New kitchen layout. Need feedback!!

purrusJuly 27, 2014

Hi everyone,

Well, I posted a few weeks ago and scrapped what you all helped me to see was a truly awful layout. Last summer, I almost went ahead with a reno with a wonderful layout but structural issues caused me to back out (that, and being 8 months pregnant and unable to deal with the drama of it all). However, I asked my new KD and her contractor to see whether that old layout might actually work, and lo and behold, it will!

It all hinged on removing the wall between the existing Kitchen and existing DR.

Here is my horrible current layout:

Main things I hate:
- small, boxed-in feeling; only one person can be in cooking area at a time. Hate hanging down cabs since they obscure view to living room.
-hideous old cabinets from 1962 (of course, these will be scrapped)
-z-brick, other cosmetic lovelies from that decade
-door to dining room suffocatingly narrow. My original desire was to either remove that wall or to create a half wall with a large counter on top, the kitchen side of which would provide great prep space, and the DR side of which would make a breakfast bar of sorts. This was the part of my plan that got scrapped last summer, when another contractor told me that it was "impossible" to remove any part of that wall due to hot/cold water supplies to the second story of the house, and a cold air return. Current contractor can reroute water supplies and says it's code to cap off the cold air return because our upstairs doors are high enough off the floor (who knew??). Anyway, main thing is that I'm thrilled that we can now open up this closed-off space.

Pics of original kitchen:
Looking from kitchen behind peninsula into family room:

Looking from entryway into kitchen

kitchen into dining room

Wall with refrigerator (inner wall)

Current eat-in kitchen looking toward kitchen

New plans are posted below. I know I need dimensions; however, we cannot get those from the new KD until we've made a deposit, and I don't want to do that until I'm happy with the layout, so it's a bit of a catch-22. So, I can't give those because I don't have them. Mainly I am looking for feedback about flow and aesthetics, as well as where you'd put things if you were me.
We are removing the low window that is currently in the plan to make way for a far better layout. I played around with keeping it and having short cabs, or even putting a countertop in front of it and I just don't think any of those suggestions would work well in that particular space.

Concerns: I don't know where I'm going to store spices. I really love to cook and I want to make sure they are near the range. I guess a drawer would work but I have TONS of spices... seriously, tons. Thoughts on this?

Is range too far from other stuff? (Again, I don't have measurements, but these drawings are roughly to scale.)

Do I have enough storage in drawers, etc? Some of the lower cabs with doors have pullouts, which the KD advised was good because those are adjustable, whereas drawers are not adjustable. I had never thought of that before and was initially set on all drawers. Thoughts?

Lastly, for the sake of our budget (since I'm getting a really great layout), I need to use laminate countertops. After looking at some awesome examples in this forum, I was really inspired and not disappointed at all. My KD told me that laminate looks best in dark colors because of the edges??, however, I had my heart set on a white marble-looking or quartz-looking countertop. (My cabinets will be painted white shaker style, with a glossy subway backsplash in white). However, from what I've read on this board, light-colored laminate can look great if you get the right finish and edges. Any ideas on this? I think my KD might be undereducated on this point, though she works for a really terrific local kitchen design company with a great reputation. I am hoping I don't have to settle for the square edges. Anyway, I would love some links to examples of your favorite light-colored laminate.

Oh, and we are going to have stained wood floors to match all the other original wood floors in the house.

The current dining room's far wall (that faces the kitchen) will become a banquette. I'm going to build this myself, next summer (I hope).

So, that said here are the new plans. Would love your thoughts.

refrigerator wall:

Long wall (outer wall), with window removed

3D rendering of long wall with breakfast bar/corner

I've been trying to nail down my kitchen plans for over a year now, and since I am on a research sabbatical this fall and will have a more flexible existence (I will be writing full-time, but would be able to be around to keep an eye on things as they are put into place), I really need to get this underway ASAP since my life will be very crazy starting in January (and we might also start trying for a second child then and from experience I know I can't handle something like this while pregnant, hahahahaha). I am very, very interested in your experienced feedback about all of my questions and anything else that might occur to you. (Additionally, we are hoping to have the kitchen done by November 4, which is my son's first birthday. I know it's a quick turnaround, but I'm ready to devote myself to this full-time!)



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I'm a bit confused - which wall is coming down? Between kitchen and dining room?

