More kitchen layout problems-- to overhang or not?

cploverApril 26, 2011

So a few weeks ago, I posted what I thought was my final kitchen layout. I was really excited and thought that that phase of my remodel was done. Then over the Easter weekend we had my family over and they were not sure about the banquette idea (I too was getting cold feet on this). They also thought the fridge in my original layout was not in the best place and it would be nice if I could move it next to the pantry and make it flush with those cabinets, by sliding it into the bathroom closet. I told them that I had thought of that but did not think it was possible due to the "false" floor in the bottom of the cabinet. Talked to the GC on Monday and he said it should work!! Whoo-hoo! (However, it is not shown that way on this layout--since I do not know how to do that) So I was very excited by that piece of good news. But when I went to move things around on my layout, I noticed that my peninsula leaves less than 9 feet of dining room width and if I add a 12" overhang as I was planning that would substantially shrink the dining room to less than 8 feet wide. What should I do!! I have never had a peninsula or breakfast bar, so I am really at a loss. I am also scared to commit to a layout that will only work with a banquette.

Thanks in advance for opinions/ideas!

Here is the proposed layout:

*Prep sink will either be as shown or in the corner cabinet--still trying to figure that one out too!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Excuse the crude drawing, but is this where the fridge will be?

A lot of people say you need the fridge closer to the eating area because you jump up from the table to get stuff mainly from the fridge. I never have seen that as a real problem. But speaking from experience here, a fridge in a corner doesn't work well, because the door against the wall won't open fully if it is against the wall. It won't even open a full 90 degrees if the door handle bumps the wall. Even if the fridge isn't right against the wall, the door(s) have to be open about 135 degrees to get the drawers open, or to take out the shelves for cleaning.

I would be afraid the fridge would be difficult to get into that spot and it would be hard to get yourself and a casserole dish in the small opening in front of the fridge.

I'm afraid I like it in your other plan much better.

If you don't like the idea of a built it banquette, what about a dining set with a bench on one side that you could slide under the table when it's just the two of you, and push the table against the wall unless you have company?

And here's a radical idea but since space is an issue. What about a drop-leaf breakfast bar? I did a search but couldn't find any, but surely someone else has thought of this. When not in use, fold it down to make more space for the table when it is pulled out to the middle of the dining space.

8.5 feet is really tight for a dining table, but I have seen some narrow ones and I bet you can make it work.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Newbie- It sounds like you're still undecided about your layout. If you really want more table space, you could switch the areas around, again. What about something like this? You could have a small table most of the time, but it could slide out and easily seat six, when you need it for family dinners.

The stools could slide out of the way, under the counter, when the table is extended. Also, I put a smaller pantry area, so you'd have more room to get around the table to the back door and basement. With this arrangement, could you put extra pantry shelves and maybe a freezer in the garage? They wouldn't take up much space and would give you some really nice and easy to reach extra storage.

This is one possibility for your living area and I think the sectional would give you lots of room for seating, but still divide off the entry area and hopefully fit under the window. I know you wanted two doors and a smaller door into the kitchen, but if you treat it all as one big L-shaped space, maybe this layout would work for you.

Also, does this mean you could put a stackable washer/dryer in the bath/hall closet...if the fridge isn't going there? That was suggested earlier on the other post and may be worth another look!

Here's the layout (I apologize for the quick sketch) and the second picture shows the importance of stools, for seating and overall cool accent color! LOL Best of luck with your kitchen :)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 6:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's the type of sofa/chaise I was thinking of, for your living area. It's not too big for your space, casual yet elegant...and you can actually sit on the 'hall' side to take off your boots, if necessary :)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Lavender- I guess I fooled myself into thinking this kitchen remodel could solve a lot of problems and I got excited about a lot of things that I now do not think are possible. I love my house, but this kitchen remodel makes me think it would be easier to move! I have been discussing layout for over a year and feel like every time I get close, I end up starting over again. It is so frustrating!!!!

The layout you sketched is similar to something I have looked at before. It again only has one opening--which was not as preferable as two openings. I think I need to prioritize what I want and realize, I cannot do as much as I would like with a space as challenging as this one. I just feel deflated.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Newbie- Yes, it is similar to your old layout, but with one major change. I think you should incorporate the living room/entry into your overall design. I know you've been looking at everything, but if you design it as one cohesive space, I think you'll finally find the plan you've been looking for, this entire time.

