Which layout works better?

Kathy RiveraMay 8, 2013

Please help! :) I posted my HD plan yesterday and didn't get much feedback. Hoping having 2 plans to compare might generate more interest.

I have a HD generated layout and a 'nice showroom' generated layout. I like the traffic flow of the HD one, but the look of the showroom one. I have to move plumbing gas in both, so I'm stuck either way.

Pro: seems to have better flow
Biggest Con: Fridge against wall

Showroom plan:
Pro: I like the snack center created on the bottom wall (keeps the scavengers out of my way cooking!)
Biggest Con: It looks a little pinched around the left side of the island - coming in from the front hall you have to 'pick a side' to go to or you run smack into the island...

Here's a 'mock up' I did f the island using a table. It would be a little longer to the left, but the placement is correct. And obviously an island would be prettier but still...also, the nice window behind it will be gone so I'm not sure your eye will get drawn to the stove wall like it does to the window.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kathy, my own preference would definitely be to lose the island. I haven't liked it in any version. Too little, too in the way and you can't even tell it to get out of the kitchen while you're busy working.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Rosie - I don't know that you get enough benefit from the island to justify the flow restriction. Getting rid of it allows you to put deeper pantry cabinets on the bottom wall (whether the fridge goes there or not). If the fridge goes there, put a counter there, so you have a place to drop groceries that go in the fridge.

I'm looking at your corner. I don't have strong feelings about a corner sink (some folks do), but what I see is two windows close together. You might get better light in your kitchen with option 2, moving the sink and window to the right. I also think the sink/DW placement is better with the sink on the wall - with the corner sink, the open DW will trap you at the sink.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The first plan is a very difficult kitchen set up I wouldn't willfully do.

I also have a kitchen that's similar with all the doors going in. So I'm going to throw out some thoughts to see if anything gives you an idea (maybe/maybe not).

In plan 2, can you take down the wall adjacent to the family room -- the one attached to the range wall -- and then just scoot the island down -- centering it on the stove -- in that direction?

Without a scale drawing it's hard to see what that would do re the basement door but it would give nice display opportunity on the end of the island facing the family room plus it could allow for something to pull out on the opposite end where there's space.

Alternately (and this is way out) lose the peninsula, put a long banquette on the unbroken dining wall and push the table back there. You'd have seating facing the kitchen and much more space to work with.

Is there space for the fridge between the two windows? Where it is now isn't bad but will become a choke point when the door is open as it opens into the passage from the dining room. With that relocation, that whole passage could be pantry storage or uppers and lowers with a sort of buffet/breakfast bar set up there. And it's out of the cooking zone.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't like the fridge placement in the showroom plan. If someone is using the fridge, you're going to have to do a dance to get around them. You have to have enough room for both the door and the person and another person if you don't want to do the dance and I don't think 42" will cut it. A person standing in front of a double door fridge with the door open is 36" (I just checked :) ). You're correct though, the fridge is pretty far away from the dining room in the HD plan. Are they drawn for counter depth fridges? You'll gain at least 5" if you go with counter depth.

To me, the HD plan looks more functional. Think of what you do all at the same time in the kitchen. I'll be cooking something on the stove, putting dishes away, messing with the microwave, getting stuff in/out of the fridge to use. You're all over the place with that showroom plan because they voted your m/w and fridge off the island! Also, don't plan on emptying/loading the dishwasher at the same time you cook on the stove with the showroom plan since the open dishwasher door will be in your way.

Anyhow, if these were the choices, I'd choose HD and make the island a scoch longer.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't like either. One has the fridge too far from the table and a corner sink. In the other the fridge creates a pinch point (something that drove me nuts). How attached are you to the peninsula? It works in some kitchens, but for this one, I would get rid of it. Put the fridge there (by patio doors?), switch the sink and dw, make the island longer (and you might even be able to put seating there if that's something you want), put nothing on the lower wall. Makes for good flow with nothing in the way of traffic and if you do all drawers in the island, there will be plenty of storage. If you don't like my thoughts, I totally won't be offended. Just hope I help you know on what you want.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kathy Rivera


The island is suggested by both designers b/c otherwise the stove is completely open to the kitchen and everyone will be constantly coming into my space.

