Layout Help - Refrig Placement is Driving Me Crazy!

mtpam2November 18, 2012

Hi all. I have gone back and forth on these layouts for over a year and am just not happy with them. I really need your help.

It is just my husband and myself, our 3 grown daughters have all left home again. We were going to DIY, but since this has dragged on for over 2 years with kitchen gutted to the studs, we are now actively looking for a contractor to help us out! We will continue to do what we can and since contractors are in short supply in our area, we still may end up doing most of it.

New windows were put in and new siding put on about 3 years ago so husband is reluctant to do anything that will affect the exterior. However, at this point I will consider moving or enlarging the window on the sink wall if it would help. Currently the table in the kitchen is our only eating area. We do not have a separate dining room, although our Living Room area which adjoins the kitchen is probably large enough to use as both a dining area and Living Room.

All electrical wiring will be replaced. Our stove is electric so it can move anywhere. We will be adding a vent which the stove did not have before. Since the kitchen is a single story addition to the rest of the house, venting will not be affected by moving the stove around.

We can move the sink if it will help the layout, but prefer not to. As shown the sink is in current location. Kitchen is located over a basement, so plumbing can be accessed.

Plan 1.

Our 36" SxS FD Refrigerator is the problem. It either seems to crowd the stove (Plan #1) or crowd the table (Plan#2) and be the first thing you see when you enter the kitchen from the Living Room.

Plan 2 -

I am not sure if we can fit it in the upper left corner of the sink wall without throwing the lower cabinets off. In order to keep my dishwasher on the left of the sink (away from the stove), it will off center my sink by 9 inches. Not sure if that will bother me or not. That is plan #3.

Plan 3 -

We hope to start on electrical after the first of the year, so need to finalize layout. The refrigerator has been a thorn in my side since I started. Attached is a link to a former post requesting your help.

Former Thread

Which layout do you feel is most workable, or can we do anything else?

At this time, I am leaning to Plan 2 as the easiest. Plan 1 would require moving the doorway between kitchen and LR down about 8 or 10 inches, and just not sure if the fridge would be too hard to get at in the corner in Plan 3.

Suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated. I promised DH that I would make a decision soon. Thanks in advance!

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would having a CD fridge to the right of the stove be less crowding to you?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 5:12AM
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what would happen if you open and widen some space at the top of the 11 foot wall and close the 36 in lower passage to living room. Can more of a union of living/kitchen area result from such change, with one eating area at that top part of living room....also, just out of the footprint of kitchen so you can do a work island in the kitchen and not worry so much about necessary seating all around it....put the sink in the island, increasing flexibility for fridge and range on the wall runs.....I think my goal would be a seated eating area outside of the kitchen proper if there was only going to be one table setup. You could probably have a couple stools at such island anyway.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:29AM
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Desertsteph - I have thought of getting a CD fridge. Where ever I put it, I think it would help to get rid of the FD. I hadn't thought that it might make me feel less closed in by the stove if I went with Plan 1. Something to consider.

Herbflavor: - I am attaching a photo of our first floor so you can see why I can't close up the passage to the LR. That is a load bearing wall between the kitchen/bath and the LR/Bedroom. The doorway can be moved, but only within the confines of the area between the Bathroom wall and the Chimney/Bedroom Wall.

First Floor Layout:

As you can see, my LR area is huge, and currently has a lot of wasted space. When we bought the house, the PO's had a dining table set up on the end closest to the Kitchen, as well as a small table in the kitchen. I was thinking maybe that is what I should do, but my husband is resistant to moving all the seating out of the kitchen. When he comes home at noon in his work clothes(he is a mechanic), he doesn't want to worry about "messing up the dining room". However, if we had a small table in the kitchen, maybe that would work.

Maybe putting the sink in an island would work, but not sure how to orient it. Neither my husband or myself like countertop seating, so if we kept a little spot in the kitchen for lunches, it needs to be table height. If you can help me figure out how to do that, I would greatly appreciate it.

