Critique my kitchen layout

bitmaster20June 20, 2014

Hello everyone,

We are planning on upgrading our kitchen and wanted to get input on the new kitchen layout we have planned. All the cabinets, countertop and appliances are going to be replaced. Ours is a multi-family dwelling, so the kitchen gets a heavy usage, so we are looking for a functional, open kitchen design.

Below are the shortcomings of the current kitchen:
1 - Dishwasher's location makes it difficult to unload it. It's located in the corner, with the cabinets on one side only. This makes it impossible to unload the clean dishes directly into the cabinet as the dishwasher door gets in the way.

2 - Microwave is above the range. It's inconvenient to use if someone is using the range at the same time. Also, the heat from the range is damaging to the microwave door handle. We have replaced 3 handles in the past 7 years.

3 - The kitchen came with dual ovens. We don't bake much, so the 2nd oven is an overkill.

Here's how we use the kitchen:

1 - Number of cooks: 2
2 - Adults: 4, Kids: 2 (4 to 9)
3 - Kitchen is used for cooking/cleaning. Kids are also hanging in kitchen/family room area most of the time.
4 - We have frequent informal social gatherings.
5 - We have a separate DR. It does not have a dining table, it's used mainly as a play area for kids.

I have attached the current layout of the kitchen. Some terminology I have used:
1 - Base means that there's only base cabinets here.
2 - BW means there's both base and wall cabinets here.

Below are some pictures of the current kitchen:

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Attached is the kitchen layout we have in mind:

Things that are important to us:
1 - Storage and countertop space. We have a large family so we would like to keep or increase on the current storage/countertop space.

2 - Open plan - We have frequent informal large get togethers. So we would like to have an open plan that allows easy movement between the DR/Kitchen/Family room.

I have attached the layout we have in mind below. We are thinking of getting rid of the peninsula and making an island out of it.

In the new kitchen we plan on having the following appliances:
1 - 30" Cooktop
2 - Standard dishwasher
3 - Single oven
4 - Microwave in shelf
5 - 36" Bottom freezer counter-depth refrigerator
6 - Ventilation hood

I would like to get your input on the plan. Our current concern is that with the new layout the kitchen might not feel as open as the current layout.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:41PM
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I'd keep the existing layout but:

1. Move the dishwasher into the 44" base or slide it to the other side of the sink (if being off center won't make you twitchy)
2. Get a regular range with an oven and keep it where your current cooktop is. Nix the double ovens and center the fridge on that wall - build in pantries around it.
3. Get rid of the uppers above the range and install a hood vent.
4. Install under-counter microwave or get rid of it completely. I don't even have a microwave in my kitchen. Maybe you could find a way to tuck it in with the pantries?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Ahhhahaha I missed your 2nd post - looks great!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:48PM
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Bump for help

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:23PM
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Your existing layout is similar to mine! Will you have any upper cabinets? Just wondering where everything from the dishwasher will go?

Where will your new single oven go?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:16AM
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For the most part, I think it looks pretty good. I know that I would personally want more room between cooktop and fridge. That would mean the tall cabinet to the right would need to be smaller, but 49" is pretty big for a pantry cab. Not sure how you planned to use it. I'd also want the DW next to the fridge and that 18" base (a pull-out trash?) on the end.

Also, perhaps I am reading incorrectly, but 33" between island and table is just not enough. I forget exactly what the recommendations are, but I would think 36" would be a bare minimum and 48" would be more appropriate especially since it seems a likely area that traffic may try to move through. Fixing this could be as simple as rethinking how the family room is laid out, or finding a narrow table.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Why is the DW not next to the sink?

Walkway in front of fridge looks too tight.

I would get rid of the tiny base cabinets which seems to intrude on the walkway.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Are you keeping the fireplace? Is the desk in the family room set up for 2 children? Is that a 27 inch doorway into walk in pantry? Have you considered opening the dining room (toy room) to the kitchen, allowing you more family room and kitchen space? Toys don't last forever and the toys could be stored in shelving in the family room.
I like your fireplace in the family room and think you need to consider the whole area layout.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 5:49PM
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Could you post your pics in a format that can be copied for editing?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 6:44PM
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Do you use the living room and dining room on a regular basis (not just for company)? Then I would put a larger TV in the living room and make this more of a keeping room space.

