long skinny kitchen possible remodel help

nightowlrnOctober 20, 2013

Hello - Thanks to anyone in advance that has ideas. I am hoping a kitchen guru out there might have some pictures of long kitchens with a door at the end to help us envision a possible kitchen remodel.

We were thinking of building, but just toured a timber framed home we think we could live in. The issue is the current kitchen needs updating. It is 19 long x 16 wide. The basement is not finished below and a hood could go anywhere I think. Where the posts are visible cannot be changed. I hate the cooktop in the island. I don't like the frig right at the back door entrance. I would like a prep sink and a dirty sink. The are great windows we want to keep. There is a walk in pantry down the hall on the side the ovens are on, so storage isn't a problem. There is a door that leads to the back yard at the end of the picture, which we would like to keep as well. We are not opposed to just a large counter depth frig in the kitchen and putting the freezer in the pantry. Below are photos. There is a hallway parallel to the wall with the ovens that leads to a garage, and has a PR, w/d, pantry, and planning desk area.

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If you do buy this house I would live with the kitchen for six months to a year before changing. This will give you time to see how you actually use the space and what works/what doesn't in "real time" not just on paper. I don't like cooktops on the island either, but in this case I like the fact that sink to fridge to cooktop to ovens are all just a few steps away from each other...not one thing on the other side of the kitchen requiring endless treks or constantly having to go around the island to get to something.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 8:27PM
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Thanks Joanie. That is good advice and most likely what will occur. But, looking at possible plans that we like might influence our decision to purchase, which is why I am looking for photos of similar room dimensions with the back door issue.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 11:52PM
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How much do you want to change? Are you willing to start over with all new cabinets, counter tops, appliances? Do you want to just move the cooktop and fridge...and add a sink? How extensive (and expensive) do you plan to make this remodel?

As an alternative, can you move the cooktop under one of those windows...specifically the one furthest from the fridge? What is code in your area? If you could, you'd have a nice view while you cook and not be too close to the seating on the island. Maybe add a prep sink on the island...long side, facing stools/by the plant?

I'd leave the fridge, unless you plan to move it to the oven wall...and that would make your island a barrier to the fridge. What don't you like about it being by the door? Just curious...

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 1:23AM
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We could gut it all and the basement isn't finished, which would allow that. I would be willing to invest 30K or more because this would be a home for the next 25 years (god willing). But, the cabinets aren't too bad if we could work with them. All new appliances, yes. New counter tops, yes. I think the frig might be better by the door if it was counter depth. Right now, it really blocks the view when one enters - a sort of tunnel effect. I think a counter by the back door would open it up better. I understand the barrier island problem. And, a frig along the wall opposite the ovens would be a problem for the flow from the door thru the kitchen. As for code - I am guessing that is in relation to the cook top. My town follows the 2012 International Building Code. I dont know the code, but I have seen some fun vents with windows behind them, which is something to think about.

I am thinking a counter depth frig where the frig/freezer is now, and the freezer in the pantry would be a workable option. The frig certainly cannot go anywhere on the window wall.

I don't have the plans, just the dimensions. Below is how I remember the layout. I would also play with opening up the whole area. Below is the kitchen (very crude), it opens to a living area and dining area off to the side. On the wall with ovens, is an entry way to a 6x5 nook with a built-in desk, there is in this order, a 8x7 pantry (with a window), a 5 x 7 PR, and a 13x7 laundry with built in shelving. There is also a bit along the walls towards the back hall entry to the garage with hooks and a small closet that I did not put in this very simple drawing. I believe I can combine the existing pantry and the desk area easily.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 2:09AM
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Some basic thoughts:

If you can do a built in fridge long the oven wall, I think I'd consider that, even with the barrier island issue. If you can move things around and have it closer to the back door, that would minimize the problem. Then I'd consider putting the cooktop in the corner and putting a prep sink in the general area that the cooktop is now. Also, while the windows are wonderful, it seems that that expanse of counter is currently useless because it is so far out of the action. I'd put the clean-up sink under the left window with the dw at the end.

This should maintain a fairly good work triangle down at the back door end, while creating a separate clean-up zone at the end of the kitchen that I assume is closer to dining and dish clearing. The current kitchen seems really odd with all functions jammed down into a very small section of an otherwise large kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 8:35AM
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I'm probably mixing lengths and widths but, provided that beams permit, wouldn't you have enough room on the ovens wall, for (starting from the LR side) ovens, fridge and the cooktop with cabs around and still be not too close to the back door? Or ovens can be where the fridge is now.

I think, you can still vent outside with cooktop not too far from the exterior wall. On the island, you can have MW, prep sink and prep area in front of the cooktop wall and sitting across. Cleanup can be at the upper part of L plus the area in front of the first window after the corner, and on the part near the LR you can have coffee, toaster etc.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 10:57AM
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You know, a 16' x 19' kitchen is not long and skinny...that's the effect of the island. it's making the kitchen seem long and skinny, but a more squarish island (maybe with seating on two sides) or a table would change the entire space.

