Help me with kitchen layout

cathy725October 30, 2012

Hello all. I'm at the very beginning of a kitchen remodel. I've done a basic layout of my current kitchen using the lowes planner. I have two other images to upload, but being new, couldn't figure out how to upload three in one post.

I have a U shaped kitchen. The attached image shows the main part of the kitchen. To the right is the eat-in area which is 87.5 inches from the peninsula to the wall. The end of the peninsula to the cabinets along the wall across from the U is 42". The opening between sides of the U is 49". The entire space is 12'2" x 15'6". Complicating things are the door to the garage (Just at end of wall with range), opening to dining room on wall across from U (opening lines up with table side of peninsula if that makes sense).

So I've seen other kitchens in my configuration renovated. One put their sink in the corner (between windows). One removed peninsula and inserted an island parallel with windows but with a curved end in the eating area to provide seating for 4 (think of a giant comma). I think we want to stick to a separate table since my husband is a tinkerer and I'd rather he potentially damage a table that can be replaced than the granite (think epoxy, soldering, miscellaneous pounding, etc).

I dislike having the dishwasher in the corner since I have to reach across it to put away dishes in the wall cabinets. I want to move it to the peninsula, which I think will force me toward a corner sink so I don't have to turn 180 degrees from sink to load dishwasher?

Anyway--looking for any and all suggestions. On the wall opposite the U is a 24"x24" pantry in corner (which I hate)then my french door fridge (which I love) and a counter with wall cabinets (where we kept the microwave before the built-in one). I don't care for the over stover microwave either, and hope to put it on a shelf at a better height for me (lower than over stove, counter height or higher).

So have I totally confused everyone??? Anyway, I'm looking for any and all helpful suggestions. Thanks!

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Here's a second image showing garage door, pantry (I had to show it as a cabinet, but it is actually a built-in with a door).

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Here's the picture of the eat-in area. Please note that the back side of the peninsula is actually 7.5" from back of peninsula to edge of window frame.

One suggestion has us arcing out the countertop into the eat-in area to add some stools. I'm not sure whether this would still allow enough room for the table and 4 chairs.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 5:27PM
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I recently redrew a kitchen just like this for a project my dh was working on...The only difference was that the plan called for uppers over the peninsula, which would've really closed things off.

I did it awhile back and wrote a blog post on it, so I'll link that. (I was a little rough on the plan design, so I hope that doesn't offend you.) I was worried about how tight the dw was with the range, so put it to the right of the sink, opened the peninsula end and inserted a narrow island. Not optimum for all, as the island is a tiny bit of a barrier between fridge and sink, the new layout subtracted any chance of peninsula seating, but that would've made the dining area in the plan we were given too tight anyway. Anyway, just an idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blog post with plan changes for similar layout

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 11:42PM
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Thanks rhome! Your first drawing on the blog is one of the suggestions we received--with the bar area on the peninsula. I too wondered how much it would infringe on the eat in area, but we do have a very narrow kitchen table. Currently in that space we have our table with a bakers rack on the blank wall across from the peninsula. It's tight, but works, so I think we would be OK with the eat-in area added to the peninsula.

How wide was your narrow island? One neighbor did add an island and added a round area on the end toward the eating area which she uses instead of a table. I like both your options. Still not sure of that dishwasher placement in the first option--leaning toward a corner sink with dishwasher in peninsula (not in corner). That would take away one of the blind corners in the kitchen. Hubby doesn't like the idea(he likes the sink in front of the window), but I guess we will see.

Thanks again for the great response. I wish your husband and his kids lived around here!!! What a great opportunity for those kids.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Your kitchen is configured almost exactly like mine, and it's almost the same size. Mine's 12 by 16. I think I may have more space on my refrigerator run than you do. Currently, my sink is on the peninsula, along with the dishwasher. I like having the sink face the table. Is there room to put the sink on the peninsula with the dishwasher to its right? Then you could prep on the run under the window where the sink is now.

My KD drew up a plan with an island, but it seemed as though 12 feet isn't wide enough for an island, especially when the main traffic flow through the house goes on one side of it. Of course, you have two more inches than I do, and every inch counts!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:41AM
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If I remember right, we kept the top of the island to 24". I think the cabinets were 20".

When you consider the corner sink, depending on the style, you might need a small cabinet (15" or so) between it and the dw, so the door doesn't open into your standing-at-the-sink space.

Something else to consider, perhaps that could be a compromise for you and your dh: When I was a teen (and my parents continued to live there many, many years after) our kitchen had the sink under the window, with the dw in the peninsula. From sink to dishwasher it went sink, bank of drawers, corner cabinet, dw. It was a simple turn, and when open to load, the dishwasher racks were right next to the person at the sink, so not a lot of dripping across the floor.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 1:46PM
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the sore spot in the design is the wall cabinets flanking the sink window in my opinion. In this size space, loading the area around and between the windows creates a boxed in heavy look. the problem mentionned, for which no solution has come forth, is the disliked pantry in the corner.There are options: fix the pantry's shortcomings and keep it, keep that location for something like upper and lower cabs with counter landing installed. Completely gut the pantry, move the fridge over a bit and then with some more inches to the left of fridge have maximal wall storage with the counter and cabs below. If you skootch the fridge to the right a bit and have even more cab space to the left,and some cab to the right of fridge that you like[or get a newer, smaller, better fridge for your kitchen] something like shallower depth or open cabs or no cabs/just shelves /can replace the set up around the windows giving a more open, enjoyable feeling. I like the open plan with small island,if it works for you, but would want a different feel around the windows.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:04AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Here's what we are thinking (again, nothing is designed, so everything is up for suggestion)
Remove the pantry and move the fridge to the left (when facing fridge) then have cabinet pantry between fridge and garage door. The reason to move fridge toward left is because right now if you open the garage door and the fridge door--they collide. It's a difficult corner no matter what we do.
We don't have enough room to have the sink under the window then a bank of drawers on window wall. Sink sits in a position where it is just before the cabinet corner. There is the sink cabinet then the corner blind cabinet (With entry doors on reverse side of peninsula. I think we could work it with the corner sink, a narrow cabinet then the dishwasher and maybe a trash cabinet on the end?

Removing the cabinet between the windows is something to really think about. It would open the area up more, and if we did put the sink in the corner, it would feel more open. Any suggestions of something we could put there or leave it completely open?

I will be gaining storage because we currently have a soffit above the wall cabinets which we will remove to put in taller cabinets. If we put in corner cabinet over the current dishwasher it will really provide the needed storage for cups that are currently stored in the cabinet between the windows. Currently the wall cabinet over dishwasher is a blind cabinet, so anything stored back there is just filling space most of the time (probably stuff I will get rid of when I discover what I have back there)! :)

I'll take photos of the actual kitchen and post--believe me we need a renovation!

Continued ideas are appreciated. I talked to another neighbor who has a small island, so I'm going to see it this weekend.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:29AM
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rhome, your island layout was exactly what one kitchen designer has suggested. I'm liking the idea, but still keeping my options open for other ideas. Thought you'd like to know!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 7:42PM
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