Let's see if I understand: the sink is staying in the same place, and you're eliminating the peninsula and extending the cabinets into what is now eat-in? The fridge is in the same place? You're making a peninsula (or half wall) into the dining room? Will you still have an eat-in table? An overhead sketch would be helpful.

I like that you are thinking about where things will go in the new space. Without an overhead (or dimensions), it's hard to know for sure how it will work out, but I'll make a few comments.

Fridge wall - I think you'll like the MW there. With the wall gone, you can have those cabinets on the end open toward the dining room, which I would definitely do if they are no more than 12" wide. Or make the drawers wider, and use some filler around the MW. I don't usually like to give up space anywhere, but a narrow cabinet can be more trouble than it's worth. I would make that whole wall fridge-depth, to provide more storage on that wall. What do you have planned for the space above the fridge? Lots of folks put cookie sheets and trays there. You show them in a base cab, but I think that space could be better served with drawers.

I'm not keen on the dishwasher between the range and sink - that's your prep space, and it will be hard to prep there if the DW is open. If you could squeeze the DW to the other side of the sink it would be better, though that would limit access to the cabinets in the corner.

Drawers vs pullouts: most people here will argue in favor of drawers. Realistically, how often would on change the height of pullouts? If you measure your things and know how tall the drawers need to be in the planning stage, you don't need to adjust later. A pull-out is a multi-step process: open door (or both doors), pull out tray, push in tray all the way, close door (or doors). The same activity with a drawer is never more than two steps: open, close. My Mom had pullouts in her house for almost 40 years, and rarely actually pulled them out - they housed pots and pans, and she either used what was in the front, or bent down to reach to the back. Both doors needed to be opened to pull out the tray - too much hassle.

If you are eliminating the eat-in, your dishes are in the wrong place. You want them closer to the dining room, and the clean-up area. You might find yourselves using the dining room a lot more, with better access.

In addition to cooking utensils near the range, designate a spot for potholders. With a lot of spices, you might want multiple spice drawers - there are a ton of examples here. All the more reason to use drawers at the end for pots and pans.

Good luck with your project! Your timeline is pretty tight, I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 1:04PM
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Annkh, thank you so much for your response.

Yes, the wall between the kitchen and current DR is going to be made into a half wall.

Good point about potholders (and trivets, yes?). I will edit the document and add those!

The cabinets on the end of the fridge wall are angled so that they taper off. We are also going to widen the doorway between the front living room and the DR in this project, or they would extend even further into the DR.

You are right: Sink stays put, peninsula goes, and the cabs extend up to the living room (which is bordered by a half wall and a step down).

Essentially, we will make the current DR into more of an eat-in kitchen, with a breakfast bar on the other side of the peninsula. I am going to use the current kitchen table (which is a beautiful handmade family heirloom, so I need to use it somewhere) in that room against the back wall with some built-in seating and chairs (that's phase 2, next summer I hope).

You make a great point about the dishes. I brainstormed those documents quickly this AM, and I don't know what I was thinking putting them there. Problem is, I don't really see where they could go on the other end of the kitchen! Perhaps in the drawers underneath the peninsula? (I, too, am frustrated by not having the dimensions handy, because I can't do things like measure dishes to see whether they'd fit in the drawers.) Unfortunately I am not able to afford custom cabs, so I can't ensure that they will be the exact sizes I need. One of my concerns is my fairly large collection of Le Creuset pots--I'm going to measure the largest ones to be sure they will fit. I looked at the Super Susan in the store the other day and I think at least some of them would fit in there as well.

Point well taken on the cookie sheets above the fridge. I assume people use some type of divider for those? I use half sheet pans with rims for everything---roasting veggies, making granola, baking cookies---so stacking them won't work for me, especially at such a tall height.

I will email my KD and ask whether the pantry and other cabs are fridge depth. I believe they are--at least I know she said out loud that the cab above the fridge is fridge depth.

Thank you again for your response! I really appreciate it! I'll post some updated pictures in a second.

You've talked me into drawers as opposed to pull-outs, because that was what I wanted in the first place. I'll just tell the KD to use those instead.

Dishwasher--I agree with you about the placement. Unfortunately, the sink is pretty close the corner, though, and I don't think it's going to fit there, at least not in a way that it could still open without banging into other cabinets. So it looks like it has to be right there... compared with where it is in my current kitchen, though, it's still a big improvement. It's on the peninsula, so I'm used to having to close it to stand in front of the sink, which is ridiculous.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:23PM
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OK, if the DW has to stay put, I would definitely use peninsula drawers for dishes. Check out the current thread on the topic - tons of good info!

