Critique my kitchen plan please. :)

TammyTEJune 3, 2013

I have read and read over here and hopefully learned a lot. LOL

I am truly in love with this house plan and hope that the designer can get all the roof lines to work out. This is the kitchen I gave her but I haven't completely thought of all the details yet.

I am pretty sure I have some good paths for cooking, prepping, baking, getting drinks, setting/clearing the table. In looking at all of that my big question was, "What to do with the huge corner counter space? I thought it would be a good place to put all our fresh fruits and veggies but that seems out of the way for the kids to get their snacks. Hmmm maybe keep most of them in the corner but put a few out on the island daily for the kids?

Any thoughts and suggestions are welcome!

Quick info: We have five kids. Their bedrooms will be upstairs and our bedroom in downstairs through the living room. To the right is the mudroom, half bath and garage. To the bottom is the school room (we homeschool).


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Here's the whole main level. A few things have changed but this is basically it.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:06AM
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people usually find that corners with a 90 degree turn rather than the diag cabinet a better choice. If you are actually going to set it up as a destination for the kids to get stuff off the counter I think It will be problematic in terms of traffic lanes developed as a result..Better for what you describe is to shrink the pantry a bit-move the oven stack over to within 6 in of side of pantry-[or just a filler panel] and expand the space to the right of fridge for kids "grab n go" type retrieval.I don't mind the diag corner set up but more as a place for the primary cook to work between sink and range without general hassle of a major traffic lane. So basically-the island is a work setup without seating-that's a big decision and the table is the day to day "do everything" seated location??Is that a formal dining room below kitchen?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 9:29AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Will your main prep area be between sink and cooktop, or on the island, across from fridge? Do you have a second trash pull-out planned for either of those areas? Although the 18" trash location on the plan will be convenient for the family, it's really nice (and much more efficient) to have one in the prep area.

Since you posted that any suggestions are welcome :), if you plan to prep in the corner between sink and cooktop, you might consider moving the fridge to the opposite wall and adjusting the island accordingly. Would that interfere with dish storage? It would help with the aspect of 'barrier island', while keeping fridge convenient to diners.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Not enough space between your table and the kitchen area for a heavily used family entrance path. You want at least 60", and 72" is better. Imagine coming home with your arms full of groceries and someone is sitting at the table on a laptop.

For a very tight budget build, this kitchen is truly a budget buster. A budget kitchen would be a simple galley with a range, not a large kitchen with a cooktop and wall ovens and an island with a prep sink. A simple galley would cost you 1/3 to 1/5 what this kitchen will cost you to build. Cooktops and wall ovens cost a lot more than a range, plus you also have to buy cabinets for them. You will have to rough plumb for the prep sink, and buy all of that island cabinetry. Islands are the most expensive real estate in a kitchen because they have to be finished off on all sided. Cabinets on the perimeters only have to be finished on the ends of the run. Galleys are the most efficient form of kitchen there is, both from a functionality standpoint and a budget standpoint.

There is a lot of tweaking that you can do to this to make this home more functional as shown, but you're not going to get past the primary budget issue without greatly revamping the space to make it much smaller. Or greatly increasing the budget to build what you show. It doesn't make a lot of financial sense to start such a shoestring build with a 75K kitchen and then fill in around it with what's left over from your fund.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 10:32AM
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I can't speak to the budget, but assuming you use the prep sink to pre from the looks of things you have a major traffic path directly through your work area into the school room. If this were me I would flip the bottom of your kitchen. Put the door into the school room and pantry / wall ovens on the left side, and that put that corner over on the right so that there is a nice fridge / prep sink / range triangle with no primary foot traffic and lots of counter space. Or maybe even put the range / cooktop in the corner (my MIL has this and it works well) with the oven along the school room wall over near the door to visually keep people out of the primary work zone. Your pantry would be a bit further from the primary cooking space, but at least for me I find that it is refrigerator items that I need right-now in the midst of cooking, while it's easier to work around the timing of acquiring things from the pantry. And that the pantry stores a lot more of the cereal / bread / snacks that I expect kids to be able to get for themselves.

This also leaves you main sink as a more dedicated cleanup sink, easily accessible (but out of the work flow) for folks to clean up after themselves.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Thank you all! I am going to play around with these suggestions. I was also worried about the traffic flow to and from the school room but I want it to be easy access from the kitchen for myself so I can go back and forth.

