Kitchen Layout Help

aannneeeeApril 11, 2013

We're getting to the final planning stages of our kitchen reno and I need some advice. I've attached our tentative plan right now.

Things to know:
- The appliances are pretty much in the only place they can be.
- The wall returns at the bottom of the picture are fudgeable. We're opening that wall up (it goes into the dining room), but want to keep some separation.

Things I need help with:
- The peninsula area. We don't want to encroach on the dining room much, so thought about using shallow cabinets underneath to accommodate chairs/stools. We're also thinking of foregoing cabinets altogether once it gets beyond the returns--we're worried it might look weird-- and just using table legs (we're 94% sure we're going with butcher block countertops, so weight shouldn't be an issue). Would that look even weirder?? Thoughts?

- The area on the upper left with the exterior door. Right now the door doesn't open all the way and bangs into the countertops. We'd like to maximize storage while allowing the door to open a bit more. We thought shallow cabinets would help, but then we don't want the range sticking out so far from the cabinets. So we threw a narrow spice rack in there, but I don't feel like this is the best solution...

- The upper right, dishwasher wall. The radiator right now is tucked in the corner in a cabinet and heats up the cabinet, basically. We really want a floor-to-ceiling pantry in the corner, and thought of turning the radiator so it's 90 degrees and keeping the space cabinet-free (to allow for heat to actually get out, as well as a little nook for the step-stool that our daughter uses). The doorway to the right leads to (what will be) a bathroom and the basement door, and the counter sticks out right now, making it awkward to get through the door. Again, not sure if our proposed solution is the best.

Lots of words, my apologies. But if anyone has any suggestions on this, please let me know! We're getting our cabinets from Barker's and are DIY-ing a lot of other things, so I'm open to pretty much anything at this point.

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mama goose_gw zn6OH

You don't have much prep space at the sink. Would you be able to plumb for a prep sink on the peninsula? Ingredients would come from the fridge -->to prep--> to range.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:54PM
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Can you reverse the swing of the 29" door on the sink wall (the one just up-picture from the range)?

If it could be rehung to swing out into whatever is beyond it would greatly improve a pinch point. As presently drawn, having it against that counter means you'll have to open it every time you use that space. Big pain.

Reversing the swing or hinging of a door is a lot more complex than it first appears, but usually it can be done.

I"ll come back for more comments, but right off the bat, I'd second Mama Goose's.

Think food pathways.



    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:02PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I've been searching for pics of shallow cabinets behind an open door, but couldn't find any. I know I've seen that done--often the full depth counter is cut on the diagonal to open the pathway a little more. I'm a fan of clipped corners in a small kitchen, but if you're not going custom, or DIY for cabinets, that may not be an option.

Have you considered relocating the exterior door to the hallway where the new bath and basement door will be? Maybe make that a mudroom area? In that scenario you would have prep space in the corner between the main sink and range. *Edit: And no 'through traffic' passing by the range.

This post was edited by mama_goose on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 21:31

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:28PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I found a picture! And not just any picture--it's a gorgeous, stupendous, wonderful picture: Which showed in preview, but not in post :[

Here is a link that might be useful: sow's ear blog, scroll down to dec14,2011 for pics

This post was edited by mama_goose on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 22:04

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:52PM
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One thought about the radiator: I had radiators in my old house and in the kitchen what we did was lose the radiator and re-routed the plumbing lines to a toe kick radiator under the kitchen sink. They have a blower in them with a little switch that you can easily tap with your toe to turn on the blower if you want a bit more heat. It worked well. I've attached a link to a GW thread about this. Anyway, if it would work you could get a much wider pantry.

Here is a link that might be useful: toe kick heater

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:30PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

There are more pictures on the blog I linked above, with the blogger's own kitchen remodel. They also had to use shallower cabinets behind an exterior door.

Here is a link that might be useful: another kitchen post in sow's ear blog, scroll down

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Thank you for the feedback, everyone!

