Small Kitchen layout - How can I make this better?

nevik1977July 30, 2014

I have been working on designing my kitchen which has been a challenge. Small, three (3) entries, window lower than counter hieght and radiator.

I have come up with a plan. Involves closing up window, replacing radiator the radiant floors and creating a half wall with wider entry which would allow dining room light to pour in.

I would greatly appricate feedback.
I will first post existing layout and follow up with proposed layout.

Thanks you all.
K.

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nevik1977

Proposal

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:15AM
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nevik1977

Close up view

Thanks Again ALL

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:17AM
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nevik1977

Photo of existing kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:31AM
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tracie.erin

With the information given, the most functional layout would be to put the fridge on the DR wall with a pantry cabinet, then put the sink and range on the top wall at opposite ends. I would put the DW between the sink and range and deepen the counters there to 30" in order to maximize counter space. You would shorten the shallow window and put the sink under it.

You might get more ideas if you post a whole-house layout including measurements.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:39PM
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annkh_nd

What are the blacked-out areas on your proposed plan?

I see you show stools opposite the sink. With a table right there, that seating is redundant, and it doesn't look like you have room for it.

I like tracie.erin's idea of making the DR wall for fridge/pantry. I would hate to close off a window if I could possibly avoid it. And corners are not very efficient - you can probably improve the storage a lot by making those cabinets deeper and eliminating the corners.

Maybe cabinets/counter would suit you better than a pantry wall - you'd have to decide what you wanted to put where, and how much room you needed.

You have virtually no storage space now, except on cabinet next to the fridge, and your hutch. Where do you keep pots and pans, and food?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:55PM
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eibren

I agree regarding preserving as much of the window as possible. The light and sense of freedom it gives when doing routine kitchen chores is not to be underestimated. Additionally, it is a source of fresh air and adds a supplementary venting point (with a window fan) if something goes horribly wrong in the kitchen and you need to eliminate smoke from burned food.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:05PM
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lisa_a

I was thinking along the same lines as tracie.erin. It's best to keep sink and range nearby - makes it eas1er to fill a pot of water and to drain a pot of pasta.

And as annkh pointed out, you do not have enough room for table and peninsula seating. If your drawing is to scale, it looks as though you only have 30" between the seating overhang and the table. That's less than the recommended aisle to sidle back seating on only one side of the aisle, much less get past back to back chairs (the min rec for that is 60"). As annkh suggested, the seating is redundant. I suggest you eliminate it and add cushions to what looks like window seats at the top end of the table for additional casual seating.

This post was edited by lisa_a on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 18:07

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:06PM
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debrak2008

As already said put the sink in the same run as the range. Moving plumbing is usually not hard or expensive.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:33PM
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jkom51

I love both my Lazy Susan base corner cabs, but would advise that the type with the attached door are best in tight situations like yours. Mine have a hinged door opening, and they need spacers in order to open fully. One of mine is right by the frig which sticks out further than the base cab, and so it's hard to open. It just barely squeezes by, LOL!

I have this, which you DON'T want in tight corners:

...but this type works:

(photos from Google Images from woodweb.com)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:08PM
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palimpsest

Did you try something like this? You lose a seat but can keep the window.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:55PM
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palimpsest

This just mirrors parts of it but you could still keep the window

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:56PM
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nevik1977

Thanks All.

Tracie.erin - Your idea is what I needed to rethink this.
I had thought about a corner sink which would allow me to wrap more counter to the adjacent wall. But that might look forced. I think your idea leads to a more uncluttered clean look. I'll have to play with cabinets in the space.

annekh - The black spots in the corner is dead space between upper wall cabinets. I'm not a fan of blind cabinets and not worth the money imo. Above the fridge I would have a false depth cabinet so things don't get lost in a deep upper fridge cabinet. Cheaper cabinet too ;)

I'd still like to open up the wall at least as much to leave space for open counter/pantry and fridge maybe on DR wall like Tracie.erin said. Right now its a narrow 30" or so and closed off from DR. We have a shallow pantry left of the photo through the other doorway.

Eibren - Good point. That window has gone up for kitchen mishaps before.

Lisa - Both you and annekh make a good argument for ditching the stools. Not much thought was put into that feature by really not necessary, I agree.

debra - thanks. I was trying to preserve the plumbing but if it doesnt make design/cost sense then the move will have to take place. agreed.

jkom51 - Excellent point. If Lazy Susans stay in the design i will very much consider your observation. thanks.

