My wife is requesting your advice on her future kitchen.

IbewyeJuly 6, 2013

Passing on a message from my wife:
"Please, help me with my kitchen design!

There are going to be 3 windows along the back of the house instead of 4 each being 2 ft. I love the idea of my kitchen sink looking out those windows, but for some reason I am stuck on having my sink and stove back to back and I know for sure I do not want my stove in the island. I have thought about having a prep sink in the island and that would keep a sink and the stove back to back if I were to have my stove on the back wall between the sink and refrigerator? Or maybe my stove where the refrigerator is, my sink down closer to the stove and my refrigerator where the dishwasher is located on the plans? And then I have a desire to have a double oven! Where do I put that? We do have a large walk-in pantry, so there isn't a need for a ton of upper cabinets, but would like to have 1 or 2. The small area just before the pantry I would like to have be a desk, which to me is a must, and I think that would be a good spot for one. We have been waiting a long time for our plans and am so super excited but now that they're here, I feel very overwhelmed. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

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Post the adjacent space that surrounds the kitchen. The space as it exists has a lot of problems.Like that wierd space wasting no man's land between the island and the family room (?). And the black hole corner created by the fridge. And the space wasting double height island without any prep space on it, ensuring that you'll have you back to everyone 90% of the time. Fixing these issues will involve changing some of the surrounding plan, not just re-arranging the bits and pieces in the space.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Is it possible to move walls around? That would make a big difference because it does look like there is nearby space that could be used. Given the existing space I would:

- Have 3 windows a total of 8 ft wide, center window wider, and center sink under middle window (I'll post a pic of my kitchen below to see example of 8 ft window). Many have their windows go down to the counter, but I chose not to so the tops of my windows would line up along the wall.

- Put the desk to the right of the dishwasher (would be nice looking out the window).

- Put the refrigerator where the desk currently is.

- Put a double oven range where the refrigerator currently is.

- Make the island one level.

- Eliminate upper cabinets.

Good luck with your plans. Take your time getting them right - it took me months to come up with the right kitchen plan for me, and I'm so glad I didn't go with earlier plans.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:10AM
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I agree with the above. You could consider moving the entrance to your pantry (maybe to the mudroom?) so that you could lengthen the wall that your fridge is on. Ideally, you would not have your range on the island, but have a prep sink there.

The seating at the island is redundant with your dining area right behind it. Maybe have room for 1-2 people to visit with the cook, but I would expect that a family would share a meal at the dining table (where they can face each other), not crowded around the kitchen island, right?

Your fridge is in a very bad spot right now. It invites people through the prep zone for a snack, drink, etc.

Hopefully you get some more help from the experts on this forum!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply, my wife is at church at the moment but I have some additional info as requested and I'll explain a little more about what we are dealing with. Please note that as of right now I have pretty good options as far as what I can do, the placement of everything right now is basically filler the architect used for scaling.
On the left is our mudroom, we live in the country so we wanted a larger one and even the one here will probably get opened up a little bit more with the laundry room for a little more openness. Our thinking behind the pantry was to create a large enough space that it would save us on kitchen cabinets but we wanted it close by so that it would actually get used the right way and not segregated so much that it became an annoyance to travel back and forth. We also planned on keeping a door off of it so we could see out the window onto the driveway to know if someone was at our house, for example the pizza guy. I personally feel moving the pantry entrance out of the kitchen might push it to far out of the convenience area and it wouldn't be utilized correctly BUT I do see the logic on expanding the wall with the fridge could make a huge difference, so its a good argument. We were hoping to put a window in that "black hole" corner similar to the one directly across from it.
The raised island thing is only a picture the architect used for scale, we would like a larger island with some seating (enough for the kids to do homework) and my wife still have room to prep. I (the husband) like the idea of larger island because we have the space.
The fridge was actually our idea to move there and I admit it seems akward now, originally it was where the desk would be, I (the husband) who knows nothing about kitchen design thought it was too far away but it doesn't seem so bad now.
Thanks for your help so far, were getting close to starting the house, and growing a bit frustrated because it seems the space is plenty big enough for a great kitchen but were having trouble setting it up right, In the picture I include the surrounding house, a detail on the ceiling in the kitchen, removed the raised island, changed dining room table and showed load bearing walls that cannot be moved at this point. Thanks again everybody.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Where is the garage? What entrance does the family use to come into the home? What is your foundation type?