You're right about dividers above the fridge for trays.

I have two 3-drawer stacks in my small kitchen. The bottom two drawers in each stack are not the same height - the bottom one is taller than the middle one. I wanted canisters of sugar, flour, etc in one, and cake pans (on their sides, between dividers) in another. If the drawers had been the same height, nothing would have fit. The middle drawers contain plastic containers, and frying pans, so exact height wasn't an issue - they got whatever was left.

Same with my Super Susan. Mine is in an angled cabinet, with a knife drawer above, so there is less space on the shelves than normal. I measured my tallest item (my rice cooker), and made sure it would fit on the loser turntable; the upper one is a bit shorter. My custom cabinets were built locally, so everything was made exactly to measure.

There are some great threads here about spice drawers and racks - you should be able to get a lot of ideas!

Is the soffit coming down, so the cabinets can go to the ceiling? If so, be sure to order extra shelves for the uppers, so you can store things without stacking them.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Here are some updated pictures with things moved around a bit. I'm writing the KD today with a bunch of questions, one of which is whether I can have drawers instead of pullouts. (The issue could be that the cabinet maker didn't have drawers in that size, I suppose, but she seemed to think that mixing them up was the thing to do.)

Another question: Would you guys use a hanging stainless hood for a more industrial look or use a small hood as shown in picture? I assume I can find a budget-friendly large stainless hood. I've always liked the looks of those, but not sure if they are going to be dated at some point.

I'm not sure where my stockpots would go in this plan. Originally I had them above fridge, but I do like the idea of cookie sheets and stuff up there.

Also I don't love where my drinking glasses ended up (would prefer them out of cooking/prep zone entirely) but there isn't space over by the fridge, where the refrigerator/water dispenser will be.

Also, over by the peninsula into the dining room (will be eat-in kitchen/breakfast nook), I can choose whether to have one large piece of countertop there or to have it be two different heights. I'm tempted to have a single large piece of countertop so I can use it as prep area when needed. Thoughts about that?


This post was edited by purrus on Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 14:58

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:55PM
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Also, yes, soffits should be able to come out!! Yay!!!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:01PM
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The DW location puts clean-up in your prep zone while your prep utensils and knives are in your clean-up zone (tupperware, plastic wrap, etc). I would swap their placement and put the DW where the range is now. As long as you allow at least 21" between sink cab and open DW door and you'll be fine.

Move the trash pull-out to be next to the sink, too.

Move plates to the cab left of the sink, glasses to the cab to the right of the sink, mixing bowls in the cab to the right of the range and baking supplies in the cabs to the left of the range. That puts dishes and glasses close to the DW and to the DR and puts your prep items closer to your prep area.

Another option would be to do a cab with glass front, back and sides with doors on front and back, to the counter on the peninsula above the DW to hold your dishes and glassware. That location makes it easy to unload from the DW and to set the table. Like this:

That would free up cabinet space in your prep zone for spice storage and other items.

I suspect this isn't what you want to hear but even with a banquette, you're tight on space for 2 seating areas in a 126" wide room.

Recommended minimum aisle width for back to back seating is 60". Recommended minimum for seating overhang at 36" high counter is 15" and 12" for 42" high counter.

126" - DR width
60" - aisle width for back to back seating
15" - seating overhang
51" for table and banquette seating. That's means a narrow table (36") and a shallow bench (19" total depth, table overhangs bench by 4").

If you fudged the aisle between peninsula and table to 55", you'd have enough room for a 24" wide banquette, which will allow for a slanted back with room for either an upholstered back or throw pillows for more comfortable seating, and a 36" wide table.

55" - aisle for back to back seating
15" - seating overhang
36" - table width
20" - 24" bench less 4" table overhang

Since this is your only dining area, I think you'd be better off giving up the breakfast bar seating for a nice-sized table - a 36" wide table doesn't allow room for platters, serving bowls, etc as easily as a 42" wide table - with adequate aisles for your only dining area. Counter seating is nice to have, sure, but not every home has room for counter seating and table seating (my kitchen doesn't).

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:19PM
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Where are you putting glasses? While I like the location of the mw, it is also the ideal spot for glassware. Just one more thing to consider.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:20PM
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I was working on my post while you provided updated info. I like the idea of moving the dishes to the fridge wall. If you moved the DW to the end of the peninsula, that would make unloading it and putting dishware and silverware away very easy.

