how many hours would it take a KD to design a basic layout?

illinigirlJuly 25, 2013

If I provided just basically the wall dimensions and any other relevant spaces from the home? The rest would be completely empty as far as any of the required kitchen elements.

I am continuing to struggle with putting together a layout that GW thinks is functional. I want my kitchen design completed before we reach final plans with the before we even break ground.

Therefore I am wondering how many hours (so I could anticipate what fees we are talking about) it would take a KD to get me that initial layout of where the sink, range, ovens, fridge, size and position of island, etc, would be. The rest of the cabinetry details can be handled later (probably from the builders cabinet designer as I want to use their custom built cabs in my build).


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A software "basic" layout, as it reflects the space as it is currently? 15 minutes to an hour depending on the complexity and size of the room--and interruptions. Doing a layout that involves some thought and creativity? A couple of hours to a couple of days, depending. There is no "set" time for creative inspiration to strike. A lot of times at night, I'll be almost asleep and think of something, grab a pen and paper and jot it down, and then try to go back to being drowsy. Sometimes, I have to get up and hand sketch it just so the idea will leave me alone and I can go to sleep. That might not count as traditional "design time", but you can't predict when those flashes will come to you.

Then there are the revisions, usually budget based, and those can be endless. By the time the "average" kitchen is ordered, I can have 4-10 hours of work in it. I've had those that went on for a year or longer, getting a tweak every couple of weeks. I've had quick ones where architecture dictated the basic layout unless a lot of money was going to be spend on changing that architecture. Those might have an hours worth of design time, and an hour's worth of sales paperwork, and an hour's worth of ordering. That's why I say 4 hours minimum, with no maximum.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:19AM
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ok thanks, that gives me an idea. I'm looking for a bones plan, the foundation for a functional space that flows and accommodates our family. I have plenty of my own ideas of how I want it to look style wise. It's the placement of the important stuff I can't seem to hammer out. Actually, I really think it comes down to the sink. I think everything else will fall into place once the sink finds a home.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 2:34PM
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Post a floor plan that shows the space, with the windows and the surrounding rooms.

Placement depends on the way the traffic will flow, and it has to flow in and out of the surrounding rooms.

You have several traffic paths to consider ... the cook, the snack-seekers, the cold beer fetchers, and the table setting and clearing.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 4:12PM
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thanks, i will, but maybe tomorrow. my brain hurts for the night

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 6:02PM
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LWO- I want your clients :)
I rarely if ever get to order in under 20 and then consider myself lucky. Partly I've always said I'm slow, partly fuss too much, and partly what I attract.
Added-12-16 to retainer, 40-60 to done. Some move in.

This post was edited by jakuvall on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 18:27

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 6:24PM
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alright, here are the PRELIMINARY plans. There is a lot that we are going to change, especially with the whole pantry/laundry corner of the house. He gave me a HUGE pantry that has a HUGE window in it. Obviously that's not going to work. Also he put in a gigantic island, I was thinking a little more like 9-10 feet long, not 12.

As you can see there is no formal dining room so the eating spots are the kitchen table which will be by the sliders, and island seating for 4-6 people depending on the island size. I think I can get a window put in on the left 15 foot counter run if that helps anything.

I've also included the elevation just for kicks. There won't be a band of stone running along the garage. More elevation will show on the right side of the home because it's a walkout. The elevation is also a preliminary.

here we go:



    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Sophie Wheeler

What do you want to see from the great room? A sink and refrigerator or a range? Are any other sightlines more important to you? What size appliances are you thinking of using? That by itself can determine where things can go. Also, with you having a second floor, how are you planning to ventilate your cooking appliances? If it will be up and out through the roof, the second floor plan has to align properly with the space below to allow that. If it will be through the nearest exterior wall, you have to plan the route for that, and disguising the ventilation ductwork. Which ties into how you plan to delineate the differences in space between the nook, family room, and kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:24PM
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36" rangetop
Wall oven-undecided about single with micro on top or double oven with micro located somewhere else.
Standard width fridge
30" sink in a 36" base

Sightlines: i'd like to be able to see out of the south windows in the dining area into the back yard. I forgot to mention the back of the house faces south for maximum sun and light into the home.

I am not concerned about seeing any kitchen elements from the great room. Any/ all are fine.

I think we can ventilate either way since only second floor space is over the garage, nothing over the kitchen.

THe great room will have a vaulted ceiling while the kitchen and nook are at 9'. This will help i think defining those spaces. I am not sure if the nook and kitchen need to be visually separated?


