kitchen choreography, or "which conflicts can you live with?"

lori_inthenw_gwSeptember 9, 2013

We had houseguests this past week and one morning I watched them do that "dance" that involves sort of tripping over one another. One was trying to make coffee as the other tried to put something in the dishwasher (yes, they were great guests, and working to be low-impact.) But what I was thinking was "why are they doing that?" because I know those two activities are not compatible in our kitchen. We've lived here for 25 years, and updated some finishes, but never remodeled or rearranged the kitchen. It works fine for the 2 of us, and even a helper or two if we tell them where to sit and what to do! But coffee making gets priority with us--it needs to be done when it needs to be done, and opening the dishwasher can wait!

I'm thinking of this because we are down to the kitchen details in our new house plan and so I follow a lot of threads on the topic. People will get "finished" with a design and then post it here and all sorts of opinions will emerge, including "that just won't work because your dishwasher is too far from your dining room" or "you don't want your refrigerator in that location because people seeking snacks would walk through the cooking zone," or whatever.

I see a distinction between conflicts such as "you can't open the dishwasher without hitting the oven door" and "your microwave needs to be closer to your sink." One is factual and the other really depends on your family, your habits, how you use your MW. We are planning to downsize and our kitchen will only be 10 x 14, with a peninsula, no island, and two corners. So it seems to me that we sort of have to choose among potential conflicts. The one I see in our current plan is that if you have the dishwasher door open, you can't easily get to the fridge, which is at the end of the 'U.' This doesn't seem like a big deal to me, but that could only be because I'm used to the DW getting in the way of some activities. (Plus it doesn't freak me out to have a dirty dish sitting on the counter or sink awaiting its turn to be loaded.)

At any rate, it seems to me that in any kitchen with more than one person potentially doing things, there have to be some potential conflicts, unless you have the whole thing on one long wall with access anywhere? So are we just choosing between conflicts that drive us nuts and those we don't even notice? My DH and I just manage to work around each other well, but we've had a lot of practice. The other day I walked in to the kitchen and he was standing with the fridge door open (kind of rare event as he usually knows why he's there), and I could not walk past to get to the other side of the peninsula. I thought "that's inconvenient--if that happened a lot it would be annoying." And our layout might look unworkable on a floor plan, and BE unworkable if you had a bunch of kids at home who tend to stand in front of the fridge with the door open! But in all these years, it's one of the few times I've even noticed it!

So I would like to know which conflicts among appliances or activities you have lived with, which ones drive you crazy, and which ones you think are no big deal.

Here are a couple of mine: I do not like to have to "bump" the sink person to drop something in the trash, so we will have a pullout next time. On the other hand, with a family of two, the dishwasher only gets run every other day so loading and unloading it is not a high priority task--it can be done whenever convenient, so I would put conflicts with that door opening at a lower level importance. (I'm not talking about it physically bumping something, just that you can't have two people standing in the same space at the same time.)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great post. I agree with you on the trash thing (it is just me and DH) but I still am not doing a trash pullout in new kitchen because I dont want to take things to the trash. I currently have small can that I can put where I need it I also agree that dishwasher opening is not a big deal. Our dishwasher will be in a more prominent location in our new design but I am not worried about it. The dishwasher is open for a solid period of about 15 minutes per week while unloading it. Other than that, it is not open that long.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We remodeled the kitchen in our previous home when we bought it, and again about 20 years later. The biggest "conflict" for us, never resolved in the old kitchen, but definitely fixed in the new, was that we separated the cleanup area (sink/dw/trash receptacles) from the prep and cooking areas. In the old kitchen, if I was standing at the island, my back was to both the cooktop, the dw and the sink. I always said somehow my husband decided every night for 20 years that dinner prep time was the perfect time to unload the dishwasher - NOT!! so we moved the dishwasher and it was great.

