Layout help for long narrow kitchen/dining room

tam184May 29, 2011

I'm helping a friend with his kitchen remodel, but seem to hit a roadblock. He has a very long narrow kitchen/dining room area with lots of doors, windows, and openings to contend with. He won't be DIY'ing and since his budget is limited, he wants to keep all the windows and doors where they are. He prefers to keep the stove where it is so he can still vent out at the same location.

The kitchen plan is posted below. The room is 10' x 25' and includes a dining room. There is no other formal dining room. The room is also open to the living room. His wife does most of the cooking and they have two young children. Access is usually through the garage. When they entertain, it's either with one family of four or with a big huge crowd.

Right now, the kitchen is U-shaped. The fridge is next to the garage door, the stove on the long wall, the corner sink near the 3' window, and a dishwasher on the peninsula. They seem to be happy enough with the layout and cabinet space. The one problem they have is a lack of storage for the dinnerware and china, which are kept in a wall unit in the living room. There is a rectangular table with 4 chairs in the dining room.

Because of the narrow room and sliding doors, I can't seem to make better use of the space. It's hard to get a table to fit in and to give them some sort of china cabinet. The only thought I had was to make a wider peninsula with cabinets on the dining room side for plates, silverware, etc. But that eats into the dining area. Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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I think you are on the right track.

My idea would be starting at the garage door and working clockwise:
18-24 inch run of counter, fridge (can recess back into garage wall cavity to make standard depth appear counter depth?), corner suzan, stove, drawers, then at window, peninsula L to the right, but without uppers. Sink and DW on the peninsula.

On the dining room side of peninsula, a pair glass fronted cabinets with shelves, and a run of drawers in the center. This would offer storage/display for china cabinetry items.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:30PM
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are the windows counter height?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:39PM
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The 3' window is definitely above the counter since that's where the sink is now. The 6' window was marked as being 3' from the ground. I was considering putting in a run of cabinets along that wall, but when I found out that there is only 17" from the wall to the sliding doors, I wasn't quite sure how to make it work. Plus, it's such a narrow room that I don't know if you can even put in 12" deep bases and still get a table to fit in with all the traffic from there to the living room and through the sliding doors to the deck. What were your thoughts remodelfla?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 12:54AM
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Well that won't work cause I didnt' realize that there was a sliding door. I thought in the DR there was a very large window!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 6:41AM
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consider this:
Nothing goes on the wall where the garage is.
1 long counter along the long wall, and
1 long island parallel to it.
For the counter and the island, go as far as you like ; whatever makes sense.
Both the counter and the island are to be Narrow and Low.
(e.g. 23" top and 21"d cabinets underneath); (e.g. 34"h)
An all-drawer cabinet base makes sense in a narrow kitchen, because nobody ever has to get down on all fours.
Ikea drawers fit in less than 21"depth.
A 3/4" thickness quartz counter on top of a standard cabinet, on short feet, can make the height come in at less than 36"h.

The two narrow coutners leave you with enough room to have aisles.
One is the kitchen work aisle.
The other is the passage from garage to hall to DR/LR.
(b.t.w., is the hallway the only way over to the LR? Eliminating the pantry totally gives you a larger area of approach. Seeing your drawing, I cannot figure out how large the pantry is, btw.) . ((Leaving the pantry is ok, too. )) .

The fridge could go in the corner where the long counter meets the garage wall.
It would be accessible to non cooks if they use the passage aisle.
Again, the cook or cooks get to operate in peace.

Consider the idea, because it gives you a tight and highly functional galley, restricted to the operator. Nobody has to walk through it. The long island can be great for parties. At the end of the island can be a round, oval or square table. The lower the island counter is, the better it integrates with a table.

Your kitchen like many others has a lot of constraints so the idea I've described just assumes that these constraints force the workspace to be a footprint about 7' by whatever length you choose to have. Many galleys are 7' wide, and are walled in everywhere. Yours is not walled in. This gives it a much more spacious feel. With some custom steel work for feet, you could have an island that has a kickspace on both sides, or is completely open underneath. The cover panel not going down to the floor makes the passage aisle more spacious.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 10:17AM
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I was thinking along very similar lines as juliekcmo when I drew this. It leaves a lot of details to be worked out, and there may be some constraints I don't know about, but what about something like this? The shallow cabs along the dining room wall would accommodate quite a bit of china storage, and I envision the uppers there to be glass-front hutch cabs that would extend to the tops of the lowers. The base of the peninsula that faces the dining room could be cabs or drawers, depending on storage needs.

