Another crack at a floor plan

laughablemomentsAugust 29, 2012

Still trying to hammer out our floor plan.

-Need to fit in the 2 fridges,

-would really, really like to have the 2 stoves (a gas mega stove is not an option.)

-would really like 2 DWs

-lots of storage is a very good thing

-prep sink highly desirable

Window locations are fixed. Don't really want any cabs on the right side of picture (windows go nearly to the floor, and we like them that way.) Darkened areas are fixed. 44" deep section by fridge is fixed. Stairs are fixed. Foot print stays as is.

7 kids ages 12 and under, + mom and dad. We cook and eat 189 meals a week, mostly all from scratch. : ) Lots of helping bodies in the kitchen.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

p.s. I know that the barrier island is less than ideal, but I'm not sure of a way around it.

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When I saw that you wanted double appliances, I assumed you must be planning a kosher kitchen. That was before I saw how big your cast of characters is! I am not going to be much help with layout advice, but I do think that prepping at that island will be very pleasant. How big are the aisles around it?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 11:42PM
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I'd be duin something more like this. To me, the work space is just too spread out and the ref location is a non-starter. To me, what you've drawn prioritizes coat storage over meal prep.

The other thing I would seriously consider is reformatting the longer window to get a bit more ref space AND/OR killing off the small window on the same wall. Plus possibly looking at the laundry wall for more coat storage or possibly the side of the stairs.

No matter if its gas or electric, a lot of locations will simply not permit you to locate a cooking surface in front of a window. It's because of the window treatments igniting.

We have a completely different family situation (just 2 here but with 20-25 family members periodically as guests). I am one of 7 sibs. I thought long and hard about putting a gas range in front of a window and in the end decided against it for a couple of reasons. The first was venting got a lot more difficult. The second was we also had to replace the window we were considering using and didn't see anyway to afford one that was relatively flameproof. The third was I just couldn't see cleaning it (a true problem - even though the window ended up with a sink in front of it!).

Right side cabs are completely optional. Can do same stuff on the table side of the island. Undercounter ref can run from more inexpensive ref drawers to all refs with a single door that have 5-6 cuft of ref storage.

The other layout type that might work is paired back-to back work areas - each with access to sink (one uses sink on outside wall and the other doubles the cleanup sink) but that pretty much means double pot and tool storage.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:44AM
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Thank you both for taking a look at this with me.

I planned for 42" aisles around the island on the stove side, window end on the right, and between the fridges and island. It's about 66" to the back counter where the DW's and cleanup area is located. Each square of the graph paper is 1 ft.

I should clarify that we have electric smooth top stoves. I tried a gas stove, and the first time my girls went past it with their long flowing hair, I asked DH to take it back out once I stopped hyperventilating! (OK, I'm exxaggerating a little, but not much.)

As far as the windows go, I'm thinking of putting the style in that has the blinds between the layers of glass, so that flammability shouldn't be an issue.

I'd like to keep pot and tool storage so that we don't need to double up.

I've thought of getting rid of the coat storage, but that end of the kitchen is so narrow and full of doorways, that trying to put working parts of the kitchen there doesn't seem feasible to me. I've tried putting a variety of 2' deep items on the 6' length of wall by the stairs, and it always feels awful to live with. Right now we have a 14" deep storage unit there, and it feels great. The walkway is wide open and airy, where it always felt constrictive before. I should mention the doors at that end need to stay.

Unfortunately, undercounter fridges aren't in our future. We need to stick with economy models. Cool idea, though!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:06AM
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Actually, considering your needs, what you want to add, and what you want to conserve, I think you've done a pretty darned good job of fitting it all in. You have the 2 stoves you really want. You have room for a lot of you guys to work and just hang with the family.

So the refrigerators are on the far side of the island? Something has to give in order to get. In your case, it sounds like there'll often be at least someone over there who can grab grab and pass for the cooks, and if not probably a little runner or two somewhere. :)

I like glass behind a stove. Fixed shallow glass blocks might be an option if local code made the other not doable. Or maybe just fixed glass pane. Or raising the glass an accepted distance above the burners and putting solid material on the bottom (you could have nice tiled work shelves behind the stoves). Whatever works to get this done because it seems desirable.

What I would consider doing is shortening and reshaping the narrow end of the island. I'm not an advocate of sacrificing everything else to get wide passages, but even I think a family of 9 needs more room to get by that 44" "thing." How about shortening the island slightly on the narrow end and cutting it back at an angle toward the fridges, with the stove corner a relatively comfortable curve for slipping around to the stove side? The now-longer angled island edge, straight or ellipse, would replace the very short island end as a place where someone could work without bumping elbows. Depending on how much you cut and angled, another stool could even go there with the passage past the end of the island to the fridge area a lot wider.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:12PM
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Laughable- I like your plan! It looks like an efficient, but still light/airy kitchen to work in :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:37PM
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The building folks aren't going to care your specific window treatment plans - their perspective is about what will happen over time when somebody puts up curtains or how incinerated the wood trim will get or whether the vinyl will melt off when something in a pot catches on fire.

Code reads something like the wall should extend up from the top of the range at least 24" before the window trim starts or the range needs to be pulled forward something like 3-9". I've forgotten exactly - its been a couple of years.

I strongly believe your design won't work well at all. If you have a garage or even just a flat area of yard, set it up as well as you can using tables, cardboard,etc so you can model the spacing and locations of stuff. Have your whole family take it for a spin with people seated at the stools. Believe me, I'm goofy enough to put two grills where the ranges are and some coolers for the refs and sit dishes in crates where the dishes will be stored and prop a dish pan where the prep sink is and try to use it.

People sometimes believe strongly that they cook one way or their family does X or will do X when the kids are older. When you take a good look at how you guys cook NOW, that's likely what will also happen in a new kitchen. We each have patterns of doing things and we all think we are perfectly mise en place and we are not in reality.

The left hand ref will beat the wall to death and the right hand ref will hit the person in the stool. Running dishes to/from the dining area is twice as far as it needs to be. Add in 9 people scattered all over the place with two- three running rings through the hall periodically, and in my eyes, it will be not so spiffy.

I want you to be happy with it in the end. Not be stuck with no prep room on the island to the right of the prep sink. Or no way to get to where you could get stuff out of the refs because a couple of your guys are standing there with both doors open, blocking the aisle.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Bmore- Code seems to be changing in some areas, because recently I've seen lots of windows over ranges/cooktops. I don't think it would be allowed in our area (eastern Washington) but it seems to be popular in other parts of the country.

Laughable- If for some reason you cannot put the ranges under the windows, I'd move one to the area between those two windows and one between the main sink and the bench. If you did this, I'd also move the prep sink over a bit, so it's not directly across from the range. Just an idea :)

From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:48PM
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I know it's allowed here because I considered it myself. Glass is not flammable. Whether the window could open so that flames could wrap around the wall was mumbled as a possible issue, but the country didn't have a ready answer to it since nobody in our rural county had done it before. I do know that we ended up flanking our stove with windows and there was absolutely no code regulating how close the windows could come.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:06PM
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Here are a couple of shots of windows over stoves that I have saved from I know I've seen one on GW, too, but don't remember whose.

