Suggestions for layout? (Finally!)

home4all6July 26, 2012

Ok, we have some basic plans from our architect. Our plan should be quite do-able, and I am happy with the ideas we have come up with so far. Now I need to shop it around a bit, to see what kind of prices we are looking at for the cabinets.

A few of our builders we are meeting with are actually carpenters who can make their own cabinets, so we will get pricing from them, but I'd also like to go to nearby Northern Indian to see about some Amish-built cabinets as well. And I suppose I will try a few local shops as well.

So, now I want to get more specific on my actual layout, and I'll really need your help here, so please, please chime in!!

To review: we are a family of 6, DH and I, and 4 kids, 3 boys (8, 5, and 2.5) and one girl (2.5--yes, twins) so nowhere near done growing kids(but definitely done having them!) The house is old, 1916, so we very much want to keep the character of the place: simple, white painted cabinets, to match the rest of our white, painted woodwork throughout the house.

This plan allows us to use our dining room as our eat-in portion of our kitchen, but also do quick meals at the island. I want 4 seats at the island, but not necessarily 5, if that end of the island could be put to better use, which I *think* it can. This plan also allows me to keep my windows along the back walls, which is so important, as we usually have 4-8 kids playing in our yard on any given day. The backdoor will be at the top of the basement stairs, and a new mudroom will be outfitted down at the bottom of the stairs, in a currently unused portion of our basement.

I need storage, for costco boxes and bulk foods. I need an area for my baking gear and kitchen-aid mixer. I need a landing zone for keys, chargers, etc, somewhere near the backdoor. I'd like a 36" range and an undercounter micro somewhere. I also think I'd like a prep sink near the bottom of the island, but many people tell me I'm crazy to do that. I need things to be as efficient and sensible as possible, as I am not neat or tidy, and I'm always rushed. I don't' have much help right now in the kitchen, but I have lots of interested helpers, so I anticipate there will be more than 1 cook someday. I also really, really wanted a dry bar area butler's pantry, and didn't see that fitting in here anywhere--until I saw shareher's finished kitchen, with hat sweet little bar area under her stairs--and I think I could do that, too!

Please give suggestions on this layout, and more specifics on how to arrange the island, garbage pullouts, prep sink location, micro placement, etc. I'm just not good at seeing all of this--

It's basically a simple L-shaped kitchen, with an island. The room itself is 18'-4" x 17', but the DR is 13' wide.

Ok, without any further ado--here it is:

Here is a link that might be useful: previous iterations of my layout

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Hi Home4all6. Wow! That sure is a different layout than what you've discussed in the past. I tried to compare your existing layout (with the other room connections) and this new layout, but the drawings are oriented differently so I can't make sense of it all this late at night.

Your drawing above doesn't have any measurements of the island or aisles and since it's not drawn on graph paper I'm having difficulty guessing. Is the island about 72" plus 12" overhang? How much space between island stool and DR table?

If it were my space, I'd ditch the fifth stool on the end, take the overhang for usable space, and put a 24" MW drawer at that end. I would put a sink base immediately next to that for the prep sink. This puts the MW handy for the fridge and gives you fridge landing space on the counter above for items coming/going from fridge. Your usable prep counter on the other end of the sink is immediately across from the range so you can go from chopping straight across the aisle. My kitchen is similar to this, but with the fridge on a wall where your DR entry is. It works very well for me.

With four kids, you'll appreciate a separate clean up zone with its own sink so when the kids are starting on their kitchen cleanup chores at that sink during your prep/cooking time. They won't be in your way. :) Plus, the cleanup sink would be open for kids to fill water cups or wash hands while you prep using the prep sink.

I put my garbage pullout on the far end of the island closest to my (and where yours would be) cleanup sink. I did that as experts here always say to have the garbage accessible for both sinks, but since we compost all scraps (protein, bones, veg, etc) and have garbage disposals, I never go to the garbage pullout during cleanup. Still, the positioning works well for me as I can stand in my prime prep zone and be able to dump into the garbage if necessary. And, another big bonus, anyone wishing to access the garbage while I prep is not in my way too much.

Will the range be centered on that wall? Wait, thats all wall back there? No window?

Would it help to see my layout since our spaces are so similar?

I'm glad you've been making progress on a layout. I've followed your other threads and sometimes wonder how things are going for you when I don't see you around. In the end, you'll have a great kitchen and house layout that suits your busy family and your old house. You're getting close!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:21AM
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So I had a few minutes to kill while I finish my shift up with 7 day old new nephew.

Here's a broad strokes layout of my kitchen. I made some minor tweaks after this last layout drawing once we got into the thick of construction.

Cabinet layout in bigger scale. Again, I made a couple minor tweaks like 4-drawer stacks flanking the range instead of 3-drawer.

Top half of the room.

Not quite finished product before stools and new warming drawer panel.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:52AM
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Thanks, breezygirl! I appreciate seeing your layout specs again--and I love your finished kitchen :)

I don't have exact specs on mine, it is really not constrained to any specifics at this point. The aisles can be any width, as can the island. I was figuring on about 42" aisles between the island and the L of kitchen. Also, the island, as drawn, is 8 feet, plus overhang at the end. I think I'll knock off the overhang, and use it for storage. I won't have a large pantry, so I need to maximize storage space wherever I can. I love the look and idea of windows on either side of my range, like yours, but I am afraid I just need the storage more.

