Will this look weird? View from Front door question

vdinliJuly 14, 2014

In our just started remodel, we are closing up one walkway to improve traffic flow and make the kitchen a true galley with a peninsula. I came home to this today and can't figure out if it will still look weird once it is all finished.

I thought we had measured it out and had the right numbers but obviously something was off.

The closed up walkway and the foyer wall( the green short wall on the left in the second picture) don't line up. In the first picture, the foyer wall flanks the exposed subfloor. The knee wall will have a peninsula and cabinets on both sides.
Will it look weird to see the peninsula and the cabinets from the front door? Btw, the door to the basement will be a pocket door-so will not interfere with the peninsula.

I am trying to tell myself that once the hardwoods go in to match the rest of the floor, the difference won't be so noticeable. The thought of having to reorder the cabinets and make the already small peninsula more small is not at all appealing. Do you guys think that I should figure out if it is even possible?

Thanks for any opinions on this quandary. I have become so dependent on you guys-DH teases me that I can't make a decision without running it past you guys!!
Thanks in advance

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Well I think looks like your rendering. I open my front door into my humongo fridge at the moment..first thing you see when you walk in the front door is a coat closet door.

We make do with what we have. Given that the current side door will be a pocket..I think it will be fine.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:58PM
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Why do you have the foyer wall? I'd be tempted to get rid of it. I don't see any purpose for it being there. I'd just throw a rug on the floor in front of door and let the entryway be defined by that.

My first house had a similar setup. You walked in the front door and it was wide open to the kitchen and family room. First thing you saw was the kitchen. Never gave it a second thought. Actually, my sister's house is set up the exact same way. You walk in the front door and the kitchen is straight ahead with the family room to the side. Almost the exact same setup you show. It will be fine.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:05PM
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Agree with Poohpup... What purpose does the foyer wall serve? I think it would cause one to focus more on the kitchen, rather than to look towards the room if it was removed. (I'm assuming the entry door swings in against the basement wall)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:43PM
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I agree about the foyer wall, Also I would consider shortening the overlap on the counter top. You have a table right by the kitchen, You could always go counter height. I could see myself running into the overhang.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:30PM
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I had considered getting rid of the foyer wall but it houses a hot water radiator. It is very welcome in the middle of winter when stepping out of the cold and the way the pipes run, there is no where nearby to move it to.
Thank you for sharing your opinions. I am glad to hear the new setup won't look too weird.
carolmka, am worried about that too-especially with carrying laundry baskets in and out to the basement. I will have to talk to the fabricator.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:58PM
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You said you have cabinets on both sides of the knee wall. Are you also putting seating on the peninsula, and if so, do you need it? Also wondering why there's a knee wall. My peninsula is a 24" deep sink cabinet, trash cabinet, and DW with 12" cabinets on the back. Cabinetry lining that side would be a better view than bar stools.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:47PM
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It looks like you will be walking into a breakfast bar overhang right where you enter. I don't think that will look or feel right and it will become an nuisance walking around it instead of simply moving along a straight path forward.

Do you have a plan view?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:38PM
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if you keep it as it shows, round the counter corners on the entrance side. safety first!

sounds like you will need to keep that foyer wall. It does break the incoming wind/cold in areas that get that. I remember living in the mw and the cold blasting in our front door that was open into our LR.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:11AM
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Please post a plan view :)

One of the things about blocking the basement door is not the door itself, but being able to maneuver things into the basement. What happens when you need a new furnace or water heater (and water heaters seem to go bad a lot)?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 8:03AM
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Thought the basement door was the front door. Plan would be useful. I don't think the green wall needs to be as wide as the wall it faces, if that's what you mean, but if the bar intrudes on that area too much maybe it would look odd. Can't really see the spacing.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Almost every small house built after the civil war until the 1920s around here had a tiny vestibule at the front door.

A lot of people take them out thinking it will help with space.

It doesn't.

You could tuck a chair or small chest or something right against that wall on the other side of the door and it would be fine. Without the wall there, No One would sit comfortably with their back right in the front door. You wouldn't put a piece of furniture with it's back right in the doorway, You tend to leave much more room around the front door without a wall there than if you have a wall there. It defines the space.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:52AM
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You might make the wall longer then so more than a chair can fit in that corner. Think about furniture arrangements now.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:04PM
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You may want to resize the length of this wall based upon what furniture piece goes here. I wouldn't turn it into a hallway necessarily but a little more length might even work better.

One of my clients who originally wanted to take hers Out, put her TV on this wall, after thinking of and rejecting all sorts of things to minimize or hide it like a sliding picture over the fireplace. Placing it here (in her case) was good for viewing, but also put it in a discreet location without doing something over elaborate.

I might even try to tie in the vestibule wall with the back of the fridge wall with a very long, very open archway. Just a hint of a wall and header connecting the two, just to make it all look related. This is the opposite of what a lot of people might do, but done correctly it defines spaces while keeping them open.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:30PM
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Did you take into account that the kitchen extends past the wall with the basement door in your measurements? It seems obvious but sometimes even taking it into account it hard to get the measurements right prior to demolition.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:22PM
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What if you were to reduce that wall by the entry to a pony wall and mimic the post treatment you plan to have at the peninsula? It could still house the rad, provide definition while opening up the view towards the LR instead of directing the view towards the kitchen. Something like this:

Craftsman Living Room

You could even lengthen the wall a bit, allowing you to place a chair against that half wall, without the entry feeling cramped.