Traditional Kitchen design by Boston Kitchen And Bath Artisan Kitchens LLC

Eclectic Kitchen design by Seattle General Contractor Ventana Construction LLC

I appreciate all the feedback.

Our fridges live in the location as drawn. There is some space between the left one and the wall to its left (enough room that a folding step-stool slides in there). It hasn't damaged the wall.

We currently have a table in the kitchen as well in nearly the location of the proposed island, and the open fridge door doesn't wipe out a sitter. We did do a mock-up of the space with an island and a raised table making a 12' long workspace. My daughter and I prepped on it (she made pizzas, I made bread, I think...), with a dishpan of water between us as a prep sink. We also set up a clean up spot under the back window. We didn't bump into each other or cross paths even once. I didn't have a good way of setting up the stoves though. Bmore, I love your idea of using grills and coolers outside. : )

I agree that it is a long way to the dining room. And I was concerned about the space being a bit sprawly too, especially between the prep/cooking area and the clean-up area. But, I was inspired by jbrodie's kitchen, which looks like it's dimensions might be comparable, 'cept her table's a lot closer.

I'm looking for honest feedback. This is a huge change, and I don't want to regret it. I've been waffling on this decision for a few years now, wanting to get it "right". Thanks for sharing your opinions!

Here is a link that might be useful: jbrodie's beautiful kitchen

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:40PM
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Another option:

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:39AM
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Wow, Beuhl, I'm going to print off your plan and give it some thought. I think I can picture us working in and enjoying this kitchen. Thank you so much. I appreciate how you've designated some of the storage, too. That's very helpful.

Does anyone have an opinion on separating the stoves? Is this a good idea or not? I see the benefits for using one primarily for baking and the other primarily for meal prep. How about when using lots of burners at once? Is that a non-issue?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 7:31AM
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Nice plan! But with 2 sinks on the range side of the island, I would want the 3rd sink facing the MW & fridge side.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:13AM
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Beuhl, I have a question: You have an 18" cupboard labeled as "Tray Storage" to the left of the stove on the top wall. Do you mean cookie sheets, serving trays, roll-out trays, or something else? Just trying to clarify...

hmmm.... interesting point on the sink in the island, Anne... it's kind of a toss-up between using it for prepping meats and veggies for the stove, emptying pots of pasta, and using it for the fridge/snack center.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Actually, with the island only 33" deep, you could get a 30" sink base & 27" sink, turn them 90-degrees, have the base cab open facing the seat (for access to plumbing), center the faucet on the side - and easily be able to use it from both sides!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Oh, I separated the ranges so there would be plenty of work space around both so several people could be working at once. When your little ones get older, they will probably be helping and I think it would be helpful to have plenty of room.

You could also create a "Baking Center" to the right of the one on the left's a nice size and has easy access to everything!

As to the tray storage - yes, cookie sheets, cooling racks, roasting pans, pizza stones, etc.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:36AM
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With the change to the island sink, I think Buehl's plan is great! What a wonderful space to cook and bake, with family and friends :)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Love Buehl's new plan.

I wouldn't worry about separating the stoves and having them both handy to the corner sink would be a huge plus.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:47PM
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Dilemmas: I lose 6' of upper cab space in Beuhl's plan as compared to the one I posted above.

I'm also torn between the landing space for dirty dishes in her plan (minimal) and the big area for clean up in my plan. There's also more room to get by the open DW's in my plan than hers where the DW's are by the island.

But, in mine, there isn't nearly as much landing space on the sides of the stoves. She's got nice big prep areas on the perimeters flanking the corner prep sink.

I do like prepping/baking on an island, especially if I have helpers. I'm a much calmer mama with them across from me, rather than next to me.

Thinking as I type here...

Help? : )

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Spread out = two sets of pots, prep tools, etc. It envisions that both ranges are being used by different people for different tasks. "them" would partly be on the other side of the room.

If you have helpers, and/or people seated while you work, the island length will be pretty much used up by "them" - its not going to be deep enough for people to work on both sides at once. You'd have One arrangement of dishwashers that I've not seen but you could consider is a 24" and an 18". If you used a double drawer dishwasher combined with an 18" tall tub you could wash a lotta dishes but also very tall things. Going around a drawer dishwasher is also a lot easier as it doesn't stick out quite are far into the aisles. The far side of the sink and dw could have usable drawers of 15-16" wide instead of 10".

Also, use a 30" sink inna 30" cabinet to shave another 3" off each side of the sink base and use it to increase both cabinets on the outer sides of the dishwashers - the 10" then becomes 18" with an 18" dishwasher and the 21" becomes a 24" cabinet.

I also wonder what it would be like having two smaller islands with a direct route to the refs. Or dueling peninsulas. Islands are really popular right now , but I just don't think its really helping you. The point of putting the ranges where I put them is that the duffers - people hanging around in the kitchen but not working aren't going to want to be behind you because there is nothing there for them and they can't cut through cause there's no place to go. The older they get, the more they eat and the more they want to help/learn to cook - with small aisles and a really long work path (and where is the pantry?), it's going to get hard having 9 people in that room.

Code does change in various areas depending on the building people's training and what code they have adopted and whether their fire department knows what the heck the building people are approving. As an example above - some people believe its the air movement extinguishing the flames on gas ranges but its not. Heat is an amazing substance - well capable of toasting woodwork or melting the vinyl off of vinyl windows or melting some types of material.

Glass is not heat proof - pyrex is sorta heatproof - but if a piece of glass is stone cold and gets peppered with very hot fluid, I'm thinking it can break just from the instant temperature differential.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:49PM
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GW is giving me fits this morning. But I'll try this again.

I woke up this morning chewing on all the feedback (thanks guys!) I was thinking along the same lines as you, Bmore, that maybe the island isn't serving us the best.

Take a look at what I've drawn up and see if this might be better.
-My thought is that the "duffers" (snicker) can be directed to the stools at the peninsula, which happens to be a bit deeper than the pencil-thin island from before.
-The workflow, I'm hoping, will be smoother and more unimpeded. Fridge-prep sink-meal prep on island, landing space between stoves, baking under big window, cleanup just past the baking area, dishes can go in the 1' deep cabs directly across the way from the bottom DW.

I'm not sure about the rolling cart, thus the "?"

Little story: DH was making cookies w/ DD-8, and DS-6 while I was putting the finishing touches on my new floorplan this morning. I overheard them looking for the almond extract, and the next thing I knew, I looked down and saw that my "Rolling Cart" was labeled "Rolling Extract." How did that happen? Yes, I'm that distractable.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 10:32AM
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Whoops--I meant meal prep on Peninsula, not "island"!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 10:36AM
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Oh, and the pantry. I forgot to mention that the cupboard w/ arrow to the left of the fridge is a pull out. We also have pantry cupboards in the dining room for overflow.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 10:38AM
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S'ok - I said change instead of chance. I'm using age as my excuse - you can use beauty if you want :)

This is pushing at you but its a two island or one continent version. The island sizes can be adjusted a little bit. Major physical changes are the size of the larger window narrowed on one side to accommodate the pair of refs AND the "L" pull out pantry killed off. The two island version provides an escape aisle between the islands.

