kitchen layout

blanche1951October 16, 2006

I would like to hear from people about the best kitchen layouts in a small home. Also, is anyone happy with the laundry as part of the kitchen?

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I believe that galley and "L" or "U" kitchens are the most efficient for small homes, but any configuration could work well if you have the major appliances (sink, fridge, stove) in an efficient work triangle.

There is a small/tiny kitchens blog on this site, though it looks like it hasn't been updated in a while. It has links to pictures of small kitchens, for inspiration.

You could also post in the Kitchens area, for layout suggestions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small Kitchens Blog

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 3:59PM
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My kitchen isn't terribly small for the size of the house. Layout is the issue for me, visually more than arrangement. In some ways I would take a smaller kitchen if the layout worked better. Part of the problem is the work area between the sink and stove (a corner)...everyone wants to be there to help.

My laundry is in the kitchen area where the back door is. It was frightful when I bought this house, an old water heater in the corner and washer/dryer next to it. I have redone this area...keep putting off posting the finished product. Am working on a folding table attached to a floor to ceiling unit I installed to hide the water heater. Previous owner had two children and I don't know where she folded clothes, the kitchen counter is close enough to do so, but not my thing.

At first I didn't like the idea of the laundry in the kitchen. But it is working out far better than when I had separate laundry rooms. There is much more room and friendlier being in the kitchen with windows, etc.

There were thoughts of moving the laundry to a built in storage near the bath/bedrooms, or closet backing up to the bathroom. Neither seemed practical and limited area.

Tis interesting having the laundry in a kitchen, my kids are grown/out of the house, but like kitchens which become gathering rooms...they hang around in there if I have laundry going.

So, the answer is....I like the laundry area and it can work well in a kitchen.

Too bad the small kitchen blog didn't keep going. Smaller homes is getting quiet too, sure hope it hangs around.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 6:22AM
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I designed/built our small house with a 12' x 12' kitchen, in a rear corner of the "grand room". My goal was to have a very efficient kitchen, with emphasis on the "perfect" work triangle.
The laundry room is immediately on the other side of the door to the left.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Our kitchen design is very similar to Willie's. We also put an open upper cabinet over the island and built a liquor bar and wine rack at one end. It's hard to give good opinions on kitchen design because it really depends on how you cook - and for lots of folks it's if you cook. We have friends who remodeled the kitchen of a house they bought last year. The project cost them about $40,000. It's high end everything but they've never cooked a big meal in there because they just don't cook. They microwave and grill. Tom

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 10:29AM
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When we had a 1200 sq foot house, our laundry was right out the kitchen door in the garage. The other option with our house was to put it where our pantry and fridge were, which were directly across from each other in the kitchen. I can't imagine have dirty underwear and yucky clothes piled up in my kitchen, clean or otherwise. It would be hot and humid when the dryer is going, not to mention the noise level with either! Yikes!

Just a couple things to think about. I'm glad mine was in the garage. Cold or not.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 8:33PM
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The best kitchen that I ever had for the amount of counter and cupboard space was a galley kitchen. All cupboards were accessible and there seemed to be tons of counter space.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 7:44PM
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Our 2-story cottage has the laundry in a separate storage room off the garage, which is just steps away from the master bedroom suite (we turned a basement illegal 2-room apartment into a big bedroom and full bath). Since there's just the two of us, it is fabulous to have the laundry so close to the bedroom. Plus it is a good-sized finished room, so easy to hang up clothes right out of the dryer, and fold up towels, etc.

I'd also say that galley or an L- or U-shape works best for almost every kitchen, regardless of size. We gutted the cottage when we first moved in, which allowed us to enlarge the original kitchen to 12x14'. I actually could have made the kitchen larger, but big kitchens weren't fashionable then; I now regret I didn't steal just a few more inches! The sq. footage on the main living floor is about 825 sf, consisting of a typical small-ish bedroom, a decent sized bathroom, a 2nd bdrm we opened up and turned into a true dining room (one of my must-haves), the kitchen and a good-sized LR.

