Need help with initial kitchen layout

leightxJune 24, 2013

Hi all,

We are in the process of configuring a floorplan for our new build, and need to get a rough idea of the kitchen layout. I like the first one below, but am somewhat concerned about the butt-to-butt aspect going on with the sink and cooktop.

Here are the limitations / desires:
1) Main sink on island. I don't want to face a wall, and I don't want the kitchen at the front of the house, so I can't do a window over the sink. (I don't want it to be the directly viewable from the foyer).

2) I am the main cook, and we rarely will be doing cleanup and cooking at the same time. During holidays, I might have helpers.

3) Plenty of seating at island (4 comfortably - more would be great), and not all in a line.

4) DW either next to or directly across from pullouts that hold dishes.

5) Open design - to both breakfast (needs to be on the largish size - no formal dining) and great room.

I like this one, although I think I'd make the island curved instead of bumped out like the picture. I know it's large, but I can't imagine needing to clean the very middle all that often anyway. There is the issue with the sink and cooktop lined up - but would making them offset look odd (i.e. faucet and hood at different positions, when looking at it straight on), or am I overthinking it?

I'd also move the fridge over to the "serving station" wall and recess it there, since I'd want more prep space by the stove. Moving the gallery wall back isn't a problem - this is entirely custom so we're just starting with the important rooms. I'd also put a hidden pantry door in (to blend with cabinets), rather than having the short hallway then the pantry door.


Are there any other L-shaped kitchens with an island that someone can suggest?

We could also do something like this - with the breakfast area bumped forward, allowing for more counter space. I'm not crazy about the pantry placement - I'd probably try to have that accessed from the kitchen itself.

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I prefer the first layout to the second, but admit I'm having a hard time placing the second into the overall layout of the house. So, I'm just going to comment on the first layout although many of my comments can be carried over to the second as they have similaries.

I would be concerned about the butt to butt aspect of the cooktop and sink too. But then, I don't really want an open DW behind me (no matter how rare that may be) for me to trip over when I back up from the cooktop or turn around with a pot of boiling water in my hands, either. So, if you are not going to move the cleanup sink and DWs off the island, I would leave them as is. If you do move them, unless you get one of those huge 3' tall industrial looking faucets that really screams for attention, it doesn't matter if the faucet is off center to the hood. I only worry about faucets being off center against windows, since they are right up against each other.

You are not going to prep next to the cooktop unless you have water there, so if you move the fridge, put a prep sink on that run. If you REALLY expect to prep there, deepen the counters to 30" instead of the standard 25"-ish.

If you will have a MW, make sure to put it next to or very close to the fridge because for most people, most things going into the MW come out of the fridge.

Now.. here comes the part where I try to point out things you maybe haven't thought of and maybe to change your mind. Dreaming on paper is cheaper than regretting the choices of the build once it's done! :) Here we go.. Is there a reason you don't have a separate prep sink? Do you really want to prep over dirty dishes in the sink, and over the DW when you're on the counter? Also I assume that's your family room over to the left - do you want to see clean, drying (or dirty) dishes on the counter from there? I never understand why people have these nice open layouts and put the mess of the cleanup sink front and center where there's always dirty and/or clean dishes to view :)

Honestly I'd tuck the cleanup sink where the serving station is and do a mirror over the sink (perhaps something window-shaped like Ballard carries), or a mirrored backsplash, etc to reflect those gorgeous windows in your breakfast room and bring more light into the kitchen. Turn a drawer cabinet in the island to face the cleanup sink for dish storage. Then I'd put a prep sink on the island and leave the fridge where it is. Or, you can put the fridge and ovens in the serving area space and cleanup sink/DWs where they were, although that's a bit more directly viewable from the family room.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 10:48AM
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The kitchen experts on here will tell you that the sink across from the cooktop is not an ideal and in most cases that is true. I can tell you from experience though that it can work. My sink is also in an island with the trash to the left and dishwasher to the right of the sink like yours. The sink and cooktop are offset from each other by only a few inches but are basically butt to butt for people standing at each. I have 50 inches counter to counter between the cooktop and the island and that is more than adequate for two people there at the same time. My DH and I both work in the kitchen and the same time and bumping butts is not an issue. My island is much small and I do not have seating on it so I do tend to spread out around it when prepping. I have a cutting board that fits over the sink and it is very convenient to be able to turn and add things to pots on the cooktop. My cookware and dishes are stored in drawers drawers across from the island. It super easy to unload the dishwasher and do a half turn to put the items away in the drawers. If the dishwasher would happen to be left open there is plenty of room to walk by it or of course you could always walk around the island to the get through. You should consider drawers instead of pullouts for your dishes. They will be easier to use.
This photo should give you an idea of the spacing with the dishwasher and a drawer open