(Fast forward - we're about to start a new small, condo kitchen, and the dishwasher drawer will once again open into the aisle between the sink and the refrigerator on one side and the island on the other! No choice this time.)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We redid our kitchen and adjacent laundry room last year....basically two small galleys. We thought of blowing out into the dining room, moving water lines in the LR, putting in a window over th sink etc..but ended up keeping the same footprint....the kitchen needed updating badly from the 1984 builder junk, but we plan to retire in a few years and just couldnt justify spending a lot of extra money for a kitchen we would only enjoy for 5 years or less. I have a typical triangle...sink on one side, fridge and stove on the other. The fridge is right next to the opening to the not optimal for someone going in and out if someone is at the fridge. The floor to ceiling pantry is in the LR at the opposite end...not terribly convenient either.

The bottom line though is---unless you are starting from scratch or have unlimited funds to get it exactly how you want ( knocking down walls, moving plumbing, etc.) just learn to live with the minor inconveniences. They are not that big a deal in the grand scheme.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I need a baking area! The biggest trade off seems to be having appliances close together for everyday, but different zones, when you do have 'help'. Since it's just me and my husband, we'll probably go for convenience. I'd just as soon have the 'helpers' sitting and visiting with me, unless the nieces and nephews come over to bake :)

That being said, I do like glass uppers, plate racks, open shelves, so guests can grab something without looking through cabinets. I always feel like I'm intruding if I start opening cabinets, looking for a glass or cup. People don't always store them, where you would think! LOL

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A great question but the answers will vary on the predominant use cases in the kitchen. My kitchen is essentially designed to be a 3 butt kitchen with room for a cook, a cleanup person and a prep person. So there are 3 basic areas in the kitchen and I tried to keep each area self contained -> This is KEY to prevent crossover. Whatever is needed in each area is there. So all 3 stations have water (think of water as most used ingredient in the kitchen) --> So prep sink, cleanup sink and a pot filler. Prep and Clean up both have trash, soap and towels. Prep and cook have access to tools (spoons, measuring things etc.) This works really really well for us. The other thing that is helpful is to have the person setting the table, using the microwave to reheat or pack a lunch do so independently.

Doing a traffic flow analysis for each use case pops up the cross over issues really well. I learned this on GW and it really helped us think through the kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The biggest conflicts I seem to notice are when a prepping person stands in a location that is blocking the area where thing that are needed are stored. I am trying to plan my next kitchen so that the prep location doesn't block the storage of something else that might be needed for prep or to set the table.

Generally I put the fridge, microwave and DW in peripherally-accessible locations. But I don't go to the extent that I think people should be able to independently prepare an entire snack, when dinner prep is in full swing. They shouldn't be eating that close to dinner so stay the 773# out of the way, is what I say.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, it really does depend on use. We strongly discourage the dishwasher-unloading from happening simultaneously with dinner prep! At least we won't have to change that habit. And I admit to being mystified by the common remark that one must leave access to the fridge for "snackers" while dinner prep is underway. We certainly don't need to encourage that!

The reason I like a peninsula is that it clearly keeps the visitors in their own "zone," and they can stay out of the dance since the 2 of us pretty much know how to work around each other. I plan for the baking area to be on "my" side of the peninsula, since baking and chatting with guests don't usually conflict. Well, they don't happen simultanously all that often, either.

The one thing I'm having trouble with is making sure that I don't introduce any new conflicts into the dance. Ones I haven't thought of because I don't have them now! One of these days I'll post my layout, but I know my fridge location will be unpopular and yes, I do realize that you can't open the freezer door and dishwasher door at the same time!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had a kitchen that was so small that you couldn't open any two appliances at the same time because each interfered with the other when left open, but it was still an ergonomic kitchen for being so small. So if the kitchen is very small, a good layout may not eliminate all conflicts.

However, until I remodeled it, you couldn't open the DW *Unless* you opened the refrigerator, to get the fridge door out of the way. That was not acceptable.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 6:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

just one comment on the snackers during dinner prep.....well, I often cook dinner early to serve later. Often I am in the middle of cooking dinner when the kids get home from school. So they will come get a snack while I'm cooking dinner even though we won't plan on eating until a couple hours later.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 6:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Palimpsest, that's a great example of an unacceptable conflict. Our kitchen is 10 x 14, so small, but not tiny. If we ended up with that sort of conflict, I'd have a heart attack.

