small kitchen experts

young-gardenerJanuary 14, 2011

I am working on a new plan for our small kitchen, and I was hoping your wisdom could help me with the planning. (I'm not up to asking the kitchen folks me a chicken.)

The photo quality isn't the best, because I had to use screen captures. Sorry about that.

I guess my question is....does it look functional? Do you think it's too closed off from the dining room? (I left all openings as they currently are.) Is the storage adequate? We are hoping to go low-budget, but I don't want to put in new cabinets if the flow stinks or the work space isn't functional. I want to like it, but this isn't our forever home, so I need to think of what would work for families in general, to an extent.

Here is what I have so far:

The doorway on the range wall leads to the dining room.

THe doorway on the fridge wall leads to the master bedroom (thinking of closing it off...we have another)

The large opening at the bottom of the picture is the opening to the breakfast room, which then leads to a library (in the works).

This one is looking IN the window from outside.

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For me I think the fridge is too far out of the triangle work space.Sink stove fridge.I feel like you will be running all over the room to get food then wash then cook. And then serve.

Is there any way to switch it with the cabinets beside it so they are close to the breakfast room? I see it might be a little tight with bedroom door there.

An island in there behind stove would be really nice if there is room.

Course if you do close off your one bedroom door it gives you more space in both rooms.

Great mock up software. Really helpful to see all angles. The whole kitchen looks like a dream to me. Wonderful

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 10:53PM
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Young- I really like your plan. Are those appliance garages, on either side of the sink? What's going on the open shelves, above them? That looks neat!

The only thing I see that 'might' be a landing space, next to the fridge. I love the look of the upper cabinets, coming down to the counter, but will you have enough room to work, there? If so, I think it's great. If not, maybe raise the uppers just a little, to give yourself more counter space.

I really like the subway tile, all the way up the wall. That's such a cool feature :)

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 11:36PM
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Shades- I'll tape off the fridge in the other space and see how the space would be. It does stick out a bit more than cabinets. THe tricky part of this room is the narrow entry space. It seems like even if I close off the bedroom door, I'll still have dead/wasted space due to where the door is. It'll be too narrow an area to put cabinets, which leaves me thinking, "what will I do with it?" Maybe I could center the fridge and do cabinets on each side?

Lav- Oh, the landing space next to the fridge! (I'm chuckling as quietly as I can in here so DH doesn't hear me.) That was my attempt to rid him of his dumping ground. Right now, we have just a base cabinet there, and he PILES it with junk. Do you think if I did a very small stand alone island instead it would work? Maybe something with a farmhouse vibe (turned legs) that I could set on lockable casters? I tried to build an island in the software, but they were all too big. I have an awkward distance between the walls....almost enough but not quite. The island would end up being something like 20 inches wide, but it could have some length to it.

The lower closed cabinets flanking the window would function like garages (cutting boards, small microwave, etc. Above, the open shelves will hold a mix of my white pitcher collection and some white everyday dishes for easy access. (I initialy wanted to do glass doors on top, but you can't buy the size I need.)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 10:44AM
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I've got an IKEA kitchen, so I'm a big booster. That being said, I wouldn't use an IKEA cabinet sans doors as open shelving. I don't think the finish will be what you want compared to the doors and panels elsewhere in the kitchen -- even if you're doing a white kitchen with white cabinet interiors. I would have those shelves made by a carpenter, instead.

Is that a corner cabinet with a pullout in the range/DW corner? I can't tell from the plan. If not, that's a lot of wasted space there.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:19AM
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I think to center the fridge between the bank of cabinets would be great. You could still keep it narrow for the opening and also get the fridge closer to your work triangle.

I had a kitchen with fridge across the room like your plan. Was not fun. An island would help and you can make it any size you want that works for your space.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:56AM
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jakabedy- It is a pull out cabinet in the corner. Do you have one? I'm wondering how functional they are. Thanks for the advice on the shelves. We have someone doing work on the house, so I'll talk to him about it. Or, maybe I should just add doors. Hmm.
Shades- good idea. The plan above has all the appliances where the currently are. I should play around with moving them, especially the fridge since it's a cheap one to move. :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 8:44PM
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Here it is moved a foot to the right.

Dish space is traded for pull out pantry space.

I tried flipping it altogether, but I ended up with a really narrow entry. I'm not sure how I feel about losing the "hutch" look.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:10PM
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Young- I like the changes! The pantry will be so practical, but you still have your hutch for the pretty pieces :)

A narrow island would be great. Maybe something you could move around, like a narrow, but long, work table? Something with a granite or marble top might be fun...great accent to the wood countertops!

I've seen narrow work tables, with a small stool or two that slide underneath, when not in use. They don't take up any floor area, unless you're sitting on them...but great if you have to be at the island/table for any length of time.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 12:20AM
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Lav- A marble top sounds perfect for my baking! and pretty too :)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 9:36AM
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The tall hutch looked wonderful. I know you were going for more counter space for landing out of fridge things. I would sacrifice that for the hutch look. LOL Some times a person has to have pretty over function. Do the two upper glass door cabinets come in a different size. You might be able to get one tall one short to meat the height of the cabinet over the fridge.

