Small kitchen layout help

lenzaiSeptember 22, 2013

I've found this forum a great resource so far and now maybe I can get some specific help on a new kitchen layout.
Background: new to us house. It's old (1920's) with 9' ceilings. Both husband and I like to and cook (together) and this is a long term house (so will have little ones). we entertain as well but mostly sit down. While this kitchen is small, it's bigger than my old one. Goal is to make the space efficient and not completely out of step with the Tudor feel of home (think leaded diamond glazing windows).
Challenges: 3 doorways: to hall, to outside and to dining room. 1 window (26" from wall). Window and door to outside not movable, the other two doorways can be moved.
Extras: pantry space in hallway.

I've included the "now" picture: it's awkward and little base cabinet space.
I've thought about getting rid of the wall to dining room, it's possible but then the fridge is hard to place and melding the kitchen into house is even harder (dining room has plaster walls).
Thanks for any advice!

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OP again. Picture of the plan I'm considering.
Also a link to some inspiration for the corner sink.

Here is a link that might be useful: corner apron sink

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Hi, Lenzai. That sounds like a lovely home. For your drawing, just moving the hall door does a lot right there.

To explore a thought, though, what's on the dining room side of the house? What is outside the kitchen door? Do you have room for a little dining patio or fountain or Christmas tree garden, if, for instance, leaded diamond pane doors lead outside there, instead of from a utility door 5 feet away in the kitchen? No doors or windows would be moved...

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:14PM
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That garden looks so lovely. The doorway unfortunately leads to a a couple steps and to the driveway (it's all along that side of the house). It is actually the fastest way into the house from the car so I've made peace that I'll have to mop all the time.
We do have a big yard and a patio, it's just behind the house and not to the side.
The window doesn't have an awesome view, but very key for light, hence I don't care if the sink is facing it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:27PM
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Here's something to start the discussion.

This provides more space between the sink and range, prime prep space, and also allows for a small set of drawers, though the corner is not used. It also puts the fridge closer to some counter space for a landing zone, as well as closer to the pantry so it is easier to grab everything from one direction. The entry to the dining room can be moved to line up with the window, and if any of your other doorways have arches or detail, it would be big enough to mimic that.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 1:25AM
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I think corner apron sink would look great. On the below link, please see jakuval's posts of Aug 23, 13 at 22:19 and Aug 24, 13 at 11:26.

corner range

In your layout it would be better to move the small cab next to outside entry b/w the sink and DW to give you space at the sink when the DW door is open.

I would also consider using only a 12 or 15' cab b/w the wall and the range, so you'll have more for prep b/w the sink and range. If you think this would bring the range too close to the door on the left wall, the door can be moved to the middle of the wall.

You might have a small pullout pantry or broom closet b/w the fridge and the wall.

pull out broom closet

I think something like below might be useful as a landing area near the fridge and MW.

Also see, this tread.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 5:20AM
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Thanks williamsem for a new perspective. I got so wrapped up in making the corner space work I didn't think about what I would gain if I sacrificed that spot. A bigger doorway could work if I can get someone to do plaster work to match the other arches I have in the house.

Great links with the pull out drop zones ( I've never seen that before). I see moving the little cab between the sink and DW for clearance. I don't really want less prep space on the othe side of the range since my husband and I do cook together and he needs prep space near the range (he does everything that requires a griddle :).

Additional questions: I'm not opposed to opening up the wall between the kitchen and dining room but would that give me anything? I'll do my own search too but if anyone can point me to threads blending a Tudor/traditional style and a recently redone kitchen i would appreciate it. The kitchen is one place I don't really want fussy details.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:29AM
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sayde's house is tudor. Her kitchen is linked below.

I have a simpler pull-out, and I would recommend it for near a MW. It's just like a pull-out cutting board.

