Help needed on choosing design

cindyinctMay 17, 2012


I'm looking for some help in picking out the right layout for my kitchen remodel. I'm adding a link to pics of my existing kitchen (in dire need of an update), as well as two proposed layouts. One is a similar layout to the existing kitchen, and the second has the appliances swapped. I've lived in this home for 20 years and am kind of used to the existing layout. The kitchen is 12x17. The window wall with the sink is 138", exact measurements are 25.5" to the window, window is 37", and then 75.5" to the outside wall. The inside wall is 95.5" to the wall opening. I'm willing to close a portion of that opening (around 7" up to 102"). Since these pictures were taken, I've gotten a new refrigerator. Its a stainless, cabinet depth side by side, 36" wide, and according to the specs needs around 18" clearance to the right to open the bins. I could be open to getting a new refrigerator, but would like to use the one I have if I can. I'm not planning on moving doors or windows. I'm also planning on putting in hardwood floors to match the living room. I'm looking forward to your comments and suggestions.

Here's the link to additional pictures of the kitchen:

Here are a couple of pics from the album:

My existing kitchen:

Here's layout 1:

Here's layout 2:

Here's the peninsula for both designs:



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Probably #2 because I'd rather have easy access to the fridge from the kitchen table, rather than having to walk past the stove to get there. I don't care for the stove being so close to the entry door, but you'd know it by know if that were an issue.

But really i'm not keen on either layout. Unless you really need to cut costs to the bone, I'd go with a separate cooktop and oven - good ones are available that are only 24" or 27" wide which buys some extra countertop & cabinet space - and maybe also a separate range hood and microwave (also only needs to be 24"w, maybe the Sharp unit that hangs under a cabinet), which would allow easier access to the microwave, plus separate hoods do a much better job due to more powerful fans and larger collect area.

And BTW, your room divider is mad cool:

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 3:01AM
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I think you have more counterspace to work with when cooking/plating in layout one.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I prefer layout 1. I'm a chop and drop cook and in my old kitchen, my stove was up next to the wall and I hated it. I now have counter space on both sides of my cooktop and I love it. It looks like you gain nice stoarge with the pantry next to the fridge.

You might consider a separate cooktop and oven as lee suggests...maybe put the oven in the peninsula and get it away from the door so someone can open the door even if the oven door is open... and you gain useful storage space under the cooktop which is a very convenient location to put pots and such.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:59AM
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Unless you live by yourself, I would not consider layout #1. Having others get in your way to access the fridge would be a daily annoyance.

I like layout #2 except for the range in the corner. I lived with that corner range set up, also with a nearby door, for many years. I had a gas range and it always made me nervous about drafts effecting the flame and causing fire, etc. Could you put a narrow cabinet on each side of the range (like spice pull out) in layout #2, instead of the one drawer bank to the right of the DW?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 9:27AM
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I prefer layout #1.
I don't like the idea of the stove stuck in the corner
against the wall as it is in layout #2.
Layout #1 gives you more room for cooking and baking
in the area between the sink and stove.
And, in layout #1 you can cook near the stove
while a second person loads or unloads the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 9:28AM
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I agree with everything Francoise just wrote. I would only there anyway to put the microwave into the peninsula (either built in or with a shelf) so that you could have easy access from the fridge and not have to reach over the range to get to it? And, that would allow you to have a true vent/hood for exhaust.

Here's a picture of a microwave in an island, but would be the same in your peninsula. Hope this helps :) From Cottage house plans

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:21AM
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I prefer one as well. I was just tossing around the though of eliminating the peninsula and placing the frig there. Is there room to scoot the table forward? Could you create a shorter peninsula on the other side if you need the storage?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Personally, I like layout #1 better because it "feels" more open and seems to give a much more comfortable and generous prep/cooking space to the right and left of the range. In layout #2, the space between the range and the sink is taken up by the dishwasher which does not leave room for as much pot/pan and other cooking item storage. Additionally, the range is stuck against the wall and the counter space next to the refrigerator does not seem to have as much of a purpose. The only drawback to #1 is that people might have to traverse through the cooking area to get to the refrigerator. I would be cautious about the length of the peninsula to make certain that does not overly restrict the flow into the kitchen.