I took a corner of the LR nearest the kitchen and turned it into my office. We just finished replacing the old cheapo desk stuff with a great set of real office furniture from a local store. My husband had to talk me into it but now I absolutely love having a more professional setup. I've always liked having the computer handy to the kitchen as it allows me to go back and forth with just a few steps. I can start cooking something on the stove, and while it simmers, walk a few steps to my PC and write, surf the Net, etc. Now my desk is a little smaller, but there's four lateral filing drawers to hold all our important papers, two large hutches for computer supplies, a mobile pedestal cabinet that slips underneath the desk in the corner, and a bookcase to hold my reference books, printouts, etc. It's great because computer stuff is something I can stop at any time, so it works for me to have it near the kitchen. I set the timer and when I hear it go off, I get up and finish cooking.

Ironically enough, it's a U-shaped arrangement, just like my kitchen, LOL.........I didn't realize this before!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 3:51PM
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Thanks everyone for all of the input. I thought that the galley was the best by far. That is the layout I had when I lived in a modular with my three kids and Hubby. It was so easy to get around.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 10:15PM
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My kitchen is U-shaped, it's 6 feet wide (interior) and 8 feet long. The stove is at the bottom of the "U", and the fridge and sink are opposite one another on the sides. The pantry is beside the fridge. There's a small peninsula for morning coffee.

These aren't fantastic pictures, but you get the idea

It's perfect when it's just me - I couldn't ask for a better setup. But when DH and I are both in the kitchen at the same time, I have divorce fantasies. Not sure if it's the setup, or if that's just what you get when you have a small kitchen. My father has a small kitchen (same cupboard/counter space if not less), and he and his wife both cook at the same time. Their kitchen feels much more spacious to me. It's L-shaped.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 7:39AM
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I love the color of your kitchen you know what the paint color is by any chance and would you share the number with me? This is so close to the color I would like to paint my kitchen. I'd appreciate it.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 7:49PM
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Thanks Elaine! I got the paint at Walmart and it's called Londonderry.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 7:05AM
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Valzone - I love your kitchen. Is there any way you can show me the floor plan? I also have a tiny kitchen and your plan may work. TIA


    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 7:06PM
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Thanks Carol! I will look around for the floorplan and scan it if I can find it. Here are a few more angles of the kitchen. Pardon the mess - getting ready for a party. And who am I kidding - we just live like that ;O)

Two things that I LOVE about my kitchen are my appliance garage and my pantry - I can hide so much in each. The pull-out shelves in the pantry are fantastic.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 10:21AM
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We recently remodeled and decided that rather than live with a tiny kitchen and tiny living room we would take down the wall separating them and make a large great room style space. Breaking out of the "box" really opened up the possibilities and ease of use. Instead of bottlenecks in the old kitchen, we now have flow. I am thrilled when I use the kitchen every day, because it works so well!



    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 9:59AM
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Hi all!
We're in the process of building a new home.

The plan will include an open kitchen/living area with a bar separating the two rooms.

We decided to build a laundry room inside of our large master bath. There will be a wall and louvered door separating the bath from the laundry room. I like how it's coming along. At first I thought we would have the washer/dryer in some area of our kitchen, but our master bath is pretty large and we had the room in there, so we decided to go for it. Husband has the frame finished and will be installing the louvered door sometime this week.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 6:36AM
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At first I didn't like the idea of the laundry in the kitchen. But it is working out far better than when I had separate laundry rooms. There is much more room and friendlier being in the kitchen with windows, etc.

I'm coming around to agreeing with you, although for quite some time, I've wished for a separate laundry room. My washer and dryer are in my already-small breakfast area that's in the kitchen, but I've become accustomed to having it this way, and it is nice to be able to use the kitchen table for folding clothes, while also keeping an eye on whatever's cooking on the stove! Most folks wouldn't want their W&D right out there in the open, though, like mine are. ;-)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 9:37PM
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If you bumped the wall out 3 feet, moved the dining table inside the kitchen area, put a door in the window on the right, floor to ceiling kitchen cabinets on either side of the left window and stackable units in the middle...this is what I have.

