Would you please review kitchen floorplan? 1880s house
I am new to posting, though I have read the forum for some time. I would greatly appreciate feedback and assistance with a kitchen remodel.
House: 1880s shingle style house with a dark and not very functional kitchen facing north in New England. Currenlty the whole kitchen space (kitchen + eating area is 11'10" by 18'. The plan will expand it only slightly--the bumpout is approximately 3' x 8.5' and the door is moved back by about 4' giving us a bit more room when we enter the house. (The original door is still on the plan as the door to a new coat closet).
North-facing: The three windows in the plan over the sink face northwest and the bumpout faces northeast so the corner of the kitchen is due north. Mature trees all around.
Goal: renovate the kitchen and keep the footprint as similar as possible with two exceptions, already shown on the plan: 1) 3 foot bumpout oriented to the northeast with a deep banquette window seat to create an eating nook with lovely views to a small but pretty garden and 2) move the back door by a few feet to improve the rear entry.
The butler's pantry will keep its layout and for now the refrigerator stays there (I hate the way all fridges look and do not mind 2 extra steps to get there). This is because we need to keep the piano in the center of the kitchen (for now) to motivate practice. In the future, if we do not have a piano this space could become the pantry or the fridge could move there and the current location of the fridge could become the pantry.
Dishwasher stays in the butler's pantry since it works so well there and we will continue to store plates and cutlery and glassware there to serve both the kitchen and the dining room (which is next to the butler's pantry).
I am enclosing the plans for the revisions, which I designed and had an architect convert to CAD. Architect liked the plan and really had no changed to offer.
1. Is 4'6" (54") the right amount of clearance between the counter and the peninsula? or should we go a bit wider? two of us cook, not at the same stove at the same time but husband is not tiny (6'5"). But enlarging this impinges on the eating area
2. I want a really deep banquette that is a proper window seat that one could nap on. Windows with tempered glass will go all the way down to the seat cushion since one will not be able to lean back if seated on the banquette to eat. Problem--right now the width of this eating area is about 9 feet. As shown we have a banquette on the right side as well so the table is off center (to allow more room to access the peninsula and its stools, when in use). This means that the table is NOT centered on the 3 windows of the bumpout and there is not a good place to hang the light fixture that does not look odd. So should we center the table and just have 3 feet on either side and a 3 foot table? other ideas?
3. Counter depth--might use 30 inch counters on the two shorter sides (the counter run with the stove and the one parallel to it). Thoughts? How much more expensive would that be for deeper cabinets?
4. Where should the microwave go? if it goes in the peninsula, would you put it on the open end or opening into the center of the kitchen?
5. Lighting--since it is an old house I do not want to perforate the ceiling all over with can lights but do need good light (north facing). Thoughts?
6. For those with a bumpout to the northeast with trees around, would skylights in the bumpout make much difference to the light or would it just leak all our heat out in winter? We are already adding two additional windows on the sink side and have the windows in the bumpout but the entry is heavily shaded by a sleeping porch above so maximizing light is a goal.
7. Would a beadboard ceiling painted a glossy white lighten the space?
8. Pantry--we are losing a big walk in panty area that now takes up almost half the kitchen space and means that we do not even have a sink in the main part of the kitchen. I loathe the pantry as it is a black hole--way too much in it and nothing can be found. But when it goes so does food storage. Ideas for convenient food storage in the plan? Less storage will be better, but no storage not so good.
9. I would love to use high end recycled cabinets--and experience with those?
10. Casement windows: I would like them over the sink and in the bumpout but although the architect did not say anything about it, it seems that a person coming up the back stairs could run right into an open casement window unless it folds all the way back and attaches.
11. This plan has a lot of blind corner lower cabinets. I don't think I can avoid that but I need to figure out how to use them effectively. Ideas? was going to have a cabinet under peninsula to be accessed from open side though others here mentioned repeatedly bumping their heads on these.
Any other thoughts much appreciated. Thank you!