K along with all the other work you have planned (gutted, new windows, etc.)

Are you buying new appliances? If so, perhaps you could postpone them until later and use the $$$ for two sinks....

Another consideration....are you on a slab or do you have a basement under the kitchen. It's a lot less expensive if you have a basement.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 6:35PM
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We are doing a lot of DIY and sadly yes that does include appliances (tentative budget: $4k appliances, $8k cabinets, $1k sink+faucet, $2k granite). A new window will definitely add to the budget, but I don't consider that "kitchen" money-- floor refinishing and plumbing (the whole house must be replumbing top to bottom) are in separate budgets. We have a full basement and DH works in facilities, so the plumbing expenses wouldn't kill us. Basically the world is open with this house because it's basically being gutted (the view and the bones were what sold us.) But that means every detail can be questions (because we don't have to "work" with anything when everything's going.)

After reading your Intro/FAQ post and doing some searces, I think that it really does makes sense to have a 2nd sink because we don't have another bathroom on the 1st Fl and there is no good place to add one (and really do you need 2 bathrooms in a 1000sqft 2 bed cottage?) and the main sink will be used a lot for handwashing, etc.

I know I should give up on painted cabs (not practical for a young couple wanting kids), but I just love them and they fit the cottage-y lakeside feel that the house has.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 7:24PM
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Jenma, I feel your pain about the budget. Since this is your "starter home," is granite as high a priority as the other stuff? There's a new formica product out (I think it's called 180X) that makes a beautiful countertop. If you search here on gardenweb you can see some photos.

When DH & I did our first kitchen we used Ikea. It was really easy, less expensive and fit well in our 1920 bungalow. I found it somewhat challenging to work within their stock sizes, but that was 10 years ago and they have probably improved their cabinet lines since then. I think we spent less than $3K on cabinets for that kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 11:08AM
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I think the prep sink makes sense in the last layout, but I am not sure I would like that particular spot? To me that corner would be a natural "come into the kitchen and set something down" spot, and I can see myself dumping stuff into the sink.

What about if the "45" piece slid to the corner and the prep sink went next to the super susan? I am asking because I am still on a learning curve regarding prep sinks.

One of the reasons why I think you would still want to set down things even though you know there is a sink there is by obervation. I see people try to balance things in strange locations all the time (in their "before" kitchens), including someone who balanced a cutting board on a 5" spot of counter and used it...people do funny things and I think I would be setting things there and knocking them into the sink or on the floor because there wasnt real "counter" there.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 11:48AM
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Ok, I am going to say it: I think you should replace the big window on the back wall.

You have a huge bank of windows across the room as well as a very tall window dividing the kitchen/dining spaces. I would scale that 67" window down to around 42".

Then, if you put your clean-up sink on that wall, the window will be more to scale with the sink and it will also allow you to put your fridge on that wall.

Have you guys checked out Ikea cabinets or Scherr's? What is above the kitchen (thinking of ventilation options for you)?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 11:54AM
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So I took a lot of what you guys said to heart and I'm thinking that a prep sink would help a lot in making the peninsula most function. But like palimpset, I think it should go closer to the stove-- That way it can also serve as a pot filler if I get a long faucet (like Kohler Karbon).

Now that I'm going to get a real hood (modern aire, etc), where to put the microwave. I'm thinking from reading around that it would be best next to the frig out of the way of the peninsula prep area and stove cook area. But this severely limits our wallspace. Also, I'm thinking a microwave/convection oven would be great. Any opinions if I'm going in the right direction? If I have two sinks, why not two ovens too!

I also think a 42" window will suffice on that back wall, but to fit the microwave next to the frig, the Shaw's sink won't be centered on the window. DH think this is a really bad idea, but it's a 30" sink in a 42" window, can look that bad?

Also for those that suggested a wine/beverage cooler under the peninsula, where do you think I should place it? Again I thought this was out of budget, but I saw several on Craigslist for ~$300, which isn't that bad in the scheme of things. Any other thoughts if I'm going overkill and losing all my valuable storage space.

I'm planning on having a hutch for all my dishes/platters/cups, so the kitchen is really only for food/appliances/cookware.

