Layout help - where to add dining and more

Mayo510October 22, 2012

Here is the basic planned layout of our kitchen:

(I didn't add uppers, but you get the idea. To the left/west of the fridge is a tall cabinet)

Here is what our kitchen still needs:

1) A true eat-in area. Not just dining in a row at an island, but a table. We do have a formal DR, and use it occasionally as such, but I don't want to have to clear the school projects and DH's work off it every night. Currently we eat at a small round table in the SW corner. I've thought about an eat-around island/counter-height table, but I wonder about the through traffic issues.

2) A "family command" center - phone, space for bulletin board/calendar, charging station, etc. It does not need to be a desk.

3) Small appliance space - maybe the microwave (lightly used in our house), a TV? - as well as some "deep storage" - canning supplies, seasonal bakeware, etc.

Would welcome all thoughts!

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tracie.erin

1) A true eat-in area. Not just dining in a row at an island, but a table. We do have a formal DR, and use it occasionally as such, but I don't want to have to clear the school projects and DH's work off it every night. Currently we eat at a small round table in the SW corner. I've thought about an eat-around island/counter-height table, but I wonder about the through traffic issues.
I would do a counter-height table, or an island-table combo. In the combo, the table part's height can be 30" (standard table) OR 36" (counter height). I find the extra counter space provided by such to be invaluable and right now you have a dance floor in the middle of the kitchen - wasted space - so why not use it?. I don't think it would infringe significantly (if at all) on traffic, but even if it did, I would find the trade off more than worth it.
Another option could be a banquette in the SW corner - I would do an L-shaped bench with a round table. Build storage such as flip tops or drawers into the bench. It would look nicer than just a table and chairs.

2) A "family command" center - phone, space for bulletin board/calendar, charging station, etc. It does not need to be a desk.
With a counter height table, I would put this in 12" deep cabinets on the West wall next to the back door, or South wall all the way to the west. You can have it be all tall cabinets (no counter, put the bulletin board etc. inside a cab door), or lowers with counters (bulletin board etc. goes on wall above), lowers/counters/uppers (bulletin board is the backsplash or goes inside an upper cab door), or some combination thereof. Clergychick did a bulletin board backsplash in her kitchen's command center - see link.
With a banquette in the corner, I would do 12" deep cabinets attached at the bottom right end of the banquette and nestle it into that little jog in the wall. It would be a smaller space though.

3) Small appliance space - maybe the microwave (lightly used in our house), a TV? - as well as some "deep storage" - canning supplies, seasonal bakeware, etc.
Microwave is usually best next to the Fridge and I recommend putting it in a shelf in an upper, but you don't seem to have room with the window there. I would put it in a shelf in an upper on the other side of the Sink or elsewhere between Sink and Range. Don't put it over the Range - get a real hood.
Toaster - on the counter next to the Fridge or in the corner.
TV - Who needs to see it, the cook or the people sitting at the island? If island sitters, wall-mounted on an arm in a cab above Fridge or on the wall between Fridge and Sink, or on the counter or in a cabinet between Sink and Range. If cook, South wall somewhere, wall mounted or in cabs, on on counter, whatever. You can also look to clergychick's kitchen for an example of putting it in a cab.
Deep Storage - is that not what the tall cabinet next to the Fridge is for? If you can't use that, I would put 12" deep tall storage on the bottom wall if you use the island/table layout. Not sure where you would put it if you use a banquette - maybe inside the banquette bench, but I don't think that would a) fit it all or b) be convenient for anything you accessed frequently.

Your Fridge seems kind of small by the way - standard Fridge size is now 36", so you may want to upgrade to that or at least leave room if your family needs it or if resale is a consideration.

Here is a link that might be useful: scroll down to see clergychick's red memo board backspash

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:26PM
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Mayo510

Thanks for the help! There is a dance floor in there! So I've got room to add the stuff I want to add, but I'm not sure on where . . . .

The island dining, I guess I just think maybe it's a little strange to be using the middle of the kitchen as an eating area? I see pictures with like farmhouse tables in the middle of the kitchen, and they just seem like there's too much going on to me. Here's a mock-up I did of it, also adding 12" deep cabinets on the west wall:

(btw: I've also moved the stove over. Centering on the wall is nice, but moving it over gives me room for a 36" base cabinet, which seems like it would be much more functional, as well as a spice/oils pull-out)

The banquette idea, something like this?

I was thinking of having another bank of full-depth base cabinets, with uppers, maybe some full-height, etc. (thanks for that link to the Clergygirl pics - I could definitely do something like that, although maybe without the desk space). 24" deep feels like it crowds a center island dining, so I've tried the table coming out of the south wall.

Other answers: TV for the diners, mostly, but we're flexible. It's really a special events kind of thing, so if the diners have to shuffle or squeeze in to see, that's okay.

The fridge we're looking at (the Whirlpool Gold that's tops in CR) is actually 33". The house is a 2BR, so it's never going to have a big family living in it.

Would love any comments on these additional ideas, thanks so much!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 2:22PM
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rosie

I'd put a table and chairs in the middle in a heartbeat, but both other pictured options would do too--the table against the wall could always be moved out to provide room for another person. You can also slice a few inches off the width of a table if you choose. I can't see that raising a table and chairs into an island would make them less obtrusive--unless you hung the stools off the island, which would look simple and be so easy care. No moving anything to clean the floors.

In any case, I wouldn't have additional full-depth cabinetry pushing into the center space, but the shallow cabinets look like a really good idea. My 12" deep floor-ceiling pantry cabinets hold almost everything, but you might be able to use wall depth behind some of them to get another 3-4 inches if you felt you needed it.

For a command center, I'd use the space between the studs in the wall near one of the doorways. Or do the same for a flat screen TV. Just set it right into the wall.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:32PM
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Mayo510

Thanks, I agree the shallow cabinets look better. Unfortunately, somewhere paging through Houzz I became enamored of an idea like this breakfast bar behind cabinets:

Traditional Kitchen design by Detroit Design-build MainStreet Design Build
I'd do shelves below - there *must* be a space for the kids' cereal on low shelves, LOL. But we could make that work in the pantry cabinet, too. Anyway, two of those type of stacks side by side could house a breakfast bar and a command center.

Anyone have any thoughts on the range position?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:41PM
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