Another redesign: Is this kitchen more functional?

Alex HouseSeptember 24, 2012

Hi again, I'm surfacing from my lair with a redesign of the kitchen that I wasn't too happy with the last time we talked.

Here's the new version:

I'm sad to report that one member (at least) here is still likely to get the heeby-jeebies from the orientation of the kitchen but as I've thought about it, I really like it because it feels less boxy (though it's still a box if you reorient it 45 degrees) because this orientation affords me a larger width at the entrance and the island provides a visual, as well as traffic, break.

Here's what I like:

1.) Traffic to banquette bypasses work triangle;

2.) Open space next to door + banquette - I just like the feel of that volume of space.

3.) I addressed the observation that there was too little workspace between the range and the sink.

4.) The raised DW had to go.

5.) Now there is adequate counter space on both sides of the sink.

6.) The prep sink is moved to the baking zone and I'm thinking that it might be useful to have adjacent to the banquette.

7.) The counter depth at the prep sink is 34" which allows me to have room for an appliance garage alongside that wall.

8.) I have 3 very deep (70") drawers, two under the banquette seating and one that runs under the prep sink, then underneath the full height cabinet nestled to the right of the banquette. Does anyone have anything like this, this deep, in their kitchens?

9.) I've surprisingly found myself with a small pantry that I didn't plan on having.

10.) I've moved by bulk storage of potatoes and such to the wall adjacent to the fridge where I can run a small ventilation system through the outside wall if I get really ambitious in my tinkering. You know where I got this idea? I watched the video of the 1950 kitchen someone put up here and they had these bins that recessed into the wall right near the sink. That got me thinking. I had a closet on the backside of that wall, so why not recess some drawers above the countertop into that wall, super-insulate that closet and run it at a cooler temperature than the rest of the house. I still have some more calculatin' to do on this scheme, measuring the pros vs. cons, but I'm putting it out there for fresh eyes to give it a look-see.

So, I open the plan for comments. Does the kitchen look functional, does it improve functionality compared to the previous version? Do you see room for improvement?

For comparison, here's the old version:

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deedles

It seems much airier and less clutter-ey than the old one. I'm not the greatest layout person BUT I'm glad to see that DW away from the dinette area! I remember that bothered me. Your potato bin idea sounds neat, too.

I'm sure you'll be getting a bunch of comments and ideas but it just seems like there is more room to breathe with this one.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:58PM
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herbflavor

could you show multiple views of the area to the right of banquette [prep/34 in depth/appliance garage/microwave]...why is the 6-6 passage so wide and then a serpentine narrower shift off to the right when coming thru to back door....it seems counter intuitive...how about decreasing the 6-6 and widen the 3-6 path by changing the cut angle on the prep zone..longer and straighter to the right of prep sink and a deeper angle cut out from that which will give you a little recess out of the walk to really use this....the 6-6 could end up say 54inches or so. is this a peninsula-with no wall on the backside? that means you can adjust it any way, I would presume...all I see is an exercise bike there....the other walls look good...is the island exactly how you desire because the grab and pivot I think is how you'll function off the other 2 runs-make sure the island is best it can be.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:01AM
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Sophie Wheeler

It's more functional for sure. It's still not enough aisle clearance to the right of the island and banquette, as that's a traffic route through the door. And the sink doesn't really have enough straight run counter space to the side. You need to move the sink and window down to the left to get at least 24" of straight run space to put the DW on the other side or you will be constantly banging your hips against that corner and your prep will be interfering with the cleanup. I'd also put the prep sink on the island, and eliminate most of that angled peninsula to the right. It's "pretty" but dysfunctional and is causing traffic blockage and not adding any real function to your work zones. The prep sink on the corner of the island with a MW under the counter will give you a snack zone separate from the cooking zone, and the main cook can have a choice of water sources to use for the main cooking prep.

