Please critique kitchen layout

mistyvonneAugust 7, 2014

Good Day!
I'm new here, so thanks for having me!

I am just finalizing my kitchen cabinet layout, and thought I'd ask for some advice!

Floorplan LINK for reference (there has been a change to the fridge - we are doing a side by side full fridge/freezer there now)

- Cabs go right to 9ft ceiling. the main kitchen wall is (13 feet)
- In front of gas range wall is 13 foot island with large sink at right hand side
- Island has drawers under sink, pot/pan pullouts, utensil drawers and "plastics/foil" drawer

Oven Wall - changes to be made: on the farthest right side, we will have an appliance garage for coffeemaker/toaster. with drawers below for teas/coffees, and a bread drawer. - sort of a breakfast bar...

let me know if you think we've missed anything! or if there is anything you would change

btw - in the pantry we have a butlers pantry with bar sink, wine storage, wine cooler etc. so no need for boozey room in main kitchen.


Here is a link that might be useful:

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I'm going to try to put your image in-line, even though it is very big. You will get more responses that way. Many do not want to click on links.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 12:37PM
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thank you! I have no idea how to do that.

is there a way to put more than one photo in a post? i tried looking for instructions but couldn't find them

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:15PM
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Sure! You need to have the URL of the image.., for example. Then you do one of these, and it will show up (take the space out) in your post!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:59PM
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So, my comments: You have a ton of space in this kitchen, yet your zones (cleanup, prep, cooking) are all jumbled up. There should be no reason someone accessing a dishwasher gets in the way of someone chopping vegetables, or trying to open the oven. Yet, here it is.

First off, the messy, in-the-way cleanup sink and DWs should be replaced by a prep sink. From there, you could A) put the cleanup sink at the top of the right wall where the desk is - which most people remodel to REMOVE, btw, as they are clutter magnets. Or, you could B) you put the cleanup sink & DWs on the bottom wall where the full height cabinets are, which you really don't need since you have that huge pantry; the fridge would scoot right or go, again, on the range wall to accommodate this move.

A spin on A) above puts the fridge on the range wall as well, with desk and full-height cabs on the bottom wall. Or, if the fridge stays on the bottom wall, you might exchange the full-height cabs for upper and lower cabinets with counter, and a sink. You can then have the MW and a beverage sink for a coffee / making lunches kind of station.

Finally, if for some reason you are not willing to take the cleanup sink and DW off the island, they should at the very least be moved to the top end of the island, not the bottom. Then, at least, you only have one DW in your fridge-sink-range prep zone.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 4:56PM
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Sorry, I missed that you were doing a fridge/freezer set on that bottom wall. Most of my advise still applies, though, especially if you are willing the separate the two (ie, for option B, freezer on bottom wall, fridge on range wall). :)

Oh, also, if you choose to keep the desk area.. you might consider a counter height desk. Here is an old post I wrote: "Do you have island or peninsula seating? If so you might consider a counter height desk like clergychick's. If you do a pullout, drop-down, or enclose it in doors, the extra stool can sit at your island or peninsula when not in use. Or, you can keep it open like she did and just use it as extra counter space when not in use. It would be perfect as a buffet or beverage area."

Here's some info clergychick had posted about her desk: "Our kitchen desk area is command central in our house. We decided to keep it at counter height and have no regrets. During parties, it is cleared off and becomes the beverage station. We have a strip of plugmold under the upper cabs, phone line and cable line come directly into the box above."

Here is a link that might be useful: source link

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:07PM
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the desk is essential for me, because i work from home. if I didn't have the desk in the kitchen, i'd never see my family. the kitchen is big enough (that wall in 13 feet) that it won't take away from workspace.

i don't really need two sinks. thanks for all your input! you seem to have a science i'd never think of! lol

to be honest, I think your suggestions are beyond our requirements! lol

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Yeah, it seems like a jumbled mess to me, too. If you think you might ever sell the house, I would really reconsider your placements. It seems like a waste of money to me to remodel a kitchen with an end result that is this dysfunctional.

