If I add a door, how do I balance wall visually?

ash6181June 5, 2013

I hope I can explain this question in a way that make sense. I posted my kitchen for review several weeks ago, and one of the comments was that I should add a door that leads out onto what is labeled on the plans as a grilling deck. Makes sense. Originally, I planned to use one of the living room doors which is just around the corner, but I can definitely see the advantages of having a door in the kitchen.

However, if I add a door at the most logical (to my mind) place, I feel like it throws that wall of cabinets, sink, etc. out of whack...like the visual break of the door on the right needs to be balanced with something on the left (if you were facing that wall).

Here's the layout with the door added:

So, what could I do to balance the door, or am I worrying about nothing? Or should I just forget the door and stick with the plan to use the doors in the living room (the double doors shown in the upper right above). ?

Another option mentioned was to just do away with that wall of cabinets and go all windows/ doors there. I think I have the space to make that work, and I imagine it would look great...but I'm just not sure. Here's how that might look:

I just did these diagrams quickly in Photoshop, so please forgive any wonky lines, etc.

Thoughts on these options? I'm still looking at some of the other suggestions too, such as adding a eating area and moving the refrigerator.

This is the first house we've built- actually the first house we've purchased!- and the first kitchen I've had the option to design from scratch. I'm terrified and excited at the same time. Any advice is welcome- thanks so much!


Here is a link that might be useful:

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I don't understand what's wrong with putting the door there. It's at the end and doesn't break up a run of counters. I would not get rid of the wall of cabinets to put windows in. The resulting kitchen looks small. I think a door to the outside from the kitchen makes a lot of sense and would get used a lot.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:21PM
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I agree with Texas Penny. The door is fine at the end of the run of cabinets. I see from your floor plan that it opens onto a deck that is between the master bedroom and a screened porch. It is the "Grilling Deck," so you should be able to get out there and grill without having to go through the sunroom. I think you are going to really appreciate having a direct access door there.

Depending on the direction that the deck faces, you may have little light there much of the day with it having walls on three sides. I see that it overlooks a pond, though. I kind of doubt that you will have a view of the pond from inside the kitchen, but you can plan for planters with ornamental trees, flowering vines, and other interesting plants right outside of the kitchen, depending on the climate you live in. You can make a pretty view on the deck for the kitchen windows yourself.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:11AM
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Yes- windows with window seats, 5' slider- hutch piece on each end. Expand the island, play with the shape, use it to define the kitchen, mix wood top for seats and stone for work there. You have room there use it.
All makes a better space, entertaining and better kitchen. Integrates the deck. Really looks like it could be fun, outstanding even.

Original 20ft from main sink to fridge is awful even with 3 prep sinks. Not fun...

Too small? I've done kitchens the size of that pantry.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 6:50AM
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Ash, if you want to keep your current large layout with the new door, I do think you are worrying about nothing. You're looking at a diagram now that shows your kitchen, quite bizarrely, from a birds-eye view that doesn't exist in real life.

The issue is how it'll look from the family room and secondarily from inside. The wall whose balance will define how the kitchen looks is the stove wall, which is very nicely strengthened by being framed by those little wing walls that define and separate the kitchen and family spaces.

The wall you're concerned about will be seen mostly end-on from various angles and simply won't matter in the way you're imagining, which is in comparison with a more birds-eye-view "perfect" diagram no one's going to have in front of them. End-on views from us earth-bound sorts shorten distort and hide "perfect" sidewall layouts anyway, which is why attention is grabbed by the wall in front that can be seen. Even from inside the kitchen looking at the window wall, though, it'd look quite good.

So you're going to start all over again, do it for another reason. :)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 12:06PM
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IF this is a big worry then one option is to recenter your window on the remaining wall, put the sink under it and then move the DW to the other side of the sink. That wall should then be just about centered with equal amount of counter on either side of the sink and then sink centered under the newly centered window.

If you don't need/do uppers along that wall you could do one big window with the sink and DW still there.

The nice thing about having counter right by a door to a grilling area is that when you bring in dripping grilled utensils, etc. (at least ours drips) you have someplace immediately available as a set down area and in this case right by the DW.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:08PM
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TexasPenny, nanc_in_mich, rosie, and blfenton. I think I'm probably worry about nothing, really, but its easy to get hung up on things sometimes. Do I need to recenter the windows/sink on the remaining counter or leave basically as is?

jakuvall, I'm not sure I understand what you're describing. Could you elaborate?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 5:48PM
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I don't think you need to recenter the window. It looks like it's based on where the peninsula is. Does your architect (or whoever) have access to a drawing that shows how everything will look in real life? If you 'walk' through the kitchen it might help you see how it will flow.

If I were you, I would really think about what I cook, how I cook, how I pull things from the fridge/pantry and how your new kitchen will work for you.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 6:26PM
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Ash6181-i simply think more can be done with the spaces architecturally.

redo that wall completely respecting the original facade drawings. Center. A sliding door,flank it with windows, add window seats 36-42" ea., with a hutch type trearment on each end. Work that out thinking about space and aesthetics in the context of not just the kitchen but the grill deck, great room, and circulation space that it is.

Define the kitchen in the space of your second drawing (16' x 16')
expand the island toward the great room. Cabinetry for island could become an ell, a curve, or 3 legs (an ell with a 45 corner) Seating then wraps around more.
Creates a defined space for the kitchen. Now look at how you work in it, what goes where, etc.

I agree that the elevation is not a big issue-from the kitchen. Your original exterior facade though is different (I realize it is the back-still) If you had no choice, if more care were taken relating to the other spaces, if the house were not so well designed in the first place...I wouldn't comment.
I agree- get access to perspectives or walk through views.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 11:21PM
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I would put the door in, leave the sink and DW where they are, and take your uppers down to the counter in a hutch-like look to the left in order to visually balance the door. If the door is glass, do the doors on the upper in glass - if solid, then solid.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 11:38AM
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I like tracie's idea !

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 11:51AM
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