Is my kitchen triangle too big?

morselofjoyJune 20, 2013

I submitted an earlier version of this plan to Garden web in the past and received a lot of valuable feedback (special thanks to rhome410). I have updated this plan repeatedly to get it to this point but I haven't shared it with the Garden Web community in a long time but we are about to have the formal plans drawn up so I wanted to ask for your feedback one last time. Be gentle but honest please. You can find several pictures of the plan and 3D renderings HERE. A couple notes before you review the plan:

1. I know the islands seem redundant but the front island is strictly a clean-up island with dish storage directly behind it and the other island is for food prep and baking.

2. The double oven is next to the baking station (I forgot to label the oven in the picture)

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Fabulous! How wide are your walkways? They look very comfortable. And is that a rolling library ladder to access high cabinets? Does the same ladder move from one side to the other as needed? Please share info on that - I SO should have one, but have been afraid of the cost. Your design and the way it tucks out of the way look terrific! Love the double island, love all the space for people to be together but not in the way.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 10:01PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Visually, the kitchen is pleasing. Functionally, not so much. You can probably "get by" with this layout, but what's the point of that when you're building new? If you're going to be spending that 1.2M on the new home, the kitchen shouldn't have any compromises in it's functioning at all.

Strictly speaking, if you plan to prep only at the second island, the distances between the points aren't too large. but, the prep sink appears to be much too large for the island, leaving you with little actual prep space for the most time consuming and space hogging function that a kitchen performs. You might as well have a 10" galley kitchen. You might have more actual prep space in it.

Also, it functions better in a 2 DW household to have those DWs by the cleanup sink. It becomes too confusing as to where some items end up, and if something won't fit in one DW, hiking it across the kitchen to the other one isn't so fun. You may think that all of your prep items will go into the prep DW and all of the china and dishes will go into the other one, but that's not how it practically works out.

Which brings me to a point here about having the different zones, and the two islands. Functionally, yes, a kitchen with multiple persons preparing foods works better to have the cleanup and the prep water sources separated. BUT, you also need to be able to easily access BOTH sinks within just a couple of steps, not play ring around the rosy between the two. The islands would be better suited if oriented the other direction rather than the direction that you currently have them. With the sinks back to back, so you can pivot and toss the dropped spoon into the cleanup sink. Only, there isn't room to do that with the orientation of the kitchen. I foresee a LOT of walking around those island in your future, adding work and time to your tasks, not making your chores easier.

Overall, the biggest mistake that I see is the overly optimistic seating---at the cleanup island. You spend WAY more time prepping (70%) than cleaning up (20%), so anyone visiting with the cook won't really be able to do that. They'll be sitting in the middle of all of the dirty dishes and the mess thrown into the sink. And yelling across the distance if they want to hold a conversation with you. Social gatherings won't be all that social here. And how many locations to eat are really needed?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 10:11PM
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Thank you for taking time to look at the plan!

kksmama - The side aisles are 48 inches wide. The walkway between the islands is 54 inches while the walkway between the stove and prep island is 48 inches. I have been in love with the idea of a library ladder in the kitchen ever since I saw it in a magazine a few years ago. With cabinets that go all the way to a 10 foot ceiling, it seems like a perfect solution for a person of my short 64 inch height. The cost is actually not as bad as you might think. Much depends on the quality of the wood and finish that you choose for your ladder. Also, you have to consider how many splices you need if your are turning corners. One company that lets you configure a rolling ladder system online is Custom Service Hardware.

hollysprings- You have many helpful points. I have debated long and hard over whether both dishwashers should go in the cleanup island. I think you may have convinced me. The prep sink that I have chosen is the 45 inch Kohler Stages sink. They also make a 33 inch version which I will strongly consider based on your feedback. I think because there isn't much of a price difference I was inclined to go for the bigger one.

I understand where you are coming from with the bar seating being so far from the prep area. At first I had the stools at the prep island and not the dish-washing island. Then I changed it for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I do not want others in my space at all while I am preparing food. I do A LOT of bulk cooking and was planning on using the entire prep island to lay out my assembly lines for adding ingredients. If I had people sitting there it would really annoy me and mess up my rhythm. Secondly, I actually do not like to cook and talk at the same time (many meals have been sabotaged by my attempt to do so). But I do not mind others hanging out with each other near by as long as they are not in my space and are not talking to if anyone wanted to hang out at the other counter it would be just far enough for me to feel a part of the action without actually contributing to it. :>)

I never saw the stool area as an area for actual dining (except for afternoon snacks, perhaps...). The most important function for that counter side is a buffet line. I am choosing undercounter stools that can completely tuck out of the way so that the long counter can be used as a buffet serving line (much easier with 6 kids and 2-6 adults that commonly are dining at our house). So in short, I really just saw the stool counter as a place for people to gather and hang out when we have a ton of people over (which is often) and a perfect place for serving food to large numbers of people (which is every day).

