new kitchen project - please help!

fumetMay 16, 2013

Hi,

I am starting the process of ripping out the old kitchen and putting in a new one.. hoping to complete around oct/nov this year.

I have never done this before.. its our first house that we bought 2 years ago. It's in London, UK and therefore quite a small kitchen - so most of my thought currently is about space and layout.

Current kitchen is an IKEA kitchen (I think) and we don't like it,.. mainly for design reasons. The kitchen is quite small, the cabinets dark and large (esp wall cabinets) and the light is quite one-directional : the room feels even smaller than it is.

We are considering either keeping the same layout and making aesthetic changes or a complete upheaval and moving everything around - but we don't know where to start. We would like :-

- Open shelving instead of wall cabinets
- racks/shelves for the pans etc
- Painted cabinets, wood tops
- 100cm range cooker (large I know, but cooking is a priority)

We already have a large fridge which we would preferably keep, and a standard size dishwasher which we dont mind getting rid of if the design "insists" on it. They are both stainless steel. I might get a slimline dishwasher which might fit better next to the sink as we would like a single butlers sink and I think that would be bigger than a small undermount?

The breakfast room is the small room on the other side.. currently divided by an annoying pillar which we are looking into removing if we can get a structural engineer in agreement. In the layout pic, the main kitchen area is at the bottom and the breakfast room is at the top.

In such a small room, corners are everywhere. The current corner by the the sink is completely inaccessible The other corner to the left of the cooker is not quite as bad as it has a double hinged door on it - so we use if for non-everyday big items. I guess it is difficult to make a corner cupboard next to a sink work properly?

I bough Chief Architect Home Designer Interiors which is great for experimenting, but after trying loads of layouts I always end up with a slight modification of the current layout. Either its the only decent layout or its just my lack of imagination/experience.

Currently the sink is by the window, with dishwasher to the right, the cooktop is on the exterior wall on the left.

Shall I post pix of my proposed layout that I made? Or a layout plan that is my current layout? I need to get to my home computer tonight to do that. Oh,.. I just realised that my plans are in mm and this is mostly a US site? I might be able to switch Home Designer into imperial if euro-units are annoying?

I am really hoping that someone can help, I am in design/layout paralysis!

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herbflavor

depends on a few variables, but a desirable option would be removal of the 3113 or 2282 wall .Wrap the walls in the top smaller space with your kitchen,[after the garden door is moved to the ?window where it says 276]. so you get the kitchen at the top wiothout traffic passing to garden, a larger island space which is open to your other living areas and nice access to garden[yard]

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:07AM
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fumet

Hi, thanks for your response. Sounds ideal! but I guess I should have said that I cannot remove any walls. My house is built on a hill, so most rooms are at half levels to each other. 2282 wall would break into my basement stairs, and 3113 wall would reveal half a lounge and half a basement! Open plan living at its weirdest!

I also cannot extend outwards into the garden as I am limited by conservation area restrictions.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:14AM
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justmakeit

Would it be possible to add a floorplan here with imperial units? I plead guilty to being one of those non-metrically-able Americans we read so much about :-)

Your house sounds very cool!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:08AM
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raenjapan

Would it be possible to get pictures of the space as it's presently used?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:30AM
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fouramblues

OK, I'm no layout expert and am just messing around, but how about this (someone might want to check my converted measurements):

Note: a 100 cm range is roughly 39".

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 10:31AM
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fumet

hi,

Thanks all for suggestions! I will get photos tonight of current layout and make an imperial floorplan.

fouramblues, I have never considered this layout because the sink and DW plumbing is currently on the other side of the room by the window. Is it possible to route this round somehow? Obviously,.. I am new at this!

justmakeit : the crazy half floors are cool,.. and a curse!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 1:15PM
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sena01

I'm no expert either. Fouramblues' layout is my favorite type. But if you prefer to "hide" the bulky fridge and have a somewhat easily accessed corner near the sink, here is what I'm thinking.

Sink at the same place with DW on the right. Depending on the size of the sink and DW, have either a shallow or normal base cab with shelves only on the left wall. Another base (drawers ?), then fridge and a tall cab (40-45 cm width). On the 2282 wall 2 cabs with range in the middle.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 2:17PM
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fouramblues

Well, you have a basement (better than moving plumbing in a slab), so it's probably possible. A plumber or GC could look at it and comment on difficulty and cost.

I'd rather put my $$ into the best possible layout (not saying that my suggestion is the best, though) and go with lesser cabs and appliances, if necessary. It seems that ikea cabs, for instance, can be quite sturdy and attractive, while not setting you back so much.

Also, I'd want the refrigerator near the dining area, to keep the traffic in the cooking zone at a minimum.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 3:44PM
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fumet

Hi,

Thanks for more ideas, this is stuff I had not even considered!

fouramblues : I do *really* like the layout but I dont understand your comment "Well, you have a basement (better than moving plumbing in a slab)". Obviously I am not a plumber or GC - just seeking to understand how in-depth/expensive it would be to move pumbing to that wall. Directly opposite that wall (where you placed the sink) there is the top half of the basement and this is where my electricity supply and house alarm are housed. I don't know if this is relevant to your suggestion.