Sorry if that's not what you want to hear.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:37PM
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I just moved to a home with a similar layout and it's frankly awful. Your zones need to be separate not overlapping. Moving the cleanup sink to the end of the run would separate them. With laptops desks do not need a dedicated space in the kitchen. Definitely do not prioritize it's location over kitchen function.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:39AM
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This post was edited by Bellsmom on Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 10:37

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:32AM
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I can't see the layout as it's posted. I'm not a designer, just a busy home cook with 4 kids.

But one thing is that my old kitchen had double ovens with the microwave above them and it was way too high up. The kids couldn't use it without dragging a stool over from the island. And even adults (I'm 5'5") would sometimes burn themselves getting things out. I found it very inconvenient.

Since I can't see the layout I can't comment in detail. But I'd say, if someone is going to the fridge or microwave, make sure they don't have to walk through your prep or cooking zones to do that. Also I like it if the kids can set the table and unload the dishwasher, or wash a dish in the cleanup zone, without getting into or going through my prep and cooking zones. So make sure to analyze the pathways to make sure you don't have to move or stop every time someone wants to go to the fridge, etc. Plus it's not safe to have all that traffic in a cookzone.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:00AM
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Expensive and spacious but very builders grade. Little thought about function.

For starters, the fridge location is not convenient.

Drawers, not cabinets in the lowers.

The most important thing in the kitchen is layout. Do you really want help or advice?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 5:31PM
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Don't let the above remarks seem harsh. They are tough love from those who love kitchens. I agree that your kitchen layout could be a lot better! Personally I would not even know where to begin. Who designed this kitchen? An architect? If so, it is typical that the kitchen would not be very functional. No offence to architects but most are not well versed in kitchen function.

Do you want the best (most functional) kitchen within your parameters? If so, then provide a blank slate and ask for help. You will get great suggestions.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:12PM
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I know this surely isn't what you wanted the hear but the kitchen as shown has lots of problems. I don't think I've ever seen an architect designed kitchen on here that was workable. They just take specific measurements and fit them in - without any concern for how a kitchen works.

how many kids in your family? how many cooks? are you all tall people?

I have to agree about the mw over double ovens. That's a dangerous accident waiting to happen. When something scalding hot tips forward as someone tries to pull it out or check on it.

the sink /dws behind the stove/cook - anyone trying to unload or load a dw will hit the legs (maybe more) of the cook. Possibly you could move the sink and dws down (up?) the island. Then you'd have to worry about being in the way if you are working at the desk.

Is there a doorway toward the top into the DR?

how wide will the island be?

If you do end up with your work space on that cabinet run, try to do something to keep the monitor up off of the counter and the same w/the keyboard. Kids in a kitchen = spills. Actually, even me in a kitchen (anywhere) = spills! I still use a desktop so my keyboard is just a 13.00 replacement.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:58PM
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That flow into the dining room is one of the things that bothers me the most. You have to walk way around or go through the pantry? There is a reason dining rooms have adjoined kitchens for centuries.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:09PM
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You have such a huge space to play with.
In this graph each square is one foot. The scale may be a bit off in some places, but it's close. Maybe this will help folks make suggestions.

Edited to change "each square is one inch" to "one foot." Duh!!! Sorry!

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 14:04

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:12AM
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lol you people are hard core. please don't be offended if I don't take your suggestions! geesh!! and you don't have to get mean.

1. it's not a remodel, it's a new build. and the structure is already there, and plumping is in place. not looking to move the sink. and the fridge/freezer combo stays where it is, because we framed out behind it so that it will sit exactly flush to cabinet.

2. I've already said the computer desk is a priority for me. So no need to beat that dead horse. It will ONLY have a monitor screen. all components will be hidden in the pantry behind. the keyboard will be in a hidden drop front drawer. it's completely away from the THIRTEEN foot kitchen, so it's not in the way. Let's leave that alone.

