Layout of our kitchen? Will it work?

samjalOctober 14, 2013

I'm really unsure about the layout of our kitchen. Will it work well? Any suggestions to move anything around? My mom really does not want anything in the island AT ALL except for cabinets. It was a struggle to put that vegetable sink at the end lol.

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Hello, Samjal. Is this a multi-cook household? You won't love me for this, but with the sink a quick step from the island, not to mention that excellent work counter between stove and sink, a prep sink in the island becomes one of those things one main cook might want but wouldn't normally have to have. It'd be a place to rinse lettuce without the eyes being offended by a pot soaking to the side or risk of cross-contamination. That's a big thing for some. Is it for you?

The prep sink would be quite nice, even necessary for efficiency, however, if anyone is planning to work regularly at that space between stove and refrigerator. It would create a complete, and very nice, work triangle down there.

You could always put the rough plumbing in but wait to actually install the sink. That's what we did, and the sink's still sitting in a box in the basement. (One-cook kitchen here.)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 8:45AM
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A few suggestions:

Re Kitchen: The bow on the island, while slightly remedying the undesireable "lunch counter effect" may make it impossible to reach the center of it to wipe it down. Four feet and a few inches is about as wide as most people can reach from either side.

The island is so over-sized, it may be too large.

That said, it doesn't form a barrier island for kitchen function because the food prep work area is all on one side. However is does form a barrier island for those meals served in the DR, especially for any step after plating, including clean up. All the dishes coming back to be washed will have to go around the island to reach the DW. Likewise plated food has a hike around it to get to the table.

I'm not a fan of separating the ovens so far from the cooking surface as I often (nearly every meal) cook stuff that uses both appliances for the dish and schleppingg hot pans back and forth is a pain. I also use my ovens as a warm holding zone for stuff cooked on the range.

You might find that swapping the fridge and the D/O stack keeps snack-grazers lurking in the hearth room out of the work zone. (While also moving the D/O closer to the cooktop.)

I'd make sure the prep sink wasn't butt-to-butt opposite the cooktop, as well. Stagger the prep sink and the cooktop, if you possibly can.

The position of the admirably- large pantry would be a non-starter for me. I would refuse to have any pantry that didn't open directly into the kitchen. I'd sacrifice some size in the pantry to get it closer.

Overall, I think the kitchen could be improved by making it smaller and more compact, even in the context of what must be a very large house. It seems as if the work zones have just been stretched out to fit the space. Could you, for instance, accomplish the eat-in-a-kitchen effect w/o having that element drive the overall scale of the kitchen layout as much?

Also you have proposed very stylized, grand elements (barrel ceiling, elegent staircase), but you have no visual barriers (or not much anyway) between these elements and the more prosaic ones of a kitchen. Somehow having a DW and sink faucet in the same decorative space your staircase seems a waste of potential.
These days design trends seem to have moved public spaces into service zones, but I think in the long run we may get tired of that.

I would sggest that isolatiing your diining room more would be a satisfactory change.

I think there are more (unshown) rooms on the right side of the drawing, right? Living room, or sitting room at least. ? But these spaces also seem to be open to the dining hall, which in turn is open to the huge kitchen which is in turn open to the large hearth room. An undivided space this large, while very 2013, may be so warehoused-sized that it loses its sense of privacy, transition, and may also be very noisy. Open plans can work well in small spaces, but once a certain scale is achieved, they can feel too large for human-scaled comfort.

You know that famous Michaelangelo drawing with a human form, with arms spread wide in a circle? It comes to mind when I think about how big is too big. I'm not suggesting every thing has to be within arm's reach, but rather that good design takes its scale from size of the inhabitants. Even in Buckingham Palace-sized rooms, the furniture clusters are arranged on the same proportions/scale as they might be in a regular house. Rooms may just have more clusters, and of course, the rooms have walls and doors to define their spaces. In some way, i think the larger the space, the more it demands definite the boundaries of walls and doors to be successful. Otherwise, the airplane hangar, granted a well-decorated one, look creeps in.



    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Too big to be efficient, but not enough "stations" to serve a multi cook household. Does the hearth room serve as a family room? I don't see a place for a TV in it. Is the dining room the main eating spot? No casual eating spot other than the birds on a wire island? Will that circular stair pass code? The winders look too small at the narrow ends.

This is designed to impress. Not to work in or be comfortable in.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Could the pantry and U-shaped stairs switch places? Then it could open directly to the kitchen without a hall in between.

It looks like a lovely house!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Might be easier to swap the pantry and laundry. Plus less likely any noise from the machines would travel into the living space.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:05PM
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I agree that swapping the pantry and laundry is a good idea.

It might be better if mudroom had a door imo.

If I read the dimensions right you'd have 10' 1" on the short side of L, in case the entry could be moved to the right. That would enable you to move the wall ovens to the left of the fridge bringing all cooking close to each other .

For the island, maybe a 5' 3" x 10' one can be considered.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 9:40PM
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