Critiques/Ideas for Improvement?

davidahnSeptember 26, 2011

My wife and I are in escrow on a modern style home. We are super excited about having a modern style home, and the previous occupants did us the favor of completely removing the entire kitchen so we could start from scratch. However, blank slate leaves TOO MANY options! I've gone through the NKBA guidelines and met or exceeded all of them except the recommendation to have 12' and 15' landings to the sides of cooking surfaces, I have 12' and 12'.

There are 2 separate prep areas, 45' and 33' Kohler Stages sinks, and 2 separate cooking areas, the induction wok burners and the gas rangetop. We are using all wide deep drawers (no lower door cabinets) or pullout pantry style drawers (except at sinks and blind corners).

I've attached a link to the floor plan for our tentative kitchen design. I apologize, it is hard to read, because I've included the adjoining rooms so you can see the flow. The only uppers are on the left and bottom walls, everything else is bases only because we wanted an open layout. On the left wall, there are very few uppers, as most of it is full height: 32' all ref and all freezer, 30' double oven, etc. On the bottom wall, I am removing the front wall of the pantry and putting in 46' deep pantry pullouts (Fulterer FR-777 hardware).

I don't particularly like using the bottom wall at all, but my wife wanted a coffee/beverage center, and with no wall space, I had to create the bottom wall. Aside from opening up the walk-in pantry, it eats into the closet of the bedroom on the other side of the bottom wall. The light gray lines are old walls that will be deleted or artificial room 'boundaries.'

Any suggestions on how to improve the functionality and flow of the kitchen would be welcome! Thanks in advance.


Here is a link that might be useful: Floorplan

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd take out the second oven where you show a dbl oven and put the second one under the cooktop or elsewhere. You need the counter space flanking the stove area. Then you could shift the cooktop to the right.
Their guidelines should read 15" minimum on one side and to make sure to have more on the other if you only have 15" on one. You will need a place for things coming off the stove or going on. With the amount of room you have in this plan you should not be stingy with the cooking zone.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 5:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I absolutely second dianalo. Your space has so much potential, but I think you will hate not having space next to the cooking surfaces. I find it very hard to believe you can find room for a 6-burner rangetop, 2 wok burners, a 45" sink AND a 33" sink, double ovens, a coffee/beverage center, and a pantry, but cannot find room for adequate space next to the cooking stations. Also, if you pay heed to the NKBA, don't forget Rule 24 about combining landing areas. It looks to me like one of your landing areas serves both cooktop and wok, and another serves both wok and oven. The landing area should really be at least 24" in this case, per NKBA.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 7:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, Diana and Angie!

Diana, I considered selling our double and buying single ovens, but 1) the over-counter oven would be too high for my 5'3" wife, and 2) the under-cooktop oven would take away pot storage. So I moved the cooktops closer together (6" gap instead of 12"), slid the fridge/freezer 6" farther down, now I have 18" landings to the left of the gas rangetop and to the right of the induction wok burners. I do think of the combo as an 8-burner dual fuel 78" cooktop.

Angie, you say it's hard to believe I can squeeze all this into my kitchen but can't find room for landing space... BINGO! It's BECAUSE I squeezed so much stuff in there isn't room for landing spaces! LOL Re: shared landings, there is a separate 35" landing to the right of the ovens under the microwave.

Thanks Diana and Angie. Any other advice, including problems with my landing solution?

Thanks in advance, GW peeps!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 10:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

David: Yes, I understood the reason you were short on landing space. What I meant was that I think you would be better off to forgo some of these niceties in favor of the necessities. (Oh, and I hadn't previously noticed the twin dishwashers! Or not one, but TWO space-wasting blind corners. And two mixer lifts. And what is that, 60" or more of refrigeration?)

I am okay with considering the wok and range as one huge cooktop, assuming you won't be making a sauce at the same time that you are stir-frying, etc. However, I would still want more landing room, based on the years I went without sufficient room. But, on the other hand, it is YOU, not I, who will have to cook there! :-)

I actually think you should do the full GW request for help on the layout (instructions in the link below). I am NOT a layout guru, and your kitchen looks interesting enough that you may get lucky and get help from someone who is.
Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Request for layout help

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 12:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


You're right, I'm having a hard time making sacrifices. [Was kinda hoping not to have to... sadly, that's not happening.] So thanks for your help in getting focused! I did increase the landing space to 18" x 2.

