Please critique my Layout / Appliances

melissat99May 28, 2013

I've posted before with earlier iterations and really appreciate all the feedback. Am zeroing in on a final layout and would love critique of the overall layout / elevations, and would especially love ideas on what to do with the cabinets marked 'Family Command Center.' Our house doesn't have a mudroom area, so I think this space could work well to corral the assorted detritus of family life (it's directly across form the main back entry), but I'm not sure how best to organize it / what to do with it (other than to know I would love the ability to shut it all up behind doors for a quick clean up!)

I also welcome critiques on appliance selections. I am currently thinking:
-36", 4 door Samsung CD French Drawer for main fridge to give kids (3 & 5) a readily available snack drawer
-Quiet / effective dishwasher, probably Bosch
-GE Advantium over probably a GE Single/Double wall
-36 inch induction cooktop & vent hood / unknown brand (and may need to do a hood with a cabinet above in order to mask an offset vent pipe)
-24 inch fridge drawers, unknown brand

Overall Layout (seating on 3 sides of island overhang near door):

Sink wall elevation:

Range wall elevation:

Island elevation:

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Bosch/KA/Miele are all very nice DW.
I'd prefer two standard ovens with a separate MW vs. Advantium, if I had as much room as you have. Personal preference (and never having had a speed oven).

Some draft renders to help you and others visualize your plans and provide feedback:

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 2:43AM
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I'm not sure what the family command center is supposed to be used for. If it's the mud-roomy function I wouldn't have it there so close to your range wall as it will be a locus for shoes, book bags, sports equip, etc. If it's a message center sort of thing, then it seems less out of place, though a bit oversized for that function.

Notwithstanding your island across from it, I think I would steal some of the space now occupied by the "FCC" to add to counter room on either side of the range - 24 " isn't really huge. I'd also add pantry (mostly dry food storage) capacity to any message center utility, perhaps by changing the cabs to a more hutch-looking piece.

What I would not want just there is a functional mud room space. Looking again at your diagrams, I wonder if you could do this: make the FCC smaller (steal room for added counter space) and have it accessed from the other side of the wall. That would keep the mud-room functions in the other corridor - conveniently across from the coat closet.

This would take some tricky framing, but I think it could be done. I would be willing go to some trouble to remove the risk of "stuff drop" from the space in the main cooking aisle (i.e. between island and FCC). I know the FCC is placed close to the main (family) entrance but people can be trained to go around the wall before dropping/ stowing stuff. But there is always a certain amount of overflow, both shorterm and temporary.. (Ex: visiting kids' shoes and jackets that are fine temporarily stowed on a bench, but not fine if that temp. position is pratically in your main cooking area.)

Your kitchen is really taking shape nicely - I have followed, and occasionally commented, on its evolution. The efforts you have made to work it through will really pay off in long run sastisfaction, I'm sure.



    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 5:57AM
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i would replace the fridge drawers with a small beverage/wine fridge and face it out toward dinette table.Ditto the above comments about scrutiny of the closet setup for coats and misc. I think your island will be in demand for seating so I'd eliminate the chunky legs at the corners and do under counter brackets to support the overhang weight....15 inches might be better with good curved corners.... stools can move around at the end and corners. Place dishwasher on left of sink-fridge compressor is one of the biggest electricity hogs in the home ..avoid heat source next to it .

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 6:42AM
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seattleCraftsman - thank you SO much for the draft renders! I don't have the ability to do it myself yet, and seeing it rendered makes it looks so much more real (and better!) We had debated putting this off for a year but decided to push ahead, and seeing a more 'real' view helps solidify my decision to push forward, and makes me really excited to get this kitchen in place.

liriodendron - thank you so much for the feedback. My vision for the family command center is definitely more for messages / mail / bills / charging station type activities. I currently spread out on the kitchen table for that, so envision sitting at the island to tackle that, then putting those items back into / hidden in the cabinet. But I think your idea of flipping it around to access it from the bathroom corridor (or at least a mudroom component) is brilliant! We currently have a pocket door in that wall (that I plan to remove), so hopefully the framing there wouldn't be too difficult. Assuming I add the framing width, that gets me about 28" of total depth (I think?). Do you have thoughts on how you would split that between the two sides? Also - do you have thoughts on the ideal amount of countertop next to the range? Is 30" each side what I should aim for?

herbflavor - thank you for the ideas. The beverage fridge in that location was something I was considering, but thought it might be nice to provide some fridge access for the cooking aisle separate from the cleanup section, but that is definitely something I am still debating, so will plan to rethink that! As for the dishwasher, I originally had it on the left hand side, but I tried to mock that up in the current kitchen with a chair, and when open it made the aisle into the pantry area too tight to pass through easily, while on the right it seems to leave space to still pass around it to the fridge without a problem. With the ovens on that wall the right hand side also seemed easier to provide decently easy access to everyday plate/glass storage, while keeping that storage convenient for table setting. And as a righty I do prefer the right side, though with 2 left handed family members maybe I should get it on the left and give up the dishwashing job...