With the whole picture posted, does anyone have any other suggestions on what would be a good layout for my kitchen?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Are you sure the kitchen and bedroom weren't reversed at one time? Long term,the biggest benefit would be the bedroom at the back with a hallway and french doors coming in from back door-the bedroom would be smaller,but could also be a quiet den/study/guest room/etc, and right across from bathroom makes sense. The kitchen and eating area would span across Left to Right at the back of living room , and with bedroom have a large open space....If you did create a hallway of sorts coming in the back door,maybe there would be more hooks/cubby holes to dump dirty clothes-hubby might like that.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Hi Herbflavor,
No, I don't think they were reversed, as the original 2 story farm house was moved to town in the 40s and then the kitchen/bath single story addition was put on later - maybe the early 50s.

But it is funny you mentioned moving the bedroom and the kitchen, as I have considered that very idea. My husband is not on board, as it would require dealing with opening up the wall between LR and BR which he thinks is a load bearing wall (although he thinks EVERY wall is load bearing!)Also, although there is a basement under the whole house, almost all the plumbing is run under the kitchen addition. Plus the window in the kitchen (where table is located) looks out into our (very small) back yard, while the BR window is higher up in the wall and looks to the sideyard. We are in an old part of town, and the lots are very narrow, so our neighbors home is very close, although we do have a fence and trees between us. Anyway, we would need to change windows around. Not impossible, just more things to consider. When we were going to DIY it was definitely off our list. Maybe since we are going to try and get a contractor I should look at that idea again and maybe check on costs. I agree with you that it would make everything flow a lot better!

I do like the idea of some kind of mudroom coming in from the back and love the idea of french doors! I've been sorry I didn't have a place to use them. I wouldn't mind a smaller bedroom, as we do not watch TV, etc in our bedroom. It's used for sleeping and getting dressed, so doesn't need to be that large. Thanks for the suggestions. All ideas are appreciated!


    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:57AM
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If no rearranging of rooms/spaces can occurr,then in the bath-pull the tub out and do a shower stall and pedestal sink along tub wall. then look at sq footage where sink was, along with broom closet, and maybe recess fridge or something from the other kitchen walls,thereby giving freedom to do something in the kitchen space which includes eating area. Maybe close up the pocket door to bath and enter the bath where broom closet/sink were,from back door area....then you have the wall where pocket door was for at least shallow kitchen storage, perhaps wrapping around into living room wall across the top,creating a secondary storage/buffet like area with undercounter fridge...entertainment or "butler's zone", which would enhance the option of dining table going back to this part of living room. I think you have some options.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:01AM
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measure out the space you'd have if you used a CD fridge in the top left corner (one with double doors (FD or side by side) so the doors don't need as much space). since it's usually the 2 of you, maybe a chair on the other side of the table and 1 at the end for your every day use.

Try to rearrange the LR as if a larger table was in the upper area of it. maybe use some piece of furniture you have to 'stand in' for the table or use boxes. That'd give you more space for when the girls are home (w/spouses/friends) or you have a few friends over.

you could then move the sink a bit to the left and put the dw on the right of the sink.

the cabinet area needed to the left of the fridge could have a pegboard type pull out for skillets, oven rack, cooking racks, huge BBQ utensils etc. Since it wouldn't be very wide you might also use a pull out to store canned goods, bottled water, soda/juice bottles. Or you could use it to store the mop, dust mop, broom type things. There are slide out racks to hold those (amazon). Above that you could have a ROT for cleaning products and one over that for paper towel storage etc.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:24PM
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Herbflavor - Thanks for the additional suggestions. Believe it or not this is our main bathroom and the only one with a tub. I seldom use it, but felt like I needed to keep it for when my grandbabbies come to visit - admittedly not often. However, I do like some of your other suggestions, especially the storage/buffet area in the LR if I try to put a dining table back there. You are certainly giving me new ways to look at the space and see what can be done.

Desertsteph - Thanks for additional ideas. I like the idea of some kind of storage between the fridge and wall if I put the fridge in the top left corner - like Plan 3. But do I understand you correctly re: moving the DW to the right of the sink? That would put the DW in the corner and between the Sink and stove. Or did you mean put it to the right of the sink which would further off center the sink from the window?

