Kitchen Remodel

leennpSeptember 27, 2013

I have been reading this site for months leading up to our home purchase last month. The house was built in 1976 and was in great shape on a huge 7 acre lot in great location so decided was worth it to purchase even knowing we would want to extensively remodel. The demo of kitchen is almost complete and I was hoping the great minds on garden web could help me with the redesign to end up with a kitchen that I love that works great for my family. I will be attaching an early version of layout we are considering in next post but wanted to give some background. We decided for us we did not need a breakfast area right next to dining room, would prefer single eating area in the dining room and a larger more functional kitchen. We are a family of 4 with the kids begin 11 and 14. Usually only one person cooking, my 11 year old son will help in kitchen somewhat but the 14 year old avoids the kitchen at all costs unless getting food. Because we combined breakfast area into kitchen it makes the room large, but not very wide, so not sure that an island would even fit in kitchen without being in the way. Room is basically 29 ft long by 12 feet wide. We decided to relocate sink to move under a newly widened window that looks out over back yard. The biggest hindrance to changing the design is a very large full brick masonry fireplace that is between the great room and kitchen, otherwise we opened up the space. Appliances/fixtures that we have decided on thus far, but not purchased as yet are the Kohler Stages 45 inch sink that will be under a 5.5 ft window, either Electrolux or Frigidaire pro all fridge, all freezer units with trim kits, 48 in bluestar range top with 54 inch stainless hood, and we are keeping the 27 in double wall ovens that we purchased by prior owners in last year and hardly used. I will likely replace one day but would like to save that money for now, as we are carrying two mortgages until reno done, thus a good bit of equity still tied up in current home. Probably way more basic info about layout than needed, but did not want to leave anything out.

This post was edited by leennp on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 14:07

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leennp

Here is my attempt to upload the early design plan, hope it works!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 12:29PM
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leennp

Well hope that is readable, basically the run for the range wall is 22 feet, the sink run is 11 feet. The things that can not be moved are the fireplace and a structural column that is at the end of the counter/serving bar run that is between the kitchen and dining room. We are changing the ceiling heights in the kitchen and dining room from 8 ft to 9 feet, and the greatroom will go from a vaulted ceiling to a 10 ft flat ceiling , thus with all that, the structural column needs to stay. The pantry in the wall that you see near the hall to laundry room is not a walk in pantry, but will be a reach in pantry to utilize the space of a tiny broom closet that was not much use.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 12:38PM
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leennp

Also including picture of breakfast area that we had planned on incorporating into the kitchen, the door you see on the right will be walled up. The window at end of room will be staying. That cabinetry to the upper left side between breakfast and dining is already out, that is area we were thinking of fitting an 8 foot run of lower cabinets with granite top, overhang for some seating

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 2:10PM
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leennp

This shows the fireplace separating the great room and kitchen area, the wall and cabinets to the right of the fireplace we took up to open up space, the opening is about 7.5 ft, we were thinking of framing up a 36" opening to be able to run some cabinets on either side but not feel like part of kitchen was just sitting in great room. The door you see on the right goes out onto the back covered porch area, will remain but be changed to french door for more light. We were thinking of whatever we do on right side of fireplace as far as partial wall, we will also do on left side of fireplace, meaning partially placing wall on both sides so fireplace not so ginormous.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 2:17PM
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GauchoGordo1993

Great bones on that place. So much to work with.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 2:32PM
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GauchoGordo1993

Proposed layout looks pretty good to me. Only issue that jumps out to me is your primary prep zone (space between prep sink and range) is only 36", which is on the small side - I'd increase that at least 6". Maybe go with 30" base cabinet to the right of the rangetop and 42" to the left (primary prep)? Maybe symmetrical cabs beside the rangetop (form) is important than roomy primary prep (function), but you should make a conscious decision.

How many different placements of sink, range, & fridge have you tried? I'd create a drawing that contains only the walls, doors, & windows that you're committed to keeping, make 30 copies of it, and then think as far outside the box as you can.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 2:48PM
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leennp

Thanks for suggestions so far. I agree I was worried about the amount of prep space, even with kitchen so large. Had thought about placing range behind fireplace and swapping fridge to other side. Would give more landing space next to fridge, but think less prep space next to range top, not thinking would put rangetop under windows, which would be only other wall long enough. Any other ideas of appliance placement? Would you put microwave built in next to fridge/freezer or put over dishwasher. How about thoughts on island versus not? Thinking we do not have enough width in kitchen to do one.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 2:58PM
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GauchoGordo1993

There are many ways to fit an island in this space. Not convinced any of them are better than what you have though. Personally, I think the firplace is pretty cool, so I'd be inclined to expose it on all sizes, although I'd also be inclined to refinish it with a more contemporary tile or natural stone.