Its only to see if you "bite" on this style - providing pots of storage, a lot of counter but not much in the way of traditional wall cabinets.

A second version would be to eliminate the same window and place a long step-in pantry beside the refs - reaching into the corner. Another variation also kills the center windows and places both ranges against the wall with the leftmost moving in the gap between the sticky-outtie place and the rightmost range.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Sorry Bmore, we've got a post in that pull-out pantry that's a deal breaker. It can't move. There's a honkin' big post at the deepest end of it, and a smaller, yet extremely vital post at the front end of it, toward the middle section of the kitchen. That's why that thick wall with the pull-out comes 44" into the kitchen space. It is a way of utilizing what would otherwise be wasted.

We're also tied fondly to the big back window. It makes the kitchen, even though it also makes it a challenge to plan around.

Sorry. Thanks for continuing to work on it with me! : )

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 12:35PM
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Laughable- I like the island...and the idea of the range between the windows.

How about Buehl's plan, with the sink/dishwashers the way you originally had them? And then the range between the windows, on the other side? The baking area could be under the window, to the right of that range. Just an idea :)

From Cottage house plans

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Gee, Lavender,
There are parts of that that I like, too. Like the baking center at the right side for instance. Separating the stoves by that much distance makes me a bit nervous. It's going to mean having doubles of things like spatulas, hot pads, whisks, all the tools I use at the cooktops. In theory, all those little items would behave themselves and stay at their stations. Somehow, I think reality (and with multiple people cooking and putting away clean items) would leave us wondering....where is my favorite spatula? Where is the whisk? and then lots of walking back and forth in search of them.

I do that now with scrubbies and such at our two sinks. And since we end up using both our current sinks for clean-up it can be like an easter egg hunt trying to find a pot or a bowl or a_______ (fill in the blank.)

Maybe if I put little chains on everything like the pens at the bank so that they'd stay tied down to their own work zones??? : )

I think the other thing that's eating me is the long expanse of 42" walkway. Are we going to feel penned in? It reminds me a bit of what I have now by the back door. When I've put things that are 2' deep on the length of wall where the pull-out is, it's starts feeling like a bottleneck. Will I end up with one giant bottleneck passageway if we install a long island?

Thank you for working on this with me. Hopefully we'll all get it figured out soon.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Laughable- I think ranges are like sinks...each has to be designated as to how you use them. If the main sink if for clean up and the island sink is for prep, then that should make putting things away much easier.

The same with the ranges. If breakfast is made at the range closer to the fridge, then frying pans, spatula, etc should be well as the toaster. If the other range is more for baking and making pasta, dinner, etc. then those items should be over there.

You'll have to duplicate some things...but I think that would be better than losing any of your windows. I have seen kitchens that put the two ranges right next to each other, but that leaves you with your barrier island.

I was hoping that the 'breakfast' range would be closer to the fridges and the dinner range could have the island. By then, you should have some help and someone can put items on the island that you need. At least in theory :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Of course, with 9 people, you might need those 8 burners closer here's another idea. I believe Threeapples is putting two ranges right next to each other, under one big hood. Would that work for you? I got rid of one window, but you still have lots of light.

And, the fridges are now separate so the barrier island is not such a big deal. What do you think? I don't think the island will block you in too much while you're cooking/baking, but check just to be sure, how much space you need when you open your ovens.

Oh, and I put the bench and the hooks back in. I like those features! Maybe this will give you some more ideas :)

From Cottage house plans

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 2:43PM
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Also, if you like this idea, you could make the pantry 3' wide (instead of 4') and move the fridge and microwave area down to get a bigger doorway (as you have it now) or have 4' of counterspace by the fridge.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:04PM
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This is certain not polished, but use the floor space for storage?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:36PM
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Wow, you guys are working overtime. : ) I never thought of breaking up the stoves according to meals. Only according to tasks (baking vs. cook top usage.)

I'm going to take a bit to process what you've both drawn up.

Lavender, do you have a link to three apples' kitchen? I tried google, but didn't find it.

Thanks to you both! : )


    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:05PM
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Laughable, I would want the two stoves where one cook could babysit both when the other takes off to kiss a booboo or something, as in your original layout.

Rolling cart? Although flexibility is an excellent feature, I mostly see little rolling carts, and their potential rolling messes, as assets in compact kitchens for ardent cooks--a situation-specific feature I wonder about in a kitchen with 9 hurtling bodies and 36 hands and feet also on the move. It'd have a multiplicity of surfaces to keep clean and would cause traffic pileups and pushings through in most areas it'd be positioned in. This isn't carefully thought out, though. I just sort of winced automatically.

As for feeling hemmed in, that's strictly your call, of course, but at 2.5-3' per footstep I'm wondering how much hemming it would actually be in real life, especially if you measure it as steps from either stove to either end. Plus, with 7 children running around, having the stoves back there off the main track seems like a good thing.

You didn't comment on my suggestion to shorten the island slightly and angle the end back, so it's probably a no-go, but that might at least somewhat reduce the hemmed in feeling. BTW, I also like the island because all seating is in the center of the action and not only faces in toward it but is positioned to help.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:14PM
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I think my first choice is to keep the stoves together, or at least within reaching distance of each other.

Yeah, I think a rolling cart would have to have locks on the wheels at the minimum. Too bad it couldn't drop through the floor. But then maybe I'd lose someone with it.

I forgot to comment on the island shortening and angling. I meant to say that I couldn't quite picture it in my head, so thanks for rementioning it, Rosie. I tried to sketch some different shapes on the left end, but I'm not sure I came up with what you had in mind.

I think if I was by myself behind the island, I wouldn't feel hemmed in. It's when I have other people working back there at the same time as me that might be a problem. My DD, nearly 12, is a really good cook. But she darts like a hummingbird in flight when she's in action. And she's only going to get bigger; she's almost as tall as I am already. So we definitely need some space to work together nicely and not cross paths more than necessary.

I just showed the plans to DH. He really likes keeping the fridges together on the wall against the stairs. It's really handy to have them side by side (I think of it as an overgrown French Door fridge) b/c we frequently interchange the storage between the two depending on which one is fuller when.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:41PM
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I suspect you could count on losing someone with it! They'd probably fight for the opportunity, plus the usual getting to ride the lower shelf around the kitchen--my favorite argument FOR a cart. :)

Island: Slice anywhere from a few inches to a foot+ off the left end, then slice the lower left corner off (all the way up to the top left corner (sort of like cutting a peanut butter sandwich in triangles). You'd now have a shorter refrigerator side than stove side. Tweak it by slicing varying angles and lengths off until you like the shape and passage by the fridges. Decide if you'd like to put a stool on the angled edge and, if so, slice off any additional passage space needed. The angled edge could also be a bit of an ellipse if you preferred that.

BTW, have you checked your local building codes yet for what kind of glass could go behind a stove? If you're still heading that direction, you might want to tack that down.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:57PM
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Amy- Here's the link to Threeapples' kitchen. If you scroll past the inspiration picture (very nice) you can see her floor plan and an elevation. She's using two ranges next to each other to get the size she wants. Hope this helps you with your plan :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Threeapples' kitchen

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Hi all,

I've been working through your ideas, and melded some of them into this plan. I like the idea of breaking up the island into 2 distinct zones and making a direct path from the fridges to the stoves.