- We will actually have MORE prep space next to the sink with this new layout! I'm fine with the amount of prep space I have there now, so the thought didn't even cross my mind...but I'll rethink this now. My main reason for the peninsula is to have a big, uninterrupted workspace and a place for kids to eat/crafts/etc, so I'd be afraid to put a sink there...

- We've thought SO MANY TIMES about having the door swing out, but we'd have to end up buying a whole new door, and we just replaced the door last year (hindsight....). The way the patio is just outside the door, too, would be awkward to enter/exit if the door opens out. There's no storm door, though, so the door stays closed pretty much all the time. The new bathroom area will be where the current "breakfast nook" is, and we're having a hard time just fitting in a toilet and sink, so unfortunately relocating the door there won't work either...:(

- That picture of the shallow cabinets are PERFECT, thank you for finding that, mama goose!! Seeing it in an actual kitchen is making me feel much more confident about it. You win at the internet!

- Deedles: we've considered the toe-kick, but my husband would only consider it if it weren't electric, and I haven't been able to find any that tap into our current steam radiator system. It would totally solve all of our problems. The kitchen is partially over the garage, so it gets quite cold. I'd worry that we'd end up with a crazy electric bill every winter, just trying to keep the kitchen warm... is yours electric?

Again--thanks, all!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 8:03AM
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Nope, it hooked into the hot water system and the only electric part was the wiring to run the fan... that doesn't take much. I would absolutely look into it. Of course, if you have cold winter mornings you'll have children sitting on the floor eating their cereal in front of the heater. Or, maybe that was just MY kids, lol. They make them, I had one, it worked great and saved me a lot of space that the radiator would have taken up.

these get good reviews

Here is a link that might be useful: toe kick heaters

This post was edited by deedles on Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 9:12

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 8:33AM
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Awesome, thank you so much for this link! I will pass it on to our contractor, too. This would solve so many problems if we can get it to work...

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:05AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Happy to help with pictures--I spent too much time last evening reading that blog, but I love those two kitchens. If I hadn't searched for pics for you, I'd never have found it. I did a minor remodel of a kitchen in my 1920's farm bungalow, so I'm sympathetic to trying to fit in everything with restrictions.

Even though 24" of prep space will be an improvement for you, it could be better! And some day those little ones will be helping, so two prep areas will be welcome then. I'm posting a thread with pics of corner prep sinks--a corner sink will allow you to keep the expanse of peninsula counter when needed for the kids' projects, but it will still be functional as prep space when you need it. You'd still have only 24" between sink and range, but the whole peninsula would be available for you to spread out ingredients and equipment. (Even better if you include electrical outlets on that short wall.)

Many of the pics are for outside corners, but scroll down to circuspeanut's post--her last kitchen is very similar to your proposed layout. I'm looking forward to seeing another redone 20's kitchen!

Here is a link that might be useful: corner prep sinks

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:33AM
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deedles, our contractor called a Turbonics rep and he said we'd need a circulating hot water boiler, which we don't have. :( It might end up being too expensive to do something like this. My hopes are dashed!!!! I'll keep looking, though.

mama goose, you're KILLING ME. I've never in my life wanted/needed two sinks in one kitchen, but that picture of circuspeanut's is speaking to me. Deeply.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 2:58PM
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Oy. Bummer. Well, I found this article that addresses steam (?) radiator heat with toe kicks. Maybe your contractor could take a look and see if this is doable..

Here is a link that might be useful: give me steam

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 3:14PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

... that picture of circuspeanut's is speaking to me. Deeply.

Congratulations, you just joined the TKO club. ;)

OK, the plumbing for a second sink may be a big deal, but a small sink takes up very little room, especially if one has a cutting board, or other cover, to convert it back to counter space.

