Please help with kitchen floor plan!

golfergirl29July 19, 2014

Please help me with kitchen floor plan ideas. We want to build our retirement home. We are trying to follow aging in place guidelines--wider aisles, lower cabinets, etc--in case either of us later has mobility issues. We have the space for a larger kitchen, but keeping the balance for an effective work triangle/zones is important too. We want the sink in front of the window. The first design gives me the large work island I've always wanted, but it's 18 feet from the range top to refrigerator by the door. (I've also tried swapping those 2 appliances.) The second plan puts the rangetop on the island so I have to have a hood dropping down. But it does open up more into the DR and shortens the walking between the major appliances. Suggestions?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can you give us a layout of the rest of the house, so we can see how the kitchen relates?

I don't think the garage storage area is a very good use of space. What would you use it for? Adding a foot to the length of the garage and putting storage shelves along the wall would be far more convenient, and free up some valuable space inside.

As for your kitchen plans - I would want roller skates to cook there. The walkways eat up a lot of space, and the pantry breaks it up way too much. A prep sink on the island would make your first plan a lot more user-friendly.

I'm not sure without dimensions, but in the second plan it looks like you only have a foot on each side of the stovee. That's not a lot of landing space - and it is expensive to put a hood over an island stove.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Move the sink down a little and put the range on the same run.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ankh, I would LOVE to has that garage storage space. I pay a fortune every month to have a self storage space. I live in FL, no basement and no attic (attics here are far too hot to store anything in) so without a dedicated storage room there isn't any place for the Christmas stuff and other items that would normally be a basement or attic.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm surprised that 3'3" and 3'6" are wide enough aisles for aging/mobility issues. I'm not sure if you mean possible wheel chair or not. But I'm planning about those same aisles in my current kitchen and people have questioned me on it. I think the guidelines are usually for larger aisles. Since we don't have kids and don't have more than 2 people very often, I'm feeling we'll be fine based on mock ups I did before demo. But cabinets are going in this week, hopefully counters the next, so I won't know until after that for sure.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The only thing that would genuinely concern me is that there's no immediate place to "land" whatever comes out of the oven.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Annkh, here's the floor plan for the whole house. I wasn't satisfied with the smaller size of the aisles in the first diagram; I want to go with a minimum of 42". We did go with extra space in the garage--it's 23'x25'. the storage was for things like golf clubs that we might not want sitting out. There's about 18 inches on each side of the stove. Good point about a landing space for the oven.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

debrak2008, that would mean the refrigerator, sink, and rangetop would all be on the same run. Is that what you meant?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No, Put the refrigerator where the range is in the first layout. Move the sink down, perhaps in front of the first window toward the dining area. Put the range where the fridge is in that layout, closer to the window than the wall.


Take the first layout but attach the counter seating run to the sink run creating a nice L. ......not sure that will you need three windows there?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Interesting. I had toyed with the idea of the range and sink on the same run but didn't know if I should separate them. You know, cleaning next to cooking. Still leaves the refrigerator 18 feet away. I had also thought of the refrigerator where the ovens are, but it will shorten the pantry. I was trying to keep the walkway near the double doors on the right wall open because that's where the outdoor grill will be, and I want to be able to get to it easily. That's why the L was on the left rather than the right.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would take a foot from the island, add it to the depth of the peninsula, and put the cleanup sink in the peninsula. Then extend the range wall to the end of the peninsula and add upper cabinets--for such a large kitchen, you have very few uppers. I'd move the fridge so that it is opposite the walkway between the "new" peninsula and island, so that it's closer to the DR & door to the grilling area. It would then have landing counters to the right & left of it. Then change the triple window to a double and move it a little toward the mudroom and put a large bar sink under the right window, and your wine fridge nearby. Where you have 3'3" aisles, you definitely need at least 3'6", since that's cabinet to cabinet & not counter overhang to counter overhang.

Why do you have the butler's pantry located where it is? If you got rid of that and moved the pantry to the left, you'd have more space for counter and cabinets to the left of the ovens.

Have you thought through the various eating/entertaining scenarios for this kitchen--where people will be when, and where the food, serving dishes, plates, etc. will be at the beginning and end of each meal? I have a peninsula (we added 6" to the depth with a wide curve opposite the sink) and island as you do, and when I do potlucks, the food starts on the peninsula and (if I have a lot of people) it also is on the R & oven side of the island, so you've got great circulation for this. If they have last minute things to do to their dish, they go to the second sink/MW/oven area & that side of the island. At the end of the meal--whether it's them or just smaller family groups, everyone puts their plates on the peninsula, or wherever there is open counter space.