I like lavendar_lass's suggestion of putting the microwave in the peninsula to allow for an actual range hood.

Others have suggested a separate cooktop and oven. You could potentially put an oven in the peninsula and make that a fun baking zone.

Also, just to throw out some other ideas, perhaps there are some other completely different possible layouts. You could go for a U-shaped kitchen and remove the peninsula from the wall next to the door and instead put it next to the range. Or perhaps you could remove the peninsula entirely, but put the refrigerator where the peninsula is and use the space to the right of the sink for extra counter space (and/or oven space?).

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:43AM
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plan 2 but give yourself 9 in or so to the right of the range....and get a smaller frig. Get the standard thing-30 or 33 in wide with french doors on top...or the tall narrow,less deep[Liebherr]. the side by side in the 36 in wide model is not so great-the cubbies really cut the usability, and overall, too big for your space. Also,If you could do a less deep peninsula, the eating area might be more comfortable-it's a cheerful spot-I'd make that seating zone a little more part of your design:the kitchen just has to be wrestled with: you have an entry door,and just need to get a small efficient frig.[And round the corners of the peninsula in the walkway.]

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Thanks everyone for you suggestions and comments.

lee676 - I also like having easier access to the fridge from the table. I'd like to have a range hood instead of the micro hood. I'll have to look into options to put it elseware. If I put it in the peninsula, don't I need a drawer model? You really like the divider? I think its dated, and as part of the remodel, I'm planning on getting rid of the shelves, and maybe closing it in on the top.

AnnieDeighnaugh - In layout 2, I would put the pots and pans in the peninsula (middle cabinet). It would be nice to have a cooktop in the peninsula, but then I'd have to install some kind of ventilation, and that might get kind of costly. I've lived with the stove next to the wall, so I'm used to it. I like the prep space I have between the stove and the sink, and I also use the peninsula as well.

dilly_ny - I could move the stove away from the wall. I'm including a picture of that. My peninsula right now is 21" deep with a 24" (or maybe 25") wide butcherblock top. The designs now have it 24" deep (standard depth), so I'm a bit concerned that it will make the eating space more cramped. I was going to try and re-use the butcherblock. Seems like its back in style. Can you put a 24-25" wide top on 24" wide cabinets?

pricklypearcactus - I do like the openness of layout 1, but am not thrilled about having no counterspace to the right of the sink. If I could convince myself to get a smaller fridge that could go next to the wall, I could eliminate the pantry, which would allow me to have a nice size cabinet between the dishwasher and the fridge, as well as a bigger cabinet above, providing more counter space. My only concern with the fridge next to the wall is that when opening the door, you might hit the door knob and damage it. In layout 2, the space to the right of the fridge would be for toaster, blender, coffee maker (all hiden out of view when walking into the kitchen).

In layout 2, putting dishes and silverware away from the dishwasher would be much easier than in layout 1. In layout 2, the cabinet above the dishwasher would be for dishes, cups and glasses, and the drawer to the right would be for silverware. In layout 1, dishes would go to the right of the stove. Silverware could go in the peninsula I suppose. I do really like the stove wall in layout 1. Decisions, decisions...

In Layout 2, I could move the stove over 12" (I would swap the 21" draw base for 2 12" cabinets):

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:51AM
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Any more ideas? In case you were wondering, the door that is shown in my kitchen goes out to a deck. It is not used to enter the house at all, except if you were out in the back yard.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 3:02PM
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I'm open to any and all new ideas.... It's amazing how quickly a post gets buried.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I prefer layout number 1 because of the stove. I really don't like the stove in the corner.

Is it possible you could move the peninsula down so that you have a U shape kitchen? Then you could put the fridge against the wall just to the right of the door to the deck? That way you could have easy access to the fridge from the dining area and the deck without getting in the way of the cooking. The stove could stay where it is in layout 1. That would leave a corner cabinet blocked by the stove but you could access it from the other side of the peninsula. Hard to tell in the drawing if you have enough room for that. Just an idea.