For example, if you didn't have cabinets on the backside of the fireplace, you could do an island like the attached pic.

For the microwave, I like microwaves built into tall cabinets, so I'd try to do that somewhere. I think you have room for more tall cabs if you want them.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 3:19PM
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lavender_lass

I'd like to see that layout! Maybe have range behind fireplace (with prep sink) and move fridge/freezer to range location. It would also put your cooking dishes closer to your clean up zone.

If you can have three sinks, I'd keep that other sink and move the ovens down by the pantry. This would give you a nice baking area! Maybe add a plate rack or some glass uppers to break up that long wall a bit? :)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 3:24PM
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lavender_lass

Something like this? If you could change the window (or put banquette in front of it, this might work. I'd rather have people facing me (on banquette) then sitting on stools, with their back to me. Just an idea :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 3:36PM
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GauchoGordo1993

dup

This post was edited by GauchoGordo1993 on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 15:44

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 3:43PM
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GauchoGordo1993

How about this?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 5:37PM
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LoPay

DO NOT change the ceiling in your great room, unless you need to fix a structural issue. Those beams are lovely. I think once things are opened up and you have less of the dark wood, you will appreciate the house for what it is.

Here is a crazy thought for your fire place. If you could do it for a reasonable cost, would you put in a wood fired oven? I would love one for roasting, grilling, and pizza.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:59PM
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GauchoGordo1993

Totally agree that the open ceiling is fantastic. I missed the mention of them being covered up above - please don't!

I agree that you'll be more likely to appreciate the wood beams once you open & lighten it up elsewhere, but if you still don't like the color of the wood beams, then you could always paint them. But it would be such a shame to cover that beautiful open ceiling. I've always wanted one...

This post was edited by GauchoGordo1993 on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 19:57

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 7:06PM
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leennp

Thanks for all suggestions so far, I am intrigued by all of suggestions, had thought about leaving back of fireplace exposed until we uncovered it and realized it was a really messy job and mismatched brick on back of fireplace, so don't think could leave exposed, but could put cover up the back and not put cabinetry on that side to free up idea if really wanted an island. What do you think that would do to storage and prep space overall to remove those cabinets and put an island in place? As for the ceiling in the great room, the intent is to make it flat, as least 10 ft, maybe little more but have exposed cyprus beams or some version of beams with tongue and grove cyprus. We live in Louisiana and although I don't want cyprus cabinets because they are too soft, I do like the look of cyprus in beams and such, especially compared to the faux beams that are on the vaulted ceiling now. My husband really hates the vaulted look more than the beams.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:11PM
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GauchoGordo1993

If you wanted to expose all sides of the fireplace, you'd have to refinish the brick with a tile, stone, or engineered stone of your choosing, which would be 10-30% the cost of any one of your appliances :)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:22PM
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GauchoGordo1993

Wait a minute - so you're actually going to LOWER the great room ceiling? I'm sorry, but that's madness.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:24PM
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leennp

I think I am giving wrong impression of the ceiling:(. The house currently has 8 ft ceilings everywhere but the great room, those are vaulted in the middle, but only eight feet around the periphery. In order to get at the joists to raise the majority of ceilings in the area, the vaulted faux ceiling has to come down, we will then make that ceiling as high as can be, but essentially flat with beams and crown molding, not vaulted, so the ceiling height in the room is overall going to be higher, not lower.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:34PM
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GauchoGordo1993

I get that you're raising the ceiling around the perimeter. But are you also lowering the ceiling in the middle of the great room so that the ceiling is same level throughout? That would be a travesty IMHO.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:51PM
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leennp

No, not lowering the ceiling in the middle, the periphery is going up to the middle.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 7:13AM
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sena01

I think your layout is a good one. If you decrease the size of the cab next to pantry, and the prep sink you can have a larger prep space (If I did the math correct, 21" trash, 24 prep sink would give you 48" b/w the sink and range top).
To have landing space near the fridge/freezer you can move them to the right and have an 18" deep tall cab at the back facing the clean-up zone. Also, you can consider alternative shapes for the bar.

Another, with ref/freezer at the top wall.

