layout advice/suggestions please

BarefootContessaSeptember 24, 2012

Hello. I am looking for comments on the basic layout plan. The drawing is roughly to scale. A little background:

- this is a remodel of an existing space

- window and door locations are fixed, as it is cost prohibitive to move (brick)

- having two dishwashers is a high priority, as we have five kids age six and under

- I would like two separate sinks, so one person can be helping clean up while cooking/prep goes on. Usually there is just one cook (me) but my DH and kids help with cleaning and do some prep work

- I want some seating in the kitchen for feeding my kids snacks (purpose of the raised bar)

- we have the desk so I can supervise homework while still working in the kitchen

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I hope I got the scale right in this plan.
I thought your original was very workable. Maybe others will see problems I didn't. I made a few suggestions on the drawing.
Looks like a very workable kitchen for a big, active family.

I did leave room for a 36'' fridge. Sounds like you will need it!!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Thank you Bellsmom. It looks like you think we should forego the pantry closet. Do you think we need to give this up in order to have a 36" frig? Also, do you think the space is too right for a larger range? I love the idea for two seats at the desk. I would not have thought of that and it is an excellent idea. Thank you again.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 3:43PM
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No, I definitely wouldn't omit the pantry. I meant to draw it in with an angled door. I forgot to ink in the left side. I think that big angled pantry will be a life saver for you. I just drew in shelves inside the pantry and a diagonal line instead of a door.

I had trouble reading your dimensions on the layout you posted. Did you have a 36'' range? I tried to judge it by the 24'' cabinet width. If I were you, I WOULD want a 36'' range as well. Personally, I would be willing to give up 6'' of prep space for a 36'' range.

Did I get the spacing right? In my graph, each square is 6''. Again, I had trouble reading your numbers and I wasn't always sure just what they were indicating.
Hope there were some ideas of use, even if I got some things wrong.

A suggestion for a future posting: it really helps if you draw on graph paper with a magic marker. Let each square equal 6'' or a foot.

I don't want to mislead future posters. If I have measurements wrong, let me know and I will repost it accurately.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:26PM
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I would try to move the fridge closer to the DR so people don't have to come all the way into the work area of the kitchen to grab a drink or snack.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:21PM
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I'd be tempted to turn it around so that peeps walking through to the ref would pass behind cleanup instead of behind the person cooking. The peninsula would guide peeps away from the business side.

However, I'd also think about the ref and the pantry some more. Your ref is drawn fairly narrow and its very close to a corner counter area. There may be a little contention going on in that corner - particularly if you have a lefty OR if the ref sticks out further than you think it will. With a small corner like that the ref itself may keep your body from being able to reach all the way in without doing contortions. You might be able to find a new home for the ref that wasn't on the short wall.

One of the ways to get a little more space there might be to work with different pantry shapes or move the pantry storage around so it wasn't in the corner.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:32PM
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I think it is only roughly to scale. I see some spots where the drawing does not match up with the measurements given.

I recommend going with a one level peninsula instead of the raised bar. The extra space to spread out for projects or whatever is great !!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:42PM
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Do you have the actual dimensions/measurements of the room (not just cabinet sizes)? The width/length of each wall, door, window The distances b/w each wall, door, window

Your measurements are ambiguous...e.g., Is the 12' space the entire width from the left wall to the door? Or, is it b/w the range and the prep sink? Is the window 14' from the left corner or is it something else? How wide is that deck door? How wide is the wall the desk is on? What is 6'1.5" on the left wall? I assume that 2' in the corner just means the cabinets are 2' deep...correct? Because corner cabinets are usually 36"x36" with either a 90-degree door or a diagonal door...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:50PM
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OK...BmorePanic just posted what I was going to draw up, except, I would put in a corner prep sink so there was some prep space b/w the range and the sink. Putting the prep sink in the corner accomplishes two things: (1) Allows both the space b/w the range and sink and the peninsula to be used as prep spaces and (2) utilizes the corner cabinet. Since sink base cabinets are usually poor storage options and corners are less than ideal as well, it combines the two into one so the less useful storage cabinet is one place only and you can now have more useful storage where the prep sink base originally was.

A couple of other things...


  • Counter-depth refrigerators start at 36" wide (except, possibly, the higher-end ones or some of the all-fridge/all-freezer pairs...but they're usually each 24" wide so you need 48" overall for the pair)

Most counter-depth refrigerators are 30" deep (it's the ref box/carcass that's 24" or so deep, the doors + handles stick out past that so the doors can be opened fully) (built-in or higher-end refrigerators like Liebher are around 24" to 27" or so deep...) Refrigerators, in general, are trending toward 36" wide x 72" plan on that size, even if your current refrigerator is smaller. It's getting more and more difficult to find the narrower and/or shorter ones.