Maybe I'm missing something...but I haven't seen any plan that gives you the kitchen and dining area that you really want...and I think that's leading to your frustration. It's always difficult, when you think you've found 'the plan' and then friends/family bring up good points as to why it's a good plan, but not perfect. That's why I run all my plans past my mom...then GW. She know me, my style, and what looks good on paper, but will bother me over time :)

So...take a day off, if needed and then start over. First, can you put the laundry in the closet? Do you want to? Would that make a difference in how much you need to access the basement?

Do you want to add a patio door? Would this mean you wouldn't have to go to the back door/basement all that often? Would you want to put in a pocket door to close off the space, when you're not using it? Would that make a difference in your traffic flow?

When you come into your home...what do you want to see? You have a beautiful fireplace (all fireplaces are or can be beautiful) and you have a lovely big window. These are your obvious focal points. How do you want the dining room/kitchen to draw people into the space? Do you want the kitchen open and on display...or do you want people to see the dining table, as they walk in?

All these things make a difference...and IMHO are just as important as traffic flow and function in your kitchen. If you can't see your outdoor garden, or incredible backsplash, or lovely dining table, from the other that going to bug you?

So, kick back today and really think about what you want to see and the lines of sight in your space.

All your light in the living room is coming from one large window, so if you decide to try something like the plan above (just one of many options) then you'd have a large window or slider that balances the light from the living room. The larger opening into the dining area, will allow each space to 'feel' larger, since they're sharing light and space with each other. A smaller opening is going to feel more like a doorway, less like shared space.

Finally, there's one option we've never even discussed...and that's taking out the load bearing wall entirely and having the kitchen dining area open to the living room...I mean, really open! It would probably cost a little more, but since you don't have an upstairs, it shouldn't be that hard or expensive to accomplish...and it would make a major difference. All three spaces would share light, views and be much more open for entertaining.

You'd probably have to put the TV over the fireplace, but like all other choices, there's going to be compromises. You just have to decide which ones you can live with...and which ones are really going to bug you! LOL

Best of luck and remember, whatever you do is going to be an take a deep breath, make a wonderful cup of tea or coffee and enjoy your day. Be happy and thankful for all the positive things in your life...then look through your magazines, Internet pictures, etc. and find a design that works for you! :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know if you've talked to your GC about this, or not...but here's one possibility, if you took down the load bearing wall.

There's a lot more light and space, with room for a slider or french doors out to a deck or patio. The island is for prep and seating and with the range next to the sink, there's no need for a prep sink. Also plenty of room to extend the dining table, without a wall in the way.

At the entry, the table/cabinet behind the sectional can not only have a lamp or two, but storage on the entry side. Just something to think about :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LL's plan at Tue, Apr 26, 11 at 18:57 is very close to what we have here. Appliances are just a bit different but the doors are the same and we really like it.

Instead of the kitchen door going out to your garage ours goes to the laundry but same difference. And one window in our dinning room is just that a window where yours would be door to basement/ Still it would work just fine here. We have our door to porch a little further down the wall.

I REALLY like how our kitchen works and is open to the living room. We do not have eating bar I had the home builder leave that out of the plan. I personally do not care to sit at a bar.Many do and that is fine.

We do not have the double window in front to porch we have one window and the door. If you were to move the living room door to other end it would be just the same as you have for your entry. I think I remember your space is about the same as we have here too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our floor plan

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That curved J shaped kitchen counter is just straight and matches the one across from it at sink counter. I had them change that to give me more dinning room space.

Measurements here from when we had cabinets re done.

If you flip through this album you can get an idea of how it looks but there are also torn apart cabinet pictures. UGH/

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen measrements

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 2:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kaismom- I agree with everything you wrote, except for the TV. I don't think Newbie has anyplace else to put the TV (no finished basement) but a flat screen above the fireplace would be nice :)

I'm glad you like the pantry in the garage. It doesn't take much space, but it provides so much storage!

Here's the kind of sectional I was thinking of, for the open plan.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 4:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I left you a long message on another post.