As far as the island orientation, would you suggest one long skinnier island instead of two, and facing the fridge and oven walls? Do I have enough space to accomplish everything my current plan does with that layout?

Also, I see from your profile that you are a rose lover. Me too, although I am just learning. My New Dawn roses were just gorgeous this year!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Thanks for the lead on the ladder, it is soooo tempting. I don't think I'll revise my plans at this point, but I will enjoy watching yours come to fruition.

Hollysprings has great insight for you. This project is huge, and the kitchen will be so central to your family that you are wise to take as much time in planning as you need, and as much great GW counsel as you can get!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 1:09AM
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Without scale drawings it's difficult for me to hone in but don't see a tight work triangle, which is often preferred.

This is a deconstructed zone kitchen where the task areas have been defined. It's more of a restaurant than a home concept. Caterers will love it.

If it's in a final stage its likey you're looking for reassurance rather than suggestions that raise new issues. But there are a few things.

The fridge opens into a main aisle. It's wide enough so it's ok but with all the space in the kitchen, it could be more advantageously located if it opened into the space between islands. It's serving two masters with the two islands anyway.

For me a baking center needs counter space, under counter refrigeration and a water source. The way this is configured, you're walking across the aisle with flour dripping from your hands to rinse them off or to get a 1/2 cup of water. And walking all the way across the kitchen for a stick of butter.

As for the "prep" sink it's really not that. It's actually a pot sink with the configuration in this kitchen. The 45" stages is an excellent choice. The only better one would be Mick DiGiulio's multiere. It would be a mistake to even think about making it smaller IMO. You nailed it.

Also, in the renderings, I felt the view to the range end of the kitchen, which appears to be a focal point, was obstructed by all the hanging fixtures. I'm not especially fond of those because I do feel they obstruct the sightlines. I'd be sure that range wall is spectacular and I'd add a grid plan for ceiling lights and go for a fabulous lux-y pot rack over the island closest to the range. Some even have integral lighting. More bang for the buck IMO.

A photo of a double-island kitchen with pot rack is on the link.

Best of luck with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Giant Pot Rack Kitchen

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 12:46PM
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If you don't want to socialize with people while you are cooking, then you don't need an island with seating at all! I reworked this in Paint, and tightened it up. The center buffet with pet feeding station is a placeholder, because now the space is too big. I'd rather see a different type of table than the enormous round table occupy the space though because it's easier to work around. Large round tables of that type are extremely expensive and awkward to move around because they need so much diameter. You can seat an equal amount of people with better traffic floor (and a much cheaper table) with a rectangular table.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 2:30PM
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I'll stay away from the layout discussions with the pros but in ready through your old thread and seeing the new plan, I just have a few comments:

a. Is there some way to better incorporate the view into the new kitchen? The revised plan completely blocks you off and puts you into an alcove, with the only windows opening up into an interior view (the garage). Flipping lwo's plan and pushing the baking center next to the pantry, and putting the cleanup area under a window that faces out on the other wall might be better.
b. With seven kids, I'd consider not only the bev fridge but upsizing the main fridge or moving the extra fridge/freezer to the pantry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to your whole house plan

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 3:24PM
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LWO-- I respectfully disagree with fridge next to wall ovens and sink in the aisle.

Do think hollysprings was on to something with the one long island running lengthwise. Anything can be built in there including sink, DW, under counter fridge etc. as there's so much space.

We had a 60" round table growing up and it was great so I don't worry about that.

There is a kitchen in Alabama that Allison found with a monster island that's 18-feet long. Again, no idea how long this one could be but at least 12? I would works as both island and counter.

A u-shape island also could work. It's wonderful to have both the width and the length -- most houses don't.

But the OP is going to kill us as she wants to finalize, not start over.

Here is a link that might be useful: 18-foot island kitchen

This post was edited by rococogurl on Tue, Jun 25, 13 at 8:46

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and constructive criticism! My husband and I have incorporated all of your feedback into the plans being drawn up by the designer now. The designer has provided preliminary plans and a front elevation to us, which you can view HERE. We are meeting with the designer this week and would love it if you would give the plans a quick review and let us know if you see any glaring issues. Thanks! Bethany

Here is a link that might be useful: Preliminary Plans and front elevation - Final Review

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 9:06PM
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