Deciding between 2 layouts - Please help

JBGBSeptember 20, 2012

Hi again - last month I thought we had really & truly nailed down the layout for our kitchen gut-expansion-complete-remodel, with much cumulative help from this forum, but we just don't feel completely ready. May I ask for another round of opinions?

Our latest plan resulted from the suggestion by lavender lass (Hi, LL - hope things are getting better!) to move the induction cooktop to our island. Logically, this makes sense: gets cooktop, oven below, fridge, & prep sink/area close together. But DH & I just have not been able to envision our first & only (we hope) new kitchen with an island vent hood! We're going for a Craftsman/bungalow-inspired feel in a home that dates from about the 1920's-30's, and while we're not going for a period-perfect look, we don't want a sleek stainless/glass hood hovering above our soapstone-topped QS white oak. Even the fancy copper hoods we've looked at just seem too intrusive to us. So, we went back & did some massaging of our previous plan, & would REALLY appreciate some feedback from the GW gurus of layout wisdom!

Here's the layout version with the island cooktop:

From Kitchen Interior Elevations

Here's the version with cooktop not on island:

From Kitchen Interior Elevations

And here for reference is our current entire ground floor layout:

From Drop Box

Just to summarize - it's just husband & me at home, I'm only cook, no kids/grandkids/pets, we don't want any sink in front of window on wall "B", and I want to be able to do prep while standing at island facing the eating/fireplace/TV area.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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using another position rather than the island seems fine, but that spot wouldn't be my choice. the issue is: for a 2 person household the commotion and traffic is very minimal/however,for another group of occupants with a higher volume of traffic and in particular coming in from driveway/street,that spot for the cooking setup isn't wise. Can you shuffle it to another of your periphery locations? For ease of venting would the french door fridge be the best spot? then relocate the fridge?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 4:33PM
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"I want to be able to do prep while standing at island facing the eating/fireplace/TV area."

Plan #2 with the wall cooktop seems to violate your desire to prep while standing at the island facing the eating/fireplace/TV area. The prep sink is on the same side of the island as the eating/fireplace/TV area, so presumably you would be standing with your back to that area to prep. So of the two plans, only plan #1 with the island cooktop seems to meet your desired prep space.

However, plan #1 with the island cooktop does make a much more prominent hood over the island. Since you have a very specific style/design in mind ("Craftsman/bungalow-inspired feel in a home that dates from about the 1920's-30's"), I would suggest you make absolutely certain you can find a range hood that works for your aesthetic before you settle on an island cooktop (assuming you functionally require the hood).

Not having followed your original designs and original feedback, I wonder if you've considered having the range on either "Wall A" or "Wall B" with the prep sink at the island on the same side of the island as "Wall A" to keep your front facing the eating/fireplace/TV area.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 4:57PM
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Could you reverse the stairs to the basement to enter them from the hall instead of the kitchen. That would solve a lot of the traffic flow issues.

But right now, I'd suggest gett rid of the big island in favor of a peninsula, and maybe a small island. The island hogs the space and doesn't really add a whole lot of anything but a traffic blocker to the layout. Keep the cleanup area on the north wall, and put the cooktop on the bottom wall with a peninsula extending out from it towards the breakfast area. A prep sink could go in the corner or on the peninsula. If you were able to reverse the stairs, the short bottom wall of cabinetry could become less crowded and the traffic flow would improve.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 5:15PM
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I so appreciate your responses!

Herbflavor, we are very fortunate to have a funky old house on a piece of valuable property - 99.99% certain that if we ever sold (which we have no intention of doing), this house would be an immediate teardown. That said, I am seriously considering your advice - but are you suggesting moving the cooktop/undercounter oven to the fridge location on Wall "B" (2nd plan above)? Not sure that would be better traffic-wise, but am pondering...

Pricklypearcactus, you are quite correct that the "prep sink" shown in 2nd plan does NOT meet my stated goal. But my actual (undisclosed!) intention with that plan would be to use the "clean-up" (double) sink for prep, standing between sink & trash pull-out, and have the smaller single-bowl sink on the other side of the island for water source near cooktop & fridge. I'm anticipating that this idea will cause some consternation here re: prepping on one side of island & then moving stuff over to cooktop, but for the way I work, I just don't expect that to be a problem - can always do some stuff on other side in the midst of cooktop use.

And you're so right about the island hood - we will definitely need a hood wherever the cooktop goes; wish that downdraft could do the job, but we're not going to do this once-in-our-lifetimes project and install something so apparently likely to be suboptimal.