Also, any suggestions on where to put the trashcan? DH is really attached to our 13 gal simple human ($$$) 20" x 13" x 26" h. Should I put another pull out trash under the peninsula?

You guys are better than any KD! Thanks!!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 2:57PM
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Think about how you use the microwave. In our house, it's really just for reheating leftovers. So having it close the the breakfast table works for us. You might think about putting that in your hutch if you can deal with the visual.

There are new m/w that go in drawers, but they're $$.

Dishes etc. being stored outside the kitchen means you're going to shlep all that from the sink & d/w each time you clean up.

I like my trash can, too, but I'm going with a pull-out in my new kitchen. Right now I have the trash can in the pantry, which might work for you guys in your remodel.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:35PM
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That's why originally I wanted the sink and DW on the peninsula so it would be really easy to go from table to cleaning to hutch.

Do I want the view when I'm prepping and have to schlep dishes to clean-up or do I sacrifice the view while I'm prepping to have dishes near the table and DW?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:46PM
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Well, you have wall cabinets in the kitchen, which I suppose could be used for dishes.

I shlep dishes once a week when I put away my fine china. It's not that big a deal. Especially if your eating area is close to the hutch, setting the table is really when you need close access for dishes, flatware, etc.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:55PM
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My concern about putting the prep sink so close to the range is that you now no longer have prep space in the most natural and useful area...b/w the prep sink and range. The best place would be in the middle of the peninsula...where you have at least 36" b/w the range & prep sink but room on both sides of the sink for working. However, that would then break up that nice expanse of countertop...wide and deep.

About the sink...sometimes you have to let people learn the hard way to not do something, like treat the peninsula as a "drop zone" for junk mail, etc....unless you want your peninsula to be a "drop zone". A couple of times getting something wet or falling into the sink is a better "lesson" and deterrent than just telling everyone not to drop everything on the peninsula!

Dish hutch...could it move up to the other side of the window on that left wall? That would (1) make it more convenient to the kitchen as well as keep it convenient to the table area and (2) allow you to add another 12" to the peninsula and maybe allowing you to have a better place for a prep sink...maybe moving it over 6" and having a peninsula that has, left-to-right, 18" trash pullout (12" + 6") + 18" prep sink + 39" cabinet + 36" corner susan.

MW...I would not put it over the DW. That makes it more difficult to access/use. Others here have had that and really disliked it. If it's in the corner, it's out of the Prep & Cooking Zones and accessing it does not require coming into those zones and interfering with prepping & cooking. It is somewhat in the Cleanup Zone, but at the far end away from the DW. If I had to choose what Zone to infringe on somewhat, it would be the Cleanup Zone since far less time is spent cleaning up (20%) than prepping & cooking (80%).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 4:30PM
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Does the frig have to be near the prep area? Am I adding another sink for naught if I have to pivot across the kitchen constantly to get food to prep?

Buehl- any thoughts on where to add the beverage area/frig?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 5:08PM
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Why do you need a Beverage cooler/refrigerator? If your refrigerator is on the "top" wall it's easily accessible for both people in the kitchen as well as those from the outside looking for a snack w/o those outsiders interfering w/people working in the kitchen...they don't enter the work area at all.

A beverage cooler/refrigerator really only makes sense if you put the refrigerator inside the "U" where outsiders would have to enter the work area...

Refrigerator drawers might have some use if they're used for prep food storage b/c it would bring those items closer to the Prep & Cooking Zones.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 5:17PM
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OK-- so I've priced out prep sinks (and boy are they a budget buster!), so I tried to come up with some solutions that utilized one sink near the prep zone and cooking zone for easy cleanup. Option d puts the sink in this area (but also creates zone crossing--a no-no).

Basically I thought I would go for more general advice (I tried starting another thread unsuccessfully). I really could use some advice (because DH just doesn't care).

Zone 4 has the best view in my kitchen (of the dining room and the windows of the lake). Zones 2+3 will have a window of some sort.