That roll out pantry is wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 10:24AM
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fridge - i think it would make the walkway to DR too tight on the door end. don't know what else you could do with that space other than artwork/shadowbox... I'd probably keep the bdrm door - that could come in handy!

I do like the fridge moved into the center of the cabs - but if you don't, don't move it. Your kitchen isn't that big. it might be a ft larger than mine in one direction but stuff would still be easy to get to.

either way i'd put big drawers in the base cabs to the side of the fridge. drawers = easier access to whatever is in them.

corner - to counter cab - i'd have both doors open from the left. with the one on the other end I'd do the same just have them open on the right side.
you could also put doors on both sides of the upper cab by the nook. glass doors on the nook side? If a dish cab, clean dishes could go in on the dw side and taken out to set the table on the nook side.

glass for cab doors - is it that the cab company doesn't have the size of glass needed? Call a local glass business and see what they would charge. probably cheaper anyway!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 5:53PM
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I have a galley kitchen, so I didn't have to worry about how to handle corners. I just couldn't tell from the IKEA planner whether that was a dep corner unit -- and it is.

I liked the look of the hutch, too. Is there a way to shrink the opening to the next room a bit so you get a bit more depth on that wall? If you can do that, you can also pull the cabinets forward to make a non-counter-depth fridge look more built-in.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 6:34PM
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Young, if the dining room door is even 8 or so inches away from the corner, and you close off the bedroom door, You might be able to save that 4 inches of the doorway depth and
add it to some open shelves there.

Since the dining room is RIGHT THERE, I'd be thinking of placing the glasses or stemware, or pretty dessert bowls that could fit on open shelves and look good.

Definitely the last plan you show with the fridge moved to center of the wall, that is a great look. If your French door fridge is like mine, it has plenty of room to open fully with 24" depth base cabs there. And making those cabs into real pantry shelving with adjustable shelves, oh man, you will gain a LOT of storage space.

I also agree that an "island" of some sort would be a great addition to your kitchen. Not a FIXED island, but a narrow one with wheels (that lock to hold it steady), so you can move it around as a utility cart. IKEA sells one, of course, but so do a lot of other places. I have one that I dearly LOVE, blonde wood bottom and a stainless top, but you could top it with whatever you like.

Love the farm sink, and the upper cabs in general.
My kitchen (when redone) will be about the same width as yours, and I will be reusing my rolling island in it. If I find a pic of it, I'll add it here. I also plan to have a small stool for me to drag around the kitchen to sit on while I do some food prep.

I'm thinking that you might also have a slide out cutting board that fits into one of your base cab drawers to set hot pots on from the oven or microwave, or just whatever. One can never have too much horizontal surface in a kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 9:18PM
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Moccasin- Just this morning, I found a coffee table on craigslist the exact dimensions that I need for an island. I'm so excited! I'm going to take the white marble top from it and put it on a new base. I likme the idea of th metal base it has, but clearly, it's too short. :) I like the look of your island and the idea of a stool. Oh, to sit! :) Smart thinking. Perhaps I could but the top on a farm table base. I'm hoping to use the hutch area for pretty things (currently all stored away due to lack of space) because I don't have a china cabinet. I'll try to measure out some open shelves, closing off the bedroom door, to see how it flows. It sounds pretty.

Steph- Exactly. Ikea offers very few sizes for their glass doors. I think I will look into your idea for the doors. If they can cut the glass at a good price, the contractor could make the hutch top, and tall cabs by the windows to spec for me, and then all the glass doors would be the same. I've heard you can hack and mix the IKEA cabinets, but I haven't done much looking into that yet. GOod idea with the drawers on that side. I'll mock it up. I need to print out the plan and run through where everything will be stored. I love your idea for the pass through glass cabinet. Unfortunately, they'd end up being passed into the laundry closet. Let me see if I can attach a layout. That would certainly help matters.

This shows why I'm thinking about closing off the door from the master bedroom to the kitchen. When we open the bedroom to the library, we will have THREE doors to that room, which really isn't necessary. I need to find a way to work the kitchen plan to use that wall space without making a cramped entry into the kitchen.

Shades- I can't find two sets of glass cabinets that will stack to the same height as the fridge. Perhaps though a little creativing trim work could hide it? I hate to lose the full length glass hutch. It just seems so fitting for our old house.

jakabedy- I read you to mean the large opening to the left of the fridge/pantry cabinet. Is that right? Yes, I think it could be boxed in a bit more. I've also thought about doing a buildout around the fridge to help with the look. It currently sits alone on that wall, and it looks silly, especially since the sides are black.

I worked some more with the program last night, but I can't access the images from this computer.

For now, here are shots of the actual space to help with an understanding of the entry between dining and kitchen.
THanks a million!

