starting the process - opinions pls

flora2bAugust 23, 2014

Wanting to update a tired is roughly 9.5 x 14'.
Currently like - wood stain cabinets, warmth from wood, style of current cabinets, sink at window, transitional classic styling. Will be living in for the foreseeable future, mid-range country estate.

Dislike - drop ceiling, range fan not vented outside, dishwasher placement, look into cupboards at current prep area, backsplash tile cracked, leaky faucet, pantry in adjacent laundry room

Need/want - more storage, more workspace (countertop), more open concept, new floor, new countertops, refinish cabinets, larger fridge either french door or bottom mount (current one is not fixable) and matching appliances, pantry, large island or open peninsula with seating.

Here are some sketches on scrap paper as I begin the process of deciding a kitchen layout.....not vary professional at this point, just ideas.......i'd like to take 2 or 3 of them and put them to scale to see how everything fits.

Will be removing the current kitchen table, chairs and temporary fridge...

Starting on left, down and then to right as I make more modifications.

What would you do?

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Do you have a measured drawing of your space? Graph paper is fine (by hand or online). Measure and label everything...widths of doors/doorways/walls/windows, distances between windows/walls/doors/doorways.

From the Layout Help topic in the Kitchen FAQ:

  • The best place to start is to draw up your kitchen (to scale, if possible) either without cabinets & appliances if you do not know where to start or with your proposed new layout if you have something to start with. Regardless, measure and label everything...walls, ceiling height, widths of doors/doorways & windows, distances between windows, walls, doors/doorways, etc.

If you cannot move plumbing or gas, mark them on your drawing as well. Mark all doors/doorways & windows (with dimensions) and label them as to where they lead. If they are actual doors, mark how they swing. It also would be helpful to see the connecting rooms, even entire first floor layouts (or whatever floor your kitchen is on), so we see how they interact with the kitchen and/or extend the kitchen feel and flow. Make note of traffic flows in and out of the kitchen Where are you flexible?

  • Can windows or doorways change size?

  • Can they be moved or eliminated?

  • Can windows be raised/lowered?

  • Can any walls come down?

  • Does the sink have to be centered under a window?

  • Does it have to be under a window at all?

Note: The more constraints you put on a space (e.g., sink centered under a window, not willing to move plumbing, electric, or gas lines), the fewer options there are. So, be sure any limitations/constraints you mention are true constraints. You could say you would like something to not be moved/changed or placed in a certain location, but if it is not a must or truly impossible, then mention it is a preference but that you would consider something different. not assume something is "too expensive" to do...check around b/f assuming, you may be pleasantly surprised at how little it costs! (E.g., if you have a basement, moving water, etc. is generally relatively inexpensive.)

For the full Layout Help FAQ topic, see the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: FAQ: How do I ask for Layout Help and what information should I include?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 4:44AM
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"...refinish cabinets..."

Does this mean you do not want to replace the cabinets? It will be difficult to change the layout if the cabinets are not being replaced. Remember that exposed cabinet ends will need to be finished and moving them around, while theoretically possible, can be difficult and the attempt to remove them may result in damaged cabinets.

In what condition are the cabinets? Cabinets are one of those basic items that need to be in very good shape to make it worth redoing a kitchen without replacing them. The functionality of your kitchen is not particularly good - in particular, the placement of the sink/range/DW is an issue. I strongly recommend considering replacing the cabinets to give you more flexibility for a new, more functional layout and make it worth replacing counters and flooring. (You'll have to replace the counters if you're rearranging the cabinets.)

Also note that if you are replacing flooring, it's usually best to put the flooring down first and then installing the cabinets (there are a few exceptions - e.g., cabinets cannot be installed over a floating floor - you have to install a subfloor under the cabinets that is the same thickness as the flooring).

If budget is an issue, consider IKEA or other Ready To Assemble (RTA) cabinets as well as consider remodeling in stages (e.g.,skip the backsplash & just paint until additional funds are available).


How wide/deep is the built-in? 4'x18"?

This post was edited by buehl on Sat, Aug 23, 14 at 9:34

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:11AM
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Sophie Wheeler

What is your budget for changes? You're talking gut remodel level changes but do you have the gut budget for replacing it all? It's more costly than you think. You can buy a new car, or you can buy a kitchen. What level of DIY skill can you bring to the project? That's a key to keeping costs down if your budget is more used Ford than new Cadillac.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cost vs. Value

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:23AM
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While we wait to hear from flora2b, here are some ideas to start the discussion. There is no seating b/c I don't think you have room for extra counterspace where it's really needed and still have island/peninsula seating plus decent aisle widths. In addition, you have a dining area with chairs right there. (Of course, without accurate measurements, I don't know that for certain - the DR dimensions would be useful as well.)

(Select/click on a picture to see a larger version.)

Layout #1


Layout #2


Layout #3

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:48AM
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Thanks for all the great information and advise. I see I need to find/ learn how to use a program so I can put in all the specs as well as show the flow to the rest of the house.
Buehl how did you do that? Can you suggest an easy to use program? I've tried to use the computer and find it very challenging.....I can put a scaled drawing onto graph l start there.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Folks who would never dream of cutting their own hair or filling their own teeth don't seem to have any problem designing their own website or kitchen.

I'd kick around some ideas on paper, and you'll get great advice here, but I wouldn't buy a drawer pull before running my plans past someone whose previous work speaks to me. Your hair will grow back, but that misplaced appliance will be there for many years.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Okay.......I've not mastered sketch-up but have a few graph paper drawings (I'm old school...sorry)
An informal, empty nest lifestyle with a 5-10 yr window of living here. Love gardening and having access to the outdoors to grab herbs etc. Looking for improved function and storage/prep space. Budget 10-15K...maybe more for additional flooring to run in ajoining areas.
Here is the 'social' part of the main floor:

One person cook, with summer preserves and garden produce to process(canning, drying, etc). Use microwave only to reheat things.
Would like to see kitchen more open to dining area. I plan on eliminating the table and chairs in the kitchen.
Hubby not willing to deal with load bearing wall and I don't want kitchen to be fully open to the front entrance door. Like sink at the window, don't need huge fridge (21cf) as I have a spare for summertime in the basement.

Wondering about moving the built in china cabinet and re-purposing it elsewhere. I'm open to a peninsula or island, but would love to center it, so as to look out the large picture window: and of course not be staring into the upper cabinet as I presently do. Could maybe add some secondary seating as well. Like the raised bar look.
Was wondering about having the upper cabinets go all the way to the ceiling after removal of the drop ceiling (11" gain) to get extra storage for things not used very often?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 4:10AM
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