New Construction kitchen needs help!

olivesmomAugust 31, 2013

We are getting very close to dotting down on a semi custom new build. Right now we are waiting to find out the specific allowances and for a few changes to be ok'd.

Here is the kitchen and the floor plan.

House will be reversed

There are views out the rear windows and the corner kitchen window is placed to view Mt. rainier (supposedly anyway, I have yet to catch a glimpse of the mountain from the lot).

I know the kitchen is small and I know corner sinks aren't usually recommended. I'm open to changing the placement of appliances and such.

I am a SAHM to a 3.5 and 2 year old. I do all the cooking (and clean up) and I do a fair amount of it. I am okay with the kitchen being a one butt kitchen and wherever the range gets placed I want it in a spot where no one will likely get in my way.

I'm already considering moving the refrigerator to the "ovens" spot and maybe placing a small bar sink nex to it. I was then planning on moving sink the the DW spot (this would involve moving windows). Then I'd put the range on the wall to the right. That would leave the peninsula clear. WDYT?

I had wanted some large appliances. Like an all fridge/freezer and a 36" range or cooktop. I also really want the Kohler Stages 45. I'm not sure if any of those will fit. I did want a 36" bluestar range, but it is probably out of the budget. If I can't get an open burner range or cooktop then I want induction and in that case I'd like a 36" cooktop (unless the builder can get an awesome deal on that Viking induction range- he apparently has a resource to get discounted Viking appliances).

Any thoughts or suggestions? I'm trying to figure out what will work and determine if it will fit within the allowances. Thanks!

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With two children coming up on the age of "train them now or be their servant forever" ... I'd make the kitchen easier for them to be helpers.

When someone opens the DW to load or unload, you are going to fall over it if you are working at the sink.

If you move it to the right-hand wall in your sketch, between the refrigerator and the sink, someone can be putting supper dishes into the DW while you clean up pots and pans in the sink.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 5:02AM
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May I make a suggestion? In Photobucket, make a new album, transfer all the kid/personal pictures into it, and lock it. The children are darling by the way, but you don't necessarily want to give them so much exposure. Leave all the architectural stuff in the original folder so that when we click on it, it will still be there vs a "broken link." You may want to make several new albums and sub albums for the rest of your photos and lock or not lock depending on what's in them. For instance, we took a trip to Europe this summer, so I made an album called "Europe 2013." Then I made sub albums for each of the 5 cities we went to, and each of those cities got some sub-sub-albums depending on what we were looking at.

Back to the kitchen. This isn't a large kitchen, and that isn't a bad thing. A well designed smaller kitchen can be even more useful than a monster requiring roller skates to get from the fridge to the stove. I think with the larger appliances you might find that they crowd the space and leave you short on prep space. I so know what you mean about the Kohler Stages 45 sink! I tried to make that work in my small kitchen and it just wasn't gonna happen.

I don't love where the DW is in this plan. If you think about unloading it, where are you planning to put your plates and glasses? You could put them in the uppers above the DW, but it's more awkward than other choices. I love having the plates in a lower drawer:

Do you have the option of not doing a corner sink? If the sink moved under the right hand window and the DW just to the right of the sink, then you free up all kinds of prep space on the current space where the DW is while maintaining a landing spot next to the fridge. I like the idea of the corner sink and the view, but functionally, I think it takes up too much room in a kitchen that needs to be very space efficient.

Is there a hood planned for that cooktop? I agree that if you could move it to a wall instead of on the peninsula, it would be better, and you'll love a clear peninsula where you can prep, the kids can color, and family projects can happen. I wouldn't trade the fridge and the ovens though. Functionally, I think the fridge works better where it is vs walking across open floor. You'll need to cross the floor to use the ovens, but they get used way less often than the fridge.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 5:10AM
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I agree that it would be much better to move the sink to where DW is, fridge to bottom wall and range (or cooktop+wall oven) to the right wall. DW can be on the peninsula where the cooktop is in the drawing.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 7:01AM
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"... I am okay with the kitchen being a one butt kitchen..."

Do you not plan to teach your children how to cook and/or cleanup? I think making the kitchen a single-cook kitchen is short-sighted - especially for a stay-at-home mom. Trust me, your children will want to help out very soon! (Been there!) When they do, a one-cook kitchen will quickly become a problem.

"... wanted some large appliances..."

The problem with large appliances is that they need large amounts of space. Unfortunately, the plan you've picked is short on kitchen space. If you are willing to incorporate the Nook into the kitchen, then it would be a whole new ballgame.

If you are planning seating at the peninsula, please be aware that you do not have enough space in the Nook for a table + seats at the peninsula. In this case, the peninsula seats would be overkill anyway - the Nook table will be so close that peninsula seating is not necessary. If, however, you were to eliminate the Nook seating and incorporate that space into the kitchen, then island/peninsula seating would make sense.

Here's one idea I worked up late last night (but got too tired to finish and post!) It keeps the corner sink with the corner windows.

I have a couple of other ideas that are different than this one - without the corner sink and different windows. But, I don't have time this morning to play with them out to see how they will work. Plus...I need to know just how flexible you are at rearranging the floor plan and windows....can rooms be moved around (like the Laundry Room/Pantry)? Can the kitchen and Nook be switched? Can the slider be moved? Can the windows be moved - can they be "bumped out" (i.e., stick out past the exterior wall)?