Range...unless you need it, I would stick with the 30" range. 6" of prep space in a kitchen with not enough around the range (especially b/w the range and a water source) are precious!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:07AM
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It doesn't look like you need to move any doors or windows, but it really doesn't cost that much to move and rebrick. We moved our back door and closed up a window. The construction costs weren't any higher than moving an inside wall (which we also did) and the brick work was less than $200. The hardest part was finding matching brick.

I like your arrangement. People here warned me not to put the sinks on the opposite side as the range, but I had no choice, and I've lived with it that way for years so it doesn't bother me. But I can see where it would be a lot more convenient to have them closer.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:18AM
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Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions. Here is the architect's drawing of the space with the room measurements. I am looking to propose an alternative layout than the one here because I think we can get a better design for our needs.

I am going to think about your comments and suggestions and post another potential layout. I apologize that the measurements on my hand-drawn layout are only rough.

Thank you again. This is incredibly helpful.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:39AM
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If your kids are all under the age of 6 I would not do a raised bar. You need higher chairs for them to get in and out of, the risk of a glass or bowl going off the edge onto the counter is high, and when entertaining the more open counter can be used as a buffet for appies or whatever. A one-level counter, in your case is more useful and more comfortable for your kids to sit at and eat.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:39PM
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I like Bmore's plan with Buehl's suggested modifications. However since you will mostly be prepping between prep sink and range and thus facing the wall, I'd be interested to see if that counter could be deeper than normal. I grew up in a house with the tiniest kitchen and never noticed because the counters were 6" deeper than normal - my dad built a 2x6" frame behind the cabinets and installed a deeper counter. When we moved, I wondered "why I do I hate to cook now" - it was because I was cramped.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:51PM
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I just noticed that Buehl has suggested putting the prep sink in the corner of the peninsula. That is exactly the arrangement that I have which gives me a nice prep space between the range and sink and my prep sink is 16" x 16". I put my pullout trash between the two spaces as well. We have lots of recycling separation to do and so under the prep sink I also have a separate bin for newspapers and another one for cardboard. They just fit into the sides of the cabinets.

My peninsula is all one height with an overhang of 15" and it gives lots of space for people sitting and talking to me or eating as well.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:00PM
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I guess I'll pop in to say the only issue with prep sink in corner is that neither side of the prep sink will have a nice stretch of counter. the only bit like that is on the other side of the room with interference from both the ref and cleanup activities.

Next idea cluster...

Put a coupla big drawers in the table. Have ipads, laptops or whatever is popular at that time live in the drawers with their chargers. Kids take out and use on table. Homework or seating for 4, banquette on back wall only.

For younger ones, art supplies, paper, pens etc. live next to ref in a cabinet that points out into the room. Put a communication center(art show, reminders, calendar) on front or side or both.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:42PM
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Thank you again for taking the time to comment and offer suggestions. You all are so helpful.

Bmorepanic -- what uses are you envisioning for the left side walk?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Also, does anyone have any photos of frig/cabinet combo as drawn by Bmorepanic?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:49PM
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Jane's Kitchen has a nice treatment of ref with side cabinets to a somewhat different end. Pics of the ref start about half-way down. I believe each side is a plain tall cabinet with individual pullout shelves inside. Those cabinets were extended with sides that faced outward and are used for the pair of (I think) 6 inch deep storage areas that are finished off differently - one as narrow shelves and the other as a tall plate rack with a few shelves.

While its not precisely the same, its a definite idea starter. Much less beautiful, but practical - I might do a vertical mashup of cabinets facing outwards - with the ends covered by a single decorative panel on the side with the ref doors. Like a pot drawer cabinet on the bottom, followed by something like a 24"-36" tall open cabinet with a cork board on the back for calendars, phone base, etc. followed by an over the ref cabinet.

The West Wall. I like 12-15" deep tall cabinets. They store a ton of stuff without too much layering and here, they could potentially be floor to ceiling. I'm trading a little counter to get a ton of storage - easily accessible storage and a small appliance garage.

If your kitchen were my kitchen, I'd likely go with 15" deep cabinets across the entire back blank wall - full height in between the two sides and counter to ceiling over the two ends - or maybe 16" deep, cause it fits a micro well.

I'd figure that I had enough base cabinets, but not enough pure storage - so trading 15" or 16" of base on each side to gain tall shelving would work for me. Partly because I add roughly 25" of counter and base cabinets where the 3'x5' pantry is drawn.

Some of that would be food pantry and some would be kitchen gear - big pots or perhaps all of the pots, mixing bowls, mandolin, etc. - anything that I wanted handy, but didn't necessarily want in view.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Thanks for the reply bmore -- your point about storage is good one. The more I think about it, the more I think the storage wall is a good trade for the peninsula, especially since allows for a better location for the refrig. I am meeting with the contractor tomorrow, so we'll see what he thinks as well. Thank you again. I really appreciate the advice I have received here.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Thanks you for the thank you :)

I'm not saying not to have a peninsula - its just another layout option. It puts the ref in a better position for others to access it. Likely there are other layouts that do the same thing but still have a peninsula.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:52PM
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