Since we entertain a lot, two dishwashers makes more sense than for many others, same for the 8 total burners, etc. As for 2 mixer lifts, my wife bakes a lot, but NEVER puts the stand mixer away. She rarely uses the big Cuisinart food processor, it also stays out on the island ALL THE TIME. Drives me nuts. So... 2 mixer lifts, I can put them both away whenever I want.

Is there some consensus corner base cabinet solution I don't know about? I was just going to use the blind corners for storage of large rarely used items.

Also, are you suggesting I update my post to include the info requested in the "Request for layout help" thread? Or is there some other place I post the request?


    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 4:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't mind the range/oven layout personally. I might try to tighten it up a little bit. You do have all of the other burners plus all that nice landing space behind you if needed.

The island layout bothers me from a couple perspectives. The first is you have so much space and so many cabinets and you're putting in cabinets on the back of the island that are very hard to use.

That thought kinda combines with thinking there's just not enough space between the arms of the "u" to have that large of an island and seating at the island. You need about 5 feet to working cabinets. Two feet for the seated people and three feet as a minimum aisle behind them to be able to open the cabinets while avoiding stool legs.

I would push the island sink towards one side or the other so there was a longer side that faced the range for bigger jobs.

The cage match between the mixer lift and the oven doors/handles should be fun to watch. Probably save a little energy too as a person using the mixer will get a bit toasty while the ovens are on. :)

Please don't feel the following is a criticism of the way you live or what you want, cause its not. Its more like just some out loud thinking because "because we wanted an open layout".

I wonder if you'll be happy long term without direct access to the dining space. What you're planning is visually open but actually confining. The one thing about a "U" is that you are good and trapped inside. When entertaining, all those guests/kitchen pests will flow in and not be able to flow out very well.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 7:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Circus Peanut

hi David,

I've taken the liberty of posting your floorplan here, so that those who dislike following links can take a look. Give it a few days and even more of our layout gurus will weigh in.

For me, I might actually consider switching the large cleanup sink and the cooktops. One spends a lot more time at the cooking surfaces than at the sink, and I'd want that view while I work. Also, in my own experience entertaining, I don't like having my back to the table while I'm finishing cooking (or making crepes or hors d' oeuvres or something that demands constant stove presence during the party), and in your design you have your back to both counter bars and the dining table.

Do you by any chance have a photo or two of the house interior as it stands now, or some inspiration photos you've collected? It might help to see how modern you're aiming for (Danish? MCM/Eames? Full-on Jetsons?), to calculate the relative amount of sleekness that might be desirable.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 8:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In the upper right corner, instead of having a blind corner, I'd turn that corner base cabinet so it opens into the DR. You could use it to store tablecloths, napkins, serving platters, etc. On the kitchen side you'd still have your regular front facing cabinets and mixer lift.

I'll leave the harder decisions for the layout gurus. :)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 10:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have a generous space but ALL of the cooking/baking activity is concentrated in one area with scads of counter elsewhere. You've drawn up 2 work triangles but you're still working in a fairly small space.

Also, your warming drawer is too far away from cook tops/ovens. Some time back there was a thread about WDs with the consensus being that those who placed them near their cook top/range used them regularly and did not regret the purchase. Too far away for convenient use equaled infrequent use and buyer's remorse.

I agree with bmore. While it may feel very open, it may not function as a large open space. I think your plan can be improved upon but not without knowing more about how you want your kitchen to function.

Is this a two cook kitchen or is one of you doing most of the cooking, hence the reason for concentrating gas and induction cook tops in one area? Are you intending to have one massive hood span the whole cooking area? Do you frequently transfer items from cook top to ovens?

How do you intend to use the peninsula? Right now, it looks to have no purpose other than seating.

Speaking of seating, you have a lot of counter seating in your space. Do you have a specific number in mind or is it determined by plan more than by intent? Is there a reason for splitting the seating into two sections (island and peninsula) or would you be willing to have in concentrated in one section? I'd like to see curves added to the counter seating areas or another shape other than linear seating to promote conversations among people sitting at the counter. In other words, reduce the lunch counter feel.

What's to the left of the beverage nook? Is that a wall? Is it necessary or can it be removed? If you can take it out, then you can move bev sink to the center and have counter on both sides of it for drink making. Might help with crowd control. Or might not and you're better off with one longer span of counter. Either way, though, if you can remove the wall, if that's what that is, the beverage nook will feel less claustrophobic and won't be a choke point at parties.

What's on the backside of the deep pantry? Is that another room or is that the exterior and you're planning a bump-out? If the latter, I'd encourage you to make it larger to create a walk-in pantry since your plan indicates that you need lots of pantry storage.

