VERY preliminary layout, ideas please!

sochiJuly 25, 2013

So excited to start planning a new kitchen!

We are working with an architect and expect to start work in the fall on a lakeside cottage/house in a densely wooded area about a 35 minute drive north of our city.

It will be quite small, only 900ish sq feet on the main floor, and another 500 or so in the walk out basement.

For the next 10-12 years it will be used as a weekend/summer/holiday cottage. Once the kids are in university DH and I may live there most of the year.

I don't have e-versions of layouts and floor plans I'm afraid, so at this early stage you'll have to rely on poor quality photos, sorry.

Okay, the kitchen. We are a family of four, we will entertain frequently at the cottage. Close friends and family, so pretty casual entertaining. Most of the year quite a bit of grilling will take place outside on the BBQ. I doubt I'll do any serious baking, but no doubt will have Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners up there. Mostly casual dining though.

The location of the kitchen in the floor plan can't change much - or rather, I don't want it to. Nor can it grow in size much. It will remain a smallish galley kitchen, but how I arrange the kitchen is entirely up in the air. And I'd love some ideas!

First photo: this mock up just gives you an idea of the feel of the house. (Very modern, will be mostly cedar clad and rustic modern design inside ). The double doors you see lead into the dining room, the kitchen is immediately to the right as you enter those doors. You can see the kitchen windows (corner) in this shot.

This is a partial shot of the ground floor layout. Tough to see details I know, but the kitchen is in the middle, DR to the right, LR further right of the DR, hallway to entrance and bedrooms to the left of the kitchen.

Finally, just a rough hand drawing of one potential layout. Notes:

- No seating at the peninsula. I'm sure prep will happen at the DR table quite often, esp. when a crowd is around.

- Ideally I'd like open shelves (11" deep) on the DR side of the peninsula for all our plates, glasses, etc. This will facilitate setting and clearing the table, etc., and more importantly will keep the people doing the clearing and setting out of the kitchen proper.

- I'm pretty sure I will need upper cabinets on the fridge run, unfortunately (generally I prefer shelving). I will want them integrated with the exhaust hood somehow, assuming the cooktop stays there.

I'm open to all comments and ideas!

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Two quick thoughts: 1) why not make it a u shaped kitchen since the end of the galley is an exterior wall. It would give you a bit more counter; and 2) if you were to move the bedroom door in a bit, you could fudge that wall to set the fridge back so that it lines up with the counters, unless you are planning on buying a counter depth fridge.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 7:12PM
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How exciting, Soshi! Being in there is going to feel wonderful. I could build something like that very happily.

Oh, well, no earth-shaking ideas, just a sudden craving for that window corner. I'd probably arrange it about as you have so far. If you stay with a galley, how about a large pull-out cutting board that could pull out at the window end? Maybe even two--one on each side that could meet in the middle. As long as you remembered to get stuff out below first, that'd be substantial additional prep surface.

Will the open shelves on the dining side be below-counter? That's not quite tacked down. And what's that crossed-off section at the open end of the sink counter?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Thanks carolml & rosie.

I resisted the U shape in part because it would create two dead corners, but it may be worth re-thinking. Yes, my intent is to buy a counter depth fridge, probably a french door fridge (although I don't like them much) b/c the aisle is relatively narrow for a fridge door.

rosie, that crossed off section is about 18" I was considering lopping off the end of the peninsula so that there was some clear space in front of the fridge. I would lose that valuable storage space though, but you wouldn't have to fully enter the kitchen proper to access the fridge that way.

rosie, love your idea about the two pull out cutting boards for the end window. That is a great idea if I don't switch to a U shape. And yes, I meant below counter open shelves on the DR side.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 7:41PM
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I am so excited for you! I am really looking forward to following this. Are you posting on other forums too?

I love my french door fridge because I have a small space. I never have to backup, around the door. It is much better in my small space. I have a Samsung. There is occasional inconvenience when having to open both doors to open the deli tray. But if you get a fridge like I think you might:) this probably wont be an issue.

One thought, I kind of want to move the sink down toward the hall and away from the window a bit.