I like the massive (to me) baking zone.

And I like the large dish-washing area, since we create a tremendous amt. of things that need to be cleaned up each day.

I also talked to DH and we agreed that we could lose the center window on the top wall without too much trouble. I decided to separate the stoves so that they could share some storage between them. This would let the utensils and hot pads go in the drawer right in the middle, and let us put some pots and pans in the bottom.

It seems like this plan gives us a good amt. of counter top, some distinct work spots, and one thing that I like is that I could work in the cooking zone and still be efficient with the workspace and contain the mess to one end of the kitchen (less to clean?) : )

We have a 42" square marble top that was given to us. I held off on mentioning it b/c there were so many other variables that needed to drive the design. I didn't want to try to use it just b/c it was free, only to pay for it later on if it wasn't working well in the kitchen. But with this plan, I think we can use it for the baking island. Hooray!

The kids have been begging for a wood topped island that they can cut on, so maybe the one in the cooking zone could be butcherblock.

Oh, and we can still have a place for the coat hooks and such by the back door.

What do you think--could this be a winner?

Sorry, Rosie, no island derbies in this kitchen. ; )

p.s. Good grief, what happened to the picture? It shrunk. I'm not sure how to make it bigger. I hope you can see it ok.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Unless you have a pair of pro level ranges with high output burners, you can do a matching width hood. It gets you a bit more wall cabinet.

I think you'd be better served with a table instead of the squarish island - you can move it around to better suit whatever your current need is, but also it could be a kneading height if you're a breadmaker.

Paper is free, so I'd also try this - little bit complicated, but instead of using a pull out pantry, do a cabinet pantry with shelves and have the doors open into the 65" wide aisle. You get more storage that is easier to access and it doesn't lock the 30" aisle.

Next variation on that theme:

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 7:43AM
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That's a very interesting layout, Bmore. I appreciate you thinking outside the box. : )

I'm not overly concerned with pantry storage space, believe it or not. We have tons in our dining room, and I'm seriously considering using our entryway through the front door as pantry storage, too. We have the room in there for some nice shelves and closets, so in essence, it would be a walk-in pantry. We're always using the back door for our everyday coming and going, so it makes more sense for us to put our coats and stuff back there. We surely don't need a 5' 10" x 7' 8" guest coat closet, which is the size of the entryway that's built outside the front door. : ) We could build in the closets and all so that it didn't "look" like a pantry per se.

We are breadmakers, so a lowered marble top does make some sense here. I think I need the cupboard space for kitchen items, though, so that's why I was thinking island.

I don't have pro style ranges; I don't think I'd know what to do with them. : ) So yes, 30" wide vents and cupboards are fine and dandy here. I'll take the top cab. room, for sure.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:09AM
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I have a few questions ...

On your need for 2 stoves - is it the 8 burners on top that you need or do you really mostly need the 2 ovens that come with the 8 burners ? In other words, how many things do you have cooking in pots or pans on the stovetop all at one time ? I am having a hard time imagining using 8 burners ... Gravy, potatoes, and 6 different veggies all going at once ? Could you get away with having 5 burners or 6 ? I can easily see needing multiple ovens because of needing different temps on bread, roasts, or casseroles at one time, some things baking, some things broiling. Or, maybe is it that you already have the 2 stoves and are looking to rearrange your space so it works better but use the appliances you already have ?

If you do have any appliances that you would like to use if possible, what are their dimensions ?

Next ... Have you actually asked your local building dept what code is for stoves in front of a window ? I read thru the thread then scanned thru it again and did not see this. I am on the iPad so cant do a Ctrl-F word find (unless there is a way to do that and someone can teach me something new?).

Its just the two of us, but ... we had 32 people at Thanksgiving with 8 cooks going at one time, 23 people spent the week with us. We often have 10-18 guests staying with us. I understand the need for duplicate appliances ... we have 2 full size fridges, 5 burners, 3 ovens, 2 dishwashers, 2 sinks, 3 coffee makers, etc ....

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:39AM
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Amy- I like your new plan! The only change I would suggest (if it will fit) is a narrow peninsula across from the baking area...with room for shelves on the baking side (for storing all kinds of flour and other items) and some stools on the other side.

This would be so handy and would keep your baking items easy to reach and find, especially since you don't have much upper cabinet space in that area...and still give you seating for helpers :)

From Cottage house plans

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Hi Angela,
You have lots of good questions. We do own the two stoves already. We have standard 30" wide smoothtop electric stoves, which means that we are limited to 2 large burners and 2 small burners per stove. One of them has a warming zone on top, which I rarely use.

There are times that I need at least 3 large burners going at once, and I'm anticipating that the need will increase as our children head into their teen years. We also often have 30 or so people here for a meal at one time.

Our one stove is a double oven stove, a Maytag Gemini. There are times, though, that I could use two full size ovens. I love, love, love the small oven in the top of the Gemini for baking up smaller batches of things. But there are other times I'd like more versatility that two larger ovens would give us.

Plus, I equally strongly dislike the control panel and knobs on the Gemini's cook top; my kids have a very hard time using them. It's extremely user unfriendly. And since there are no numbers next to the knobs, it's almost impossible to direct someone in how to use it. I can't say to someone, "Please turn that burner down to 4," or any other type of direction. There's not even markings for high, medium or low! But on my other stove, the control panel is great. The kids are comfortable using it, and I can hardly wait to get it back in the kitchen (we took it out when we put the Gemini in.)

I talked with DH about the window, and it just makes more sense in the floorplan to take a window out than to try to work around it. So, no, we didn't get the code info.

Your house sounds like a fun place to be. : ) It makes me think of my grandparents' house, where there were always lots of people around, and a restaurant quality coffeemaker with 2-3 pots of coffee going all the time. Good memories. (DH and I don't drink coffee...I love the smell, though!)

I've been thinking about the 30" squeeze point by the island. The island is currently drawn at 33" deep. If we reduced it to a 27" deep top, then that would give us 6" more inches in the walkway. Not super roomy, but I think it'd be quite adequate for a passageway.

I had the opportunity to cook on a 24" deep island while on vacation this year, and I was totally comfortable with it's depth. In fact, I loved it! (well, it was 8 ft long with a skylight above it...)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:11PM
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Oops! I just saw the info about the marble did I miss that the first time? LOL

That would be a nice addition to the kitchen, so if you don't need the storage the marble table would be great. If you do need more storage, maybe you could cut the marble down and make two marble for each side of the baking area?

I think your plan is really coming together. Whatever you decide, it's going to be a wonderful kitchen :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:24PM
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Thanks for the encouragement, Lavender!

I'm torn on your lengthened baking island. I like the extra storage and seating. With that island longer like that, I could stand and work and see all the way into the living room, which is something I've wanted with this kitchen, but can't have due to the stairway location.

The other side of the decision is that we do have a lot of "traffic". So I'm thinking we might benefit from one more on-off ramp to the baking area. DD just pointed out that that would be a good escape route by the windows for someone to duck out of the way if another person was carrying hot food to the dining room. Is this unecessary?