While I wait for answers, here's an idea to mull over, inspired by this image of a dual island kitchen:

traditional kitchen design by san diego showroom Design Moe Kitchen & Bath / Heather Moe designer

Plan A:

Bar seating for 6 with all social activity concentrated outside of the working part of the kitchen. The inner side of this island can be used for staging, buffet service, etc. Store party platters, etc in the cabs below. I removed the wall or whatever that is next to the beverage nook.

The back side of the working island (the one with dual mixer lifts at both ends) is a baking center with ovens close at hand. I placed the ovens at the end of the sink run to MOL signify where the working part of the kitchen began. Your wife can access the pantry and fridge/freezer columns without crossing into the cooking prep zone. I moved the warming drawer closer to the cook tops. It's not as close to the ovens but it's closer than where you have it in your plan.

You could swap prep sink and warming drawer, preserving the landing space for your fridge/freezer columns while making it easier for your wife to use the prep sink without getting into the cooking prep zone. This does move the WD farther from the ovens, not sure how much of an issue that is for you.

I moved the induction units closer together and centered the cooking units on that wall. If you do a huge hood over the whole area, this will create a very impressive feature wall.

Yes, you lose a little bar seating but storage should be about the same as before. This plan gives you more defined zones plus gives you multiple ways in and out of the kitchen - no more winding around the peninsula, past the island to bring dirty dishes from DR table to clean-up sink - while maintaining a very open feel.

This plan needs tweaking - for instance, I'd be tempted to move the trash pull-outs closer to the prep area - but it's another design possibility.

One last thing. You've listed total room sizes and window sizes but not much else. I can't tell how much room you're allowing for aisles in the kitchen or around the dining room table. NKBA recommends 44" minimum between table and wall or counter to walk behind diners. This does not allow for bar seating in the same space. I can't find the recs but I believe you need something like 54" or perhaps 60" clearance between back to back seating. If those square things to the far right are posts and the DR is open to another space, you may be able to cheat the table off center, closer to the posts, to gain a few more inches of clearance between table and counter seating. Try not to go less than 36", that's the squeeze behind diners minimum per NKBA.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 2:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was suggesting you post the new-layout-request info here. You need not start a new thread -- this one is setting up nicely! Lisa_A is awesome, and the others are no slouches. You would be wise to feed us the info that Lisa requested.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As Angie wrote, post the info in this thread, David, don't start a new one. Keeping the conversation and ideas on the same topic in one thread will be much less confusing for everyone.

(Thanks, Angie! And yes, there are many very talented people here.)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A HUGE thank you to all who responded! Sorry I've been away for so long, I got swamped with escrow and lending paperwork, then I actually had to tweak the plan based on your excellent advice! I have a new draft floorplan at link below (I also uploaded elevations but I only get 1 link). I will post my full "Request for Help" info in the next post.

@bmorepanic: Good point about the inaccessible island storage. It was filler to bulk up the island, I took it out in favor of more aisle space. As for moving the island sink, I'm a symmetry NUT, so I must keep the symmetry. :) Great point re: the dueling appliance lifts and ovens! Changed that. As for the enclosed U, for us that's not an issue as the formal dining will only be used for large parties, we don't expect any flow between kitchen and dining.

@circuspeanut: Thanks for posting the plan. I personally wanted the cooktops on the island, but the wife nixed that idea. The interior is literally bare walls. My inspiration is middle of the road european: Awesome color scheme, slab style doors, white quartz counters, but I don't want the ultra modern layout and open spaces; I like a more conventional layout so it ages gracefully.

@Lisa_A: Thank you SO much for your in-depth response! Lots of great advice.

I've deleted the triangles, and have work stations: cook 1 at range, cook 2 at wok burners, island prep sink, 2 island prep areas plus 3 prep stations at island bar seats, 2nd prep sink/cleanup sink.

As for the remotely placed warming drawers... I was stuck on having pot storage under the cooktops, and I was stuck on the cooktop we'd bought. My wife now wants a range, which changes everything. Pots go in the island, warming drawers are now under the induction wok burners, next to the range/oven.

It is a 2 cook kitchen, but for larger gatherings we can have groups of up to 10-12 cooking.

The peninsula is just for seating and storage of silverware and dinnerware, which seems functional to me because eating happens on either side of the peninsula. Cookware and spices are stored near the cooking and prep areas.

The seating is divided because for intimate groups of 4-8, we would sit/stand at the island, for groups of 10-12, at the peninsula bar, for larger groups, peninsula plus dining room. I like curves, but they don't fit the modern esthetic.

