I'm back - 1st draft of our houseplan and kitchen input please

autumn.4July 6, 2013

Hi all. I have been (im)patiently waiting for our house plans to be drawn up. I finally have our first draft and wanted input on the kitchen area. It is fairly open which my dh loves and I am a little nervous about but I do like the angled window as our view will be all woods and that would give a good site line while working at the island. Our first idea was to have some sort of casing to visually separate the kitchen from the great room and make us both happy but this is how the first draft shook out so I am doing some thinking on it. It appears it's either casement/separation OR angled window.

I have gotten such great ideas and feedback here (from others posts as well as my dreaming layout posts) so I thought I'd solicit your advice before we sit down again to go through modifications.

Kitchen faces south. 9' Ceilings. Island is 8x4.5 with 18" overhang for seating - hopefully 4 stools but at least 3.

I think it has a pretty good work triangle just as shown by the designer although he just drops stuff in and relies on KD's to actually design the layout of the kitchen. Unfortunately I do not have the dimensions of the pantry but have asked for them. The kitchen is 11x15 with the dining area being 13-4 x 13-3. It will be our only eating space besides the island for snacks and quick breakfasts.

My questions:
I was hoping to avoid a corner but I will have one with the way it is currently drawn. Any ideas on how to work that? I have a lazy susan but do not like it. Would it be best to just put in one of those corner cabinets that follow the corner so you can see and reach the items? Or - having the pantry open there instead of the proposed door and then I could avoid a corner. Thoughts?

I really wanted a 'coffee/toast area' that could look something like a hutch - maybe with seeded glass uppers for coffee cups and such? - possibly 36" wide would do it. How would I work that in opposite the sink wall in the half bath. Would that look funny? Is it too far OUT of the kitchen space? Would I need to have a small wall built on the stairwell side to separate it and keep it part of the kitchen? I'd think it wouldn't have to be 24" deep - 15-18 might work. Does anyone currently have anything like that they could share a picture of?

Any glaring NO WAY thoughts or red flags?

I either want to get a CD fridge (KA has a highly rated one that is within our budget) or make those cabs deeper to have it not stick out. I also included a sketch I drew to scale to help me visualize space.

Finally moving forward which is great but a little unnerving at the same time. We just sold our home, found a rental and hopefully will break ground by this fall.

Thanks in advance for your input. I value your time and willingness to share your ideas and expertise. If I have missed any important details please let me know. I included the surrounding areas so you could see how they relate.

Kitchen Layout with surrounding areas:

Kitchen Sketch (for some reason it appears faint so you can't see the squares):


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I'd much rather see you get the cleanup sink off of the island so as to leave it free for your prepping. I'd place the fridge at the end of the run by the breakfast area and place the cleanup sink on the run where the fridge was located. Then, a small prep sink on the island at the breakfast end would allow you to have a lot of uninterrupted space for large projects.

As far as the diagonal window, I'm not a fan. Adding another corner to the foundation and roof adds expense that I'm not sure you're getting a good return on. I'd rather see a cased opening between the two rooms with wing walls of at least 30". That would allow your coffee station to have enough room to "die into" the wall and not have issues. It would also allow you to either shift the windows in the great room/breakfast area to allow a door to the exterior there between the two rooms and keep good traffic flow for the furniture placement, or else you possibly could have room for a buffet area.

I'm not very fond of the complex of rooms you have there with all of the angles. I think you would be better served by eliminating some of the walls to create a larger multi use room that serves all of those functions and is more flexible for the long term. The angles really limit the pantry storage, and how you have the shelving indicated won't really work and have room for a person to actually access it. The home office is also overly large for a "command center" type function, but too close to the noise and traffic to serve as a real business office if that's the function it needs to serve. Also mud rooms that have to be accessed by opening a door to get to them rarely get used. Mud rooms that work are transition spaces between the exterior and interior. If you want the mud room to house the clutter, it has to be easily accessed from where the clutter enters the house, i.e. a very wide hallway with lockers on one side and maybe coat pegs on the other and a cabinet with a trash can right there so that the junk goes into it.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 12:12PM
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live_wire-thanks for your reply! I left off part of that drawing and see I shouldn't have as it leaves some confusion I have attached it below.