Illini, that's a perfect example of how specific lifestyle and stage of life affects what works. My idea of being ahead of the game is having dinner going before we are starving! But that does explain a comment I've seen repeatedly and never been able to envision, so thanks!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 6:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ah, I am mostly talking about comments I've read in the past that a snack area or the fridge were not completely free and clear when something hot was being taken out of the broiler or oven (which means at serving time, usually) not that people don't need to be in there at all during preparation.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 7:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my old kitchen, if the DW was open to load after dinner, you couldn't open the fridge to put things away. It's a galley, so there wasn't even much space to walk past it. I moved the DW to the other side of the sink, and the problem was solved. This sort of conflict is greater in a galley, I think, because there is no place to go - the path is just blocked.

Having the trash under the sink was also not optimal. Now, with a trash pull-out, people (DH) can throw things out without nudging me out of the way while I'm at the sink.

Mine is mainly a one-person kitchen, but if I'm at the stove or prep area, someone else could use the fridge or sink without getting in my way. And you don't want to get in my way when I have a knife or a hot pan in my hand!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ginny, I originally had the DW planned to the right of the sink, but that put it in the prime location between sink and cooktop, which seemed worse. That's why I'm trying to think hard about the compromises, because there certainly are some! We are a two-cook family, but not actually both usually actively cooking simultaneously. I never even realized that until planning a new kitchen made me more observant of our habits!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Remember, the refrigerator is not just used for snacking. It's also used while setting the table - getting out condiments and drinks - which happens while prepping/cooking. It's also used to put away leftovers during cleanup.

Regarding the "dances" you keep talking shouldn't have to do a "dance" - you should be able to move around the kitchen w/o dodging counters, appliances, people. Imagine taking a pot of boiling water to the sink and having to "dance" around people, etc.

People can make do with almost anything when they don't have a choice - but why make do when you can make it better?

I get the feeling you don't like anyone else in the kitchen when you're working in it (DH or guests - especially guests...) I, OTOH, welcome others whether to help or visit while I'm working. If they want to make coffee - great - go ahead!

The working part of my kitchen is 10'6" x 15' - not much bigger than yours. It works very, very well for one person or two or three or sixteen 12-year old Girl Scouts cooking a Mexican meal for their Cooking badge....

Different strokes...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The conflict in our remodel is that the main entry to the house goes through the kitchen. No way around it. Sometimes the dw being open will block that doorway in and that's life. We have to live with it. It was the smallest (safest) obstacle I could put there, instead of stove or fridge. Another is the trash. The kitchen is small enough that I ultimately chose to keep the trash under the sink, so we will have the 'excuse me' dance but not too often as DH has a terrible fear of putting things into the trash. Much prefers the counter top directly above the trash can for setting trash.. (grrr)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lots of different ways to think about this, aren't there?!

Deedles, we are going for the absolute opposite end of the spectrum with regard to traffic. Ours will be a "cul de sac," rather than have the main traffic pattern through it. I'll just have to hope that isn't an overreaction on our part. (Funny about the fear of putting trash away. I had a friend who finally told his housemate, "you know, I don't have one of those special appliances." "What special appliances?" The one that takes that dirty glass off the counter and puts it 6 INCHES away, in the dishwasher.")

Buehl, maybe my analogy of the dance was not helpful. What I mean was that with a partrner whose moves you know, it is effortless, you barely know you are doing it. With someone else in the picture, you can end up with two left feet!

I think I have thought through the motions and minimized the potential conflicts for us, but I don't think they can be eliminated. Well, maybe some could if we had an island instead of a peninsula, but we want the room a little more closed than that. I do like chatting with people during prep, and don't mind if they help, I just prefer to give them their own station. (The only people I don't like IN the kitchen are the ones that just stand smack in the middle looking for something to do-- those I park on the other side of the peninsula with a drink-- they just want to chat and it works fine from there.)

I asked my husband last night if he thought the fridge/DW conflict would bother him and he looked mystified at the thought. I guess we do tend to do cleanup pretty separately from cooking, though I am not opposed to taking an opportunity to toss something inthe DW as I go, I don't tend to park there until everything else has calmed down. (On the other hand, I have a friend who seems to spend half her prep time at the sink washing every pan and utensil as it gets dirty, so she'd totally be in the way of the fridge if anyone else was involved in the meal. But, dang! Her kitchen is immaculate by the time we sit down to eat-- not something you'll see at my house.)