Keep those ideas coming!!!!
Thanks again all. Back to the drawing board ;)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:59PM
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lisa_a

Is it possible to move the doorway on the right towards the DR? If so, you could create a U-shaped kitchen like this:

It would also allow you to remove that wall completely, connecting your kitchen and DR. Not sure if that is on your wish list but since you were trying to widen the doorway, I thought it might be.

Alternatively, you could create a galley-type kitchen like this:

No corner cabinets, wider drawer bases, a pull-out pantry but fewer upper cabs. I made the cab over the fridge 24" deep so that you can use it to store cookie sheets, etc.

Craftsman Kitchen by Honolulu Cabinets & Cabinetry David Law Custom Cabinetry

All of the above depends on whether you can move that doorway but if you can, you open up more possible lay-outs for your kitchen in addition to what's already been suggested. Options are good to have. ;-)

This post was edited by lisa_a on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 3:00

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:23AM
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FoxCrane

What's to the right of the kitchen? Can you take down that wall and expand the kitchen footprint?

Also, I think having the range off-set with the existing window may be awkward....

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:53AM
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nevik1977

Thanks again.

Palimpest - Range on the end makes me nervous. Not for me. If I stuck with my original layout shown flipping the fridge might provide a more welcoming entryway instead of walking into a large fridge wall. thanks.

Lisa - Anything is po$$ible ;) I like option A for kinda the same reason Tracie .erin suggested putting the sink on the exterior wall with window. having the ability to unload DW and feed cabinets above is ideal and our current situation. I'd hate to now walk away from the DW ove and over again to put glasses away. My plan does not allow for that which I'm not sure is smart.

The galley option B is is interesting but I might have the same challege unloading the DW unless upper cabinets were directly behind me. Im also unsure about DW in corner.

The doorway that you suggest relocating for both plans is an exterior door to unconditioned sun portch. Im not sure how easy that would be. In both cases; window and door, this would involve repairing stucco which will not be an easy task.

I do like the picture of pullout pantry, fridge an counter. Maybe something like this on dining room wall right next a wider entry excluding upper cabinet though. Cookie sheets would be a good item for that. As long as things can be reached from the front.

FoxCrane - To the right of the kitchen is an unconditioned sun portch added to the exterior of the home.
This would would involve adding a substantial addition/ redo of the portch which I do not have the means for. And I do like my portch so I'm trying to work with the space I have.

I'll add a few more pics to give you a better sense of space.
Thanks again all!! very helpful.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:55AM
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nevik1977

photo

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:58AM
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nevik1977

photo

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:59AM
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nevik1977

Found these for inspiration.

Other

Other

And created this. Tall cabinet on counter next to fridge.
And added 3" filler next to range. Not sure I like it jammed up next to wall but wanted a larger work space between sink. Thoughts? Practical??? I think better then what I started with.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:50AM
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annkh_nd

Check your local code to see how much space you need between range and wall. I'd also want enough space on that side to set things down, or to extend pot or pan handles. A 15" cabinet on the left side will be a lot more useful than a 12" cab and a filler.

I would definitely put in a full-depth cab above the fridge. Put tray dividers on one side, and a shelf on the other. Think about large things you don't use often - a stock pot, roasting pan, large mixing bowl. Using that space for big things frees up other space for smaller things, used often.

Will you close off the corner? Someone here - I can't remember who - had access to the blind corner through the sink cab. A roll-out tray could make items in the back more accessible.

But closing off the corner isn't a bad idea either - I have one such corner in my kitchen. It allowed me to put drawers on both sides, which I love. In your case, one 36" cabinet will be cheaper (and provide more storage) than two 18" cabinets.

Another option on the fridge wall is to use a 24" cab on the right side (24" drawers are wonderful), and a 12" floor to ceiling cabinet on the left, opening to the side. That gives you structural support for the cab above the fridge, and closes in the fridge.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:18PM
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palimpsest

The one where I moved the range to the left-hand wall I added a cabinet between it an the doorway.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:39PM
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nevik1977

annkh - Your a wealth of knowledge! great ideas.

I like the idea of more room on the wall side of the range but was making an attempt not to breakup the counter space for more prep work area. But Code will certainly need to be reviewed. I see your point on usability too.

Fridge cabinet: Maybe better to have full depth cabinet above the fridge than not. - agreed.

Corner cabinet area: Im not really a fan of the blind cabinet, so yes, thinking to closed off corner. 36" rather than two 18" seems like good sen$e. I only thought to break it up for asthetics, might be worth the cost if it looks better. But the better storage opportunity might previal.

