Anyone's "before" like this?

deee_gwJuly 10, 2013

I am a visual person and have been looking through houzz and GardenWeb trying to find a kitchen like mine to get an idea what a good "after" can look like.

It seems that the most unusual part of my current kitchen is the heavily used two way road through one side, which I can't change. There is an exterior wall on the right, stairwell on the left, cozy den through the door and a large open great room behind the peninsula.

Anyone know of kitchen photos with a room shape similar to this?

This post was edited by deee on Wed, Jul 10, 13 at 7:16

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Oh, gosh yes, Deee. It's definitely larger, in both dimensions, than most, but remove the little island stuck in the middle and you have a general layout installed in hundreds of thousands of homes in the last 60 years, at least since attached garages became standard.

Why the kitchen was chosen to multifunction as the home's main artery into and between the main areas of the house, instead of bringing traffic through less dangerous and hectic spaces, probably has something to do with which sex (the noncooking one of those days) was doing the designing and subdivision development. There was lots of advertising presenting the limitations and sacrifices of cramped subdivision lot development as, in this case, a wonderful asset by putting the garage door directly into the kitchen area, to the point that it became part of our national culture. To this day many people who think nothing of trotting up and down twenty 80-foot aisles assume carrying groceries more than 15 feet at home is dysfunctional.

BTW, probably half of those "designers" brilliantly placed the stove on the far side of the traffic lane, requiring the cook to dodge traffic while carrying pots of boiling water to the sink and to transport piles of chopped veggies and so back and forth, back and forth from the prep area to the stove, which often lacked more than minimal work space around it.

That bullet was dodged in yours at least as you have your main work areas on one side. What do you want to do with it?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:23AM
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Wow, you have a peninsula-island-u-shaped-g-shaped-galley kitchen!!

I remember someone's similar, without the island, but I am sorry, that memory cell is currently used for something else, lol.

How much appliance moving can you do?

I know you didn't ask, but I would put a range in place of refrigerator, move fridge to oven location, and remove the "island", even though it puts the fridge in the path.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:26AM
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I would like to move the fridge to the left and the cooking area to the back wall. I would also like to pull out the uppers on the right and add another window or two.

I posted a floor plan and some pics a while ago and Hollysprings suggested pulling out the peninsula and lengthening the island. However, I do like the peninsula as it is a good hang out space and visually divides the kitchen and great room. Also pondering removing the island and peninsula and putting an island in the peninsula area.

Anyway, I would love to find some pictures to help me plan.

This post was edited by deee on Wed, Jul 10, 13 at 8:00

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:58AM
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That is my exactly mom's kitchen shape and appliance placement, but it is not the main artery, the garage is actually 2 halls away. She designed it that way. It's also a bit wider, so the island is more square and useful. Is that your dishwasher between the sink and stove? She has pot drawers there and the dishwasher between sink and pensinsula. Very forward thinking, she designed drawers, pullouts, flip-up blender/mixer, baking center, and trash pull-out in the island in 1970, all lower-height, since she's only 5'1". Where your counter next to the oven is, she has a brick gas grilling (like I said, 1970!) and when they finally got a microwave it lives there, too.

I won't show a picture because, being 70's, it has brown wood-look formica cabinets and a red faux-brick floor. Definitely function over form. At least the gold appliances have been replaced!

Because she has the extra width, it functions very well. When I look at it, I mentally toy with taking out the pensinsula, or at least the cupboards over it, and lengthening the island. But, she likes it fine. Like you, she likes the peninsula separating the space beyond. It'd be a great hangout space if not for the cupboards.

We all find the fridge very handy there; you can take things right to the counter for prep, sink for washing, etc. Also easy for putting things away from the counter/island when done. The oven isn't bad there, but her dining room is that door beyond, and when entertaining, you have to watch out going through the door.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Here's our kitchen. The before looked somewhat different (no island, penninsula on the other side of the door), but same traffic flow you're talking about. Door on the right goes to mudroom and garage.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Thanks so much Weedy. Your picture shows me that there IS hope for my kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 12:14PM
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That kitchen and the name "weedyacres" definitely don't go together. It is extremely nice.

Deee, it looks as if you may have pretty much the same area to the right of your doorway in the back as Weedyacres'. Replacing the closet on the back left with shallower cabinets and sliding that doorway several inches to the left should give you an even more generous space to work with on the right.

And this picture illustrates so powerfully the visual difference replacing the refrigerator mass with a stove in that position can make.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 2:13PM
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Deee, when I looked at weedyacres photo, I thought it was the after photo to your before, the layouts are so similar. It seems you have plenty of room to add the fridge to the side wall, even with the door to the stairwell. Weedyacres, great idea to put the peninsula on the other side of the doorway. Does it front a great room, too? Very pretty kitchen.
Have you checked out the pictures on houzz as well as gardenweb?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:43PM
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I don't have pics, but my friend has almost the same layout except for the appliance placement and no peninsula. There is a door there on the right wall, and a peninsula could be added just like weedy has, though. Can you move appliances? She has her stove where weedy has her sink with some counter and fridge to the right of sink. Her sink is in the island. Would that work for you?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 11:10PM
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I think your kitchen has a lot of potential. Moving the fridge is a great idea! If you're moving the range, maybe the microwave could go over to the new fridge wall? This will give you a great 'snack' area on the left side. More windows over the sink is a great idea :)

I like the peninsula, especially since it gives you nice division between the rooms. The island is nice, but a rolling cart might give you more flexibility.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 4:41AM
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These posts have been so useful. Thank you so much.

I wonder if it is possible to turn the peninsula into an island? We need something to divide the kitchen and great room but I also like the idea of having a straight shot to the sink from the great room. I'll have to research more about aisles to see if there is enough room. I have no problem tearing out the built in.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 7:30AM
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Deee, I had a tall 63" pantry where your peninsula is. I removed it and placed it along the wall instead, and I love how it opened the rooms to each other. To visually separate the rooms, you can use a sofa or sectional in the great room. I believe 36"-40" clearances are recommended between an island and counter. More if there's seating at either.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:55AM
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I immediately thought of this kitchen at when I saw your kitchen.

Traditional Kitchen by Mill Valley Architects & Designers Mahoney Architects & Interiors

Traditional Kitchen by Mill Valley Architects & Designers Mahoney Architects & Interiors

Traditional Kitchen by Mill Valley Architects & Designers Mahoney Architects & Interiors

Traditional Kitchen by Sausalito Architects & Designers Kathy Shaffer Architecture and Design

This kitchen shows a range, not a cook top and wall ovens but it also doesn't have as long a wall opposite the sink as you have. That long wall gives you room for a fridge, ovens and pantry.

What is that small closet to the left in the drawing used for?

Can you reduce the width of the area marked "built-in"? If you can, then I think you can eliminate the peninsula and opt for a much longer island. If you can't, I'm not sure that option works as well; you'll have a pinch point between built-in area and island (assuming it extends as far as the peninsula).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 1:18PM
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That shallow peninsula doesn't much of a dodge to the sink, and there's a tradeoff for everything. In this case there would also be a straight view line into a working kitchen to the cleanup area and all the rest of the prep mess. Draw it up, though, for sure. It may be just right in this case.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 4:20PM
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