I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen. We have allergies/food intolerance here. There's not a lot of boxed cereals although we do have some. Mostly fruits, veggies and meat with occasional rice. If we have cookies or anything I make them so I would like to have the larger island. I wanted the double ovens because I am constantly running out of oven space while making a meal. Would it be cheaper to get a regular range and then ONE wall oven?

I haven't even thought about a microwave. I don't use it a ton but I think we would like to have one available.

Off to work on those suggestions!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:56PM
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We have food intolerances too, so I get the spending lots of time in the kitchen!

Looking at your plan again I still really think it makes sense to put the cooking portion of your work space on the right side in an L configuration with the island / prep sink (flipping the trash to the right hand side so it is convenient to your prep area), while leaving the left hand side of the kitchen as a galley clean-up run. I also note you seem to have an opening over that main sink in order to provide sight lines into the family room. I understand the urge there, but I would also focus on making sure you have good sight lines from your prep island into the other areas. As I've learned time and again on here (I believe most often stated by Buehl?), prep is where you spend the vast majority of your time in the kitchen - much more than the time spent on the cooktop or cleaning dishes.

In this case I would also scoot your island closer to the range wall while leaving the cleanup aisle wider for passing through.

It would also be nice to be able to recess your fridge into the wall a bit so you could effectively 'build in' a standard depth fridge, although having the corner of the garage right there in the middle behind the fridge may make that more difficult from a framing perspective.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Yes, I wanted to recess the fridge but wasn't sure how it would work. I like the idea of moving stuff to the right. I tried the corner cooktop but I'm not sure I like that.

Is there another way to get more oven space other than a double wall oven set up? If I got one of those ranges with a small oven and a regular oven do you think that would help? I wish they made those with the small one on the bottom as I would probably use my bigger one more often and hate the thought of bending over that far to get the huge roaster out.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:20PM
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What if I shorten the island to 5' instead of 7'6"? That would allow me to move it closer to the right side but with the end gone it wouldn't seem to close to the fridge.

What would I do with that small cabinet on the end of the right side. With the sink and then the trash that's all that's left. Not sure how to configure the left side of the island.

I put a larger size range in and took out the wall ovens. I haven't priced larger ranges compared to the cooktop/wall oven set up. Not sure how much money it would save.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:39PM
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We used to have a double oven range like that (small on top, large on bottom) and used the small one all the time. With the amount you cook I imagine you'd use both. but you really have plenty of space so I don't think you need to get rid of the oven stack all together - imagine that your range / cooktop could go on the garage wall where you currently show the ovens next to the pantry. The pantry gets moved to the other wall so that space where the pantry currently is becomes a countertop corner, and you end the run of cabinets with the oven stack next to the door into the school room. This puts a nice run of counter top between 2 stacked elements at either end (fridge and oven stack) which I think would further visually encourage pass-thru traffic to stay on the far side of the island, but would still give you lots of prep area (for baking / oven based items I'd imagine) on the school room side of the cooktop. Basically you'd be almost flipping the positions of the cooktop and ovens (sliding them slightly to the right so they line up with the end of the island.)

As for exactly which ovens, I think you've got lots of options - it's just the question of which combination works best for you / your family. From your description it seems like you might be best served with 2 larger ovens. In my Mom's kitchen she has a double oven with the microwave above it and it works out fine although it does put the microwave at a slightly awkward location, though that may work for you if you only rarely use the microwave. If you want the microwave to be lower instead for kid access you could do one oven and a microwave in the oven stack, and then put in a range rather than a cooktop to give you that 2nd oven. This could be a great solution for 2 reasons: (1) allows you to have the primary oven in the oven stack at a comfortable height, (2) gives you a second full size oven for larger items / etc, while allowing that oven to be under the vent hood for cooking items where that is beneficial.

And a further option you could consider if you really simultaneously cook a lot of items at different temperatures would be to make the wall oven something like the GE Single/Double - along with the range this would give you 3 ovens of different sizes, with 2 fairly large size ones.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:47PM
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Do you think you could survive with a 30" range that has 2 ovens? This would be the most cost effective choice by far. For those times when you would need an extra burner, you could use a countertop one (unless, of course, you use all your burners regularly).

Here is a link that might be useful: Induction burners

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:47PM
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Well right now I find my stovetop to be very crowded but part of that is because we don't have enough counter space for my electric skillet. So I probably would be fine with a 30" range. I'm liking the idea of the range with a wall oven and microwave together.

What do you all think of this?

I'm still not sure what to do about the length of the island.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:58PM
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I went through and labeled where I thought things would go.