The wall between the beverage nook and the kimchi refrigerator/pantry area is simply to divide the public space from the storage space.

There's a bedroom behind the pantry, but my calculations show that the pullout pantries offer more usable space than a walk-in of the same size by eliminating the dead "walk-in" part (non-shelf area).

I played with a dual island setup and there's a lot I love about it, but I decided to keep the U configuration because 1) the outer island loses warmth of being in the kitchen, and 2) I like the way the peninsula gives clean lines and divides the dining room into its own space, allowing the dining room table to be centered in the dining room without being off-center with respect to the islands. In our experience, we don't have a group hanging out while another group is cleaning up, we clean up together, then hang out together, so separating the spaces isn't necessary.

Any further input would be awesome, guys.

Here is a link that might be useful: Updated Floorplan 10-6-11

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was hoping for my wife's input, but she's always pooped in the evenings, so here's just my version of the "Request for Layout Help" questionnaire:

Open floorplan, open to dining room to right, nook below
No doors or walls except exterior walls and walls between living spaces and bedroom to bottom of image
Grayed lines on floorplan are existing walls to be deleted
Traffic flow not marked, but alleyways obvious at bottom left to nook and bottom right to dining room

Modern european design w/o being too gimmicky, to avoid quick outdating
Minimalist esthetic, clean lines
Lots more storage
More counter space
Large island with comfortable seating
Eat-in kitchen

Family Composition:
Just my wife and me, one 4 lb Maltese dog.
Planning on starting a family in next year or two.
Will host wife's family at Thanksgiving, my family at Christmas, about 10-16 at a time

Kitchen Crew:
My wife is main cook (Speedy Gonzalez when it comes to cooking)
I am main Sous chef (but very slow worker, I'm mainly good for company)
We often have multiple friends/family helping with prep and cleanup

Use of Kitchen:
Cooking & cleanup daily, sometimes twice a day
Eat-in kitchen for wife and me
For entertaining small groups, in-kitchen
For medium groups, peninsula bar
For large groups, bar as serving table, 20-seat dining table in dining room
Hanging out with friends
Light computer use/browsing

Frequency of Entertaining:
We entertain a lot, 2-6 times a month
Mostly informal gatherings
Formal gatherings several times a year

Hanging Out:
Every day for us, nearly every small gathering
We usually gravitate to kitchen for hanging out at most gatherings/family get-togethers

Separate Dining Room:
Yes, we have a separate dining room
Current dining room NEVER used except as overflow pantry
Would like to use more than never, but not frequent
Rarely formal dinners, usually overflow from eat-in kitchen
It's way too big for just the 2 of us, even after our planned 3-4 kids, nook or island would be cozier, fit our lifestyle and tastes better

Floorplan/Wall Changes:
We plan on removing existing wall between kitchen and dining room, the butler's pantry, front wall of walk-in pantry (convert to pull-out pantries), and wall dividing dining room from hallway.
We also have what looks like a false "exposed beam" vaulted ceiling built of drywall, will remove and raise ceiling height from 8'10" to 9'10".

Merging Rooms:
No plans to merge two rooms, but expanding kitchen into dining room and eliminating butler's pantry, and spreading across the hallway (from 12'3"x14'9" to 18'6"x21'9"), shrinking dining room from 13'9" wide to 12'3" wide, though eliminating hallway increases dining room length from 14'9" to 21'9" minus a 24" passageway.

Flexible Items:
We are planning on opening up tiny 4'W x 3'H kitchen window to 12'W x 5'H
We are considering opening up dining room 8'W x 5'H window to 10' x 8' (near full wall), depending on cost.
I am flexible on sink and cooktop locations, my wife is not. She does NOT want the cooktop on the island, but everything else is fair game.
My wife is 5'3" and has trouble using the upper oven currently, so the ovens cannot be too high. We are also purposely minimizing upper cabinets because she can only reach the bottom shelf, and barely at that. Luckily, open floorplans leave little wall space for uppers!

Optional Areas:
My wife bakes a lot and would LOVE a baking center. Where do we sign up? How is this designed?
My wife insisted on a dedicated coffee station, so we are invading the closet of the adjoining bedroom (below the beverage nook in current floorplan)
Snack center? No, thanks. We're both watching our figures, and we didn't grow up snacking much, and don't want our kids to snack either.


