Kitchen Floorplan - Advice Needed, Please!

runnergirl79July 27, 2014

Hi everyone,

My husband and I were originally planning to build and received great input that we incorporated into our plans. However, we found a good deal on an existing home and will just hold our land and build in the future.

That being said, we have a full remodel on our hands and could use some help on the kitchen layout. I've attached the current layout. Since this isn't our forever home, we are looking for a layout that is both functional and will be aesthetically pleasing to future buyers.

This will be a blank slate kitchen as we will tear out all existing cabinets/appliances. I would love a two-person kitchen, but I'm not sure the space warrants this. Right now the island houses the stove. The island seems otherwise useless since there isn't ample space for seating, The corner unit houses the microwave and oven, and the pantry is cabinets on the dining room wall. We are unable to move walls, but are considering enlarging the window over the sink. The dishwasher is to the right of the sink.

Should we consider a U configuration with seating at a peninsula?

Thanks so much for your help!!!

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The fridge should go on the bottom wall, and the range would then go on the left wall. Get rid of the bottom row of cabinets on the island; make it an overhang for seating instead. You could also have seating on the right side of the island. The corner of the island by the powder room looks tight, so I would clip or round that.

Easy peasy, you then have a very nice work triangle and have even defined your zones. This would be a two person kitchen as you can have two preppers or a prepper and a cleanup person at the same time - the primary prep zone is the left side of the island across from the range, and the secondary prep & cleanup zone is to the right of the sink. I don't even think you need a prep sink as it's right across from the island, but if you wanted one I'd put it either all the way at the top or bottom left corner os the island.

I'm rather jealous of how little reconfiguring you need to do :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:38PM
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Hi Tracie - Thanks so much for your response. What do you think about this (it's a very rough drawing; finding it hard to make a curved island with our design program)? I'm hoping we can put 4 stools on the curve of the island.

We'll probably purchase a counter depth fridge and line up the pantry cabinets with it.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:02AM
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So is the room below the kitchen a formal dining room, and to the right is informal? With a table so close to the kitchen, do you need island seating? Or will island seating replace the table?

I would keep the fridge full depth, and make the pantries the same depth. Or put a counter on the side of the fridge by the entry, as a drop zone and landing spot for the fridge.You might also want a cabinet MW next to the fridge.

What are you thinking about for the corner? Are you thinking wall oven again, or range? If it's cabinetry, I would either put a super susan in the corner, or close it off completely. Use an easy-reach cabinet for the upper instead of a diagonal.

I have an angled corner base cabinet with a full super susan. Most folks here don't like an angled corner, but I wanted a drawer there. I also have a little MW on the counter in that corner, so the angle gives me more counter space.

Now that we have the general layout, can you zoom in on the kitchen? Then we can better see dimensions and specifics.

One worthwhile exercise is to make a list of everything that will be going into the cabinets/drawers, and figure out where each item will be used. Spices, potholders, cooking utensils, pots and pans near the range; dish towels and plastic containers in the cleanup area; dishes near the DW and the dining area. Where will you put small appliances? When you get down to the details, measure your things to make sure they will fit in their allotted space.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:53AM
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ankh - thanks for the post! Here are the answers to your questions:

1) Yes, the right is informal. Below the kitchen is technically the formal space, but we are going to use it as a playroom for now. I think we'd be able to fit 4 on the island. The clipped edges are both 22 inches and the diagonal is 52 inches. Thoughts?

2) Great idea on the counter next to the fridge. We will do that! We can't do a full-depth fridge because it is only 27 inches from the wall to the casement.

3) The range will be on the left wall, with prep spaces on each side. We'll probably just have one oven in the range (I'm not a big baker). I think we'll go with the super susan.

Here's a pic with dimensions. Thoughts?

Thanks so much for everyone's help! All input is greatly appreciated!!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:22PM
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Thanks for the great feedback so far. Any other thoughts?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:00AM
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Hi runnergirl! Sorry, had a deadline yesterday.

This is going to be a great kitchen! Counter with MW on one side of the fridge is a great addition - MW belongs next to the fridge. I might consider swapping it with the pantry though - seems like it might be nice to get it out of the corner, and open up the entry to the kitchen from the playroom (seems kind of closed in), and get it out of the corner. You also get the advantage of putting the MW in a spot that may encourage users to go around the non-range side of the island when getting dishware for use in the MW. In the current spot, it seems like they would definitely choose to cut right through your cooking zone. I would also prefer pantry items closer to the range & prep area.

