Kitchen layout advice

Sue987July 8, 2013

This forum is wonderful! Long time lurker, first time poster. My husband and I are remodeling a house and I'd really appreciate any suggestions or advice on the kitchen layout.

There are two of us, no kids. We don't really cook or entertain much now, just simple dinners and take out. I hope to cook more in the future, but DH will probably stick to outdoor grilling. So probably just one, but for resale it would be nice if two people could work at the same time.

Traffic situation: The garage is at the front of the house, so groceries come in (and garbage goes out) down the hall. Not the best floor plan, but it works for us.

Storage needs: We shop frequently and don't need to keep a lot of food on hand. Several grocery stores (Whole Foods etc) are close by. Don't have a lot of gadgets, china or special pans now but I will be buying some.

'Form over function' or 'function over form': Ideally our kitchen will look good and function well, but if I had to choose just one, it's 'form over function'.

Appliances: Would like quality appliances but nothing too extravagant. Want to keep the MW handy, we use it every day for reheating foods, cooking vegetables, frozen foods etc.

36" gas range
Vent hood
36" SZ bottom freezer
Electric oven 27" or 30"
MW (countertop model in appl garage?)
DW standard

* Can't move the sink, window or walls.
* Don't want cooktop on the island.
* Would like to keep fridge and DW where they are, but can move if it works better.
* A prep sink on island would be nice but there's no plumbing. House is on a slab.

VIEW: There's a pretty golf course view in back, so we don't want a wall or wall cabinets between the kitchen and breakfast room. We removed a peninsula with seating because it made the breakfast room very cramped. We use that table a lot, not just for dining, but for laptop (web surfing), paying bills etc. Would love to have it open to the kitchen.

ISLAND: Is the island too big? (since there's no sink or cooktop). Not sure what that big expanse of counter will look like. Could make it smaller (6'-6" long) and center it with the kitchen window. The counters will probably be a taupe quartz, almost solid looking.

RANGE: We could eliminate the extra oven if we did a 48" range, but will it look too big next to the 36" fridge.

OVEN IN ISLAND: I put the oven at the end of the island because I wasn't sure if the oven handle would stick out, and if it would be bothersome to someone working at the island.

PANTRY: There's no pantry in the kitchen but we're adding shelves (5" and 11" deep) in the closet under stairs. Not sure if we should do shelves on one or both sides? There's only 23" between shelves if we do them on both sides, probably too tight. Would also like food storage in the kitchen for frequently used items, possibly base cabinet pullouts?

Thanks in advance for your help! I hope I can get the pictures to post...

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen layout

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My first question is why is the fridge so far from the microwave? Almost everything that gets microwaved comes from the fridge (frozen meals, leftovers, etc.), so it makes sense for them to be closer together. What if you moved the fridge over to the spot where the microwave is, moved the dishwasher to the other side of the sink and had that area to the left of the sink be basically the microwave/microwave prep area?

Another advantage of moving the fridge there is that it's closer to the sink, meaning it's more efficient to cook (take food from fridge > wash in sink > chop on counter to right of sink or on island > take to cooktop).

Also, are you in a neighborhood where fancy ranges are everywhere? Reason I ask is that a 48" range, or a 36" range plus oven, seems like a lot for a couple that (as you said) doesn't cook or entertain much or have kids at home. And getting that much firepower, range-wise, won't pay off on resale unless basically all comparable homes have it too AND you're planning to sell soon enough that these appliances won't seem outdated to the buyers.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:35PM
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ideagirl, thanks for your suggestions! I moved the fridge and DW, and put a MW drawer in the island across from fridge. That leaves room for double ovens where the fridge had been. It already has a Wolf cooktop, so we can use that instead of getting a range. Does this layout look like it will work?

The house we bought is a 4 BR, 4.5 BA "garden home" in an upscale area. I think most buyers in the area would expect two ovens and mid-to-high end appliances, but not necessarily a 48" range!

Thanks again for your help!

This post was edited by Sue987 on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 4:50

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 1:36AM
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We've always had over the stove microwaves. In preparation for the new kitchen, we've been moving it around to see where we like it. Even sitting on the counter, we find it difficult to see the itty bitty writing on the panel without bending over to get closer. I wonder if that is a problem with drawer microwaves? If you use yours a lot, make sure it is easy and comfortable to operate in the new location.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 6:00AM
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Thanks Cindy, I didn't think about that. The island seemed like the best place for MW to keep it close to fridge. But I'll definitely look at diff models to see how small the writing is on the panel. Good luck with your new kitchen!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 6:09PM
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I have a MW drawer. As far as the buttons, they are at the top, and slightly angled. Similar to a DW, which would be at the same height. There are also the codes for the special "cook" "reheat" "melt" etc. modes on the inside, top of the drawer. You don't have to bend over at all, because you are looking down into it when it is open.

We really like ours. We've had no problems. I am under 5' tall, though, so I really like having the MW lower. Over the range was hazardous for me. However, my DH is 6' tall and has no issues with our new drawer and uses it just as often as I do, if not more (he's our primary leftover eater.)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:57PM
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