Our lot and driveway being what they are we have chosen to build an angled garage instead of a hard L shape. It allows you to see the house first instead of just garage and isn't as harsh as an L. The driveway curves and we like the privacy from the road that it provides.

Mudroom area - out the door there we will have a covered porch for grilling and it will also be access to the side/back yard for our children and our dog. There really isn't a better spot to let the dog in (house on a daylight basement so the back will be up in the air and not accessible with out climbing stairs) and I will have the mudroom have a door (not shown here I will have it adjusted) so I can close her in there when she is wet and needs some tending to before coming in the house. And much as I don't want to think about it she will also likely eat/sleep there at night and as she ages it might be her home when she struggles with bladder issues and the normal dog aging stuff. She is only 6 now though. I will likely ditch the door on locker area - don't see a need for that. I like the full closet for out of season coats/mops/brooms, etc..

Office space - I asked for dimensions on that too as I can't tell how large it is. I requested a 'space' not a formal room with a door. We need to house our shredder, printer, laptop when not in use (ha that only happens over night) and our calendar, school/church papers and bills, etc.. I do not want that stuff in my kitchen any longer! I do work from home on occasion and that space will also house my work laptop when I bring it home and since it has a window I may want to work there.

Point noted on the angled window. We didn't ask for that but thought it may be nice once we saw it. I would rather have the hutch area over that in a heart beat though.

Question on the fridge. I really don't want it facing the living room, I like it kind of hidden as it is. It makes me feel more like it's in it's own room when you can't see it. Rational no but it is what it is. As far as function goes - I am thinking it's best near the pantry. When it gets used most the kids are in it for cereal milk/fruit/snacks etc and then need something out of the pantry. I think if I kept it where it is it would keep them out of the cooking space with the sink/stove. Yes? No? I have mentioned a prep sink with a less than excited response. This is a modest build (midwest and about $250k not including the land). If I really *needed* it he may relent but if I can get by with 1 sink he'd be much happier. If the island is set up like I drew it - I am picturing dishwasher closest to where the dining room will be for loading and the plates and glasses will go right opposite on that cabinet wall. That will further keep them out of my space. So if I don't want to move the fridge do I have any other options? Would you put the pantry door next to the fridge instead of counter space and block the existing door? Would that make it more usable?

I like the 30" wall suggestion - I believe that is exactly what we were (I was) thinking when we discussed having an 'open' plan.

Mudroom/Garage area:

Thank you so much for taking the time to review this with me.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 3:03PM
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just a thought on the office space..i too am trying to come up with a similar space for the same things you are....all papers filter through it from school or bills, printer, shredder, etc. What i think I am going to do is combine it with my laundry room, though I'm unsure. My thinking is that I do laundry during the day before the kids come home, so the washer won't be running for the most part after school....so it will be a quiet space away from the open area of the home for homework. I am planning on desk space enough for two to sit at so I can sit with one of my kids to help with with homework.

Not sure if that's a good idea or bad, and it also depends on where your main laundry area is in your home.

I am planning a similar open floor plan with long island. I'm giong to offset the sink as far over to one side as I can to get a large expanse of island to work at for larger projects. How big is your sink?

good luck.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 3:36PM
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hi illini. We have an atypical work pattern here so I have planned our laundry to be off of the master closet. Often I am up at 5 a.m. and hubby works afternoons and doesn't get to bed until about 2-4 a.m.. So the plan is to have the master closet and suite accessible from our laundry room so I can get up - run/walk the dog - come back in to shower and get ready without ever going back into the bedroom and disturbing his sleep. Likewise he can do the same when he comes home depending. Currently I have clothes...everywhere so I can get showered/dressed without disturbing him. It's a pain (spoiled I know).

Long story short - that is why our laundry isn't on the mudroom side of the house.

Sink- hmmm. I want a 36" but it may end up being a 33 inch sink base and a 30" sink. Not sure on that one. I am waiting to see how this all shakes out. Right now I have a split but 30" on one side and can fit everything I want in it laying flat so I might just go with a single. ??? I am planning on putting a 12" trash pull out to the left of the sink and then sink, DW, cab for drying towels/trivets. I think if I have a good 48" uninterrupted space that would be okay. That is what I am used to now with a peninsula. Are you planning on seating in your island as well? We use our peninsula so much that I'd really miss seating if it was gone.

