After many of you have told me I'm not on the right trail...

swfrJuly 24, 2013

I tried to really think outside of the box and rework the first floor plans to change where things are located. Green Designs, I will admit at first my feelings were a bit hurt by how quickly you dismissed my work, but I am really trying and this is what I came up with based on your thoughts. I particularly appreciated your thought that the pantry was taking up prime real estate. I scooted over the bump out to that corner (which ultimately would also have a good effect on our basement plans, too) and tried to come up with an entirely new look.

Please check it out. You all are awesome to stick with me. I'm sure I'll never make all of you happy but the truth is, this exercise is helping me really define what I want and what is going to be the ultimate kitchen.

Edited to add link to one of my old threads

Here is a link that might be useful: the last thread of my struggle

This post was edited by swfr on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 15:55

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Love the walk through pantry!!! Very good idea.

Are you planning to have a door outside, from the kitchen? Is that why the break between organization area and stove counter?

While I like a peninsula, yours might be a little too long to easily get around. If you bumped out the eating area, you might be able to keep a smaller island.

Islands are not bad (that's why so many people have them) you just want to make sure you have your fridge in a location, where the island is not a barrier.

Congrats for thinking outside the box and taking GW input into account. It isn't always easy to love a plan and have everyone point out what's wrong with it. Remember...there is a lot RIGHT with it, you're just making it even better! :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 4:18PM
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EDIT: I somehow skipped the walk through pantry, I didn't even notice the second door. Please ignore my comment about moving the garage.

Another thing I noticed, in the family room you mentioned mountain views but also a fireplace and built in's. I love built in's around a fireplace but don't know if I would want to give up the view (I'm imagining wall to wall built in's with no windows).

I don't mean anything negative by this, just trying to offer suggestions. Remember that it is very hard for others to see your vision even if it is clear to you. I had more than one person tell me I should walk away from my house and these were people who knew me personally and had walked though my actual house. None of them could see "MY vision" for what the house could be. At first I got upset at people not liking my house (At the time, it was boarded up after being hit with an EF3 tornado and did look VERY rough) but now that its done (well, almost) they are glad I bought it.

This post was edited by SLTKota on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 8:57

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 4:41PM
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What a difference!

I have a U-shaped kitchen, 10' wide across the closed end. That really doesn't leave a lot of room for more than one person (and we often have 3 for cleanup). Since you are starting from scratch, I would make the U wider. It gives you more space on the cleanup wall for sink and dishwasher, and brings the fridge into the kitchen space.

How much seating do you need? Can you eliminate the counter seating, since the table is right there? That would give you more room for drawers (facing the breakfast table), while keeping the large peninsula work space. Adding cabinet space there would let you make the pantry a bit narrower (top to bottom in the drawing), and allow more space for the table.

I'm curious about the "organization" area as well - what are you thinking about for that space? Could it be incorporated into a long run on the stove wall? I can see where you want a symmetrical opening from the DR to kitchen, but you could keep the wall.

You don't need to make GW happy - you need to make yourself happy. I did a few things in my kitchen plans that go against the grain here - but by having them pointed out, I was forced to step back and evaluate why I was doing them - and why they worked better for my kitchen. I know how intimidating it can be to be told that the plans for your wonderful new kitchen are all wrong (or how it can feel that way). I'm pleased that you took the criticism as it was intended - to help you develop a kitchen plan that you will love for years to come.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 4:53PM
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I liked your first kitchen a lot better. I would not be able to work happily in this kitchen at all.

For me, carrying a few bags of groceries an extra 10 feet every few days is no big deal. But having family walk through my prep area to get a plate for a snack and then going back and forth to the fridge (oops forgot a knife, oops now they need to rinse a glass, etc.) is a total deal breaker while i'm busy prepping then plating meals. So for me, the most important thing is to keep traffic and especially snackers out of my prep zone. And therefore I'm fine walking a few extra feet to put away groceries or unload a dishwasher as a trade off.