I put the label in front of the lower cabinet. I'm hoping for mostly drawers.
The label on top of the counter is for....on top of the counter.
The label toward the back wall is for upper cabinets

I'm not sure where to put the plates/bowls and cups. I was thinking either to the right of the dishwasher or across from the dishwasher in the island. We usually have one cup per person, per day that sits out on the counter. They are allowed to refill their cup throughout the day from the water in the fridge door. I figured those cups could sit on the end of the island with the fruits/veggies/snacks I have out for them that day.

I put the other fresh fruits/veggies in the corner. I wonder if there is some sort of tiered thing that could hold them nicely so they aren't just all over the counter. I have something but it's a lovely yellow from the 70's. I'll use it if I have to though. I usually have lots of onions, bell peppers, apples, clementines, bananas and garlic all the time.

We don't drink coffee, but I do have some coffee cups for hot chocolate or tea. We have a toaster but don't use it. I might keep it but put it out in the mudroom storage closet just in case.

What am I forgetting? Something major I am sure.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 3:35PM
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I see you are now considering a different layout but just wanted to mention I have that layout you describe with the angled corner with the fruit bowl sitting in that corner. I actually like it a lot as it is in easy reach for everyone, yet there is still counter space in front to work. I find the island is used for prep as well as eating so having the fruit bowl there on a daily basis would restrict the work space, plus hygenically I would not like fruit sitting nearby where I prep with raw meat and eggs.

My kitchen was done 6 year ago, but here it is:

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Containers for left overs!! Hmmm maybe those could go wherever the plates/bowls don't go?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Lovely kitchen!

That's a good point. I made the island longer again because I figured the fridge doors won't be a huge problem. (fingers crossed!) Maybe that will keep the kids from standing there with the fridge door open all the time. LOL

I think with the island being over 7' long the cups would be fine on that end with prep being toward the other.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 3:39PM
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A couple of thoughts:
-Plan to recess the fridge and get a french door, this should take care of your access issues. (You'll have to ask someone who knows more about framing, but my guess is that to do this you would build the load bearing blue wall in the garage to the end of the wall housing the vacuum closet, and then there would be an opening / recess built from the kitchen side.)

-I would think daily dishes and leftover containers both belong near the dishwasher, since that is easy both for unloading and the natural place that leftovers would collect after dinner (serving plate goes from table to counter near dishwasher so that leftovers go into containers and then into the dishwasher.) I think between the drawer next to the DW and the two drawers in the island you should have plenty of drawer space.

-It's not as cost effective, but if you don't want to do cooktop + separate double ovens, you can still do a cooktop with wall oven mounted beneath.

-Alternatively if you're going gas (I think I saw a gas range?) there are 36" gas options - I believe IKEA even carries one now.

-Give your pantry double doors that open out in both directions, this makes the doors shorter with less impingement on the aisle and removes the need to have the wall next to the pantry stick out so far.

-Consider how you use the trash when you prep. I think it makes sense to have a trash can directly next to the cleanup sink (and you might consider adding one), but for me while prepping, I tend to wash in the sink, then generate trash while standing at the counter, so I would want the trash to the side of my actual workspace instead of directly within in it. As a righty, for me this would mean moving the trash can further down the island. (Honestly my IDEAL set up is a trash can that opens up around the corner from me, so I can prep on a counter and then sweep the trash right off the end into the trash, but that seems to be hard to achieve in most layouts.)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Great thoughts!

I was debating on where to put the leftover containers. Usually we have everyone scrape their plates into a slop bucket so that would mean the spot near the dishwasher would be great. But sometimes they use the trash. I usually use a slop bucket for the veggie and fruit scraps but trash for everything else.

It will be all electric. Sorry if I picked a gas one.

Once we are closer I will see if we can recess the fridge. I saw someone mention how to do that in the building forum. They said you basically put a doorway a little bigger than the fridge in and then put plywood covered by drywall on the opposite side. I would think that could work.

Thanks so much, I appreciate the help in thinking it through.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 4:15PM
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My other thought about the left over containers was that they then go into the fridge. If I put them across from the fridge someone could go to that spot out of the way of everyone who is taking plates up to scrape and wash. They could put the food into the containers, pop into the fridge and then slide the dirty pot/pan/dish to the dishwasher side of the island.

If I put the containers on the dishwasher side then that puts someone standing there filling the container so people have to walk around them and then that person needs to walk around the island to put it in the fridge.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 4:20PM
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