Where are you storing your glasses? I don't see that on the latest plan.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:22PM
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Glasses are a problem. Could I put them in a drawer? I've emailed KD for dimensions of drawers so I can plan. For now, I've put them in the upper cab to the right of the sink. I don't like it at all, but don't see a better solution.

Yes, I know the microwave is taking up the best location for glasses. Could I put the micro shelf above that and keep the lower part as a cab for glasses? Would I regret having the micro so high? (I hate te micro but H loves it. I imagine kiddo will love it someday too...)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:28PM
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Lisa, your concern about the two eating areas is well taken. I am actually going to convert that front LR to a dining room (it will also house our piano and two china cabinets). The current dining room is way too small to hold the kind of table I want to use for family dinners and stuff. Instead, the banquet will use a small table made by H's uncle, who is a master woodworker. It seats four comfortably. It's beautiful so I want to use it for sure. I picture this as the spot for normal family meals. The dimensions of the table are 36.5x52.

I want to keep the bar because it's important to me that the kiddo can sit and chat with me while I'm in the kitchen, or do homework or whatever. It's not going to be super deep.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Whoops! Disregard this message...

Anyway, Lisa, I also see what you mean about the dishwasher. However, I don't relish the idea of carrying dirty plates to the sink, rinsing them, and then carrying them across the kitchen to the dishwasher at the end of the peninsula! I truly DO hate putting away dishes, of course, but I also want to avoid dragging dirty dishes from the sink to the dishwasher if it's far away. Right now what I envision is dishes with leftovers on the peninsula getting put into leftover containers and then taken to the sink, rinsed/washed, and then either put away or put in the DW. I have to go back and read the rest of what you wrote more carefully and think through it...

This post was edited by purrus on Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 15:42

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:36PM
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What if you were to eliminate the counter there and have a tall cabinet with an opening for the MW? Like this:

Traditional Kitchen by Falls Church Kitchen & Bath Designers Cameo Kitchens, Inc.

Do drawers below the MW for dishes, silverware, etc, deep cabs above the MW for storing stock pots and other large, bulky items and a floor to ceiling pull-out next to it for glasses, mugs and whatever else has yet to find a home.

The peninsula would serve as your landing zone. It's a bit far away for a convenient landing zone for fridge and pantry items, though, but that might be a compromise you have to make.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:42PM
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I want to share some ideas that have proven efficient for me.

1. I'd like to start with a few points about the over the fridge cabinet.
If possible, I would make it as deep as the fridge. It is hard to reach back the several inches which the fridge sticks out.
I would also make a pull out tray or very shallow drawer here. Then you can access things from both the front and the sides. This is where I store very large stock pots and steamers. You would have plenty of room for a lot more than just cutting boards and cookie sheets.
Like this:

2. For me, the best storage space for cookie sheets is along the sides of the super susan. They do not interfere with the rotation at all, and for me storing them there uses otherwise wasted space and frees the previous tray storage cabinet for another purpose.
Here is a pic of the trays alongside the supersusan.

Here are the trays, cutting boards, cookie sheets, and grills I store there:

And here is what is in the old tray cabinet they used to fill:

3. As someone else suggested, I would try to find a better place for the DW. Really a nuisance to have it between range and sink.

4. A final suggestion. Be sure to have extra shelves made for wall cabinets, and be sure all shelves are adjustable. You can hugely maximize storage if you have one or two more shelves than standard and if you can adjust them to get rid of vertical waste space.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:45PM
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It's funny, Lisa because that's what we originally had. (well, something similar.) However, I really, REALLY wanted to get the coffee, hot water kettle, and toaster out of the main part of the kitchen. It makes sense, too, because the fridge is the water source. It drives me nuts having all that junk right in the middle of the normal kitchen operations (mainly because coffee is my H's thing and he's incredibly sloppy). This way, it's all easy access from the breakfast area, which seems logical. So the countertop there is precious to me! I won't be cooking on it, but it definitely has a purpose.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:48PM
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I will ask whether the shelves in the uppers are adjustable. Also asked the KD what the actual height of the cabs will be since we are getting rid of soffits. I hope they will be taller cabs and not just up higher (if that makes sense).

Man, I don't know WHAT to do about the DW. You all see that it is an issue (and it had not occurred to me). I need to keep the sink in front of the windows, or I'd just swap the sink and DW. I want to put plates and stuff in the drawers in the peninsula so I don't think I want it to go there....