Are you going to have a DW?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:12PM
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I love a u-shaped kitchen, and it would give you more counterspace, but you're right, you'd have 2 dead corners, and it would become a "one-butt kitchen". Could you "split the difference" and have a shallow cabinet and countertop at the end? The kitchen would be u-shaped, but you'd get easier access to the corner cabinets, a place to store skinny oft-needed things like oils, vinegars, seasons and spices, and a dab of counterspace...perfect for the cook's glass of wine?

What a lovely site you have there! And is that living space completely cantilevered? Wow!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:16PM
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Sochi, love your aesthetic. Very exciting house! Question: Will your stove be directly across from the sink or DW? If so have you off set it enough that you could open everything at once or be standing at sink while someone is standing at stove?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Great. One thing I just thought of--flexibility for the future. Your kitchen seems to be very nicely sized for what you currently plan for it, but given your hopes for the future it'd be well to consider where you'd put your "3D printer" if we really do start programming casseroles for them to "manufacture" for us. That is being worked on now, and I truly have no idea what other marvels. But homes that compact, and particularly that general configuration and siting, run a real risk of becoming dysfunctional in future because they cannot be reasonably adjusted to hold something that has come to be considered a pretty basic feature.

Functional depreciation is what they call it when a home just has no place to install a bathtub, seriously screwed when setbacks mean you can't even push out a shed-roof addition to make room.

An extra 2-3' in length for two floors is a substantial increase, but it might be wise to, for instance, give that bedroom a wall closet backing to the kitchen--for available flex-space just in case. In the meantime, that would also give more storage space on the main living floor, which probably wouldn't be bad even for people who want to live simply. The hall end could be used for pantry/kitchen shelves, or even pull-outs, if desired. Might even save you from doing uppers.

I personally wouldn't give up counter/storage to offer up the refrigerator to guests, but then we seldom have that many guests and I don't mind an occasional hip-bump as long as they're ready to get as good as they give. Very personal decision. :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Wow, I'm really looking forward to seeing this project develop! Love the aesthetic and the compact size as well.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 12:28AM
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enduring - I've just started posting on appliances and small homes. Early days still! I'm not certain about a dishwasher. It seems weird to have one in a cottage, plus it takes up valuable storage space. But, why not? That is still up in the air. Also I'm considering just having a 24" three element cooktop and a separate wall oven.

bpathome - yes, I like the idea of having something narrow at the end of the U, counter space at least perhaps. That window is floor to ceiling I think (although that can change), so ideally no lower cabinets there. Yes, the LR is completely cantilevered! We're building on a hill side, so it is going to feel pretty high up there, very tree house like I think!

schnauzer - excellent point, I will do that, thank you.

rosie - building for the future is a tough one. I want to keep in mind that we may live up there for a good chunk of the year at one point, but at the same time who knows what the future will bring?? Maybe we won't want to, maybe we won't be able to. Maybe we'll build another house and leave this one for the kids (we have 27 acres). You're right that I can't ignore the future, but I have to build for the next decade in the first instance I think.

We are toying with adding a couple of extra feet to the width of the cottage. I'm torn as I really want as small a place as we can reasonably have. I posted about that on the small homes forum. That bedroom behind the kitchen is a den really. We will have a bunk in there for the kids for the time being, but it is too small to be a proper bedroom. Agree totally about having a bit more storage on main floor. The floor plan above shows a washer/dryer in the hall closet, that won't be there, it will be in the utility room in the basement.

My easier fridge access idea was largely for the kids, so they don't have to fully come into the kitchen, but I'm loathe to give up the storage.

If the kitchen were a couple of feet longer (say almost 13' instead of almost 11') could I have the oven/stove and sink on the same run, then have a 'wall of tall' on the fridge wall??

Thanks for the ideas.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Any other views on the U versus galley issue, or the "wall of tall"?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Galleys are generally the most efficient use of space because corner aren't the most optimum for storage.

