14x19 kitchen design help please

tikilynJuly 31, 2014

I have a huge dilemma. After building the perfect house and finally getting bids back the reality has set in and I must downsize my house and one of the cuts is my large kitchen. It was originally 17x28 and included a large island and a kitchen nook with a door to the back porch. It was perfect.

Now we are trying to downsize and we're looking at 14'x19' and the design is just awful! I just don't even know where to start with it and it's not terribly small is it?

I've seen so many beautiful kitchen and I want one! LOL
What should I do because this design isn't working at all. I hate it and I need to send back a new design that will work.

Also the kitchen opens up to the living room, if that helps.

This is the new kitchen

this is the old kitchen

This post was edited by tikilyn on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 1:19

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Two questions, first. You're not going to access the dining room from the kitchen anymore, and will have to go around? If that's the case, I would eliminate the formal dining room and expand the kitchen using that space.

Also, how married are you to the pantry? I would eliminate it and use a bank of pantry cabinets instead. I think that the jutting out walls will contribute to a smaller-feeling kitchen, which you want to avoid.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:09AM
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GenB, The designer will need to add the doorway back to the dining room. If I can get good food storage out of a bank of pantry cabinets then I can get rid of the pantry. I have a habit of stock piling food when it's on sale and I will need a place to store it. (example. right now in my pantry I have approx 70 boxes of Velveeta mac n cheese that I got on sale, LOL)

With the jutting out of the walls I was trying to keep the feeling of two separate rooms but still open. Should I make those wall shorter?

I made two mock ups but they just don't feel right.



    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:24AM
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Budgets suck! It felt good to say that.

Others here are way better at layout than I am, but I have a couple thoughts. First of all, it looks like you crammed the old kitchen into the new space. New space calls for a new eye. For example, why do you need two sitting areas in the kitchen when you have a dining room? And why the huge island in the smaller space.

Most of us have budget constraints and we make compromises. We are going through this right now with our backyard. When plan A wasn't going to fly, we came up with a unique plan that accomplished our "new" goal.

Listen to the great folks on here who come up with ideas that are very different from your current plan.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:03AM
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Why do you need a back door into the kitchen if there's a door to the same space off the family room? I'd eliminate it. Pantry is taking up valuable space. I like Gen's idea of a pantry wall. You could potentially store 60 of those mac and cheese boxes (and other overflow items) in the laundry room. I also like Gen's idea of stealing from the dining room. How often will you use it vs. how much you'll benefit from a kitchen with a better layout.

Your island looks huge. How far across is it from sink to stools?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:04AM
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1929Spanish - I hate budgets too! darn it. When I saw the designers plans I nixed them because I knew we couldn't fit the nook in that space. I've been trying to see the new size with new eyes but it's so hard giving up my original plan. I've been looking through houzz just to give me something new to look at.

The island will be scale to the kitchen but I want it large because I bake and would like to face the living room while I'm baking (decorating cakes, rolling out dough, cutting things).

ck_squared - The back door in the kitchen will lead out to our grill. I don't like carrying raw meat through my living room. I'm not the cleanest cook when it comes to preparing the food. I imagine I'll be dripping liquids on my way out. At least with the door in the kitchen I can keep the drips in the kitchen an not worry about the living room.

The dining room will be used pretty regularly as we host dinner with our friends on a regular basis. Like if it's only one family we'll use the dining room. If it's a larger group then we'll probably be eating out on the patio. The original kitchen with nook was going to be used when it was just the 4 of us or by my kids and their friends(which practically live here). Losing the nook will now make the dining room use even more.

I do like the idea of having my sink on the back wall under a window so I can see out, so that is a plus.

Thanks for the input. Off to look at more kitchen designs with new eyes! haha

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:28AM
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Where do the 4 of you eat your meals? I'm personally not a fan of island seating for meals, and especially island seating where you're all in a row (not conducive to conversation). I'd try somehow to change the configuration of the seating at the island. You should have 7' to work with (length) if the length is 19' and your aisles are 4'.

In my previous home, the configuration was very similar, although footprint was smaller (my pantry and broom closet were separate). This worked very well - starting at the bottom door -- fridge, undercabinet wall oven (you could do double ovens here, or switch the fridge and double ovens), turn the corner for a prep sink, then counter, cooktop, counter, turn the corner for dishwasher and sink. Basically like your first picture, except move the fridge/ovens toward the door at the bottom of the picture. It was a very functional layout. The alternative would be a prep sink on the island, which would be useful since you bake there. That way, your prep area is completely separate from the cleanup area, but you still have a water source where you need it. My dishes and silverware were stored in drawers that were in the island but faced the cleanup sink, and the glasses were stored up and to the right of the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:16AM
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I would lose that door to the back patio, as someone has already pointed out, it is redundant. PLUS, do you really want kids running through the kitchen when you are trying to work? Losing that door makes a HUGE difference in useable space, particularly if you lose either the banquette or the island seating. Nothing wrong with using the dining room, right/ That's what it is for? ;o)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:31PM
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I think I might have it! Tell me what y'all think and be honest, I swear I won't take it personal! LOL


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:46PM
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Honestly, I think you've made your aisles too narrow, and your refrigerator is too far from a water source (take produce out of the fridge - you have to walk to the other end of the kitchen, which is 15' away or so, to wash it).

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:55PM
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sjhockeyfan, I'll have a small sink in the island which is not in the pictures, if that helps. How wide should my isles be. I thought 36" was standard?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:02PM
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I was thinking something like this.

