Layout advice for cozy galley kitchen

weedyacresAugust 4, 2013

I've received good feedback from some of you when I've previously posted advice (on other topics), so I've coalesced that into my latest floorplan idea and need to finalize it now because we've got to get electrical and plumbing done.

This is a 1920 "worker's cottage" house that will be worth $60K when we're done fixing it up. Kitchen is 9'x13' with 3 doorways. The only thing set in stone are the doorways (which we're moving to center of the walls), window (which we're shortening), and an existing set of uppers that we're keeping.

Here's the draft floor plan.

Here's a photo showing the 1942-built cabinets that we're keeping. We're removing the scallop thing and drywalling the cut-out closed. Lowers are gone.

On the non-sink/stove wall, my thought was to put the microwave in that "hole" area. It's 30" wide, so not big enough for the fridge. The counter would also house small appliances (toaster, blender, mixer).

We're planning on all drawer lowers except the sink base, and standard uppers, with little jogs above the sink and range.

All advice is welcome, but here are some specific questions:
1. Trash: I know everyone here likes trash pull-outs. I've never had one, wouldn't mind trying one, but worry about losing a cabinet to it. OTOH, where to put our stainless foot-pedal one? It might fit ok on the floor in the corner with the chimney (below the upper on the side wall). Other ideas?
2. Sink: In an effort to reserve as much lower space as possible for base drawer cabinets, how small can it be and still be functional? We'll just do a single-bowl.
3. Ideas on how exactly to do cabinets around the chimney thing? It's 14" x 17".

Thanks for any and all advice.

This post was edited by weedyacres on Sun, Aug 4, 13 at 16:08

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Consider fitting a pull outreach under one of the sinks. Jus consider the plumbing when doing it. We have ours there as there was no other space to put one and it is working out really well. Most of that would have been wasted anyways otherwise.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 4:56PM
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AJ Madison has 56 refrigerators that are 28-29" wide.

I would strongly consider putting a refrigerator that size in a kitchen this size and putting it where the "hole" is rather than having it hang out in a doorway. (Actually right now the dimensions you have the fridge drawn, 24" in one dimension, limit you to Sub-Zero and a few others).

Here is a link that might be useful: Refrigerators.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 5:42PM
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And 61 more that are between 29 and 29.9" Some of which need minimal clearance on each side.

And in a 1942 house, maybe leave the scallop if it's high enough. It's charming.

Here is a link that might be useful: More refrigerators.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Sun, Aug 4, 13 at 17:49

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 5:45PM
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We've already got a white 36" fridge (used; this is a budget reno).

The house is 1920; the cabinets are from a 1942 remodel (found newspaper under one of the base cabs). It is a pretty high scallop.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 6:09PM
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Hmm. I am not sure I would plan a kitchen layout around a used refrigerator. Since you serial renovate, could you save it for later, or resell it? Unless it's true counterdepth it's going to take up a lot more space in that doorway than drawn.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 6:14PM
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Hey guys, sorry the "fridge corner" isn't drawn right. It's closer to 36" on the front wall, not 24" (the limits of excel). I can't go measure it until tomorrow, but here's a photo of that corner, so you can see that wall's not as short as I've drawn it:

Was your concern about putting the fridge there because of space or is it also a problem for efficiency reasons? I was thinking groceries could be put down on the microwave counter and put away from there. ??

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 8:47PM
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Fori is not pleased

I would like to add my support to keeping the scallop. It is darn cute and just makes those vintage cabinets. I guess if you really hate it, down it goes. But you can save a can of woodfiller by leaving it. Budget! :)

Do you think you can stick a skinny trash can next to the fridge? I had an old SimpleHuman brand extra narrow butterfly top can for a spot just like that once. Almost killed me to spend that much on a can but it did keep the stink in and was raccoon proof (probably neither of which ought to be a kitchen consideration but these things happen...). I'd try to fit a can in over there. I'm not a fan of cabinet trash, although sometimes there's no alternative.

I don't think it would be awful to put the can in the pantry area or in front of the basement stairs, either. You're not going down there much are you? But I'm not exactly sure what all you have going on at that end. Or the other. It looks like you have decent space though. And potential for serious cuteness. I hope you like cutesy!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 11:53AM
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The great thing about stand alone trash cans is they can be moved as needed. They also come in lots of different shapes and sizes.