How far are you in the process? I'd love to see what you end up with too! I see from the where are you from blog that you are also a West Michigander. :)


    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 4:10PM
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I'm only confused about one thing and that is where the DW is going to be located. In the formal drawings it is to the left of the sink and in the sketch it is to the right of the sink. I would put it to the right of the sink.

The right of the sink and across can be your clean-up area while the area to the left of the sink and between the stove and fridge is your prep area.

Are you having two pull-out trashcans? Rather than wasting space doing that have one for prepping to the left of the sink and then doing a pull-out under the sink for clean-up.

Where are you putting the sink in the island? absolute center, left center or right center. I would probably right center it leaving enough room for the DW.

Some might say that by putting the DW to the right of the sink you might block the entrance to the kitchen but if your aisle widths are adequate that won't be an issue. My concern with where it is now is that you have the DW door, oven door and fridge door all opening into a small corner of the kitchen. During prep time or clean up time that is going to be one crowded little corner. One of the operations has to be taken out of that corner and I'm all for taking out the clean-up portion.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 4:23PM
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When you only have one sink in a kitchen, you still need to separate the cleanup and prep functions by designating one side of the sink for each. You don't prep on top of your DW, or stack dirty dishes in your prep zone. The DW should go closest to where your dish storage zone is located as well. I would guess that would be the back wall closest to the dining area. The DW should end the island cabinet run with only a panel on the side to support the counter. Then the sink. Then the trash. Then maybe a drawer stack. That will give you the largest space for prep without interfering with someone else loading or unloading the DW at the same time. And you can both share the sink.

Or, one suggestion that you might consider given the fact that your limited space eating area is your only eating area would be to swap the kitchen and dining area. If you had the DR where you show the current kitchen, it would be easy to add a bunch of leaves to a table and expand into the family room when you have a large gathering. As it is, a large gathering will be very cramped and you may have to set up a secondary table in the family room anyway.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 4:37PM
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hee hee live-wire, I'm prepping right on top of my d/w right now. I do it all the time.

we are EARLY in this process, but coming along. I think we will make an offer on the lot this month, aiming to break ground perhaps by October. no rush, other than interest rates going up.

So many many things to work through. In fact we have our first meeting with home designer on Tuesday. So far it's taken us this long just to figure out ranch vs two story vs 1.5 story. We decided ranch with 2 br/1 bath over the garage, and 2 br in the finished basement, master on first floor along with a study/br.

yes, seating is a must at our island as well. we are also coming from a peninsula based kitchen where we eat at it every day.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 4:54PM
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blfenton-yes - the DW will be to the right. The house designer just plopped appliances in without any thought/consultation - more as place holders. He is figuring on me/KD to figure it out. I want to have a good idea of what is best before I start down that road. I was thinking clean up/DW on the right and dish storage directly across as my sketch shows - sorry it scanned so light. I was thinking sink not in the center to allow for a nice chunk of prep space but my island layout was not as LWO suggested, in fact it was backward or opposite. I was thinking sink pulled to the left by the fridge/stove but the suggestion is to the right. I will have to sketch that out so I can 'see' it. I was going to have just one trash pull out on the opposite side of the sink from the DW. Do you think 2 would be useful?

LWO-I hear you on the DW prep - I have that now and in the winter I LOVE it but in the summer it's awful! So you would put the sink toward the right? I have no issue with that except that I thought it would be more convenient to have on the left near the fridge? Does that no hold any weight in functionality?

Dining area - I think that is why the house designer made that angled wall - to allow for expanding the table. Honestly we never have large gatherings at our house. Maybe when our kids are grown and have families but at that point and for as infrequent as I *think* it would be I can see that if in summer we'd use the 3 season room but in winter we would have to set up a 'kid' table behind the island. We are trying hard to design the house for how we live and not how we think or wish we would/should live. I want to be able to seat 8 comfortably in the dining room as drawn. I think that will do it.

illini-we worked through that same path and ended up deciding on a 1.5 story after kicking a ranch around for quite a while! I think if we had a walk out basement then we would opt for a ranch and have a couple bedrooms down but since it's just daylight we didn't feel comfortable doing that for some reason. We are building main floor master, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom and small 'away' space upstairs and then a spare/guest bedroom downstairs with a bathroom and family room area to be completed later. We hope to break ground by October also. Our house just sold and our plan is just starting so I hope it all goes smoothly so we can kick off the build this year and have it buttoned up before the snow flies.