The HD plan is actually what GW's own live_wire_oak suggested a couple weeks ago and people seemed to think it was a good idea then - again to block the stove from people and to appeal to the HGTV-esque buyer who 'must have an island' in the event we sell in a couple years (up in the air right now).

rococo: It is drawn to scale. 1 square is 12". Also, the FR wall cannot be touched as it houses the plumbing stack for the 3 bathrooms in the house! $$$ :/ I also don't want a banquette. I'm already concerned with losing the formal DR in my very traditional colonial in terms of resale, so it needs to stay a space for a traditional table and chairs, IMO. Also, b/c I'm losing legitimate 'eat-in kitchen' space, I have to maintain something for people to see "breakfast/homework spot", so the peninsula is a must which means the fridge cannot move over there.

annkh: I have a corner sink now and like using them actually. I prefer the larger expanse of prep area they create. And I don't feel trapped in when the DW is open since my only 'duty' any time it is open is working in it, I'm not sure why I'd need to move around while it is open?

barb - funny you think 42" is bad. We have a single door (top freezer) right now and it completely blocks the DR doorway so it stops people dead in their tracks. I guess I prefer dancing to not moving at all! :) But I see your point. It also seems a little far from the stove should I decide I need something from it while cooking - oops, need the milk/butter/carrots/etc. I don't hate the MW there as we use it most for reheating and frozen veggies.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kathy Rivera

This was what I brought to both designers and thought the stove being closer to the corner would protect the cooking area a bit. Do you like this better instead of an island? Would you not be concerned with crazy small children running through and getting hit with hot pots or pans from the oven as I pulled them off/out?

sugarbaby: Giant window in DR is just that - not doors and no deck below it. Outside access is through FR and won't be changing. And we were posting at same time, but, yes, some sort of seating is required in the kitchen area. I posted a long island plan before and it was vetoed, but I'll post it again (the boxes on either side of the window were me playing with putting tall cabs/built-ins there to use as pantry space since there isn't really any dedicated space otherwise):

This post was edited by KathyNY76 on Wed, May 8, 13 at 17:57

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A few comments about children:

I think a kid is just as likely to go racing around an island as to race headlong into a stove without an island. I don't think I've ever met a kid who didn't like to run laps around stuff.

My twin sons are freshmen in college. I can only think of a few times when they were in elementary school that they did homework in the kitchen/dining room - I think we were helping them with spelling words. The vast majority of their homework was done in their bedrooms.

We have a small U-shaped kitchen, open to the dining room. No peninsula, no island. We eat all our meals at the dining table; I do bills there; we work on projects there. Unless your table is not large enough for your whole family to sit together for a meal, I don't consider counter seating right next to the table to be a huge benefit (strictly my personal, unprofessional opinion). You said in your reply to sugarbaby that seating there is required, but you HAVE seating at the table. Why is more required?

Losing the counter seating from the peninsula gives you access to the corner from the dining room side - whether you put the sink there or not (if you choose to do a peninsula).

If you go with your last layout (no peninsula), I think I'd put the fridge on the dining room side. That would put it closer to the table (easier access at meal time), give you more of a drop zone in and out of the fridge (not in the stove area), and give you a spot for a floor to ceiling pantry in the corner.

There's no question this is a challenging space! Nothing jumps out at me as an ideal solution.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

kathy -- For me, your plan that you brought to designers (top one at 17:53) is the best from a cooking standpoint. Good space around the range; ditto the sink. I like the range next to the window. The fridge flipped to the end removes the dining room choke point and there's sitting down space adjacent. Much better IMO.

Hear you on kiddo seating/resale/plumbing. These are all important.

I would forget the island BUT would look for a large kitchen work table. They look great, will cost less and will serve the similar purpose.

Don't know what style you are going for but they range from simple butcher block with bottom shelf to ones with marble and drawers. Can add a tone of style and some have casters that can be locked. Williams Sonoma has them as do others. That would give setting down space without becoming a "barrier island" and having work table height vs 36, you could probably pull up stools for the kiddos right in the middle if needed. Or sit down yourself to do something.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the the U space you just posted the best. I agree with roccogirl.

Every family/person is different. My kids always liked (and still do) doing their homework on the dining table or now the kitchen island.

What is the "R" on the bottom of the pennisula?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kathy Rivera

I should have linked to my 25 thousand previous threads to answer many of these questions! :)

A lot of the seating issues stem from resale. I live in a typical forever home for my area and a tradtional center hall colonial at that. So most people buying would not have had any sort of seating in their previous space, so it will be something they definitely want in their next home. Or they had an EIK but no DR. My realtor stressed it should be 'comfortable EIK', but we have the room for that now and no kitchen function, so I'm attempting to meet his idea half way.