Mine is sort of another room, but still very open to the kitchen...a 5' opening to back door.

The other day I was thinking of buying some roman shades and hanging from the ceiling to drop down in front of the units. Like you, the area is kept uncluttered, probably more so because of the location. Someone mentioned having dirty clothes in the kitchen, not the case as they are in bedroom closet baskets until washday.

No, it isn't the best layout and there are times I would have liked a laundry room, but tis the part of smaller homes. I could move this to a hallway in the middle of the house, but didn't seem worth losing a closet to.

I love your colors...where do you live? Reminds me of NM. Have you posted your kitchen are my deal. And the cat on the dryer...stackables don't let my kitties do this any more. Used to love seeing them hanging around there.

Nice to know I have a laundry room/kitchen buddy.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 8:10AM
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When someone says their kitchen is 12x12, does that mean the entire room including the area taken up by the counters/cabinets? Or is that the area between the cabinets? Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 9:40AM
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Emagineer - it sounds like you have a very workable set-up! And while you and I may sometimes "wish" for something a little different, you are so right in coming to terms with the fact that this is just one of the quirks of small-home living! And older home living too! I'd love to have more counter and storage space in the kitchen; alas, in 1940 (when my home was built) they didn't have the sheer volume of kitchen stuff that we seem to think we "need" these days! ;-)

Thanks for the kind words about my colors! I have posted pics of the kitchen before -- a couple are shown below. I live in Fort Worth, Texas - but my heart is really in the desert southwest and/or Mexico, so my home tends to reflect my passion for those areas! Have you posted pics of your home? Would love to see them if you haven't, as I'm crazy over vibrant colors!

More of breakfast area (with new light fixture):

Kitchen (before vinyl flooring was replaced with Saltillo tile):

Dining room (looking into kitchen):

Living room:

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:07AM
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susan - The kitchen dimensions are of the whole room, including the space taken up by cabinets etc....not the dimensions between the cabinets. I have been lurking...I love everyones kitchens and I see so many great ideas. Willienunez...I love yours. Do you have a pantry? Valzone - I have a pull out pantry like yours, but I use it for my appliances...blender, crock pots, mixer, bread maker etc. I love it. I have a regular pantry with shelves on the other side, but after having the one like yours with the pullouts, I am wondering if I would like that idea better in the next house rather than the standard pantry with the shelves. It seems like theres a ton of wasted space in that one because the shelves are only half as deep as the pantry is.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 10:19AM
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Aunt Jen,

Sorry about not responding down for 2 days. Tis amazing after being on hold forever (lines busy for those 2 days) and finally talking to someone alive, without answers, my connection came back 10 min. after hanging up. Major net withdrawel! Plus we have been snowed in during this time with the worse iced roads ever....cabin fever is high. Bear with me if I ramble or just don't make sense.

Lived in NM for 4 I recognized the love of colors. Although the newer homes were all off white with a lot of tile and realtors had a fit if something was "out of character" when selling. As much as I love color, haven't taken the plunge. It is probably time since I plan on staying here for the long haul. My first shot was planned for a garden shed/porch from old windows/doors and painting them fun colors...a place to read and enjoy the garden.

No pics yet. This is due to thinking I'll get something finished and changing my mind. Plus the fact that most of what I am doing is on my my daughter if the going gets tough. Electrical isn't part of this for either of us. There are plenty of pics during the changes though and definitely will post.

I just realized with the discussion of laundry rooms that I can move the storage..on either side of my stacked WD..out 2" and install folding doors across the units. At least they would be out of the way when eating occurs. Also want to take one of the cupboard doors and add drop down hinges which would allow a folding area.

I'm off to Home Depot this morning!

A new year for all of us...wishing each of you good days ahead.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 7:56AM
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