Layout indecision - intervention needed...

Mgoblue85June 28, 2013

I really need to get from under the thundercloud of indecision regarding my layout. My first layout post a couple of months ago started from scratch and had way too much green field. I've since spoken with a KD and have a layout in which I'd like some feedback.

I'm planning to remove the wall between the kitchen and living space, because inevitably when fam and friends come for dinner they always end up in the kitchen to socialize. While occasionally I will get an offer of help, I'm usually the only one working so I don't mind a narrower aisle or two. With the fridge closer to the diners, no one should have to wander into the work space

My biggest con with the layout is I will loose the corner and some space to the left of the range top as well as space on the perpendicular run because the range top extends beyond the counter. Ideas or should I learn to love it?

My next question is do you think it will look odd if the sink is not centered exactly with the window. The sink I want needs a 33 base versus the 30 in the drawing and I don't want to loose cabinet space by taking space from both sides...unless I'm missing something.

The island would only have 3 stools not 4. The doorway on the left leads to the laundry room. The door in the top left leads to the basement. I'm open to ideas, but really need to make a decision by Tuesday. I want this done by the holiday and I know I'm already pressing my luck.

This is another option. It has some appeal...although the fridge in the back, which I was hoping to avoid. And, my work space is no longer contained.

Kitchen in it's current state...

This post was edited by Mgoblue85 on Sat, Jun 29, 13 at 11:08

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I like the plan with the fridge close to the liv room and the cooktop and hood to the left of large window. However, I would get a range for your kitchen. Something looks not right with the wall oven at shoulder height to the right of window....are you set on separate cooktop and wall oven?.Sometimes the range is an efficient choice and you have a panaroma view of your space from a lot of's your choice of course-not a "killer' issue....maybe the wall oven could be lowered from that height but remain in that general area..I like the hood and what you will be doing with backsplash tile around that area to the left of window-if done carefully between the large window-good quality hood and the right tile treatment I think thumbs up-very cool modern looking wall will result.....another reason to get that oven out of that distracting height.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:10AM
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I think you should spend more time getting the design exactly right, assuming you'll be living with the results for a long time.
You can probably fit your sink in the 30" base using a sink setter - at least that is what my GD said when I had a similar issue and what I've gathered from GW.
I'm not a layout expert, and don't quite understand your space (are those sliding glass doors headed outside - is there a nice view?). But I want to turn that island into more of a square, and have the chairs either wrapping around 1 1/2 sides or with a 90 degree different orientation. I'd consider the view for the person at the island sink doing prep.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 6:38AM
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come to think of it....why couldn't the wall oven go below a counter run to the right of large window....take lower cabs with counter into that right hand upper corner and maybe around the corner a bit.-on scrutiny I think you could use some counter in that area. Do some open wall shelves on wall and then keep most of the 12 in deep tall cabs on far right you have plans for that.66 plus inches of tall storage pantry? Losing just the bit up at the window seems like it wouldn't hurt your storage and you'd gain the counter with oven below and the upper wall would be great with open shelves. Can you square the island?... I didn't think you had a patio door but rather a large window....sink doesn't need centering and a large single bowl in a 30 in base would be a nice big sink in my opinion.....

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:12AM
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Herbflavor - interesting thought about the oven, but not sure I'd want to give up one of the ovens. It's a double and I would use both. I do like the idea of the feature wall for the backsplash and hood. Hmmmm...

kksmama - sink is a 32 so will not fit a 30 base. Sorry the layout is unclear. I have two windows in the kitchen, which is a bit of a challenge for the layout. The big window faces the front of the house - not a bad view. It's the window you see in my last photo. The smaller window on the fridge run looks onto the front porch. The house is a ranch and very symmetrical from outside so I won't be moving/changing the windows. I'm not opposed to a square island, but I can't extend it much beyond what you see so I would loose counter and cabinet space. Although I'm removing the wall behind the island chairs, the dining table is just on the other side. You are exactly right about the design - I've been waffling for a few months and need to get off the pot. I started with the rangetop in the island, so I am making progress!

I appreciate the ideas - helps me think through what I want and what will make sense for how I use the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:20AM
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Herbflavor - I do have plans for the pantry. On the 66 wall, I'd planned to store all my dishes, plates, glasses, etc in one of the 33s and the other would house my mixer, and baking staples, cookbooks, paper products. The pantry next to the oven would be for normal food stuff with pull out drawers or door.

I'm not a big upper cabinet fan so your idea is appealing - I need to re-work my storage and see if that could work. I could store my cookbooks on the shelves, but some are pretty tattered. If I move one of the ovens to the range vs rangetop - I'll loose the storage under there as well. Ok - I'm headed to the kitchen to think.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:55AM
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For a pretty big kitchen, there's not that much counter space and it's awkwardly placed. You could do better, I think.

Is the wall opening between the cooktop and the range a window or a door? I think it's a window, but why is there no counter drawn in front of it? Even if the window sill is below cab height there are still ways to run a counter across and use the space, which in your proposed plan is really needed.

If you're determined to allow your guests' seating habits to drive your kitchen design, have you considered that actual seating (chairs, a love seat, side tables, etc.)rather than the ubiquitous seating at a bulky island might work for you? How many guests are you thinking need seating? One or two, or more?