    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Wait! There isn't any such thing as a standard width fridge. There are some sizes that are readily available. 30", 33", and 36", come to mind. Counter depth units tend to be wider, and some people use a full size fridge and a full size freezer side by side. This is something you need to give some thought to as it will be a non-negotiable space for the life of the kitchen once you choose a size. Unless you want something really big, I'm thinking you might want to look at a 36" unit, and when I say 36", I really mean numbers like 35.875". You don't need to choose the particular fridge you'll buy down the road, but you do need to choose a width for planning purposes.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 3:04AM
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36 is what i meant by standard. i guess because that's what i've always had. I didn't know 30 and 33" were that common. sorry. But yes, I am planning a 36" wide full depth fridge. I'll accomodate it by recessing and making the counters on that side a little deeper.

I'm not sure if the 52" walkway currently in the plan is considered enough clearance to have the fridge where I think it should go (which is across from the shorter edge of the island, or somewhere on that wall at least)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 7:44AM
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here is another L shaped kitchen that i really like.


Traditional Kitchen by Flemington Architects & Designers Pickell Architecture[/img]

it is also open to the family room on one side and dining area on the other like mine is situated.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:03AM
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can anyone comment on the photo of the kitchen I posted as inspiration for my layout? I'm thinking I may have to extend the range wall in my layout a little bit to get all the elements in there. Also can anyone guestimate how much countertop is to the left and right of the cleanup sink? Perhaps based on the upper cabinetry?

There are a couple other photos of this kitchen on houzz that show the wall ovens are just out of the frame on the left of this photo also against the range wall.
Fridge would be on the other wall the runs perpendicular to the range wall to the left, across the short end of the island (which based on comments in houzz is 9 x 5) The photographer is standing in the family room taking this photo, just like my layout is.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 11:50AM
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52-58 inches to left of sink/24 inches to the right/sink takes 15 in based in 18 in cab-total run is about 96 inches or about 8 feet give or take. I would never exceed 10 feet-this one is about correct,give or take. Altho pleasant and light filled, this is a casual dining the sole dining area in your home, I might be concerned about resale later down the road. It's your home, and you have designations of your priorities, but dinners involving a Holiday or will always have action and kitchen in front of you.It's wonderful in some ways.....a risk in some ways.Any chance of appliance[range and hood] and sink to shift left on back wall, and devote 30 in or so at far right, near dining zone for a hutch type cabinet with sides and glass doors that comes to rest on counter....a little more decorative/display/visual and useful buffer for that perpetual connection of dining and kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 12:21PM
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Illinigirl, that's looking like a 30"er by the stove to me.

I just wanted to suggest that that handsome kitchen didn't get that way by accident. To put it mildly. Notice that the picture does not include the refrigerator? Hardly an accident that it wasn't positioned in the main view, or at least cut out of the picture. What sizes the appliances are, their locations, proportions, balance, and various other considerations all come into it.

If you want to end up with something that nice, I'd suggest you not split the design up between a KD whose main job seems to be to help you position the sink, then an unassociated cabinet shop, and an amateur homeowner/designer. You seem to be vastly underestimating what a good design shop (and why on earth would you hire anything but) does and in the process underestimating what you don't know. Positioning the sink and appliances is the easiest part.

If you do consult a kitchen shop, by all means take your inspiration pictures with you for discussion on how to develop your space, and ask questions--lots of them. That you have a lot of ideas about what you want will be a good starting point.

BTW, refrigerator size? Since you're in the custom design phase, my own suggestion would be to position a perhaps 15" cabinet alongside the refrigerator space just in case 5 years from now the newest great refrigeration-something combo required no less than 4 feet. That may seem farfetched, but 48" refrigerators are already in kitchens, easing open the market for new products that size.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 12:27PM
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oops-I was calculating island's so nice to gaze at. Cleanup sink-27 in to the left...33 in to the right, or so. Get the cleanup sink away from dining zone,and ditto what rosie is emphasizing.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 1:06PM
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first, thanks so much for your input. So appreciated.
Second, and here is more ignorance on my part, but I thought a KD was part of a kitchen shop.....What would you recommend I do if I intend on using the builders custom cabinetry for my kitchen? I thought that would be consulting a separate KD (who I thought would be located/working out of a kitchen shop).

I thought that the cabinet design person at the cabinet location (a separate service my builder also offers) would need to be involved in designing, and measuring (and later building and installing) the cabinet portion of the kitchen. How is this supposed to all work together?

