Need Help with Long and Narrow Remodel!

twolibrasAugust 3, 2013

I am a long-time lurker, and I am excited (and a bit nervous) to finally ask for some help on our kitchen remodel. After a couple of starts and stops (over several years) it looks like we are at last moving forward.

We have lived here for 15 years and have no plans of leaving any time soon. My husband and I have 3 children ages 11-17. While we do not make gourmet meals in the kitchen it certainly gets a lot of use. We do attempt to sit down to regular meals together as often as we can! We do not do any real formal entertaining - when we have family or neighbors over it is casual. The goal of our remodel it to gain more storage space, make better use of the space we have and UPDATE to a light and bright transitional type kitchen!

I have included two photos from reverse angles to give you an idea about our current space. It is a rather long and narrow space 9ft 8" wide X 32ft long with 8ft ceilings (22.5 ft from slider to the far wall in dining room). We began the process by removing a wall between the kitchen and dining room to open things up to see how it would look. (The dining room was so tight it really was not functional so we thought, why not?)

We have explored various ideas such as shifting everything to the far end where the dining room was but it always felt like the kitchen was too far removed from the family room. So now we have come full circle to a layout that is very much like the original kitchen. (Maybe this is how this particular kitchen is meant to be??) We do not want to change things just for the sake of changing them, but we would like to improve it.
As the current plan is some of the changes would include:
- shifting the peninsula down away from slider about 8 inches
- a wider kitchen window replacing the garden window with a 54"x39" regular window
- extending the kitchen into the old dining room up to the old dining room window and then include another informal eating area as a banquette (see inspiration photo. )This will also provide additional storage.

I guess we would really love some fresh sets of eyes to look at this for us and give us your thoughts.

- Are 18" cabinets on each side of window going to be big enough?
- Is shifting everything down 8 inches worth it? Do I loose everyday use storage?
- I have always had my garbage under the sink but I have read and heard so much about it in its own space and it would need 18". I am not sure where that would go? I do not think it would be good in the peninsula?
- Everyone seems to really like the drawer concept and I hope to include drawers in the peninsula but not sure how I would configure them? Sizes?
- I think this current drawing shows the microwave in the peninsula? I do not think we would want it there. It would probably end up below a wall cabinet next to the hall door?
- The kitchen planner suggested we eliminate the peninsula, but we do everything at this peninsula. Though we will gain some counter space through other parts of the design I do not think it is enough to loose that counter space and the readily available storage under it! Thoughts?

- -OR can you think of a better way to deal with this long narrow space??!!

We are very overwhelmed and would really appreciate your feedback! I know I have a zillion other things to ask but I guess this is a start. Thank you!

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You'll get better ideas from others, but wanted to say that I really like the pic you posted of the benches/table. I think that will look great in the space you've designated.

Have you considered having some seating at your peninsula?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:34PM
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How about turning the area you've marked as bench seating into a mini "office" for the kids to do their homework and interact while you're cooking? Include storage for book bags, snacks, craft supplies, etc. Make sure it is comfortable enough for long-term sitting - unpadded benches may not be the answer.

If you have enought stoarge elsewhere, I'd eliminate the cabinet between the sink and the slider. It would make that space blend better.

I'd keep the peninsula to help reduce the "bowling alley" effect of a long narrow room.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 6:53AM
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Boy, that kitchen is currently wasting a lot of space on just walls. In particular, that fridge wall!

I'm confused as to why you need two eating areas in the same room. I'd give the Primary dining area 8-12" more, just for expansion. You could put a round table in there that might accommodate a leaf for extra people. Since you don't entertain formally.

I 2nd the idea of changing the bench seating area into something more functional. (Read: useful) Maybe just the bench seating along the stove side of the wall, making it easy to slide in and out?

The first picture shows the fridge, then the opening to the living room (I think). What would happen if you put floor to ceiling pantries along that whole back wall? And here, I"d suggest nothing deeper than 18", or you'll lose everything you stick in there.

Hmm... Out of the bank of pantry cabinets, a fold down or slide out desk cabinet for computers? The kind that would allow a person on either side of it? The stove wall side seating still being the bankette? oooo kids! You could actually make a mudroom type cubby for each kid, but with pantry doors on it for a clutter-less look. Books, backpacks, etc. Lots of ideas there!

18" is as small an upper as I"d ever go. I found 15" and less to be pretty useless. Bigger than 24", you had to stand back too far to open a single door.

Drawers: Just get 'em. The only challenging places would be where they're in a corner, so the adjacent cabinets might be in the way or they jam into each other. (Solution: Lazy Susan in corners.) I would also not be really happy if my drawers were up against a wall.

Do I read correctly that you're doing an undercounter microwave? I'd put drawers to the right of it, definitely.

I have an undercounter MW. I really didn't want it being on the counters or a focal point in the kitchen. Even being almost 5'3", tho, I find I hate bending down to it. Having lived with it, I know I'm going to retrofit my MW cabinet with a big deep drawer and get a GE Space Saver and put it above, next to my stove.
When I was moving my cabinets around (about the 10th time) I had my MW sitting on a base cabinet. I can't tell you how happy it made me just to reach in and take out my coffee. I could see when it needed wiping out. Others, of course, will differ, but that's my experience.

You've got a lot of potential in this kitchen. It doesn't look as long as I'd originally thought. You have such good door placement and flow you can do a lot. Keep in mind that those drawings look good, but you can cram a lot into a drawing you can't actually cram into real life. Go sparingly.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
I had no idea I'd have so much to say! Sorry about that. I really like the size of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 10:43AM
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I would move the sink to the other side of the stove and put counters and cabinets where you have the bench seats. And then combine the eating areas in front of the patio door. You then could swap out the peninsula for an island.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 11:05AM
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