This post was edited by tikilyn on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 13:13

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:07PM
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i have a small kitchen too. i nixed the island because i have been in new build kitchens my size with an island and it feels cramped. 36" is quite cramped for most people but it might be fine for you. can you check out some model homes with an island and only 36" of aisle space?
i like your built in banquette backing up to the island. i saw a pic on houzze? maybe and it looked great! it is very hard to envision how something will work when it is just on paper so i wish you luck!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Thank you ardcp! I updated a post with two pictures. I think I'm going to go with one of these. I'm leaning more towards the second photo and yes I found them on houzz!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:15PM
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I have 42" between my stove and my island, and only 36 between my sink/DW/fridge run and the island. I assure you, those extra inches make all the difference. 42" is, for me, just perfect. The other side is doable, but definitely a little squeezy. If you are building your dream home, opt for the wider aisles. You won't miss the cabinetry in the long-term.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:28PM
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I'm sure this will be of no help at all, but if it was me, in an internal kitchen with no windows, I'd nix the nook and put in french doors. That gets me the light I crave and access to the verandah/porch. I also agree with a bank of pantry cabinets (with rollouts!) as opposed to that big room.

Can you do a regular stove with a double oven? That might save some space for more counters? I know it's probably not ideal, because the one oven is tiny, but you can bake in both ovens if it's all cookies or pizza and turkey or something. Bread you'd only have the one, but...

Is there another space you can steal from to store some of your 70 boxes of mac n cheese? Like a storage shelf in the laundry room or somewhere?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:32PM
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MGMum thats the whole problem, We have are having to redsign the kitchen and I'm leaving out the nook. See post #9, I think we're going to go with picture #2. I'll make the isle 42" wide and I also think I'm going to send the picture from houzz that I posted with the bench see attach to the island. I think we can pull this off!
Thanks greenhaven for the isle widths!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:53PM
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Hard to tell from your first inspiration picture but from the second it seems to me that the there is a lot of wasted space on the island - meaning that because the bench is on one side of the island you can't easily use and access half the island countertop space (I hope I am explaining myself clearly - sorry if i am not). Example - that whole area behind the long sink in the second inspiration picture how do you access it -- from the side? if yes - how far in can you reach? Anyway -- seems like wasted space.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:00PM
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housebuilder14- how wide would you make the island? 3' is that to wide?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:09PM
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Wow, this thread got busy while I was drawing.

Here's my suggestion for you:

I kept the back door but moved it to the far left end. Clean-up area is under windows. The working portion of your kitchen is book-ended by fridge at one end and double ovens at the other.

I nixed the nook - just not enough space for comfortable seating - for island seating but I like your latest versions of a table butted up against an island, too.

I gave you a more gracious entry to the DR, mimicking the entry to the LR. That entry is bordered by large (est 99" tall, hopefully you're doing custom cabs) pull-out pantry cabs to give you lots of storage.

I couldn't tell what kind of fridge you intend to purchase so I opted to err on the side of caution and assume a standard depth fridge (box, doors and handles approx 35" deep). If you plan on a counter-depth fridge, you can increase your island by 4" of so (CD fridges are about 31" with box, doors and handles).

I went with the recommended minimum aisles of 42" for a one-butt kitchen (the GW way of saying one-cook kitchen). 36" isn't deemed wide enough for today's appliances. For instance, DW doors are taller so take up more aisle room when open.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:17PM
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My island is 3'2" wide and its a plenty big work space. My only concern with the attached bench is that things could drop over that side and you'd have to be cleaning a non-moveable bench.

Adding the small sink to the island definitely changes things.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:31PM
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Thank you lisa! I never thought to add a large dining room opening into the kitchen and flanking both sides with pantrys. You give me something to ponders.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:45PM
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I love Lisa's rendition. While I love a banquette, it doesn't seem appropriate with both the dining room and island seating. I'm not normally a shaped island fan, but I do like the way that it sort of fits into the opening, so Lisa sold me on that, too. :)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:02PM
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I have a suggestion since you said the door to the back is used for carrying raw meat out.

What about nixing the door and instead putting a large sliding window that you can slide open and pass food through?

We have this and find it very handy.

Then you will have more base cabinets and counter space.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:24PM
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When measuring aisles don't forget you have counter overhang. A 36" aisle, if counters have 3/4" - 1" overhang, could only wind up being, in actual fact, 2'9" - 2'10" and now you are talking narrow.

Is there a specific reason you want double ovens? Were they previously on your wish list and had the space for them so you put them in? And now you still want to include them in a smaller area? My worry, depending on how messy of a cook you are, how much baking you do, is the scarcity of counter space. I know that you have the island but counter space seems lacking. Just what I noticed.

In lisa-a's drawing I would move the prep sink down to the other end. It would give you better prep space and fridge landing area. The blind corner cab that she noted would probably become clean-up area.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:02PM
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I'd tweak Lisa-a's drawing just a bit. Second moving the prep sink to the other end of the island, but I'd also move the double ovens into the pantry space and open up the room around the cooktop. That would give more space for cooking and baking. I only have 36" of pantry cabinets (have a bit of extra space in my utility room, but it's lousy for function). Do a pullout tower next to the ovens and doors with rollouts and open spaces on the other side. Take those cabinets all the way to the ceiling. You can use the overhead space for bulk and seasonal storage, even at 10 feet like mine. Love them.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:27PM
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