Kitchen layout -- comments please?

QuirkyJaneAugust 5, 2014

Hello, I've been browsing like crazy for a couple of months in both this forum and the appliances forum. We have bought a house and we are adding on before we move in as it's currently too small for our family but we love the location and neighborhood.

So, the kitchen -- this will be a demo of the existing kitchen and the current stairs to the downstairs and a bumpout that adds on a couple of feet of length. The footprint and dimensions are not flexible at this point because of the overall project (including new bedroom/bathroom downstairs and new bath/master upstairs).

We are a family of six (two adults, our au pair, and three kids ages 6, 9, and 12). We cook most meals and pack lunches for the kids. The concept for this kitchen is to have multiple work zones for 2+ adults working at a time, breakfast/homework/hangout space for people at the island, and open flow to the dining/living room at the left but the ability to channel through traffic away from the hot zone and dish zone. We also want this to be kid-friendly for chores such as unloading the dishwasher and setting the table/helping with clean up.

Cabinets are still TBD but we are leaning towards frameless. Uppers would be 36" high. As many drawers as possible below.

Appliances - we really wanted a counter depth fridge but for budget reasons that had to go in favor of a full-size fridge.

That meant the pantry is smaller than we had hoped so we are trying to figure out internal fittings for pull-outs. We think it would be weird to have the doors opening towards the fridge so we're thinking pull-outs towards the island but that is TBD.

The range will be a Capital Culinarian 36". Don't know the hood yet but that will be sized to match.

The upper cabinets to the left of the sink in this picture will change -- I'd rather attempt symmetry with the one to the right of the sink and I don't quite know what happened to this drawing.

My husband is desperate to have pull-out wicker baskets for potatoes, onions, and garlic (we had this in the last kitchen we remodeled) but we still haven't figured out if that's doable.

Thanks in advance for any comments or input!

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sjhockeyfan325

In my previous home, my kitchen was just about the same size, although the doorways and windows were in different locations, and the pantry was separate. Generally speaking, I can say that the refrigerator/cooktop/sink/prep sink are located well. I do have a couple of specific questions -

1) An arrow says "garbage" and points to a 24" drawer base. you don't really need 24" for a trash pull-out. Mine is 18" (double cans - one for trash and one for recycling) and you can even do 15" with double cans.

2) The arrow that points to "cutting boards and cookie sheets" - what kind of cabinet is this? I'd want a vertical cabinet for those items (they're a pain to access if they're stacked).

3) Peg board is not necessary for dishes if you have soft-close drawers. Mine don't move at all, and the pegs take up space.

4) Pots and pans pull-out --- I would change this to drawers rather than pull-outs (which require you to open the doors first). I had pullouts in my previous kitchen, drawers now, and drawers are infinitely better.

5) I'm not that good at geometry, but I'm not sure you can really fit 3 stools (and the legs that will be sitting on them) in that island configuration. How long is the island (it looks like its only 39"? How wide are the aisles between the island and the sink/refrigerator? We had narrowish aisles, which meant a slightly longer island -- ours was 54" I think.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:04PM
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lisa_a

That is a small island for a prep sink. I'm not sure it will be as useful as you hope it will be.

I also don't think you'll have room for 3 stools at the island, even with the curve.

Can the window be moved or widened? Can the wall behind the pantry be removed? I have an idea but it hinges on the flexibility of these two things.

Please post a plan of the downstairs so we can see how the kitchen relates to the rest of the house.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:05PM
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QuirkyJane

Here are the most recent plans I have for the upstairs and downstairs -- my husband has been working in a different program to get more detailed on the kitchen layout so the first layout I posted is our working draft right now.

I don't yet know how to put two images in one post so the first image will be the basement level and the next post will be the main level.

The house is one level at the front and two in the back. At the basement level, the new bedroom and new study/office are new space while everything else is being renovated inside the existing space (including those stairs, those are being moved from their current location).

On the first (main) floor, it's a little harder to describe existing vs. new -- the kitchen is in the same location but is getting bumped out the back to be even with the existing screened porch, and Bedroom #2/Bath #1 are the limits of the existing footprint, so the master suite (closet, bathroom, Bedroom #1/Bathroom #3) is also part of the addition.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:58PM
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QuirkyJane

Main level floor plan

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:59PM
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debrak2008

A 24" cookie sheet base seems really large. I have a 9" and maybe could use 12" at the most. Do you really need it that big?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 6:39PM
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lisa_a

Thanks for providing a full floor plan, however you didn't answer my questions about whether the window could move or a wall be removed. I realize the footprint can't change but perhaps the above structural changes are possible. I went ahead and drew up an idea based on that possibility.