This means...definitely keep the fireplace! Reface it and make it easier to mount a flat screen TV above...and you can view it from all areas of the room. However, it also recedes (I love those ones that look like a picture, when they're not being used) and your focus can be on conversation. I hope this helps :)

From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:49AM
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bpathome, thanks for your input.

Currently we do not have any wall cabinets in the corner, so we were thinking of keeping the same look.

Looking at everyone suggestions regarding the DW placement, I agree, the DW needs to be in a location close to the sink and wall cabinets.

It seems like the only alternate would be to put in wall cabinets above the DW. We were trying to avoid that so that the kitchen looks more open and spacious.

The single oven and MW would go in the 49" space next to the refrigerator.

This post was edited by bitmaster20 on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 3:51

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 3:50AM
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Thanks controlfreakecs for your input.

Yes, we are open to the possibility of moving the refrigerator a bit to the right to increase the counter space next to the cooktop.

I have picked the maximum width for the table, so we could potentially pick a smaller one, and also move it closer to the family room to make space between the counter and the table.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 3:55AM
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Hello debrak2008, thanks for your input.

We were thinking of putting a trash drawer next to the sink. So the DW would be then pushed at the end of the counter. We are open to putting wall cabinet above the DW to make it easier to unload the DW.

Which base cabinets are you referring that intrude on the walkway?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:08AM
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Hello Karenseb, thanks for your input.

We were not thinking of keeping the fireplace. We have never used it in the 7 years we have been in the home. Also, the fireplace is visible directly from the main door. So we are not comfortable putting a TV on it, since anytime we have someone at the door the TV would also be viable all the way from the street.

Yes, the desk in the family room would be setup for 2 children.

Yes, the 27" doorway is into a walk-in pantry. The pantry is about 4' x 4'.

Currently the kitchen already opens up to the family room. We would like to keep the DR and LR separate from the kitchen, so we weren't planning on opening up that side of the wall.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:13AM
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Hello cam349. What kind of format should I use for the pictures? JPEG?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:14AM
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Hello lavender_lass, thank you so much for taking the time to draw up the layout.

Yes, we do spend most of our time in the family room and kitchen.

However, as I had mentioned earlier, we are planning on getting rid of the fireplace for a couple of reasons.

The fireplace wall is highly visible from the main entry door, so we would not want the TV there. The bedroom wall seems to be a better place for the TV.

Thanks again for taking the time to draw out the layout. I like the idea of using a smaller dining table. We will probably go with the 60x36 size. Also, we will also probably go with the wall cabinets above the DW.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:19AM
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An idea: on your sink wall have the DW directly to the left of the sink with the 18" trash pullout to the right. It locates the trash between sink and stove and doesn't block it while you are working with the dishwasher. If you have to scrape at all and then load you will not be able to do it where it is currently located (where would you stand while the trash is open)? Put a drawer stack on the end for dish towels, placemats, trivets and napkins-which is conveniently located closest to the table.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:03AM
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Which base cabinets? The ones on the wall with the doorway. On the right side of the layout.

I just unloaded and reloaded my dw and can't imagine not having it right next to the sink but it that would work for you do it. : ) Just had this thought.... are you having a garbage disposal? If not then I can see you would be concerned with the trash location for scraping. We have a disposal so plates are scraped into the sink.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:20AM
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Fwiw, my dw is not next to the sink. We have the set up that you show: sink, 18" trash, dw, then we have 2.5" fill and a wall. We debated this set up. We mocked up all of our options, which were limited by our small space. It's not conventional. But this gave us the most efficient plan for our small kitchen and how we function. We have no garbage disposal,and for the most part we scrape and load. Though this set up works for us, it was a decision we spent a lot of time on because the work flow is different and it's definitely not SOP.

With your space, I would consider doing the standard and put the dw next to the sink.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:35AM
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jpeg would work

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:28AM
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Attached is the layout in JPEG format. I have also incorporated some of the changes mentioned in the comments, like moving the dishwasher next to the sink. Trash goes on the other side of the sink.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:44PM
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