Advice on Layout-New Poster

ptbeckiAugust 21, 2013

Longtime lurker here, ready for feedback.

We have had three different layouts from three different designers in the effort to take down our dining room wall and integrate the kitchen and dining room. We are a family of 4, two kids under 10, and do not do a lot of entertaining. The biggest family gathering once/twice a year would be 4 kids and 6 adults.

I am attaching current pictures, and design pics.
The design below is the one we like best. The designer suggested cabs in the far corner of the current dining room to tie in the two areas, which I liked in theory, but I am not sold on what we have come up with there (15 inch custom depth). Thoughts on this area especially welcome, although I might lean towards putting nothing there and seeing about how much space is available in reality. (I am looking for a place to keep the kids' craft supplies, paper, etc). I could always get a piece of furniture instead of built in cabs, or maybe even order the cabs later and install them ourselves?

We have freakishly short ceilings, 90 inches, so our countertop clearance wil be about 16 inches at best. In the island, the three drawer cab will house a microwave drawer, but because it is a 24 inch cab there is no microwave option to show (though Sharp does allow this sort of install) so the top two drawers would be gone. To the left of the microwave drawer is a mixer lifter and to the right is a trash pullout.

I am also wondering about a full counter-ceiling height cab at the end of the outside wall run. Would I regret sacrificing that counterspace, or with the big island available, enjoy the extra cabinet space?

The bank of the 2 three drawer cabs with the regular cabinet in between is where our current kitchen table is. We plan to use these largely to replace the current pantry. Also we are planning on a French Drawer Counter Depth fridge.


This post was edited by ptbecki on Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 20:12

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Where are you thinking of the counter to ceiling cabinet? To the right of the DW? If so, I wouldn't do that. You'll feel boxed in.

You have a lot of island space, but it isn't in the best usable location. Your main prep zone is usually between the water and the stovetop. In your case, this is still just a little corner...

And, if I am reading your set of pictures correctly, your new dining area will be opposite the island from the fridge, right? While many kitchens are set up this way, it wouldn't be my first choice.

What are some of the other designer ideas? Maybe we need to see them all to pick and choose "the best" or start over from scratch, with our own dimensions, and come up with some suggestions.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 12:09AM
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The other designer wanted to leave the wall, cut in half, and put a peninsula there instead. My neighbor with the same model went with them--she has her stove and sink in the same areas as my design, her dishwasher in the peninsula (i thought that was too far from the sink), and the fridge on the OTHER side of the kitchen doorway, at a 90 deg angle from the one bank of drawers on the far side. I thought this fridge was way too far from the main kitchen. One other designer still had the island in the same position but put the sink in it, Another option would be the cooktop in the island but I would rather have a one level island that is safe for the kids to sit at. What would YOUR suggestion be?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 6:17PM
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It might be helpful to post the layout directly in this thread. I can't seem to open the images.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 6:27PM
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OK post is updated with pictures embedded. I am not sure where else you could put the refrigerator. All suggestions welcome!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:16PM
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I see you have a mw, but can't find it in the new layout?

I'd like to see the plan where the refrigerator is out of the L.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:21PM
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OP here, the microwave drawer will be the 3 drawer cab in the island. It is a Sharp drawer, which can be installed in a 24 inch cab but there is not a 24 inch cab available for a microwave to picture with this particular cabinet company. They will remove the top two drawers for install. I will see if I can find the other design, but not sure I have a digital copy.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:25PM
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Is the rectangle labeled 39" x 75" the dining table? If so, you don't have nearly enough space for walk-way on any side of the table, nor between the table and the island. I'd leave out those cabinets in the DR and turn the island 90 degrees to expand the walk space.

If you turned the island and put a prep sink in the island, you'd improve your prep work triangle. If you did that, running the cabinets to the ceiling over by the DW would work much better since you wouldn't be needing that side for prep work. You should still have sufficient space to land dishes for loading the DW.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 8:20AM
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OP here. That is the dining table. The problem with turning the island is that the walkway to the dining area is very small then. There are 2 steps down into the great room to the right of that knee wall, out of the dining area that could be a safety factor perhaps. Would it also be awkward to come in from the hallway and run into the island? If not, then there might be a way to make it work if the size of the island is played with.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 3:06PM
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I worked this up on and off today and b/f I saw your most recent reply. I did turn the island...but I'm not sure there's an issue. I think I see the stairs in the first picture after the layout. Which wall in your layout do they line up with...the left wall or the right wall that defines the alcove on the right (where I put the Refrigerator in my layout below)?

Here it is anyway...

It has two spacious Prep Zones...the island and the perimeter counter b/w the cleanup sink and the range.

The MW drawer is to the left of the range.

A Tea/Coffee/Beverage Center could be on the other side of the cleanup sink - there's 51" of counter space (24" DW + 27" cab). [Or, it could be an alternate location for a countertop MW or one hanging from the upper cab. Personally, I like the MW drawer better as well as it's location - near the refrigerator and a water source.]

The island has room for 2 seats, and possibly a third.

There are 54 inches b/w the island and the DR table. The 35" you have in your design is far too narrow. You can get away with that narrow a space if there's no other traffic in the area, but that's not the case in this situation.

I also moved the DR table a bit out to give you 33". 32" is considered the bare minimum when there's no traffic behind the seats.

For pantry space, there are 42 inches x 30" deep to put whatever configuration of pantry pullouts you'd like.

There is also a 12" utility pullout for a broom, mop, Swifter, etc. That 12" is needed to allow the refrigerator doors to open fully.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:59PM
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Well, that one won't work. I just noticed that the wall where I put the refrigerator is actually a pass-through. Hmm...would you be willing to close that wall up? It gives you many more options if you do...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:46PM
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How far off the floor is the window in the DR? If it's not too low, perhaps you might consider switching the DR and Kitchen.

Regarding refrigerators...standard depth are less expensive than counter depth, so if you can place your refrigerator so that a standard depth either fits in the space as-is or recess it into the wall, then you won't have to have a counter depth.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:53PM
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OP here. Wow I am overwhelmed! Thank you for all of that! We have never considered switching the two rooms, but that is something my husband is now intrigued with...We are unwilling to close up that wall--we were actually the only house in our neighborhood of that model that HAD that wall, and we took it down 10 years ago. Let me mull over the swapping idea...any other suggestions welcome!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:47PM
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would it be weird to have to walk through the dining area every time you came into the house?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Here's a possible layout if you switch the rooms...

BTW...we really need to know where those stairs are...which wall to they "line up with" to start? The left knee wall or the right alcove wall? If it's the knee wall, then the island will have to be shallower - eliminate the row of 12" cabinet space in the middle.

(Click to see a larger version)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 12:18AM
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