Any thoughts on how to make the pantry better? It will clearly not be large enough to hold our chest freezer. :( That was a wish and not a must have anyhow. The designer got back to me and the pantry is 6' wide by 5' deep on the long end.

DH thinks the 'hutch' type cab I wanted over on the other side of the 1/2 bath will feel like its in the great room and that we should ditch it. :( I really wanted something that looked like a built in but was functional and kind of out of my space.

Any thoughts on what to do to the left of the fridge? Any way to make that sort of look like a hutch? Should I go for uppers down to the counter to kill the corner?

Thank your for the input. Keep it coming. I am going to sketch out the island mocked up as LWO suggested with the DW on the end.

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 10:40PM
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I haven't read any of the comments, but just one quick response ... Since this is new construction, plan a way for your fridge to be installed recessed by 6". That way you can use a standard size fridge, which is quite a bit less expensive, and have it look counter depth.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 11:43PM
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Angela-thanks for that. I am going to try. The pantry is a really odd shape so I'm not sure just how much usable space is there to take from but the fridge is in the 'right spot' to try to recess it. We meet with the house designer again on the 15th. I want to be ready with stuff just like this!

Here is another sketch following the layout LWO suggested and putting the coffee area to the left of the fridge. Does this look right?

Would you put the toaster/coffee/mug uppers all the way down to the counter? Would that look nice? I told DH I wanted to be delighted with my kitchen. I hope I can get there with what I've got...

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:03AM
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Maybe I missed this, but is there a reason the end of the island doesn't line up with the end of the run of cabinets opposite it? It would bug me every day to see that, especially knowing that precious storage and prep counter space was given up. You only show a 12" cabinet for your trash. That limits you to a very small selection to choose from, and the waste container will be really small. Just by going to a 15" cabinet, you can have two containers, one for trash and one for recyclables.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:44AM
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No reason except that a 9' island sounds monstrous to me (but I'd love more space - but then there is cost)? :/ I may need to google for 9' islands to see what they look like. It just sounds HUGE!

Thanks for the tip on the 15" pullout versus 12". I want to have the pullout and then a place in there for the trash bags. I think mpagmom's pullout is like that. I can't be sure off the top of my head, I'd have to check my clippings.

Thanks for the tips and advice.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:48AM
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Putting the sink to the right gives you more prep space on the left of the sink. Pulling vegies, etc from the fridge and putting them there, working with them and putting them back.

Good call on the non-aligning of the island and counter. In the original drawings in the OP they do line up. Yes I would line them up. It will actually make your island more functional.

It is 8' now so if you take 3' for the sink and then 2' for the DW (although you have counter on top but still) you are only left with 3' for prep space and cabinets. 18" - 15" for pull-out and maybe 18" for drawer stack and you're done. Another foot would give you some extra counter and cabinet space. Just a thought. Play with it and see what you can do with the space.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 12:49PM
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I'm confused. How long is your 'fridge' wall? Is the room 11' with the doorway to the pantry, or without it? How much space do you have between the fridge and the corner? It looks like you have about 3' more in the pencil version, compared to the first plan.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 2:54PM
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Lavender! Oh NO! I just looked at that again. I think you might be right - that the 11' includes the doorway and the little bit of wall there up to that line across. :( I think it may very well be 7' of actual kitchen space from fridge to corner instead of 11. Thank you for pointing that out. I am going to sit down with him again in another week so I need to find out if 7' will work for us or not. I am thinking it's a might bit too narrow. Thank you so much for catching that!

blfenton-I am continuing to play with it - now I need to draw it with a 7' dimension. I hope that doesn't make the island stick out too far into the great room. I have peeked at a few larger islands. Some look really large and others seem to 'fit' and don't really look out of place. I suppose it as much to do with the surrounding areas and the overall look of the space.

