Finalizing Kitchen Layout

KitNoviceSeptember 21, 2012

Any thoughts on this kitchen layout? I have about 3 weeks to finalize the basic layout.

A few quick facts:

We're mostly a 1 cook kitchen, except around holidays.

I'm more of a cook than a baker.

There are five of us and we keep a lot of pantry food items.

My husband and I both have large families that are by about 2-3 times per week.

The wall oven won't be used everyday, it's more when our families are over.

The fridge will be a full depth fridge and it's on the corner to make it hopefully less obvious. It will be in deeper cabinetry.

Thanks in advance for all of your help and experience!

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Your layout is similar to ours in that there is a lot of floor space. But as I've learned by living in our "new" house just over a year: open space does not spell functional kitchen. In all sincerity I had a galley kitchen years ago that was far more functional than my current one.

I'm in the process of laying out on paper the "vision" I've had in my head -- with work to begin mid to late October, God willing. (My husband is a master craftsman and we'll be DIY-ing it -- hopefully w/ help of two grown sons -- fingers crossed)

This will be the third kitchen hubby and I have designed, built, and installed together -- likely our last, too, as we are in our early 50's and hubby says the next time he moves it will be to a pine box six feet under. LOL.

All of that said... Here's what I'd do if I had your considerations.

1.) Leave fridge where it is because your kids and guests need access to it as much as you, the cook, does. (Not the case with every kitchen -- but in your case, I believe it is.)

2.) Take advantage of your floor space and enlarge your island so as to incorporate stove top within it.

3.) Turn the island so that people sitting at it are facing the wall where you currently have your range. This will create a feng shui atmosphere where the folks sitting at the island can interact with the cook without getting in the way. It will also create the illusion of separate space while maintaining the open-space feel of your entire area.

4.) Heighten the side where people sit so as to create a "cafe counter" effect and keep them from getting splattered.

5.) Move wall oven to where you currently have your range top planned.

6.) Enlarge pantry cabinet where wall oven currently is planned and/or add utility/broom closet.

7.) Add bench on side of cabinet to the right of sliding doors for shoe on/off purposes.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:59PM
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Actually...scratch #7 suggestion and instead put bench on angled wall to left of sliding doors as you enter from outside.

Also..a few more considerations...

Your contractor is not going to like "change of plans" with the island. Too bad. If you like the idea and insist on stovetop island, he will likely say he has to put in a floor exhaust system which you will want to avoid. (Trust me on that.) Instead...go with an exhaust system immediately over the stove top.

You might also consider a simple one-strip stainless steel pot holder above the cook station for easy access.

I think I would like the chop station on the left side of the island (sink side) and my stove stop to the right of it instead of "centering" the stove top. I might also have them install a pull-out garbage can right underneath the chop station.

Lastly -- I'd have another garbage station on the "guest" side of your kitchen so as to eliminate traffic in the cook's area as much as possible -- maybe you could incorporate that on the wall adjacent to staircase.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Not sure you've given enough room at the island for 3 people to sit. I think 24" each is minimum suggested but more is better. You'd have plenty for 2 chairs, though.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:33AM
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you've drawn a 2 foot wide ref.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:17AM
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Mamiam - So more like this? I plan on using a full range (probably Electrolux gas slide in), not just a cooktop - does that make sense to put in the island? I've been wanting to add that full second (wall) oven for when we have family over.

bmorepanic - whoops! That's what I get for drawing the plan so late last night!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:12AM
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that is an unsafe kitchen as drawn (number 2). You need spaces next to your cooktop; both sides. Your island is not big enough to have a stove. I cooked french toast for breastfast this morning. Where will you put the bowl of egg batter and sliced bread on your current drawing? You will be forced to work from one side only. In your large kitchen, this would be a terrible mistake. The rest of the island is crowded and useless. You can't even eat there.

No one will use the countertop next to the pantry. That will become the drop zone with junk.

The countertop next to the oven is also useless since it is too small to be useful.

Essentially, you have cut up your kitchen into small little chunks that are not very useful individually. Please have the forum provide advice and give you multiple floor plan options. I do not have a good software to help you.

The second option is unsafe. Your first option was much better.

I know nothing about Feng Shui. How you seat the island is up to you. I prefer to sit at the island and look out the window while eating. That is my preference. By the time I am eating, the cook is done cooking. We eat on the island every day. (My island is about 8 ft long) You can organize the seating so that people are seated toward N and W sides of the island; which will give you the best of both worlds.

I prefer one level island over two levels. Mamiam and I disagree on this but I have lived with one level island for two decades. This is one of my favorite part of my kitchen. I also do not like having stovetop on the island because I want a powerful extractor to pull out the smoke and grease. I cook stinky smokey stuff. If you don't cook much, stove on the island could be a good option. Many high capacity hoods do not look so good in an open home design by ostructin the view, which is what you have. Downdrafts are terrible. Again, I would nix the stove on the island for that reason.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Add an undercounter refrigerator drawer unit facing the family room. It will keep traffic out of the cooking and prepping area. It can go either, as it now stands, on the end of the sink run or the pantry run, but, again, facing the family room. This little fridge will save your life. For soda, yogurts, fruit, milk, produce overflow, a quick wine chill.

Expensive handware and cabinetry, but a pull out pantry will save lots of space and give you easy access to groceries. Not a great idea for kids to use as it seems like they could wreck it, but would be useful for stuff the kids won't seek out.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 5:40PM
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kaismom - I'm hoping for advice - I'm open to any and all changes! I was thinking of setting up the countertop next to the pantry cabinet as a soda/beer/wine area for when we have people over so they don't have to go through the kitchen to get a drink (similar to what westsider40 described). Also, if I keep the wall oven over there, I figured it would be an extra landing spot for things coming out of the microwave and/or wall oven. How do you think the space would be better utilized?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 7:56PM
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The initial layout is much more functional that the completely dysfunctional second one. Island cooking needs at least 8 feet minimum to be able to prep beside it and most kitchens do not have that. Instead, put a prep sink on the island and be realistic about how many it will seat and that will work pretty darn well. The only other suggestion would be to move the pantry on the far wall down all the way to the left and move the wall oven all the way to the right. Drop the counter in between the two for a baking counter.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 8:08PM
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I also moved the sink down to give you a secondary prep zone between the cleanup sink and the cooktop as well as moved the tall cabinets down to give you a clearer passageway from the mudroom.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 8:24PM
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I like LWO's kitchen design. I would not put a small countertop between the pantry and wall oven, if it was my kitchen. I would have put in a solid wall of cabinets and oven on that wall and remove the uppers on the sink wall. I also prefer the esthetics of solid wall of cabinets rather than cut up with a tiny counter space.

Then I would put a HUGE window on that sink wall to flood the house/kitchen with light. What do you see out that window? If you have nice backyard or any other nice view, this is the direction I would go. On the other hand, if you live in an area where the heat gain becomes a big issue and the window faces S or W, then I probably will not add larger window on that wall. How is the natural light captured in the house? Are you satisfied with it?

Lay out the furniture in the family room and draw them in. You may be able to extend the island slightly more depending on how you use the family room. It looks like a lot of dead space in front of the slider to me.

Design is a balance of function and esthetics. Removing upper cabinets decreases function since you will lose the storage where you need it. However, the added benefit of having a huge amount of light maybe a worthwhile trade off. Only you know if the trade off is worth it or not (this is where you have to also look at heat gain, glare etc as well)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:05PM
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