Four options:

a) 1= cooking, 2= Frig and food storage, 3= cleanup, 4 = prep
b) 1= cooking, 2 = Frig + storage, 3 = Prep 4 = Cleanup
c)1 = frig, 2 = cleanup, 3 = Cooking, 4 = Prep
d) 1= Cleanup, 2= Frig, 3= Cooking, 4= Prep

It seems that (a) is the best/favorite, but then what would I do with the areas between 1 and 3 (it seems that would be a wasted corner)? Also putting cleanup on the back wall makes it a long way to get to the dining room/eating area.

Option (b) allows the most convenient movement between eating and cleanup, but it means prep is in the corner (and not with the best view.) I've pretty much ruled this option out based on the advice of posters here.

Option d is a good compromise (but squeezes the cook and frig onto the same wall)

Where do you like to prepare your food? Does it bother you having to lug dishes across the kitchen to put them away.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 5:08PM
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Did you say that you were considering removing the window on the back wall altogether? When I read this thread the other day, I honestly thought that if the back wall window *could* be removed and not missed, I would take that out. I didn't chime in b/c it seemed like you were happy with the current direction of the thread. But if you do that, you can put frig in the corner where the broom closet is, have the range centered on the back wall, and have the farm sink/dw in the peninsula. That leaves the middle of the "u" for a bigger prep area - which even though it doesn't have a view, at least the view is to the right of you so you don't feel boxed in. Also, it makes for a better space, I think, if you have more than one person working in the kitchen. I also personally like a view at the clean-up area - I understand that you may spend much more time prepping, but I hate cleaning up, but don't mind it as much when I can watch the little ones outside... also, when I'm prepping I don't think I would enjoy the view as much as when I'm cleaning up... I don't know - just my two cents for what it's worth!

Also... not quite sure about this, but with my proposed plan above, you may even be able to get that corner pantry in...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 7:00PM
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Also, you mentioned above the under cabinet windows... that could be a cool option. Here is a photo I found online:

Also, doesn't Giada on the food network have a beach house that has windows under cabinets? You may want to google that if you are considering this option.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 7:15PM
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Oooh! Love those windows. . . Thanks for chiming in, aokat15, with a different opinion! I agree with you that I hate cleaning up the most (make DH do it!) and it seems like we always are always at the sink, and we could still prep in the nook of the peninsula and turn head to the right to see the view. My only hesitation is that it makes it harder to serve as a buffet/homework/etc. BUT, we are going to have a built-in windowseat/dining room 3 steps away for these kinds of activity, so do we need the peninsula to be multi-functional? I've hesitated with even putting in seating, but if there isn't seating at an island/peninsula, people lean anyways. Also, with prep in the further corner of the kitchen, it seems difficult to have helpers?

I wonder if there is anyone out there who has there main sink on a island/peninsula and how they use that space? Is it functional?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 7:25PM
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There are many people who have their main sink on an island. In some cases it's a large island so can accommodate both the Cleanup Zone and lots of deep workspace. In others, all that really fits on the island is the sink & DW with hardly any room. I'm sure they handle the lack of space just like those w/o an island or peninsula in their kitchen do...they use what they have.

You can get used to (adapt) to almost anything...but with a new kitchen the fewer "make do's" the happier you'll be with the results. The question is...what do you want? Where do you want the best view from (Prep, Cleaning Up, Cooking?) If you don't cleanup, then I would say prep...

About those interesting windows instead of a backsplash...the windows are the backsplash, with all that means...splash & splatter. If you have people to clean for you, I'm sure it's not an issue. Ditto if you either don't cook much or your cooking is simple and light. (Or, you're a very neat cook!)