I'm not clear what you're doing with the wall b/w dining and kitchen. If there will be no wall there maybe you can have an island at that area and use a few inches from DR to improve your aisles.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 4:10PM
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leennp

Thanks again for suggestions and comments, have never designed a kitchen before from gutted space so all help is appreciated. As to the wall between the dining room and kitchen. What was there previously was an 8 foot run of upper and lower cabinets with, opening into the dining room, at the end of the eight foot run is a support column, basically looks like a 2 foot wall, these is a support wall underneath a beam. From initial opinions, we will not be able to eliminate this column entirely and raise the ceilings, will have to be confirmed once sheetrock is down from ceiling and joists and beams fully exposed. Our thought was if this has to stay, to put an 8 foot run of 24 inch cabinets that open from both sides for storage and have an overhang on on kitchen side if extra seating was required, seating could not be on dining room side because that room is not big enough for table and chairs and additional chairs or stools. So not true island in sense. Planned on granite top, could be used for serving bar in dining room for parties, but we do not entertain that much, so would not be used for that most times. Would be open above the counter level. I am intrigued by the banquette idea posted above, but can anyone envision that working when would be open above that into dining room?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 5:27PM
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leennp

Any other comments regarding appliance locations?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 2:11PM
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rosie

Hi, Leennp. What would you think of mostly consolidating the kitchen toward the middle by moving the left doorway farther left, perhaps enough to create symmetrical wall widths on each side of the fireplace? I'm a little confused by the drawings with the firebox to one side -- the photo seems to show the firebox centered on the ridge beam, with equal distances to side walls...?

In any case, that would give you the same desirable circular movement but improve the living room side's appearance of the important fireplace wall and of the view into the kitchen, and perhaps options for furniture placement too.

On the kitchen side, you'd have much more "kitchen" directly opposite where you plan to work now.

That would, for instance, allow you to pull the scullery off the side wall and put it there -- much closer to the mess coming in from the dining table. Note that with the scullery on the sidewall, both view and clatter of cleanup would be extremely "available" to those trying to relax in the living room.

Moving the scullery off the side would also allow you to have symmetric wider passages between living room and kitchen, I think, depending on the measurements. You could still put shallow storage on the end wall, if you wished, or deep for that matter.

Regarding an island, its big virtue would be to bring the two work sides closer together -- at significant cost of both open space and of work space -- unless you did a narrow corridor kitchen within that long space. I'd personally only consider that if I really disliked the width and wanted to compact it. This way everyone can wander through and stand around without bumping into anyone.

Regarding the former breakfast end, do you feel you will need dining there in the new plan? In the beginning you said you didn't. Will that wall you show as solid be half height, or? I suspect the dining counter on your initial drawing, with people sitting backs to the cook, might not be much used. A banquette at least faces people toward the kitchen.

How about, though, since you have a dining table that gets used a lot directly adjacent, instead making this a cozy, sitting area in the kitchen, upholstered to be appropriate for snacking while visiting with the cook? It could be a nice little alternative to the openness of the living room, each setting the other off.

Would you still need to build in storage all the way into this area? If you love the idea of a banquette, you could put one either as you show it, or all the way across the end.. In either case, maybe with a minimal table size so people don't have to be sliding in? (That sliding thing's best when it's either for small children who happily run on the seat or climb over people to get in or when it's THE dining area and people are happy enough to have a seat.)

Or you could put regular furniture in there, outfit it as a sitting area with upholstered chairs appropriate for relaxing, perhaps a loveseat, and small table -- which would be a way to get much more comfort for the buck. Sort of this general idea.

This post was edited by rosie on Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 8:02

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 7:33AM
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leennp

Rosie,
I like the idea of perhaps considering other arrangement. We had planned to try and make both sides of the fireplace symetric, where the distance the partial wall to the right will equal the same on the left side, I don't think I have that in the diagram correctly though, so both sides of the fireplace will be symetrical, but would you also make the actual entrance into the kitchen the same on both sides? I think the way it will end up measurement wise is the entrance to the left would be 48 inches an the one on the right really could not be more than 36 inches, there is 7.5 ft to the right of the fire place and the wall, but on the other side there is almost 15 feet between the fireplace and the wall because the dining room is on that side. So while the fireplace is centered in the ridge beam of the great room, in is not centered in the middle of the house since the dining room is to the left. I do like the idea too of changing up that area between kitchen to the dining room, but really at a loss to what is best. There is a small support wall/column that will have to stay, then an 8 ft distance where we had wondered about the serving bar/seating area. So where we really didn't think we needed additional dining seating, we did not know what to do with space. Anyone ever seen a banquet that is open above it into another room?

This post was edited by leennp on Wed, Oct 2, 13 at 18:12

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 8:57PM
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