While I agree in my long island plan the fridge would function better on the DR end, that's a spot where I chose form. The large opening on the bottom DR wall is the LR - I'd hate to be sitting on the couch and have a perfect view of a giant fridge. Gah, why are they so huge?!

annkh- thanks for your perspective of older kids. I will say right now that my 5 y.o perches on the trash can whenever I'm in the kitchen working so I can see that she definitely wants a space that's part of the action - not just over at the table. And do you think if your space had had seating other than the dining table that maybe the kids would have done their homework there as opposed to their rooms? At least in the grade school years? My kids' rooms are upstairs so I'd hate to be yelling up and down the stairs whenever they needed help...I yell up the stairs for enough stuff as it is! :)

rococo: I thought about doing a work table when I first worked up this plan. I love a french country look but, again, for resale think I'll go safer. A work table might be the perfect place to bring a little of that in. I only worry about my floors - I'm planning cork and worry it will sink in that spot.

debrak - yeah, I think once there is official seating somewhere, my kids will be there a lot! The R is a recycling cabinet. We have a TON and it only gets picked up every other week so I'd love to dedicate a cabinet to it and not share it with trash.

Thanks, again, everyone! This is so helpful. I felt good about the way I was going with the plan I brought to the designers but when they both suggest islands...I should have remembered that GWers often know better! I'm still thinking about the HD plan, though, so feel free to share more ideas!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 7:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe a mixture of SR and HD layouts?
Peninsula as in SR.
Fringe as in SR but more to the left across the peninsula.
Shallow cabs on right of fridge as in HD + island as in HD.
Corner sink, but DW on the right, then range and pantry at the very end.

Edited to correct spelling (but probably left a lot more behind:))

This post was edited by sena01 on Thu, May 9, 13 at 6:44

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Even if it sank, those tiles could be replaced. Best to save a few extras.

We have a center hall colonial as well. Your kitchen reminds me of mine except we have TV room where you have LR and back hallway and mudroom where you have DR. My DR is where your foyer entry is. Basement is in same spot LOL.

I did a reno of our apartment pre-resale. Went with neutrals and nothing too quirky/personalized. We did super well and I hope you do, too.

Good luck with the kitchen. Trust your gut and don't second guess. You'll do fine!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress! I liked the island design that you posted about a month ago. I also like your latest version on this post with the wrap around counter on your plumbing stack wall but I recall that you might feel boxed in coming up the steps or passing through with a cabinet on that wall? How about something like this with an island and the wrap on the plumbing wall? The wall behind would be blank for art display (or maybe open up that wall, too).

I think the HD & SR versions with islands would be too tight. The peninsula versions are a good alternative to the islands. One nitpick if you go that route -- put the MW on the kitchen side of the fridge. Good luck and keep posting!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What were the complaints about the island plan, exactly?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kathy Rivera

Deedles - my complaints? And which island plan? :) So confused at this point! Maybe I should label them with letters!

People in this thread seem to think the island is too small and not worth it in both the showroom (SR) plan and HD plan (both posted in first post). The HD island seems okay to me (same size as bee's old kitchen island). The SR plan I personally don't like how the island is dead in front of the door from the hall/front entrance - it feels like a big road block and the left side is very pinchy.

Here is a hybrid I came up with based on sena01's suggestions. The island on the main prep side is 5' with overhang so that doesn't seem too small to be worth it to me - though it does narrow out to 36" with overhang on the other side.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your post at 17:53 yesterday said your island plan was 'vetoed', sorry, should have used that word. Here: "I posted a long island plan before and it was vetoed, but I'll post it again (the boxes on either side of the window were me playing with putting tall cabs/built-ins there to use as pantry space since there isn't really any dedicated space otherwise): "

I was just wondering what the objections were to the island plan that you refer to in this post.

It's easy to get lost in all the posting, isn't it? I thought I had an awful layout to work with but I found that my biggest problem was me: trying to make things fit instead of realistically (key word) looking at the room and making peace with what I needed it to be as a kitchen and also in relation to the rest of the house. What we finally settled on after about 3 billion sheets of graph paper was very close to what is there now with some common sense changes. We had to come to terms with our hearts desire vs. reality.

I guess what I'm saying is that you know what your kitchen needs to be for you, if it's an island with smaller aisles, so be it. If no island, then the heck with it. For all any of us know, islands might be 'out' in a few years so the must have becomes (dreaded word) dated.