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 11:56AM
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I am having a hard time reading the floorplan. Is there any way to make it clearer and also to increase the size ?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 11:20PM
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Thanks all for the feedback! I feel better about the symmetry thing, and I would LOVE a prep sink. The problem is, I don't think I could handle doing dishes staring at a wall - even one with mirrors (plus cleaning that seems like it would get old fast. Any comments on having the cleanup sink not open to the room, or facing a window?? Again - I've always had it across from bar seating, open to the living room (although not one level like I'm planning this time) - so maybe it's just what I'm used to. Our current rental has it facing the backyard - also nice, but I can't figure out a way to make it work with flipping the breakfast area and the kitchen - and I would lose all those windows to upper cabinets if I did that...

I'm attaching the link to the full house plan that this kitchen came from - although please disregard the rest. We are taking some elements of this, although certainly not all. But the great room (smaller than this) / kitchen / breakfast area / pantry will most likely stay something like this.

Any thoughts on island shape? Curved vs. this design? I'm not loving the shape of this one, but would it allow for easier conversation? We've never really had a comfortable bar to sit at (more of a frogs-on-a-log arrangement), so I'm not sure how much we'll use it, but in my ideal world - it would be great for breakfast and lunch especially. 4 people in our family with guests about twice a month...

Badgergal - that's exactly the arrangement I was thinking of - DW across from dish drawers. But what about glasses? Do you walk them over to the cabinet by the fridge?

Tracie - I am torn on the MW. Thinking about a speed oven perhaps, since I really don't need or want 2 wall ovens. I just hesitate to get something built in that might need to be replaced - ya know?

Thanks everyone! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Llano floorplan

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:52AM
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Yes leightx, I keep my glassware in those cabinets above my coffee maker. My kitchen is only 12x11 (smaller than your MB closet) so its only a few steps to that side of the kitchen. I like having the glasses close to the refrigerator because its easy to grab a glass and use the in door water dispenser or grab a beverage out of the fridge.
Good luck on you building project. It looks like quite a nice floor plan.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:22PM
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The link helps. Much clearer !!

I have had sink facing the wall and my mom currently has it. In fact, the house i grew up in, the sink faced the wall. Also, in our beach house, although the big sink faces a window, the window is just slightly too high in my opinion (I am "height challenged" at 5'3"). So, I can see the house across the street, but not their driveway, the street, or our driveway. I really don't end up looking out the window much. (the kitchen is on the top floor which is why I can't even see the driveways from the window). It wouldn't bother me to have the cleanup sink facing a wall. Our prep sink at the beach does face a wall.

I have heard that 70% of the time at the kitchen sink is spent prepping. So, agree with the idea of prep sink in the island (with trash pullout). I don't see the use of the "serving station" when your table is so far away. I would agree that this should be your cleanup zone with dishes stored in this area and nearby.

I'm not loving the fridge in either location. People will walk right through the cooking zone to get to the fridge. How about fridge on the other end of the cooktop run, close to the table for someone to jump up and grab what got forgotten from the fridge (ketchup, butter, etc), and to refill their drinks. Then move everything else on the cooktop wall down towards the pantry.

I do like the island shape and the ease it allows for conversation.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 9:54AM
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If people in your household are right handed, the DW is better on the left of the sink

It's more efficient, with fewer changes of hand for the items during loading.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:01AM
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