Would the "duffers" park themselves in the aisle-way between the islands? Or am I worrying too much?

It feels so good to finally see this coming together. It's been such a looooooong time coming.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Anything else you already own and want to reuse ? Fridges, sinks, DWs, hood, microwave ... ? What are the dimensions of the 2 ft wide post to the left of the stove in the layout above ? Is 14'6" x 23'4" the interior dimensions of the space ?

IMO, the 30" is fine there. It's a small area that will only be a passageway. No one will likely be standing against the island on that side. At our house, we have 2 bathroom sections that are only 30" wide and about 6 feet long. Door at one end and 30" wide vanity down at the other end. Between the two of these vanity areas is the section that has the shower, toilet, and linen closet. At our primary residence, we have a 30" wide 45" long hall going into a full bath, with a closet opening off one side of the hall. All of these areas function fine. Your 30" space is only for a couple feet and it will feel more open than mine because there is a wall on only one side instead of both sides.

On the stoves ... you have two or three right now ? One standard 30" wide smooth top, plus the Gemini ... Or, two standard 30" wide smooth tops, plus the Gemini ?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:16PM
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So you need something a little more duffer-proof? LOL

How about this? With a wooden top on the seating area, with a marble inset...and another one across, in the main baking area. I don't think anyone will want to sit right next to the prep sink, but you never know...

From Cottage house plans

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:21PM
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We have 2 stoves, both are standard width. One of the 2 is the Gemini, the yin and yang of all stoves.

We have 2 fridges, both are 30" wide.

We have 1 24" w dishwasher. We plan to get another 24" at a future date.

MW, size unknown, but it will def. fit in a 36" area as drawn next to the Fridges. We currently don't own one, but DMIL said they have one in storage to give us that they bought a while back for a gift, but the receiver didn't need/want it, so there it sits.

Freezers live in the basement, so no issues there.

I'm thinking a super single sink under the big window in this size: 33"x22"x9.5"

Then the one in the island... we have a 19 1/8x 17in. sink that we could use there. Either that, or a D shaped sink in this size: 23"x21" x9".

The post to the left of the stove is 22 1/4 left to right x 7 1/2" deep.

The interior dimensions of the whole space are 14'6" x 23'4".

Well now, that island leaves more room to get our Duffs in and out, doesn't it. ; )

I'm sure my 2 yo would looove to sit by the sink (so she could play in the water...) : ) But no, I don't think anyone needs to sit there. What I do picture, though, is helpers working on multiple sides of either of the islands.

I'll show DH the island plans and discuss, gasp, cutting the marble. And google how to cut it ourselves.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:29PM
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@Angela - the 30" space is in front of a tall pull out pantry unit.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Well, whichever you choose I like it, even if it does blast my image of someone trying to beat the ones running around by going over the top. Less likelihood of passing ingredients basketball style, too.

Regarding that squeeze point, families have been living with 36" hallways for very long now, so it really seems like it would do fine. I would definitely want more than 30", though. DH and I have 35" on the work side of the island, and the two of us do fine. However you decide, I suspect your family is a little more used to bumping and brushing by than most, including some whose standards are well represented on GardenWeb where the adults worry if a 5' aisle will be wide enough to be contact-free and are determined that their children will never have to share a bedroom or bath.

A peninsula instead of second island would create a dead end on the right and a crunch point right in front of one of the stoves. Going for as wide a gap as doable would of course help that a fair amount, plus eliminate any tendency to swing on them in the middle.

I do also like the island, though. A circular flow throughout the kitchen seems very worth having, you could go with a narrower gap, shooing lingerers away, and the seats would face each other and down the kitchen more.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:46PM
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Argh, I forgot all about swinging parallel bar style--thanks for mentioning that! None of that now! No Olympic events in the kitchen. Shoo-shoo--O-U-T. : )

I do want more than 30" in that spot by the pull-out.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:55PM
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Rosie- I like the marble island, too. My two concerns are lack of storage and that stool across from the big window. I over think things sometimes (like my house plan! LOL) but I do worry about little ones tipping backwards and hitting that window.

Of course, the peninsula against the window is not ideal, either. But, that should be easy to work around.

One thing I really like (from my own experience) is that the oven on the 'right' range can now open, without any obstacles behind it. You can always move the stool, so that should be nice for baking :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Can't believe you didn't think of that. :)

Lavender, I confess I hadn't thought of the possibility of tipping over into the window. The additional storage and work space do speak for themselves.

Laughable should have a very informed opinion on the benefits of creating a dead-end dedicated work corner versus one with free movement. I've been trying to imagine all over again which might be better and now have no clue at all. Fun problem for the experts.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Worrying about tipping back into the window probably isn't too far off of a possibility. When we first moved here, my DD, then about 1 1/2, was eating in her booster seat that was strapped to a chair. She put her feet on the apron of the table and pushed backward, which tipped her whole chair backwards. We heard an awful cracking noise, which was fortunately the window behind her that got banged by the chair, and not her head. The window was ancient, and already cracked and destined for removal, but still! We were so grateful she was not hurt.

My favorite bar stools, in theory anyway, since I haven't seen them irl, are the kind that attach to the island and can't be moved around. Perhaps that would be best there. Suspend It is one brand. I can't figure out how to paste the picture of one.

DH has been working outside all day, haven't had a chance to show him the developments yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peninsulas Article on house, but none butt up to a window

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:12PM
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Still thinking.... Those niggling thoughts... the kitchen is too far from the dining room for everyday use, actually, the exact quote is, "Running dishes to/from the dining area is twice as far as it needs to be."

This isn't tidy, but it's the best I can do in Paint with the time I have at the moment. Kids will be up soon and it's time to make dinner.
Wish I knew how to make the image a little bigger! I'm sorry it's so small.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:49PM
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Goodness, I don't mean to sound like that! I never have learned how to speak other than too directly.

One of the cute/practical things I've seen for something like this is using two tables for the banquette area - on wheels so they can move closer to the ovens when desired. It also stops the table from getting too big to clean.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:30PM
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I don't mind directness, so no worries. : ) It's good for helping me to think things through.

Two tables... I think I've seen this done when we go to restaurants (we've outgrown a lot of the tables- LOL) but never in someone's home.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 6:03PM
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I don't mind directness, so no worries. : ) It's good for helping me to think things through.

Two tables... I think I've seen this done when we go to restaurants (we've outgrown a lot of the tables- LOL) but never in someone's home.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 7:58PM
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THere is a lot here and I'm late to a very productive party. I think you are on a better track than way back when we tried this before and you wanted the kitchen to do, probably, too many things.

I am in full agreement that the stoves should be in close proximity to each other. In our kitchen with similar family size and habits, separating things, although it sounds good in theory, is a hassle.

Also, because of experience, now with kids in the house from 8 to 20, I urge you to consider aisle space around seating for plans with that issue. You may not be considering any of the plans any longer with this issue, but seating backing into aisles of 48" or less would not be good. You're about to hit the growth-spurt stage, where not only are the bodies bigger, but hungrier, more active, and not always conscientious and careful. The space will get more crowded in the next stage.

