Need help with Kitchen Layout

monkeyseekersOctober 11, 2012

I found this forum a few months ago while trying to find reviews about appliances. I have been following both the appliance forum and the kitchen one regularly. I've already found so many great ideas on here. Thank you!

We are beginning a large addition soon, which will include a new kitchen. We have been to 2 kitchen designers, in addition to our architect. I want to make sure that we have the best design before we move forward. Kitchen width is 11' 10 1/2" by 20' 5" (inside dimensions). Island is 7' long 4' wide.

We are a family of 6. Our oldest son is away at college, and our youngest is 3. Most days we will have one cook and one or more helping. I've already purchased Electrolux double ovens and a 36" induction cooktop, and due to our large familly size, we plan on buying a full-size French door refrigerator, and I would love to find room for 2 dishwashers. We want as much counter space as possible, an island with seating for 5. I am still undecided about the Sharp microwave drawer or the GE Advandium.

We will be entertaining informally about once a month (possibly more when we have the room!). And we will host Thanksgiving (not this year) for 26.

Kitchen design is below. I will upload the first floor plan shortly. Please provide any comments regarding appliance and especially layout. What would you change?

Thank you!

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1st floor plan

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:55PM
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Figure out where you want to actually eat, and design the home around making that happen. Right now, you've got 3 places, and none of them are ideal. The DR is too far from the kitchen, the breakfast room is to small and awkward shaped, and there is no way you're fitting the whole family onto the island as pictured. The remodel as a whole makes the home choppy rather than cohesive. I'm not a fan of the layout for any of the rooms.

I'd probably think swapping the family room and kitchen and widen the path to the dining room so that it would get used as the main meal location. The breakfast room could make a great study, sorta, if you need that type of supervised computer access room. But really, the whole thing needs to go back to the drawing board. It creates more problems than it solves.

Do you have a layout of the original house, as is, with no proposed addition? That's where to start the process.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 7:36AM
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I just finished a similiar extension and I have a similiar kitchen layout. I love it (especially after living with a 1948 kitchen for way too long). I have a prep sink in the island and I think that's key to making it work well. I take stuff out of the fridge, wash and prep on the island, and turn around and cook on the stove.

I think you are going to spend 90% of your time in the kitchen / family room, as we do now. Your pantry and butler's pantry seem to close off the rest of your home. Also think about whether your breakfast room, as now designed, will function as you would like it to considering you have 3 entrances to the room (2 from hallways) and a stairway as well with only one window. Personally, I never like to walk from from a dining room directly into another dining area.

I think your design can be tweeked to make your whole home function better. I would also be curious to see your existing layout, without consideration of the addition.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 9:16AM
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Thank you for your thoughts! In the current layout of the house the breakfast room is the kitchen. Everything behind the breakfast room and dining room is new. I will try to upload a picture of the existing as soon as I can.

Live wire oak - We've been working with an architect for over 6 months and can not scrap the entire project at this point. It is designed how we wanted it - large familly room and kitchen, but I am concerned that the kitchen layout isn't functional.

I think we will eat at the island most of the time, but didn't want to give up the eat-in space in case we decide we want it. That room may become a study or TV room after everything is complete and we see how it is used. Our current home is small, and we have to eat in the dining room every night. I do not want to use that as our main eating space in the future, but reserve it for birthdays and holidays.

Dilly_NY - I agree that we will be spending 90% of our time in the new part of the house and that's why I want to make sure it functions well. Can you post the layout of your extension.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 10:57AM
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No way will the island seat as many as you hope, and island seating is NOT that comfortable for everyday seating for meals. The breakfast area isn't connected to the kitchen enough for it to be used either. I'd jettison the pantry and use that to be able to elongate the island to seat as many as you hope by creating a table height extension to it. Take the really awkward and mostly useless breakfast area and make that into a big walk in pantry with the refrigerator bridging the kitchen/pantry area. Then you can eliminate most of those upper cabinets by the cooktop and do windows there instead. It's a crime to have so much exterior wall without windows on it!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Hi monkeyseekers! What an exciting project for your family!
We are also embarking on a similar project--not adding on so much as rearranging, but hoping to get a great, useful finished space.
We are actaully opening up our dining room to our kitchen, to make them more connected than they currently are, b/c I think we use it less because of being farther from our kitchen. And we currently have an eat-in kitchen, and we are forgoing that, for a large island, and will use our DR table for seated meals.

My planned layout is very similar to yours--an L-shape with sink on the short end of the L. But I am not putting any uppers on the sink wall, so that I can have windows out to my backyard (very important with all the kids!)

I insisted on having an island big enough to seat us all--and we are a family of 6. But breakfast and lunch are just 5 at most, bc my husband is off to work already. So, my island will be a minimum of 108". I also have no pantry, but am having a 5' wall of 12" deep full height cabinets, to use as pantry storage. If I were you, I'd consider removing the pantry, making the island longer, and maybe putting some 12" deep cabinets in the area where you have the pantry planned.
And I also plan to put in a prep sink, in the island, I think. Then the far sink will be the clean-up sink, but the island sink will be the prep sink.
I haven't gotten down to the nitty-gritty of my kitchen plan just yet, but I feel like this layout will function well for our family in our space...
I think the layout is fine. Just spend some time thinking about actually living in that space.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 5:39PM
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Your kitchen is too far from the breakfast room consider moving your pantry and connecting the breakfast room. Otherwise you won't eat there.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 6:22PM
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Thanks for the comments and suggestions. We are going to look at removing or moving the pantry. It actually was removed in a previous version, but the architect thought we could add it back in and still have plenty of space. I asked for an 8.5' island to seat everyone, and I got 7'. I do have a 7' dining table that fits 3 large chairs on each side., so thought it could work with 3 on 1 side and 2 small stoles on the short side.

I am torn about putting a sink in the island - I wanted 1 solid surface, but agree the main sink is pretty far away.

Keep the suggestions coming - I appreciate the input!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 10:27PM
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My plan changed so many times that I don't have a rendering of what I actually built, but I'll give a few pictures for perspective. My island is 72" and I am planning to put 3 stools.

My kitchen has a small seating area in front of the fireplace and a dining area where we will soon put a window seat.

Sliding glass doors lead to a covered porch and a powder room is tucked behind the fireplace.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 10:56PM
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I looked at your plan again, and I think it would be greatly improved if you removed the pantry, move your kitchen into the breakfast room, and move your breakfast room to where you currently show your kitchen sink. This would better connect your kitchen to the DR and separate your formal dining from everyday dining. Something like this design:

Traditional Kitchen design by Minneapolis Design-build Great Neighborhood Homes

Contemporary Kitchen design by Denver Architect ROWLAND BROUGHTON ARCHITECTURE & URBAN DESIGN

Traditional Kitchen design by Austin General Contractor Redbud Custom Homes

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Dilly_NY - Your kitchen is beautiful! I hope mine looks as good when it is finished. Our original plan was to start the kitchen in what is now the breakfast room, and make it a long room, open to the family room. Due to our local zoning laws, we have to have to build our addition two feet in from our current exterior wall (in other words, our kitchen couldn't go straight back). The architect came up with several solutions, but this is the one that got us closest to what we originally wanted, with the extra breakfast room. We are considering what can be done with the pantry and what this does to the rest of our addition.

Thanks again for all the suggestions!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 12:24AM
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