I was thinking of putting the prep sink more in the corner of the island, to maximize open space on the rest, but I do like how yours is oriented. Plus, the micro under the end of the island makes a lot of sense.

Here is a bigger plan for the first floor--it is showing most of the floor, but the family room is cut off from the opposite side of the house. You see the double dotted line indicating a cased opening above the fireplace in the living room.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Swap the sink with the range. Prep is 70% of cooking and cleanup 20&, while actual fire to the food is only 10%. Plus, it's going to be very very difficult and expensive to vent a range in front of a window rather than one against a wall. The window will have to be inoperable tempered glass and you will have to use an island hood or ineffective downdraft. That just added 2-4K to your budget.

Also, the cleanup area needs to be closer to the eating area, with the dish storage where you show the fridge. Put the fridge at the other end of the L, then a cabinet, then the range. Also put a prep sink on the island near that end. Now you have a nice tight triangle of prep happening on the island facing outwards towards the seated people and yet it's a quick pivot to toss the dirty measuring cups into the cleanup sink where another person can be loading the DW.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:13AM
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How nice that you're moving ahead, Home4. Congrats. This looks pretty darned good to me overall. The new communication between the family room and kitchen is going to be great.

I'm so glad to see that you did keep the back entry stairs and window wall open to the kitchen. That should feel, as well as work, so well. (Hollysprings, the counter's going to be open to those stairs, which are the main family entry.)

Home4, your drawing shows the space under the stairs in the back hall partly enclosed by walls. Any chance part of this could be used for a pantry, with a door into the kitchen?

Regarding windows on the side wall, I agree that, as much light as you have coming in from the back sides, your kitchen would benefit very nicely from at least one window on the side too. Not just for light, views, and cross breezes but also for a feeling of spaciousness on glancing across the house that way, instead of a visual dead-end announcing house-stops-here. If you just couldn't do without any cabinets, smaller windows either under or over them could be very nice. Clerestories are great for privacy issues, too.

What does that long shallow bench or bookcase-type line at the top of the stairs at the kitchen indicate? Is this entry storage? Regarding key storage, charging station, etc., since this area is fairly narrow and people are likely to be moving fast on their way through :), how about a built-in coordination area a bit farther into the house, such as under the stairs up but facing the back? It could be pretty shallow and still provide a great deal of utility.

Regarding a prep sink, if you feel a need for one you probably need it, and one in the island would free the cook from what might often be a congested cleanup area. If you prep in the corner by the main sink, though, then I'd pass. You could always do what I did, which is to run water to the island (inexpensive) but hold off on installing a sink while you decide.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 1:10PM
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Nice to see your new plan! :)

I'd make the island just a bit smaller, with three stools on the long side and one on the end. This would give you a bit more room to open the fridge...and have a prep sink on the island, between the fridge and range.

If the island were a bit smaller, you might have room for a narrow pantry on the opposite wall, against the stairs. I like Rosie's idea of using the area under the stairs as a pantry, too...but narrow shelving is great for small items. Can you ever have too much storage? LOL

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:52PM
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Thanks for the further comments!

@hollysprings: thanks for your input! There aren't any windows on the range wall of the kitchen at all. The darkened parts of the wall are where windows/doors are being removed, and the white is plain old wall. The windows are along the top wall, above the stairs to the basement, as well as at the corner, above the stairs, and then down on 2 walls of the Dining room. So, the range and hood will be on an outside wall, while the kitchen will be on more of a peninsula, with a high-shelf back and stairs to the basement behind it. And I also figured it will be nicer to have the cleanup area farther away from where we will be sitting for meals, even it will be a bit more of a walk with dirty dishes, etc.

The other option I was considering was putting only one sink, and locating it in the island.But I really like the idea of clean-up in the back of the room, with a nice view outside.

@rosie: Thanks for your suggestions! I'd love to do clerestory windows above the cabinets, to get the light and circulation but not the view, which is our narrow driveway and our neighbors house's side entry. But my ceiling is only 8'4", so not a lot of "above" room to work with. Won't that look strange? I feel like backsplash windows are more contemporary, while range-side windows are storage-eaters.

That line down the "east" side wall near the stairs is about 9' of storage I hope to utilize. The top 5 ' are under windows, for outside visibility and deck-view, but the rest is along a wall, so I plan on making that full-height storage. I still ave no idea what this part will actually "look" like.

And the under-side of our "up" stairs area is also a big question mark area for me. It is currently a wide-open coat closet, with no door. I do not want it to stay that way (but I will lose my coat closet, which may be a problem for guests coats...) Shareher made that space into a darling dry bar, with a beverage fridge and other bar storage down below, and pretty glassware on top. OR maybe the alnding zone/command center there? Although it's kind of right ion the middle of the action, and I'd have to really work to keep it tidy. hmmm....

@LL: thanks! I do think about shortening up the island, too, but I'd really like 4 seats there (4 kids, 4 stools, you know?) I'll have to weigh the options on that one...

Shareher's "drybar" area under the stairs:

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Home- Three stools on one side, one on the end...that would still give you four stools...and a smaller island.

Are you making any changes to the upstairs/master suite?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:54PM
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