What we have:
2 Thermidor 15" induction wok burners (my choice as a gadget lover, wife doesn't care)
2 Electrolux Icon DW (non-drawer; have 1, buying 1 more)

Will be buying:
Kohler Stages 45" prep/cleanup sink, Stages 33" Prep sink, Vault 15" Bar Sink
Viking 48" 8-burner range
Viking 36" warming drawers x 2
Viking built-in convection MW
Viking Professional 48" and 36" hoods
Electrolux Built-In 32" all-freezer and all-refrigerator pair
Electrolux Beverage Center refrigerator for beverage nook
15" Electrolux Compactor
36" wide Dimchae Kimchi Refrigerator

Will be selling:
Electrolux Icon 36" 6-burner gas rangetop
Electrolux Icon 30" Double Oven, Convection
Electrolux Icon 30" Warming Drawers
Electrolux 27" Built-in MW
Electrolux Icon 42" Built-in refrigerator

We have a small 3 1/2 x 6' walk-in, we will remove door and front wall and turn it into a 72W x 108H x 46D pull-out pantry with Fulterer 777 pantry slide hardware with Easy Close. This is at entrance to kitchen.

Can't live without: lots of storage, much larger pantry (our current is a 2' x 3' "walk-in"), natural light, customizable bins/organizers/shelves, cook-friendly layout, large island for prep and for intimate hanging out.
Can't stand: small island, nonfunctional workflow, high out-of-reach storage, inaccessible corner storage, fixed wide shelving, wasted space; wife hates small drawers
Would be nice: More space for a cookbook library. A baking station would be awesome.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm pasting your floor plan in this thread. It's very easy to do this, just click on "share," click on "grab the HTML code", copy it and paste it here. I chose the large size (medium size is default setting). You'll get more responses if you don't make people go elsewhere to view your plan.

Okay, so lots of bar seating and symmetry are important to you. Ditto for having an inner circle to entertain friends in the kitchen proper.

Going with a range over cook top and double ovens does help alleviate some of the tight spacing your previous plan had. However, I still can't tell how much landing space you have on each side of the cooking units. NKBA recommends at least 15" but I hope you are giving yourself more than that since your island is more than 4 feet away.

I also don't see a purpose assigned to the inner portion of the peninsula counter. And I'm not sure what you gain by moving the appliance lifts to each end of the cooking units. Are these to be used for appliances used in cooking tasks or baking projects? If the latter, does your wife intend to do baking projects in those little sections of counter? Or does she plan to carry the appliance to another section? Why not put the lifts at the counter she'll use for her baking projects?

I see a possible solution: why not designate the inner section of the peninsula the baking center? Put the appliance lifts here, along with all the baking gear. This gives your wife enough room to work without intersecting the cooking zone and it preserves the bar seating you want. It also makes it more conducive for group baking projects. You have generous aisles in your cooking zone but you don't have lots of counter in that area so you are still somewhat limited in how many people can work in that area. Separating the cook zone from the baking zone will help make your kitchen function better with large groups.

Couple more observations. Your trash/recycling cab is too far away from your prep zone, which is usually the source of most trash/recycling items. Can you turn the MW/appliance garage towards the cook zone? I would think that the majority of appliances stored here will be used in the cooking zone yet it seems that this cabinet will open towards the clean-up zone. I'm also not keen on how it boxes in your cooking zone. What do you plan to store here? Is there no where else to store these items so that you can create an open corner instead?

You can opt for a MW drawer instead of one in a cabinet. You've got a high end kitchen going already, a MW drawer would fit in quite well with that look. Where you place it will depend on how you use your MW. If primarily for reheating/snacks or in baking, place it in the end of the peninsula, close to fridge, pantry and relocated baking zone. If you use it primarily in cooking, then place it closer to the cook zone.

Your pantry storage stores more goods than a walk-in pantry in the same space, however, it takes up more kitchen frontage than a walk-in pantry tucked behind cabinetry would. But that eats up more space from the bedroom so perhaps that's not possible. Back to your pantry set-up. Do you know that you can find hardware to handle the load that 44" deep pantry pull-outs will carry? That's almost twice the amount of storage of a standard depth pull-out pantry - that's going to require some really beefy hardware. This may be available, I've just never come across it so if you have, please share your source. TIA!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I got busy between when I started responding and when I finally posted so I missed your 2nd post. Thanks for providing the pantry hardware info! You must have read my mind. ;-)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

At times, when I can slow down and think, I like to ask myself a series of stupid questions...

Where is the coffee pot or kettle?
Where would a big project take place?
Since you sometimes need space for a lotta cooks, where will they get water?
Will someone kill me for having all the heat in one location?
Can others get to the ref while entertaining - definite yes!
To trash or not to trash - need a trash or compost bin per sink?
If possible, get out the blue tape and test drive the layout by attempting to "cook a meal" in it?