I really like LL's post. My house is very similar to the plan LL posted in that we have all three rooms (LR, DR, and kitchen) open to each other. We love how this type of plan lives. All the rooms are open and bright and airy. I really don't care if my dirty dishes are open to view. The times that we have guests, we pile the dishes in a large deep sink as we move on with our meals. But this is a very different way of living from your current floor plan. As I have lived in this open house for many years, I find many houses somewhat claustrophobic if they are not light and airy.... I would not trade it for walled off rooms.

You will have an exposed beam running down the room if they can open it. I am not sure if it is technically feasible to open this much of the load bearing room. You can do anything if you pay enough money, however. For example, you can use a steel beam and completely open the room but it will be prohibitively expensive for most people....

When you have the DR open to the LR like that, you can move the furniture around to seat many people for the holidays. Because your kitchen is small, LL has pantry drawn in the garage. This is what I would do also. I would put large appliances that are not used daily, large roasting pans etc in the pantry along with cases of drinks, and large quantities of dry goods.

In the dining, I would put small hutch or sideboard to store formal dishes or wine glasses. Again, decreasing the amount of storage in the kitchen proper.

In an open plan house like this, I would not do a potrack because it looks too informal and too "kitcheny" as you walk into the house.

The console table behind the couch gives you a sense of entry, which I also wrote about.

In an open plan house like this, the sound carries and I would NOT watch TV... (I don't have TV in our living area just because I find it extremely annoying...) You should go visit some homes that are as open as this and see how the sound of TV affects you.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 4:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lavender & Kaismom- I talked with the GC tonight. He said reversing stairs was possible and maybe not too expensive. But he thought that the removal of the load bearing wall may be cost prohibitive. I think in my next home I would like something with more of an open floor plan--but this is our first home and not our forever home and taking out that load bearing wall, is just not in the budget.

Lavender- I do like the sectional--where did you find it?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kaismom- I did not see your other post. Sorry!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was just looking at pictures, but I found the link. It's really inexpensive...but if you don't like this exact one for size, taking a picture with you will help the sales people a lot! There are so many possibilties that pictures really narrow down your choices, quickly :)

As for the load bearing wall, I can see where that might be too expensive. Rather than reverse the stairs, can you put a stackable laundry in that upstairs closet? Not having to haul the laundry up and down stairs might be a nice change. I certainly don't miss it...did that in a previous home!

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lavender - I am actually okay with the laundry in the basement, I am just not crazy of constantly running through the LR & DR to get to the kitchen. And now when I am cooking in the kitchen and DH is in the LR we are either shouting at each other, or one of us keeps running around the DR to talk. It would just be nice to eliminate that and improve the over flow.

Good idea about taking a photo of a sofa I like so they can figure out what I like! :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I thought of a modification to the plan LL drew up that may be reasible. I would leave the load bearing walls where they are. Put the Kithen toward the garage with an island. Then you punch out a doorway with a header between DR/LR. I would put a set of French doors so you have light through the DR as you come in. This will give you a sight line from entry all the way to the backyard. (slider or French door to backyard)

This will allow you to talk to your DH while cooking. All other plans will not allow you to do this.
This keeps your DR a reasonable size.
This also allow you to use the garage as an overflow pantry.
You don't have to reverse the stairs. (reversing the stairs creates its own set of problems. small landing area, can't move large items in or our. Nice to have stairs near the backdoor etc)

Good luck

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 10:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kaismom- I don't know if I understand your modifications or not. I cannot have an island because the room is only 10'9" wide and to have an island you need at least 12'.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think there's room for an island, but maybe a work peninsula with prep sink. Great place to stash a second oven or microwave drawer, too. It's not really blocking your pathway, since you'll probably set groceries on it, as you walk in from the garage. Makes a great serving area/bar, for parties, too :)

Sorry about the crayon, I have a tempermental scanner! LOL

This still gives you your two doorways, load bearing wall, bigger dining area and place for stools. It's not quite the same kitchen, but similar. What do you think?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LL, you've done it once again.
Why did it not occur to me that switching the dining with the kitchen would give a more efficient use of the whole space, and also keep down incidental traffic in the kitchen.
The door in the stair end of the space could stay there, as well as the stairs in their current config. That would give a bit more room for dining. I'm not sure I'd put a slider in that wall behind the dining table, but having a round pedestal table with two drop leafs would get it out of the way until you're ready to use it. The eat-at bar could be extended to the prep sink side also, just enough overhang to push high stools with backs on them, and then the "cook;s" stool could be pulled up to the bar as well.

