Time to get serious on the world's worst kitchen
I've been on this site for 2 years, initially came here to just quickly replace tiny (7.5ftx12ft) galley kitchen but then realized how pointless it would be to repeat the current mistakes. I've considered what seems like every possible variation to make a functional kitchen out of what is currently really just a corridor, on a slab, hemmed in by load-bearing walls.
I'm now looking at a lot of construction work for what will still be a relatively tiny kitchen - moving all the appliances to the outside wall (which means trenching the slab a few feet), opening up the load bearing wall to the breakfast room, and running some narrow pantry and microwave cabinets on the inside wall. We also need a full electrical upgrade/heavyup, which will be done regardless.
Basics about me: family of 4 in a downscale house in a high-priced suburb of DC. Won't move any time soon, mostly because we can't replicate the square footage, the good schools, and relatively short commute without spending at least double what we paid for this house. The house has been expanded twice by previous owners with no attention to the kitchen, although now I sort of understand why. I'm not a huge cook or entertainer but have aspirations of both, and have 2 boys plus a husband all of whom are super tall. As the house floor plan shows, the kitchen is the main passageway to our living and dining rooms, so having a reasonable aisle clearance seems really important.
So all that said, does my proposed new layout make sense? Is it really worth it to trench the slab and open the wall? (I mean, I think it is, but if I'm missing something obvious that avoids that, I'd love to consider it.) My biggest uncertainty is the banquette (which I'd do via Ballard or another freestanding one rather than built-in) - I love the look of banquettes but am not really sure if my big, busy kids are well-suited to that.
Anyway, I'd love any comments.Most appliances are bought (GE caf� 30" gas range w/small oven on top; GE caf� hood; KA CD fridge.) I seem to have finally found a contractor, which has been a holdup till now since most of the not-high-end "kitchen places" I've talked to sort of seem disinterested when I start getting into all the back-end work this place needs.
And this would be the view from the living room: