revisiting layout! Would love your feedback again!

athenabAugust 11, 2012

Hi again. So, after all your comments I went back to our cabinet maker and met with a KD that he recommended. We let her know how we enjoy our kitchen table but wonder about making the kitchen more open to the DR. I'm not really sure about the plans she came back with. I would love your feedback! She agreed that the kitchen is too narrow to make an island work, but didn't really seem to address opening the kitchen up somehow to the DR, mostly because of resale value I guess. In my previous post, I mentioned that we live in a traditional colonial in a very traditional neighborhood.

Anyway, I will post the original kitchen layout, which has a doorway at the back going to the hallway, a doorway in the middle right leading to the DR and a huge closet at the bottom right that has the w/d. The w/d will be leaving the kitchen. We haven't found its new home yet, but we are working on that. The kitchen is almost 13.5 feet wide and about 18 feet long, opening to the step-down family room. I still haven't figured out how to get the pictures to post at once, so please forgive me.

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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I can't get the next pic to post--keep getting error.

Here is your second image, with text:

So, this is an island version and would happen only by getting rid of the bay window, and having a much wider opening to the DR. It's probably the most expensive version I would imagine. It also still has some tightness in the aisle behind the seating. There are 42inches between the sink and range and the island but less in the main traffic area.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:03PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Ok, I saved it. Hope this works:

This one has a slightly larger opening into the DR, and puts a peninsula at the bottom with seating in the family room. We would put a banquette at the bay window for the table. Also, we'd put a smallish butcher block table between the sink and range. Another option would be to not have the peninsula and just have a pantry and double ovens wall there instead.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:06PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

athenab, I'm not very good at layouts, but here is a link to the 'Posting pictures' section of the New to Kitchens? thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Posting pictures

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Thanks mama goose. I did read it, but I'm not really good at the posting stuff. I usually leave it for my kids, but they're not around. Thanks for figuring out how to post for me!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:28PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

You're welcome. :) Lol, about having help from your kids--I'm in my 50's, and until about 4 years ago, my kids had to log onto the computer for me. Another kind GW member helped me post pics, so I'm passing along the kindness. I hope this bump will get you some layout help!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Athenab, I still think your kitchen remodel should be a kitchen and dining room remodel. Not that that means the kitchen has to open up to the DRM (only if that's the fix), but that your dining room problem (you do not like being in there) needs fixing and this is the time to do it--just in case that means changing its relationship to the kitchen.

This plan? I don't understand what you have gained with it. I'm afraid I don't remember all the details. You have lost the tightness of your old kitchen, that's obvious, but this leaves you still working in the corner, but now always turned into it and without your previously generous work space. The "island" is more of a...buoy and to me essentially worthless. I'd want the old layout any day.

Also, this plan shows not only the kitchen table you like but has also added some stools so far away you couldn't participate in conversation if you worked holding an old ear trumpet to your ear (pointed backwards). Someone could eat there without you, though. Was a third place for someone to eat, maybe while chatting with folk at the breakfast table, on your list of needs?

The slightly widened doorway to the dining room? Allows more exposure to the kitchen mess, but would it change the way you feel using that room?

Is your designer hampered by trying to work within constraints you seemed to set? Maybe this design could kick off some good discussion.

Have you given some heavy thought to the dining room? What changes to it would make it a place you enjoyed eating, even if it were only perhaps meals at a specific time of day? You have your breakfast area for, say, daylight meals? Could the dining room be decorated to become a warm and inviting place for dining at night? Or is there anything at all you could do inside and/or out to make it an inviting place to eat breakfast and lunch instead?

Just to examine options, have you considered what effect it would have to open your "formal" DRM up to the kitchen? The way many others in your situation are. Just for instance, keeping little knee walls on each side, perhaps with bookcases inset, and then framing the large opening created with nice detailing to match the front rooms? Would you still be dusting a diorama in there or would the new relationship to the kitchen make it a natural place to enjoy dinner?

What's on the other side of the stove wall, BTW? Any chance for getting a couple extra feet for the kitchen that way since you want to keep the breakfast area?

Could you move the kitchen into the dining room and open it to a nice dining room overlooking the rear garden? Oh, yeah. Center hall colonial. Maybe not. :)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Hi Rosie,

You're right of course. It just turns my kitchen into a 1 cook kitchen.

The easy answer to your last question...on the other side of the stove wall is the small powder room. It's the only one on the first floor, right at the end of the main hallway. Moving the kitchen into the DRM would change the center hall colonial of course, and I'm sure it would be a lot more than I want to spend.

I've sent it back to them to see what is next. I'm not sure what will really make the DRM easier to eat in. I can start with the decor. It's got formal wallpaper, formal chairs, etc. I think all the walls in the room make it also feel very formal and isolating. It feels cut-off from the casual spaces. can I improve that without spending too much money? We did originally think of having a knee wall on one side between the kitchen and DRM, but ultimately felt I wasn't really gaining anything for the expense.

I never knew it would be sooo hard! Back to the drawing board!!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:27PM
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