I might have some other comments later when I study the plan a bit more. I'm too besotted and distracted by the stunning elevation of the exterior.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 2:26PM
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I think the galley is the best Option. It makes it possible to be a tight 2 person kitchen... At first I wondered if you were better trying to do the fridge dishwasher sink all on one side then the stove on the other but I guess the hood would impede views. The other thought I had was the fridge posed on on the opposite run at the corner you were thinking about eliminating. You could place a nice piece of art on the wall behind... It would then give you space maybe to do sink possible dw or not then stove on the back wall. And give you uninterrupted counter next to fridge for prepping? That prepping area would still be open to the other room as well. Just one other option, however if you can afford to lose the storage I like the layout you drew when you lost that one area directly across from fridge. Whatever you decide I'm sure it will be fabulous. Your style is impeccable.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Thanks live wire and schnauzer.

Fridge/dishwasher/sink on one run is interesting, I have considered putting the oven on the peninsula. Given the type of part time cooking we will be doing (very little if any meat, no frying, using the outside grill) I wondered about a downdraft. A GW no no I know, but it might not be a completely crazy idea...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:35PM
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I saw this one in a kitchen with the sink on the peninsula and the reason it was done was because it was a later addition and the kitchen was too tight, but the DW actually opened on the Outside of the peninsula. It was still next to the sink, but the person loading or unloading the DW stood outside the kitchen proper on the other side of the peninsula (but still at the sink, essentially). Something unconventional like this *could work, particularly if the storage is on that side of the peninsula.

(Similarly we designed a kitchen for a Chinese woman who sometimes cooked with her four sisters. The kitchen was a small U but we designed the counter so people could sit or stand and prep on the Outside side of the counter run, which was technically in a wide hallway. It worked particularly well for assembly-style cooking--eggrolls and such)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:57PM
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Hey Pal. I think that could work too, particularly as the operational doors out to the deck will likely be the two centre doors, so there will be a couple of feet on the DR side of the peninsula without traffic. Although a dishwasher door lowered would likely protrude into the traffic area heading out the doors. Not that the dw door ought to be open often.

I had thought about a panelled dw on the outer side of the peninsula too, facing the hall and stairs. It is likely more in the way there though.

A dw on the DR side would mess with the aesthetic I want a bit.

I want something like these two pictures for the peninsula open shelving (not the materials, just the concept):

A dw would work if I panelled the DW and put drawers/cabs in front of the shelves. Would keep flies out too. Or a mix, something like this:

I've also thought about foregoing the peninsula shelves and having a tall shelving unit for plates, glasses, etc., at the end of the peninsula, something like this:

I wouldn't want to block views anywhere, or close the space in with a tall shelf like that though. Perhaps I wouldn't need something quite so tall.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Sochi, I think the "dreaded downdraft" could be perfect solution for you. You'd keep the sight lines and free up a whole back wall for prep... And maybe even the sides of the range run would be usable prep space if designed in a certain way. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 11:53PM
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Thanks Schnauzer. Hmm, venting a peninsula downdraft might be a problem given the windows as drawn. Venting (up or acoss) isn't a problem on the other wall.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Sochi- I like your original design, with fridge and range on back wall and I would try to include a dishwasher next to the sink, if possible.

I found this picture and thought of you. I know this is a bigger kitchen, but ignore stools and walk way through your peninsula..and I think it might give you an idea of fridge, range and open shelves on your back wall. From Farmhouse plans

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 2:48PM
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Thanks Lavender, that is helpful. I love the custom fridge panel.

I think I'll have to go with upper cabinets, I will need the storage space. I think I'll probably use it as pantry storage. Probably something minimal, with the hood fan concealed within the cabinets, maybe something like this:

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:05PM
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There is some balance between practical and camping that vacation homes strike. Its restful to do informal cooking with a lot of improvisation of techniques and with minimal stuff.

But it kinds bothers me that I don't know where your mixing bowls, spatulas, mixer would be or where you might have 12 wine glasses or food for 10. (Eyeing that long wall in the "hallway".)

Also, I wonder how often you might not go there for 2-3 weeks. If you use open storage, how much stuff would need to washed before using?

Pretty exterior and it looks like a great site. Can't wait to see what you make out of it.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 1:04AM
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My comment follows the thought pattern that bmorepanic started...

Reconsider having any type of open shelving for storage of stuff you'll need to use. When you have open shelving at an everyday home, you are actively using the contents and maintaining the space. In a vacation home, often you are not there every weekend, even when you planned it that way when you bought the home, because life intrudes.

