Will this plan work?

marti8aDecember 29, 2009

Since we had water damage on the wood floor and have to have part of it ripped up anyway, I've been thinking of making some changes. Dh is resistant, but these things have really been bugging me so if they are ever going to change, now is the time.

This is the view everyone sees from our front door (and usually the kitchen is a mess or the dishwasher is open)

This is the way the kitchen, laundry room, and formal room are now.

I've got several reasons for wanting to make these changes, most for convenience, but also I think the formal room would look better. My concern is that moving the refrigerator will make access to it inconvenient, and I couldn't come up with a good furniture arrangement in the formal room. I don't need a lot of furniture there since we have both a dining table and sofa & chairs in the den.

Would you mentally walk around this plan and tell me if you think it would work or if you would make any other changes? I don't want to change anything on the sink side (except I will make the bar smaller whenever we put in new counters because the door hits it now.

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Before you consider closing one access to the kitchen, do this: Block off the opening with a piece of furniture, or tape across it to prevent its use. This will provide a test to determine how much convenience is lost by having to walk farther to reach the front door and bedrooms from the kitchen. I'll bet you have your answer in less than a day!

If your main concern is kitchen clutter, the simplest, and most cost effective solution would be to erect a visual barrier in front of the kitchen opening, creating a small, maybe 4'x4' kitchen 'hallway'. Consider a new four ft section of sheet-rock wall, fronted by a small console table with mirror above; a divided wall, sheetrock below and perhaps glassblock above (allowing light transmission and privacy); or even a built-in or purchased tall cabinet which would provide attractive storage while blocking the view.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Blocking off the door at this point won't prove much, since the other door won't be there yet. I don't think I follow you on the kitchen hallway, I don't see anywhere to put a hall.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 1:31PM
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Marti, is the biggest problem 1) you don't want people to see into the kitchen, or 2) you would like to use this room for sitting instead of dining?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 1:45PM
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kitchen 'mini-hall':

Draw on your plan an imaginary area just outside the kitchen opening. Starting at the oven cabinet go across to the laundry room wall, down the laundry room wall 4', across the dining area 4' (in the direction of fireplace). This makes a "U" shaped space, two solid walls and two openings, with the formal room open part facing the fireplace, but closes off the kitchen view from the front door... make sense?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 2:05PM
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I don't see why the change wouldn't work, assuming you don't run into any structural issues. The refrigerator would be closer to the sink, which I believe is preferred. Your 'work triangle' looks more like a triangle with your proposed changes.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 5:24PM
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Loretta, my main issue is the kitchen, not the formal area. I really really hate being able to see into the kitchen from the front door, and I also want the upright freezer out of the laundry room. Also, cutting a door into the laundry room from the hall will make it easier to get laundry from the bedrooms into the laundry room without having to carry it around through the formal room and kitchen. And the way the refrigerator is now, it's hard to get big items out of the fridge and into the kitchen. The fridge door opens on the far side, blocking the opening, and there is no way to reverse the door like there is on most refrigerators.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 5:35PM
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Marti do you really use your breakfast bar? If not remove it and put fridge there. As I think I understand it then the door would open the correct direction for you.

So you say there are not two doors already into your kitchen from your formal room? Confused on that one.

If it were me I think I would move the stove cabinet to the other side as in second floor plan and put the fridge where stove cabinet is /was. Then make a screen in front of the doorway to block full kitchen view . I also like the hall idea. Thinking more of a pony wall straight out from the laundry room into the formal room with the glass block top as already suggested.

But none of this solves getting the upright freezer out of the laundry room and adding a door. We had two freezers for years and finally just gave one away. We are doing fie with one freezer so far.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 6:54PM
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Just from looking at the plan I think it will make the kitchen more workable because it brings everything closer together in there. I was wondering how you would go with access to the other areas but I see you are adding a new door to the bedroom hallway too so that wont be an issue. I like it, and you know another thing about your changes? If youre standing in the kitchen in your pyjamas and someone comes visiting, you can nip off down through the pantry area to the bedroom and get dressed hehe. I love it.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 7:03PM
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Oh trancegemini, you have NO idea how many times I have been stranded in the kitchen when someone came to the door and I couldn't get out!

Chris, yes, there are two doors into the kitchen now from the formal room. I want to close up one and cut out a doorway from the hall into the laundry room - so will be able to enter the kitchen from there.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 7:10PM
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I've seen pics of some really nice hallways with the laundry behind the doors. How wide is the laundry room?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 7:15PM
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The laundry room is 6' 5". When we first did the floors here, we tiled across the back of the formal room, but as you can see, it's not a straight shot across. It visually split the room, so we took up the tile last year and put wood in the room.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 7:37PM
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