Walking through your space in your mind will help you decide if your plan is workable.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That walkway at the end of the peninsula (from the table area to the kitchen) is way to small. When friends are there that is going to be a traffic nightmare. From the island to the sink is too small too.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

powermuffin, I agree. The designer keeps putting in 39" walkways when I keep asking for 42" to 48".

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The issues I notice with your kitchen are (in no particular order):

A non-straight path from garage into kitchen through the mudroom. Plus a closet is directly opposite the entry into the kitchen. So someone could be standing at the closet while someone else is trying to move in or out of the kitchen. That could easily become a bottle-neck.

You need to walk down the side of parked car to get into kitchen.

Fridge immediately inside door from mudroom into kitchen. A fridge is open multiple times a day, best not to have it in a doorway. That's another potential bottleneck.

Appliances too far apart in your first plan

Island cook top with minimal prep space on either side in second plan (I have an island cook top with only 16" on each side. Hate it with a passion and it's one of the things I'm changing when we remodel.)

Aisles on the narrow side (as others have pointed out, 42" is suggested minimum for a 1-cook kitchen; 48" best for a 2-cook kitchen).

The most direct path through your kitchen in both plans leads past the cook zone. That's not ideal at all.

Placement of "Butler's Pantry" on your plan makes absolutely no sense. It's in the front hallway, opposite the stairs instead of next to the dining room. It's unclear to me what purpose it would serve.

So here are two plans I came up with that address the above.

$ - light switches
Aisle measurements are counter to counter.
Measurements on top of counters are cab widths (or in the case of the cabs under the island in Plan A, cab depth) or appliance widths.
Where possible, I converted swing doors to pocket doors, to help with clearance. However, I don't know if pocket doors are age-in-place friendly or not so you may need to change these back.

Plan A:

I eliminated the butler's pantry and shifted the pantry all the way to the left.

I swapped garage entry and garage storage so that you don't have to walk around cars to get into the house.

Shifting the garage/mudroom entries over allowed me to create a short L lay-out, which helps protect the cook zone.

I moved the range top to the window wall, setting in between windows.

I moved the fridge to the outside edge of the kitchen, making it as easily accessible to cook as to the FR and DR. No need to wander into the kitchen to grab a drink or condiments when setting the table.

The sink and DW are in the island. I kept the sink towards the DR end of the island so that the lower end is clear for setting down bags of groceries.

I added depth to the island with a bank of 12" deep cabinets under the island. Use this to store seldom used items (holiday plates, etc).

I shifted the island seating so that they are facing the windows.

The cabs at the far left of the kitchen is your bar/snack zone. I give it the same purpose in Plan B.

Okay, here's Plan B

As with Plan A, I eliminated the butler's pantry and shifted the pantry to the left.

I took the turns out of the path from garage to kitchen through the mudroom by shifting the closet to the right.

I moved the entry from mudroom to kitchen to the left (and altered the garage storage space to accommodate this change) so that there would be a wall buffer for open oven doors. If you can swing 60", do so in order to have as much buffer between entry and an open oven door.

I moved the fridge next to the pantry - all your food storage is now in one place. It is deep inside the kitchen but it's not as circuitous a path to it as either of your plans had.

Range top is again on the window wall, situated between windows.

I shifted the peninsula to the right so that kitchen traffic - pass-thru traffic, that is - goes around the cook zone, not through it. I also shifted it towards the DR to give you a 15" seating overhang (didn't see any overhang on your plan).

If I read the dimensions correctly, your DR is wide enough to accommodate this shift and still have sufficient aisles around the table, depending on the width of your table, of course. If it's 42, you'll have a 39" aisle along the top wall but you could always fudge the aisle between table and peninsula a bit to make that a bit wider. If your table is a couple inches or more narrower, you'll be fine.

The clean-up sink moves to the peninsula. Dishes and glasses can be in drawers in the peninsula or island (45" between counters should be enough to be able to have DW door and island drawers open at once without collisions).

I also shifted the patio doors towards the DR so that they don't open directly against the peninsula. However, since the peninsula cab at the end, facing the DR, is a bookcase (BC), you have some room to play with the doors' placement.

The inspiration for the island set-up came from ElizPiz, a past GWer. Her kitchen is beautiful and very functional. I linked to her photo album below.

Here's her 42" x 92" island,

I intentionally put the prep sink where I did so that the bottom end of the island is left clear for grocery bags.