With respect to other potential cooktop locations, I should have reiterated more of our background info (always feel that I'm repeating old news!) - another of my fond hopes is to get the cooking/cleanup areas off of Wall "B" (left wall in plans) where they are in current kitchen, because I just hate having them in view from dining room - though I realize that new equipment will (I hope) be much more aesthetically pleasing than eyesores we have now. Wall "A" location for cooktop is something we've considered & will do so again; my main concern there is distance/path to fireplace/eating area, where DH & I will have most meals - with our longed-for water view while dining! Wall "C" or island location for cooktop & one oven would be significantly more convenient, I believe.

Live wire oak, unfortunately I posted a current floor plan that's misleading re: the basement stairs - so sorry! The plan shows a wall at the end opposite the basement door; actually, that's where the stairs going up to the 2nd floor start - the staircase is right above the basement stairs, so can't swap the basement door. Would be GREAT if we could - nifty idea. I'm trying out your peninsula suggestion - major rethink! - and seeing whether it would still result in enough storage space, which is a huge fixation of mine - current kitchen is so lacking that I'm absolutely greedy for every cubic inch I can imagine! Also wonder whether peninsula would create a different traffic issue - funneling all through single pathway?

Thanks for all your ideas; so helpful to get other (way more objective) perspectives. Would be so glad to get more!

And lavender lass, I still think the island cooktop was an inspired suggestion - and may still happen - it's just those darn hoods!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Hi, JBGB :)

I'm not completely sold on the island hoods, either, so I understand you wanting to put the cooktop against a wall. Can you flip your current plan, except for the island? Something like this... From Cottage house plans

The cooktop would be by the brick wall (maybe hang some cool copper pots/pans there?) and the main sink would also be your prep sink (with trash on left and dishwasher on right)...and you'd be facing your breakfast table.

The fridge and baking area would change spots and the oven would be on the far wall, with a second sink for additional prep and drinks. Would this work?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:36PM
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I meant to add...glasses could be stored by the prep sink (maybe in glass uppers?) and a dishwasher drawer could be added, if you need a second clean up station.

The main dishwasher would be across from the cooktop (which I would like) so pots and pans can go right in to be cleaned. Plates, bowl, mixing bowls, pots/pans can all be stored in the drawers on the island and by the cooktop.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:50PM
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yes-cooktop/hood to the right of baking center on wall B..the walkway between Wall C and island is a definite traffic path from back entry around to all other points in house. Wall C would be better as drop zone/coffee pot kinds of countertop designation. The sightline from liv room all the way to cooktop on wall B is better than looking at fridge in my opinion. Backsplash/stuff around a cooktop is more interesting than a large rectangular metal mass.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Lavender lass and herbflavor, apologies for not acknowledging your posts sooner - wacky weekend became manic Monday, and finally here on Tuesday I'm back at planning! I'm leaning toward moving cooktop to Wall "A" (chimney wall), thinking that having it on window wall "B" would require relocating at least one pantry cab, and I like them where they are (or, rather, would be!) - I'm trying out layout w/ fridge moved down as you also suggested, lavender lass, and seeing whether we could consolidate 2nd oven, warming drawer, & MW stacked at right end of Wall "C". Am going to fiddle with the island "puzzle pieces" and possible double sink/DW, prep sink, & dish storage options.

Belated but sincere thanks to both of you for your inputs, and as always I welcome more!

Oh, also to herbflavor - I appreciate & agree with your take on the fridge aesthetics, but we're planning to have a paneled (hoping fully integrated) fridge, to avoid just that issue. Now, WHICH fridge is another can o' worms...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:17PM
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Back again, with a revised layout per last post: From Kitchen Interior Elevations

Obviously, I put the double (clean-up) sink & DW on the other side of the island, rather than right across from the cooktop; idea was to keep them with "hutch"-type dish storage area which would move to Wall "C" beside wall/warming/MW oven stack. My thought was to allow more of the drawer/cab space near cooktop & oven below to be available for pots, pans, baking dishes & cooking paraphernalia. Also, I don't wash pots & pans in the DW! At least never have - maybe with one that actually CLEANS, and new pots for the induction, that will change - but since we only run DW every few days, & I use the same favorite pots & pans more frequently, I just hand-wash them.

So I put prep (single) sink in my desired prep area, where it could also provide water for cooktop/oven needs.