3. The double ovens will start at floor height with the MW above. Thus, microwave will be at regular height and the 2nd oven (that will get the least amount of use) will be lower, at standing oven height (or just a tad below)

5. they are drawers, not cabinets below.

6. that island is THIRTEEN feet long and 5 feet wide. that is plenty of space to prep, at the other nine feet of space on the end. there is nearly 5 feet of prep space to either side of the stove. This kitchen is open to my main living area. I want the sink to face the living room.

7. i get the idea about dishwashers opening in front of stove, but it's not bothering me, as if one is in the way, we'll just use the other one. besides, I'm not one to clean up WHILE cooking anyways.

8. i want the sink across from the stove for pot filling/dumping

9. i want dishwashers to each side of the sink, so moving the sink doesn't work.

10. i LOVE that the dining room is out of the way. I designed it that was on purpose, in fact I designed ALL of this house myself, based on what I love and what works for my family (not based on what people have done for decades) If I wanted a cookie cutter house, I would have just bought one. I don't want my guests to have to see the kitchen/food prep area while they are dining. for the next 6ish years that dining room will be a playroom - which makes me really appreciate the fact that it's out of the way! When we becoming dining people, i have no problem having people walk through a short hallway, to the dining room. yes, the other way into the dining room is through the butler's pantry - which is where i would enter with the food servings for guests.

11. Two "cooks" for this kitchen... but mostly my husband, who is 6'1" cooks. Family of 4.

I never loved the placement of the stove/microwave, but there ARE reasons that will work for my family. I wanted the fridge out of the way, and to that side, because with two teenage boys in my future, that area will get the most foot traffic. I wanted it the shortest distance from the main living area.

I'm not opposed to suggestions, really, but some of you are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more hardcore about kitchen layouts than I am. lol Sorry if this offends you, but I'm more about the aesthetic design than kitchen function. I didn't realize this was such an intense forum.

I think what I am looking for, is things that catch your eye regarding cabinets etc.

This post was edited by mistyvonne on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 14:23

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:34PM
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You might want to edit your original post as you specifically asked for help with the layout, it's the title of the thread. No one here is trying to be harsh, they're trying to help. They're offering common sense advise to try and help you end up with a functional kitchen.
If you're happy with the layout, great, build it, enjoy it. But if you ask for layout help here you're going to get it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:22PM
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like i said, i didn't know what i was getting into!

i feel like it might confuse things even more if I edit the topic, but for anyone else reading this far, I'm only looking for the little things... edits on the cabinets, not the entire kitchen layout (which is why i showed the cabinets in the post, but then posted the layout for reference)

like, i got a suggestion to move the garbage/recycle to the island, and the pot drawers to beside the range. now that's good stuff!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Ouch. As one of the people who was trying to help, your response was less than kind. Frankly, since you apparently know better than any of us what you love and what works for your family (as proven by your use of SHOUTING CAPS) I'm not sure I have anything helpful to add, and will back out of this thread.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:37PM
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I'm always surprised, and often delighted, when I stumble into a world that is much bigger than I imagined.

For example, ethical dog breeding is something to which people devote vast amounts of thought, time, and money. We have a wonderful pet thanks to such a person. Her health, temperament and conformation are exceptional. We have a second pet, a rescued mutt, and she doesn't have a stable temperament, or healthy skin or dentition. She's cute, we love her, and she certainly functions as a beloved family pet...but she's not a quality dog. I realize that most people, including those who have pets, don't really understand the difference.

You could have a quality kitchen, you could use the freely shared knowledge and advice offered here. But you stumbled in without knowing that so much could go into designing a quality kitchen, and you are already attached to your cute mutt. Enjoy it! Just don't expect the judges at Westminster to applaud.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:45PM
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lol... wow

"internet shouting?" and pedigree metaphors.

this place is a gas. a very SERIOUS gas. (oops, did I shout again?)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:30PM
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By the way, dog breeding for purpose/features/temperment is an absolute abomination. Just a horrible disregard for organic creatures, and real and true life. What happened to natural selection? What makes people think they have the right to play mother nature?