Some of what you said doesn't compute for me (intimate dinner standing around the island) but I'll take your word for it EXCEPT for seating on both sides of the peninsula.

Whoever ends up on the kitchen side might blame you for muscle aches and/or black-blue knees the next day.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 4:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To get more countertop surface you have to scale down the sizes of other things. Unfortunately if you listen to me you will have to buy less. Similarly, I would ask about the selling off of existing working right-sized appliances.

To get more *storage* you also have to scale down the sizes of other things. Unfortunately if you listen to me you will have to buy less. Similarly, I would ask about the selling off of existing working right-sized appliances.

To get more *a modern European design w/o being too gimmicky, to avoid quick outdating* you also have to scale down the sizes of some of the "things" already referred to. Unfortunately if you listen to me you will have to buy less. Similarly, I would ask about the selling off of existing working right-sized appliances.

To get a *minimalist esthetic, clean lines* you also have to scale down the sizes of things. Unfortunately if you listen to me you will have to buy less. Similarly, I would ask about the selling off of existing working right-sized appliances.

It's unfortunate to think that the debate then becomes "why buy all these nice things?"


I think the all-fridge and all-freezer take more space than shown.

I think that a single stainless steel custom made box shape can be your exhaust canopy (hood) for a single exhaust fan, an inline fan in the duct. Restaurant supply welders can make it and put baffles in it. A distributor can sell you an inline blower and speed control.

In last week's floor plan I see no entrance or exit. I see a Dining Nook and a Dining Room. This reminds me of a French or Spanish "auteur" art movie. In one Luis Bunuel movie, the guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave. Woody Allen mentioned this idea in Midnight in Paris.

Here is a link that might be useful: art film parodying social groupthink self-censorship inability

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

David, you're going in the right direction. I missed your thread the first time around, but have the same question from the earlier part of the thread until now: I assume you have two wok units because you're going to be using two woks at once. Is that correct? Or is it just for the induction? Because if it's two woks, do you have enough room between them to work comfortably? At least with the new landing space you appear to have room for tools and ingredients.

Re the mixer and food processor, I get your reasoning for putting both on lifts, and it sounds like a good compromise, but where you have them is not a good idea at all, especially by the stove. You don't want to be mixing with flour anywhere near a gas range. It's hard to clean up, but more importantly, if the chocolate is melting on a low burner you might still have enough flame to ignite a fireball if a cloud of flour escapes, which it often does. Whichever unit is used there, there will be nowhere to put ingredients, scrapers, etc., except right on the stove. The one by the corner isn't so bad. Putting things down on the induction isn't a problem. But because of the location of the lift, all the corner and side counter area is blocked, not just the area right behind the lift. Both lifts would be more useful in the island. Your love of symmetry would be respected with the two lifts. Where you currently show them you could put utensils and gadgets, bags and wraps, small pots, mixing bowls, etc.

Regarding your blind corners: Have you looked at corner drawers? They're ideal for a Modern look. I also have a U and love how the corner drawers have freed me from the lazy susans that were in the previous kitchen. I did the math once, and you get the most storage space from super susans
and drawers--both are slightly better (4-7%) than a true blind corner, and allow full overlay, Euro style drawers/doors to open without hardware conflicts--you can store less on the pullout mechanisms, about 20% more than true blind on full circle (angled corner) super susans.

I'm also concerned that the trash station is so far away from the working part of the kitchen. That might be necessary for your reflective symmetry, but it looks really inconvenient. Some people want it more in the prep area. Some, like me, want it by the clean-up sink. but I'm thinking about opening a package from the butcher, putting the meat into the prep area or onto the stove, then walking across half the kitchen to throw it out. Maybe you'd like a little trash pull-out somewhere in the prep or cooking area with a small trash bin and a small compostable bin? Or move either the trash or the compactor over (do you really need/want a compactor?).

BTW, I think your kimchi refrigerator is charming! Much fancier than the jar under the sink. :)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 6:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@lisa_a: Once again, thank you so much for your help!

About the range (vs wall oven), the low ovens are great for shorter cooks like my Mrs. The landings are 18" each x 3. You say the island isn't helpful for landing because it's too far, but that's because others suggested wider walkways.

The peninsula counter is mainly for table setting/backup prep, as I'm planning on storing silverware/dinnerware there. The appliance lifts are at the ends because the hardware requires 18" bases and I happen to have 18" bases below the landings. I'd love them on the island but don't wanna lose pot storage or seating space. I worried they'd be too far from the cooking/baking zones on the peninsula, but the baking center idea is good: load up the pans/trays, just walk them to the range oven. I think that might be a winner! I'll ask the wife.

You would think you could just throw your wish list items into a big enough kitchen and BAM, dream kitchen. But the items compete, and compromises abound. I'd love the trash right next to the island prep sink (and I do have a small trash can in sink cab), but the range stole the pot storage, so that has to be in the island. I'd put it to the left of the cleanup/large job prep sink, but the 2nd DW is there (we entertain a lot, so we need that). As for turning the appliance garage toward the cooking zone, I can't. I'm allergic to angles. But it will pull out for access from the cooking zone, like an extension. And I like framed spaces and symmetry, which is why the cooking zone is framed by the fridges and the MW/appliance garage (it was more symmetrical with the double oven).

I've scoured this kitchen for a place for a MW drawer, but since I have almost no wall cabinets, under-cabinet space is at a premium. The peninsula is an obvious place to look, but it's far from the refrigerator. The island would be great, but it would eat up a lot of pot storage, especially since 2 MWs would be amazing, since warming up leftovers takes multiple MW loads, the worst part of which is the constant babysitting, removal, and reloading. I will examine the end of the peninsula.

The pull-out pantry does take up frontage, but it's not usable frontage in my house, just blank wall in the hallway between the kitchen and the dining nook. One thing I haven't considered: close off the nook (we have an eat-in kitchen now!), have a full 4th kitchen wall and huge walk-in pantry. Hmm. We would really miss the nook to shove the kids' table in. :) And as for the hardware, yes, it has up to 46" of travel, and rated for 450 lbs.

@bmorepanic: Thanks for the not-so-dumb questions. Super automatic espresso/coffee machine in the beverage center. Big projects would happen on the huge peninsula. Water from pot filler by range, island prep sink, window cleanup sink, or beverage center sink. Ref is next to main passage and yes, accessible while cooks are cooking, and also beverage center fridge at entry to kitchen. Blue tape would be hard, since we don't have a key (escrow closes 10/27), and my wife isn't the pretending type. I've spent many ntimate hours hanging out around the kitchen islands, and sometimes, not everyone has a seat.

@davidro1: Thanks for the suggestion on the custom exhaust hood. I'll look into it, though custom sounds expensive and time consuming. The smaller appliances were for our current 13 x 13' kitchen, not the new 19 x 21' one. I love big-ass gadgets, and my wife wants a big-ass kitchen, so either way, less probably isn't gonna happen. These are Electrolux 32" units, not the larger 36" wide all-ref and all freezeres.

@plllog: As for 2 wok burners, it's because we often cook with 2 woks. Plus I (not so much my wife) really wanted induction surfaces, and 1 wasn't enough. They are spaced for 2 simultaneous 22" woks, but 24" woks won't work. But ours are aluminum so we need new woks anyway.

Re: appliance lifts, thanks for the safety concerns. And it's less than ideal because the left one covers up the landing. After listening to you and lisa_a, I'm going to try them in the peninsula. Update coming up.

I have looked at corner drawers, but I'm convinced that corners are just of the devil and there's no ideal solution. :) I do love drawers (vs cabinets +/- pullouts), but I drew up corner drawers and a 4 x 4' corner (2' on either side of corner) gives you 10 cubic feet of dead space plus the drawer gaps (3/4" x 2 box sides, 1/2" x 2 gap to drawer box, 1/2" x 2 drawer box thickness).

lisa_a also mentioned the trash station's remoteness, and I don't like it either. I do have trash drawers under both sinks, but not 13 gallon size. See the elevations.

When you're a regular kimchi eater, you need a kimchi fridge to keep the smell from contaminating your other foods and to keep it from fermenting too fast! This will be our first, as our current kitchen is too small.

Question to all: to compact or not to compact; that is the question. Any input as to whether we should have a compactor or not? It's SS and there's just one, so symmetry is an issue. I could put a 15" SS face cabinet on the opposite side, but I don't want to encroach too much on the dining room.

Thanks again, everyone!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 3:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Compromises, compromises. What to do. Only your architect knows for sure.

Large island, comfortable seating, eat-in kitchen, big-ass.
But with restraint, not too gimmicky.
More of everything all the time.
= Big-ass gadgets. But not too gimmicky.
= Lots more storage.
= More counter space.
And . Maintain some Modern / European design / Minimalist esthetic / clean lines. Why not have it all.

"... big-ass gadgets, and ... a big-ass kitchen."


