Layout for 1850 Colonial kitchen with 3 doors and 3 tall windows
I started working on this kitchen project in June, but coming up with a layout has been a bear! Wish I 'd stumbled on this site sooner! The 10 x 16 kitchen has 3 doorways, stairs behind two walls, and 3 windows that come down to 12 inches off the floor. We adore the house (it's an 1850s colonial) and are unwilling to change the appearance of the windows from the outside. We also ruled out closing off a door.
Both DH and I are serious cooks and gardeners. We cook most nights and often both of us are in the kitchen together. Baking is more of a once a month thing. We also host chop-luck dinners (bring a cutting board, knife, and a bottle of wine: everyone cooks one dish and then we all sit down to eat) about once a month with means six or eight people in the kitchen.
We eat breakfast in the kitchen and I tend to eat there when DH is traveling, but otherwise we usually eat in the dining room or out on the deck. Never more than two people eating in the kitchen, but often more than two people either hanging out or cooking.
Our primary goal for the new kitchen is more counterspace! Currently, we just have one long stretch of counter that includes the sink and stove and two narrow four foot sections along walls.
Other goals: Full size DW, 36 inch range or rangetop, good ventilation, extra freezer space (we freeze a lot of pesto, tomato sauce etc from the garden), storage of items better at point of use. Currently there is a pantry behind one kitchen wall, but it is accessed through the downstairs bathroom.
We've finally come up with a plan that I think makes sense. I've had it drawn out in tape for a week and I think it feels right. This involves building a dummy wall between the two windows, sort of like a fake chimney. Given that there are chimneys all over the house with cabinets built into the side, I think it will look OK. And then counters can be anchored to that wall without being directly in front of the windows. This leaves a 48" path except where the rangetop takes up an extra 3" in the middle of the counter.
Every other plan we've been offered involved having very narrow paths (30-36") through the kitchen, which seems tight in a room that is the central traffic hub of the house.
I was willing to consider covering the bottom panes of the windows, but contractors I've talked to either won't do it (think it's a bad idea) or won't give me a clear explanation of how to make it work so that it looks OK from the outside, avoids the risk of breaking glass, and doesn't leave an uncleanable, unaccessable space where things could fall down under.
Here's what the space will look like with current kitchen demo'd:
Here's our plan:
And here's a view of the house from the back so you can see the windows. Kitchen is the bottom right two on the main section of the house.
Does this layout work? Are there other ways we could better use the space?