Do you bake a lot? Do you use the cooktop a lot? Do you wash a lot of dishes by hand? What do you want to have on the window wall and what would be better on the back wall? Do you want an island for prep or would you rather have a table? Are you tall or short? What's the best prep height for you and your family?

A few possibilities.... From Farmhouse plans From Farmhouse plans From Farmhouse plans From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

A GW member...Mermanmike's kichen... From 1920s kitchen project

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 11:54AM
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I think you know you've arrived when a 16' wide kitchen seems "skinny" :)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 1:32PM
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My goodness, that's a hyoooge kitchen. Not sure what you mean by "where the pots are visible, that cannot be changed". I notice that most of the bottom cabinets are door type and not drawers. That certainly makes the usable storage less efficient. If drawers were installed, you'd have a lot more storage and wouldn't need to keep the pots hanging above, obscuring your view.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 3:40PM
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I believe it is 'posts' since it's a timber frame home.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 5:11PM
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Agree with the comment that you have arrived when 16 feet wide is skinny. I am so familiar with cooking up problems over a place when you are not sure if it is the right house for you. I have done it more than once. But I do think this kitchen is so utterly workable, I cannot find a reason why it would be a show stopper for buying this house. I agree with the others who have said to live in it first for a while. And until then, just know this is a great space that will work well for you.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Thanks everyone. Yes - posts not pots cannot be moved. I am very fortunate indeed. No complaints. I am getting the blue prints tomorrow. I will definitely take advice and live in it if we decide to go in this direction. It certainly isn't falling apart. But, I need to know if a change is possible and to get some ideas because this would it for a long time. I have had islands, but every kitchen I have ever functioned in was more wide than long in relation to the rest of the home. If we can have kitchen options that don't include an island cooktop and can redo the master bathroom (crazy tiny shower), we may be spending our next chapter in a timber frame home. It is very sturdy and comfortable. It and the property checks off all the boxes. I have found a few kitchen examples with similar proportions and appreciate the advice here.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 8:45PM
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I'd like to see the cooktop on the oven wall, the island seating flipped to face that wall, and a prep sink on the island facing the range. I'd then also consider swapping ovens and fridge and putting the fridge at the other end of the run so it's not looming by the back door. The ovens might fit there too.

Alternatively, move fridge to ovens wall, put cooktop where fridge was, make corner sink a prep sink, and put the cleanup sink under the far double window. That would keep your island seating facing your view, but it would mean prepping in the corner and have the cooktop dangerously close to that back door.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Thanks Tracie and all. Below are the kitchen plans and include the back hall. I don't think putting the cooktop on the oven wall would work because that is a traffic way. But, a frig wouldn't be a deal breaker there despite the island barrier. The red areas are posts that cannot move.

This is another view of the home we are considering

This is the kitchen I am moving from --

Below are a few ideas I have found scouring the internets.

Traditional Kitchen by Portland Interior Designers & Decorators Jenni Leasia Design

Here is a corner cooktop idea

Traditional Kitchen by Breckenridge Architects & Designers bhh Partners Planners / Architects

Another corner cooktop

Traditional Kitchen by Woodbury Design-Build Firms Michael Lee, Inc

Another corner cooktop

Traditional Kitchen by Highland Park Interior Designers & Decorators ADS Design

Frig by the door look

Farmhouse Kitchen by Shelburne Design-Build Firms Perkins Smith Design Build

Cooktop in front of a window

Contemporary Kitchen by Victoria Photographers Leanna Rathkelly Photography

Wall ovens and frig along door wall.

Traditional Kitchen by Boston Kitchen & Bath Designers Venegas and Company

This post was edited by nightowlrn on Wed, Oct 23, 13 at 0:39

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 12:33AM
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those kitchens models are looking amazing. especially i like the kitchen set in second picture by farming house. each and every kitchen sets are unique

Here is a link that might be useful: fantasy kitchens

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 6:55AM
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robo (z6a)

beautiful home!

One idea? Is an island a barrier if the prep space is on the island?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 11:19AM
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The windows in real life don't look like they match the windows in the plans, so robo's suggestion puts the cooktop right in front of a window.

I think putting the cooktop in the corner might be your best bet.

It's a beautiful home!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 12:40PM
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I recently learned the kitchen doesn't have good flow sense because they had to change the door at the last minute. The door was originally planned and the kitchen was designed around the door being where the window over the DW is now. They couldn't put the door in when they realized the basement window box would be where it is. It is unfortunate they couldn't rethink it more. They redesigned the island but everything else remained. I am leaning toward the frig along the oven wall if we do proceed.

Thank you again for your time.

We are still on the fence. Things aren't selling fast and we are in no hurry, so we have time to make sure we are okay with buying an expensive house that needs an immediate kitchen and MB renovation. In addition, there isn't a lot of open wall space due to the many windows and timbers, so our cabinets and buffets would end up in the basement until our next move. The Gods may be telling us to keep looking or build.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 3:22AM
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One thing that jumped out at me--upthread you said "I'd be willing to invest $30K or more...". My guess is that moving appliances (and the associated plumbing/electrical) around, and the need to change cabinets and countertops to match, would very quickly push you past $30K. And, that doesn't include updating a master bath...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:02AM
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