Taken from bedroom doorway:

Taken from dining room doorway

Taken from breakfast space

Looking at wall adjoining dining room:

Looking toward Master bedroom door:

breakfast area (laundry on left, library entry on right)

I hope that helps. :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 12:16PM
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Young- Your house is charming! I love your decorating style. The shelf above the sink with the pans is a great use of space, in a small area. The breakfast nook is adorable, too.

I think the marble will be perfect for the island. Can we see more pictures of your other rooms? :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 1:09PM
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Thanks, lavender! I'm trying to decide if I can fit a built in bench into the breakfast nook. The laundry closet may not let that happen, though. I'll see if I can round up some other house pics for you. We've never actually decorated, but I think I have a few I snapped along the way as we were fixing things up.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 2:37PM
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Well I think seeing the pictures the fridge is fine where it is now. Not too far out of the triangle. Funny how different it looks in real life verses plans.

All you really have to do to make top of hutch match cabinet on top of fridge is raise fridge cabinet up a few inches. I had that in a house and stored trays under cabinet. Was perfect. Yes the cabinet was high to get into but I finally bought the perfect step stool. And really they do not need to match.

I do not see any big changes in what you already have. Which is just as lovely as can be. Maybe widen the wall next to the fridge to hide the side but then it will throw off your balance. And again that is fine.

I would have a very hard time changing what you already have other then to maybe buy a nice hutch to go where that cabinet and open shelves are by your bedroom door. I see several inches of wasted space where the counter over hangs the base. And a free standing hutch is not as wide as a regular base cabinet. Or buy a china cabinet. Both of mine are 17 and 18 inched deep. One is three foot wide and the other is four foot wide. They hold a ton of stuff!!!!

Maybe update your counters if they are not what you like.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 9:55PM
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Shades- It does look different in photos, doesn't it! So far the layout has been fairly functional for us. I do a lot of walking back and forth, but the distance isn't too bad. I think it will improve with the addition of a tall pantry since my cans and boxes currently sit on top of the washer and dryer for lack of cabinet space.

The problem is actually the condition of the cabinets. The drawers have no slides and don't want to fit anymore (they've landed on my feet a few times). The base cabinets around the sink have interior water damage (and a resulting stink) from a previous owner. Layout wise, the only cabinet problem is that both corner cabinets are complete dead space right now.

So, we're going to try to work with the shell of the room and just replace what's broken. I repainted them and added knobs when we moved in, and that has gotten us by for about 4 years. The counters appear to have been replaced only a few years before we arrived, but they suffered water damage, too.

Your hutch sounds lovely! I'd love a free standing piece.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Young- Have you ever thought of using a stackable washer/dryer...with maybe long term storage or water heater, next to it? Then you could have one access door for everyday and add a bench in the breakfast nook....which could be moved out, when the other side had to be accessed. Just an idea :)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 1:31PM
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I hadn't thought of that. If we switched to a tankless water heater, it might be possible. The water heater currently sits on the far side of the laundry closet, nearest the window.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 7:12PM
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Your kitchen is really cute now. I think your plan is going to work great. If you stack the washer & dryer and get a tankless, you'll have a lot more room. Good idea LL.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Young-gardener- Here is a tip I found from using the Ikea software. When you post to post a photo from the website, click on "print", then "print current layout" and then once the print-version of the photo comes up, right click and then hit "save picture as". Then you can save the picture and then upload that picture into photobucket or whatever program you use.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:34PM
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Young-gardener, your house is very cute. I noticed from the layout you posted that your front door opens directly into your LR, as does mine. I would love to see this area. I am trying to make this transition better in my home and looking for ideas. Sorry do not mean to hi-jack your post.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:41PM
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Newbie- Here's some pictures of Young's living room :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Young's living room

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 12:29AM
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Here's the final version of Young's proposed home plan. I love how everything flows...and it's going to be such a wonderful and charming home! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Young's floor plan

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 12:42AM
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Thanks, Newbie, for the tip! I've rearranged the LR again. Once my house guests leave, I'll snap some pictures and post them for you. :)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 8:49AM
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Young, glad your thread is back in action.
In my kitchen, I took in the back porch. We got rid of the gas water heater, and bought a stacking washer/dryer. So far, we have a new electric waterheater in a leanto shed built for it backed up to the porch. I wanted to get a tankless water heater, maybe a split system with one heater for the two bathrooms, and one specifically for the dishwasher where you want the hot water quickly with no cold water flow. Otherwise, the on-board water heater of the dishwasher kicks in, at great cost I might add.

But our final kitchen won't be until next winter when the contractor has a slow time.

Note also. I love your present kitchen, its layout. And the pot rack and shelf over the sink is something that I would do too. But I think you'd do better to get rid of the curtains, which sort of confuse the clean and clear look of the windows. If those are roller shades behind it, can I ask you why you even have anything on the windows at all? It is a glorious source of lovely light, and a shallow glass shelf with plants on it, or some clear glass bottles in lots of colors would look fantastic.

I know that is not the direction of your thread, but I think it will become a WOW factor, just think about a sunny kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 10:12AM
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