1926 Galley Kitchen Help

nan-nanOctober 8, 2012


Former lurker in need of some help! We are in the process of renovating a 1926 craftsman style home that had been converted to a duplex in the 50's. The main floor apartment contains the former living room at the front, dining room at the back, kitchen to the side of the dining room, and bathroom in a former mudroom behind the kitchen.

The dilemna I have is that the kitchen is quite difficult to lay out well. At the back wall is the door to the bathroom and then beside that door is the only window to the outside. There is no other wall space on that back wall, as it is quite narrow (7'10").

At the opposite end is the basement doorway and the hallway doorway (centre hall leading to front door). There is also a door along one side for the dining room (which is being used as the bedroom. We are not sure if it is best to close that off and have the bedroom accessed through the living room, or close off the living room access and have the bedroom accessed through the kitchen). So, in all, 5 openings in the walls in a space that is only 7'10 wide by 13 '3 long.

I am stumped as to where I can put an eat-in table. I was hoping to do so at the window end, but the window is only 36" wide and I can't block the access to the bathroom.

Any suggestions on what to do? Would a banquette work? Or a small round table?

Also, the work triangle is a challenge. Currently, the fridge is directly in front of the stove. It has French doors, so when the doors open they are not as large as a single doored fridge.

The room had frozen pipes and water damage, so we are ripping up the floors as we speak. The oak floors at the bottom of the layers looks to be in reasonable shape (although needing refinishing). The cabinets may get a facelift or be replaced if they are too badly damaged. They look like late 60's maple plywood construction.

A single 20 year old will be renting this apartment but eventually he might get married and need space for 2.

Budget is a primary consideration, as we have a lot of work to do in the entire house, including a second kitchen reno and 2 bathroom renos. I am going to be checking the local Restore to see if they get any cabinets in.

I would be grateful of any creative ideas you could send my way! Many thanks in advance on this Canadian Thanksgiving Day. :)

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Could you possibly post a floorplan drawing with dimensions, showing window locations and door swings?

Our kitchen, before renovation, was a galley kitchen from 1931 with 5 doorways, so I feel your pain.

Had we not been able to add on, then the best alternative would have been to NOT have the sink in the middle of the run of counter. It was there by default as it was under the window. But this led to not having enough counterspace to plate up 4 dinner plates and a cooking pan.

If closing the door to the bedroom off the kitchen gives you better layout in the kitchen, that would be the recommended choice of the 2.

As to an overall layout, I would suggest if possible to have the sink at one end of the counter run, then dishwasher, then refrigerator. On opposite side have the range across the aisle from the sink. This will give a secondary space next to the range to prep. If you have space somewhere, a counter height table with stools that tuck underneath would be good for eat in. This could go on the run next to the range and be built in if you cannot fit in a eating area anywhere else.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:21PM
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We once had a small kitchen and a mistake was made on new counter top, resulting in an extra piece about 6 feet long. I removed the small table we used and installed that lovely piece of Formica counter top as an eating bar. It was the greatest kitchen dining area ever!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:08PM
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I think JulieKCMO may be right, but it would be better if we could see the floorplan with walls/doors/windows/etc. marked and measured (widths of each and distances b/w each).

Have you had a chance to read the "Read Me" thread? It has a "Layout Help" topic that discusses what we need to help with layouts. I've linked it below.

Welcome and good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: New To Kitchens? Posting Pics? Read Me!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:08AM
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I managed to use an online Kitchen room planner to get the dimensions down.

I was unable to write text on them, however, the left hand top opening leads to the mudroom/bathroom, the only window is the opening below it.

On the right top is the door to the basement, below is the door to the hallway

On the bottom is the door to the bedroom aka dining room. The fridge is sitting beside it.

On the top side is the range with a bank of cabinets and a sink mostly in the middle.

Ceiling height is about 8'4".

Goals: eat in kitchen for 1 -2 people. No separate dining room. Don't need a dishwasher.

Pantry: Could be outside the Kitchen in hall.

Plumbing could be moved.

See my first post for more info about this rental kitchen.

Many thanks! Photos to follow:

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:31PM
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More dimensions

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:33PM
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Another wall of dimensions

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Last wall of dimensions.

I should add that all the doors open out from the kitchen, so that is helpful, and we would consider blocking off the doorway to the dining room (opening on the bottom right of plan).

I would love to get new units if we could find something usable at the Restore. The bottom of the sink unit is pretty rotten from water damage.

The ones shown on this plan are just me playing around with the design program and do not reflect reality (other than current placement of appliances and sink).

Thanks for any helpful ideas!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:38PM
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I was thinking that maybe access to the basement is not too critical - except for the landlord/storage. We are considering putting in a main floor laundry. Maybe something could be done in that top right corner with a small table?

Also, the plumbing and electrical can be moved around. Maybe the sink should go over by the window?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 5:38AM
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    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 5:36AM
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That's a tough space! If basement access really isn't needed often, you could add cabinets between the refrigerator and the window, and move the stove there. This would open up more room for the eating area by the basement door, plus giving you more cabinets and counter space.

I wouldn't bother to move the door to the dining room. Because the hall door opens into this area, you wouldn't gain much additional wall space for cabinets --only a foot or so.

A laundry would be nice, but trying to squeeze it in would make the whole room much more cramped.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 12:02PM
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I think the best place to try for an eat-in space is between the fridge and window...two options are for a counter along the wall, with stools underneath--the other is for an L-shaped banquette under the window and along the wall, with a narrow table in front of it, nothing round or square, but long and narrow.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Thank you for the suggestions. A couple of things have arisen.

#1 Possible Main floor laundry has been eliminated.

#2 Sink plumbing is not vented. It has a "instavent" cap on top. However, over by the window is where the bathroom above is vented (but a floor higher)

#3 We have been told we don't have to worry about making the window into an exterior door (see my thread in the Bathrooms forum to make sense of this issue).

So, if we move the sink to the window, there goes that awesome banquette possibility. Hmmm, choices, choices!

Here's that pesky vent!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 9:39PM
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How high off the floor is the window?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 5:13AM
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Does this apartment have another bedroom? Would you ever want to re-purpose the bedroom back to a DR?

If it's the only bedroom and/or you never plan to make the bedroom a DR, then I would close up the door in the kitchen. Personally, I would not want my bedroom to open into the kitchen, the LR is far preferable!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 5:19AM
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