I'm sure you'll find a nice home to adopt the lovable appliances you are jettisoning. They'll be fine. Someone will take care of them.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 9:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@davidro1, since internet fora don't convey inflections or facial expressions, I'm going to assume you're trying to be funny and not condescending. Our level of cooking and entertaining is in the Request for Layout Help post. You sound more concerned for my inanimate appliances than for a fellow human being, but since you asked, they are all new and in boxes and will find a lovely home.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Davidahn: don't take any offense to DavidRo. He doesn't have the most common communication style, but he only uses his powers for good. :-)

(DavidRo, I am pretty sure you don't mind my making this comment, but I apologize if I am wrong.)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 2:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As I read your concerns and lists of wants, an idea for your kitchen came to me. It may seem radical at first, given your love of symmetry, which may translate to a preference for kitchen convention, but I'm going to throw it out there anyway. Please don't dismiss it immediately, give it time to settle in and possibly nudge your kitchen vision in a new direction.

Move your clean-up sink and double DWs, silverware, glass and dish storage to the peninsula. You wrote that this is where you intend to store dishes in the peninsula and use that area for staging so why not reduce a step and put the clean-up zone there, too?

The baking zone moves to your clean-up zone, and you gain ample pot storage, room for a MW drawer or two adjacent to the cooking zone.

Line up the clean-up sink with the prep sink and the range and you've got the symmetry that makes you happy.

Sinks do not have to go under windows. That's a hold-over from days gone by when lighting was limited and people spent hours washing up dishes. We don't have to do that anymore, we can place sinks where they make the most sense for function.

Okay, I've said it. I hope you give this serious thought.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 3:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

if access to your kitchen is through the dining room (i see three pillars) then lisa_a is very right.

in the House Building forum here is a thread about a similar house-scale concern.

Here is a link that might be useful: help with frustrating kitchen layout issue

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 9:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With your love for symmetry, Your hood is going to be very off center with the woks over to one side if you use a single hood, and if you use two hoods, it will look even more lopsided. Why not flank the range with the two woks on either side, and that way the BIG HONKING HOOD that will be needed for your setup is at least centered. It will most likely have to be a custom hood both for the size needed and for the CFM needed to deal with those woks. This is going to be one of the major expenses of this kitchen, so you need to start that research right away. You will probably also need makup air, so get your HVAC person involved now. In some climates, makup air can add around 4-8K to your ventilation bill depending on whether or not a HRV will be needed. You also want to double check any particular rules and regulations that your own muncipality might have.

There's a very knowledgeable poster on the Appliance Forum by the name of kaseki. I recommend you do a "call out" post on there to get his attention as to what components might work for your situation.

BTW, I LOVE Lisa's idea to shift the cleanup to the peninsula. It makes the work flow so much better! And it keeps that run of window glass uninterrupted by a faucet or dirty dishes awaiting the DW.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 10:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@Livewire: I considered putting the wok burners to either side, but functionally, I think dual woks will probably be done by the same operator. Thanks for the pointer, I'll seek out kaseki!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Update 16 months later:

I want to thank everyone who gave me great advice so long ago when I was starting this journey. I'm not there yet, but our custom cabinets are being installed as we speak! I've attached the updated layout.

I especially want to thank Lisa_A for her great ideas. I didn't go with the cleanup sink in the peninsula, but I did move from a U + island to an L + double island, which drastically improves flow and eliminates a dreaded corner! I'll be posting photos soon. Thanks to Dianalo and Angie_DIY, I now have adequate landings at the expense of the induction wok burners which got the axe. I want to thank Davidro1 for trying to give me some perspective; with our degree of entertaining and cooking for large groups, our kitchen may or may not be overkill; only time will tell. We in fact went bigger on the fridge and freezer, but that's mainly because of our history of flour moth infestations; almost all grain/cereal products will be kept in the fridge or freezer rather than pantry or drawers.

I'd still welcome critiques and suggestions even though it may be a bit late (base cabinets and counters are literally set in stone). :) I hope to be posting photos in the Completed Kitchens section in the next few weeks!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:09AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Week 41: As we head into spring, what would you do to make space?
Tomorrow is March 1st. We can really, no longer say...
Small Kitchen Reveal - Complete with total redo of the plan during!
It was hard to even begin to post since my kitchen...
Bluestar Drop-in Cooktop review
I recently installed my new BlueStar 36" drop...
Freaky photo issue!
I just tried to start a new thread and attempted to...
IKEA kitchen nearly done- so delayed
We've been extremely delayed!! The granite is going...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™