Starting the planning process, floor plan suggestions please

lucas_tx_gwSeptember 30, 2012

Hi All,

Starting to think through changes for a remodel project, probably next spring/summer. Only DH and I but we do cook reguarly, though usually nothing terribly complex. Entertain rarely, do have crowds on holidays.

1980's Texas ranch style house, with second story addition done in early 90's shortly before we bought it. Just so you know, I'm not a person who is really into interior decorating, we spend a lot of time outside and I've lived in this house since 1997 and not remodeled anything yet if that tells you anything :-) Our style is very casual and we will never have one of those pristine kitchens with nothing on the counters, so that's not a goal.

Not interested in spending a ton of money so would like to avoid moving things around as much as possible but can't retain current footprint completely for some reasons I'll explain.Standard 8' ceilings.

My kitchen right now is very functional and only a few relatively small things bug me. One as you'll see, the sink faces a blank wall. I'd like to open that and be able to see into the living area. The prep space between the sink and cooktop is small, I end up prepping on the other side of the sink. However fixing that might be a little difficult without moving a lot of stuff.

DH hates soffits, wants taller upppers in the areas where we keep uppers.

Currently have a 36" wide whirlpool grill/cooktop with downdraft. Want to replace that with the 30' induction GE profile range, which will free up a little prep space and by getting a range free up the area where the wall oven is now. Personally think a range is fine and really don't know how people use the broilers with wall ovens since you don't have a vent there and I would like to be able to broil without smoking the house up. Right now I have the grill but if that goes, I want my broiler. No problem getting a vent, it can go up through the wall to the attic. All electric house, so gas not an option, and not a big deal to me, I've cooked on electric all my life.

Not interested in all the bells and whistles just a nice functional kitchen that looks nice. Can DIY alot of stuff. Will probably replace flooring in kitchen and both dining areas and keep it the same.

Have a big laundry/mud room and huge pantry under the stairs so have food storage but have a lot of storage in kithcen now as well and somehow manage to fill it up, so don't want to lose a lot of overall storage.

So the main floor plan issue right now is that the space for the frig is only 36" wide and not very tall. We got a new fridge last year (FD) and had to hunt far and wide to find one to fit. So longterm, we need a bigger space and a doorway wider than the 33" we currently have, this floor plan was a real factor in picking a fridge, it had to fit through the doorway and in the space.

For future I envision placing the fridge where the oven is now and doing lots of storage on either side, but not married to that idea. Will have to find a space for the MW in that case.

So now the photos. First is overall downstairs for perspective. This drawing was done when the upstairs was added, so the confusing dotted line is where they pushed the front of the house out for that. Also the notes about new counters etc. are related to that. Also it fails to show the opening to the dining room from the breakfast area. Garage is to the right, bedrooms are all off the to left of the depicted living area.

Current kitchen measurements

Facing the refigerator

Turning to the right, the wall where the stove is. We are pretty sure this wall is load bearing for the addition and can't be opened, we're OK with that. We are going to have an engineer come look though. I do want to make the opening from the breakfast area to the DR bigger so want to have all of that evaluated.

Turning 45 degrees to the right, to the wall where the sink is

45 degrees more the right, the DW wall

View into the kitchen as you come in from garage/laundry room

Breakfast area looking from the living area on the left

View from the breakfast area into the kitchen. We have stools from the counters but they are very rarely used. Nice for when we have company but that's about it.

Very interested in suggestions for cabinet layouts as well as floorplan. I am extremly interested in using drawers, maybe trash pullout and that kind of thing.


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A couple small ideas:

Get the refrigerator out of the corner. As it's situated, the door cannot open all the way.

Since you're looking to save money, definitely go with a range. This costs about 1/3 of the cost of a cooktop and ovens -- and it'll save you countertop space too (compared to the double ovens you have now).

I see you have a bread box eating up space on your countertop. I'd build in a bread drawer.

Since you have a large pantry, can you relocate some of your kitchen stuff there? For example, that steamer that's taking up a great deal of shelf space.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 7:25PM
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Yes, not buying both an oven and a coooktop is part my motivation for getting a range, that and I'm fine with it anyway. Definitely want to get the fridge out of the corner, its current location is really the driving force behind wanting to change the floorplan. If not for that I'd be tempted to leave everything where it is and just do updates.

I forgot to add it's a slab house, so part of my reluctance about moving plumbing is because the slab will have to be broken. We might end up doing that if some plan that requires it gets us really inspired but it's tough enough keeping these slabs in one piece on this expansive clay as it, I'm not dying to start chopping holes in it.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 9:00PM
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Hi, Lucas Tx. That looks like a nice space you have to work with. My own kitchen needs are pretty much like yours.

If it were mine my top priority, as always, would be simply to create a very good main place to work, a place I liked to be, with everything else placed to serve that spot efficiently.

Your statement that "prep space between the sink and cooktop is small, I end up prepping on the other side of the sink" says something very important to me. Your prep space was never meant to be that little scrap between those two, it's that BIG area between the stove and fridge that you don't mention at all and don't like to work at.

No matter what you do to the rest, if you don't move the sink you will always have a dysfunctional kitchen and be carrying stuff back and forth across the sink to where you want to work, as you do now.

Therefore, if it were mine :), I'd open up the diagonal wall, decide where I really wanted to do my prep and cooking and then place everything else where it needed to be.

Without much musing, I'm imagining the DW next to a widened doorway in (we could stroll right past with the DW door open), and the sink next to it looking out to the back yard; the DW side would be the cleaning side (where mess is gathered for cleanup) and the left the prep side (where freshly rinsed veggies were set for chopping, etc.)

The stove would need to be slid somewhat farther left on the wall it's currently on, incidentally adding some more nice work space, but especially to avoid a competing-bottoms problem between the diagonal prep counter and the sink.

This would create a pleasant and spacious main prep counter optimally between stove and water. The other cook could prep between stove and refrigerator.

The rest is details. I'd do almost all drawers, though. I have them and love them. If I bought another old house, much as I love old kitchens, I'd eat beans and rice until I could afford to upgrade to drawers. Everything is so easy to put away and find, and there's so much more effective storage area (you don't have to leave search room for the questing arm and moving stuff around to get at the rest).

Summary--plan on moving the sink. :)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Thanks Rosie, great response.

I'm puzzled though when you say the intended prep area was between the stove and the fridge, I guess you mean to the left of the stove as you face it? Or do you mean to the right of the sink, over the DW?

In either event, you're right, the only logical place is between the sink and stove with entails moving the sink to the right, stove to the left, or both.

Can you elaborate on moving the stove to avoid a competing bottoms problem? What would be competing?

Does putting the refrig in the middle of the back wall with storage on either side make sense if the oven vacates that spot?


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Also wondering...where to put the microwave?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:35PM
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As the obvious originally intended prep area, I did mean that stretch of counter to the left of the stove as you face it. It's large and has the stove and fridge right there. Of course, almost everyone would prefer to work at the open counter, which you do.

Competing bottoms: If you imagine yourself working busily away at the diagonal counter and DH standing at a sink placed roughly where the DW currently is, or only slightly farther away... Of course, you guys have been working together there for a long time and will know if this is or would be an actual problem.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Yeah, the left of the stove doesn't really make sense from the functional standpoint but I guess that was their intention. That is my landing zone for the oven and the microwave, but for prep, I'd have to drag stuff from the sink all the way across the stove to get there.

As for DH getting in the way, not a problem. He cleans, but only after we eat, not while I cook.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:46PM
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