Even in a week, dust accumulates, even with no occupants, especially if you need to keep the heat at a low level to prevent freezing. You don't want to spend the first part of the weekend doing dishes, because you'll find the rest of the house needs cleaning as well. (Maybe in other climates or in other situations it is better, and there is less dust) And, I know from experience, the modern decor will show it even more. Consider using glass-fronted cabinets and then plan for conversion down the road when it becomes your everyday home.

Congratulations, btw. The site and home will be beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 2:09AM
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Can't help with the layout, but wanted to say COOL House! This will be fun to watch!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 4:42AM
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Thanks for the comments. I agree that open shelving becomes an issue in a home that isn't used daily. I'm considering alternate solutions, and if I must I will close the open shelving along the DR side of the peninsula. The space becomes less usable and practical with doors in my view though. It is a small space, opening doors eats into the DR more, and possibly into traffic. Sliding doors may function better. Plus it is easier for kids to just grab stuff when setting the table, unloading the DW, etc. It is less formal too. I wonder if something as simple as draping a sheet over everything before we go might ease the dust issue.

Bmorepanic, I was working on placing everything last night. It is small, but I've seen kitchens this small function in full time homes, so I'm hopeful. That is in part why I posted here, I need ideas to maximize storage. I could use a section of the hall closet as pantry space. We are also considering widening the house, and perhaps the kitchen a bit. That said, I see pots, pans, blender, etc., stored on the wall run, to the right of the oven. Bowls, serving dishes, additional appliances across under the window. Cleaning supplies, tea towels under the sink. Large utensils for cooking can be hanging along the wall run. Shallow drawers on the kitchen side of the peninsula for measuring cups, coffee cups, seran, misc. Open or closed shelving on the DR side for glasses, plates, bowls for 10. Plus I'm resigned to having upper cabs on the wall run.

To make additional space I'm considering not having a DW, perhaps no microwave either. Or splurge on a speed oven, skip a full size oven. At home we rarely use our full size oven, but it does come in handy when you need to cook a turkey (once or twice a year max). Any other ideas for making a small kitchen functional?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 10:03AM
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You will be able to fit a lot in upper on the fridge side, just make a parking spot for a step stool. If you increased the depth of the peninsula, (if possible) you could get storage accessible from both sides. In our very small kitchen we had stuff stored all the way up to 10 feet (above the fridge), and if you have to do that you just know to get everything out that you need before you start cooking, and of course you don't keep things there you use every day.

I agree that I would want enclosed storage in a house that was closed up a good part of the time. Maybe a sliding panel that slid all the way behind the inaccessible part of the peninsula under the windows. I am trying to come up with something like this so it's possible to sit at my sink.

See if you can choose a back exhaust hood and run the ductwork in the wall to save room in the cabinets.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Sliding doors that can recess all the way to the inaccessible parts of the peninsula! Brilliant idea Pal! Love it, I will plan for that I think.

Good point about running exhaust through wall to save space in the uppers. That should be doable if it is planned for from the get go.

Agree that an extra six to twelve inches of depth added to the peninsula would make a big difference. We may be able to do that if we grow the house a little, budget will dictate I'm afraid.

A 42" aisle would be better too I guess. Any wider you lose some of the functionality of a tight galley kitchen. Is anyone concerned about the 40" aisle?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Yes. People who feel they need more have very firm opinions on it, but I'd personally make it 36" and put those 4 inches in counter and storage. Millions of people live in homes with 36" halls connecting bedrooms and baths, run up and down 36" staircases, and cook in 36" corridor kitchens. Mine's 35" counter-to-island counter, on purpose, and works very well for us.

Love the dining-side doors sliding into the wall. Perfect idea. If for any reason that was a problem, vertical doors could also open out of sight, or at most form a design detail when open.