I moved the fridge to the top wall, shifted DW and sink over, widened the window and reduced the depth of the wall next to the fridge so that the fridge doors will be able to open wide enough to pull out fridge drawers.

The range stayed where it was. I added a 36" pull-out pantry cab to its right, eliminating the bottom of the U.

That move plus removing the wall at the lower end of the opening to the LR, allowed me to create a longer island, which made space for a larger prep sink. The size of sink that you'd be able to put in a 15" cab is a bar sink, not really useful for prep work, much less draining a pot of pasta.

The longer island and deep curve should provide enough room for 3 stools at the counter.

I did a little organizational labeling for you but feel free to change things as you need to fit your family's needs.

I also shifted the entry from the foyer to the left, directing the view from the front door towards the LR windows and backyard.

The aisle between the bottom end of the aisle and wall is 36", which is narrow than recommended (42" aisles for 1-butt kitchens, 48" aisles for 2-butt kitchens) but since there's only one narrow cab opening into this aisle, I decided it was likely workable.

It wasn't until I was ready to post this plan that I realized I forgot to allow for a MW. You don't show one in your plan but I assume you intend to have one. You could make a space for a MW in the pantry, like this:

Contemporary Kitchen by Chagrin Falls Kitchen & Bath Designers Kitchen & Bath Etc.

Or this:

Eclectic Kitchen by Pensacola Interior Designers & Decorators In Detail Interiors

Or this:

Traditional Kitchen by Gardena Kitchen & Bath Designers The French Tradition

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:00AM
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QuirkyJane

Thanks, Lisa, that is amazing what you've been able to do with what I uploaded! I have zero skills in Photoshop so I am in awe. That is a TON of food for thought that I will have to take to our architect and my engineer dh -- but that island is certainly much more functional than the one we have, and I absolutely love the idea of the microwave in the pantry. We had been resigning ourselves to the fact that it would have to go on the counter.

I also really appreciate the other feedback by previous posters -- especially re: cabinet widths as it looks like we really overestimated some widths we'd need.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:48AM
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SuziKD

With your initial layout I see several things I would change as a kitchen designer. First, to the far left, your 45" wall cabinet will have a center stile (not desirable. ALSO if you don't have a filler to the left, your door/handle will bang into the wall.

Second, do you have tall end panels on each side of the fridge? That is necessary to install a full-depth cabinet over the fridge.

I'm not fond of putting wall cabinets right up against the range hood. I would leave a couple of inches on each side.

Also question the 38 over the fridge, I would use a 36 and small filler if necessary. Again, typically over 36" width requires a center stile. Very awkward over fridge.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:57AM
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SuziKD

With your initial layout I see several things I would change as a kitchen designer. First, to the far left, your 45" wall cabinet will have a center stile (not desirable. ALSO if you don't have a filler to the left, your door/handle will bang into the wall. I would use a 30 and a 15 perhaps.

Second, do you have tall end panels on each side of the fridge? That is necessary to install a full-depth cabinet over the fridge.

I'm not fond of putting wall cabinets right up against the range hood. I would leave a couple of inches on each side.

Also question the 38 over the fridge, I would use a 36 and small filler if necessary. Again, typically over 36" width requires a center stile. Very awkward over fridge.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:58AM
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lisa_a

You're welcome, QuirkyJane! (love your screen name, btw). I use Microsoft Paint. There are other tools out there but this one works quickly and easily for me so I stick with it. I'm not trying to present finished drawings, just lay-out ideas for people to take to their contractors to be tweaked as needed to fit cab specs, adding fillers as necessary (you will need fillers between cabs and walls, as SuziKD pointed out, for overlay cabs).

SuziKD, I have a 41" wide fridge cab without a center stile. My cabs were made in '94, fairly standard, nothing fancy. IOW, I didn't have to specify "no center stile." My new fridge cab will be 38.5" and, again, no center stile. My cabs are custom, made by a local cab maker. I nearly went with a semi-custom cab maker; their fridge cabs didn't include a center stile either. Even Ikea cabs, definitely stock cabs, don't include a center stile for the fridge cab. I'm curious to know what cab lines spec a center stile.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:17PM
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