The small closed of warren of rooms and hallways to the lower left are chopping up the utility of those utility spaces. Hallways waste space, and you have a boatload of awkward ones. The pantry is located in prime real estate location, where it's possible to have windows from two directions, with light from two directions. It's high value space that is occupied by a service space. It's not a logical location for a pantry. It's more of a logical location for the kitchen, with you bumping out the back wall to eliminate that jog. Would you be willing to do that? It could open up a lot of possibilities, including giving you your sightline that's important to you directly in the kitchen, which would be much more functional than having to stick your head into a pantry to look out.

Also, if the dotted red line is a wall that you are proposing to remove, I'm not sure that you're gaining anything by doing that other than making the kitchen difficult to design. The kitchen isn't directly adjacent to the living space, and the awkward open space that's left as a result of removing the wall is completely wasted. Whereas before, it could serve as a backer for a buffet or other furniture. Removing the wall to the DR does get you a bit better connection to it, but again, it won't make for the social open living space that perhaps you envision.

One thing I'd explore is swapping the kitchen to where the current DR is if you want open plan living. That gets you the connection to the family room that just removing the wall doesn't do. It also separates the dining function somewhat to keep it both informal and formal. I'd still want to do the bump out to equalize that wall, but now you'd have a wonderful bright space for your dining that you could have a direct sightline through and connection to the kitchen, while the kitchen also has a strong connection to the family room area. That connection is missing by just removing the wall because it's just too far away and the work centers are wrongly placed for that to happen.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 11:01AM
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Garage will be detached and to the left of the house, the primary entrance is in the mud room. Our best views are from the back and the right side of the house. The left side where the pantry is located is facing a neighbors property which isn't unsightly now but I can't guarantee what the future holds. We put the pantry there to keep path for groceries and traffic to a minimum when coming into house.
The left side of house will be simplified by the time we build, we kept load bearing walls to a minimum so we have flexibility to change as we want. I originally didn't post entire house so we could focus on kitchen but I saw your point and went ahead and added pic.

I also chose to keep the left side of the house the service area of the house, I wanted to do my best containing dirt,noise,normal clutter to one area, with 3 kids and a Bernese puppy (100lbs) we have a lot of traffic. Going back and forth to schools, practices, taking dog out,kids running upstairs and downstairs, trips up and down for laundry etc. it all adds up.

We knew hallways are considered wasted space to some but to us the hallways are important for their function. Hall to left of stairs and hallway from mudroom will be the most traveled area in our home, the main corridor from our front porch to back door, the laundry path from the upstairs, and our path to our bedroom. Which is why I made them extra wide, it's not for everybody but to me a giant foyer and huge master bath is my idea of wasted space.

The kitchen will serve as a link between our hectic side and living room/dining room area which is to be our sanctuary. Not to noisy or busy when guests are over you can chat and visit without interruption (hard to do with family) and with the dining room in between it seemed as a good conduit to separate the noise from the kitchen not only dishwasher, banging cabinets etc.. but If you prefer to listen to music as you cook it's not drowning out a movie in the living room. I think my wife likes to have the kitchen to herself sometimes so not having directly next to living room but still in line of sight is perfect. We have huge extended family so holidays will mean 30-35 people and so the expanded space will allow the crowd. I did forget to mention that the media/fireplace wall is just a concept at this point something will need to be there but I don't want it to block LR out, possibly a knee wall

The back wall and right side of house face the east and with 14-3' x5' windows along the mudroom, kitchen and dining room I cant see light being an issue, I know the pantry window is a small nuisanance but its in line with the island, plus I can see out mudroom windows and I can also see the other 3 sides of the house from standing at the island (try finding a stock plan that does that).

I'm trying to understand which wall you think I should bump out, I'm assuming you mean the jog at the rear of the pantry? The kitchen itself is already bumped out the entire back of the house. Are you suggesting further out or removing the jog behind the pantry. The red walls indicate the load bearing walls, not walls that I plan on removing.I think the biggest issue at the moment is trying to determine what the best placement would be IF we had no option to change, then if the best options seemed insufficient then we would have to consider further changes. It's hard for me think that a 17' by 12' kitchen would be so challenging, I guess the lack of wall space is the sticking point. Let me know if you have any further suggestions. Thanks again for taking time to look at.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:33PM
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