Thanks again everyone. This whole thing is making me anxious. I just want a nice space - nice to work in, nice for ME to look at (meaning not a show piece since we don't really entertain). I'm not fancy, or frilly or girly-girl but I do live with 2 sons and dh so I'd like my kitchen to be a reflection of me with a bit of girl in there since I'm the one that uses it most.

Sorry for that mini vent, lol!

edit: after further scrutiny I think it's actually 9 x 15. I am going to work within that dimension.

This post was edited by Autumn.4 on Sun, Jul 7, 13 at 16:31

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 4:17PM
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RE: your realization of the new measurements. This doesn't change the length of the island - it can still be 9' long, it may or may not change the width of the island. If you look at the drawing in your OP the overhang extends past the doorway and the island lines up with the end of the counter.

Looking at the width of the kitchen - 9' is 108" so counters are usually about 25-26" deep with overhang and you are using 42' wide aisles leaving you with 40" width for an island IF you want to stay within the 9' width of the kitchen and you are allowing 4 1/2' or 54" width for the island.

The width of the island in this case can extend past the 9' width of the kitchen proper unless you are adamant about the island being contained in the kitchen proper. (I'm not taking about the length but the width.)There is nothing wrong with having the working part of the island within the kitchen and having the overhang part outside of the kitchen. The only time it might have an effect is when you are walking directly from the DR to the bathroom or pantry and you might have to walk around the barstools.

All of your other traffic walkways - panty/bath to kitchen, great room to kitchen/bath or DR to kitchen/great room shouldn't be affected.

The one wall that is definitely affected of course is the fridge wall. You will have 2' in the corner, 3' (I will assume) for the fridge and then 4' of counter. If you do a lazy susan you need foot on each side of the corner for the door leaving you with 3' for other cabinets. In the uppers you need 2' for the microwave leaving you with 4' for other uppers.

What you will also need to check is where does the kitchen measurements end and where do the great room measurements start. You may have to adjust the overhang measurement of your island. You should beable to go to 16" without a problem.

I think my math is correct but someone can check it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 7:21PM
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I would move heaven and earth to NOT have to walk around the corner to access stuff in my pantry. (Or else that lovely pantry space would find itself turning into the most generous coat closet in the world.) I'm OK carrying all the groceries into the kitchen, once, in bags from the market, but I'll be darned if I'll be willing to go back and forth into an around-the-corner pantry while cooking.

I agree about not having the fridge visible from the living room (ugh!) That's one of the pitfalls and challenges of all open space living. I would also be plumping for a more modified "open-concept" plan that tucked all the working parts of the kitchen more out of view of the common rooms. I would be willing to sacrifice views from my prepping space to protect myself from views of my prepping space from the living room. When I'm working in the kitchen, I enjoy a vignette of the outside world from my kitchen windows, but frankly, I'm busy working there with mye eyes mostly on the counter - I don't need a panorama. And I don't "hang-out" in my kitchen - I cook there. And when I'm done cooking, I go elsewhere.

Houses with odd angles are risky design projects. They can be wonderful and add an enormous sense of developing space, or they can just be confusing. And they definitely do cost a good deal more to build. Make sure every deviation from the traditional rectangular massing earns its keep. Don't allow any architectural folderol to creep in. By the time you're looking at odd-shaped voids and trying to imagine what might just fit, you're already nearing folderol territory, IMO.

If you are building, you might get a lot out of the Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language book. Finely observed, cross cultural, attributes of what makes a house (and also a community, neighborhood, a yard, etc.) a wonderful space to live in. No fancy pictures, just short, well-explained, often startlingly correct, ideas for everything from the height of windowsills to progression of private spaces within a house. Your local library probably has a copy, if not interlibrary loan would work. It's a classic. Your architect will be impressed.