I know what you mean about being used to a certain layout. I swapped the location of my ovens and fridge and I found myself trying to put the milk in the ovens. lol

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 9:53PM
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number one for sure, it feels more open and in number 2 the stove is too close to the wall

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Would people who voted for layout 2 have felt differently if the stove in layout 1 was moved away from the wall as shown in the last pic I posted? Or would you still vote for layout 2? In layout2, I'm thinking about putting in glass cabinets on both sides of the stove, and replacing the micro hood and cabinet above the stove with a stainless fan hood. Thoughts on that idea?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:54PM
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Cindy- It sounds like you prefer the stove near the door. You said that in the intro, but it sounded like you were open to other choices. Instead, maybe say...this is the layout I have and would like to keep. Can anyone suggest any minor changes to make this function more efficiently?

Most people on the GW will probably not advise you to have the dishwasher in your main prep area, between the sink and range. That doesn't mean you can't do's just one of those things that is usually not recommended.

So, if you like the option you have now...then yes, I would recommend you change it so that the range is not right against the wall. I still think the microwave would work better in another location, but it's up to you, how you want to use your space.

That being said, you may want to look through some other posts to see what has been recommended in other kitchens. Maybe you'll get some more good ideas! :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:31PM
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Have you considered moving the peninsula's attachment position over to the stove side of kitchen in option one? That would give you a straight shot from the door to the dining room without entering the working triangle? (You'd lose some cabs beside the stove, however.)

You could access the blind corner with a cab that opens into the DR side of the peninsula if you hate susans.

Additional shallow storage pantry space, or a bookcase for cookbooks, might be added along the wall where the peninsula is now attached in lay out one.

The layout as I propose is also good if you consider the path food takes in your kitchen: In through door> stowed in cabs and fridge>to the fridge in prep for cooking> to the stove (if necessary) for cooking> then plated and set on the peninsula surface for delivery to the table.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 12:27AM
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The door in the kitchen is rarely used. I enter in the front of the house. The door in the kitchen goes out to my deck and is not used on a regular basis. Take a look at the house pictures (link in original post).

Thanks, Cindy

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 11:20AM
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If you posted your thoughts on a U or, as Liriodendron suggests, shifting the counter to the left, I missed them. I actually wasn't really crazy about either of your first layouts, preferring #1 for utility only, but I do like this last one more.

That's because I like your original kitchen, and this just fixes that stove-in-corner issue; however, that good work space in the center suffers a bit, a few inches that might really be missed. Would you be open to making them up by downsizing the sink a bit? Mine is a single-bowl 30" wide, and it's huge. A whole day's mess can disappear from view in there--theoretically, at least. :)

Now, my big question is the peninsula. In a small kitchen, did you ever use it for cooking, per se, not just for laying out chips and dip? With that previous good work counter on the flow from fridge to stove, I don't see a reason for routinely going over there and am wondering if it will pull its weight in future. If it is used a lot, of course, this issue is nil.

If it is basically wasted counter, though, do you still love it because it's a separation between areas, available for serving? If you want that separation and don't mind walking around it to the deck, 'nuf said. It looks nice and provides storage.

Or, here's my thought. I personally love eat-in kitchens (as opposed to eating outside looking in). If you don't specifically want a feeling of separation, how about doing away with the peninsula altogether, bringing the table in closer (with the door to the deck right there bringing all 3 spaces together), and creating new storage elsewhere, maybe a nice piece of furniture? That style and function feel just right to me for your space. It would no doubt also make the whole room feel, and be, more spacious.

BTW, I realized the main reason your kitchen picture looks so charming to me while the computer pictures specifically do not are the sunlight and invitation offered by that door. Promise, not dead end. To me, it's a little star of your kitchen.