The 30" squeeze point doesn't bother me too much, for the reasons Angela gave... As long as there isn't a pullout pantry right there. ;-)

When I helped redesign my sister's kitchen, the code issue with a stove near a window had to do with venting, not the stove itself. The vent (I assume where it exited the outside of the house) had to be at least 3 ft from any window that opens. I think it was to prevent drawing the exhaust back into the house? But I'm not sure. If the window didn't open, or was 3 ft from the vent, the stove-window relationship wasn't a code issue.

I kind of like the last plan, but the little counter by the seating, I think, wouldn't be that helpful, and possibly just a clutter spot in the way. Also, the prep area is pretty far from the stove.

What really helps to make our kitchen work for our crowd is the island... of a workable size, and accessible from all sides, and with it's own sink. It contributes to every zone in the kitchen, and I believe it's what keeps the traffic flowing nicely and gives adequate workspace to every task and every person. I'm afraid that your built in table takes away opportunity for that.

This could be considered opinion ;-), but baking areas need sinks nearby... Like at your elbow or across the aisle. I use my prep sink as much for baking as I do for any prep, or filling/emptying pots.

I think your Sept 2 plan has possibilities, as well as Bmore's cool, angled plan. (when you can get functionality and a snazzy look, why not?!) But I also see a lot of merit in moving your cleanup area to where it's across from the access to the dining room... But I thought I remembered your wanting to keep your big sink by the back door?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:46PM
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Hi Rhome, welcome to the party. : ) You have a good memory. Thanks for giving us some feedback on these plans.

DH didn't like my giant banquette, so that's out.

I agree that I constantly use my sink when I bake and I don't want to have it far from my baking area. Since posting the plans above, I've thought that through more thoroughly.

Bmore's plan is very cool, and if this was a modern looking house, I might explore that some more.

I think I like the idea of having 2 specific work zones each with their own island. I've uploaded a picture, and I've drawn an extra sink in the baking area so that each work zone can have it's own sink. It might sound like a bit of overkill, but I think it would work really well in reality.

As far as the sink by the back door goes, we've decided that it's ok for it to leave. It's been good to spend some more time in this house and try to figure out what's vital, and what isn't. That sink is very tired and I'm ready to retire it.

As far as aisle-ways go, I think (hope) we're ok in that department in this plan. The only bad spot I see as I look at it is the stools by the front door. We ought to replace that door anyway, so when we do, maybe we can change the door swing around. It might make more sense to have it swing the other way.

I appreciate the input from everyone; you've given me much to ponder. Thank you!

I'd still love some input on which type of baking island to do: a 42" square that we can walk around, or a longer, skinnier one that closes off the baking zone at the end by the windows.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Have you tried/considered a smaller table by the windows and one, all-work island centered more for all the areas? Or maybe something like a 30 x 30 free-standing butcherblock by the post area, and a bigger island more to the right? Still tight for seating.

How much seating do you feel you need?

I've lost track of where the post or posts are needed in the plan above... Is it only posts that must stay or part of a wall, too?

I don't think your island is deep enough for seating, and I'm afraid anyone sitting there will be in the way of accessing the snack center and cause a problem for traffic coming through from the entry and dining room. I think I like the Sep 2 plan better with the square island, but it looks deeper, so I'm not sure how it fits? Hard to keep scrolling back and forth to compare!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:46PM
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Let's try to get the 2 plans together for comparison.

Too tired to do any more thinking. Maybe tomorrow.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Can't figure out how to post both in one message... :/

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 11:11PM
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In the gray box by the 65" aisle is the post and the pull out pantry that pulls out into the 30" pinch point. The 12" utility cab is another pantry cab.

Sep 1, 12 at 10:32 has a drawing showing both the big and little posts with the pullout pantry.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Well, if Lavender Lass can move her kitchen, I hope I can too. : )

My Mom suggested I try moving the kitchen to the living room again. So I did. DH likes it. I like it. I think even the house likes it, since everything seems to lay out better. Here it is:

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Left wall

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 10:38PM
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Top Wall:

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Wow...Now that's quite a kitchen! I'd leave more room in front of the fridges, though. And I'd put the microwave to the left of the fridge, because it seems to me that almost everything that goes into the mw comes out of the fridge or freezer, and I find it very handy to have the sink to add water or drain things that are cooked or thawed in the mw.

Make sure your prep sink is a usable size, and also the trash pullout. Map out where you will keep pots and pans, and baking pans, and also dishes, serveware, and glassware to make sure you have enough room. You could hang glass doored cabinets, that open from both sides, over the sink/bar area, so they are stored from the kitchen, but accessed from the dining room.. if you need more storage for such things.

I'm assuming the gray boxes are wall sections that can't be moved?

If you heat the house with that woodstove, will the kitchen be too hot to be comfortable? It looks cozy, though.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Sorry to post again, but I keep forgetting to check that new, wonderful little box that says I can have followups to this discussion emailed to me! I'm back to do so, so I don't miss any of your further progress.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Thanks! : ) I've spent 4 years trying to make the other room work as a functional kitchen, and this one fell together in about 5 minutes. Go figure.

How far should I leave between the fridge and island? I just measured our fridges and they stick out 32" from the wall. I can't really move the island any more toward the bottom b/c of the lip of the hearth. If necessary, I could lose the seating at the island, but I'd rather not.

Is a 42" walkway from fridges to island enough space?

The interior dimension of our prep sink is 12" x 17". Is that adequate?

I planned an 18" trash pullout for the baking side of the island, and then I thought we could put another trash can under the cleanup sink.

Grayed areas cannot be moved.

I labeled all the cupboards and listed everything in them from my master list, so as long as everything was on there, it all fits.

I'll keep the glass doors in mind if our needs change in the future.

We have a soapstone stove, so the heat is more gentle than some wood stoves. And with the space being pretty open to the dining room, I think we'll be comfortable in there.

Thanks for keeping your eye on this discussion. : )

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 11:19AM
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We have about 44" in front of our fridge, which is about the same size as yours, so I think 42" will be fine. Not only do you want to be able to open the door, and maybe have room for someone else to slide by, but room to pull the fridge clear out, if necessary. With my oven saga, I now always think of "What if it needs to be pulled out to be replaced?" And with fridges, you might want to clean under or behind. ---Which brings up another thought. We put our fridges and freezer up on a toe kick, which really seems to decrease the dust bunny collection underneath.

My prep sink is about 14 x 16 inside, and I've often thought bigger would be nice, and I wouldn't want smaller. 12" is a little narrow for scrubbing veggies without smashing your knuckles. Might want to mock something up and see what you think. And make sure you can get a pan or colander in there with its handles. (You can fill large pots by setting them on the counter if you have a pull-out faucet.)

Trash plans sound good.

I was also thinking that if you moved the microwave, as I suggested above, you could get more purpose or more major storage of where you now have the microwave.

I'll be interested in what others have to say, not only, but particularly Bmore, who often catches things I miss at first glance.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 11:41AM
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Laughable- If you stay in the original room...I LOVE that plan with the banquette! It's so cozy for seating, you have a great view and the work area looks great :)

If you move the kitchen, this new plan looks good, too. My only concern (probably already mentioned) is that the seating at the island is a little close to the seating at the table. Otherwise, another great plan!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Thanks Lavender. DH really didn't like the banquette in the other plan, so that's a no-go.