BTW, I know a vacation house that has sliders over the ground-level door and windows to close it up when the family's gone. Their tracks form part of the exterior architectural detail.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 12:35PM
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If you do sliders that go back into the inaccessible corner, the extent of the peninsula will have to correspond with the corner and not beyond it,which pushes the kitchen Back from the Dining area, not further into it, unless you pushed out that corner of the house a bit.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 12:59PM
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Rosie, I'm with you on narrower aisles. In the prime cooking area of my full time home I keep the island at 34" from the counter with the prep sink and cook top. I find it very functional, there is no through traffic , only one cook, and nothing opens up into that space (ie no dishwasher, oven, fridge). Additional cooks can be prepping, baking, cleaning up in the other parts of the kitchen. It works very well IMO.

The difference with this kitchen is that we could have the fridge, oven and dishwasher (if we have one) opening onto the aisle. Obviously they couldn't be directly acoss from each other. French doors on the fridge will help. Moving the DW to the DR side of peninsula will help. The oven will be open so rarely I don't care about it really.

Is a 36" aisle okay with fridge and dishwasher?? If so, I'm all for narrowing it to 36" from 40".

This post was edited by sochi on Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 13:18

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Wow! A great looking home! Love the cantilever. My first thought, "FALLING WATERS".
If you choose to have a U-shaped kitchen, you can fit 2-33" Lazy Susan's on either end with a 27" drawer base in the middle. It will fit with a 1.45" filler on either side. This will prove to be invaluable in that small kitchen. It will also give you space for spatuals, peelers, knives, all those kitchen gadgets, and towels/washcloths in the drawer unit. The Lazy Susan will give you full access to those normally dead corners. The extra counterspace will come in handy.
Glass doors across the stove side would make the kitchen appear larger, keep the dust from forming, and give it the modern look required by the exterior of the home.
A dishwasher is almost a requirement nowadays. Yes, it does take up extra space, but it is well worth it for big parties.
I had a home where I put a door on the peninsula that opened from the living room. It gave access to my big pots that I needed when entertaining. It also gave my helpers a place to work along side me, but not be in the way.
As for the venting of the stove, please check with your local building dept. Going straight up may be your only option. Putting it in the wall may require some cutting of the studs and that might not be allowed.
40" is really only acceptable if you have a flush mount refrigerator. If you get a regular one, there is not enough room. Check with your local fire department and building dept. on fire codes in your area. NKBA guidelines says 42" work aisle for one cook, 48: for two cooks. I would adhere to that as much as possible.
Good luck with the design. I can't wait to see the finished product!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Actually, you can do multiple track sliders and not have to conform to the depth of the hidden area. Also, think of using glass or framed polycarbonate doors to get something that feels open but isn't.

I'm also a fan of using uppers that are either see through or set higher than normal (at 24"-30") above the counter to preserve sight lines. I'd run some over the peninsula. For me, they'd only be 18 or 24" tall and be storage. If I was storing dishes, I'd put doors on both sides - all poly sliders. You could also have doors that raised upwards. Or doors on the lowers that slide up and down.

Aisle width is incredibly personal. I lived for a year with a kitchen that had 36" aisles in a rental. We moved out because of it and I will NEVER do that again. There are people for whom the same kitchen would be just fine. See if you can test the aisle width at home before committing to it.

Because you have children and others who would like to cook along - at least occasionally. I would think about possibly moving the sink as far towards the stairs as practical - maybe have dw on the very end, then sink (w/trash inside?) then storage cabinets. It develops some accessibility to water for sous chefs, salad makers or others who would need water and the ref while giving you a larger counter run by the window for whatever you're working on.

I think I'd also try a plan that was an "L" on the ref wall and the bump out at the windows, but then used a combo island-table instead of the peninsula + loose table.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Thanks for your comments roro67. I can't tell you how pleased I am that it made you think of Falling Waters! We will have a flush mount counter depth fridge, probably with French doors, so that should help I think. And it will normally be a casual one cook kitchen, the other cook will be grilling veggies outside. Our kids will help too, primarily with prep, setting and clearing tables, doing dishes, etc.

Bmorepanic, agreed re: multiple sliders. I like the idea of raising the uppers up a bit too. I don't think uppers over the peninsula will work with the sight lines I'm afraid.