You'll get there. :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like your U-shaped plan without the island best with following modifications:

1. change it to a L such that the right side of the U goes away. Those corners make for tricky/inefficient storage.

2. switch to a full depth refrigerator and recess into lower wall if possible.

3. for lower wall do (L to R) shallow 12" cabinets rotated sideways to build in the RF, RF, then microwave cabinets. Shallow cabinets could either be a pantry or a message center area.

4. If more storage space is needed, consider adding shallow cabinetry along the left most wall of the dining room.

I think you (and prospective owners) would like a more functional cohesive space with wider expanse of counters and storage and, yes, I do think you will use the peninsula a lot and with that don't really need an island. Too much space is wasted maintaining all the aisle ways. With sink out of that corner, but still nearby, it will keep the peninsula space open for baking projects, homework, snacks, etc. Your range looks pretty protected to me since your traffic pattern will route from DR, refrigerator and family room. The microwave area can also double as a snack center so no real reason for kids to hover in front of range. I have 3 kids so understand the concern.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kathy Rivera

OK. OK. Deedles you are right...need to find what works for us and go from there.

So here are my two 'best' options - IMO.

The U:
I edited a bit from the one posted above. I enlarged the window over the sink and took out the one to the right of the hood. I figure it adds much needed cabinets. And I was really just trying to work with the hole that is already there from the current window on both sides. But the one by the hood is the big window so will need to be closed up a bit anyway and seems it would be less hassle to just close it up. Then I only have one window to replace (over the sink) and I might as well make it a little bigger in the process.
The best part about this I think is that it gives some separation to the rooms so you can still sense 'dining room'

The island:
I moved the sink to the wall and used the island to get a pot drawer, a recycling bin, and a shallow base cupboard to make up for small pantry space. I put the MW in an appliance garage on the DR end b/c it's nicer to look at a pretty to counter cab than it is to look at a giant fridge. I know this puts the fridge a ways from the DR, but it's a compromise I'm fine with.
Best part - This would allow me to do the two-town kitchen I'd love to have (creamy top, stained lower and island)'. But that's one loooong, skinny island! I could take it down 2 feet by removing a stool? And I worry it really takes away any semblance of 'dining room'.

SO, if these are the options - which is better? No edits, no 'better if you do X', just which do you think would work better? (Trying to declutter my brain! :) )


    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

U would work better for me.

I consider U kitchens with storage across the sink and stove as ideal (though corners may be difficult). But, mind you I can't be a potential buyer since I live in a different continent.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 4:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Congrats on moving that window. So much better!!

For me, the top plan is the better. People will tell you with a 37.5 inch aisle is OK. But what's the drop on the oven door and how much space does that leave when that hot oven door is open? Then moving the island back isn't great because it will be off center from the other rooms when looking in. Sometime like that doesn't seem important on a floor plan but when it's built and you walk it it's surprising how distracting it can be.

Also, I don't care for the relationship between the sink, micro, range and fridge all on the same wall in Plan 2. Everyone is different in the kitchen, of course, but if one prime concern is resale, which it seems to be, then I wouldn't go with that arrangement because the aisle will become a perpetual traffic jam.

The top plan gives far more flexibility. I also do not understand why anyone thinks the refrigerator needs to be near the dining room. It needs to be near the cooking triangle, where it is in plan 1.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 4:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The refrigerator issue is that many times people will enter the kitchen only to use get something from it. Imagine kids running in and out just to get a juice box, water, whatever. Or sitting down to eat at the table and having to get up to get salad dressing, drinks, etc.

I don't have much of an aisle but mine is 42" and I would not want it any smaller or larger.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I prefer the top plan as well. The fridge location in that corner would be the deal breaker for me. Not just because it will be a pain to open it, but because people will be crossing the cooking zone to get to it. You refuse to consider a fridge at the DR end of the room, so I think you need to go with a plan where it is on the bottom wall.

(But put your DW on the peninsula out of the prep zone!) ;)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kathy Rivera

I said no edits CF!!! ;)

I do refuse to put the fridge there. I sat in the LR in 3 different spots and that area just loomed at me! No way I could have a fridge there.

