Ridiculous, sublime, and back again

eam44June 7, 2012

So, every time I try to get clever with my layout, I end up just moving things around until I'm right back where I started. Bugger, bugger, bugger. Maybe this is the best I can do after all? Let me know if you see something I don't. The items shown in red cannot move. To enjoy my previous iterations, check out my other links, including a diagram of my first floor. The original thread features tracie.erin's help as well. Thanks.


Here is a link that might be useful: My latest

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I think you'll get more responses if you post the drawing here within the thread. It's very time consuming to keep leaving this site and opening up the other one.

Am I understanding your drawing correctly? Will you have to all the around walk around the peninsula (with seating) to get to the banquette with seating? That sounds like it will be a drag, somehow.

If your seating is so close (banquette) why do you have to have so much seating around the peninsula? And is it correct that at least some of the seating faces directly on a tall cupboard? Maybe I'm misintepreting those blue boxes?

Why not have just one eating area and always eat there? Perhaps you space constraints don't leave you with room for the current-fave of an eat-in kitchen seating. There's no sin in that! You could always have a fold-down table abd stool in the kitchen for the cook's quick nosh sort of snack.

It can be frustrating to keep working on a drsign, but I've found that the best breakthroughs come when I do exactly that.



    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 9:29PM
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So in that entire vast space dedicated to cooking and eating, the only place to actually prepare food is directly over a 24" wide dishwasher and no where else?


    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 9:30PM
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EAM44 Has someone looked at that L shaped wall full of stuff and given you an actual plan and price to move or reroute? It truly is the wall where ideas go to die! Even a few feet to one side would make your life easier.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 9:37PM
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What is the width between the fridge wall and the cooktop wall? That 24" full height cabinet on the peninsula (?) - what is that? It looks like you have 2 seats facing into a cabinets wall and how will you get into that cabinet? The thin lined orange barrier - is that a wall? More explanation of the actual space and how much of it is available for kitchen would be helpful.

The bottom border - is that an outside wall, are there any windows? etc. It looks like there is 248" (?) which is 20' but you have everything squished into about 15'. I'm just confused about the available space and your planned spacing for the area.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:49PM
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HI Everyone. Thanks for the questions/comments.

liriodendron: I agree - walking around peninsula to get from banquette to kitchen would be a drag. If I have a peninsula - as I currently do, this will always be the case, it's just a matter of distance. It's really walking around the wall that will be the drag. I'm trying to design for myself (I want to have space in the kitchen) and others (older relatives who would be more comfortable at a table). Maybe I should just let that go.

marcolo: the space to the left of the sink on the wall with the DR is the prep space, as potentially is the peninsula, no?

claybabe: I got one estimate for moving the sink drain - 2K if I leave the wall and move the drain, "considerably more" if I try to move the wall that contains electrical, HVAC, plumbing/venting for 1st and 2nd floors. That's more than I'm spending on my cooktop (Bluestar 36" that I wanted to be a rangetop when I started).

blfenton: The distance from the Fridge wall to the sink/cooktop wall is 85.5". The 24" cabinet on the peninsula supports the end of the peninsula and gives full-height storage for things like roasting pans not frequently used. It opens facing the family room, so you move the little blue stools and open the cabinet. The thin orange line is actually a red line - the other support wall that keeps the house from falling down - it's skinny and looks orange in the post. A diagram of my first floor is on my original thread. I am squishing everything into the original tiny space of the kitchen and I hate that.

Here's what the bare bones look like, with the dimensions given in inches, more easily shown. I removed the wall currently separating the sunroom and kitchen, because the only thing I need there is the vertical support wall in red. The horizontal red wall of death contains systems, and could be made a little shorter - won't know how much until I open the wall...

Thanks for trying.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 7:15AM
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Ridiculous, sublime, and back again

That is so bathetic. ;-)

(Don't get mad -- look it up!)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:39AM
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It can be frustrating to keep working on a design, but I've found that the best breakthroughs come when I do exactly that. SO TRUE! I must have gone through 50 layouts, half of which just didn't work, until I figured out I could just delete a *&%$%# linen closet!

You said in your last response to the other thread:
I am now struggling with trying to leave the plumbing in my house alone - in your plan that means moving the sink back to where it was. I want to spend my money on things I can see, and having rented a home with terrible retrofitted plumbing, I don't want to create plumbing problems where there currently are none. So, it's back to the drawing board again.

Honestly, infrastructure costs are what you should spend on, with a goal of "making things pretty" put further down on the to-do list. Also, I think your rental must have had a terrible plumber :) Definitely get more than the one estimate on moving things.

