Opening an old kitchen

kimplicatedAugust 22, 2013

Hello all,

We've paid an architect a significant down payment to help us renovate our kitchen, but the ideas aren't flowing like we hoped. Since we can't afford a kitchen designer on top, I'm hoping you can help! The sheer amount and quality of your ideas on floorplans has me...floored! Har, har!

In our current layout, the kitchen is the smallest and darkest room in the downstairs. Boo! The goal is an open, comfortable layout to accommodate a small family and frequent guests. So we want to open the kitchen to the dining room and a little back sunroom, making the back yard as visible as possible.

This is my current iteration, and any/all ideas are welcome and appreciated. is awesome, but slightly off in terms of scale: everything's slightly smaller than it appears in this rendering.

My major concerns are:
A.) Is there enough prep space between the kitchen and sink? This plan has about 2.5 feet.
B.) I'm not crazy about having the main sink face a wall, but it seems really important that it be on the same run as the stove--I had that once and loved it. Or would it all be okay if I swapped the main sink and the prep sink?
C.) Where can we put the fridge? In its current placement, it frees up counter space, but it's quite a bit away from the main sink and it blocks a lot of the visibility to the back yard.
D.) That short wall in the island is there primarily to block people from being able to see right into the kitchen mess as they walk in the door, which is across from the stairs. Is this smart...or awkward?
E.) Is there enough wall cabinet space? We're both pretty tall. If not, where can I get more?
F.) My last main concern, I suppose, is whether I'm missing any main concerns. ;^)

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Stinks that you paid all that money and didn't end up with anything you liked.

I would get rid of the wall next to the island, it will be weird.

Can you put your main sink in the island, and then put your fridge on that wall?

Can you move you stove to where the sink is and put your sink on the outside wall?

What is that little room suppose to be?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:46PM
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Do you have a measured layout? That would be much easier for us.

I agree - get rid of the wall. What you could do, instead, is put up a wall at the end of the sink run. The sink, at least, will then be shielded from view (of the front door). That will hide dirty dishes...

Putting the sink in the island will put the dirty dishes "front and center" and, unless the distance b/w the back of the sink and the edge of the seating overhang is at least 24", those dirty dishes will be "in the face" of anyone sitting at the island (it doesn't matter how high the seating is...dishes will still be right there.)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Forgot to address prep space.

"...Is there enough prep space between the kitchen and sink? This plan has about 2.5 feet. ..."

36" is the minimum recommended amount of counter space for prepping, so 30" would not be enough. Even without the recommendations, I would say 30" isn't enough - especially in a kitchen this size.

I don't know how wide the island is (I'm assuming this is your Prep Zone), but if it's wide enough, you could move the sink down to one end and then have the rest of the island open for prep space. Let's say the island is 8' long. You could do the following:

15" cabinet + 21" prep sink base + 60" cabinets = 96" (8')

That would give you 5' of prep space on one side of the prep sink plus some landing space on the other side of the prep sink.

Also, if you're prepping in the island, the refrigerator really isn't that far away. It's a little far from the range and even farther from the cleanup sink, but you will probably use the refrigerator more during prepping than the other tasks.

BTW...If you want 4 seats along the back of the island like that, the island will need to be at least 8' need 24" for each seat.

Speaking of the island - I recommend a single-level surface. It's far more useful than a bi-level island.

What is that small room? Is it a Mudroom?

What is to the left of the small room (on the left wall)....window? door? something else? If it's a window, how high off the floor is it?

Have you had a chance to read the "Layout Help" topic in the "Read Me" thread? There are more questions for you... :-)

If you would like our help in designing your kitchen, please post a measured layout (see Layout Help for more information.)

Here is a link that might be useful: New To Kitchens? Posting Pics? Read Me!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Thanks so much for your ideas, Buehl and LoPay! Will try to get a drawing with measurements (architect's gotta do something, right?), and put it up here soon.

In the meantime, here's the tweaked layout I came up with, based on your advice. In it, we're giving connecting the island to make it a much more traditional U, and giving up the direct route to the bathroom from the kitchen. Does that strike you guys as a problem?

That's a very good point about the dirty dishes being in your face if the sink is on the island. I'd like to say that my dirty dishes never pile up but that'd be...false. Not sure I see a way around that though. Do you? Moving it over a little so it's near/behind the wall?

Also, yup, that little room is a mudroom with a little narrow window that's about 4 feet off the ground. Pretty random, actually, but the walls around it are 1.5' of brick, so they're not going anywhere! At this point, I'm planning on insulating it and taking the door of the hinges to connect it more with the kitchen. Would you guys keep it as a mudroom, or put shelves in and make it a pantry?

Okay, I'll work on getting some measurements amd reading that 'layout/read me' forum. Thanks again!!!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 3:16PM
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I don't think I'd want the fridge to be the focal point, from the dining room.

Here are a few pictures...range, then sink, on window wall. From Farmhouse plans From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

If you prefer the range on the window wall, you might want to consider swapping the range and fridge, adding a corner prep sink between the two...and keeping your main sink on the peninsula.

If you prefer the main sink on the window wall, then you could keep the range on the wall to the bathroom and move the fridge to the other side of the sink...or back to the small wall (first plan). Then, add a prep sink to the peninsula.

You will have to walk around the peninsula with these plans, but it will give you more prep area than the island. Just my two cents :)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 4:36PM
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