Also BTW, 25" counter on 24" cabinet? Yes. I'd put the extra inch on the outside, though, since a shadow line tends to support a traditional look and lack of one usually looks more modern. Unless you're going modern, of course.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 12:01PM
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Whoops, forgot door/drawer front depth. Still yes. You could also slice an inch or two off the depth and still have room for most drawers to function.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 12:05PM
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What if you did layout 1 but modified it a bit so the peninsula was attached to the range side, give you the range at the corner of counter space.

That would put the range in a protected area outside the traffic pattern and give a straight shot to the fridge. It also creates a U kitchen which is efficient.

I tucked the range in a corner here:

And here: (there is a concealed range hood)

Both clients like this position because the can work from both counters.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Rosie - Thanks for the compliment on my current kitchen. I'm not crazy about creating a "U" by moving the peninsula to the other wall because of the way I enter the kitchen (from the living room and up/down stairs). I would have to walk around the U to get into the kitchen. It seems to go against natural traffic flow. Here's a picture showing the front door and how I enter into the kitchen:

I did try another "U" design with the existing peninsula. I eliminated the back door and replaced the window by the table with a slider. The center of the U was the stove (where the door was), but it seemed cramped. There was only 12" on either side of the oven doors. Also, it felt a bit tight to have to walk between the counter and the table to get to the slider. That plan had moved the sink and window over to the right a bit in order to fit a lazy susan cabinet to the left of the sink. In addition, that design had a lazy susan cabinet on either side of the stove. I'm not so sure I need 3 lazy susan cabinets. When you start moving windows and doors, it adds a lot to the overall cost.

I mostly use the space between the sink and stove for prep, but sometimes I do use the peninsula. What comes to mind is baking holiday cookies with my son. I do use the peninsula for serving since I have a small table,or serving when we are eating outside on the deck, but I do admit it does become a dumping ground and tends to get messy. It gives me a lot of storage though which I desperately need.

I wouldn't mind going to a smaller sink, and in both design I went from a 36" to a 33" sink base. I like my double sink but with the 33" sink base plan to replace it with a large single one. I tend to wash pots and pans and large bowls by hand.

I'm thinking with the peninsula, I may need to reduce the depth to around 22" to use the existing butcher block top. Do you like the idea of reusing that or does that look dated?

One thing I didn't mention, in my current kitchen, the corner cabinet to the left of the sink is a wall lazy susan, and the designer is recommending replacing it with a L corner cabinet. He says that you shouldn't have the corner lazy susan without cabinets on either side of it. Right now, it houses spices, etc, and is very handy. I'm not sure I will like the L cabinets with the middle-hinged door. The L cabinet does look nice if I choose to go with Layout 1. Here's a picture of how I use the inside:

Also, herbflavor mentioned that my refrigerator was too big for the space. Its cabinet depth, so its 35.5" wide, but its only 24" deep to the door, and is only 22 cubic feet. Do you agree that its too big? Here's a picture:

Its hard, because many of the kitchens I've seen on this site are so beautiful, and I want my finished kitchen to look beautiful as well. Kitchens aren't cheap, and I want to make sure I'm making all the right choices. It can be overwhelming to say the least.

Hope I've addressed all questions and concerns. I appreciate everyone's feedback.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:59PM
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I'm looking at that front door thinking, you need to visit the "Design Around This: Hollywood Regency" thread.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Hi everyone,

I'm posting yet another option for the stove wall for Layout 2. This has the dishwasher and stove side by side (I'd probably want to put a panel on the dishwasher because I don't like the look of two appliances right next to each other). Your thoughts...

To add to the mix, here's the "U" design I spoke about earlier (where the stove ends up where the back door was):

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:29PM
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marcolo - what is it about my front door? Please explain why I should visit the "Design Around This: Hollywood Regency" thread if you would. My house was build in 1959, and its the original front door.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:35PM
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Bumping my post up... Hopefully two not get lost...