And why would I put the DW on the peninsula? Twisting to get into it would be worse that stepping out of the way for someone to access it while I'm prepping. That said, I think the 30" between DW and range is plenty of space to stand in and still leave the DW accessible.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Of the two I also like the top one without the island. Seems like much more room to breathe and move and quite a bit more counter space. I can see why the DW is where it is and I'm sure you'll be able to work with it there just fine. I like the peninsula with the seating and people can grab from the fridge without getting in your cooking space, too. Bigger window is nice, also. Do you feel like that one makes more sense to you than the island plan? Seems like there are too many 'losses' in trying to fit an island in there. My kitchen has 3 entry points like yours and I just finally had to leave the floor open for traffic, as much as I tried not to. Reality said that traffic was going through my kitchen if I liked it or not. That first plan seems like a good one (sure, there will be 'tweaks') for your space.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just to play devil's advocate, I'll vote for the island.

You are aware that there are reasonably priced CD panel-ready fridges?

Here is a link that might be useful: Panel ready refrigerator example

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kathy Rivera

jane: you're outnumbered!! :) And I did not know about the panel ready CDs, but the pics I've seen don't thrill me. I only like the look of panel ready when they are completely built in and you really have to know where they are to find them - and that's not in the budget!

deedles - so true on the traffic.

And, really, it's me and 2 kids. DH is rarely home when I'm cooking and we entertain, but not a ton. The oven is currently right next to the tiniest aisle and doorway to the DR so there is TONS of traffic there. This would be better for sure. And we currently have no place for people to sit and talk to me - once they have a place at the peninsula, even less likely they'll be milling about in front of my stove. Maybe I'll find a work table that can double as a sideboard...then I can leave it in the DR 90% of the time, but if we are having a party with lots of kids/people we can move it in from of the cooking area for that day.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You're lucky you can have a peninsula! I tried every which way to make one work but no luck. Do you need a CD fridge if it's on the wall as shown in the top pic? And am I seeing that you have plans for a 42" wide CD fridge?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can you remove the wall between the family room and Kitchen? If yes, move the sink to that location, nice to work in the kitchen facing the family room. I know it's easier said than done but it will provide more options.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have been watching this thread closely because I have a very similar space. I vote for the peninsula layout.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the U too. It'd work very well for both cooks and traffic and feel nice and spacious. I also SO agree that you must have what you want. Right after wheeling the appliances in and plugging them in somewhere, that's the greatest functional need.

You know how things just happen, but we've had a little run of this issue--wide U versus island in spaces gifted more in length than width. (Lots to read, Alice. :)

Kathy, I also think your two-tone scheme could look fantastic, with that long sweep of uppers in the creamy color, which could be used as wished on the opposite wall as well. Just my own preference of course, but I think tonal schemes are more powerful and effective when employed vertically, with the weight of a deeper color on the base cabinets anchoring the kitchen and a lighter color opening it up above the counter. It is a different effect, though.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kathy Rivera

deedles: No, I don't need CD there - I just have the shape saved as some layouts I needed it so I didn't edit it down. In fact, that's a good point as I can save $$ on a regular and my GC said he'd recess it for looks. And it's supposed to be 39" for french door fridge and the side panels around it - hard to get the tiny increments in a word table.

xavi - no, the wall holds the waste stack for the house.

alice: I hope you get it figured out quicker than me! A tree worth of paper and hours on the computer messing around!

Thanks again everyone! Now to decide if I go back to HD or the showroom. My GC loves the showroom b/c he says they stand behind everything 110%. But their cabs are a higher price point and I liked the designer better at HD. Plus, I can go back to HD and work on more designs but the showroom I think I'm at the point where I have to pay the retainer. :/

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:38PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Shiloh vs. Diamond - Help!
We are in the process of a large remodel of our home....
Countertops for butlers pantry
We have a wall in pantry that will need countertops...
Thoughts on tile with this granite? Aquario
I saw that one or two people on here have the granite...
Pendant lights over island
Can anyone assist w/ the dimensions for lights over...
What Is The Real Question Being Asked To 'What is Timeless'
I see this question so often on this forum, and I wish...
Sponsored Products
Wall End Angle
CliqStudios Cabinets
Armen Living Calvin Chair - US35621TO
$770.00 | Hayneedle
Fresca Livello 30" Black Modern Bathroom Vanity with Medicine Cabinet
Modern Bathroom
HBSW12 Kit HBLED Undercab 12 inch soft white kit
Kenwood Yellow KEN03 Rectangular: 5 Ft. x 7 Ft. 9 In. Rug
$254.15 | Bellacor
Steelcase | Redesigned Think Chair with Standard Upholstery
Filament Design Pendants & Hanging Fixtures Cabernet Collection 3-Light Hanging
$73.99 | Home Depot
Outdoor Lanterns. 2-Light Hanging Lantern Black Seeded Glass
Home Depot
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™