Minor layout critique

alerievay1July 18, 2014

NEW QUESTION in Post 18.

My proposed layout is attached below. Our current layout has a 30" range and refrigerator on the wall where the cooktop will be and an additional doorway roughly in the proposed refrigerator location. The current island is approximately the same dimensions, but the seating is currently on the proposed refrigerator side, not the window side.

I am aware that there are aspects of this design that are less than ideal. We are working with a full wall of original cabinets and sink.

1. The dishwasher has to be in the island. My husband vetoed sacrificing an original cabinet as an alternative (and it would have still been less than ideal, given the cabinet/sink layout).

2. I know our aisles are tight, but we are actually working with very similar clearances right now. I think correcting a lot of the inefficiencies in where things are located will make a huge difference.

3. The door "south" of the cooktop is the pantry closet. The second doorway on that wall, on the other side of the cooktop, leads to the dining room. The bump out cannot be corrected, because it's a structural chimney.

4. The cooktop will have open wall cabinets on either side, drawers beneath, and an under-cabinet hood.

5. The "double wall oven" is actually a speed oven/wall oven combo.

6. The "pantry" cabinet will be appliance storage, with retractable doors.

7. The mudroom/bar side will have a kegerator (we have one there now, but this will be undercounter), a small cabinet (which will likely be standard depth, even though it is pictured as 17" deep), a locker area, and some shelving above the cabinet/kegerator for glasses.

So, my primary question is, does anything look like it could be tweaked to be more efficient? I know some of you will have major problems with aspects of this design, but we have been through several possibilities - on our own and with kitchen designers - and this is the only one that makes sense with our parameters. Of course, I'd love to be surprised with an amazing layout that we haven't thought of!

This post was edited by alerievay on Thu, Oct 30, 14 at 15:10

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Seems like you don't have counter space where you need it. Almost nothing on either side of the cook top.

Override the veto and put the dw next to the sink. Can you put the cooktop on that wall too?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:35PM
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There are 12" cabinets on either side of the cook top. Plus the island. I currently have zero countertops next to the stove.

I really can't touch the original wall of cabinets. It's just not happening.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:42PM
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Can I ask what is driving this design? Is it budget? Is it a DIY project? You mentioned using your existing cabinets. Can your existing cabinets be reorganized?

Perhaps you could include the current floor plan to help us understand what you're working with now. For the space you have, this is definitely not an ideal floor plan.

Why can't the DW be located next to the sink. The location in your plan would drive me batty. You're already dealing with tight aisles and the DW door will drop down into your sink space. Trying to imagine doing dishes with this setup and it looks like something that would have me dreaming of a future kitchen remodel.

Is there reason why you're not utilizing that long window wall? Seems like a much better location for your range.

Provide as much info as you can and I'm betting you'll get suggestions on how to make huge improvements over the plan you have now. :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:07PM
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Existing wall is original cabinetry from the 1930s. Our driving goal is to preserve that. The window wall has a large window that is too low to build around, and, again, not interested in replacing that, as it is a primary source of light on that wall and is an original window.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:23PM
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Here is a photo of the sink wall.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:33PM
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All kitchens are about compromise! Having the island as a barrier is a bit of a problem, but if you're willing to work with it to save the original features of the kitchen...I say go for it :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:06AM
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I understand wanting to preserve the character of the kitchen/house. Sometimes its just not practical. Here is a link about a GW kitchen that reworked their original cabinets and came up with a functional kitchen.

Cabinets can be moved.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vintage Gumwood cabinets

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:28AM
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Thanks for the link. I am actually unsure these cabinets can be moved (the bottom run has one huge facing piece), but I will ask our prospective cabinet maker. I'm also not sure where we would move them or how we would rearrange them.

I know I'm sounding a bit like I didn't want advice, but we are trying to make as efficient a space as we can, given what I know are major restrictions.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:56AM
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We got hung up on some things when planning our kitchen. Once we were willing to consider other possibilities the kitchen fell into place.

Try just looking at the empty space, if everything was out. Make keeping the cabinets and anything else important a priority but not a MUST. Then ask yourselves and everyone here, what would you do with this space?

Ask yourselves, what is so great about these cabinets that they are such a priority? Just because something is old doesn't mean its worth keeping. Also, don't assume anything can't be done, will be expensive, etc. Old cabinets can be recreated or purchased.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 12:25PM
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What if you were to purchase a panel-ready DW, place it to the left of the sink and repurpose the existing drawer faces into a panel front for the DW? You'd preserve the look and feel of the existing space but you'd eliminate the awkward DW placement your proposed plan has.

I'd also be tempted to swap the placement of fridge and double ovens. Coming around that corner and running into an open fridge door would be less of a pain (literally) than running into an open oven door. Plus it minimizes the barrier island issue.

Have you considered recessing the fridge into the wall enough so that it doesn't sit quite so proud of the surrounding cabinets? That would help with your aisle clearances.

Cool sink!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:09PM
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Thanks. I appreciate it. We have discussed the panel-ready dishwasher. I would probably do it, or at least explore the possibility, but my husband (who does more of the loading and unloading than I do) is absolutely against it. The dishwasher is currently in the island and will actually work fine as soon as we get the pull-out trash next to it.