70" deep drawers will need at least a 60" aisle space in order for you to pull them out. You don't have that, or anywhere close to that. As I already mentioned, your aisles next to the banquette are too small for traffic, but they are completely unworkable if you want drawers that large. And I don't know of any maker that does drawer slides that large. If you want storage under the banquette, then use a smaller drawer to pull into the aisle, and then use a flip top hinged section under the seating area.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:09AM
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decolisa

I don't have 70" deep drawers in my kitchen, but I do have dawers 63" deep in my bedroom. (15" wide and 13" tall) They have heavy-duty glides, and my contractor warned me not to overload them. I think they have a weight limit of about 150 lbs.

I've found the drawers are easy for me to pull out, but be aware that in a kitchen you probably store heavier items than in a bedroom. Your contractor should have a recommendation about the storage capacity and weight.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:22AM
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lavender_lass

This is by far, my favorite plan for your kitchen! It is a lot more open and the work area is very nice. I like the prep sink close to the banquette, as well as the microwave...but still easy to access the fridge without going through your main work area. Great plan :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Alex House

Deedles, thanks for the encouraging words.

Herbflavor,

could you show multiple views of the area to the right of banquette

Will this suffice?

how about decreasing the 6-6 and widen the 3-6 path by changing the cut angle on the prep zone..longer and straighter to the right of prep sink

If I make the counter longer and straighter, then I increase the dead space behind the wall, adjacent to the banquette. Also, I'd be pushing the peninsula further outside the informal boundaries of the kitchen and into the hall and dining room space.

Hollysprings,

It's still not enough aisle clearance to the right of the island and banquette, as that's a traffic route through the door.

That door will see little traffic as it leads to a sunroom. The door to the rear sundeck and the rear patio is through the mudroom which is behind the fridge. If I want to grab an orange or lemon for my cooking, then I'll go out the kitchen door and pick one, but other than that the sunroom is not going to be a destination.

I should mention that this is a one-person household, possibly with an elderly parent at sometime in the future. The only traffic flow I have to worry about is that of guests.

You need to move the sink and window down to the left to get at least 24" of straight run space to put the DW on the other side or you will be constantly banging your hips against that corner and your prep will be interfering with the cleanup.

I measured from sink lip to the wall where the upper cabinet (to the left of the sunroom door) ends and I have a straight run of 23". As you can see there is a 6" dishtowel cabinet to the right of the sink and there is no way that I can imagine my hips growing to the size where I'll be washing dishes and simultaneously banging my hips against the angled counter. My body flares out at the shoulders, so south of the shoulders I'm not worrying about wide hips. :)

As for prep interfering with clean-up, I don't understand what you're seeing as the obstacle. To the right of the sink are 3 undercounter spaces, the narrow 6" cabinet, the volume in the undercounter triangle and then a 26" wide, 30" deep cabinet. This translates to a lot of counterspace on which I can stack dirty pots while simultaneously using the counterspace between the sink and the range.

If I moved the sink to the left I'd be creating more dirty pot storage countertop space and sacrificing the primary prep zone between the cooking area and the sink.

I can understand the need to sacrifice in order to achieve optimum balancing between work activities but I'm not understanding your point about why you think that the planned counterspace to the right of the sink is inadequate for clean-up. Would you fill in the blanks for me?

I'd also put the prep sink on the island, and eliminate most of that angled peninsula to the right.

The peninsula is the baking zone and I do a lot of baking. The cabinets there support that activity. Right outside the kitchen entrance is a wood-fired bake oven, so the bake zone is just a few steps away from that oven as well as the range oven. As you can see by comparing the before and after I moved the prep sink from the island to be closer to the peninsula. I felt that the island had the main sink close by and if I was cutting at the island I'd have to take a couple of steps to get to the short side of the island to use the prep sink when it was there or I could simply turn my body and take the exact same number of steps and use the main sink. Moving the prep sink to be closer to baking activities provided an enhancement to the efficiency of the baking activity by eliminating the need to walk to the island to use the prep sink for now it is to my immediate left. Secondly, it's not directly in the peninsula so I can keep my unbroken wide expanse of countertop. Thirdly, it's right next to the banquette so if an immediate need for water ever develops it's right behind someone's back.