    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:14PM
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I just received firmed up meaurements - ugh - the fridge to the outside wall is actually 8'1". :( No way I can fit any hutch type cupboard anywhere with those dimensions. Oh bother - it was likely out of budget anyway. :( :( :( Can you tell I am sorely disappointed!!!

blfenton-I think we'd still be okay with having the island out of kitchen proper like you described. The math with this new measurement shows that we'd have about 4' between the back of the island and that line drawn from dining through to kitchen. And that would be if we had the furniture backed up tight and we won't. Thanks for walking through the math with me.

lirio-I lol at your coat closet statement. I am trying to visualize how this space will feel. It doesn't really seem like that far away. But doing it every day could become a nuisance I suppose. This is so much better than what I have now it's hard for me to think critically about these things. I am wanting to ditch that angled window and square it off with a casing and maybe a column or something like LWO suggested. That would give me the visual separation that I need. Dh is still liking the angle - I said well it will be expensive and all of a sudden he's thinking maybe we'll ditch it. Ha! I've got his number although he saw my island sketch grow from 8' to 9' 1/2" and that raised an eyebrow.

edit: Thanks for the book recommendation - I've read another (can't think of the name off the top) but hadn't heard of this one!

So regarding the corner. Since it's not much of a space in terms of length along the fridge wall - what would you do there? I need the MW on a shelf over there. Should I make a dead corner? Bring a cab down to the counter? ???

Thanks everyone for working through this with me.

Here is the layout with the dimensions:

This post was edited by Autumn.4 on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 19:52

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 7:50PM
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Would you switch the pantry and the 1/2 bath?

Would that make a more useful space pantry? 1/2 bath is 3'7" x 7' 8 3/4".

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:07PM
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For me the switch would make it much better.

I can picture myself scurrying around the corner to the present pantry like a frantic hamster every time I got creative and needed another ingredient in the pantry. Pretty soon all but the most long-term of my food supplies would start being stored on the kitchen counters, which kinda defeats the purpose of a pantry for me.

Only problem is if this is a two story house and the water, drain and vent stacks in the present PR as are associated with ones above them. Moving the drain and vent stack can be expensive changes.

The book I recomended is the most problematic book I have ever loaned out. Once people get their mitts on it, they don't want to give it up. I finally had to buy a second copy, because I often consult it and got tired of chasing it down from my friends. It used to be a very expensive book (for me, anything over $50 is), but recently later printings have brought price down in line with otherbooks. You can order it from Amazon, but try it at your library first. It takes a bit of effort to figure out how it is organized. Once you got that down, it's wonderful. It's particularly good at site planning a vacant lot for the location and orientation of a new house.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 1:46AM
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L-That explains it! "every time I got creative and needed another ingredient" - I am so not creative, lol! I wish I was though - I am a by the recipe kinda girl. Then once I've tried it once - next time I will experiment in teeny tiny baby steps!

All kidding aside - the book - is it one that you have to FEEL the pages to read. I have a nook and could down load it but some books you just want to hold see/feel/touch the pages to read. I hope that makes sense. The other architecture book I bought hard copy because it had a lot of pics in it and sometimes you just have to see them in print (or I do). It was pricey though so I hear ya.

Back to the pantry-it is a 2 story but I don't think that is a problem. I will ask. I thought over behind the kitchen the plumbing would be closer to the kitchen sink but what do I know. With those (3'7 x 7'8) dimensions I may be tempted to fit my 2x3 chest freezer in there too. I really wanted easy access to it wouldn't fit in the current plan pantry so it was going to be banished back down to the basement.

Next question:
The dreaded corner/fridge wall. I was thinking about pulling those cabinets forward ~6" making the counter 30" deep if I can't recess the fridge and that would help solve that. I would also make the aisle there around 45". That would shrink the island to around 8 1/2 feet (dh is not digging the 9 1/2 foot island and neither is our counter top budget). It should help finding a slab too? 9 1/2 seems like it may limit choices. I am going with 4 foot deep. I think that would be fine behind the sink.

I will make a new sketch and scan it in tonight. I am on lunch break at work now.

Next Question:
Is there anywhere that you would see as an okay/good place to bring a cabinet down to the counter?

I guess I still have that look in my head. I feel like it looks more homey/like furniture I suppose.

Boy - sorry I am so wordy. My posts are huge!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Your fridge corner - If you bring all of your counters including your stove run out 6" that will muck up your lower cabinets run on your fridge wall because you'll lose 6" of lower cabinets - just to keep in mind. Are you going to increase your depth of your uppers as well or leave them at the standard of anywhere between 11"-13" deep (depends on the mfgr.)