Fridge Cabinet area: 12" floor to ceiling would make for the same intersting look I like in the sample photo too.

Questions:
-What are your thoughts on making the fridge cabinets/counter deeper in order to stay more in line with the fridge. I think a custom framed area for the fridge is a nice touch here. The people who did the kitchen in the photo went alittle deeper with cabinets to create this look.

-You or anyone have an opinion on the microwave setup in the photo as well?
I really like this idea since it gets away from the above the fridge look which I may want to avoid.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:24PM
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nevik1977

Palimpsest - Oh, I see. That makes more sense.
Im now; hoever, on the fence about wrapping my kitchen around with cabinets for storage sake or just leaving that wall open for better flow. I'd have to measure this space.

You or anyone else have thoughts on continuing with cabinets around to the blank wall? Im unsure about that.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:39PM
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nevik1977

Palimpsest - Oh, I see. That makes more sense.
Im now; hoever, on the fence about wrapping my kitchen around with cabinets for storage sake or just leaving that wall open for better flow. I'd have to measure this space.

You or anyone else have thoughts on continuing with cabinets around to the blank wall? Im unsure about that.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:46PM
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lisa_a

If you aren't able to go to the expense of moving the door (and I understand completely), I think you should revisit palimpsest's first lay-out (sans the bar overhang in the DR). It's much better than your latest version.

I tweaked your latest plan:

The corner sink would be an apron sink like this:

Traditional Kitchen by Excelsior Design-Build Firms Lake Country Builders

You gain usable counter to the left of the range and more space between sink and range. The cabs are also wider, which provides better storage than 2 narrower cabs.

The cab over the fridge is full depth. I eliminated the counter next to the fridge in favor of a pull-out pantry cab. Your small kitchen *needs* storage.

A variation of the above is this:

I really like what palimpsest suggested for counter to the left of the range at the end. It gives you safety clearance around the range, plus a spot to set down pans and a bit more storage. You can do shallow storage facing the DR for decorative items and/or cookbooks.

The 47" blind corner cabinet will give you lots of usable storage with an insert like these

Traditional Kitchen

Contemporary Kitchen by Cambridge General Contractors S+H Construction

Since the room to the right of the kitchen is a porch, you could add a window on that wall above the sink ala the inspiration photo above.

Cabinet sizes will likely be tweaked depending on your cabinet maker's specs.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:01PM
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nevik1977

Palimpsest - Oh, I see. That makes more sense.
Im now; hoever, on the fence about wrapping my kitchen around with cabinets for storage sake or just leaving that wall open for better flow. I'd have to measure this space.

You or anyone else have thoughts on continuing with cabinets around to the blank wall? Im unsure about that.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:06PM
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nevik1977

Ok.
Taking everyone into consideration I made a few options. For now In not interested in blind cabinets but I see the advantage. I would rather have drawers and loose the dead space....for now;)

One other issue that I did not bring up.
Im not sure if anyone caught it. But the cabinet I currently have to the right of my window is an old filled in window with original framing. The exterior is stucco in my sun portch. Perhaps this really wants to be a window again rather than my plan to wall off with cabinets. This window (frame), too would need to be raise.

As always, your advice is very welcomed!
Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:40PM
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nevik1977

Option A

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:42PM
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nevik1977

Option B

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:43PM
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nevik1977

Option D

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:44PM
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nevik1977

Option C

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:45PM
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nevik1977

Option E ok. Im done. wheww..

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:46PM
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lisa_a

You need to move the DW over in Plans A, B & C. You need to have at least a 12" cabinet between a corner sink and a DW in order to be able to stand at the sink while you load the DW. Draw an imaginary open DW door and you'll see what I mean.

Of the ones you've posted, my favorite is D. But frankly, I prefer my Plan D or Palimpsest's first plan above.

Why are you giving up corner storage? Blind corner cabinets or lazy Susans can provide much needed storage to your small kitchen. If you're going to do that, ditch the 24" wide cab between fridge and pantry for a 36" wide pantry cab. A 24" wide cab becomes a bit of a dark hole and isn't as useful as counter in your work areas or as storage. (I have a 29" wide cabinet between wall and wall oven and it's always been a junk counter.)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:03PM
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jennifer132

Nevik, my kitchen is very similarly sized and challenged. My working counter/cab L is 135" x 75". The kitchen is only 112" deep and that opposite wall has doorways, our frig and open pantry shelves. I could not put cabs along that wall bc of doorways. Here is a link to my mostly finished project, http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0512061311484.html?61

I love our layout. We have a clean up zone on one side of the sink. The clean up side is a 45" of much needed secondary prep space. My main prep zone between the sink and range is 39" + 21" around the corner to the range.
There are 5 of us in the family and we all use the kitchen, too often all at the same time, with our big lab underfoot. It's very functional for us.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:19PM
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annkh_nd

A couple of things:

You'll notice in Lisa's corner sink plan, she has a cabinet between the sink and DW. In your plans, the sink is right next to the DW, and I don't think you'd be very comfortable with that layout. There's not room to stand at the sink with the DW open.