Thanks everyone, for you thoughts on this. It is easy for me to forget how differently we all live and cook, and how much that colors what we see as workable. I have lived on boats and in tiny cabins before, so I know I can adapt, but hope to avoid kicking myself over something I should have anticipated!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ooo. I'll have to try to remember that 'special appliance' line. I'll save it for when the kitchen in finished. And as far as your DH looking mystified... mine looks mystified quite often when I'm talking about kitchen stuff like "visual weight" or how a color "reads", for instance. One day months ago, he finally said "I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN I ONLY DEAL IN MEASUREMENTS". Poor dude.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had a friend who finally told his housemate, "you know, I don't have one of those special appliances." "What special appliances?" The one that takes that dirty glass off the counter and puts it 6 INCHES away, in the dishwasher.

Ha Ha - I think I WON'T share this with my husband, who could say the very same thing to me LOL!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What I mean was that with a partrner whose moves you know, it is effortless, you barely know you are doing it

FWIW, I've been married 40 years and moving around each other in the kitchen still isn't effortless!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great post, and the distinction between the different kinds of conflicts right on. Palimpsest's refrigerator door has to be an ultimate example of a "fact" conflict.


The items and traffic paths of people running in for a quick this or that should ideally form their own closed loop or triangle or whatever that doesn't cross the cook's. GWLolo's idea where possible. If that's not quite achievable, at least have their stuff on the OTHER side of whatever is where the cook's working. That'd go for glasses, tableware storage on the other side of the sink from where the onions are being chopped. Snacks, breakfast cereals, toaster, MW, coffee--on the other side of the refrigerator from the cooking area. Dirty dishes piling up on the other side of the DW/sink.

The husband talk is funny. Sjhockeyfan's husband following her in for kitchen work as "togetherness" time. Deedles' husband and my own share the same problem with letting trash go.

DH and I can bump bottoms all day long and consider it what's nice about our kitchen, but we had a decades'-long conflict at the sink. For some reason we've never paid a psychiatrist to explore, he's king of the sink whenever he's there. They just bring out a rarely-seen dark side. I finally fixed that one by installing a sink twice as wide as him. This was right at the top of my priority list. AND moving the trash to a pullout to the side--love, love, love that. I used to resort to dropping stuff on the counter myself rather than wait for his permission to get at the one under the sink.

In my sister's house everyone made their own lunches, and years later I remember the busy pushing to get at the drawer in the corner that held bags and plastic wrap. Never occurred to me back then that she could have just stored some in 2 different locations, or 5, one for each person, for that matter.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think there are always compromises in a smaller space. Some things are more important to others than to their own family unit. I remember designing a kitchen for a couple who were finally empty nesters, and when I suggested moving the DW to the other side of the sink so a second person could load while the first one kept making dirty prep items. The look on the wife's face was priceless! She exploded in laughter, because she claimed that not only did the husband not know how to operate a DW, he probably didn't know how to hand wash either. LOL! They made the change in layout, but it obviously didn't benefit their family unit!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

She exploded in laughter, because she claimed that not only did the husband not know how to operate a DW, he probably didn't know how to hand wash either. LOL!

Well, let me just add, if my husband didn't know how to wash dishes and load a dishwasher, he wouldn't be eating either LOL!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

repeat post oops. Apparently I have a conflict with my back button...

This post was edited by deedles on Tue, Sep 10, 13 at 12:54

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Growing up the one major conflict with someone standing in the wrong spot is when my father made the mashed potatoes, because he stood in a spot with the hand mixer in front of where glasses and extra bowls that you might need at the last minute were stored. That spot has been in the way at the wrong time for 40 years.

I will bring it up again, but the one really good aspect of having the cooktop on an island (or a peninsula, too) and Not a yard from the back edge is that the gravy stirrer, who was standing there constantly at the very end of meal prep could stand at the Back of the Island and be completely out of the chaos that might be happening between the front of the range and the wall oven at that same moment. I Still think, for the ability to access a burner from multiple locations in a relatively small kitchen this Works, and can be designed with safety in mind.