Here is a link that might be useful: sayde's gumwood kitchen

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 11:33AM
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What is the room on the other side of the kitchen? How do you access the backyard? Can you post the rest of your main floor plan?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:29PM
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Ok so here's the overall house plan. I pulled the mouse-on-house and added notes. House sits on a little hill with the backyard lower and sloping away. There's a full walk out from the basement but you can get into the house from the kitchen as well (up some steps). I hope this helps.
I briefly considered stealing some space from the little bedroom for the kitchen, but it's such a good size right now and the placement of windows (both walls) would make it hard. Like in a lot of older homes it feels like the kitchen was an after thought (although maybe in the original was the kitchen and little bedroom combined (I don't know)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:29PM
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No expert here by any means...I like williamsen's plan but I might be tempted to flip flop stove and ref/MW....typically you are at the sink, MW and fridge more than the stove so it might make sense to have them in closer proximity.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:52PM
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Hmm joanie, it's an interesting thought. I guess I have to assess my cooking habits. Off the top of my head I think i'm at the stove more than the fridge and MW (I feel like I use 3 pots/pans for a single meal which is a whole other issue :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 5:03PM
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robo (z6a)

I just keep posting this photo which shows an arch between a small DR and small kitchen in a more traditional-ish home -- I think it looks so nice and can't you just picture glassfront cabinets on the DR side containing most dishes? Anyway, I was thinking this might be a way to squeeze some storage in between your DR and kitchen. Then again, having the fridge in between is likely much more practical.

This post was edited by robotropolis on Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 17:07

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 5:04PM
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I don't know what your budget is...and if you could do this over time...but I would turn the kitchen into a combination butler's pantry and mudroom. Add a bench under the window and hooks behind the door (not visible from dining room) and then have storage and upper cabinets for pantry/dishes, with a prep sink in the middle. This could also double for clean up area, when coming indoors.

Archways between dining room/pantry and pantry/kitchen would be nice. The kitchen could have access to a deck (stairs to patio) or it could be windows that overlook the patio...your choice. This would give you more light, views (maybe access) to the backyard and (very important!) ability to see little ones, while they're playing :)

From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Meant to add...I don't know if your sunroom is insulated for all year use, but if you miss having the second bedroom (possible nursery) you might be able to use the sunroom for this purpose. Just until the kids are old enough to be upstairs. Hope this helps :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Your kitchen is out of scale as compared to your very large master bedroom and living room. Your DR could also be a bit larger given the scale of the other living spaces and because it's your only eating space.

How many bedrooms do you have upstairs? Can you steal space from the downstairs bedroom for the kitchen - convert it to a home office? - to give you a bit more breathing room in the kitchen?

Since you wrote that this is a long term house, I'm going to throw out a perhaps crazy idea for you to mull.

Flip the right side of the house: home office at front, kitchen in middle, DR at back with French doors leading to the patio. Get the pantry out of the hallway and into the kitchen. Create a separate powder room and give the master bedroom an en suite bathroom. It's definitely a much larger undertaking but IMO, it would be money well spent in the long run since you could create a kitchen more in scale with the downstairs and make the home fit today's and likely future expectations of how homes should function.

However, if that's not possible, then let's move forward with your small space as is.

I've played with your plan a bit, combining your idea with williamsem's suggestion. I also came up with a U-kitchen with the openings all pushed to the top of the space - get the traffic out of the work zone.

Here's the version combining your and williamsem's ideas:

And here's the U-shaped kitchen:

I'm curious what appliances you're choosing to fit your space. To get a 33" sink cab in, as williamsem suggested, I had to shrink the DW from a 24" to a 18" in order to keep at least 40" between counter and wall at the exterior door. I also had to go from a standard size, standard depth fridge to a 30" counter depth so that I could keep decent clearances at the hallway entry. If you went with a 24" sink cab (see link below for a sink that would fit a 24" cab), you could go with a 24" DW. You'd also gain more aisle clearance at the doorway.

Don't forget to allow for cab spacers at corners, counter overhang, DW side support (something's got to hold up the counter at the end of the run), etc when you do your calculations. btw, if you want a corner sink, you should plan on a 12" cab between sink and DW so that you can stand at the sink when the DW door is open.

What MW are you choosing? If you go with a GE Spacemaker, it would fit in the upper cab next to the fridge (12" deep, 24" IIRC). Or you just may need to go with a MW hood.

Love that inspiration pic, robotropolis!

Here is a link that might be useful: BLANCO PRECISION⢠16'' Medium Bowl

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Nice idea, LL! From what the OP wrote "...I'll have to mop all the time" a mud room at that entry would be very useful.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:54PM
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Thank you for all the great suggestions lisa_a. You are correct that flipping the whole house is not in the cards (there are only two bedrooms upstairs and we cant afford a total reno).
I really like the U layout, its something I haven't even considered. I think it makes the entrance from the stree much more efficient.
Thank you also for the reminder about all the allowances ill have to keep track of them better. As far as appliances, I don't have a specific plan yet but I know it'll be a 30" range and I'm fine with a 24" sink (hopefully not much smaller) and we have a little microwave so i dont wish for a bigger one. Ill have to see what dishwasher options exist. More research ahead then.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Lisa- I like the U-shape!