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Bellsmom, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that brilliant solution for cookie sheet/sheet pan storage! I do know that the cab above the fridge will be fridge depth. I hope my tallest stockpot will fit there (it's 10.5''). I do have a lot of half sheet pans, though, and I doubt they would all fit beside the super susan (I just counted... I have SEVEN half sheet pans, and two quarter sheet pans...seriously. And I do use them all when I'm making giant amounts of my homemade granola that we eat on a daily basis!) Do you think those would fit beside the super susan?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:55PM
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Bellsmom (or anyone else), I am not getting custom cabs. Do you know whether there is an aftermarket sort of shelf like the one Bellsmom has above her fridge? I really like that.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:59PM
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No one's saying to move the sink, only the DW. It would be perpendicular to the sink. You wouldn't have to walk to the DW, simply pivot from sink to DW.

Here's an image to help you visualize this:

Traditional Kitchen by South East Kitchen & Bath Designers Beau-Port Kitchens
The above looks a bit skimpy on clearance between sink and DW. Do a mock-up and make sure you feel that you have enough room to stand at the sink while loading the DW. NKBA recommends 21" minimum clearance between sink and open DW. You can fudge that a bit make sure it will work for you first.

There are a few GWers who have this type of set-up in their kitchen and really like it.

Ah, I see what you're doing with the old DR area. Okay, never mind what I wrote. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:00PM
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Hi Lisa,
No, I realized what you meant. I currently have the DW perpendicular to the sink and I hate it, but there isn't any clearance for me to stand at all (I have to close it to stand in front of the sink and to put dishes away--it is truly the least functional thing on the whole freaking planet). I will have to think about this DW issue some more, because I'd planned dishes and stuff for those drawers but now that would have to go away.

Are you sure my DR idea will work out? I really appreciate your knowledgeable answer about that, and want to make sure I'm not dreaming impossible dreams here. :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:08PM
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Lisa, this is what I envision for the back wall of the DR. Only with a rectangular small table. (And probably no sconces!!) I'm thinking I'll buy some cabinets from Ikea and then get a carpenter to install and trim it all out. If I were a millionaire or didn't have a baby who'll need to go to college someday, I'd just have included this with the kitchen reno!

This post was edited by purrus on Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 16:14

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:11PM
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How many cookie sheets you can store alongside the susans depends on two things:

1. how snugly the susans fit the space. Optimally designed, custom built susans have almost no clearance and this won't work at all. Most ready made ones have two inches or so between the rim of the susan and the wall. Be sure your installer knows you want to use this space, so he doesn't pull the susans all the way to the front of the drawer opening.
2. how snugly your pans will nest. I can put 3 on one side--which would make a total of 12--IF they nest snugly. If they don't nest, like cutting boards, for instance, usually only 2 will fit. A big cast iron two-burner grill sits alone.

The pull out shelf. I think there are several ready-made pull out shelf-drawer things. A friend put several into her base cabinets where before there were only shelves with unreachable items tucked away on them.

Maybe others can help with this. My cabinet maker, not understanding what I wanted made a traditional drawer, which we cut down to make the pull out as low as we could.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:56PM
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I think that the DW should be okay between the sink and range, considering the space you have to work with.

The theory behind not having it in that location (which I am sure you know) is that it ends up in the prep zone, and not the clean-up zone, or at least makes them overlap.

In your layout
--it makes the counter in the prep zone wider, than if it switched places with the sink, which is good.

--it is not so good if you are one of those people who keeps the DW door open at some points or if you want to run the DW while you are prepping which means standing over a hot DW.

If you don't do these things, it should be okay. We had one in this location because it did increase the counterspace in that area and we never left the door open and rarely needed to run it at that time. So it can work.

I think further down the peninsula and "behind" you at the sink is a valid option that works for some people. Personally it would not work better for me than keeping it where you have it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Pal, the only reason I suggested moving the DW to the peninsula was to be able to move the prep items into the prep area. It's a trade-off and the OP will need to decide the way to go.

purrus, love your inspiration pic. I think you can make it work based on the calculations I did in an earlier post, modified slightly here.

55" - aisle for back to back seating
15" - seating overhang
36.5" - table width
19.5" - 23.5" bench less 4" table overhang

An aisle of 55" is less than recommended but likely doable but I encourage you to keep as generous an aisle as possible so that you can accommodate people seated at the peninsula and at the table at the same time.