Likewise we designed a kitchen in a house that was two very narrow houses joined. The kitchen was 8x11, and sometimes five Chinese siblings prepared massive traditional meals in it. The one run of cabinets was open on the back, and some of the sisters could sit in what was essentially a hallway and prep at the counter from that side. (Because it was a hallway, the range in this situation was in a protected location) --it got two or three people who were working In the kitchen-Out of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are nearing the conclusion of our kitchen remodel, and in the design, I purposefully left the pull-out trash bin in the island directly across from the dishwasher. They can both be open at the same time, but you cannot walk between them. It works perfectly for our family. Due to my husband's long commute, he prefers to stand for our evening meal while the kids and I sit at the peninsula. When we clean up, I go to my spot at at the sink, pull out the trash bin and open the dishwasher. Husband and kids bring dishes over, and I scrape, load and wash.

Live_wire_oak, I had to chuckle at your story about the wife's expression. That would probably be mine, too--my husband rarely cleans up. But I'm one of those folks who enjoys washing dishes (even after cooking). We have kids in school, so once the dishes are cleared, husband helps them with homework. I'll take dirty dishes over accelerated math any day!

Our kitchen is probably considered mid-size, and it's very efficient. I often wonder how those with large kitchens function effectively. I'm not sure I could handle more space than I have. Is there such a thing as a too-big kitchen?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 1:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So are we just choosing between conflicts that drive us nuts and those we don't even notice?


You also get the choreography of people who are used to being the only cook, trying to share. And the awkward moves of people who haven't danced in that kitchen before and they don't know the efficient moves.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Funny. when I became single, I knew I would never again date someone who expected me to work full-time, shop, cook, and clean-up. So, my "friend" for past 7 years is the dishwasher. I also have him prep potatoes, carrots, salad stuff. He has mastered ptting out the essentials fo sandwich meals. He also willingly shops for a few items after work.

Now, I am finally getting a Bosch. I haven't had a decent d/w since I've been in this house. I definitely don't want to put my human dishwasher out of a job.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 5:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I tell my husband he is a Butter. He gets the item close to where it goes BUT not all the way there. For example, he lays his dirty clothes on top of the dirty clothes hamper lid. Really ?!?!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love my undercounter refrigerator drawer unit. I keep drinks, extra baking stuff, extra produce that doesn't fit in our regular fridge.

It is positioned outside, yes outside of the cooking area and within arm's reach of the kitchen table. A guest in the kitchen is told to get their cokes directly out of this fridge drawer unit.

Guests love it and so do we. I cannot stand when someone, not mentioning any names, just stands in front of the big refridge. Of course, we have a small kitchen,well, 10 x 18, smallish for gw.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I tell my husband he is a Butter. He gets the item close to where it goes BUT not all the way there. For example, he lays his dirty clothes on top of the dirty clothes hamper lid. Really ?!?! - Angela12345

OMG, I thought I married the only Butter in the USA. Clothes on top of the hamper, used drinking glass in the sink next to the pan of hot soapy water, new roll of toilet paper on the edge of the sink next to the holder.....grrrrrr......

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Such an interesting topic! I've a few thoughts on this too.

Been in this 1950 cottage-ranch house with galley kitchen for 17-years now and have learned to make it work through compromise and concession. We've never changed the footprint because it is as efficient as it can be without knocking walls out. We did upgrade to hubby's choice of a Bosch electric range and Bosch dishwasher - we love them! He's very good at the technical aspect of all those items we can't live without now (DW, fridge, range, washer/dryer, etc.)

Married 30+ years to a guy who often would like to "hover" (not in a helpful way) when I was cooking so I now see our galley "one-butt" kitchen has a kind of advantage - no room for hovering! I am one that likes my personal space when working in the kitchen. When our children were at home I did most of the kitchen prep and clean up - just worked better that way. Now I still do food prep and cleanup unless hubby has decided to make a special meal and then I just stay out of the way.

Our DW is located right across from fridge with the usual problem, only one door can be opened at a time. We've learned to work around that and take turns when needed.
One thing I've decided I would change sometime is the divided sink. It's a grand old heavy porcelain sink, expensive to replace but so awkward to work with. I'd love to have a large famhouse sink, the kind with the apron instead.

