Kitchen layout please help

extenny22October 10, 2012

We bought our home recently because the kitchen is larger than most home in the city. We have met with a designer and a cabinet designer but are looking for feedback. The first sketch is our current layout. The 2nd is the option we seem to like best however We would need to swap the oven and refrigerator because we cannot shrink the window at this point. The third picture is with the oven and fridge switched but it is not to scale and doesnt reflect the opening into the living room. My wife is concerned If people are sitting at the peninsula the doorway to the dining room will be blocked at least partially. The other option we are considering is Getting a built-in fridge and putting it where the new large pantry would be. We are also considering blocking the doorway up near the dining room in order to create more wall and cabinet space. Does anyone have any opinions or reccomendations? Is there another layout possibility we aren't seeing? We cant do much where the large window is (opposite the refrigerator in the current layout) because it is very low only about 29 inches off the ground. Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Photo 1

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:13PM
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Photo 2

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:14PM
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Photo 3

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Extenny, congrats on your new home. I like those big windows there and just wish they were in a more functional kitchen. They must give it a wonderful feel. I love rooms that make me glad to walk in and would do a lot to keep that.

IMO, the second drawing has the same problem as the existing kitchen. There's no place to work where there would need to be--in the "happening" area on the stove wall. I think running back and forth across the kitchen would drive you crazy and you'd end up really regretting it. At least I would. Have you lived with this kitchen long enough to see how you'd feel about that?

No. 3 would be by far the best way to go of these because it does give you a work area by the stove just close steps from the sink and refrigerator. It's not bad in that respect.

My feeling is your real best option by far, though, would be to bite the bullet and consider a more comprehensive remodel. You could always live with it for a while as it is you firm up your notions of what you need.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 7:52PM
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Thank you for your input. Is there antyhing you would reccomend if we were to do something more comprehensive? unfortunatly knowcking any walls down are out of the question as the dining room has an original built in buffet from 1929 that would need to be removed if we knowcked that wall down and doing an actaul addition isnt is our budget. we are certainly open to moving anything within the existing space.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 1:02PM
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So you have three doors leading into the kitchen and you are willing to close off the dining room doorway? I am not sure I am understanding you correctly. Where do the other two doors lead and if you did close off the DR doorway, how would those in DR get into the kitchen?

YOu state " If people are sitting at the peninsula the doorway to the dining room will be blocked at least partially." True, but it might be better than having no doorway, hard to say without seeing the whole layout of your home. Or would you consider having the penninsula without seating?

If it were me, I would try to get the fridge into the pantry area, between the two doors. It would drive me crazy to have everyone walk through the small kitchen to access fridge.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 1:38PM
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sorry for the confusion. The 3rd picture does not show the 3rd doorway which is located next to the cabinets abouve the pensula and goes to the dining room. The door next to the sink goes to the basement the one on the other side of the new pantry/fridge connects to a landing that goes to the 2nd floor. We are thinking of covering this as it is a small opening and we can acess the landing and 2nd floor via the lving room. the thought is if we cover that door we could put a cabnite depth fridge + pantry and gain valuble counter space. The following picture reflects the potential layout more accuratly. we could cover the door next to the fridge to gain cabinet space and move the oven to the opposite side. Hope this clears things up somewhat.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:04PM
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why does the larger kitchen window look bigger in this schematic than the 3-d pic you previously had up? I'd take out the wall between kitchen and dining room-create a deeper counter run to the right of the large window and wrap it around the corner into dining room a bit-on dining room side have some glass doors-a little more fancy upper cabinets...that continuous run of counter would replace the peninsula because the dining room seating will be more integral. Then in floorspace of kitchen have a mobile cart-like 2 ft by 3 or 4 ft. Do fix up the fridge wall by closing the less used passage.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:20PM
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" Unfortunatly knocking any walls down are out of the question as the dining room has an original built in buffet from 1929 that would need to be removed if we knocked that wall down and doing an actual addition isnt is our budget. we are certainly open to moving anything within the existing space. "