Cheating the seating overhang isn't as effective as it may seen on paper. If your stools don't tuck completely under the overhang when not in use, you may as well make the overhang deep enough to do so. Either stools or overhang will impede the aisle and you may as well make the counter deeper, IMO. Occupied stools won't really take up less space with a shallower overhang either. Bodies and legs need room, especially since kiddies grow up! ;-)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:43PM
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Lisa, that is a great point about the overhang. I will mention that to the KD when I talk to her Monday or Tuesday. Since I am using laminate, I assume it won't matter that much. To be clear, I should ask for 15'' of overhang for the breakfast bar? Would you guys put it higher or would you simply extend the normal countertop height? (I am tempted to do the latter because I love the idea of a deeper single piece of countertop for big projects like making pizzas, bread, cakes, cupcakes, christmas cookies, etc....)

I am probably just going to leave the DW where it is. First, it's simplest. :) Second, honestly, since it will be a nice chunk of countertop, I see myself doing a lot of prep on the peninsula anyway. (Also since that's where I will be able to talk to people while cooking.)

I do have some additional questions... for now, I'll just ask this one:

Where shall I place outlets? Do I need to have that decided now? We are suffering from a severely inadequate outlet situation in the current setup., and I have vowed not to allow that to happen in the new kitchen. I will probably leave the food processor out on the counter all the time, since I use it almost every day, and also my stand mixer. Might there be some benefit to having an outlet on the far side of the peninsula in case I want to plug in a hand mixer or immersion blender or something like that? Would that be hard to do? Could I tell the installer that onsite or should I plan that ahead of time?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:48PM
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Regarding your range hood/vent: The usual suggestion is to have the hood a minimum of 6" wider than the range (3" on each side) and as deep as possible. Deeper than 24" is nice, but seldom done. It looks as if your plan is for hood the same width as the range.

It depends on how much and what kind of cooking you do. Here is mine, 36" wide over a 30" range. I wouldn't want it any smaller.

But a good friend has a hood the same width as her range, a vent area about 12" by 12", and she considers this adequate. (She seldom uses it. I can understand why--because it is totally ineffective.)
Depends on what you will cook.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:12PM
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Bells mom, ack. That would screw up my whole layout wouldn't it? But I am after function. I cook a lot. Spicy food and occasionally I fry things but not often. A good hood would be really nice... :(

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:13PM
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I would want two duplex outlets available on each side of the range and a duplex on the back wall to the right of the sink and one or two duplex outlets under the pass through. That's 12-14 spots to plug things in which is a lot but I would want it anyway. You are required to have at least two separate circuits just for countertop outlets. This many is probably more than two circuits.

If you keep things on the counters in definite places I would discuss this with your kitchen designer an electrician

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:15PM
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I absolutely do not want to rain on your parade, but do double check on eliminating the return air duct for the second floor. If you eliminate part of the return system, your entire house will have less than the originally calculated air circulation. If you cap off the return in the kitchen, it really should be made up elsewhere. Not doing so leads to pressure in the system. Whatever the cubic feet per minute output from the system, that amount needs to be in the return system to keep it balanced.

Talk to the company that maintains your HVAC system before letting anyone cap off your return.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:15PM
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I just had to rectify the above situation.

Returns which were probably not adequate for air conditioning to begin with and barely adequate for heat had been removed or blocked off during different renovations which basically caused the furnace to function poorly and with the air conditioning caused a 20 degree difference between the third floor and the first.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:36PM
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Like you, my DW used to be on the perpendicular cabinet run, with a lazy susan between - like you said, no room to stand at the sink and load the DW. In my remodel, despite suggestions here to put it next to the sink, I just didn't have room. So it's on the adjacent run again - but with a trash pullout between the Susan and the DW. The extra room makes it a fairly comfortable location.

But in your case, where drawers on the peninsula seem to be a perfect spot for dishes, I'd leave it between the sink and range - even though it isn't ideal. Even if it was on he right side of the sink, it would be in the way of those drawers when you put dishes away.

I have pullouts over the fridge, but not the same as bellsmom. I have two separate ones, essentially drawers on their sides. My cabinets were custom, though - I'm not sure you could get such a thing in many cabinet lines. I have a 9" cabinet next to the sink that holds cookie sheets and cutting boards.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:17AM
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"(I am tempted to do the latter because I love the idea of a deeper single piece of countertop for big projects like making pizzas, bread, cakes, cupcakes, christmas cookies, etc....)"