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 2:07AM
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the advantage of eliminating two openings[door and window] into one larger,more beneficial opening[slider] would be wise. The U plan[actually a G] is probably what I would do.Some folks take cardboard boxes and mock it up if you are worried it's too tight or small. Coming in from front door,I'd widen the opening between living/dining[eliminate open shelves-extend the solid wall somewhat behind couch.So worth it with a patio door beyond....I know your spaces are small,but this widening,as much as you would be willing,would create a really nice feel and balance out the hesitations you may have aabout a smallish feeling to the work part of the kitchen.Yes, I still think the frig is too big, but since you have it, and the scheme can work with it, probably keep it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 7:39AM
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I would turn the peninsula against the wall to open up the dining area. You could put a hutch top on it, too, for more storage.

I think your house looks really cute! Love your green glasswasre....


    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Sprinroz - what wall are you referring to... Are you suggesting putting the peninsula under the opening to the livingroom? I kind of like the separation between cooking and eating as I don't have a dining room, and don't think that counter would be usable, at least in layout 2.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 12:45PM
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I would get rid of the door and make your window to the right into a double French door to access the back yard. What a difference that would make in what would be possible with layout. If you don't want to lose the light from the door, make the door into a window and enjoy the view out the back. I really love having a window over a sink so that is very good. Wish I had one!!! But my sink overlooks the family room with huge window so it's the next best thing. I would def get rid of the knee wall and divider. It's really quite an obstacle and takes up lots of space. Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 1:05PM
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I agree with mocking up. Definitely try out as much as you can. The G would give a good working kitchen for one--if it felt good working in a dandy little cockpit.

Regarding your fridge, on the side wall I'd personally keep it. A small place like that will really benefit from not having a standard fridge projecting into the center. This is a definite tradeoff, but I don't think I'd miss those counter inches since they're not in my main work area, or the storage, enough to offset that advantage. You know, if fridges had evolved the other direction--counter depth to sticking way out...they wouldn't have.

Wood counter? They're still in and it looks good. Your house is so cute, though, and architecturally distinctive. Are you sure you don't want to cover it with Formica or paint it a nice glossy green? :) This is something that could be finished in stages, trying out the wood now to see how you like it. Since it is often used for serving, I'm thinking it would also feel right for that surface to be different from the kitchen work counter, a transitional material that would also feel right in living and dining spaces.

As for moving the stove closer to the DW--? To me, your current good work space is already under attack. For me, that would finish it off altogether. Do you have something really big to gain in return? Or are you thinking of forcing a turn to the peninsula as a new main work area? That would be a very viable option if you moved the door to the deck to the dining area. You could deepen the peninsula toward the stove to create a nice large work surface, with a row of 12" deep cabinets on the dining side. The center walking area would be longer than the G's but narrower and wouldn't have those 2 extra blind corners. That's actually what I have, just my nice work island doesn't abut a wall.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 1:56PM
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The U design is your best bet. I'm not liking a DW between sink and range but don't see a good alternative in your case.

Your front door is awesome. Go read that thread for ideas on the type of kitchen that would look good in your house. Some of them are silly high budget just for fun but you could easily find ideas that can be executed reasonably.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Marcolo, thanks for the link. I really liked palimsest's design, especially the willow cabinets. And some of florantha's design was cool as well. Loved the Seagrams chair and the cherry cabinet.

Rosie, Were you suggesting I cover the peninsula with Formica and paint it shiny green? I didn't quite understand. Also, you mentioned my work space was under attack. Did you mean between the existing sink and stove? I was considering moving the stove since folks don't seem to like it next to the wall... even though I'd lose work space to the left of the stove.

I went to a friends house today and she just got a new fridge. Hers is only 30" wide, 18 cu ft, and her house is 2500 sq ft. My house is only 1000 sq ft, so I really do think my fridge is too big. She just listed her home, and replaced the old with one that fit the space. Interesting a house that big would have only allowed for a 30" wide fridge.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 12:34AM
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The problem with the "G" shape is using the dw and the range are mutually exclusive as their doors open into space required to use the other. You may like lazy susans, but now you'd have 3 base cabinets that would need to be susans and only one small set of drawers. Two of those susans have access issues because of the range depth. If you care, the aisle space within the "G" is 6" less than the recommended minimum.