But the question is, what's most important to you? You can't please everyone and you'll get all kinds of different feedback. Just really think hard about how you use a kitchen on a daily and weekly basis, then ensure that at the end of the day you take what annkh said to heart -- that you reject or accept any feedback based on how you will use a kitchen in your own family.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Thanks for that advice, Taggie. I agree 100%. I find this to be a great exercise at looking very closely at my options. But in no way have I abandoned that other plan. I'm just putting them side-by-side and seeing what I feel like would be best. There are parts I like of both. Somehow I'll figure out how to weigh all of that.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:27PM
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You have three eating areas. Do you need all three?

Personally I would eliminate the peninsula and put in an island that would be used for prep and eating. We like island sitting so that would work for us but its not for everyone.

I love the walk through or butlers pantry.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Swfr - I don't have any suggestions - at least not yet. Stick with it. It will be worth it in the end. I drew up probably 80 floor plans in three different spots before winding up with the floorplan that I did.

The time, the effort, the exercise of it all was very frustrating and sometimes tear-inducing but so worth it in the end to wind up with a great functional kitchen. I'm here for moral support! :).

Don't give up. Give yourself the time needed to create the kitchen that you and your family need. Don't let anyone (GC, builder, family) push you to make a decision before you are good and ready.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:58PM
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Here's an idea:

I swapped out the peninsula for an island, which means that you can turn the table 90 degrees and gain more room all the way around it (36" and 42" clearance is doable but on the tight side). An island also makes it easier to take dirty dishes from table to sink. The clean-up sink faces a wide bank of windows with the DW to its right.

I moved the fridge to the same wall as the range, added a 12" pull-out cab between fridge and wall to allow for fridge door swing, centered the range on that wall (you could also put windows on either side of the range if you have a nice view out the side) and added a prep sink to the island to give you a great work triangle. You can do prep on the island or next to the range. In other words, you can have multiple cooks in your kitchen at the same time (comes in handy at holidays and when cooking with kids). I did not put the prep sink at the end of the island so that you don't lose prime landing space for groceries headed for fridge or sink or for a landing space for items headed to the dining room.

I angled the entry to the pantry to give you more clearance around the island and also because it seems less jarring to the flow. I eliminated the walk through from the garage (unless you have ample landing space in the pantry to set grocery bags down, this door made no sense to me), moved the spare fridge to the end and created a "U" of pantry shelving.

If you don't need that much pantry space, you can reduce its depth and add a row of cabinets facing the kitchen table. This could be your command central station. That may also allow you to allign the pantry wall with the DR wall and swap out a swing door for a pocket door.

On that fridge in the pantry ... has anyone warned you that it's not always a good idea to put a heat-producing appliance in a pantry? Your pantry looks to be large enough (it's huge compared to what I have) so it might not be as much of an issue but I wanted to be sure you were aware of this issue.

Oh, and I'd change the swing of your front door so you can open the closet door while the front door is open, too.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:00PM
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swfr, I can't really speak to the traffic patterns in your kitchen. In my small house the path for carrying groceries from the garage to the kitchen goes right through the house. Of all the things I'd change about this house if I could, that one would be WAY down on my list. It's just a non-issue to me.

Concerning your latest plan, the one thing that leaps out at me is the prep area nearly 7 ft. across the kitchen from your stove. My prep area is the corner between my sink and stove (one sink to rule them all). I'd hate to have to schlep all the prepped food across the kitchen to cook it.

That's all I got. I'm sure the solution is out there for you.

Edited to add: I looked at your plan again and I would simply prep between your stove and sink under the window.

This post was edited by linelle on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 21:35

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:33PM
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I don't thnk the family room is large enough-with the large kitchen and pantry and 3 eating areas it is spec'ed for a large number of inhabitants and/or their guests/friends /relatives.....but if that's not the case, then why the 3 eating zones? Look at the small size of family room...which group of individuals has to be assigned to the study...bummer.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Too many places to eat. You have a utility area and garage on the side of the house with the view. I'd rather see you have a single casual place to eat and a single more formal place to eat, and have everyone be able to enjoy the views, and not just for the 5 minutes you're putting in a load of laundry. When you have guests over, no one will see your pretty views. The dining room is awkwardly placed for entertaining as it doesn't have easy access to any adjacent seating area without either going through your messy kitchen or playing ring around the rosy back through the foyer. If the study will be the quiet away room, it too doesn't take advantage of the views.