Isn't it funny what we think we must have though? I lived in the UK in the 1970s with relatives and just about everyone had very small galley kitchens (old 2-story Edwardian London houses) and made them work. Most everyone had small counters, made of stainless steel with grooves one side for the "washing up." Range was small 24" and the fridges were the 4 cubic ft. small ones we see in Home Depot. Most people went shopping every day or so. Oh, and the gas "immersion" that one had to light each time to start the "cooker." At anyrate, people entertained and put on dinners quite well with these tiny kitchens.

FWIW I too have a hubby who will stand and gaze in the fridge and ask..."what should I have for ...dinner/lunch....?" and also leave a trail of bits of rubbish when the pullout bin is steps away. Go figure! But, he's wonderful at fixing so many things and has saved us a bundle from repair bills. All boils down to give-and-take when you share a home with people I guess.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi, Aly-- yes it is interesting to see how differently we move around our kitchens. I really had no idea! And totally agree on your point about what we "need." Really: food storage, tool storage, water, heat source. I have lived on boats and in tiny cabins for months, so I'm pretty sure I don't "need" two sinks, two dishwashers, etc. It is also interesting to me how the challenges of large kitchen footprints are so different from those in small footprints. The most interesting thing about all this is that it's making me observe a lot of things I just took for granted for decades.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robo (z6a)

There are 1000 conflict points in our kitchen that have made it a 1 butt kitchen. The worst is open fridge blocking access to rest of house, and prep blocking access to ALL dishes, bowls and utensils (there is only one dish cabinet and one drawer bank and they're both in the small corner between sink and stove). I can't wait to get the dishes out of prep zone. People think our kitchen looks 'big enough' at first glance, but it works extremely small.

In new kitchen there is a peninsula that is not between sink and stove, so may be underused, but I'm hoping it will be a good place for cook's helper (me) to do secondary prep and lay out serving dishes and dishes to take to table, this avoiding some conflict with the cook (dh).

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 8:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I did a lot of "play acting" with my new layout to make sure it would work. I have a U shaped kitchen and there was really no good way to change that (just not wide or long enough to remove the peninsula and put in an island). The original set-up always drove me crazy because if the dishwasher was open, I couldn't reach the cabinets where the dishes and glasses were stored--the biggest section of uppers was the corner that the dishwasher blocked when open below. I hated having to unload the dishwasher onto the counter, close the dishwasher then put away dishes.

I put tape on my counters where the new things would be (ie where each cabinet opening was, where the dishwasher opening was, etc). Then I pretended to load the dishwasher then unload the dishwasher. This exercise identified that the original plan for the kitchen didn't leave enough room for loading the dishwasher (in the new location). So i changed the cabinet I had to a wider one and shifted the dishwasher a bit so that it would work.

I am so happy with the result. I can load or unload the dishwasher with no effort. I can open the dishwasher and the oven at the same time (before the dw door overlapped the oven door--they were on two sides of a corner). It is a breeze to do things in my kitchen now and much fewer steps, even though my kitchen wasn't that big to begin with.

So use tape, cardboard, etc and mock-up the area and act it out. Others suggested this to me and it was the best thing I could have done. I would have been very disappointed with the original layout.

I was also lucky because many of the houses in the neighborhood have same kitchen. A neighbor had the kitchen layout I was originally looking at, and her biggest complaint (she bought house with layout, it wasn't her design) was she couldn't stand at sink and have dishwasher door open ( they were at right angles to one another) because the space was too narrow.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 10:45AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Week 45: He'p me!
He'p me! I have no idea what to ask about this week,...
WHITE cabinets with WHITE Bertazzoni range??
In the planning stages of a major kitchen reno. I've...
Norcraft vs. Marsh cabinets - is one better?
We have been working with a large local cabinet company....
Walnut cabinets - natural or stain?
I fell in love with walnut for my kitchen cabinets....
Need help on storing root vegetables
Can anyone help me with ideas to store my root veges...
Sponsored Products
Health Mark Portable Stretch Barre - SB19001
$199.00 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™