Most the the "evil" with the "G" space would go away if it was a simple "U" with the range pushed out of the corner. If you don't mind angle cabinets, I'd put an angled front susan in the corner and use it as prep area. Add a 27-30" set of drawers next and then the range and end with a cabinet. If it worked out that the old door frame was in an available spot, I'd add a window where it was - for the light, air, and for a section without overhead cabinets.

I think my vote is close to "a" with the peninsula moved to the range side and perhaps shortened. It makes a "U" pushing traffic to/from the back door and the ref out from the hot zone but permits access to ref and dishes.

Instead of dueling lazy susans, I'd likely turn a cabinet so it faced the dining area and use it for general storage accessed from the dining area. If you really like the "G" shape, you can do the same thing - idea to open the "G" another 3-6", put a drawer cabinet facing the dining space and a 15-18" drawer cabinet on one side of the range.

Perhaps also draw something with the range IN the peninsula and one with a narrower peninsula - using 18" deep cabinets forming a 21" deep workspace.

And I'd also try one with no peninsula, as an "L" but with a storage piece flat against the wall where the current end of the peninsula is.

As to "work space under attack", most people like to prep between the sink and the range. When you move the range closer to the sink, people who work that way see the prep zone shrinking. It's not an absolute. If you basically move stuff to the peninsula to prep today, you'd be ok with that trade.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:41AM
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I was kind of joking about painting the butcher block. Fell matt, obviously.

Regarding your work surface, basically as Bmore said. Your original kitchen had a good 4-foot prep surface by the stove. Plan 2 tweaked it but took 12" away to move the stove--without regaining some of them from somewhere else. Now it looks like the work area on your last 5/19 tweak is barely wider than the 24" DW you set under it. No longer a good work area at all.

That's why I wondered if you were thinking of converting the peninsula from occasional use to primary prep area by moving it closer and making it deeper. Since you apparently want to keep it, that would make sense and make an efficient development, providing lots of good three-sided work space.

That would be an obvious and extremely workable development of your current layout. The only potential issue I see is that, if the door to the deck remained where it is, through traffic would now cross your path as you worked at the two counters, pivoting back and forth.

BTW, please don't get so snowed by all your options that you forget "folks" not liking the stove against the wall is just one of the ideas offered to you. You lived with it, so your own knowledge about its functionality is worth more than any number of outside opinions. Although I'm not particularly suggesting it, you could leave it right where it is or put a little "space-filler" pullout in that corner instead of that full 12". They come 3", 6", and 9" too.

Springroz was suggesting getting that underused peninsula out of the middle of the room it's breaking up by setting part of it long-wise against the wall it now butts up to. OR replace it with a nice sideboard and hutch. (There are a lot of really good ones being sold for very little on Craig's List.)

You have a designer and all the feedback here. Are you able to firm up any new preferences yet? It sounds like you're probably firm on not wanting a peninsula running from the left wall, do want to keep a counter separating cooking and dining, and have decided your existing fridge is out of scale?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Herbflavor - What did you mean when you said I should make the seating zone a little more part of my design? I have thought about it, and want to keep it. I like having the table exactly where it is.

Herbflavor/gr8day - I'm not sure how easy it would be to remove the wall between the kitchen and the living room because the end of the wall is part of the supporting structure of the house. I've seen where they have to install a beam in that case. The idea has crossed my mind, but seems like a lot of work.