And just thank you all for the great feedback! I am tackling this job pretty much solo (no KD, and my husband doesn't really have opinions on layout type considerations), so the feedback/thoughts of others on here helps tremendously.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:52AM
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Have taken these ideas and created a new layout - as usual the GW forum has improved the design.

And to follow up to two suggestions:
seattleCraftsman - I really want the Advantium for the speedcook feature, and based on how we cook (multiple items but not huge volumes) think the GE Single/Double + Advantium will really work for our family. I also plan to put our old countertop MW in the pantry - not the most convenient location, but still available, and based on how we use our kitchen I think an inconvenient location for the MW will be the least disruptive overall.

herbflavor - I don't think an overhang on the island without legs will work for us because at 36" wide the end is really only big enough for one person. The reason the overhang is so long (30") is that I envision stools on all 3 sides - the end / dinette sides primarily for my kids, with the cooking aisle stool for use by me while cooking / homework helping.

New Layout with mudroom cabinetry opening from bathroom corridor:

New Range wall elevation - I imagine the uppers will be 30w with a center stile to allow for a center install for the door, such that all doors open easily for the person cooking at the range:

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 12:40PM
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Perhaps the pros can chime in, but my layout has some similar widths. With a counter overhang on both sides, you may have 40" or less in the aisle between the cooking area and the island. This is a bit narrow to place a stool, even if you only use it only when not cooking.

Have you considered inverting the beverage fridge to sit to the right of the prep sink (with perhaps an 18" bank of drawers inbetween) and extending a 13 to 15" overhang on the opposite side (extending the island as necessary) ? You would still get 3 seats, but two would be on the opposite side of the island, and one would be on the end.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 1:56PM
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Late in replying, but

I think 30" is a big improvement on either side of the range. Thirty inches allows for room for activity plus simultaneous landing room for hot pots (24" leaves you pretty much one or the other, unless you crowd things in.) You have also finagled a perfectly balanced/symmetrical arrangement (extra points!), but to get at least one 30" run I would have been willing to steal that extra 6" from one side and add it to the other even if it meant less-desirable lack of symmetry.

I think you will be able to create the mudroom-function across from the coat closet.. Especially if you train the family that coats go in the closet, but there's cubbies for shoes, bookbags, skates, mittens/hats, etc. in the "mud room" space. It's up to you whether you use classical operant conditioning techniques, clicker-traning, guilt-trips or daily nagging for the behavior modification part. (There may be another Forum with good advice for that.)

I would consider a bench seat (cubbies for shoes below) to make it easier to change shoes and boots. With shelves, hooks or baskets somehow worked in here and there to contain stuff.

For the structural part of building this space (with fluid depth-theft within the wall assembly to accomodate this origami of a wall) you may need to study and learn how to draw up these plans, unless you happen to find a gifted carpenter who can think out of the box. Keep in mind, too, that for the uses on the kitchen side of this space, you can get away with non-standard depth cabs in this portion of that counter run. If they come out flush to the regular cabs with the rangetop, who's to know if they don't go back quite as far, giving you extra depth on the backside for the mudroom. (Think of the mental fun future owners will have when they're trying to figure out their own reno plans and it finally dawns on them that the space allocation in that wall is much more complicated than it looks!)

A mental picture I would have in thinking about this space is a very thick wall with a wide opening framed under a header (like an extra wide dorway ). You can divide the internal space how you like as long as it comes out even (flush) on both sides. Looked at from side (imagine you are a mouse in the wall) the horizontal spaces (running from side to side) may not have to run straight down vertically from the ceiling, except on each end where the header is supported. I think you could have various depths, depending on the uses you plan.

Example: underneath the bench the shoe-stashing area probably doesn't have to be too deep. Who is going to fish out shoes from a really deep space - and who wants to stoop down to vacuum clean deep under there?. But on the kitchen side it might be highly useful to have extra deep drawers or ROTS there for deep pantry storage. Or conversely, maybe you want to have deep shoe drawers that protrude a bit into the kitchen side and less deep storage in the pantry-side. Pantry pull outs can also have shelves of different depths, too, (with careful planning) to get around protuberances from the other side.

Sounds like a really fun challenge, and I think it will give you tremendous satisfaction in working it out and liviing with it. Think of this space like boat designers do: leave no wasted capacity.



    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 3:25PM
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I'd put the fridge, where you show the family command center. More windows over the sink and balanced uppers on each side. Have you thought about glass uppers on either side of the cooktop?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 4:38AM
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