Regarding moving the sink closer to the stairs, that is a good point, I see your reasoning. My concern is having the fridge and DW/sink directly across from each other, given the 40" aisle. The fridge will no doubt be the most frequently used, and frequented, appliance in the kitchen. Followed by the sink. So it might be too tight.

Would it be crazy to have the sink accessible fom both sides of the peninsula?? This would really facilitate prep work on the DR side of the peninsula, plus it would considerably reduce traffic into the kitchen proper (kids getting water, washing hands, etc,). Using a faucet like the Karbon would make sense in that case I think. Or use a double sink (one large, one small) crosswise? What do people think?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Not crazy at all. The other thing I thought about was using a dish drawer style dishwasher pointing into the dining room or off the peninsula end - so it opened into the hallway. It's several inches less protrusion into the aisle.

I think you'd get more mileage out of an orca set sideways. Plus, it's easier for washing the large turtle, puppy, baby fox or whatever else the kids find and bring home.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 9:45PM
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I think sink accessibility from both sides is a very good idea. Maybe you could have a large sink with a faucet toward each side. I am probably doing a long sink with a faucet at each end, one toward its prep end and one near the DW. I don't have room for two sinks, but two faucets will probably do the trick.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 10:16PM
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Good to hear, I'm very excited about this idea. Love the Orca Bmorepanic, wondering if it would be awkward washing pots etc., with it sideways though. It could work either way I think, depending on the depth of the peninsula. I just hope the kids don't bring home a baby skunk or bear!

A drawer dishwasher is something to consider. Can they take a custom panel?

I was searching for small ranges and came across the Lacanche Cormatin. I doubt it would work, but what a beauty. Sigh. So fun to be looking at this stuff again.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 11:08PM
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This is thrilling news indeed, Sochi. I feel so strongly about the peace you will know if you add under counter fridge drawer unit. It will pay off big dividends. Will minimize the impact of other shortcomings/compromises. Adults and others will have access to drinks, yogurts, fruits,all out of the way.

You will have space for overflow produce which can just be piled up,if need be.

I love mine and it is the savior of civility, high function, multifunction, zone function in my small kitchen. You could put the unit anywhere,even not in the kitchen. It can face any direction. tucked under anywhere. Diniing room, sure. Traffic mover. Who wants a drink?

Mine is in a blind dead spot facing out towards the eating area and away from the cooking area. Mine is quiet. Drawers, not shelves. No deep bends when you just pull out the drawer. Pricey at 2k, worth way more.

It,s inclusion may be the answer to design dilemmas. I,m a believer. Good luck with this gorgeous project. Westsider

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:03AM
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This is thrilling news indeed, Sochi. I feel so strongly about the peace you will know if you add under counter fridge drawer unit. It will pay off big dividends. Will minimize the impact of other shortcomings/compromises. Adults and others will have access to drinks, yogurts, fruits,all out of the way.

You will have space for overflow produce which can just be piled up,if need be.

I love mine and it is the savior of civility, high function, multifunction, zone function in my small kitchen. You could put the unit anywhere,even not in the kitchen. It can face any direction. tucked under anywhere. Diniing room, sure. Traffic mover. Who wants a drink?

Mine is in a blind dead spot facing out towards the eating area and away from the cooking area. Mine is quiet. Drawers, not shelves. No deep bends when you just pull out the drawer. Pricey at 2k, worth way more.

It,s inclusion may be the answer to design dilemmas. I,m a believer. Good luck with this gorgeous project. Westsider

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:04AM
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Is there going to be a window in the floor of the LR I hope?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:51AM
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What do you mean Pal? To bring light to the walkout?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:12PM
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No, just to be able to look out the bottom of the cantilever. A spot of glass floor.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:20PM
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Oh, aren't you putting a pool under there? :)

The two-way sink sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea. Sink, dishes and counter for assistant cooks and servers on outside. What else? One of our posters made her island cabinets accessible from both sides. If you ended up putting a door on any of your outsides, you could consider possible benefits of that. Or perhaps the section under the sink since you might want closed storage there for soaps and towels available on the dining side.

