URGENT: Kitchen Layout:afraid to as but afraid not to...

j5betchOctober 25, 2012

I posted this in gallery and wonder if that is the wrong place? I have lots of pictures there. Please help! I am supposed to sign the contract today and I can't sleep and feel uncomfortable on this...

Here is the gallery posting w/o pics. I apologize if I shouldn't have done this

I have arm wrestled with my kitchen, KD, contractor and DH for the past 5 months. This is the layout we came up with and I am happy with it. Even though it doesn't seem like it should, the kitchen has limitations due to doors/entries (5), enough said.

I would love feedback- are there any glaring problems that we may not have seen? I will post the 3D renderings one at a time- not sure how many I can throw in at a time.


This is a 45 yo kitchen that has never had ANY love. I love to bake and it is drudgery to cook in this kitchen. I would like to correct that. I am an o.k cook, but with interest I could be much better. I have made dishes DH says are restaurant quality- and he should know. We now have limited counter top (we use about 24" of current counter top 90% of time) and I would love to have storage for food. Because this is a 1967 home, it is boxy and I am hoping to open it a bit to the family room. These are the two rooms we spend most of our time in.

This kitchen is used by me and DH. I have two married children, one of whom has blessed us with one 20 mo old granddaughter (Iggy) and a soon to be grandson (Squiggy). No, that is not their real names.

We are not big entertainers, but I would like to change that some. We do have a formal DR & LR (sigh) that we don't use much, but that is due to the boxy house. Maybe I have to rethink that, too. Later.

We are planning to change the window over the sink to mimic a garden window without the problems. Our 6' sliding glass (looks like a swing door, but we vacillated and decided slider works best) door is shrinking to 5.'

We are taking down a few half walls- one is load bearing, but we are making that area into a peninsula.

I know that the layout help has more questions, but can we start with this?

Thank you all!


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I can attest to the fact that an improved layout can make a person a better and more enthusiastic cook. That's exactly what happened to us -- now we enjoy cooking and seldom eat out. And it's no longer drudgery.

You're so wise to hold off until you have the design right, and I think this current design has some serious deficiencies, the one that jumps out is the peninsula and how it (1) will put chairs into your work path when people are seated and (2) it has the ducks-in-a-row seating arrangement that, frankly, stinks to sit at. How about moving your ovens to that space and building a banquette down where the ovens are? A bench against the wall. This would put the seating out of the working part of the kitchen, and give a much better eating space. Since the sliding door is new, you could have it be a right-side opening to give space for the table and chairs.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 5:31AM
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Wow! My initial thought was that your idea wouldn't work, but you have me thinking. I can't believe that, thank you for your feedback! That would mean moving the wall ovens next to the refrigerator. Would that be too bulky together?

The reason for the peninsula is to open the kitchen to the family room. I was hoping for a cleaner, smoother flowing plan. There are only two ducks most of the time and many times we just sit in the family room to eat. Also, the "eat in" area is awkward because it is just a hair too small for a reasonable set up, it is right in front of the sliders and it is also very cold in the winter.

I could only sleep 2 hours last night. I am miserable over the current plan...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:42AM
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Don't sign the contract until you are sure.

Repost your layout on this thread. The gallery gets very little traffic.

Read the "new to kitchens" thread. You can post all your photos in one post.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:44AM
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If you can't sleep, it's a clear sign that you shouldn't do it. At the very least, you want more drawers!

I tried to repost your pictures here but it wouldn't let me. I have to run, but I will work on it when I return.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:38AM
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Thank you Kris and Debrak_2008for your feedback. I could settle down if the feedback from GW is mostly positive. Thing is my kitchen is odd. I have tried everything but busting out the exterior wall, which would make it all better.

Mpagmom: I can't post the pictures here either. I will try again.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:09AM
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"This is the layout we came up with and I am happy with it."
"I am miserable over the current plan..."

I'm confused.
Where's the plan?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:17AM
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Let's see if this works.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Second picture

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:56AM
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Third picture

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:57AM
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Overall plan

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Thank you so much Akrogirl.
Yes, Catbuilder, I am very conflicted about this plan. Part believes and the other part fears. I am spending a lot of money on this and don't want to be disappointed.