Is partially closing up the slider a possibility? Putting in a French door there, even one with narrow sidelights, would open up your possibilities considerably.

If they don't like the peninsula, another alternative to consider is recessing the fridge into the current pantry closet and putting the sink where the fridge is in this pic.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 11:01AM
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One word: Banquette. A built-in banquette (which can be quite made at a quite reasonable cost using stock cabinets turned on their sides) could provide seating for two sides of the dining room table...under the windows on the top wall and against the peninsula. That would allow the long top wall of the kitchen U to be extended, buying cabinet space in the kitchen proper for storage, and providing the bonus of other storage area for less used items under the banquette.

The peninsula would presumably be roughly 30" deep...standard counter depth to fit the sink and DW in it, but with a raised 4' wide section at the back to provide a backsplash for the sink and greater separation for the banquette and dining area.

A dining room table that had a pedestal or trestle rather than legs would most easily accommodate seating...two along the peninula wall, one under the window, one in a chair at the bottom. The side closest to the sliders could be reserved for only occassional use, allowing more space to access the doors. A round or oval table might be even better.
I'm attaching a link to a picture of a banquette backed up against a peninsula for a visual...very different layout otherwise, though.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 2:19PM
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Thanks so much for all the great idea. I'll bounce them off my friend to see what he thinks will work for his family.

David - Where exactly would the long island go in this sitution? If I do a standard depth of 24" along the long wall, that leaves 8' to the opposite wall, and that doesn't seem big enough to accommodate an island and 2 aisle ways... unless you mean at the bottom right corner where the pantry meets the dining room and living room. The living room is accessible through the dining room and also at the other end where the hallway bends back to the LR.

Holligator: That's one of the plans I was considering. It'll provide a lot of storage for them. I don't think he'll want to change the sliding doors though.

Melissa: Great idea of the banquette builted into the back of the peninsula! I originally wanted to work a banquette into the plan due to the space constraint, but couldn't get one to work due to the sliding doors. Storage under the banquette would be great too since they have a set of cookware that is reserved specifically for their religious holiday that they don't use at other times of the year.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 7:05PM
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10' gives you enough room for a 2' counter, a 3' aisle, a 2' counter, a 3' aisle. More or less. The passage aisle can be widened by inches. So, yes, a "depth of 24" along the long wall, that leaves 8' to the opposite wall" which is big enough to accommodate an island and 2 aisle ways but only if you accept the tightness. The downfalls of this idea are clear: the counters have to be small and the aisles too. If you are willing to plan it out, as a simulation, and work out how it would function in your house, go ahead with the simulation exercise. Otherwise, go with the other proposed plan without considering this one. I like the other idea too.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 10:32PM
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So this is what I've come up with for my friend. What are your thoughts? I'm wondering if the 11-foot length in the dining room side is too narrow. It's just 4 of them and he said they don't normally put the chairs at the ends of the table. And it's an open space, so if they have guests, I was thinking they would turn the table and use up some of the living room space for seating. (Don't mind the circle in the DR. That's where the current light fixture is and we wanted to see if it needs to be moved.)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:58PM
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i agree.
the layout.

combining the 18" trash base and the 21" one next to it, you can have a 36" base.
the top drawer can be a deep drawer.
it can hold some medium size trash bins. and other things.
emptying out the yukkiest one regularly ensures that the drawer doesn't become a cesspool.

putting the DW into the corner, you can combine the two small cabinets into one.
drawers there.

Drawers in base cabinets.

Drawers in base cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 1:18PM
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Yes, I'm definitely advocating as many drawers as possible to him.

I guess I was trying to put some space between the sink and the trash and DW locations. Since the sink is in the corner, if the trash or DW was adjacent, it didn't seem like enough room to load dishes with the DW door open or to clean up and throw trash away if working from the sink.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 1:30PM
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    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 2:30PM
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