Next, in any plans where you have a dead corner, you have to have at least a couple of inches of filler on each side of the corner, so adjacent doors and drawers can open past each other.

With the stove on the left wall, you maximize space by putting a 33" lazy susan in the corner, and cut the end cabinet (left of the stove) to 12". That also cuts the cab between DW and left corner to 12", and since that's not a terribly convenient size, it would be best to avoid 2 of them, if possible.

This is such an interesting puzzle! I=Opening up the window to the sun room is an intriguing possibility.

How about the range on the left wall, like Pal's layout from 21:55 on the 30th, combined with the fridge wall in any of your recent plans (but I'd put the pantry on the other side of the fridge, opening from the side). I'd also swap the DW and the sink. I know that interferes with the prep zone, but it allows for more prep space between sink and range, and puts the sink closer to the window.

But, I'd eliminate the uppers on the right side, and open up the window to the sun room. Maybe keep the shelves, for display from both sides. I'd still have base cabinets, probably with a 33" or 36" drawer stack instead of the second lazy susan.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:30PM
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nevik1977

All good points everyone.
Im conflicted on the fridge pantry area.
Thought this might work too.

We are coffee drinkers and I think the idea not having the microwave above the range is nice.
SO these ideas came into my head.

Traditional Kitchen by Detroit Kitchen & Bath Designers Woodmaster Kitchens

Traditional Kitchen by Millersburg Cabinets & Cabinetry Mullet Cabinet

We currently do have a shallow pantry technically out of the kitchen.
Maybe this would simply stay.

Going along with Pal's idea and everyone comments for that matter.
I now sketched up two plans. One keeps upper cabinets on the right wall and shifts the window. The other reopens the old window on the right, keep the other window in position but now makes a corner sink.

I also went back to a lazy susan.
But I think I would need the kind that allows the door to spin too.

Does anyone have a corner sink?
It would seem like it would be alot of turning to my left to load dishes.
I'm a 'righty' this seems awkward on paper.

When side by side the left load would seem a bit less akward.

Thanks for commenting. this is quite a process.!!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:07AM
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nevik1977

Option G Kitchen

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:08AM
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lisa_a

I'm a righty and I have a corner sink with the DW on my left. Never gave it a second thought. In fact, when we remodel, our DW is moving to the right and I was concerned it would feel awkward. Then I remembered that my DW was on my right in our first home and I never gave that placement a second thought either. ;-) The best location for a DW is where it makes the most functional sense for a kitchen lay-out.

As long as you have enough clearance between fridge and side wall to open the fridge door wide enough to access fridge drawers, its location in your latest plans should be fine. It will block the doorway when open but whether that's an issue will depend on how often that door is used.

Have you considered an 18" DW? Check into European brands (Bosch, Miele); they can hold more than 18" US brands and often as much as 24" DWs. That little change would allow you to swap out that 12" cab for an 18" cab, which would be much more usable. (interior usable space for a drawer in a 12" cab is, at most, 9" and could be less, depending on drawer glides and construction.)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Bellsmom

Because the shelves on a super susan are cut to fit the opening (pie-cut for an opening such as you show and angle cut for an angled opening such as the one in the link below), your susan can be significantly larger than you show. It should basically fill the area--the largest circle you can draw in the space with a triangle cut out for clearance when the door is closed.

Some time back I posted a retrofitting of lazy susans in my upper corner cabinets. Since I don't do much prepping under them, I made these cabinets 15" deep. It is surprising how much more they will store! You might want to consider something like this. I think the extra storage would be welcome.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's the link.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:41PM
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nevik1977

Lisa - I would love to see about a large cabinet. Hmmmm 18" european DW.... Volume will be a significant factor.

I suppose loading dishes would not really be akward, just wrapping my head around the corner sink concept. If I went corner sink I think I would most certainly open up the old window that got closed. Not sure cabinet would look good on that wall otherwise.