Unless you can fit in under the sink I would go with the stand alone.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 12:36PM
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My galley kitchen is less than 8' wide by 15' long, and the opening on one wall means it's only 12' on that side, so no bigger than yours, really. I put in a trash pull out, right next to the sink - it only took a 15" cab. I hated trash under the sink (have you read my story of how I briefly considered braining DH with a skillet when he nudged me away one too many times?), and there definitely isn't room on the floor in my kitchen. I love my trash pull-out. So worth the space used.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Is it too late to suggest switching the fridge and pantry?

In your second picture - are you moving the doorway over to the left? The wall on the right side doesn't look deep enough for counters and DW - but I may have the footprint wrong in my head.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 1:59PM
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blf: the first photo is looking toward the basement and the 2nd photo is looking the opposite direction towards the laundry room. That doorway will move to the left about a foot so we'll have 2' for cabinets, then 3' doorway, then fridge.

The fridge would fit in the pantry space (and allow for a bit more cabinet space. From an efficiency-of-use standpoint, does it make more sense to have it in the same row as the sink and range or on the opposite side?

Thoughts from anyone on the smallest workable single-bowl sink?

And any creative ideas for the chimney space?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 2:16PM
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I like the scallop, too.

Forgive me if I've already shown you the thread linked below, but to me brooklyngalley's is the epitome of a well done cozy galley kitchen. (I wish she'd finished before I did.) She includes lots of great ideas for making the most of a little space, and she has a 23" Elkay SS single bowl sink. You could probably ask her how it's working out.

Are you thinking gas or induction? I ask because induction provides extra counter space, so useful in a small kitchen. If you have the budget, you also can include pull-out shelves for additional temporary counter space. This is mine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brooklyngalley's reveal

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 5:44PM
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I can put in a good word for the Simplehuman skinny trash can. There was only one place to fit ours in, so I gritted my teeth and spent a ridiculous amount of $$ for one. It was absolutely perfect for the space. After two years the foot pedal wasn't working quite right, so I called customer service. The model I had was no longer available. They shipped me a box to return the can to them (box was free, shipping was free) and I'm sure I'll be just as happy with the new can once it arrives. Great product! Good luck with your project -- Swimmer (a big fan of galley kitchens!)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 6:59AM
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Can't help with a sink size. I've got a 30" single bowl with the drain in the right back corner (get a drain location like that if you want trash under the sink.) It's not installed yet, though. We're in mid demo...

Questions: can you talk about the sink placement being left of window instead of under the window? Also, what is the base cab to the right of the stove going to be used for? Could the stove move over the MW wall, giving you a lot more room around a sink that could then be under the window? Seems to have everything crammed into one wall the way it is drawn?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:10AM
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I'd definitely like the refrigerator opposite to preserve that nice work space you show--enough space located between sink and stove, under the window, refrigerator a quick step or two away. Can't beat it.

We needed an extra 3" to fit in a drawer stack to hold silverware, etc, so our garbage pull-out is a 12" wide lower pull-out cabinet with everything but the bottom shelf/tray removed (the door stays attached at the bottom to that). A Rubbermaid Slim Jim sits in the pull-out tray (after we cut the top down to clear the counter). It holds a 23-gallon bag (almost too much) and works excellently. (This design was copied from someone I'm always grateful to at

For a sink, if you find yourself counting inches, I also like what we did. I measured my widest commonly used sheet pan, and a refrigerator rack and chose a single-bowl sink they could both lie down flat in. (Everything else is smaller.) That turned out to be stainless steel about 31+" wide with flanges, with about 29" in the bowl. Specs said mount it in a 36" cabinet, I said heck no!, I NEED that space for drawers, and copied those here and elsewhere who mounted in a cabinet ALMOST wide enough to hold the bowl itself, a 30"er in our case.

We chiseled out enough wood on the cabinet sides for the sink to sit down where it needs to be, but the chiseling didn't go anywhere near any of the corners. It's great! We both love it--and the 15" drawer stack this and the slim trash pullout enabled.

Note that the sink could have been wider still given that the sides of the cabinet and of the cabinets adjacent are 3/4" thick (3/4 x 4 = most of 3 inches to play with. If we had needed to take away so much wood that it compromised support in the middle of a wall, we would have added thin metal strap supports across the wall to make up for it, but no need at all.The sink sits solid as a rock.

Are you SURE you don't like the scallop? :) I'm not just suggesting someone ELSE keep a vintage element I wouldn't really have in my own new kitchen. I really would keep it.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 3:12PM
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