I think you just answered your own question, purrus. ;-) I say, go for the one level peninsula counter and enjoy every moment of working on it!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:18AM
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My 1960 kitchen is similar. I haven't had the time to carefully read each word on this jam packed thread.

1. All drawers. Rots waste precious inches. Rots are rollout trays. Read buehl.

2. Recess the fridge into the wall. You will gain about three inches of depth and you will need it for a growing family. Google these elements with gw. Don't use search of gw, but google. Your kd may want counter depth but it is too small for you.

3. Use a space saving pullout pantry. What I think you have May turn out to be a black hole.

4. Be flexible about where you put your stuff. Likely you will rearrange at least once. Have sound basic ideas but sippycups won't always be around.

5. Must have adjustable shelves. Uppers should not be 12 inches deep as dishes likely won't fit so go for 15 if not custom. Kd should recommend this.

6. Are you really going to use your stand mixer that frequently? Anyway, plan for a space to put it away. With 2 kids, a hand mixer will be easier for a while.

7. What cabinet lines does your kd sell? This is very important because good functional cabs are key, key. For function, budget and overall success, cabs are key.

8. An undercounter fridge somewhere outside of the prep area will save the day. Yogurts, lunches, snacks, extra produce, drinks. I have fridge drawers, 6 cu ft., in addition to the main fridge. Drawers are expensive.

9. Layout is the most important thing. IMO, you need some tweaks. I know you have set time deadlines but get it right first.

10. Widen doorways, eliminate doors, but keep the walls.

11. Do you want a tv in the kitchen? Where.

12. In and of itself, having a dishwasher between the stove and the sink is not a deal breaker. Mine functions well there.

13. Using laminate is fine but what you have is not a budget room. And you haven't talked about the cab lines your kd sells.

14. Forget the spices for now. Read Buehl s early posts about layouts. See what she did in her kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:34AM
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There's more. Check out"everything I wanted to know about drawers"

Use vertical dividers. See pics in everything" thread. Very helpful

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 3:09AM
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Lisa I am not disagreeing at all with the peninsula position of the DW -- just discussing the trades offs--my feeling is that the trade-off of having it under some prep counter would work better for me than having to turn around from the sink to load it, or having the open door behind me at knee level.

It's ironic, I think that getting everything in the perfect position would in turn cause a different inefficiency in the design---the kitchen would end up being too big probably.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:49AM
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Oh, gosh, palimpsest, I knew that and wasn't taking offense or anything. I hope you didn't either. I was merely explaining my reasons. I value your insight here very much. You make a valid point.

I'm coming from the perspective of my current circumstances. My kitchen has dishes and glasses in the prime prep area (DW's there, too) and prep items elsewhere and hubby and I are forever in each other's way. Drives me batty (short trip) so I'm fixing it when we remodel. But that's our situation and may not be the OP's. And it sounds like she intends to prep on the peninsula not on the counter between sink and range so keeping the DW between sink and range sounds like it will work best for her.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:14PM
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junco East Georgia zone 8a

Why will a hand mixer be easier with kids? Especially if there is room to have it available on the counter for use whenever.
That's how I had mine when my children were young, and it sounds like how the OP will use hers.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 3:00PM
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Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all of the messages today. Sorry I temporarily disappeared.

First: Cindy, that's a great point. To be clear, this is a cold air return in one of four bedrooms on the second level, not the only cold air return on that level (each of which also has a cold air return). Apparently the HVAC guy said this is code, and that because we have hardwood floors with doors that have a couple of inches of clearance on the bottom (thanks to the old shag rugs that used to adorn all of our floors!!), the other rooms will make up for the one room that no longer has a cold air return. However, I'll definitely check with the people who installed our furnace. It's only five years old and I definitely don't want anything to go wrong with it yet!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:18PM
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Cabinet line is 6 square cabinets, Itasca line. I'm getting the shaker style.

We aren't TV people--radio and mp3 people instead. I really would like to know where I'd stash a radio! Maybe there is some aftermarket ledge I could install below the uppers?

Believe me, I'm already sold on drawers. I already got my KD to change that. I was sold on drawers in the first place.