I don't have a 'prep sink, proper' in the kitchen. I have a pass through over the main sink, with a bar sink on the other side, sharing plumbing and an in-line heater. But, it's so nice to have a second sink just around the corner. The main sink is a large farm sink--the small sink is where I rinse raw meats, because it's much easier to clean. If we need an extra prep space, I can send someone else to that sink, and it's also good for washing hands, if there are fruits/veggies in the main sink, especially during canning season.

My grandmother didn't have indoor plumbing until the mid-1950s. IRL I haven't been in any other kitchen with a prep sink (unless you count canning kitchens, in another room), so of course it's not mandatory. But it's convenient.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 5:29PM
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One of the big things we want to do is make it feel like this new kitchen and bathroom "has always been there," meaning all the materials/style and the layout feels appropriate to a 1929 center hall colonial. I have friends who have similar homes and they've knocked out the back wall and created this enormous, GORGEOUS, modern open kitchen, but it doesn't match the feel of the house at all. We want to keep it simple--it's bad enough we're opening up the door a bit between the dining room and kitchen! So we'll probably stick with just one sink, as a 1929 house was lucky to have any sink. ;)

But oooh if we ever move to a more modern house....... two sinks.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 8:05PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I applaud your old house attitude! Although there was nothing left of the original kitchen in my house, I tried to do a 'collected' look--as if it had been updated through the decades. Opening the kitchen to the DR has improved the traffic flow immensely.

You might enjoy this older thread, where the goal was to design a functionally modern kitchen for a 1920s home.

Here is a link that might be useful: DAT 1920s kitchen

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 9:04PM
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Are you doing new flooring? If so could you do radiant heat in the floors?

I noticed you wrote 3 stools on the plan. I don't think you have the space for 3. General rule is minimum 2 ft per seating area. Looks like you have 5' or less available.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 9:04PM
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Maybe you can move your sink and DW to the peninsula (deeper cabs fit there I guess). That way you can have an uninterrupted workspace between sink and range. If you don't mind facing a wall, you can keep the wall there and have more wall cabinets.

Then the sink/DW area in your plan can be the place for your kids. It may be easier to fit a radiator and a pantry there that way.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 8:52AM
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On the refrigerator wall, I would remove the 2 15" cabinets, slide the refrigerator all the way up so it's closer to your sink area which can be your landing space for prep items and put in 30" cabinet/pantry on other side (can't tell what you earmarked that space for). Smaller cabinetry is both more expensive and less useful. Also you want to move the door swing from the refrigerator as far away from the walkway as possible.

For the lower left corner, if you can tweak things to allow for an angled base cabinet it makes the corner *much* more useful for prep space.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 12:27PM
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lyfia: it's definitely a "tight 3;" we know it's gonna be tight to have 3 all the way across. The final length of the peninsula is still up in the air.

And we are doing new flooring, but we'd have to reconfigure a LOT of things to do radiant flooring, and we're doing this on a budget.........

Think we might use a bigger 2' radiator we have (the current one in there is teeeeeeny) and put it either in the weird shallow cabinet area next to the upper left exterior door next to the range, OR put it on the end of the peninsula so it can heat the kitchen AND dining room, since the dining room is freezing, too. To be determined....

sena: We're trying to avoid moving too many appliances, but this is definitely an idea!! I might try to sketch this out...

vallinsv: There's unfortunately TWO walkways around the fridge--the opening at the bottom to the dining room, and the one on the left of the fridge going into the new bathroom area. :( I totally hear you on the small, useless cabinets. We have a tall pantry on the right side of the fridge, and a base cabinet on the left--with shelves on top instead of an upper cabinet. We did this because when you walk through the narrow-ish door to the bathroom, to have the fridge (or full-length pantry) right by the doorway, it would feel kind of...tunnel-ly. Or so is our fear. It might be unfounded, though.

Perhaps it's time to go back to the drawing board on a few of these things!

Thanks for the ideas, everyone...SUPER appreciated!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 4:05PM
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