I kinda forgot appliance clearances on the 36" thing, take it all back. I've never looked at a refrigerator drawer, but Westsider's turning me into a true believer on faith--"the savior of civility, high function, multifunction, zone function." (Wonder if John Kerry knows about this?)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Ah, I see. No, so far all I've stipulated is lots of spray foam insulation to prevent the living room floor from being too frigid in January! Cool idea though.

Rosie, dd wants a pool! The lake is good enough I think.

Accessible cabs from both sides of the peninsula would allow max flex for certain. Westsider makes a good argument for fridge drawers! If I want that cantilever i have to save somewhere though! :)

Yes, I think 40" is the minimum, 42" if I can swing it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 4:56PM
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One more idea that occurred to me while flipping through magazines this afternoon:

What about closing up the range wall with doors (maybe sliding doors)? If this run was closed off when not cooking it would enable me to cram quite a bit of storage in there, including a pantry next to the fridge perhaps. With the doors closed I would have the minimalist look I like. The fridge, possibly the pantry, sink, everyday glasses and dishes would still be readily available. Larger appliances used less frequently (blender, cuisinart, toaster, etc.) would be tucked away.

The major cons to this idea to my mind:

- awkward when you do want to quickly use the stove
- where would the doors go when the cooking area is opened up? Would they take up too much space?
- cost of the doors themselves, as I'd want something gorgeous and effortless to open and close

Any thoughts on this notion? Anyone with experience with something similar?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 11:14PM
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Having the sink open to both rooms is a great idea. I am not so sure about the dishwasher drawers just yet. Everyone I know says they leak and the last thing you want in your cabinets is water! The flush mount, double door refrig is a great idea. I would keep it close to the hallway so people can get drinks without getting in the middle of the room. 40" is not a lot of room and with so many doors opening, it is dangerous.
I did a couple of plans where none of the doors opened onto each other. I will try to download them.
I can't figure out how to do multiple jpgs. Next one coming right up.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Here is the other layout I did. Can't figure out how to make the machine do open shelving. I am working on that. Here is the second layout.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Roro67, thanks so much for taking the time to do the floor plans, that is really helpful. I agree that none of the appliances should open onto each other, and that the fridge ought to be near the hall. I guess that leaves the dishwasher to the left of the sink.

I've read very mixed reviews on the DW drawers, so I'm a little wary of them still.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 11:08PM
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Sochi- Why can't you move the sink to the left, in front of the window? It's a beautiful view and you'd still have great sight lines into the dining room, while you prepped.

Then you could stagger it (left, right) fridge, dishwasher, oven opening without bumping into each other :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:18AM
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I saw the below today. While it only offers mere glimpses of the kitchen, it might be interesting for decoration ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Similar location, mod house

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:28AM
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sochi No problem with the floor plans. I hope they do help. Knowing the size of the windows and their exact location will help even more, but you can play with them now.
bmorepanic, love the photos! I really love the fireplace, hanging rather than on the floor. The dining room bench is cool, too. I was disappointed to not see a kitchen in there. Can't you see how it would feel like living in a tree house?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:25PM
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This is an exciting house.

I read what Rosie said. She is right about somethings but this will always be a 'one-of-a-kind' house where only you have to be satisfied. You can't build for all eventualities. You have to prioritize what is important to you at what price point. This type of house is extremely expensive to build as you know, and you WILL have to sacrifice on the sq footage if you want the quality when your budget is "limited". All of us have a limit on the budget. In the north, I can't even imagine what the extra cost (versus a generic spec house) you need to budget for these extra tall windows that will need to meet the R value requirements must be.....

The U shaped kitchen feels too tight and does not fit the house's esthetics. It does not feel right to me.

The wall of talls idea: my DH's cousin in Germany has this and it stores an amazing amount of stuff. She has a family and lives with a narrow Liebherr frig. (around 26 to 30 inch I think) If you can go for it, it does store a huge a amount. Europeans live with this size house/kitchen and they are fine with it. She has a 24 inch Miele Speed oven (with MW). That is all she has....

