layout ideas? re-starting from scratch

libraryhazMay 8, 2013

So, we've planned and re-planned and now need to start again with something more basic. We have decided to spend less that we had originally budgeted so we need to scale back.

Our house is a small 1970s split level home. You enter on the main level which is essentially just a 20' x 26' box that includes the LR, DR, and K. Our kitchen is a wide galley, we eat meals in the DR.

Our goals:
1) A better marriage between the kitchen and dining room and living room. We don't want a totally open floor plan with one large room with kitchen in one corner though if that makes sense.
2) An uninterrupted (no sink or range) island or peninsula with counter height seating for at least 3, preferably 4. We'd like the seating to turn a corner for conversation purposes. I am loving the idea of a round kitchen island end but I'm not sure that is feasible in our small space (
3) To gain a bit of cabinet space
4) New appliances: CD fridge, slide in gas range, OTR microwave (unless we can find a space for one below the countertop and not break the bank with a hood), dishwasher

Our limitations:
1) The sink and range need to stay on the wall they are on currently. We can move them along the wall, but not off that wall (which includes all the plumbing and gas for the house).
2) The window is low -- we cannot run a counter height cabinet underneath it.

Some ideas:
1) We have talked about closing off the doorway near the stairs to give us additional cabinet space. We would open up that wall sooner -- basically, the wall would just run to the end of the door opening and then open up...
2) We can definitely bleed into the dining room space a bit. We envision having a narrow (30" farmhouse) dining table up against the far wall that we can pull out when we need it for family/friends.

I am attaching a graphic of our current layout and would love to hear you guys throw out any and all ideas and inspiration you might have.

Thanks a zillion.

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(PS: And drawers. I am all about drawers. Drawers drawers everywhere).

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Ok, I'll try. Here's one thought. It gives you a landing zone on the left of the range, and by recessing the fridge into the living room it opens up space for an island. Maybe it will spark other ideas.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:34AM
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Here's another one playing off the Houzz counter that widens into a circle. Assuming you do use the sliders at the end of the DRM and trying to save your dining space for a standard table when needed since it's already only 10' wide:

* Leave the entry door to the kitchen where it is.
* Open up as much of your DRM counter as you wish, filling in the DRM doorway with counter and otherwise leaving it basically where it is already.
* Put the circular dining portion at the end at the TOP of the diagram, near the doors outside and with views out the big kitchen window as well.

Having the conversation area at top would Impact the dining area as little as possible, so it wouldn't be necessary to narrow the DRM so that only a nonstandard narrow table could fit.

Although there would be narrowness on the deck end of the DRM, when needed the dining table could--presumably--be pulled down to occupy some of the space opposite the stairs when entertaining, offsetting that narrowness.

This should also help this floor live large since the busily used space would be larger than if the dining counter were close to the LRM furniture.

BTW, how about considering a drop-leaf table? Our DRM is also our central hall/library, with 4 wide doorways in the corners and stairs running both up and down off it, so leaving a table in the middle was not part of my plan (plot, actually, to deprive DH of his favorite mess accumulator). With the 2 leaves out and sides dropped, our table that seats up to 12 is 4' wide and does duty against one wall as a library table with books and lamp.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:32PM
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I hope you are given a lot of ideas from these talented folks, libraryhaz. I have a split-level, too (but my kitchen and DR are shorter and the up/down stairs are halfway back from the front entry) and have been searching the internet over for new and unique ideas to handle the remodel of my first floor. I will be watching this space! Good luck getting just the right plan for your needs.

In case this helps, inspiration photos for my remodel are here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Removing Kitchen Walls

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 1:34PM
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I love how you guys think up with ideas that never come anywhere near my own brain. It is absolutely amazing.

Interesting thought about recessing the fridge, williamsem. And rosie, I will have to mock up your idea of having the rounded eating counter between the door and window. Funny you mention a drop leaf -- that's actually what we have now. My dining room floor is often used as a racetrack for matchbox cars, a painting area, a board game playing area so we do move our table out of the way quite often!

dccurlygirl - I have been scouring the web for ways that people remodel the main levels of splits, I got to open houses for similar models any time I can. People seem to have a hard time getting too creative with our style house :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 1:53PM
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Great decorating scheme--love your "style." Really. Each time the little ones come over, our floors look like yours. When I tidy up, I normally leave a toy or two out on the library table when they go as something left behind of them.

I don't know if I made my description clear, but just in case, I'm imagining a galley kitchen, two uninterrupted counters, with access both from the entry and from the area between sliders and window, the latter with the round end of one counter and stools to the right as you walked into the kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 6:22PM
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A peninsula seating might give you more free space imo.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Thanks for laying out the peninsula for me sena01. Wonder if I could do back-to-back tall pantries on the wall side of the peninsula for that sort of storage. Or would that close off the kitchen too much?

Other thoughts..sink in corner, near window, although I don't think I have 18" on the window side.

Rosie, in your vision, I can't figure out where the fridge lives...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Hi, Library. Right where it is now looks good.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:38AM
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Hi, Library. Right where it is now looks good. After all, that counter would stay there, just have the current doorway filled in, so there'd be good workspace there between fridge and eating end. I can't see the labels very well on your diagram, but the stove and sink are both on the outside wall, right?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:41AM
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"Wonder if I could do back-to-back tall pantries on the wall side of the peninsula for that sort of storage. Or would that close off the kitchen too much?"

I don't think 24" wide tall panties would close off too much, especially if you recess the fridge as Williamsem suggested. But light from the DR window/door may be hindered a bit.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:07AM
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