If the second bedroom is going to stay...what about taking out the wall between dining room and kitchen? If would bring more light into the space and give you a bit more space for the dishwasher.

Something like this?

From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 9:44PM
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So rooms stay where they are, got it. Not really surprised but hey, I'm here to enable. ;-)

Speaking of, here's what your kitchen could look like if you stole a a foot from the downstairs bedroom....

I kept the fridge at 30" but you could go for a slightly larger fridge if you shrank the cab to its left down a few inches. I linked to some choices below. Don't forget to add the cab width to the dimensions. If you go for a free-standing, not a built-in, you'll most likely need 1/2" of clearance on both sides plus the cab walls (frameless will require less width than framed cabs). For instance, a 32 1/4" wide fridge that requires 1/2" clearance on each side in a frameless cab with 3/4" thick sides would require a 34 3/4" footprint. A face frame cab could require an additional inch. In your small space, I strongly encourage you to go frameless to get every bit of storage space you can get.

Note: 36" SS = 36" Super Susan cabinet

11 x 11 is still a decent-sized bedroom, especially for a kid.

Here is a link that might be useful: 30

This post was edited by lisa_a on Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 0:02

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 12:00AM
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Enable away lisa_a :)
Thanks for the comment about frameless vs/ framed cabinets. I will definitely look that as an option. After a cursory search on Garden web looks like there are traditional looking doors for frameless cabinets out there.

Taking a foot from the other bedroom is definitely possible (have to deal with it's side window) as long as the cost for the new wall isn't exorbitant.

In my crazy thought moments, I want to re-do the kitchen window (it used to be a giant 45x55 window and they shrunk it to 30x36 when the kitchen was redone in the 80's). I would stretch it back to original height (you can tell by the remaining original brick header outside and unmatched brick and mortar below) and width and just start it above the counter. This of course would take away upper cabinet space. I can dream though :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 9:38AM
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Taking a foot from the other bedroom is definitely possible (have to deal with it's side window) as long as the cost for the new wall isn't exorbitant.

How wide is the bedroom door? Or would an entry from the bathroom side a possibility?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Some alternatives using the DR.

Move the wall b/w kitchen DR 1-1.5' (whatever the opening to DR from foyer permits) and you can have something like this, (with a corner sink or window sink + blind corner).

Edited to add pic.

This post was edited by sena01 on Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 12:13

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Another with DR wall removed. No entry to hall from kitchen but with more pantry cabs around the fridge.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 12:16PM
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If you take over some space from the DR, as sena suggests, my vote is to remove the wall completely. Your DR in only 13' long as it is and it is the only eating space in your home. My DR is 14' long and when we add the leaves to sit 10, it is nearly wall to wall, with only 36" of aisle at the ends. Your DR is already a foot shorter than that and if you steal another 18", you will severely limit how many people you can seat in your DR at a time.

It may be possible to remove the wall and retain the traditional feel of your home. Houzz may be able to provide inspiration.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:10PM
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lisa and sena,
Opening up the wall to the dining room is looking like a necessary option to make the fridge/MW fit. If I do that, would it be weird to close off the door to the hallway like in sena's last layout? Do you think the flow through the kitchen would be too constricted? Access to any pantry in the hall would be difficult so I'll have to rethink the use of that space if I can't easily get to it. (we are going to redo that closet/pantry space anyway so I can always just have a bigger coat closet!).
Thanks again for all the ideas.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:00PM
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I don't think closing off that kitchen door would be odd at all, considering that the hall goes to bedrooms. It will be different for you, because you're used to having it, but I think the increased function of the u-shape, along with opening up to the dining room, will have such a positive impact that you'll wonder why you didn't do it years ago.

My kitchen is a U, open to the dining room - like yours, the only eating spot in the house. It has worked really well for us for 24 years.

You might even gain enough functional storage in your kitchen that you don't need the pantry, or use it for larger things you rarely use, or to stock up on bulk items (so there are 2 boxes of cereal in the kitchen, the rest of the case in the pantry).

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Thanks for the insight that it's totally workable for a long time annkh. Makes me feel more confident about that option.
We're just moving into this house actually so I'm not used to anything yet :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:26PM
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