Meanwhile, this is the first one with probably the fewest changes...Like I said before, it keeps the window & sink. I added the large appliances you want, but as you can see, they take up a lot of space! (I didn't know which all refrigerator/all freezer you were looking at, so I chose a 30" wide one - I've seen them as narrow as 24" and as wide as 33"). I did include island seating in this iteration...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 10:41AM
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I would think twice about a desk in the kitchen - most people are removing them when they remodel b/c they've found they end up being "clutter magnets". Instead, consider a Message Center in the entry or similar.

One more "discussion" b/f I work up my other ideas later today...the combination Laundry Room/Pantry:

Personally, I would not want my laundry in a semi-public place like that. Anyone going into the pantry or coming in from the garage will see the dirty laundry immediately - including guests.

A small laundry room like that can get a bit warm and humid - the opposite of what a pantry should be - dry and cool.

Would you be willing to work with the garage's shape/size bit and carve out a Mudroom, Laundry Room, and Pantry out of the smaller side of the garage? (A Message Center could be added...)

Oh, the stairs...I assume they go both up and down, correct? If they only go down (as it appears in the pic), then could you switch them so they start on the wall with the garage and then you could close up the space and perhaps gain a bit of space in the kitchen...maybe, I'm not a construction contractor, so I'm not certain. I suspect this is moot though, b/c they're the only stairs I see and I assume you have a second floor with bedrooms...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 11:00AM
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Thanks for the feedback so far!

I do have the option of moving things around. And I was planning on asking the builder to put in a room behind the 3rd garage bay and use it as the laundry/ large walk in pantry. I would then turn the current pantry into a mudroom bench sort of thing. I'm not sure if the builder can enlarge the footprint of the house though, as there is an issue with the permit.

Buehl: thank you for the layout. It is something to keep in mind if we decide to keep the corner window setup. In some ways though, I like how the penninsula creates its own sheltered work zone and by moving the sink,range, DW, fridge I think it may work. I do not plan on having seating at the peninsula, especially with the kitchen table so close.

I'm not set on keeping the desk, but I'm not sure what would work in its space as there is no wall behind it, just the open staircase.

I'm also intruiged by the idea of getting rid if the nook space entirely. One thing I dislike about this house plan is how the formal dining room and nook as right across from each other. I'm not sure two eating spaces are so necessary, especially if there is island seating. I'll have to think about this one some more.

I also need to get out some paper and draw up what I was thinking for keeping the penninsula.

This post was edited by olivesmom on Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 12:30

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Actually, the Cooking Zone and island Prep Zone are protected from traffic b/c it's not a direct outlet to anything else. Traffic will flow around the back of the island - that's why the aisle is 51" wide - to accommodate people sitting there while traffic is passing by.

With the peninsula so long and the width of the base of the "U" so narrow, anyone working in there will be trapped - not protected b/c if someone else needs to get into the "U", it will force them both (the two people now in the "U") to try to get around each other.

I didn't have time to do a detailed analysis like I usually do, so I didn't provide my reasoning behind each choice.

I will be working on some other ideas later tonight - if you want me to continue, that is...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Nice plan, buehl.

olivesmom, my two cents' worth: if you can, eliminate the walk-through laundry room. That's what I have and I hate it. Limited space to sort and fold laundry and it's not fun to walk around piles of laundry when coming in from the garage. What's your upstairs like? Is there a way to move the laundry upstairs? The other option is to expand your footprint and create separate spaces for laundry and pantry downstairs (laundry creates moisture, which is generally not a good thing for pantry goods).

One plus your planned laundry room has over mine: it has a window. Mine is a dark tunnel. Did I mention that I hate my laundry room? And I've no decent way to change it without spending ridiculous amounts of money. I'll just have to satisfy myself with whining. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Here are a couple of Mudroom/Laundry Room ideas I had...the first one is the "ideal" and the layout I wish I had!

The Message Center is where keys are dropped when coming in from the garage, mail is also deposited here (in dividers by person or by topic/type), phones can be charged, and a calendar can be hung - for easy checking of the day's schedule.

The cubbies are for the kids - one per child. I like the ones I've seen with a small bench, a drawer (or two) beneath the bench (or open with a basket), hooks on the three sides for hanging a backpack and coat/jacket/sweater, etc., and then a shelf (or two) above for other things.

This one is less ambitious and less costly - but it doesn't have as much "nice to haves".

However, IMO, if you're going to do it, I think you should do the best you can. In the end, it may not be that more expensive to do the first one (above).

A few mudroom threads from the past:

mudroom question / request pics of mudroom lockers

Mudroom locker systems from cabinet companies?

How deep are your mudroom lockers?

This post was edited by buehl on Mon, Sep 2, 13 at 16:35

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 1:09AM
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If you decide not to have a table in the nook here is a layout
with a corner range. I have the appliances as big as my imagination would allow and have a 48" sink base with DW on its left. Who needs anything else with a Kohler Stages sink?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 4:09AM
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Random thoughts:

- Forget the oversized appliances. Every time you say yes to something like oversized appliances, you are saying no to something else . . . Like comfortable prep space.
- I'd consider moving the stove to the back wall and having the peninsula as open prep space. It's most pleasant to prep in an open space, and this'd allow you to have the kids sitting at the bar while you work -- this would allow you plenty of space to involve them in cooking.
- I see one huge untapped resource: your pantry backs up to a double-back staircase. You have something like 8x4 of half-height space under those stairs. Trouble is, it's not accessible behind the pantry shelves. I'd give up some of that side counter to have a door accessing this storage,
- That side counter is pretty useless. I'd replace it with a shallow, floor-to-ceiling glass door storage unit that'd hold all sorts of dishware and glassware.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 9:10AM
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