Another idea. If you really need more space in the kitchen, you could make the kitchen longer (not make the house wider) and put in a L shaped kitchen with a tiny narrow island in the middle. You will end up of with a 11x11 (instead of 11x8 galley currently) kitchen by making the kitchen 3 ft longer. You may be able to get that 3 ft from making the bedrooms slightly shorter. Not sure if that is possible. This way the exterior elevation does not change much. 11x11 L shaped kitchen is quite tight but it may be slightly more functional than an 11x8 galley. Also, if 3 ft gets added to the house, then it is on the non-cantilevered part of the house. So it may not increase the budget by much.

You asked about the size of the kitchen. I am a firm believer of living with a small foot print. The creativity is in making the small space live large. I think this kitchen is tight but doable when the kitchen is stocked with a well thought-out plan. For example, your mixing bowls double as serving bowls. I would use wine glasses without stems (they are popular now) so that they can double as drinking glasses.

You said that you are not putting W/D where it is. What is happening with that space? Does that become a part of the bedroom?

It sounds like there maybe some storage in the basement. This maybe one of those situations where you live with large items stored in the basement.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 2:59PM
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Lavender, I thought about moving the sink down there, but I wouldn't have sufficient landing space on either side I think? I like the idea of moving it to the U end of the kitchen, in front of the window, perhaps with no cabs underneath, like the one kitchen pic in the Welsh house bmore posted. But I also really like the versatility of having the sink accessible from both the kitchen and DR.

Bmore, so funny that you posted that kitchen. I'm on a family vacation road trip at the moment (Quebec City/PEI/Maine/New Hampshire/home) and I brought a dozen older European shelter mags to read. I found that Welsh place in one of the magazines the other day! It looks fantastic and you're right, many ideas to steal. Thanks! Roro67, I'm definitely hoping for the a similar tree house feel. Love the fire orb, but I doubt it will be within our budget.

Kaismom, thanks so much for posting. You're absolutely right, we are blowing our budget on the architect and design, and unfortunately our budget is not unlimited so it must be a small footprint. Which is what I want regardless, just big enough. I lived in Europe for years and I had many functional small kitchens. I'm all for borrowing European small space ideas and trying to marry them somewhat with North American expectations for a house of this cost/quality. It will no doubt be a careful compromise.

I still worry about the cantilever in January and February here, but the architect keeps reassuring me...

We had a preliminary quote from one builder on the concept drawings a couple of months ago and our architect thinks we are okay budget wise. The more technical drawings were sent to two builders last week, so we will get our reality check soon. We will have a better sense then if we can add a couple of feet, or if we need to go back to the drawing board altogether. Fingers crossed.

In terms of storage, the wall of tall is ideal I think. I think we will be fine with a speed oven. DH wants a good outdoor set up, so large birds, pizzas, etc. can be cooked outside ( for eight or nine months a year anyway). I could live with a narrow counter depth fridge I think, but DH is concerned and wants us to stick with a 36" CD fridge. We will see. Agree that a small functional kitchen is possible with careful planning and thought. I like galley kitchens anyway. Agree with you about the U.

We will have some storage space in the basement. There will be a utility room for the W/D water tank, panel, etc. so you're correct that we could move some infrequently used items down there. As well, this home is only a 35 minute drive from our city home. When we have really large gatherings we can bring stuff up from home.

That hall closet will remain storage. It is about 6' or 7' long, so a part of it could be used as overflow pantry space. It will be well used for certain.

I really hope I can add at least 6"-10" to the width of the kitchen, making it 8'6" or almost 9'. I could have a 42" aisle then, plus a wide peninsula for storage, accessible from both sides. Along with uppers on the fridge/hob run I think (hope) this will be sufficient. I need to investigate the costs associated with closing off a wall of tall with attractive doors too. I do like that look and it would result in abundant storage I think.

I really appreciate everyone's thoughtful comments, thank you so much. I'm looking forward to working through it all with you over the coming weeks.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 8:12AM
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sochi-architects & engineers learned from Falling Waters. He did not put the right size footers for that cantilever and it sagged. Not only the arch. & eng., but building depts. as well. Rest assured, it will be okay. They have to seal those papers & certainly do not want it to fall. :)
The sink that is open to both sides is a great idea. It will make your "helpers" feel more a part of the party! Flush mount refrig. a must. If you could eke out another 2-8" between the counters, it would make the space much easier for a 2nd cook.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 1:55PM
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