I much prefer GD's plan. It places the more used areas on the side of the house with a view and gives you the big advantage of room for a full bath downstairs. That's a biggie. Lots of people don't think about their elderly parents having to navigate stairs, or the kid with the hockey injury that can't deal with that either.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:57PM
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I like Lisa's plan, a lot! The extra windows on each side of the range would be nice, since you have plenty of pantry storage to make up for any lost uppers.

Not everyone is going to like your plan, so just make sure it's really functional, fits your family and "looks" the way you want it to look.

Function is the most important thing, but if you want a certain look or style (country farmhouse or Paris chic) you need room for accessories and items that will make the look work. Don't forget the fun stuff!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:58PM
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You guys are so great with the encouraging words. I appreciate them tremendously.

Here are some thoughts:
1) We can't just flip the house around. There are elaborate basement and second floor plans that it would change and I'm just not up for doing that. I want to operate with this footprint. We've signed on with a builder for this floorplan.

2) I know that there are a lot of places to eat, but that is on purpose. That's because the bar stools aren't going to be a place we eat. Those are going to be spots for my friends to hang out while I cook (before we sit down to dinner in the formal dining room) or for the kids to sit to do homework while I make dinner. We eat every meal seated at the breakfast table, except for the occasions when we eat outside (on the deck) or have company over (and use the dining room.) I'm okay with the redundancy.

3) The family room is definitely not large, but that is on purpose. It is our cozy family room. The house will also have a large walk-out basement with a 30 x 15 room for large groups. There won't be a lack of comfortable places to sit and hang out. There won't be the "bummer" of anyone getting relegated to the study. That little study is going to be a cozy room for reading and piano playing. I'm 99% sure it will get used more than our current formal living room.

Lisa, I really appreciate the sketch you put together. It helped me have a breakthrough with it. You can see mine is based on your recommendation. I also really appreciate you bringing the direction of the front door to my attention. I'm not sure i would have noticed that in time and you are absolutely right!

So here's the latest and greatest. As always, your thoughts are appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 10:31PM
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And here's a larger scale sketch of the first floor in case that helps.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 10:32PM
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And one more, this time with dimensions and clearances.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 10:41PM
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Deleted because of a double post.

This post was edited by swfr on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 22:44

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 10:42PM
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My layout is very similar to your latest, and it's been working out very well for me. I think you're on the right track.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 10:59PM
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by elaborate do you mean a bath and kitchen in the lower level? to make that a secondary area for growing kids/teens and their friends, or entertaining, the presence of these things will alleviate issues with runs up/down stairs/through other social areas for retrievals from kitchen/use of bath..... and this happens in a big way without at least sink/refrigeration/microwave capability.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 11:19PM
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Yes, the plan currently has a full bath and a bar area that includes a full fridge, a microwave, and sink. I realized I should have mentioned that above.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 11:25PM
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I'm not a layout expert. And I haven't been following all your posts, but I remember seing an early one ad thinking wow that's a huge island and a really hard space to figure out, I had nothing so I didn't respond.

But, and again I'm no expert, I come here desperate for advice on every little detail. But, I REALLY like your new plan! It looks to me like it follows all the gw rules! And when I look at it, I feel like I can actually visualize this and it could be amazing! I still think the island looks a teensy bit disproportionately big, but im not sure that it is. I think if you maybe eliminated the cabinets under the island seating it might give a little more breathing room between seats at island and seats at breakfast table.

Oh, also, I don't see your organizing station anymore, are you ok with that?

Anyway, great job! (I think).

Your house sounds like its going to be amazing, your kids friends may label it the "party house" one day, with a basement like that!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:05AM
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I suggest putting your silverware in the top drawer of the cabinet marked 'Tupperware' and then your glasses in the middle drawer. At 9', this is a good sized run, so you should be able to figure out a place here for your everyday china/plates, bowls, etc.