Thanks for the ideas and estimates on counters (yes I was asking about the back counter run with the range and main cleanup sink on it. I guess I was thinking that with the main cleanup sink being close to the dining area that made sense for the clean up zone (dirty dishes coming from the dining table go to the clean up zone close by) And at the same time kept the cleanup zone separate and out of the way of the cooking and prep zone. Can you explain more why my logic is faulty here?

A hutch is a nice idea if I can think of anything to put in it. I have no formal china to display.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 1:34PM
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Ask the designers here. But, aside from everything else, I'm thinking one architect, one set of owners, and one kitchen design/cabinet adviser are plenty. You know the one about too many cooks.

I have a picture of you settling on an idea from the first shop, communicating it to a second who gets the wrong picture but goes with it and shelves his own best ideas, the architect getting overridden by you and the designer--who are both missing something important, your husband talking to the architect who thinks something else has been agreed on, the contractor making "executive" decisions overriding everybody to keep work moving, and the plumber advising you alone that it'll be much better if you shift something over a few inches and he can do that right now f you'd like (amazing how many house trades feel qualified to give design advice)--with NO one having control or a truly, clear picture of what's going on. That happens when only two people are trying to work together and just think they're on the same wavelength.

Communication was our biggest problem in building our house, and we lived on site and were in the house observing the work every day. And we had the best contractor in the area, a very nice and experienced man with a long-time reputation for conscientiousness. Every mistake resulted from miscommunication between people in smiling agreement.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 2:59PM
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ok rosie,
I have my first meeting with the cabinet design woman on Tuesday....from what I understand she is the builder's 'kitchen designer'. I do know she has a degree from the area's most reputable design school but I don't know what her specialty is. I will ask her when we meet on Tuesday.

We are using a home designer rather than an architect. This designer works with our builder and a number of the other high end builders in the area....I have toured several of the homes he's designed for our builder and for other builders. You can see the preliminary design he made for us- we like a lot of it but as I mentioned earlier there's certainly changes to be made.

Perhaps I need to wait and see how the meeting on Tuesday goes.

And I do agree I don't know what I don't know. For sure. I'm doing the best I can to make informed and thoughtful decisions on this. Indeed I have spent hours every day working on the kitchen for the last 2 months. I have dozens of pages of notes on varying kitchen (and other home building) topics saved to reference as the time for those decisions draws near.

I guess, back to my main topic, is that every time I post a layout no one likes it or at least if they do they don't say so. I thought my space was similar to the one in the photo so I was wondering if I could translate that layout to my space and go from there on the rest of the design. If the layout in the photo is GW approved then I have a foundation to go forward with. That's my question at this point.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 3:33PM
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A main cleanup sink next to the only dining area is not wise.
It's the cleanup sink----and you are gathering for a meal together to enhance your relationships/enjoy good food/break from the other issues of your well, this has to be appealing to other potential buyers . Even if you have a super casual lifestyle/don't entertain or have larger gatherings at Holidays,etc, it would be foolish to think another occupant would not look at the dining setup with scrutiny. Things that are more acceptable in that immediate spot: oven stack/built in mwave/small entertainment sink/hutch cabinet to counter as discussed/ clear counter with open shelves/corbels and pottery/bowls /vases on display.....

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 6:23PM
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thanks herb. I understand what you are saying, but for the life of me what I can't understand is why a sink is so offensive! How many feet away does a cleanup sink have to be to not be offensive to diners? People are going to see the sink from everywhere in the kitchen, dining room, AND family room. If people hate being by sinks so much why do they always congregate in the kitchen? So much I don't understand. People always talking about hiding dirty dishes. I put my dirty dishes immediately in the dishwasher. Then I wipe out the sink so it's clean.

ah well. Let me ask you this: do people who design their kitchens with you typically mind if their main cleanup sink faces a wall with no window? Maybe I need to be more open to this idea. It really bothers me though. In my own plan the only place the sink can face a window is if it's towards the dining end of the kitchen. The only other spot I see as an option is in the island, offset towards the opposite end (far away from the dining) maybe two feet away from the edge of the island, with the dishwasher being on the very end of the island. My prep would take place to the right of the sink at the 5 foot expanse of island, across from the range, or next to the range on one side or another.

Then I could move the wall ovens to the spot closest to the dining area.

