Remodeling help needed!

heleneglucksmanAugust 21, 2014

Hi everyone,
We are in the early stages of planning a kitchen renovation for a house we recently moved to and I am hoping to get some help in creating a more functional space than what we currently have. The house was built in 1920 and has had a "remuddle" done about 12 years ago with design choices that don't fit the era of the house. In addition there are some functional problems, cabinets breaking, dishwasher placement (at a right angle to the sink), no defined zones, aging appliances, etc that we would like to change.

Background on our family- husband and me living at home, one son away at college, one son graduated and living "temporarily" with us, one son off on his own. Love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, one cook kitchen, husband helps with cleanup on occasion, many small shopping trips during the week rather than one big trip, a lot of business dinners at the house, like to cook for company, do holidays at our house.
Everyone hangs out in the kitchen/ family room. Micro used for warming up leftovers only.

Wants for the kitchen but don't know if any are possible:
* room to eat at peninsula (would love an island but don't think it works in this house)
* separate clean up & prep/cook areas- hopefully with another sink
* we have another breakfast area in the family room so we can get rid of existing table and use that space, maybe for clean up area?
* wall oven rather than oven under cook top
* more uppers but just don't see where they can go
* island on wheels?

Here is a floor plan of the kitchen as it is now. Plumbing & electrical can be moved/added, for proper ventilation the cook top needs to stay where it is, or at least on the outside wall. The A/C & ductwork need to stay where they are.

I am open to any and all suggestions and thanks in advance for your help,

This post was edited by mykitchensdone on Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 7:48

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Hi Helene, I think your photo link is broken. I can't see it. Please correct that and we'll be glad to help.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 3:21AM
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Thanks Lisa, hopefully this is ok?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:50AM
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Is it correct to assume that:

*to the left is the outdoors
*to the right is a wall/room and that wall will not be moved?
*the layout shows the location of everything as it currently is?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 12:25PM
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Ouch. Tough room. Unfortunately, you don't have room for even a tiny island unless that 18" duct can move and you abolish all cabinetry on that wall. There's just not room to move around it. However, the main utility of an island comes from increased counter depth, and you can get that easily. Here's what I would do:

1) Put the cleanup sink and DW under the windows where the nook is. You should also be able to fit 21" of drawers there for a bit of dish storage. The rest of the dishes will have to go elsewhere, unless you install a floating shelf over the window for some of them.
2) Move the cooktop up or down the wall it is on. Put a prep sink on one side or the other. Put as much counterspace between the two as you can.
3) Make the left counter run deeper by at least 6" - I might even consider 8" or 10". You can do this inexpensively by using 2x6"s (or 2x8"s, etc) to build frame against the wall, installing standard depth cabinetry against that, and running your counter over both. Or, you can order custom depth cabinetry. I grew up with a TINY kitchen, but we had 30" deep counters, and it made a huge difference. Going to standard depth counters in the next house, even though the kitchen was bigger, was an unpleasant shock.
4) You need 15" in counter overhang depth, and 30" in counter length, for each person who sits at the peninsula. You can have 12" deep cabinetry so you can have seating on the bottom edge of the peninsula, or you can have no cabinetry at all under the peninsula (just apron + legs) so you can have people sitting on both sides of it.
5) There are a few ways you could get the wall oven. You can give up your wine/MW area and put it there - MW would be at a safe height if you put it above a single wall oven, but would have to go in the pantry if you do double wall ovens. Or, you can demolish the walk-in pantry, and put double ovens + pantry cabinets in that space.
6) I'm not seeing a way to get you more uppers, sorry. They would be in the same spot and you can extend them right up to either side of the hood and the edge of the counter, but that's only a few inches. What I would recommend is making as many base cabinets as possible drawers instead of doors with shelves or roll-out cabinetry - it is a much more efficient way of storing things, so you may find you don't miss the uppers.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Hi sjhockey- your assumptions are all correct, the area to the right of the AC/ storage closet has a staircase which can't be moved. We are in FL, so mechanicals can't go to the basement either.

tracie.erin- thanks for your thoughtful suggestions. I really like some of your ideas, moving clean up to under the window, making the outside wall counter run deeper, and opening up the peninsula for extra seating. I will draw up those changes and see how they look.

some additional thoughts:

What about moving the fridge as far down as it will go (next to duct work), then having a run of cabinets (upper & lower) keeping the wine fridge (we drink a lot of wine!) and then using some of the pantry area for a stack with single oven & micro/convection?

I also like the cook top centered for the sake of symmetry (but maybe not functionality) so if I put the prep sink where the dishwasher currently is do you think I will have enough prep space between the cook top where it currently is and the prep sink (given my new deeper counters)?

And lastly, if I make the counters deeper how much deeper can I make the uppers? We are both pretty tall but I wonder how deep they can be before accessing the uppers becomes difficult.

Again thanks for your suggestions!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:30PM
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You can do what you're suggesting by moving the fridge down. Re 'using some of the pantry area' for single wall oven/MW,' I'm not sure what you mean. If you keep a walk in pantry but take a corner of it for the oven stack, you won't have enough of it left to make it useful or easily accessible, or hold much. I think you would really be better off demolishing the pantry and putting the oven stack + tall pantry cabinets in the space.

Re prep sink, you can put it where the DW is if you really want. However, the most useful prep space is between sink and cooktop. You might consider, then, putting the prep sink in the corner cabinet like circuspeanut did:

If you make the counter deeper by 6", I would consider making the uppers deeper by at least 3". However, there are a few threads floating around on this subject with input from those who actually have deeper uppers. I'll link one for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deeper than standard upper cabinets...

This post was edited by tracie.erin on Wed, Aug 27, 14 at 15:54

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 3:53PM
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