Kitchen Layout - We're opening it up

new_2_njOctober 18, 2012

Hi! A while ago, I was trying to decide whether to open our kitchen up. After putting the project on hold and regrouping, we decided to go for it. Once our architect suggested flipping the LR and the DR, the concept just came together. We moved the furniture around last weekend and we really, really like it, so I don�t think that we�re going to change that part of the plan. We�re also moving the slider from the kitchen to the new LR. This will allow us to make use of the back wall in the kitchen gaining much needed counter space and eliminating a traffic pattern from the kitchen.

The biggest issues in our current kitchen are a severe lack of counter space and multiple traffic patterns through the kitchen (there is a door/entryway on each wall). I think the new layout addresses these issues.

The plan is the pricing set, so please excuse all the lines and the lack of clarity of the cabinets. We�re still trying to decide exactly what we need/where it should go and that�s why I need your help! The plan starts with a 42" fridge (we�ll probably get a 36"), a cabinet (drawers), 30" range, corner lazy susan (I think I want to replace this with a bank of drawers set on the diagonal in the corner), wrapping to a double trash pullout, sink, DW, and full height pantry. The island is 4� x 6�. It consists of seating for 3 and a TBD configuration of cabinet drawers. At the bottom of the kitchen is a breakfast buffet. This will be two 12" full height pullout pantries (one will likely become a broom closet) flanking a 3� run of counter. This will be where the coffee maker and toaster live, as well as MW/speedoven (undercounter or upper shelf is to be determined). This will allow the preparation of breakfasts consisting of cereal, oatmeal (water from fridge), fruit, yogurt, etc without moving into the "cooking" part of the kitchen.

We are a family of four (two boys 2 and 5, but they will be closer to 3 and 6 when this is done). We both cook (although my DH cooks more frequently and better than I do). Currently the kitchen can barely contain one cook, and certainly does not hold two. I like to bake, but I really don�t enjoy it with the lack of counter space. We like to entertain, but it�s usually fairly casual. We have a pool, so when people come over in the summer, there�s a lot of coming in and out. I�d like the kitchen to be the center of all the action. I like the idea of the kids doing homework at the island while dinner is being prepared and everyone just hanging out in general. I really don�t like to cook by myself!

Thanks for reading this long post. All suggestions and comments will be considered and appreciated. I�m so excited for this kitchen, I could explode!

Proposed Layout

Existing Layout

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Drat! Proposed layout doesn't display for me!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 7:09AM
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Oops! I don't know what happened.

Proposed Layout

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 7:20AM
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I like the proposed plan, new_2_nj. Could you share the dimensions of the rooms wtih us? Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:23AM
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I like the proposed plan, new_2_nj. Could you share the dimensions of the rooms wtih us? Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:25AM
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The back wall is 21' 3" and the "kitchen" portion of that (up to where the cabinets end) is 12'. The slider in the new LR is 6' and the window bank above the sink is also 6'.

The refrigerator wall is 13' and the opposite wall is 16'. The breakfast bar wall is 6'.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Do you also have a family room? Or is your combo kitchen / LR as proposed your only living space? Do you use your DR enough to warrant the large space your propose to allocate to dining?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:11AM
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Yes, we have a separate family room and a full finished basement/playroom. The family room is down the stairs next to the refrigerator. It's a split level, so it's only five or six stairs down. The family room is on the ground level, so the back slider goes straight out to the backyard and the slider in the new LR goes out to a deck that has stairs going to the ground level. In the summer, when people coming and going from the pool, they sometimes come into the family room and up the stairs into the kitchen or up the deck stairs and into the kitchen now/new LR in new plan.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I'll be excited to watch your progress, nj. I have a split-level that I have been thinking of opening up, too. Keep us updated!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:14PM
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I really like this plan. When we were looking for a house to buy in Florida, we saw a lot of homes that had the dining room at the front of the house and it was very nice because you were able to have a good size kitchen /living room combo at the back of the house.

If you can fit a 42" refrigerator you should get it. Counter-depth refrigerators are fantastic and LG makes one that is as big a a regular depth refrigerator but if you can go bigger that would be great. My advice would be to upgrade on the appliances and whittle down your cookware and bakeware to exactly what you need and use so that you can save as much cabinet space as possible. Put the stuff you don't use in a cabinet in the garage if you can't bear to get rid of it.

I think it's going to be beautiful and I am very excited for you.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 4:40PM
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