Here is a link that might be useful: ElizPiz's kitchen

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

wow--Thank you Lisa_a and Anne! You've given me so much to think about! I'll start pouring over these details. Very excited to see fresh approaches!!!
One immediate observation: I usually don't like the looks of having the sink and the dirty dishes right in front of seating for guests. But I see it done all the time. Am I missing something?

I realize the trade-off is that the easiest place to have the rangetop is on the outside wall. If we try to keep the sink there, is it a huge problem/cost to have the rangetop on the interior? I was concerned about venting.

I had placed the butler's pantry on the outside so guests could help themselves to drinks without coming into the kitchen. I have a lot of glassware and was going to put it there, along with a beverage center underneath.

The door to the garage used to be a straight shot and then we realized that the kitchen door was going to bump into the garage door so we swapped the closet and the garage door. And yes, we're trying to stay away from pocket doors for the dexterity issue as we age. Same reason there are few upper cabinets. I just had shoulder surgery and got a great lesson in how hard it is to cook when you can't reach up for a MW or to get plates.

Moving the patio doors down takes out the space for a hutch I was going to put on that wall.

I really appreciate all this help! Can't wait to digest it more!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think going with a sink in an island is matter of a personal preference or a matter of necessity. Some would rather live with a sink in the island than a cook top or range.

One reason is that venting an island cook top is much more expensive and, in the case of pop-up downdrafts, often much less effective than a perimeter hood. They are also noisier. If you must go with a pop-up downdraft, opt for one that rises 14" above the counter. Shorter ones aren't very effective and have a tendency to "blow out" a gas flame on low (speaking from experience here). The flame can also be pulled sideways, towards the vent, when the vent is on high. An island hood is the best option for island venting. They can also be quite dramatic in appearance.

Here are a few inspiration pics for you.

Traditional Kitchen by Charleston Cabinets & Cabinetry Carolina Kitchens of Charleston, Inc.

Traditional Kitchen by Denver Kitchen & Bath Designers Angela Otten; WmOhs Showrooms Inc

Contemporary Kitchen by Mountain View Architects & Building Designers Artistic Kitchen Design

Traditional Kitchen by Bethesda Design-Build Firms David Vogt - Case Design/Remodeling Inc.

Notice that the 2nd inspiration pic includes a pot filler for the island range. You don't have to give this feature up just because you move the range top to the island.

Given the size of the island in my Plan A, you can swap the sink and range top placement. You have ample counter to each side and behind it as well.

So here's Plan C.

The other changes I made were to swap out the pocket doors for swing doors at the pantry and the mudroom entry to the kitchen. To accommodate the space needed for the garage and kitchen doors, I simply moved the entry to the kitchen about a foot towards the kitchen. There's still room for the light switch on the pantry wall.

BP stands for Butler's Pantry. It's still outside the working part of the kitchen but this placement makes more sense, IMO. It's convenient to FR, DR and island seating. You can either leave the top end of it open or you can add glass cabs - front and back - to the counter at the end. Like this:

Traditional Kitchen by Calabasas Interior Designers & Decorators Jill Wolff Interior Design

Traditional Kitchen by Portland Interior Designers & Decorators Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Farmhouse Kitchen by Atlanta Architects & Building Designers Robert M. Cain, Architect

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks, Lisa_a. You've given me a lot to think about. I had never considered glass cabs for stemware.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 8:48PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Alternatives to Rohl Modern Architecture Faucet?
My husband and I both really like the Rohl Modern Architecture...
Fridge against wall
I'm looking at a plan and the refrigerator is placed...
RH Aubrey pulls anyone? Measurements?
The space between our smaller drawers for pulls is...
Prep sink location
After a lot of talking on another thread, I took sena01...
Jennifer Weinman
Responsiveness of cabinet manufacturers
I was convinced that Barker was the cabinet company...
Sponsored Products
Fatboy First Block Avenue Ottoman - FBL-BLK
$249.00 | Hayneedle
Madison Rug 9' x 12' - GRAY BLUE
$3,299.00 | Horchow
Lazy Susan Gilded Garden Gate Frame
$78.00 | LuxeDecor
Thermocast Kitchen Brighton Drop-in Acrylic 33x19x9 2-Hole Double Bowl Kitchen
Home Depot
Lazy Susan Short Coffee & Burnt Gold Garden Stool
$318.00 | LuxeDecor
Kennedy Outdoor Rug 2' x 3'
$59.00 | Horchow
4 ft. Japanese Maple Bush - TBU1840
$70.99 | Hayneedle
Hide Color Sample - Deep Black - Zag Cowhide Rugs
$5.00 | HORNE
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™