Why is the Prep Sink a budget-buster? You have a full basement under the kitchen, right? In our remodel, it was actually quite reasonable and one of the less-expensive items. We also have a full basement under our kitchen and it was very easy to run the plumbing. I think the sink + faucet were the most expensive pieces...but you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on either one...check out and similar sites for good, inexpensive sinks (like Ticor). As to faucets, get an inexpensive one for now, you can upgrade later.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 9:57PM
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But splash and splatter thats easily cleaned with a little Windex.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:12PM
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It's not a budget buster more than anything else (I see this project moving toward $20-25k now). . . It's all just adding up (new window, better vent, 2nd sink+ faucet)

Buehl--seriously you have been so very wonderful! I have modified your layout suggestions very marginally and I think this is our tentative final plan. I think we will put the MW in a pantry next to the frig on the back wall, then the Shaw's 30" sink (with a 30" window over it), then the DW, then the 36/36 Super Susan, then a small 12" cookie sheet cabinet, then the stove (with a real Modern Aire 36" vent over it), then another 36/36 Super Susan, then the peninsula (~60") with a 15x15 prep sink on the very edge. Finally on the opposite wall, we'll do a beverage center for coffee/mini-frig which after your suggestion DH is tied to (which will be easy to access water from our prep sink!). That only leaves a 36" walkway, so we may reduce the peninsula slightly in length. Overall I think this is a great multi-person, multi-function space that will function well for years to come!

One question: do you think there is any benefit to putting the DW next to the prep sink? This way it would be closer to the DR, but it would be far from the main cleanup sink.

Next issue: cabinet style and color. . . Thank you for all your help!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:19PM
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Any opinions on this new layout (sorry for the crossouts)?

My only concern is that the DW and stove doors may clash. . . Although I may be able to solve this by getting a smaller MW/pantry (have to look into that now that our OTR MW is a no-go) and moving all appliances on the back wall over. Or nixing the 2nd 36/36 super susan so that the stove can move 6-12" down the wall. Maybe a combination of both.

Or I could put the dishwasher next to the prep sink?


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:40PM
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This is what you're describing...

[30" Shaw sink in a 33" sink base
15"x15" prep sink in an 18" sink base]

The problems I see:

  • No work or elbow room to left of sink at window.

The window will be crowded w/a tall cabinet/appliance so close & a window so small. Even if you don't put a cabinet above it or surround it so it looks built-in, it will still crowd the window and the general space on that wall. The "U" is going to be narrow...only 5'4" wide (64")...if you can spare another 8" to 12" "south", it would help with space. Could you line up the right peninsula overhang edge with the wall to the stairway...the one negative to that is the will reduce the clearance b/w the post & the peninsula...I'm assuming the post has to stay... There won't be much room to work at the range when the DW is's not just a conflict w/the oven & DW's a conflict of space to even be working at both Many people feel 12" is too narrow to stand b/w the DW & corner to put away dishes (those that do not go in the Dish Hutch). Not everyone feels that way, though. (We were OK with it in our old kitchen and would have done it again w/o a second thought if the layout had dictated it.)

What's still OK with it...

  • There will still be plenty of room at the peninsula for a Prep Zone...even if you reduce it further by 3" to 6", there will be enough room. However, as you reduce it, you start taking away from the "big expanse" space for projects...but it's definitely better than you had! (And it's better than we have...we only have a 24" cabinet in our peninsula! You have a lot more room!)

Reducing the peninsula by even this much, you really will only have room for 3 stools. You might be able to squeeze a fourth seat there if you have small people or they're very friendly! Even if you reduce the peninsula further, you'll still have room for 3 seats...but probably not 4 even if you squeeze.

Since the Beverage Center will probably be a popular/busy place, I think making the aisle 42" would be better...

One other thing...if you just build an alcove to put the MW in in the middle of the pantry cabinet, I think you will be able to use a 24" cabinet...but probably no narrower b/c it will need air space on the sides as well as you will need room to maneuver it around (room for MW + hands/arms!)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:46PM
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I may have missed this but do you really need peninsula seating? Your table is very close by plus this means that people sitting at the counter have their back to the view. If you get rid of that seating, you can move the peninsula closer to the table, eliminating the range/DW door clash. You'd also gain counter space on both sides of the range.

I'm not keen on the placement of the prep sink for all the reasons palimpsest stated. Our current kitchen doesn't have enough counter space for placement of groceries and such when we come into the kitchen. While we've lived with it and worked around it for 16 years, we still grouse about it every time. And it's one of the things we'll change when we redo our kitchen.