The fridge/double oven placement is one we've debated, and I think you have a good point. I couldn't decide if having the oven closer to the stove would be better or not. The fridge will be counter-depth.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:31PM
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I love remodels like this. You're so fortunate that you are able to live with many of your choices in advance. Debra's right that all options should be explored, but since you have determined that you can lay out a nice, workable kitchen and keep your original cabinets, I'm with Lavender. Congrats. :) And the pantry location is terrific.

We recessed our refrigerator, so of course Lisa's suggestion does seem like a particularly great idea for your space. You'll end up doing 90% of your "cooking" on the end of the island facing the stove, so obviously every inch you can give that would be great. (We also cut our own clearances closer than the "standard" recommendations -- on purpose for efficiency.)

I agree that moving the oven farther from the doorway would be desirable. 400-degree metal and grease are no joke.

Plus, I'm guessing that having the refrigerator right there at the stove-prep area might well turn out to be a favorite feature. Since we don't have 6 children running through all day long, I'd do it for that alone.

My question is the placement of the trash pullout, and DW. Our pullout is on the sink wall, not the prep island, because we're on a septic tank, no garbage disposal, so needed for scraping plates, etc. If it weren't for that, I would have placed it to be most convenient to prep because that's where most of our debris is actually generated. As it is, it pulls out straight toward where I stand to work at the island.

As yours is shown, though, it's very inconveniently around the corner from where you'll usually be working AND it's on the far side of the DW (and whoever's at the sink) for the cook and also not well placed for the person cleaning up.

If you could switch the DW and trash, trash placement would be good for all functions -- pulling out right off your work area to sweep stuff into as you worked. And, of course, both DW and trash would be better placed for someone at the sink.

Plus: Moving the DW would better define the entire stove side of the island, as well as that end of the sink counter, as belonging to the cook, with cleanup moved firmly away down the side wall. (Getting stuff waiting for cleanup out of my prep area -- no overlap -- was perhaps my single #1 priority when finally designing a kitchen for myself.)

That'd be a big deal for me, but if moving the DW were out of the question for you, I'd look into retrofitting the trash into the stove side of the sink. It'd still work a lot better for both prep and cleanup.

Hope you post pictures when it's finished. Enjoy. :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:43PM
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Thanks, rosie. You've given me a lot to think about with the trash pullout. Our trash is currently located far away from everything, and I hate it. I think flipping the trash pullout and dishwasher is a good idea.

We're talking to the prospective cabinet guy tomorrow morning, so we'll see what he says. He has worked with restoring old cabinets in the past, and he may have some ideas we haven't thought of.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:46AM
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robo (z6a)

In this size of kitchen, would you consider going to a 30" cooktop to get 15" on either side of the stove?

Are you adding the pantry closet? There doesn't seem to be a door 'south' of the cooktop right now? Is there a corner cabinet to the right of the sink right now? (just wondering because it kind of looks like there is in your photos).

If there is a corner cabinet, I'd do everything I could to keep it so you can have continuous countertop from sink to cooktop which will make prep 1000x better. You already have a pantry to the right of the fridge in your new design so having a less-accessible pantry closet wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:13AM
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I might consider a 30", but I was really hoping for a 36". I am getting induction, which makes me think that a little less prep area is probably fine. I gues sit comes down to a balance of whether that 3" on either side is best used to spread out my cooking surface or provide a bit more prep/landing surface? I've gone back and forth. I currently have NO landing zone next to the stove, so it's hard to decide whether 12" is adequate or if I really need to give up the cooking space.

The pantry closet is currently there. The cabinets we're keeping are a straight line across that wall. The stove wall has the pantry closet, then a bump-out for the dining room chimney, which is where the refrigerator and stove are located. If we could demolish the chimney, it would make the most difference in the utility of the room, but it's structural. The new pantry will be primarily appliance storage, but I could consider putting the appliances in the current pantry closet and making the new pantry a true pantry. That is an interesting idea, since the layout of the current pantry is kind of awful.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Do you have an entire first floor layout? How large is the pantry closet? How large is the chimney bump out? Just trying to fully understand your restrictions beyond keeping the window wall cabinetry intact. What is the existing layout and what structural changes are you planning?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:28AM
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I don't have an entire first floor layout. What the floor plan shows is essentially the entire back of the house on the first floor.

The only structural change planned is to wall up one doorway, which is already shown. The chimney bump out is also pictured (stove wall). The pantry closet is shallow (approximately 15-20" deep?) and probably 36-40" wide.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:43PM
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Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I would bump this one up. Someone recently gave me the idea of ditching the island and putting in a small prep sink and dishwasher on the window wall. I have 59 1/2" on that wall, from the wall to the window frame. Is it possible to do that with a corner cabinet and a 24" dishwasher? I think an 18" would work, but I can't see the 24" working.

I would also probably build in a window seat for the space below the window; it's a large and low window.

This is sort of a wacky, possibly dumb idea, but it intrigues me.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2014 at 12:33PM
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