This plan will be a huge improvement over my current kitchen. I am slightly concerned about the oven placement, but the walk doesn't seem that bad because all baking/prep will be elsewhere and the baking is the final step in most cases.

I know that I am going to insist on more drawers below. Is there any reason to have anything but drawers?

I know that I am over reacting, but I need assurance that I should either go ahead or halt until Spring. Heck, all of the price increases have already occurred. :)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:07AM
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I would change the cooktop into a range since walking 18 feet from one to the other would kill my enjoyment of cooking. if you need a second oven, get one and let it anchor your baking center.

I am always puzzled by these widely separated designs. Doesn't anybody do sear roasts, or make gravy from a roasting pan or keep their pancakes warm while the finish the rest? Seems like many recipes start with turning on the oven and then begin cooking the ingredients on the stove before transferring the dish to oven to finish. A thirty-six foot round trip is waaaaaaaay too long for me!

Also I really, really, have to have my meat-roasting oven and broiler under my vent hood.

How about moving the clean up sink to where the cooktop is and range to where the sink is? Maybe throw in a prep sink near the range if you like so you can move stuff from pantry and fridge to cooking/prep area withhout backtracking to the clean-up sink for needed water. Also that would put your dishwashing area closer to your DR, saving steps on the other end of the meal.

Have you considered moving the counter and stools to where the dbl ovens are to get them out of the main area. if you consolidated all your stuff around a core, it would be more convenient.

Your gut is right; you're not ready to place the order. There is more work to be done to improve the functional layout.

First step: make a carefully measured drawing on graph paper. I can't quite match up the elevations and the plan.



    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:20AM
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Could you give us more measurements? E.g., Is it 30" + 4" b/w the "top" wall and the sliding door
The sliding door is 60" wide, correct? (Based on your description in your first post)
What's the distance b/w the window and the sliding door?
What's the width of the window?
What's the distance b/w the window and the "bottom" wall?
How wide is the wall b/w the DR/LR door and the right wall?
It looks like the DR & LR doorways are really just one big opening, is that correct?
How wide is the DR (or LR/DR) doorway?
How wide is the wall that you show the ovens on? (b/w the garage & the right wall)
What's the width of the wall that is shared with the bath?
How wide is the garage door?
How wide is the Hallway (bottom left)?
What are the various dimensions of the wall with a jog in it to the left of the garage door?
Can the wall b/w the refrigerator and the peninsula be taken down?
Can any doors be moved? Widened? Made narrower?
How often is the slider used on a day-to-day basis? When you have parties/guests?

Keep in mind the less flexible you are regarding moving/changing doorways, walls, etc., the fewer options you have. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just something to keep in mind.

[I understand you used graph paper and that 1 block = 6", but the actual measurements are more helpful since often drawings can be inaccurate - even a few inches can make a big difference in what's possible.]

If you are not comfortable & happy with the plan - I would wait until you are. At the very least, take the time to work out the various options. You may come back to this plan, but you may also come up with a very different plan that gives you an "Ah ah! That's it!" moment. That was my experience. We started in late-March/early April, thinking we would be done by late summer, but when I found this site, I decided to post here and ask for help. I ended up with a very different plan that I absolutely love! We ended up not ordering cabinets until November and started the following January - so it was summer of the following year that we finished - and it was worth every bit of the wait!

Once you're done, the wait of a few months or even a year will seem like a no-brainer in retrospect - you'll have years and years to enjoy the right plan! (Rather than living with "what ifs" or what-might-have-beens for years & years - just b/c you were impatient to start!)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Thanks Liriodendrum it does help.

I do want to reiterate that this kitchen is odd. It seems like things could placed better and then they don't work when you remeasure or something else must be considered. Its crazy.

I will call my GC and ask for his copy of the schematic.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Fori is not pleased

Don't sign. You're not ready. You've made it this long with a crummy kitchen, another week or two won't kill you. Ignore all the pressure to order order order! :)

Is it possible to squeeze the ovens next to the fridge? You'd have to use the peninsula or cooktop run as landing space (which isn't a bad compromise in an awkward kitchen).