However, I can't see a better place for a prep sink. So if you want one, get a prep sink with a butcher block cover option so that you can recoup that counter space when the sink is not in use.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 1:31PM
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I think the DW is better where it is. Yes, it's a hike to the dish hutch, but not all dishes will be stored pots & pans (recommend one of the corner susans), cooking & prep utensils, etc. First, it would again make the peninsula both the Cleanup & Prep Zones OR move the Prep Zone to the back wall. You really need a bigger sink for cleaning up, so you would really need to switch the sinks. With the Cleanup & Prep Zones switched, you're back to prepping to a wall or looking out the less-desirable window...and that's where you'll be spending 70% of your time in the kitchen. It also takes away completely the big expanse of workspace. There will still be an overlap of Cleanup & Cooking Zone space...probably even worse unless you then move the 12" cabinet to the other side of the range....then it's the same conflict, no better but no worse. If you put the DW on the would have very little workspace...both counter and floor...b/w the range & Cleanup Sink. So, the DW would probably have to be on the inside. Landing space for both MW & refrigerator is have to walk pretty far to put things down.

Honestly, I think you should leave the general locations of each sink & the DW where they are....I wish you could add more space b/w the DW & corner, but if you can't, well, it's a compromise that you may have to live with...unless you're willing to give up on some other things...

Here's a thought, why not put the MW in the 15" deep cabinet...make it the full 24" deep (the Beverage station is already, after all)...then you could have an upper wall similar to what I proposed. That could be your pantry cabinet and the DW will now be quite a bit closer to the dish hutch. It also puts both the refrigerator and MW next to a counter for landing space.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 1:39PM
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Taking Lisa_a's suggestion of eliminating seating adds about 12" of space to the more b/c of the Post. Unless you build right up to the post, you need approx 32" b/w it and the counter.

Here's one way to handle it (I used the last layout I worked it's the one where I moved the MW & Pantry next to the Beverage Center).

The 6" cabinet next to the range can be a spice pullout or similar (frameless is best for this).

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 1:59PM
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Jenma, I really like buehl's latest - what you posted on 4/28 is a layout without a landing place next to the fridge. If you move the d/w like buehl is suggesting you'll have a much nicer time unloading groceries.

So you're going to eliminate the window on the hutch wall?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 2:22PM
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IF the kitchen can extend all the way to the post and incorporate the post into the peninsula...then it opens up a lot of possibilities! Like this:

Now, the prep sink can move to the corner b/c there's plenty of space b/w the range & prep sink.

There's more separation of the Cleanup Zone from the Cooking Zone.

The end of the peninsula is now clear.

You can, if you want, put in a MW drawer and have the pantry cabinet be all pantry.

Just some ideas!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 2:31PM
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I really like this last lay-out, buehl!

But it's not my kitchen. Jenma, what do you think? Would you be willing to forgo peninsula seating and build to the post? (can you build to the post?) If so, I think you gain a very functional, enjoyable kitchen worth more, IMO, than what you give up. Consider this: you gain more than half again as much counter space with these two small (again, IMO) concessions.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 2:51PM
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What size is the DR? How about from the Post down?

If you have all chair seating, then w/a 39" deep table, you need:

32" + 39" + 54" = 125" (10'5") b/w the kitchen counters & far wall of the DR.
Since there's no peninsula seating you could probably do 48" instead of 54", bringing the needed distance to 125" - 6" = 119" (9'11")

With banquette seating + chairs and 39" deep table:

18" + 39" + 54" = 111" (9'3")
If you make the 54" 48", then 111" - 6" = 105" (8'9")

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 3:41PM
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I guess you need to see the rest of the house to know that the last layout (although innovative) won't work. This is the main entrance to the house and that walkway where the seating backs up to is the main/only access to the stairs (to 2nd floor) and to the living room. Because the dining room is fairly shallow and will have a dining set, there isn't room to walk through it to the LR. I want seating overhang, even if there are small stools tucked under most of the time, because people like to hang out in the kitchen and "help" prepping. . . future kids/parents/etc. I think we will congregate in the kitchen (even it's an open concept), so it's better to plan a space for them to do it.