I think I will do what you suggest regarding rearranging the LR and see if a larger table in the upper area will work. I would love to have a spot for more family or friends! Thanks so much for your observations. It really helps to have other eyes look at the space.

Anyone else see any options?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:35PM
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I am posting a couple of pictures to illustrate the fridge location and give you a better idea what my space looks like. Please forgive the disorder. First looking into the kitchen from LR with the fridge on the bathroom wall Plan 2.

Secondly looking from the kitchen into the LR with the fridge located next to the stove - Plan 1.

In Plan 1 with the fridge by the stove, I will actually end up with only about 8 in between doorway & bathroom wall since I will need to move the doorway down to gain room by the stove. In this picture there is about 19" in that corner.

Here's another picture looking into the Kitchen from LR.

This last picture shows the table in front of the window, and the step down to my back door. Where the blue card table is located is where the fridge will be if I put it on that wall.
Do these pictures influence anyone towards one layout or the other? Isn't that a big old honking fridge in my little kitchen?

Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:39AM
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I know what you are going through with the fridge. I had a similar problem with mine. Ours was only a year old so I didn't want to replace it with a counter depth - plus the CD are so expensive. We ended up building out a step-in pantry and hid it next to it.

I like your plan 1 best. Unless you can hide the fridge better in plan 2 such as recessing it into the bathroom, I don't think you'll want to see it stick out so much from the LR. The fridge may be farther than you would like from the cooktop in plan 3.

In plan 1, It looks like you would have 3' between cooktop and fridge. This is not bad and you would probably find yourself prepping closer to the sink anyway. I like the island idea. I think you could leave your sink where it is if plumbing would be an issue in the island. The island would give you a great work surface right across from your cooktop and fridge and not too far from your pantry. You can attach a table height seating area behind it that would provide seating on three sides. (Like butting up a table to the backside of the island to make a "T" shape). Houzz will have some examples (sorry, I'm not good with links.)

BTW, I had that same vinyl floor in my last house. :)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:38AM
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I would use plan 1 and then move the dining table out into the living area and replace it with a 2-3 person table by the window. Would be a lot cheaper to buy than a CD fridge and also seems like you have plenty of space to do that.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Camphappy - Our fridge is 2 years old. Didn't realize until I bought it how Big those things are now! The vinyl was here when we bought the house in 1994, but I bet it was from the late 70s or early 80s! Got to say it wore pretty well but it is ugly!
Lyfia - Those CD fridges are expensive. Seems like you and camphappy both like the idea of moving the dining table to the LR. I am thinking more and more about moving the main table to the top LR area and putting a 2 person table by the window - maybe backed up to a small island. Is a 24 x 54 or 60 inch too small? I need to draw it out and see what kind of aisles I would have.

Oh, one more picture showing the upper corner where the fridge would go if I went with Plan 3. The sink/window is immediately to the right of the drawers. In this photo there is about 45 inches to edge of counter, so the corner space is about where the fridge would go in Plan 3.

Anyway, thanks for your suggestions! I appreciate the input and am thinking through all options suggested.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Pamela:Have you heard of Cliqstudios...they are on line and do complete planning/design on line. Since you are getting to the point of nailing down a plan and you are miles from places,they would be convenient.I believe their pricing is very good....have a look at their web site....I've only heard good things about them.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:53PM
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I agree with lyfia. Why do you have seating for five in your kitchen when it's just the two of you? Put a dining table in the living room nearest to the kitchen for when the girls come home to eat.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Herbflavor - I heard about Cliqstudios from a finished kitchen reveal - lisa??. I haven't gone and checked them out as I have been trying to get the layout mostly figured out. Thanks for reminding me of them (and remembering that I live in the boonies!). I will check them out and see what they have.
Karen - The seating for 5 is just out of habit, I guess, as that is what we have used for the 18 years we have lived here. But you are right, it isn't necessary for day to day living anymore. I had never seriously considered moving the table until just recently. Now it really seems like the best use of space. Just need to figure out how to move the LR around, and how to lay out a dining room area that can maybe be multi-purposed.

Thanks guys! All this input has kept me rethinking my options.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:15AM
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