I would prefer the island sink to be centered across from the range. This way, people can prep from both sides. I can't tell the width of the countertops along the range run, are they 30" with 18" uppers?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 6:29AM
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Two more thoughts: bump out the sink window at counter height, and center the sink on the window or the window on the sink. Looking good!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 6:52AM
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I like the new plan much better. Will you be doing anything in the pantry, like microwave or toaster? Or gathering ingredients? If so, you'll enjoy having a place to put down a plate, measuring cup or a sack of groceries.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Please disregard what I previously said about flipping the garage and the study, for some reason I was thinking you were going to have to walk through the dining room with groceries, I guess I needed another cup of coffee or something.

I like your latest plans a lot and it sounds like with the basement and all of the seating you are going to have a wonderful house to entertain in.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 9:06AM
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I'd make the 12" pull-out pantry a broom closet because you already have a large walk-in pantry, and pull-out pantries cost over $1000. I second moving the prep sink off the island corner. I would use that area as the landing zone for the fridge.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 9:11AM
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I like this new floor plan. I was never enamored with the other ones because the locations didn't make sense. But now, the kitchen is in a separate spot without infringing on the eating area or on the family room. It just makes more sense.

The space to the left of the fridge - is that the 12" pantry someone mentioned? I agree - make it a pull-out broom closet. I have one in a 7" space and I love it.

If the prep sink works in the corner I think it can be left where it is. When we have guests the prep sink is still mine! I have them prep between the range and the clean-up sink which is a similar set-up to yours. It keeps them out of my way.

Just a quick suggestion - instead of putting a swing door out to the deck put in a sliding glass door. It would help to clean up the area, gives more chair space for the table and if you're barbecuing, depending on where you put in the sliders, it will bring you closer to the kitchen. Perhaps consider double sliders and really open up the area.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:33PM
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It's a great drawing. I like this kitchen a lot too. Does it work in the bigger picture?

I notice you don't have windows on the side, no doubt for a good reason, but whatever that is, it means you're not taking what can be particularly special corner space away from a breakfast or sitting space for the kitchen. But you also don't have the table in a push-out to the rear now, which could have had windows on 3 sides. Is that okay? What direction does the back of the house (and all your main living space) face?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 1:45PM
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You're welcome, swfr, I'm glad I could help.

Few additional suggestions:

Round the island seating area. A curved edge makes it easier for people at the counter to talk than when they are seated in a straight line. It looks like you've got room to do this. Just be sure to allow at least 60" between counter edge and table.

If you plan to do grilling on the deck, I'd add a door closer to the kitchen area. You could do either a pair of sliding doors, as suggested above, or a run of windows book-ended by two French doors.

If you slide the table a few inches closer to the exterior wall and steal a few inches from the pantry, you'd have enough room for a shallow (12"-15") cabinet against the pantry wall without losing adequate aisle space around your kitchen table. This could be your command central or a display cabinet. I think it would be nice if you had something in that space other than just a table. Like this:

Traditional Kitchen by Dublin Kitchen & Bath Designers Glenvale Kitchens

Or a built-in cabinet like in this photo:

Traditional Kitchen by Fort Worth Design-Build Firms V Fine Homes

Or a narrow table with artwork above like this:

Traditional Dining Room by Los Altos Interior Designers & Decorators Brownhouse Design, Los Altos, CA

Another idea for that pull-out cab to the left of the fridge: store table leaves in it. I recently inherited a lovely old oak table, which I adore, but now I've got to figure out a convenient place to store the table leaves.

Add me to the list of people encouraging you to rethink the prep sink at the corner end of the island. That is prime landing space for items coming from the fridge, grocery bags coming in from the garage and items going to and from the dining room. I'm basing this on my frustration with my current kitchen's set-up. I have 16" of island counter for the above purposes and for setting down hot items coming out of the oven and it drives me crazy (admittedly, a short trip) that I don't have more room (I'm fixing this when I remodel). In your mind, walk through all the ways you'll use your kitchen and see if sticking with a corner prep sink will be an issue for you. You have a long enough island that moving the sink in from the corner will still give you plenty of room to prep on the island.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 7:38PM
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Looks like you are making great progress. My only suggestion at this point is to switch the location of the dishes and tupperware. I really really like having my storage containers by the fridge. Putting the dishes near the dw will keep them close to the prep/plating area, too.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 10:10PM
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