Bmorepanic - I agree with you regarding the dw and range doors. Doesn't seem like there's much room to the right of the dw to put items away. I also felt that the space within the U seemed cramped. Good to know that it's less than recommended and I'm not crazy. I never thought that having the susans next to the stove would cause an issue opening them, but now that you mention it, I can see that it would be. And, no I really don't want 3 base susan cabinets. I'd much prefer a wide set of drawers. I've kind of decided against the range in the peninsula due to the venting issue. I'm going to mock up a new design with a U moving the stove over a bit like you suggested. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 5:47PM
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What I mean is to enhance the overall benefit of doing a new kitchen with some attention to the seating area...yes I assumed that location will stay as is...but quite a bit could be done which will also make the space have some extra appeal.Assume the green wall with the open shelves has to stay as plan gets chosen...Lighting:do can recessed lights in work part of kitchen so the fixture over there is no longer on view. Choose some more dynamic/stylish fixture for over kitchen table....You have chair rail molding on wall-either build on it-or eliminate it. It juts out somewhat awkwardly, but has potential if you do MORE with it. Think of subtle contrast in wall surfaces above it and below it. Right now it looks un defined.Will you have a patio/french door:this may be a spot for an upgrade in hardware or wood species...and panels in fabric or a treatment that draws back and forth [maybe add a valance]-with a rail on top to blend with the hardware of your choice..[grids in glass?]....The larger expanse of glass gained by this opening will change the feel in that seating there a view outside?is there decking or a patio that should be connected to this? this all has impact[and costs] you think of the kitchen elements, with some changes to dinette,the kitchen choices can be impacted.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:35PM
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> I also like having easier access to the fridge from the table. I'd like to have a range hood instead of the micro hood. I'll have to look into options to put it elseware. If I put it in the peninsula, don't I need a drawer model?

No. There are built-in microwaves, or countertop microwaves with trim kits, that can be mounted below a countertop (as someone showed upthread in a photo). The drawer will work too.

> You really like the divider? I think its dated, and as part of the remodel, I'm planning on getting rid of the shelves, and maybe closing it in on the top.

It's not dated, it's retro! As in, it looks old, but in a good way, kind of like how a '68 Ford Mustang doesn't look like a new car, but it still looks great. I should note that I really like 1950s/60s home fashions though.

Don't have time to read through the whole thread right now, but I'll note the oven I'm planning to use myself, which I chose because it's only 24"w, and also 24" tall so it leaves space for a very convenient drawer either above or below it if placed beneath a countertop, and the door swings sideways and the racks roll out on ball bearings. The last two allow you to walk right up to your food, and make it much more convenient than the usual drop-down door which forces you to stand behind it or to the side to reach inside. It's available with either left or right hinged doors. And it's only $750 after the current rebate.

For a cooktop, I'm thinking something like this one:

It's also only 24"w - actually less than 23" (60cm), and so thin it allows for a full-height drawer beneath it. It can be used over the oven, or at a different location for more flexibility in design. And by keeping the control knobs small and at the front, there's still a nice, roomy surface for your cookware so it doesn't feel cramped. And you get about 8" more countertop space than if you used a freestanding 30" range.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:28AM
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Someone recently said she'd cooked for her family on a 24" stove for years and never found it too small.

We have a 36" drop-in cooktop, and I really like what it does for the kitchen. (Someday I'll drop in induction instead.) The main reason for the choice was that it sits within a standard 25" counter, allowing my kitchen to fit nicely into the available space. As Lee676 suggests, we offset a separate undercounter oven to the side so I don't have to stand in front of it when it's hot. Instead it sits over a drawer stack, which, again, allowed us to keep the top drawer of the stack for cooking utensil storage, which is especially nice.

BTW, I also agree that divider aged past "dated" several decades ago. It graduated to retro vintage a long time ago and is well on its way to antique. What style are you heading for, BTW?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 1:48PM
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If you think that divider is dated you need to spend some time on Jonathan Adler's website.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 2:11PM
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Hi everyone,

My initial plan was to have a similar layout with some minor tweaks. Then it kind of snowballed into something else (moving doors/windows, changing the layout, etc.) which has become overwhelming.

Here was my initial plan:

Install a red oak hard wood floor (not prefinished) in the kitchen and entryway to match the one in the living room and the rest of the house. I was somewhat undecided about the entry way being hard wood or tile/slate because I thought it might be nice to have that area stand out from the rest of the living room. I was planning on leaving the floors light, just polyurethane.