Sena01 : This layout is completely new to me! A couple of things strikes me though : - I will not be able to vent the cooker externally at that wall and I wouldnt have much counter space for prep. However, this layout does give me room for a wall mounted radiator in this room. I currently only have this in the breakfast room - which makes the main kitchen a bit chilly in the winter.

I am preparing pix and hopefully imperial measurement plans now.

Thanks so much for your help so far!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 4:29PM
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fumet

Hi,

I am still trying to figure out how to convert to imperial measurements. It doesnt seem to be a easy option in Home Designer Interiors (without starting from scratch). IN the mean time,.. I have attached some terrible photos of the current layout.

Seeya and thanks... :-)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 5:33PM
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fumet

another pic.. note terrible access to double sink.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 5:35PM
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fumet

another ...

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 5:36PM
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fumet

through to breakfast room. pillar hopefully being removed!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 5:37PM
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fouramblues

Sorry if I've given you the impression that I know something, fumet! ;) Moving plumbing in a slab requires jackhammers and redoing cement. What moving plumbing in the basement ceiling requires depends on your basement ceiling. There. You've exhausted my limited knowledge on that subject!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 7:10PM
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debrak_2008

the layout might be bad but what cool cabinets!!! Are you going to reuse them or sell them?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:43PM
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sena01

I now see that the range has to stay at the 3077 wall (or moved to another wall with an island hood maybe?? but it seems you won't benefit much from that).

You should probably keep your present layout, moving the range closer to the bottom corner. But if you can forgo one of the tall cabinets and a part of the counter you can have the fridge on the bottom wall. Then you may have a radiator and maybe a shallow base cab on the right wall. I think having a tall cab or appliance on that wall makes the kitchen look too crowded and smaller.

As to your uppers, I think the handles and narrow doors make them appear too big. Maybe wide up lifting doors may also be considered along with shelves, racks, etc.

To convert metric to imperial try selecting all your plan (Groups of objects can be selected by holding down either the Shift or Ctrl key when the Select Objects tool is active and then dragging a marquee around the objects to be selected), copy, and then open a new plan with imperial units and paste.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:58PM
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fumet

hi,

fouramblues : Seems like I need to speak to my builder about this. I mean, down in the basement in the same utlity room as the electricty meter etc, there is a washing machine and sink etc so there is definitely plumbing in that area. I probably need to go for another walk under the boards amongst the rubble and filth.

debrak : I haven't thought about what I would do with the cabinets! Not re-using them though. Do these things have re-sale value? I suppose at the very least I could give them away to someone prepared to come round and take it all away!

Sena : That all makes total sense. I am thinking of shelves instead of upper cabinets. Not as practical but the room will feel a good foot bigger. I probably can do without 2 tall cabinets and put the fridge in the corner and a single tall cabinet/pantry cupboard next to it. I am going to get into Home Designer now and try it out. I did your suggestion for converting to imperial, but Home Designer didnt convert the units properly and I accidentally ended up with a *massive* kitchen. I think it did a 1:1 from cm to inches. :-( So I edited my plan in photoshop.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 7:31AM
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debrak_2008

How you describe your basement it sounds like moving the plumbing would be doable.

I don't know about where you live but here someone would buy them or you could donate them to Habit for Humanity (charity that creates affordable housing). They won't use the cabinets but rather sell them to raise money for their projects.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 7:37AM
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fumet

debrak : I am going to look into your charity suggestion... I don't do that often enough.

I have drawn up the revised "standard" layout and moved the fridge onto the bottom wall to create more space on entering the room. I have put a radiator (well,.. a white cuboid) on the right wall and shelves above it, although I might have a combo of shelves and butchers rack to hang pans too. I couldnt figure out a way of squeezing a lower cab in there.

Next I am trying a design with the sink on the lower wall (plumbing through to basement) for comparison.

Thanks for all the help,.. I feel like I am moving forward now!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 7:55AM
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fumet

from above ...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 7:56AM
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fouramblues

Hmmm, though you've gotten some good feedback, none of the acknowledged layout experts have weighed in. I don't know, it might be a good idea to start a new thread with your current layout options, and be sure to ask for layout help in the title. Just my two cents...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:30AM
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fumet

hi, yeah I've had some great help, but if you think it will get even more, I'll start a new "layout" thread. thanks v much!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:39AM
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annkh_nd

fumet, I'm not an expert, but your kitchen is about the same size as mine. Where you have a window and opening to the breakfast room, mine is open to the dining room.

I have a U-shape, so two corners. Since corners are such a challenge, I suggest you make a U in your space, with the sink at the closed end (the bottom of your drawing). There is not hard and fast rule that the sink has to be in front of a window, but it is so common it almost feels like it's a rule.

If you put your fridge back where it is, and put the sink on the bottom wall, you can run cabinets straight to the window, without adding a third corner cabinet to the mix. I'm afraid your 3D layout, with the fridge in the corner, would make fridge access pretty tight. Remember that you need to have room to the left to open the freezer door all the way, so the fridge can't go right up to the wall, as you've shown.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:50AM
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fumet

Hi Annkh,

Good point about the fridge being too close to the wall. maybe that solution requires a narrow full-height unit to the left, like a wine rack?

I think I tried your U solution in my latest thread :-

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg051129258825.html

Any feedback on it would be great!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 11:46AM
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