I'm seconding the full-depth fridge. By referencing the distance to the casement, are you saying you feel a full-depth fridge will crowd that entry to the kitchen?

Another question - where is your trash going? It should be accessible to both prep (island) and cleanup (sink), so I would consider putting it at the top left corner of the island, opening towards the sink. Or, you can have it open towards the range, and possibly have a smaller trash UNDER the sink. Please note that prep generates more trash than cleanup (wrappers, cuttings, etc. VS just scraping plates).

You mentioned enlarging the window - I would definitely do that, and bringing the window down to the counter. Basically, the counter runs right into the window and acts as the windowsill - there is no separate windowsill. It's a beautiful look, and I really regret not doing that. If you search "counter height window" here or on google, you will find a lot of lovely examples.

Also - especially if you choose NOT to enlarge the window - don't crowd the window with cabinetry. Leave at least a few inches on each side. It makes the room look more formal and less kitchen-y, and doesn't cut off the light or view of the window as much from the sides. I've 10" or so, so room for cafe my curtains to stack back as well as hang my pretty cast iron trivets on the wall as functional art. You could also do sconces or actual art. You have pantry space plus a lot of other cabinetry, including all those uppers on the range wall, so I think you will be fine. If you have a view, you could even choose to have uppers ONLY on the range wall, and enlarge the window to take up virtually the whole wall. This is also a lovely look.

Next, I think we just need to tweak your island. First off, you need to make sure you have enough knee space for the people sitting there. NKBA recommends a 15" minimum counter overhang for this, although tall adults may find 18" more comfortable. I would not make your island bigger, so you need to make sure the cabinetry under it is sized to allow for this knee space for each person. Whatever you do, do not listen if your granite guy whines about support and wants to give you a lesser overhang. He's just being lazy, stupid, or both. I've sat at 8" overhangs and it's uncomfortable in less than 10 minutes because you either can't reach the counter to reach your food or rest your elbows on the counter, or you have to turn your legs sideways so you can. I've had to spend hours at such a counter at parties because there was no more room at the adjacent dining table :( AWFUL! I have 15" on one side of my own island and 18" on the other and it is heaven! :)

Now, to address space AT the counter for bodies and elbows. With regards to the un-curved island, NKBA recommends 24" minimum(!) per stool, but realistically, for adults to be comfortable, you need 30". Therefore, it will be tight. Personally, I would find the curved island way more aesthetically pleasing and conducive to conversation.

So, I've also done the math to figure out if you can fit 4 stools on a curved island. Using the dimensions from the more squarish island posted, the circumference of an ellipse that size = 371.45". Divide that by 4 since you only get the one corner = 92.87", divide by the 4 stools you want = 23.22" of room per stool. Again, you can squeeze in 4 stools, but it will be quite tight. If you don't need 4 stools full time, I might recommend getting only 3 and then stash a folding version in a closet somewhere for whenever you need the 4th. It's what I do :)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:41AM
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Tracie - thanks so much for your help! To follow up on your comments:

1) I like your advice on the pantry, and we will switch it to the other side so it won't be such a cramped entry way from the playroom.

2) I think we're gonna stick with a CD fridge (plus, we already bought one), so that we don't feel cramped at the entry way from the garage.

3) Trash under the island seems to be a great spot, so we will take your advice on that too! :)

4) Due to budget constraints, we may not enlarge the window. We'll have to see where we are on cabinet pricing before we make a final window decision. I definitely like the idea of leaving some space around the cabinets at the window.

5) We're still a work-in-progress on the island shape, but we will make sure the overhangs are adequate and comfortable. My husband does not care for the curved look, and he also thinks it may cut it too close the sink in the powder room so we're going to keep working on the island shape.

I think the space is there for a great kitchen, and we can't wait to start demo. Thanks so much for the great advice - we will be using so many of your ideas and recommendations!

Love this forum!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:45PM
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Looks like a great kitchen runnergirl79.

OT: tracie.erin can you tell/show your folding counter stool? It's on my list of things to look for. I was hoping they existed. :) Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:04AM
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You're very welcome, runnergirl. Don't forget to post a reveal when you are done :)

cal_quail, I'm pretty sure the one I have is in the link below. I have 3 of them. They are inexpensive and squirrel away nicely, but are not terribly comfortable for one's bum or back for a long period. I want to get some with more padding and a back one day. There are lots on Google if you search "folding counter stool"

Here is a link that might be useful: Inexpensive Folding Counter Stool

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:11PM
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