Snackers could access the fridge, a snack counterspace and the dishwasher all outside the prep and cook zone.

something like this except swap the trash and dishwasher and perhaps i don't need a prep sink, or perhaps the prep sink should be on the other side of the range:

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 8:41PM
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please ignore the 12" overhang in the above layout. It would be 15". Also, how important is it for the island edge to line up with the range wall counter edge? I have it offset by one foot to expand the walkway where the fridge is? If that is aesthetically unpleasing I could line it up.

thank you.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 8:46PM
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sinks do not have to be under a have a lot of light from the alcove and all the windows...and it is a fairly large open space....the roasting or frying pan with grease/oil.....the pan with the tomatoe sauce/the pasta boiling pot/ the colanders/dirty spatulas....I don't find it appealing and it doesn't all get dealt with until after the meal for the most part. sinks and sink areas do not in day to day life look like clean shiny glossy pictures on houzz. You are thinking of some good alternatives-let the designer work on this also when you go in. What you have done already is the perimeter sizes of counter runs/basic walkway dimensions and where the dining zone and island will be situated/in addition you've nailed the shape of the island, correct? The next important and useful thing to help the designer be super efficient with you is the appliance models and their dimensions and spec sheets....then let him/her play with positioning and the tweaks and see where their creativity can come in and help you with this finalization. You've done quite a bit...but I would just for the sake of it have one maybe 2 backup plans [in only a basic drawing] in case all this goes south or you change your mind majorly or the designer points out something/etc.-- but that's how I am...back up plans that let you compare/contrast make your final decisions seem more secure and certain and when you decide, you'll feel the process gave you the product you want. You're doing great I think.....not sure it would be the kitchen for me, but that doesn't matter.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:07PM
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Thanks for the words of encouragement herb! I am trying to do too much myself and I'm not exactly qualified. I will have to wait and see what the cabinet designer has to say and what the realm of her experience is overall. Would it be typical of someone who is the cabinet designer to be qualified to design the entire kitchen? As part of our build, the builder has 3 staff members to assist with cabinetry design and interior design. I am hoping they can get me through this.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 11:16PM
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illinigirl- "do people who design their kitchens with you typically mind if their main cleanup sink faces a wall with no window"
some clients object to facing the wall, some object to a sink in the island. I kid around that I keep two lists -"5 things that all clients want" and "5 things that all clients hate"
...both lists are identical :)

In open plan kitchens seeing the sink is not unusual. If that bothers someone they will be looking for a house with a dining room and/or maybe a butlers pantry.

Lining things up....
Aisle clearance and walkways and function all override lining things up. The exception would be certain modern design concepts where everything lines up with something else, in which case clearances still matter but objects and walls are moved to accommodate both.

In most cases the "cabinet designer" is the same thing as the "kitchen designer" they should be able to assist you with the entire kitchen (some better than others) adding in an interior designer only helps.
Go to them with what your preferences are, yours, you have to live there, there are very few hard and fast "rules".

Hopefully you will be working with someone who attempts to figure out what suits you personally the best. I worry if a client doesn't do at least one thing I don't like; could mean I'm not doing my job properly.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 2:38PM
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great, thanks for the response jackuvall!

That makes sense about the aisle clearance. I would rather not lose and extra foot of counter run on the back wall just to have it line up with the island, as long as it won't be considered "wrong" or unsightly.

thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Jakuvall, Please post that list! Actually I think that would be a great thread on its own.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 8:55PM
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debark2008- almost everything someone asks for someone else will say they can't stand.... one man's ceiling is another's floor.

The most common - musts for some, hated by others...
lazy susan (any kind), diagonal corner wall cabinet, pie cut upper w/center hinge, open wine racks, open shelves, glass cabinets, sink in island (including prep!), cooking in island, OTR microwave, undercounter micro, granite with movement.

less requested lately but still belong on both lists- appliance garage, open tops, double sinks, desk ..

Honorable mention should go to white which gets on three lists -I want, I hate, I wish I could.

Three things almost everyone agrees on:- pull out trash, magical disappearing microwave, and my favorite- "More"

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 9:58PM
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Oh I can see how those items are love or hate.

I must say I will be a dissenter on pull out trash (like stand alones) and hiding the microwave (its gets used so often it would be a pain to hide it).

illinigirl, I understand your frustration about the sink. I have no answer but will say and I too like to put things directly into the dw. Right now I'm sitting at my island. As I look at my sink along the wall and I can't see very far into it. I suspect that there are dishes at the bottom but anyone at the island would not see them. If you wash the majority of items in the dw and you load as you go, I don't think the dirty dishes issue will be a problem. If you do a lot of hand dish washing then it could be a problem if people are seated close by.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 7:29AM
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