The cabinets need to contrast with the floor, so I was thinking either a medium stain, or off white painted cabinets, or a combination of both (as I currently have).

Replacing the 30" high cabinets with 33" and adding crown molding to the ceiling (my ceiling height is 89.5"). This allows me taller cabinets above the stove and refrigerator. Nothing too ornate as far as cabinets are concerned (somewhat simple shaker, or raised panel). I think the raised panel only looks good if it's glazed, so I'm kind of iffy about those.

Replacing the 42" wide cabinet above the dishwasher with a 27" and 15" cabinet.

Putting 3" of counter to the right of the stove to make it look more built-in.

Expanding the counter to the left of the sink by pushing the refrigerator to the left (out as far as the end of the peninsula).

Eliminating the use of the corner base to the left of the sink (I don't like blind corners, and I don't have space for a lazy susan). Currently the space to the left of the sink is accessed by the sink base cabinet.

Not sure about the counters. Either solid surface or laminate. Probably not granite. Keep the butcherblock for the island. I like either creamy subway tiles or even beadboard for a backsplash.

Was thinking the micro above the stove, although I love range hoods. Just in my space, it seems the best spot for it.

Currently the peninsula is 1 big base cabinet with 3 doors and 3 drawers on top, so I was thinking about replacing it with 3 cabinets (1 being a wide drawer base).

I was undecided about putting the 24" deep cabinet above the refrigerator with the pantry because walking into the kitchen I was concerned that it would not look good having this massive cabinet in the middle of the room.

Was thinking of adding a trash cabinet? Not sure if my kitchen warrants a double 18" or a single 15". The current design has an 18" double trash cabinet at the end of the peninsula. Right now I put bottles/cans out on the deck in a recycle bin.

I'd replace the kitchen table with one the same size (42" round with leaves).

I'd replace the light fixture above the table.

I'd install recessed lighting around the cabinets.

Considering a handing light fixture above the sink.

Replacing the back door to the deck with a single French door and new screen door (full view).

Putting in a new window above the sink, and replacing the single window by the table with a double window.

Removing the shelving in the opening between the kitchen and living room, and closing in the top 4" or so, so it looks more up to date.

The current design in layout 1 has a 15" pantry with shelves (no pullouts). How convenient would that be? How would turning the pantry sideways (24" wide, 12" depth, with two doors) look? Issue is that its in the middle of the room.

As far as style is concerned, I don't like really modern kitchens, or kitchens with real dark cabinets. I love everyones off white kitchens with wood floors, and also any with a French country look. I want my kitchen to look light and airy, and inviting.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from any and all of you, and finalizing my plans for a new updated kitchen.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:51PM
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It sounds extremely attractive, Cindy. And light and airy, my own favorite look.

Regarding the garbage pullout, I really needed a couple extra inches so I could have a 15" drawer stack on the sink/DR run. I found them by going with a 12" garbage pullout, not standard and the idea courtesy of a lovely, lovely person who'd done it and posted pictures on I was nervous that stuff might "miss," but it doesn't. I do have to pay some attention while peeling a potato into it, that the peels fling off in generally the right direction, but I don't have to be particularly careful then or any other time.

I made this by purchasing a 12" pullout unit with 2 shelves with sides, keeping only the bottom shelf, that the can sits in. In our case, since at that time we couldn't get a 12"-wide drawer for the top, we made the garage pull-out counter height (like hers and very handy). We purchased a tall, narrow plastic garbage can and sliced off the top 3 inches or so. It fits tidily into the pullout and is very stable and easy to clean. One of a short list of "best ideas" in our kitchen. One should locate an appropriate can first since I haven't seen the one she recommended around for a while.

Anyway, another 3-6 inches would potentially be available this way if needed.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Putting 3" of counter to the right of the stove to make it look more built-in

And because it's a building code violation not to have at least 3" (4"?) in new or renovated kitchens. Stove or cooktop against side wall means large pans may touch painted drywall or wallpaper and start a fire.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 4:27AM
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