Make the openings as wide as possible, to really perforate that load bearing wall. It will help to link the living and the other room, so it looks nice from the entry area. And I still like the idea of the narrow french style doors for that second doorway into the kitchen. It is, after all, the only route that makes sense to get from the bedroom wing to the back door, and to the basement, and even to the kitchen, without traipsing through the activity in the living room.

Good show! It will be a lot cheaper to reroute the plumbing and electrical on the exterior walls than on the interior walls. I really like what you've drawn, because the flow is good. Now if they could get an economical counter depth refrigerator, everything would be poifect!!!!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 4:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lavender and ML- I have posted a few layouts before of switching the rooms and none of them ever seem to work. This one is better in that it still has the two entrances but I am not sure I would use the peninsula/island much just because it is not that near to the range and I could not really chat with whoever was sitting on the island because my back would to them when I was cooking on the range and/or prepping. Am I missing something? I think I am getting to the point where I do not know what to think about any design. Very confused

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Newbie- The idea of this layout is to use the peninsula for the prep and socializing. You can even have family/friends help with prep, while sitting on the stools.

As it says on the kitchen forum, in Buehl's 'welcome' post, 70% of the work done in a kitchen is prep, 10% clean up and maybe 20% cooking. Unless you have to stir a lot of sauces, you're not really tied to the most cases. Of course, not everyone's cooking style is the same, but these are the average statistics.

That being said, you could move the peninsula over a foot of two, if that would make it more useful for prepping. Many people have a prep island across from their stove, this one just has one end against the wall.

When you are at the stove, you can interact with someone sitting in the living room, so if your DH likes to sit in the big chair with the ottoman, you could still have a conversation. And, depending on how wide you want that opening, you might see a bit of the sectional/sofa area, too.

You don't really need a prep sink, since you no longer have to walk across an aisle, to get from the stove to the sink, but if you do a lot of vegetable prep, the second sink might be a good idea. As always, only you know how you like to cook and what layout will work best, in your space. I don't know if you can get everything you want, in a small space, but you have some wonderful plans from which to choose :)

As for me, I don't stand at the stove that much, so I have an L-shaped kitchen with fridge, sink, corner, stove with oven and then finally second oven and microwave. The second oven is more important to me, since I bake a lot. The microwave will be closer to the freezer in the utility room, which works best for my DH and his use of the microwave, thawing out meat or heating up a quick meal. The island (a little more than 3' x 5') was going to have a prep sink, but I realized I needed the space more for baking, so I plan to put a marble slab there instead. Again, only you know how you will use your kitchen.

Best of luck with your choice...and if your kitchen is going to be this beautiful, your DH might decide to try cooking a bit more, too! Does he help much with prep? Or would it work better to put the dishwasher in the peninsula, for his clean up area? Of maybe he would like to have a place to set up snacks and offer beverages at a party? Again, only you two know how you will use your kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 11:15AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Getting older and keeping up
Just reading Stephs recent post about getting help...
Anyone tried a far infrared sauna in a small home?
Santa broke out in guffaws when he read my email for...
Who has blogs...can we see them?
I know there's some disappointment with the new format,...
Remodel almost home.
I've had fun the last few days, because I started "shopping...
ML - your new kitchen (or DR?) light fixture
I think I just saw one like it... somewhat anyway....
Sponsored Products
Sample-Bristol Driftwood Polished Ceramic Pencil Liners Sample
$2.99 | TileBar
Knape & Vogt Organization & Storage 53.38 in. x 3.81 in. x 22.25 in. Pantry
Home Depot
White & Navy Stripe Dish Towel
$12.99 | zulily
Serena & Lily Carson Counter Stool
Serena & Lily
Templeton Chrome Single-handle Kitchen Faucet
Kartell | Charles Ghost Stool
Whitehaus WHTTSLV3-9772SPR-ABRAS 6 3/16GǦ Twisthaus Entertain Bridge Faucet
$619.00 | Blue Bath
Homelegance Maribelle Dining Table in Warm Brown
Beyond Stores
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™