Another thought might be to move the clean-up zone to the pantry wall (which is close to the laundry room so that would ease the plumbing costs, as well.) Perhaps keeping a small prep sink on the island.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 10:01AM
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What if you moved the patio doors more to the right, in line with the aisle by pantry, instead of centered?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Thanks Liriodendron - that is a window not a door - I updated my post to indicate better. It also faces the front of the house, which is why I hesitate to block a portion of it. It will be seen from outside and I'd prefer to work around that. Everything else is sorta fair game. I don't have to have island seating, although my current dining table only seats 4 so it would be nice, but not imperative to have. Once the wall is removed the kitchen will open to the dining area and living room.

I'm curious about your alternatives to the island if you feel it is too bulky. I am open to suggestions. When I do have guests, it could be any where from 4 to 20 people. I'm the only cook so I don't think I need a separate cleanup and prep sink.

Dilly, ha! If only I could move - trying not to let one thing lead to too many others. It's is a window, not a door, facing the front of the house.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Is this the original location of the kitchen? It seems odd to have it in the front of the house.

Can you post a layout that includes the kitchen within the rest of the house and adjacent rooms? There might be a better layout to be had if we can see the adjacent space.

Removing a wall isn't always the best solution to the "everyone in the kitchen" problem.

Are you open to changing that window out to a shorter one? Or moving the kitchen elsewhere?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 11:48AM
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Trying out ALL possibilities for free on paper, getting adventurous moving doors, windows, plumbing just "to see," should be a rule, and I don't believe in hampering yourself with other peoples' rules. :)

ITM, to me that window seems to be driving the design. If it's really worth it, fine. Presumably everyone, cook and sitters, have a nice view out and the exterior makes moving/reshaping it, for instance into two nice windows flanking the range, an undesirable proposition? (?.)

BTW, windows that sweep low are extremely desirable when the view's close and/or low, such as a pretty courtyard or a sweep of lawn down a hill, a potential waste other use when there's nothing special to see, and an outright detriment when the view is of the driveway, or even, too often, just the backs and legs of patio furniture. Is a nice part of your view close or otherwise low?

FWIW, your first design satisfies my primary requirement for a good place to work pretty nicely. That's a good stretch of counter between fridge and stove, with a window too, and the sink's nearby. I'd put the DW on the far side of the sink to designate that far side the scullery, and I might consider sliding the sink over just a bit to create a better adjunct prep area on its right. I'd also move the oven to the side, away from the window, as it would hardly enhance that #1 feature, and I'd work on balancing the two sides of the kitchen visually a bit, perhaps bringing a bit of counter/openness to the right with a landing for the ovens, or...?

BTW, concerning the range depth problem, how about a drop-in cooktop? They need only about 21-22" of space, so they fit in standard counters. Mine gained me critical inches, and I really like the serene, uninterrupted sweep of counter and drawers. The hood above gives all the architectural definition needed. In your case, the greater simplicity would also enhance the window and view.

If you have room, I'd definitely reshape the island so people could see each other as they chat. Half of conversation is body language, after all.

I'm intrigued by Liriodendron's suggestion for other type of social seating and how that could play out. I like a table and chairs smack in the middle, but I'm pretty sure that's not what's in mind.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 11:59AM
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I like the work area around the cooktop provided by the 2nd option. It also places you closer to your guests without your back to them.
And I would remove the end wall for that run.
More inclusive to integrate the dining area(serving).
Additionally, I would widen the island with a curve or angles for an additional 12-18" toward the DR and gain seating for 4 with some conversation sightlines..
An 18x26 undermount sink is a large work zone. Many people come to a single bowl from a larger 2 bowl sink. But they work in one small bowl. Layout your island in cardboard and cut several separate sink templates in different sizes. See how much room you use for your roasting pans, etc. Don't forget to consider the potentially overwhelming signature of a very large sink in your island/entertaining space.
I can't often see a value to 2 plain ovens. A steam/combi as a second like Miele's new unit may be worth it.
You seem to have a Sharp micro drawer to the right of the cooktop, which should work. An induction cooktop requires a lot less exhaust hood capacity and makeup air because of no waste heat, so you may want to consider it. To bad the Miele KM6366 is not yet available in the US.
I hope the view through that window is beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:28PM
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I like the fridge and wall oven on each side of the window. It looks like you'll have counter top in between, which will be great for baking or just more prep space.

The fridge and oven balance the space nicely, but they're not the same width. For this reason, I don't think you'll have any problem with the sink on the island not lining up with the window.

I also like the cook top on the side wall because you can see/talk to your guests, while cooking. I'd stand at the cook top a lot more than the wall ovens :)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 4:10PM
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GreenDesign - yes, that is the original layout and I agree, it is odd. Additional photos below, both of the house and a sketch of the kitchen, dining room, and living room.

The kitchen window in question is on the left. I like the way the front of my house looks finally- last year was a major landscaping project. As an aside I purchased the house 2 years ago as a foreclosure and there was a virtual jungle surrounding it! The kitchen is one of the last items to be done inside.

Rosie - I have a binder of possibilities. I started this several months ago and had to put it aside for a while as I started spinning in circles. While the view isn't a vista of rolling hills, woodlands or lake, it isn't horrible either. I'm planning to create another flower bed later this year that would create additional interest.

Dan - I like the 2nd layout other than the fridge in the back. Thanks for the point about the sink. I think a cutout might help me visualize better. I'm also thinking about the ovens and if i could get away with just one - which is really all I have now.

Front of the house. Kitchen window is on the left of the front entry.

Sketch of kitchen/dining/living rooms. Mudroom and 1/2 bath to the left.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 4:32PM
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With the frig at the back you could add an under counter beverage frig at the left front to overcome some traffic. You need the open counter space.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:37PM
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