It's "pretty" but dysfunctional and is causing traffic blockage and not adding any real function to your work zones.

You have the dysfunctional part right on the money but from an aspect that you might only be guessing it - it sticks into the dining room space and I'm grappling with a way to integrate the peninsula aesthetically. The actual function of the peninsula is quite high from how I'll be using the kitchen and as noted the traffic flow is a non-starter for a one person household. However, I did keep my eye on the needs of a future owner where there might be two cooks in the kitchen at the same time. The cook at the range, centered in front of the range, is offset from a helper who is centered on the island. They're close to each other but not bumping into each other. Same with clean-up. The only scenario I can foresee where aisle width becomes an issue is if there is a cook at the range, someone else at the peninsula and now both aisles to the sunroom or banquette are occupied and the person wanting to get to the other side has to choose which aisle to take. This scenario is pretty far down the priority list - prepping would be done more conveniently near the main sink or on the island than near the baking zone and if done there then the aisle would remain clear.

If you all are seeing something that is not obvious to me, which is quite possible, then perhaps the solution is to narrow the island and thus buy increased aisle width there. This solution at least restricts the downstream effects to within the kitchen space instead of spilling over into the hall and dining room spaces.

the main cook can have a choice of water sources to use for the main cooking prep.

There is a pot-filler by the range.

70" deep drawers will need at least a 60" aisle space in order for you to pull them out. You don't have that, or anywhere close to that.

The 70" drawers are not a design must-have, rather they're an artifact of the design. I have that dead volume underneath the banquette and in the cabinet right next to the banquette, so this is my attempt to access that volume.

Obviously the depth of the drawers is going to be limited by the width of the aisle that they open into but I could also link the drawers like train cars in order to access the full depth. Simply pop out a drawer and then pull the deeper box into the now empty aisle. Not really practical for day to day use but if I can find something to store in the deep recess that I only need to access once a year or once every few years, then lifting the first drawer box out of the way in order to access the deeper drawer box is an OK solution. The alternative is to just make that dead space that I can never access. As already noted, this feature developed in response to dead space and wasn't a planned requirement, so a kitchen redesign in order to make these 70" deep drawers work to full capacity is simply not worth the effort. I could, as you can see, shrink the island in order to get a clear path into which the drawers could open their full 60"+ but the trade-off of accessing such deep storage only once in a blue moon versus losing island storage + counterspace which I would use far more frequently is a bad trade.

decolisa,

That's definitely something to keep in mind. I don't really know what I'd put into those drawers, but I have found that every drawer space in every kitchen I've owned has managed to be filled with something or other.

lavender lass,

It's pretty amazing that you remember all of my previous attempts at design. Thanks for the thumbs up.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:11PM
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a2gemini

Alexhouse- I like it much better also. I found your generator bike hiding - at first I thought it disappeared. Thanks for the reminder about the wood fired oven as I was hunting for an oven in the bake zone.
No plan will be perfect for everyone on GW as you already know.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:19AM
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herbflavor

the "baking" area could transform into display and snack area in a future life-that's a good thing. Regarding the placement of the sink-when I bake the sifted flour/chopped fruit/nuts/spices/grated everything /dirty measuring devices/spatulas/bowls are flying and then go for a dump in/near the sink after use.I would be wiping crumbs and pulling stuff off the banquette and cushion-ick factor-...I'd place the sink in one of the other 2 positions,get it away from the banquette back....or shrink the banquette and grow some counter left of sink.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:42AM
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springroz

Is the dishwasher door not going to slam into the banquette when opened?

Make sure you have enough support under that countertop by the banquette, because it looks like you have to stand on the counter to get into it, to me.

I like the overall layout, and think the quirky angles are fun, although I had them in my previous house and did not care for it.

Nancy

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:56AM
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