I just taped off the counters and appliances on the living room and dining room floors. I'm going to play house for a bit and see how it feels.

I thought about putting the MW by the fridge too. I just don't want to loose counter space over it, since that's a tightish corner already. (Now if I could squeek the fridges down toward the door more....)

Bmore.....where arrrrre you? : ) I need your good eyes to check it over for me. Please? Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 3:06PM
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Oops, I hit submit instead of preview.

There is 48" between the corner of the fridge and the corner of the clean-up counter. Could I lessen this?

Also, the chair by the island will slide 2' farther back once I don't have junk piled behind it, so there is more clearance at that end than it looks like.

OK, I think that's all I was going to add.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Not really - you have a murder of doors there - dw, ref, exterior and the opposing cabinets in the island. It's going to be a kinda popular location.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 3:41PM
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OK, it was a long shot, but I thought I'd ask. The door swings into the master bedroom, but there's still a lot going on in that corner,that's true.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 4:21PM
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I meant to put the microwave up... Like in the lower shelf of the upper cabinet. Since the fridge is deep, it would be a nice opportunity to have a slightly deeper upper or shelf for that purpose and it won't stick out like a sore thumb... Besides the advantages of being near the fridge.

I have mine in the bottom of any upper cabinet and forget they can go on the counter! ;-) But I don't want to give up that space. Sorry I wasn't clear.

Why do you want to move the fridges and lessen that distance between those corners? You'll lose your apron hanging spot, which I saw a good way to leave you some breathing room in that access-way while offering you function, too. Don't get corners too tight together. If the dw is open on that end, you'd really have a pinch point.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Why do you want to move the fridges and lessen that distance between those corners?

That would give me more counter and cupboard space to the left of the fridges. I don't want to move them all the way to the door molding, but another 6" would allow for a 30" base cab. between the super susan and fridges.

I'm concerned with having deeper cabinets in that corner, in case they feel like they're coming out at me too far. I'd like to avoid that "in your face" feeling that deeper uppers give me; that's partly why I didn't put one of those angly upper corner cabs in. I'd like that corner to feel as spacious as possible.

I just looked through your pictures (again : )), and I see that your uppers go in and out, but I couldn't tell by looking their exact depths. It looks like your mw cupboard deeper than 12", yes? And wider than 24"? That's what I have to work with if I don't slide the fridges down.

Your toe-kick under the fridges is unique. Was it hard to hoist them up onto those?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Your toe-kick under the fridges is unique. Was it hard to hoist them up onto those?

Not for me! ;-) Hubby and one of the boys did it pretty easily.

It looks like your mw cupboard deeper than 12", yes?

Yes, mine was designed for the size of the microwave I wanted (I figured there wouldn't ever be one larger that I'd want), so the exterior dimensions of the cabinet are 29" wide and a little over 19or 20" deep, which is deeper than necessary, as the mw can actually slide back into it a little bit. 18" would've been enough. But if your microwave isn't that big and doesn't require the same clearance, the cabinet can be smaller.

Also, you could do a shorter upper with a shelf underneath (even with the upper next to it), so you wouldn't have the sides of a cabinet infringing 1 1/2" on your clearance. --So you could fit a larger microwave in the 24" width, which is all you have over where it's drawn, left of the stove, too.

So the width and how much it might be in your face depend completely on the model you have, and the dimensions of what I have doesn't specifically pertain to you, except for the example of placing it up off the counter. I just felt it might not feel as bad next to the fridge, since it would be quite a bit back from the fridge front.

I don't think I'd crowd access to the room for 6" more cabinet and counter in this case. It's your widest, and probably most often used entrance/exit.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:50PM
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You can put the micro where "G" or "H" is. It's a better location but will take more depth in the uppers.

What kind of micro? (make/model)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:57PM
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OK, fridges stay put so there's no crowding.

I don't know what make/model of micro yet b/c right now we don't have one. Hopefully I'll know more soon.

See, I'd be the one helping lift the fridges; we don't have any big boys! ; ) That's a neat idea.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:21AM
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OK, I'll weigh in here:

A wood stove, especially one thats for substantial amount of heat to the house and a kitchen is a bad combo, IMO.

I know because I've lived with that plan for more than two decades and it drives me absolutely NUTS!

In fact it's the driving force making me move my kitchen to another room to separate the uses (since I can't move the chimney).

People who don't use their stoves much only see the amenity. I see the wood debris, ashes, dust, constant tracking in and out with the wood, the extra heat in the kitchen, etc. Plus everyone wants to sit closely around the woodstove which winds up making the whole area over crowded.

The other small technical problem is that you need to have an airtight woodstove with an outside air connection in order to operate it safely in a room with nearby exhaust fans. And even then you may have some backdrafting issues when re-fueling and running the fans simultaneously.

I am so much looking forward to having the woodstove in the room that functions solely as the sitting room and getting my kitchen moved away from it. I have one more winter with this set-up and the change can't happen soon enough for me.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:01PM
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L- I even wondered if that wood stove is too close to the chair and cabinets.

What about an electric stove? They're a great option, if you just want the ambience of a stove, with a little heat. I've thought about one for the master bedroom :)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:14PM
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Thanks for weighing in on the wood stove issue Liri. I will share your observations w/ DH.

Our stove heats a lot differently than, say, a metal wood stove. That would be too hot. This is really a bit of a different animal, but still deserves some consideration. We do burn wood all winter long.

Funny you bring up the debris and tracking, b/c I was thinking, there, now all the debris (kitchen crumbs and wood crumbs) will be together, and the living room will be free of all the wood junk getting tracked into it! LOL

Then I was thinking, from now on I won't be cooking in the kitchen all alone while everyone is hanging out by the wood stove. Best yet, when my DH comes home from working outside all day, he'll visit with me in the kitchen by the wood stove rather than disappearing to the opposite end of the house. Woo-hoo!

Funny how we're seeing opposite sides of a similar coin.

I'm wondering, is your wood stove mixed in with your main work zone, so that the squatters are right in your way?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Whoops, we were posting at the same time, Lavender. The chair already lives there, so it's not too close. It's a popular seat in the house during the winter months.

I'm still evaluating the distance between the stove and the end of the island. The cabinet next to the hearth should be fine. That's not going to be a high usage area, and it would double as a way to disguise wood storage.

Thanks for checking it out! : )

My mom has one of those little electric wood stove look alikes. They're a nice option for temporary heat or small spaces, I think.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Laughable- Good to know about the chair! It looks very cozy :)

I'd love to have a wood stove in my kitchen, especially with a chair or two...but the electric stove sounds good in the bedroom. On/off switch and no soot! LOL

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Laughable- You have me wanting a wood stove, in my kitchen again! With a chair or two...and maybe an ottoman. It's just so cozy :)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Have you had a wood stove before? It is cozy, but it's also a lot of maintenance. We love it, the heat is like no other, but it's definitely far from care-free. Carrying in wood, lots of debris, fiddling with getting it lit, adjusting the damper, refilling multiple times a day (and night, if that's your thing) dealing with the ashes, chimney cleaning. The heat is worth it to us; I'd just hate to have someone go into it without their eyes wide open. : )

If it's primarily the ambiance you're after, I think a gas or electric look-alike would be a great compromise without the hassle. Just my 2 cents : )

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 6:18PM
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I want one for power outages! Something small, but I can still boil water (have to have my tea LOL) and heat up some food. Also, nice to have heat, especially in the kitchen.