However, I know how hard that can be (just ask my husband about our bath remodel progress). So, although I'm still not sure if you are open to having anything on the family room wall, how about the below? You can always leave the sink right against a blind corner cabinet as you had it, I was trying to get you some breathing room there. As always, this is very rough:

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:48AM
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sabjimata has a great kitchen with what could have been a problematic wall, but she incorporated it very cleverly.

I'm posting just in case it helps you think outside the box a bit.

The wall:

Link below with more pictures

Here is a link that might be useful: sabjimata's great kitchen

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Wow! I love that kitchen! And I like the orientation, perpendicular to the way EAM's is running.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:25PM
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    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 4:07PM
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You people are brilliant. And very kind. Except, of course for you, Angie_DIY (just kidding - very funny).

tracie.erin I like the idea of having the range on the back wall.

bmorepanic, I like this arrangement too - but it'd mean moving the sink.

chicagoans, you clever midwesterner you, do you think sabjimata's solution could apply to me too? Here's a first attempt, although I used the shorter axis to maintain plumbing in this one. Perhaps I need a smaller sink so that I'm not staring into the wall, but I don't think I'd necessarily mind. I could put shelves on either side of those 12" base cabinets at the bottom of the behemoth (sort-of) island. I love not having any upper cabinets (except on the back wall).

Thanks, and let me know how I did. E

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Oh, aisle ways at either end (DR and FR walls) are 42"

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Oh I like being called clever; now of course there's pressure to come up with some kind of solution. ;)

Please remind me what's in the red walls? Are they load bearing? Plumbing or something else? Looks like the red dot is plumbing since you've placed the sink there. Since you have a basement it might not be too hard to reroute plumbing (but if you have a drywall ceiling in the basement that would have to be redone. Still not a biggie to get a good layout.)

I think sabjimata's idea might be able to work for you. Unfortunately I don't think your last layout really does the trick (ref in the corner; unclear prep zone at least to me...) but let's let the layout gurus keep tinkering.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 6:53PM
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Hi chicagoans. It definitely feels like a work in progress still, but I'm pleased that it's going in a new and interesting direction. Red items are as follows:

Skinny red line at left is the load bearing wall between the FR and kitchen.
Vertical thick red line is the load bearing wall in the kitchen
Horizontal thick red line holds electrical, plumbing/venting, and HVAC for 1st and second floors.
Red circle is the location of the sink drain.

I have a basement or crawl space under the entire kitchen that has unfinished ceilings, but I have neither from the horizontal red services wall to the french doors and bay window.

I'm going to have a gas line plumbed in, and putting the range on the service wall would (I think) allow outdoor venting for the hood.

I had one estimate for moving the sink drain for 2K, which is a lot for me, and I don't know how much scooch room there is in the relationship between sink cabinet location and the drain (i.e., does the cabinet have to be centered over the drain) which is why I've been keeping the sink in the same spot. I was told moving the services wall would be considerably more expensive. What I don't know is how much of that wall contains services, and how much can be removed - there have to be a few inches I can take out of there.

I hate having the fridge in the doorway. I wanted to swap it with the pantry, but was hoping to save $$ by leaving the pantry closet alone. I should woman-up about this one.

Hey, I really appreciate your insights. If you have any others, please keep them coming. Thanks E

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 9:12PM
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The drain and water service lines don't have to be centered in the cabinet, they can be to either side, in the wall behind or hidden behind a 6" filler.

To move the sink, put the plumbing in a pony wall running underneath the counter, behind the cabinets and in front of (in my case) the seating. In your last case, it could go in the "empty space" between the two rows of cabinets facing outwards.

It could join up with the existing water lines - remember they are pressurized and thin so you could even run those through the toe kick space underneath the cabinet run.

The drain would likely need to move back towards the wall plane - unless its actually in the extension of the thick red line wall today? Usually, something like that is no bother with an unfinished basement or crawl space because the main stack and vent doesn't need to move - just where the drain line surfaces in the room - it needs to be inside that "empty space" or end up inside the pony wall.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:38PM
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bmorepanic, that' very helpful info - thanks so much. Does 2K sound like a lot to you for moving the drain? I will definitely get other estimates, and play with the idea of moving the drain. E

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:04AM
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Did the person who came out to give you an estimate to move all the stuff in the wall have access to the wall from below so you could get an exact idea of what is in there and where? If not, I would start by tearing off the drywall and have a piece of fabric to cover the hole until you are ready to do something, just so you know exactly what you are dealing with.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:30AM
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I like the newest versions better for many reasons, but primarily because you have relinquished the need for three eating spaces practically within spitting distance from each other: peninsula, banquette and DR. These are all popular and attractive items in a kitchen want list, but require considerable space, which may not be possible in your plan. Can you eat in your DR for most meals and just have some perch space near or adjacent to the kitchen?