However, Buehl makes very good points about landing space for the MW and frig. DH really wants a DW on the right hand side, so that's a challenge in moving things around. But I think if I move the MW, then we can move the frig down and move the DW down as well (adding a cabinet between the sink and frig.) There is no reason why the frig can't be right up against that closet wall in the entrance. There's also so reason why I can't switch the MW and frig (and make the MW a below cabinet one.)

I think it would be smart to consider putting the MW next to the beverage center. THe only reason I made that cabinet a smaller width was so that it wasn't such a visual impact when you walk it (no tunnel entrance please)--however we could still do an 18" counter and perhaps I should consider just put the MW on the countertop, which would allow for change if we find that we want to walk in and put out keys/purse/etc down there. That was also where I was planning to put our stand alone trash can. . . I figured it was a central location.

But I like the idea of having the MW near the frig so that you can easily reheat leftovers/frozen food. And I tend to dislike low microwaves (we are taller people and hate bending over). But I would be willing to consider a lower MW and switch the MW/pantry and the frig in the original design so that it allow landing space for the MW/frig (suggested above)

And no we aren't removing the window, just making is a counter height (not full height down to the floor, which is awkward anyways because people from the road can look into your kitchen.) We want to change all the windows that we don't like and we decided that this one has to go.

I guess I don't really mind the narrowness of the space where the range opens. Although I guess I could throw out the idea of having the sink where the range is and the range where the sink is (and the DW on the pensinsula).. . But it seems wasteful to have the sink NOT over a the window. (lost uppers)

Am I making sense?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 3:56PM
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the DR is 83" wide x the length of the house (~30')

Basically this house was originally a small cottage with a big porch. Then they closed in the porch and now it will be our DR. However I think it would be odd to walk in and have to go down to the DR table and the walk around it on the original porch to get to the LR/upstairs.

There are two posts along the whole length of the house. They have to stay (they are each about 2' from the bottom of the stairs.)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 4:06PM
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OK: I spent a good hour sitting in the demo-ed kitchen and moving around big moving boxes to simulate appliances/cabinets and I determined that the frig can NOT go next to the coat closet on the upper left as I assumed it would (it is too obstructive, even with CD) when you walk in. I also didn't really want the frig to be the focal point of the room when you walk in (eye goes straight to right middle wall.)

So I decided the best solution was to keep the stove there (a better focal point in my eye I could do an interesting backsplash, plus it seems less jarring than a big frig)

Then the frig by default must go upper right backwall. Then the sink in front of the window, and the DW next to it. Then we need a beverage center because the frig is trapped inside the kitchen, which I put on the left middle/lower wall.

I made a list of everything I use in the kitchen and I think I have a spot for everything.

My last two questions:

1) Where does the microwave belong?? I prefer not to have it next to the beverage center, but that is possible too. Other suggestions: upper cabinets next to stove (either side), above frig, on peninsula endcap, on inside of peninsula? Thoughts?

2) Should I put a prep sink where Buehl suggested on the end of the peninsula? That seems like a good place to tuck the microwave on the endcap where it is accessible without entering cookspace.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 9:42PM
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When you do that, you create two unusable places. First the tiny bit of counter between the sink and ref - you'll have difficulty washing large items and really most items because your elbow will hit the ref. The second is the entire susan top between ref and range - partly for the same elbow issue but in the other direction, partly because there isn't enough room for your body and partly from potential smacks from the ref doors.

You're also blocking two windows. I don't mind putting cabinets across a window, but a ref can look goofy in that position.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 10:41PM
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I would be replacing the 67" window with a 30" (standard kitchen size) window. . . so the frig won't be in front of a window.

As far as elbow room, frankly I can't think of anywhere that the frig won't be in the way. I think there is plenty of room of the left of the DW for drying large items (and there is a good 10" to the right, which is big enough for my elbows or at least I think so. I guess I would prefer to be squeezed while cleaning as opposed to being squeezed everyday when I walk in the front door (putting the frig near the upper left will make the walkway Buehl offered a layout above which allowed OK walkway, but honestly the cleanup zone got really close to the cooking and prep zone. I think it's better to keep them seperate and sacrifice a little elbow room so that it can be a multi-cook kitchen.