If we lived in town, I might go more for ambiance. I still might, if we decide to put a little stove, in the bedroom.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 6:27PM
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I realize you have a soap-stone walled stove but the wood debris issue is still the same. Having it in the kitchen is not pleasant at all. It just makes my food preparation room seem dirty, no matter how much I clean it. There are always some fugive wood smoke and ashes in a room with a stove, alas.

Plus you will still need to have a dedicated outside air connection if you have an exhaust fan in the kitchen. If you stove doesn't have that capability, you may need a new w/s.

I have lived with s/s box stoves similar to yours and they burn pretty much the same way that cast iron ones do. Their much-ballyhooed, longer "gentler" heat patterns are not as dramatic as one might think. The huge s/s masonry stoves do operate with completely different thermodynamics. But fire in a box, is fire in a box, even if the walls have some additional thermal mass. Box stoves of all materials are thermally puny compared to the mass of a masonry stove.

My stove is located in the awkward middle of a narrow room, but not particularly within my kitchen working zone. But its presence seems to just suck the life out of my kitchen space. Not even my 48" double oven range has a strong enough presence to counterbalance the stove and attendant hearth. Originally the flue we now use for the w/s was the flue for the wood-fired cookstove which currently sits out in the barn smugly awaiting the arrival of a post-Peak Oil fuel crisis. That's why the w/s wound up in the kitchen in the first place. But since the chimney ain't moving, the kitchen is.

As unsatisfied as I am with the kitchen w/s combination, I am not at all dissatisfied with burning wood. I find it very compelling to sit near during winter days and evenings. Somehow the attendant w/s messiness seems less obtrusive in a non-food prep space. But after dinner I like to move away from my kitchen and the work I do there throughout the day. I'm ready for a change of scene, however without any central heat in this house many of the other common rooms are somewhat inhospitable in the coldest periods. So we all stay crammed in the kitchen to be near the stove.


Now, I happen to think an excellent combination is a w/s and a dining room that is used for evening meals. Perhaps with a sitting area near the stove and bookshelves - that's just about my perfect image of a great DR. Can you use the DR space for food preparation and move the DR function into the w/s room? I didn't solve my frustration about the undesirable kitchen/wood stove pairing until I gave myself permission to consider moving the kitchen to any other room on the first floor.



    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:01AM
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L- It sounds like your only wood stove/heat is in the kitchen. If you had a stove in another room, would the kitchen be less of a problem?

Also, if you didn't burn all the time, only a bit in the evening or during power outages (and had the main stove in another room) would this be less of a problem? Could wood storage be in the other room and keep more of the mess, out of the kitchen?

That's what I'd like to do. We have a big brick (raised) fireplace in the living room and I'd like to have a wood stove in the kitchen...for cooking. When the power goes out it would be great and we don't have gas out here...and propane is not really a good option, either.

Laughable- Can you cook/boil water on a soapstone wood stove?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Not to encourage more detour, but I thought this was cool ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Heat plus cooking.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:05PM
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Bmore- That is cool!

I was thinking more tiny wood stove, with enough room for a tea kettle on top...somthing like this...but that oven is a great idea :) From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Ahhhhh, cook stoves. That's what I wanted originally. Now y'all have thrown me for a loop! LOL carries a variety of stoves you can cook on.

That wood stove is the ittiest bittiest one I've ever seen, Lavender. It almost looks like it would burn on pencil shavings (oh, if only!) How adorable.

My soapstone stove does not really get a stockpot of water up to a boil. Haven't tried a teapot. The water does evaporate quickly in the stockpots we keep on top all winter, though.

Woodstock Soapstone has just come out with a stove that does have a cook top that you can slide into place. See the link below.

If you want quick heat, soapstone isn't the best way to go. It takes about 45 minutes after lighting a fire to feel any warmth off the stove. It has to heat the mass of the stones first. It's better for a consistent keep it burning all the time type use.

We own a Woodstock Fireview soapstone stove. It's a nice stove, but it's not the best for watching the fire through the glass. I think this is one of the things that they tried to address in their new and improved hybrid stove, again, linked below. I've seen stoves with much better airwash of the glass than what ours has. Ours clouds over very, very quickly.

Liri, thank you for your details. I like the idea of a wood stove in the dining room. Unfortunately, I can't switch our kitchen and dining rooms. The dining room is a major thoroughfair with lots of doorways and activity through it. I understand trying the kitchen in other spots though. I've tried imagining our kitchen functioning in every space but the stairwell and bathrooms! : ) (Well, truth be told, you know you're TKO when you go to the loo and think, now if this space was my would I lay it out...blush.)

We do have central heat, so we're not relying solely on our wood stove.

OK, totally unrelated: I think my trash pullout is hogging way too much space under the island in this last drawing. I want that hunka space for pots and pans. So. Where to put the trash? Do I give up a pull-out and just stick a can at the end of the fridge run? Do I try to slide it under somewhere else?

Here is a link that might be useful: Soapstone stove with cook top

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 3:08PM
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Put the trash under the sink. We don't have much room in our house and retrofitted our trash pull-out under the sink. Just requires some attention to how you put the plumbing, but we were able to fit it with cutting a 1"x1" rectangle out of the trash can and didn't even have to re-route the plumbing. A friend of mine did a double trash can and was able to fit it with paying attention to the plumbing underneat too.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Laughable, I had to decide between putting the trash pullout at our prep area or by the kitchen sink (for scraping, etc.). Coin toss in some respects, but I chose the latter because we are on septic and don't have a garbage disposal. But it's on the short arm of an L, with the prep area on the island just a couple direct steps in the direction it pulls out. Yours is a little harder to get to.

If you have a garbage disposal for cleanup stuff, I'd put the pull-out in the prep area. I'm always pulling off packaging, gathering up onion skins and carrot tops, etc., and carrying them over to the garbage--instead of just pulling it out and sweeping them in. (Actually I do it on cutting boards and sweep THEM off in the garbage, AND I'll do little quick jobs in the secondary prep corner adjacent to the garbage, but I wanted to make it sound maximally bothersome).

FWIW (not much I suspect), we used to have a gas stove, and I loved it for when the power went off. Including when a half million people in our area were without power in a teens-temperate winter for up to 6 weeks, many refugeeing from fine home to high school gyms while we sat warm and cozy, and well fed without fuss, courtesy of our gas stove.

This house, DH wanted to put a wood-burning furnace in the LRM instead of a tank for our antique gas stove (we don't have gas in this area but do own lots of trees), which I went with. I'm sorry now that I accepted either-or. We could buy a swing-out bracket and an iron pot to hang from it, but it's hardly the same. By all means, have your wonderful wood stove for the pleasure it offers, wherever you want it and whenever you want its heat, but if you also have gas stoves, and some well-placed doors on your rooms, that'd be great.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 4:58PM
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