...........................So, depending on what I think of the "advice" that is either the world's worst, or the world's best metaphor.....

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:35PM
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You asked for advice then shot down nearly every piece offered to you. I am among the "regular" and "utilitarian" when it comes to my cooking and kitchen but the folks here have been nothing but kind and supportive and blunt at all the right times.

I have learned a TON in the time I have spent here because I have taken the time to listen carefully and evaluate all advice given to me. It does not mean I have taken all advice, or that it has all been right for me and my kitchen, but I made some very important changes in both form and function ny hearing what people have offered.

Now. If you really do not want advice, don't ask for it. If you want input on your style choices then say so. But what you did say, right in the title of this thread, was "Please critique my layout.". Ask, and ye shall receive.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:01PM
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Oh and another thing I noticed and will point out, since you did ask, it looks like there is less than 36" between your island and your fridge, oven and microwave wall. This is WAY too small a space and is not an opinion. This is fact. You may not even be able to get your fridge in and out of its place with that little space. This really is inexcusable with the amount of space you have to work with.

If you have a minimum of 42" there you might get by but it is going to be tight.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:17PM
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Even in a new build you can move things. During a remodel, I made my DH move the DW connection twice and much of the electric in the kitchen 3 times.

No one was being even slightly unkind. We thought you wanted help and offered it. I know its hard to accept constructive criticism. Been there.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:14AM
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Actually, you can calm down. There is just over 4 feet (50") between the fridge and island, and also between the island and rangetop.

But do you see how you've stated it in a really aggressive manor?

SO many pitbulls!!!! geesh

Thank you Bellsmom for showing the plan with a grid... you can imagine each square as 1 foot... that's pretty close to scale!

This post was edited by mistyvonne on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 10:56

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Aesthetics..I hope this is a safe

I can't tell for sure if you have stacked cabinets or if it's just a window in the door, which is how it looks on the drawing. If it's stacked cabinets, the recommended ratio is to divide the cabinet in thirds. If it's a window in the door, have you considered the effect of small windows drawing the eye up to the ceiling? Is that where you want people to look? Then notice that the windows are different widths. Picture them lighted where it will accentuate the different sizes. Now subtract for the stiles and rails, and what is the actual window size? What can you display in that small window, and do you have twenty coordinating objects to go in those windows? Are the doors perhaps too narrow to pull off this look?

I don't think your kitchen has the perfect symmetry for door windows to work, and, to be frank, I think they look like you cut corners instead of getting the stacked cabinets. That doesn't seem to suit your build.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:05AM
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How wide is your pantry? My kitchen design is very similar to yours, minus the desk. My sink will be in my island across from range and dishwasher next to it. My island will also be very long and 5ft. wide. I think it's plenty as well.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:13AM
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debrak2008 i totally understand! I'm currently very unhappy with where the security keypad is in our foyer. poor hubs lol

I am limited in moving appliances now, as it would be so much work. we are building this house ourselves - subcontracting all the work etc. Just finding contractors, who are available, is an impossible feat. Way too much work for the trades here in Alberta, Canada.

I can't move the DWs now.. Each dishwasher has a drain under it, for that one inevitable day that it leaks... electrical outlets are all complete and set per appliance. I know it IS possible to move things, but because my husband did all the electrical himself, after working his full time job, we just don't have the luxury of rewiring. plus, we'd like to get into this house sooner than later, as it's 45 minutes from my current place, and I have to drive my children to school at the new place every day.

I do wish I can consulted you all (well, the gentler of you) before I started - the only thing I had to draw on while designing the layout, was my own experience and aesthetic preferences.

