Help Designing kitchen in Open Concept

kashiratMay 14, 2014

Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of building a new house and am in the design process with an architecture firm. I'd like some opinions about an existing layout that I've sketched out in terms of how functional the kitchen would be.

We went for a very open concept space and because of this, the kitchen is somewhat limited in layout. Basically we've got a large pantry, and two parallel counter spaces with the sink on the bar and about 8 feet of counter top against the wall (not including stove, and fridge which are also on the wall). One of my major concerns is the centre of the main floor is very empty and it would be nice if the kitchen could somehow utilize this space.

I'd also like to install a wall oven / microwave which hasn't been shown in the layout -- likely reducing further the counter space on the wall. We haven't really given too much critical thought to the layout of the appliances in the kitchen outside of what seems is 'standard' for most homes. Hopefully someone could provide us some guidance on if we are on a decent track functionally, or if there are any major deficiencies in this rough layout.


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Switch the swing of the powder room door so that you don't see the toilet if the door is ajar.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:38AM
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Actually I think your whole home (or is this just one floor?) is very efficiently laid out.

Where are your washer and dryer? If they were to be in the room with the furnace that would be awesome! Of course I live the country life so any time the W/D can be near the mudroom/entry the happier I would be. :o)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:28AM
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I actually have the Washer and Drier upstairs near the master - I'd prefer minimize the amount of walking back and forth between the ensuite and laundry.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:49AM
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Gotcha. Looks pretty good, to me! I always wanted to deisgn my dream home- ultra-efficient both in layout and consumption, with just enough room without being too much. Getting the most out of every nook and closet.

You have a really good foundation, here. I missed the part earlier about your wall oven, but now that I have re-read I will mention something I was not going to before because of your desire for an open concept.

I think you could very easily add wall oven/mw to the left of the fireplace on the kitchen side. It is only extending that "partition" another two-ish feet and would still maintain plenty of open space. This would not take away from your already-limited space in the kitchen proper.

The great room side could have some built-in bookshelves or something against the back of the oven cabinet.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:56AM
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There seems to be a lot of empty space between the island and the pantry. I would add a wall perpendicular to the broom closet (parallel to the island) and put the wall ovens and extra storage over there.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:10AM
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amberm145, I don't think there's enough distance for a new aisle from island to oven front, new aisle from back of wall to stairs going down, plus the wall and oven.

Do you plan to have a TV in your great room? If so, where do you plan to put it? Have you thought about your furniture layout in that room? I ask because I think the fireplace might be "misplaced" (what are the red lines to the right?)

The kitchen looks pretty efficient, although if it were mine, I wouldn't center everything, because I'd want longer expanses of prep space.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:23AM
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I would also lose the 3 sided FP, and consider putting in a peninsula here for more counter space. I don't understand the point of the FP right here. Do you really want to be standing over the FP to cook dinner?

And I wouldn't add a wall here, even just a few feet. To me, the whole advantage of an open plan is to be a part of what's going on in the living room while you're working in the kitchen. Adding this wall removes the benefit of open concept, while keeping the disadvantages (noise, decor issues).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:27AM
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greenhaven: That's an interesting idea, to place the wall oven in a small section next to / near the fireplace. I'm having a hard time picturing it and wondering if it might 'close off' the space, losing some of the openness.

amberm145/sjhockeyfan: I agree, there isn't really enough room to extend out from the pantry, but you're correct in saying there is a pretty big space between the stairs and the island. When we took this design to an architect they enlarged the island to take up a large portion of this space. (The island is was a giant in their design, we didn't like it.) One of our ideas to better utilize this space is to build a table-like extension to the rectangular, parallel island -- something like this: . Not sure if this is a effective use of the space though since we'd intend to use the 'dinette' area as our main eating space for most situations. I'm struggling to find a good use of this space in the middle aside from having a table there.

Ignore the bit of red on the right of the great room - we've actually extended out the entire wall of the great room (instead of just a small section as indicated by the red) to give a bit more width to the great room. I'd be ok with placing the fireplace against the right wall of the great room, and we are still debating whether we want to put a tv in this room (we have a bonus room upstairs where we will do most of our tv watching).

amberm145 - What do you mean by a peninsula? Sort of like a countertop with a built in oven?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:08PM
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Here's what I was talking about. I think you've got exactly enough space to add some counter depth cabinets with wall ovens (in blue). You could then square off the entrance to the pantry and gain more space there.

The green shows what I was talking about for the peninsula. I think the wall oven works better, but the peninsula gives you more counter space. You could put an oven underneath if you don't like the wall option. But you'd probably want to move the island closer to the eating area if you did this.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:43PM
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