I also felt when I was in the room that I really needed a place to put my purse/keys/groceries when I first walked in and the logical place seemed to be on the upper/backwall. To put a frig there blocked what seems a natural place to set things down (too far to walk to the peninsula). Or you get a weird cut up, counter-frig-counter.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 11:10PM
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There is most definitely not enough landing space by the refrigerator. You would be setting yourself up for a lot of frustration over the years.

Ideally, you would want to place a sink between the refrig and the stove so that you have a good working triangle. There are minimums of landing spaces that should be followed. I have never found the minimums to be satisfactory for me, so figure more generously. A prep sink helps with situations in where the kitchen layout precludes having the "normal" sink and dishwasher in the triangle. The prep sink can create another triangle with the refrig and stove, and sometimes it would be just plain nice to have anyway.

I like buehl's last layout. It's a nice usable working kitchen. Maybe if you find a refrigerator you love you won't mind it being a focal point.

You and your husband should take a break from the kitchen layout and then go back to it with a fresh perspective. Go have some fun doing things together that are non house related. We found nice walks in scenic settings away from home were wonderful at dispelling house design frustration.

My husabnd and I are designing our new home's floor plan. It is a process, and not always fun. We have had to take breaks of a few days at a time lately away from it, because it gets to the point where you feel like you are beating your head on a wall. Once we took a deep breath and did this, the ideas start to become more clear, and progress is being made. Just much slower than we wanted. We had hoped to have blueprints ready for permits by now. We're looking at June now, most likely. Gee, I HOPE it's June!

That's O.K. though. What you want is a well thought out plan. Something that will make you happy for years to come.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 11:20PM
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I have read the many suggestions from others and here's my two cents worth.

It is a challenge to maximize the usage of a small space. Take a look at the IKEA showrooms and their kitchen cabinets. They do have great ideas for maximizing storage. Even if you don't like their product, there are many ideas that can be used to implement your own preferences. In particular the pullout drawers - the accessibility to items at the back of the cabinet.

I have my dislikes for corner cabinets as the various "Susans" are not entirely satisfactory. They don't use all available space, are expensive and items that fall into the rear corner are difficult to retrieve. I have done several kitchen renovations and in all of them I eliminated the corner cabinets.

I have gathered some dimensions from the drawings and not sure if my numbers are all correct. Take a look at this plan. The shape of the space requires several compromises, but this is how I would arrange the kitchen. Not sure if it would work for you.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 3:02AM
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... DH doesn't want the frig trapped inside the U ...

... I have been suggested the island option and somehow it just doesn't sit right with me. Long islands flow in the wrong direction (you have to turn your head to look at the gorgeous view). ...

Maybe I'm missing something, but the location of the refrigerator in the "K plan" makes it impossible to use at least one cabinet on the peninsula. Another cabinet will only be accessible if it has stationary shelves and two doors...and only one door will be able to be opened will then have to get on your hands & knees to access anything in that cabinet that's not right in front.

In my old kitchen, I had a corner lazy susan (the one w/the center pole) and it was by far the best cabinet in the kitchen! It not only worked as smoothly and as well 13 years after it was installed as day one, but I considered it good use of corner space. Everything is always in front of you, nothing ever falls off if you get the one that has the side/back walls that follow the contour of the shelves, and it holds a lot! In my old kitchen, it held all my pots, pans, colanders (I have several!), pizza pans, & misc other items including serving accessories (like pan racks). I really wanted one in my new kitchen to store small appliances, but my DH usurped the corner for a Pet Center. Now I store my small appliances in my small pantry...and they take up more room than I like.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 7:36AM
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Any final decisions made here? I'm dying to know what you've done and how you feel about it? I'm in many of the same quandries with my own kitchen reno. (on plan 8 with the KD and considering going back to plan 1 with modifications). I'd like to move on with life. but I have to like my kitchen (LOVE my kitchen) for the next 25 years. I empathize with the headache, though fun, this whole process is for you.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 2:27AM
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