Can you get the ovens and cooktop closer together? It's very helpful when doing something that transitions from one to the other, and just in general since you can keep an eye on both at the same time. Any flexibility on the cooktop + ovens vs range issue? One of the things I like about a range is having both parts together - and both under the same vent hood - makes broiling-related smoke and steam easily ventable. It goes against the current GW grain, but I think separate wall-ovens are a less-desirable feature because of the convenience snd venting issues. I would consider a second, single, wall (or undercounter) oven if two ovens are needed and can't be accomplished under a suitable range. I have two ovens and find it very useful - though I use one primarily for day to day cooking: the smaller one with the infrared broiler. The larger convection one gets used only about 25% as much.

Also I like where ever possible to get fridge and main food-pantry spaces closer together so you have one path to pick up the milk and the cereal from the same general space - or the meat sauce and the dried pasta, or the eggs, batter and the flour, etc.....

It's useful to have a sink position close to prep and stove so you can add or drain water w/o taking too many steps.

The idea above of using a deeper 30" counter for your cleanup sink counter run not only provides very useful work space on the counter but allows more flexibility in the drains as the plumbing can run behind to where it needs to be w/o too muc expense or fuss. I have one 30" counter run and its remarkable how much more useful that extra 6" is - I would consider adding more space even if it was only a few extra inches. The other largely unremarked difference is that in a kitchen of certain size (like yours and mine) facing counter runs can be too far apart, yet not far enough apart to allow for an intervening island or other useful features. Moving some of that addtional walking space into the countertop dimensions effectively moves the counters closer together which saves wear and tear and makes for more efficiency for the cook who has to move between them.

I'll add my customary suggestion that you think through the pathway of the food from entrance into your house, to storage to prep and cooking, to plating and then return of plates for cleaning and/or re-storage of leftovers. I found that this exercise allowed me to move beyond the pretty straightjacket created by all the features that attracted me to various kitchens and access the functional issues. Once the pathway was well-arranged to the highest degree possible, repopulating it with things that appealed to me was much easier and less fraught.

I think you're making good progress and look forward to seeing more.

(One small note: was wondering about the width of aisle as drawn between counter and oven/pantry area. You need to be able to open the oven doors fully and step safely back towards the intended plunk space gracefully. Couldn't tell if that was the case w/o measurements. You can also make a mock up of this width in your present kitchen and try it out; especially good if you can do it live with temporary obstacles and hot pots - when I tried a few poss. layouts with spaces delineated by large cardboard barriers, I quickly found some were nightmares. At this stage all it takes is fresh sheet of paper to do a replan, rather than a re-remodel!)


    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 12:17PM
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I think you might be well served by moving the cooktop farther from the sink, just sliding it to the left (as you look at the drawing) a bit would give you some separation/prep area between the sink and cooktop..

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 12:23PM
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I like it, but the most important and handy prep space in the kitchen is between the sink and cooktop, and right now that's only 18" wide. You are either going to be carrying things OVER the cooktop to prep on the other side of it, prepping on the other side of the sink thus running laps around the island to get to the cooktop, or prepping in an 18" wide space. I don't think any of these will do much for your ability or desire to cook a meal. You need to find a way to make this space bigger without having obstacles in the way.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:48PM
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OK all, I didn't give up! I was cogitating. Then I got musical OCD. If you are so inclined, please take a look at how the plan is evolving at the link below.

My goal was to use more of the available space, decrease the distance from the ovens to the cooktop, and increase the useable prep space per your recommendations, without having an obstacle course between the cootop and the sink. I also want to be able to have outside venting of the cooktop, that means it must be on the wall of death, so I'm sort-of at a modified U. What I've lost is the simple beauty of the rectangle above. Let me know what you think! Thanks. E

Here is a link that might be useful: Let me take my chances on the wall of death

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 8:29AM
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Everyone universally hated the wall of death post. Here's what I'm thinking now. Don't be shy (as if...).

The "hutch" is composed of a 46"w x 16"d blind base next to a 21"w x 16"d base, and topped with a 40" x 12" upper. I would like these to be different from the other cabs and have the look of furniture, but am not sure whether in this small a run of cabs two different styles would look odd, or worse, trite.

In answer to some of your questions:

L, the dining room is filled with antiques and oriental rugs, not my taste, but impractical eating space for any but holidays. Also, cook top and ovens are closer together.

Claybabe - good idea. Right now the wall has paneling in the sun room, and a cabinet in the kitchen, so it will take a little effort, but I'll try to get an idea of what I can reduce from that wall.

tracie.erin, I've tried to add more space between cooktop and sink - now I'm at 30".

Thanks. E

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 5:43PM
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