Instead of removing the 1929 built-in buffet, which seems overwhelming, look at it as removing the wall around the buffet first. You will be left with the buffet ready for restoration and reuse.
You need to think like this because that wall needs to come down for an open layout.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 8:14PM
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The 3d pic doesn't reflect the large window as this was created by someone at it was done by someone at a cabinet store who hasn't been to the house. Attached is a picture our dining room and built ins. I guess they are more cabinets than buffets. Would it be a mistake to remove one? If here were only one would it look weird? What I don't like is that we really wouldn't have anywhere to put it if web did remove one.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:00PM
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I'm confused about style: the 2 hutches look like something you'd see with taller ceilings and lots more molding. Your ceiling height looks average,the trim isn't really what I would call crown molding at all-so the curly tops of the hutches don't really work. The satin nickel fixture looks almost modern. Maybe give a glimpse of the whole living/dining/kitchen/ as is, and where you want to take it for style and flow.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:18PM
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A couple more things--
Sometimes it's useful to learn more about a piece of furniture, like your corner cabinets. I would consider forwarding that picture and some closeups after contact to a furniture rep at one of the auction houses for leads on history and value. See if you can also determine the wood species.
And, it would be fun to run a design exercise for an open floorplan to include the kitchen-dining area-and living room with possibly some outside access to a patio or deck. See if a casual open design would feel comfortable with your lifestyle and available space.Those cabinets might mix in with some fitted and unfitted pieces.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 10:44AM
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Ummm.. what the heck. I posted in this thread hours ago and got a submission confirmation.

It was a long post, too. Sigh. Anyway, here is the (very, very rough) layout I did for you. Clearance is tight behind the table/island and by the window it's non-existent, but I think you can get away with this in a home of your home's age. Adds to the quirky charm, you know. I might even take the island all the way up to meet the window - there was a poster here in an 1800s home that just floated her whole sink run in front of windows like yours.

Note that wherever you put cabinetry in the island, you cannot have seating in that space because there will be nowhere for that person's knees to go. She will end up sitting uncomfortably scrunched up sideways against the island, and never want to come to your parties again because all the other seats get filled and she's left at that !@#$ing island. I might be projecting a little.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 5:09PM
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thank you for everyone's feedback. It think we have decided on the layout attached. this photo doesnt reflect the stairway that goes to the basement. any feedback would be appriciated.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:04PM
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If you bought the house because it has a larger than average kitchen, why chop it up and make it seem small and constricted with so little room to work? Older homes have quirks, like windows in different sizes and too many doors in the wrong places, so they do create some challenges.

Four words of advise -- slow down, consider everything.

You are about to embark on what is for most people the single most expensive project they will ever encounter, and even if you were to gut a house, this would likely be the most expensive room. It is also the room with the most function built-in. Between cabinets, plumbing and electrical work, you get boxed into most of your choices and they are not easy or cheap to undo. There is no better place to take your time, get confused, bang your head, take some aspirin and keep working until you know you have done the best you can do. There are time pressures -- I had appliances that were threatening to leave me cooking outdoors before the demo, then a leg injury at a granite yard kept me off my feet for months and slowed us down again. Patience paid off, because we kept thinking and started looking at some out of the box options that hadn't been so obvious. We looked into a change we thought would cost too much, were pleasantly surprised and wound up better off for the delay. So don't try to solve everything in a week or two. Take some time. I promise it is worth it.

Now, about that window -- if it is wide and full length, take a look at aktillery's new island

You could do something like that and keep a more open feeling. That's the sort of thing tracie.erin is suggesting. Then the island serves as a work space that is convenient to the sink and stove as well as an informal eating area, a buffet space for entertaining and it isn't in the middle of a traffic path.

If the window is shorter or you could change the window size, that would be a great wall for your sink and prep with a U layout. You still have another outside wall for venting a range if the roof presents issues (sounds like you have a second story). Either way, you can benefit from a view (if you don't have one, create one).

The plan you are proposing would not work at all for me. It has more storage than the typical apartment galley, but less function. Only 1/4 of the space is really working working and it is cramped. All your prep, dirty dishes -- everything is in a 4 foot section between the sink and stove. That peninsula chops things up without really adding much in the way of function.

If you like the idea of opening up the kitchen and dining room, then consider all the options for your built-ins. They are part of the character of an older home, and I would want to keep them, but maybe one works. Maybe you could balance it with a corner cabinet in the kitchen that balances it out. Maybe you actually reuse the one removed somewhere in the kitchen. Maybe you could relocate it to another wall in the dining room or even in another room.

While you are at it, you need to determine whether that wall is load bearing.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 1:45PM
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