BellsMom - Thats a cool idea.
Im not sure I want an angled corner cabinet just yet but this give me something to think about. Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:19PM
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nevik1977

Lisa - I would love to see about a large cabinet. Hmmmm 18" european DW.... Volume will be a significant factor.

I suppose loading dishes would not really be akward, just wrapping my head around the corner sink concept. If I went corner sink I think I would most certainly open up the old window that got closed. Not sure cabinet would look good on that wall otherwise.

BellsMom - Thats a cool idea.
Im not sure I want an angled corner cabinet just yet but this give me something to think about. Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:17PM
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KBSpider

Can you clarify if the dead space you had shown was for just lower cabinets, or for upper cabinets, too? If it was also for upper cabinets, you have other options besides a blind cabinet. You could do the "traditional" angled corner cabinet, which I personally don't like, or an easy reach corner cabinet. That would give you back storage in the corners while still being able to reach the stuff.

If you were only talking about lower cabinets, then as Roseanne Rosanna Danna would say, "Never mind...." :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:35PM
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nevik1977

Thanks KB. - Yes. Dead Space shown next to sink is base area only, not upper cabinet. The I might leave as open shelving or regular cabinet.

Now the left corner above the lazy susan I have dead space in the corner. No interested in reaching or loosing stuff in the far back of a blind cabinet.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:13PM
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rantontoo

Repairing stucco is not that difficult! It can certainly be a DIY project if you watch some clips and practice.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 10:43PM
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christina222_gw

You mentioned a couple of times about not being sure you want to fully wrap the kitchen in cabinets. I tend to agree but you need both storage and counter space. You could wrap with lowers but not uppers. With the windows to the right and perhaps no uppers on that left wall it would look very nice I think.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 7:11AM
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lisa_a

After reading Ranton's encouragement that repairing stucco isn't that difficult and Christina222's suggestion about ways to keep your kitchen feeling open, I adapted the U-kitchen plan I posted earlier,

The whole top wall is windows with uppers on the range and fridge walls only. The cab to the right of the range can be a standard storage cab (facing the fridge) or you can turn it to face the DR and make it a bookcase/display cabinet.

I added a shallow pantry cab facing the DR to the side of the fridge. You'll be able to store a lot in this cabinet.

Here's another possibility for you:

Keep the fridge near the DR entry, not the back porch entry so that an open fridge door does not block the doorway. The tall pantry will make up for limited storage in the rest of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 2:17PM
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nevik1977

Thanks Ranton and Christina.

The stucco repair is somewhat less of an issue since its on a side of the house that no one would really see so that would not need to be perfect. At a minimum raising the existing window will create this work.

My short term goal is to end up with three different plans and compare the pros and cons between them; counter space, cabinet volume, function and cost.

Lisa - I see great benefit to moving that exterior door I would just need to consider the cost aspect. As far as the large window, that would be great, but I do not have an attractive view on that side of the house. I essentially look at my neighbors house and driveway which is very narrow.

Pic shows my neighbors driveway on the left, my kitchen window looks over their driveway and their own kitchen window. Very narrow and not a great view. This was my thought on walling up the window since I have no real view, but natural light and fresh air is also important.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:11AM
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nevik1977

Here is another pic looking from my DR and seeing the existing window. At a minimum I plan to double the kitchen entry width to the right.

Lisa - your suggestion to moving the exterior door (maybe anothers suggestion as well) would allow me to open up the entire wall which would be nice. And yes, I hate the DR paint color too!

Thanks again ALL...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:20AM
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lisa_a

Cute house!

You can always dress up a unattractive view.

It looks like you have some space between house and neighbor's driveway. How wide is it and what's there now? Adding plants or a structure of some sort could either block the view or distract your eye from seeing beyond whatever you add. Perhaps a structure like this would be in order

Asian Entry

Another option is to add privacy glass windows. You get the light but not the view. Or, if you have some extra $$ lying around somewhere (don't we all wish for that!), you could add a stunning glass window ala shanghaimom's stunning kitchen (see link). There's likely an inexpensive way to accomplish what she did.

In other words, there are ways to deal with an uninspiring view. It doesn't have to be a permanent situation.

Here is a link that might be useful: finished! Vintage Cream in the City

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 2:10PM
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nevik1977

Thanks Lisa.

Wow, quite a kitchen. That window would be perfect!!
I always find we close the blind simply for the view but loose the light.

Im considering a few design ideas based on what you suggested.
Maybe keep an eye out later this week. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:45PM
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