Something that threw off the layout, and I got stuck on, is that I insisted on having a bottle recycle chute that went from the backsplash to the pantry. I literally bought the 2nd last one on this continent, and it was hell to track down. For our family, we are way more likely to recycle bottles, than we are to use the oven, so yes... i prioritized a chute over oven placement. Please don't attack me!!! lol

Perhaps one thing for some of the more aggressive posters to remember is that just because someone told you, or you read it somewhere (here 10 times), about the best way to do things... doesn't actually mean it's the best for everyone. I felt so attacked! A gentler approach may get your points across better. This forum does have a reputation for aggression and "ripping posters to shreds"

This post was edited by mistyvonne on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 14:24

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:30AM
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I have seldom seen people rip anybody to shreds, and did not see it at ALL in your thread. Yes, I was more aggressive with my second and third postings, but THAT is what aggressive looks like. Not one single thing that came before.

What you have to remember is that every single poster here is volunteering their time and valuable insight, many of whom are in the middle of their own DIY or contracted renos, or actual, full-time professionals. Such folks tend to not take it lightly when they feel their time is being wasted and that is exactly how you were coming across whether you meant to or not.

Good to know you have 48". That should suit just fine. Have fun.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:40AM
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thank you thank you @mayflowers !!

I'm not sure what you mean by stacked cabinets or a window? cabinets go right to 9foot ceiling.

I had originally wanted the entire top row of cabinets to have glass windows... but since the size of them aren't all the same, I have been second guessing that. Each glass doored cabinet will be lit.

Maybe I should do only some cabinets with glass doors? and if so, which ones?


Our pantry is 13 feet long, the full length of the kitch! I love your design! (obviously)

This post was edited by mistyvonne on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 11:42

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:41AM
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But how wide is your pantry??

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 12:18PM
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oh wide!!! sorry! it is 6'6" wide

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:10PM
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Stacked cabinets are exactly that--a small cabinet stacked on top of the bottom cabinet. The top cab is about 1/3 the height of the wall cabinets.

Here's a photo of windowed cabinets, though these look like separate doors on one cabinet box. It still illustrates how silly the small windows look, like little peep holes, and the different sizes. Why draw the eye there? Why go to the expense of lighting each one of those cabs when there's nothing to see? Or one piece of white pottery per window, as is usually the default display item.

So I think stacked cabs are the way to go if you want to add glass and shorten the look of tall doors. But it'd be good to post the dimensions of your wall cabs to see what's best. There are KDs here, some of them quite blunt, who can tell you how to balance your wall cabs. And the real pitbulls are in Appliances from what I've heard. We're more like Golden Retrievers. ;)

Traditional Kitchen by Chilliwack Kitchen & Bath Designers Pinnacle Custom Cabinet Design

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:11PM
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ah! I see!

My cabinets are all being hand made, so not boxes to configure together... the top cabinets will be their own, so yes, I guess stacked..

The smallest windowed door panel is about 13"x14"
(the measurements on the plans are in milometers)

Would you say that's too small? Any idea how big the windows are in the picture you posted?

maybe i should combine some of them, and make larger panels?

here is a mockup i just made that may help better visual

p.s. I'll be sure to stay away from the appliance section, since I've already chose and put deposits down! lol

(this is a similar look i was going for, this kitchen has 9 ft ceilings as well)

Though my cabinets will be maple espresso, so I thought the lighted uppers would soften it a bit!

This post was edited by mistyvonne on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 14:01

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:54PM
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I would estimate the windows in the picture may_flowers posted are 9" wide (15" cabinet less 3" on each side for the framing)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Please tell me you have one of these between garage/pantry!!!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:04PM
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I would also consider a redesign of the island. How many seats are planned? Why is everyone sitting in a row looking at you? Will you be giving cooking lessons? ;) It's diner-style dining, which isn't conducive to conversation.

I would try to design it so no one was sitting behind the sink and DW. Two sit in the front and two on the side near the nook. Maybe put 12"-15" deep cabinets behind the DW and sink. Do you have an inspiration photo for the island?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:06PM
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I considered putting some seats at the desk end of the island, but love the long island.

here are two i found

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:12PM
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mistyvonne: I can't see what you are asking about??

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:17AM
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    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 5:08PM
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