And yes, to echo

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:26PM
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I was going to say, to echo junco, I use my stand mixer quite a bit when I'm able to have it out. My counters are so crammed now that I have to clear it all off and then haul it in from the dining room. Not a happy situation. I love to make my own bread (healthier and cheaper!) and will do it more if I can get to my stand mixer.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:27PM
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Oh, and I found out about dimensions of my drawers. Email from KD:

The heights and depths of the deep drawers are approximately 9-3/8 high and
21" deep front to back. 4 of the cabinets are approximately 24" wide, 1 is
21" wide and 1 is 15" wide after subtracting the frame and hardware.

OK, now I have to go measure my biggest LC pots to be sure they will fit in the drawers. This may be why she was suggesting the adjustable ROTS--because bigger things don't fit well in these drawers, I have a feeling. Unfortunately her email wasn't specific enough on which drawer sizes are where, but I think I'll be meeting her in person tomorrow so I can find out. I think it looks like the smallest ones (the 15'' wide ones) are to the right of the range, but I know that drawing isn't perfectly accurate.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:29PM
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And another question: my current uppers are 36 inches, and the new ones will be too but with molding instead of soffits. This means the clearance between counter and bottom of the upper cabs will be 23'' instead of the current 17''. Good thing or bad thing? Seems good, right? Will help the kitchen feel more open? What is the normal height of upper cabs above countertop? I can imagine that it'll be more feasible to prep underneath the upper cabs if they are higher, but I can't decide if I'm getting cheated by having the soffits removed but the same size cabs (Does that make sense?)!

Guide me, o wise sages of the kitchen forum. You've already helped me SO much in the last 24 hours!!

Oh, and it looks like my largest LCs will fit great in the drawers. That's good. I was going to have a problem otherwise.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:36PM
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Another very big question: Glasses. Where do they go?? I don't want them in the upper cab along the long wall as I've temporarily placed them in my most recent layout change posted above. I want them by the microwave... ideally right where the micro is now. :(((((((

I think I asked upthread, but would it be too crazy to put the micro up even higher and to put the glasses where the micro is now? I'd be happy enough to just chuck the micro, but H won't let me.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:41PM
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18" is standard height for upper cabs above counters. I would *not* want to go higher but I'm short. Can you get taller uppers, 41" tall instead of 36"? If they don't do custom but only do 36" and 42", I'd opt for 42" and have 17" between counter and uppers.

Do they include undercabinet light boxes in those dimensions?

Recommended height for MW cab is 48" above the floor. Sure, you could go higher but imagine pulling something hot out of it at a great height with (I would think) a higher chance of spilling on yourself. Plus it would make it harder for kids to use on their own.

Put glasses in the cab to the right of the sink. Can you find another spot for mixing bowls? Do you really have so many, you need to fill up a whole cab with them? I must be more minimalistic when it comes to kitchen stuff. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:10PM
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No, I don't have that many mixing bowls, I have two nesting sets that I use constantly. I was going to use that space for measuring cups and stuff too (though perhaps I could fit those things in a drawer??? I'd like to dream that that could work out). I think I'd still have room for glasses though. It's just annoying to imagine people having to come into that space to grab glasses!! UGH. Can glasses go in a drawer? I wonder if I could put some in a drawer.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:49PM
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Yeah, I suppose if I were melting butter or sometihng I wouldn't be able to see if it were actually melted without a stool. I'm 5'10'', but even I wouldn't be able to see. Plus if we were to sell our house it would definitely turn off short prospective buyers. :)

I don't really know what to do about the upper cab height. We might still have to hide some small stuff in the soffits with moldings, so they were going to use a two-piece molding (don't really know what that means exactly). I'd certainly prefer larger uppers since more cabinet space can (almost) never be bad, right?

Oh I also realized someone asked about my pantry. She mentioed they would be pull-outs. That's good, right? I guess I need to see an example when I'm there tomorrow or the next day.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:52PM
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    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:54PM
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OK, awesome! I wonder if I can make that work out. Need to go back and look at my drawings again. I really, REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want my H especially bumbling over while I am doing stuff. I love him, he's great, but he constantly needs a new water glass. hah!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:57PM
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I just want to make sure you know that IKEA is going to be getting rid of their current kitchen cabinet lines (that all of the built-in IKEA hacked banquets are using) sometime in the next year... I know you said that is phase 2. But, it might need to be sooner than planned, or with different materials depending on how the new lines look and function at IKEA.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:01PM
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Kirkhall, I did not know that. I love their really basic Shaker cabinet style, and that's what I was planning to use. I hope they don't do anything to screw up their quality. :(

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:02PM
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