Personally, I'd forgo peninsula seating. You have table seating nearby and it looks like peninsula seating will crowd your LR, making furniture placement tricky. Plus, as palimpsest noted, it could be an issue moving things into and out of the basement.

We have a heck of a time getting things in and out of our bonus room for a similar reason. On paper, it looked just fine. Not so IRL. We discovered this after we moved in and tried to get our old couch into the room. It wasn't overly long or tall at all but despite removing the door and the couch feet, we still barely managed to get it into the room. When we finally retired the 28 yr old couch, we were limited to sectionals to replace it. And even then, we had to measure carefully to know that we could still get it into the room. We had a work around but that wouldn't be the case for items that come in MOL standard sizes, like water heaters and W/Ds.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:11PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. It definitely gives us something to think about. I like the suggestion of making the foyer wall a half wall to redirect attention to the LR. But, I am not sure how feasible it is to add to the scope of the project as it will involve moving some electrical outlets. I will check with GC.
As the KD was not involved in planning the other details of the project, I do not have a comprehensive floor and cabinet plan.
But, here a rough floor plan: Ignore the cabinet layout. The rectangle is the rough location for the peninsula overhang.

Here's the cabinet plan:

I measured just now- there will be 35" from the edge of peninsula to the door. I think that should be enough to move stuff around. I will mock up the extension with plywood to get a feel for maneuvering laundry baskets as those will be what we will be moving up and down most frequently. We used to have a full height wall there so we are kind of used to it and hope this will be better. There is only so much room in our small space so we have to make do with less than ideal clearances.

As for the original question, about 7" of the peninsula/cabinets will overhang the "foyer" area. I am hoping with a uniform floor, the jog will not be so noticeable. pal, the contractor and we took independent measurements and designed the kitchen plan-not sure where those extra inches crept in from. But, at this point, I feel it is too late to order new cabinets and make the peninsula smaller. I am hoping it will be one of those things that I will be the only one to notice ;-)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:44PM
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A few of us questioned the seating overhang. I question the need for that pony wall sandwiched between your cabinets. We took ours out and butted up our shallow peninsula cabinets back-to-back to the kitchen cabs. You can still run electrical through the cabinets.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:22PM
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One question, is that the only entrance into the house? 35 inches is pretty tight. I recommend laying it out.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:16PM
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Sorry, I missed your question, may_flowers. I had asked GC the same question-can't we just get rid of the wall? He said he prefers to have that there as it gives him a solid wall to screw the cabinets into and also have the electrical outlets for the microwave drawer and side of the island. I know not having the wall will reduce the projection on the peninsula.
As for seating on the peninsula, I envisioned it as a place for casual breakfast/home work/hang out with the cook. I was thinking of two bar stools that will tuck under the overhang when not in use and can be pulled out when needed.
Thank you for the suggestions, everyone.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:17PM
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carolmka, no that is the door we use to get to the landing on top of the basement stairs. There is a outside entrance on the other side of the landing. The front door is by the small foyer wall. I am going to mock it up to make sure the clearance between the peninsula and pocket door is not going to be too tight. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:22PM
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"I know not having the wall will reduce the projection on the peninsula."

Isn't this your answer then? Maybe your GC prefers to do it one way, but it's not working for your layout. If this was an island made of back-to-back cabinets, would he put a wall in between them? Islands have electrical, sinks, MW cabinets, so why is the peninsula any different? My peninsula is sink, trash cabinet, and DW, similar to your layout of sink, drawer base, and microwave cabinet. There was never a question of getting electrical out to my DW and an outlet at the end. My pony wall was 6", so that could make a big difference to eliminate yours.

How much overhang are you planning on for seating? On the cabinet plan it looks like less than 12". You need 12-15".

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:09AM
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I have a vaguely similar kitchen - front door opens into a 12x12 room and we knocked down part of a wall to open that room into a galley kitchen. We also have a pocket door in the kitchen for access to a utility room with laundry and HVAC.

Our overall house layout is quite different from yours, but the one thing I'd say that might be relevant is that you want to think carefully about the flow - from the front door to the kitchen; from the basement to other parts of the house. It seems like you have a real pinch point because of the counter seating. Can you make the overhang curved or tapered so that you have maximum room for maneuver by the door to the stairs?

I'd also think hard about furniture placement in the living/dining room to ensure you have a clear path for moving around the house. In our case, less is more - a smaller configuration of furniture in the front room helped the space feel much more open and larger as a result.

Good luck - look forward to seeing it come together!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Thanks once again, may_flowers. I am hoping to convince GC that we can do away with the knee wall. He will have to cut the end panel to make it smaller too. I am sure it can be done and the four inches will make a difference. I was planning on 12" overhang. GC has been good so far but he is a bit intense. I know I have to ask gently but firmly and that is a tough line for me to walk.

smalloldhouse, I have been following your remodel story as it is similar in many ways to mine. Did you post a reveal already?
One of my biggest issues with our old layout was that the kitchen was a major traffic area-we had three walkways in a 8X14 space!! By closing up the walkway next to the basement door, I am hoping that traffic will flow better. I knew when we chose the layout (with much help from folks on here) that basement door was going to be a pinch point. But, I figured a peninsula will not be as much of a barrier as our old set up with the full height wall and swing out door.

I tried carrying out our laundry baskets across a mocked up peninsula and it was not too bad. We have to make a compromise somewhere and if this is it, I am ok with it. We have a huge egress window in the basement that we can use to take in/out the big stuff like furniture/mechanicals.

Good point about the curved corners-will check with the fabricator. I have a mental plan for the furniture-am hoping the few pieces I have will fit.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 2:02PM
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