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:58PM
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What's the point in the seating? This isn't the standard island-seating thing, you're facing a wall, not the action. What need is this filling? Desire to have a chair in the kitchen to sit on, people doing desk-stuff (surfing on a notebook, bills, etc.) in the kitchen, or what? You don't even seem to get a lot of "counter open to family room", unless that picture is lying somehow. I just see anyone trying to keep you company when you are cooking as turning that chair AROUND so they can see you--and taking up way, way more aisle-space with their legs...and not being very comfortable. But maybe that's not what it is for?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Don't sign. There are some improvements still to be made. The peninsula seating is going to be a problem. Not only do you have seats in the kitchen, in a walkway, but you are hiding valuable drawer space.

Narrow the overhang counter to be the same as the fridge (Probably standard 24" instead of an overhang) then put the wine fridge and some drawers where the chairs are now. That could become a place for serving drinks, appies, etc.

It looks like the counter is 5 1/2' long, so shorten it to 5' then make a 12" overhang at the end and put a couple of stools there for casual seating. On the kitchen side of that you would 4' for 24" wine fridge and 24" bank of drawers. Or is the wine fridge opening into the family room?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Agree with the others, don't sign until you're sure and it sounds like you're far from that. This plan may be better than what you have now, but it sounds like you're settling and that's not good enough.
Right away my eye goes to those chairs in the work area. It would drive me nuts to sit there and to work around it. Would be nice to have that extra countertop across from the sink area, but not with the chairs in the way. Can you shrink the length of the peninsula so the entry to the family room is wider and the chairs can be on that side facing the cooktop wall? I also think the ovens are too far from the cooktop. I'm with lirio for all the reasons she mentions. How about a range where the cooktop is? Must you have 2 ovens? I think moving the double ovens to allow for seating over by the sliding doors is a better choice. You say it's chilly to sit by the door. If you're investing all this $$ in a plan can it include better insulated doors or what about changing that opening to a single door? Do you gain anything with that? With this plan will the entry thru the slider be blocked when the oven is opened? Do you keep that door open much during the summer (we do) and if so when somethings in the oven will it blow those cooking smells thru your house?
Lots to think about with this tough space.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:57PM
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I'm with others, especially Kris ma, because I had the same idea looking at your plan... Move the ovens by the fridge. Unless that counter to the fridge's left has a specific purpose I'd move the fridge there and consolidate counter space to the right of the new oven spot. A round table might work over where you now have the oven if you don't want a built in or it won't work.

But I would certainly hate those chairs in the kitchen!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Thank you all for the feedback.

The wall where the peninsula is supposed to go is a load bearing wall and we went as far as we could with it. The top is going to be 43" x 60" with an 18" overhang. The drawing isn't as easy to discern on paper as in real life. The idea behind the peninsula is to tie the kitchen and family room together. It is actually my favorite part of the design.

Yes the wine cooler door is in the family room.

I have added drawers on the lower cabinets so that here are only a few that are not drawer bases.

I know that the double ovens are awkward, but I did not want the ovens to be near the refrigerator. It would have been great if they could have gone where the cooktop is, but because of mechanical issues, that couldnt happen.

I will have to mark out the placement of the chairs so I can see if I can be happy with that Configuration. Thank you for the food for thought.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 9:29PM
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I look at your plan and deja vu with part of our original kitchen plan with the double ovens on one end and the cooktop on the other. I said NO and fired the KD and started over (there were other issues)

I don't think it would be bad to have the ovens closer to the fridge as you have a wall between them. Then you could move the seating to the far end of the room or make a bulbous extension around the ovens.

I think the chairs in the main part of the kitchen will be trip hazards downstream.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 9:42PM
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Well, I guess I'm the lone person out here. I had double ovens separate from the rest of the work area and loved it.

Two things: Make sure the wall doesn't interfere with the refrigerator door opening all the way. Also, some sliding glass doors have a significant overlap between the two panels, which cuts down the width of the opening. Make sure yours opens wide enough to allow carrying things in and out.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Thanks Chibimimi,

The ovens on that end were my idea. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but my SIL agrees with everyone else. :) I will double check the slider. Thanks for the heads up.

We are rethinking the peninsula. I am hoping we can tweak it to make it better. I.e. usable on both sides.

The main problem with my kitchen is all of the points of entry- it really makes placement of things hard.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 3:18PM
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