For the uppers on that wall you have 8' and 3' for the fridge (plus cabinet panelling on either side of the fridge which you don't have to do but it's a nicer look) then 2' for the microwave (check the size of the MW and required cabinet) and then you have 2' in the corner and you're conceivably down to less than 12" for anymore cabinetry. You can put an upper cabinet that's like a lazy susan in the corner depending on the required opening. I think on this wall it really will come down to inches for your planning and you will have to rely on your GC to let you know how many inches you have left to play with and what kind of options are available for the space.

As far as a cabinet to the counter - if you want one and think it will look good in your space I would suggest putting it at the end of the counter run where you have labelled dishes and glasses. For me it's like creating a buffet/hutch idea and it would work because it's by your DR and is storing your glasses and dishes. This will only work if you have enough other counter space that you don't need this area for any prep or clean-up chores. It will also create a nice view from your great room if you put in glass doors.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 1:31PM
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How about enlarging the pantry and reduce the space wasted in that area. You could put the mw in the pantry. Not sure of dimensions, but you might be able to make some deeper shelves for small appliance storage as well as be able to use them in there.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:15PM
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Lyfia- That's an interesting idea!

Autumn- What if you opened up the pantry and brought a little of that space over for the fridge? Then you could have it closer to the range and use a prep sink on the island. The L-shape gives you another area for the clean up sink and dishwasher...and you can chat with people in the dining room as you clean up.

Also, would your hutch/coffee area work in the pantry? If not, you could put the microwave in that space, as others have suggested. Just another idea :) From Farmhouse plans

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:58PM
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lyfia and LL - Thank you so much! That makes the pantry so much more functional and still right next to the fridge. I am going to do some sketching with those and see what it does. Both get rid of the dreaded corner (not sure why I am so passionately against it but I just am). I am so thankful for your creative minds and willingness to ponder my space!

blfenton-I think that would look nice too - one on the end where the dishes would be. I do think I'd still have enough other space to work with. I really like the look of seeded glass. I think something like that might need to be the thing that satisfies my desire for something a bit different.

I will be back this afternoon after I have some time to work with this on graph paper.

Thanks again! :)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:26AM
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LL-I don't think I'd be happy having the door open (or no door) so you could actually see the hutch there and it may be just removed enough that it wouldn't be as convenient. :(

Lyfia-played and played with that (pantry door IN the kitchen) and although I think it would be perfect right there and kill the corner I wouldn't have much counter space left and I'd lose 2 uppers that I don't think I can spare.

If I keep the L there and put the likely 24" MW next to the fridge - it doesn't allow me to balance the space with a 24" upper to the left of it. I think I am really struggling with symmetry and wondering if 30" uppers are really too narrow for dish and glass storage. My current dishes are in a 21" and that works nicely for plates/bowls/etc.

If I have the kitchen bumped out from 8' to 9' maybe that will help? I'd at least have space to put something with a door opposite the MW.

Since I have my heart set on a hutch like thingy I am wondering if I should stick with an upper cab down to the counter across from the DW. That would look nice from the great room and give more storage. That might give me just enough 'extra' room that I could do all every day dishes there.

We meet with the designer again on Monday. Any easy dimensional changes that you think would be a miracle fix all? ;)

Thanks all. This part is not my cup of tea. Give me a spreadsheet any day but making a space functional and look nice at the same time and I am floundering. I can't get out of the box! I already ran out of lead and the eraser in my mechanical pencil. :p

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 4:04PM
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Autumn- I have some concerns with your island/sink location. Don't get me wrong...this may be perfect for you, but I would want more space around the sink. It seems you have 2' on one side and 3' on the other. That seems kind of tight, since I usually need 4'+ around each side of the sink. Of course, I am not always very good about loading the dishwasher immediately :)

Here are some pictures of range between windows and island sinks...and a few other arrangements. What do you think of the different bar counter heights or the longer island? Do they help with any ideas? Let us know how things go with your designer on Monday! From Farmhouse plans From Farmhouse plans From Farmhouse plans From Farmhouse plans From Farmhouse plans

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 6:48PM
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Hi Lavender-one of your pics I love - this area right here is what I am wanting to do!:

As for island size - I think 8 1/2 is the absolute longest I can go due to cost. I currently have 3 1/2' of prep and it works out - I use ALL of it but I can deal - especially since I can go deeper to set things whereas on a 24" counter you can't.