I haven't redrawn elevations or gone through the entire "what will go where" exercise in detail, but again would really like some feedback. Thanks for whatever thoughts you can share!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:54PM
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I'd bring a peninsula up from wall A for an L kitchen with wall B and pantrys on Wall C for a more streamlined kitchen rather than this central island which functionally is 2 counter runs butted up---along with 3 other counter runs you have 5 runs in the plan-too zig zag.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:42PM
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Add an undercounter refrigerator drawer unit on the end of the cabinet run on wall c to replace the lower part of the bookcase. Use this handy fridge for overflow produce, drinks, yogurts, entertaining stuff. Having it face your eating area will help your kitchen traffic. You look in the fridge much more frequently than pantries and if it needs a water source, well, voila, there is a water source.

I have one, which happens to be Electrolux (pricey but wonderful). It is a life saver. While your 2 person family would seem ok with only one fridge, a cd or integrated unit can be unpleasantly small. My dh uses the bottom drawer for his cokes and preferred water. It keeps him and guests out of the kitchen area. I'm not talking about a wine fridge or a difficult-to-access shelved unit, but frig drawers.

I spent approx. $1500 for my large fridge and 2k for the undercounter unit and it was money wisely spent. My highly functional custom cabinetry with all drawer lowers with vertical dividers, my induction top and the fridge drawers are the highlights of my new k-room.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 8:07PM
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I like it! The two sinks work well...and you have a great baking area. This might be a winner :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Hmmm, herbflavor - live wire oak also suggested peninsula, but I haven't managed to figure out how that plan could work. Remaining run on Wall "A" would only be 5' - not long enough for cooktop/oven combo there, I don't think. Cooktop on peninsula would negate seating on other side, as would double sink. Prep sink could go on peninsula, & cooktop back to Wall "C", but where could cleanup sink/DW go? It feels like Whack-a-Mole!! But I'll keep trying, and would be grateful for advice on where elements could be located - also concerned about loss of storage from island.

Westsider40, fridge drawer is a neat idea! We had been hoping to add some sort of beverage center, but that notion had taken a back seat as we struggled to find places for everything else. May I ask how deep (front to back) your unit is? It's so nice to hear from people who are delighted with their choices - glad you're in that happy group.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:54PM
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Another "oops", lavender lass - didn't check back before I submitted last post - but so glad to hear from you and hope that perhaps we're BOTH making good progress on our plans?! Always want to hear more of your so-very-helpful inspirations!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:19AM
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It doesn't sound like you're really up for the L format: to make an island kitchen seems to be your goal. What's with the bumpout on wall B-your original sink doesn't look bumped out? I'd keep a large single sink in the original location on wall B.You'll grow more counter on that run-use half of broom closet and charging station for shallow pantry[about 5feet].Fridge can go on wall C if you don't want it on wall B. Charging station can go in corner in dinette to the right of patio door. If you still need a small prep sink-put it on island -the large sink is removed from island. I would:get a microwave in large size with full features-it will have a keep warm setting[skip the warming drawer] I would probably not have the 2nd sink but make sure the primary sink is nice and adequate. I would not have the 2 pantries-the 5 foot shallow pantry borrowed from broom closet is plenty. With more counter now on wall B,and at most the small prep sink on island,I would shorten that long dimension to the island-it's all counter now[cooking surfaces are down on wall A] and looks super long-but you can leave it if you wish. there are ways to do L's in this kitchen-you could do it on wall c with the arm coming down into floorspace with a peninsula..or same from wall A-going up-or smaller L's from both wall A and C with a break in the middle for passage through. The island has it's perks but make it a free run for use and looks.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Not exactly like your kitchen, but aren't those pans pretty against the brick? :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Herbflavor, big thanks for so many specifics! Bumpout on Wall B is to provide a sunny home for part of our diverse family of orchids - we had awnings put on house last year and several of the orchids are clamoring for more light during the "awnings-on" months. We're not fond of interior window treatments, so furniture, rugs, & A/C bills are all happier w/ awnings, though, and we love the look on exterior. Bumpout is intended to have a copper roof so it won't look like we just forgot to put awning there.

I'm going to try out your ideas, although I must say that one of the little things I've been heartened by during all my GW lurking & this planning process is that we weren't going to have to deal with corner cabs! Yes, I've been geared toward island, but really, really want to do what works BEST (for us). I know that questioning every one of my assumptions will help us get there.

Lavender lass, another lovely photo! Maybe DH & I could work out a "copper pan code" so that chimney could function as pot display AND message center?! :-)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:21PM
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L shaped runs gain counterspace-when one arm of it is a peninsula you don't need a corner cab-the back of the peninsula can have the cab with access on that back side-the side of that cabinet butts with your next kitchen cab that accesses from kitchen side.Bookcase setup by your dinette---make the bookcase deeper[actually open shelf cabinet for books and other things]-no corner cab,and charging station could be set atop bookcase if you wish.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:59PM
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