I am also a bit of a nut about dirty dishes in the sink - can't stand it - so I think I'll be okay in that regard. We are moving into a rental in 2 weeks with no dishwasher - oh boy will this be a test for me! I may have to walk through the kitchen with blinders on so I can't see all the dishes. I am already self sooth talking myself to prepare. ;P Likely I will be doing dishes after every meal just to cope. Hehe!

I tried sketching again to see if I could move the fridge closer to the corner and put cabs on the other side of it but the MW is fouling me up and I really don't want a MW drawer. I mainly use the MW for defrosting meat and the family uses it for cooking oatmeal, popcorn and warming up left overs. I don't ever really 'cook' in it.

So it left me with only a 24" cab and I really need a total of 5 feet to make it look okay IMO. 15" door then 24" MW opening then 15" door. Or at the very least 48 and then I'd do 24" MW on left and 24" door on right. Not a fan but it could work. Hmph. I have a feeling that my perfect kitchen is going to be just a kitchen but seriously anything will be better than the one I have now and for that I am grateful. I need to adjust my dream factor. ;)

Thank you for putting up those pics - you are so sweet to do that! I appreciate you finding some 'looks' for me. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Hi all.

We met with our house designer today.

The goods and the bads.

Bonus - he was able to give me another foot on the fridge wall (yay) so that helps with the blind corner (I want to close it off to preserve drawers) and the pantry was also enlarged which will allow for my small chest freezer. The overall kitchen dimension is 9' x 15'.

The 'it will have to do': pantry is still around the corner. I think it will be okay. It will keep my peeps out of the sink/stove area. They will access pantry for cereal and snacks and the fridge is right there out of my work zone.

I could get creative and have the kitchen side cabs open to the pantry and put the cereal and most used items there - how fun would that be? Because that wall backs to pantry I can also recess the cabs and fridge if I need them deeper as well. The MW has to go on that wall...and they are deeper than 12".

I am feeling much relieved as this last draft that he did for us (he already sent it because our changes were few and to other parts of the house) is 99% on. We are still studying it though. :)

I will post this latest draft with a few questions and see what you all think. There are 2 main things I am contemplating.

One is the cupboard pantry reach through (I think dh would think that is CRAZY) but I think it may be a perfect compromise. Would that be something that is super expensive to do?

The other is still trying to fit in this sort of thing. It is Michelle16's and she has a fridge and pantry flanking whereas I'd have just the fridge to the right and a corner would be on the left. I have 4' to play with there from fridge to where corner would start.

I will try to post the new layout tonight but it may not be until tomorrow!



    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Autumn- Would this work??

I tried moving the doorway to the pantry/mudroom over to the left, but the powder room and office were in the way (and I like them) so instead, I moved the kitchen wall out two feet. Would this be possible, between the mudroom and your porch? Just another idea :) From Farmhouse plans

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 1:43AM
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Hi LL!

I actually brought that up yesterday during our meeting and dh was not a fan. We can't really add any more sq footage, we are already over what our 'goal' was.

I can however recess the short wall (fridge wall) into the pantry since 2' shelves are really too deep to be greatly useful - or at least not a whole wall that deep...

What do you think about that?

I am already planning on recessing the fridge 6" (the wall as drawn needs to move a smidge) so I could recess the uppers to allow for 15-16" vs. 12" which should hold the MW.

I think I need to give up on the symmetry of MW in the middle flanked by 2 12" skinny doors and dry for MW on Left and 1 24" cab on the right but with 2 12" doors. I need to sketch it but I am at work just on quick lunch break. I still don't quite 'get' how the corner would come togther..... ???

Here is the newly drawn plan (I'd need to put the chest freezer in the pantry on the opposite wall which I think would be fine). I will try to sketch something up tonight!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 12:42PM
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Autumn.4, just ran upon this thread... our proposed plan has a similar kitchen. Wondering if you have built this? Would love to see it!! :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 12:28PM
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jspann-we are mid build, at priming and painting now. So - no finished pics to share, no cabinetry installed yet (but they are IN storage waiting). ;) I do post construction pics on the building a home forum.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 1:39PM
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