What determines a '2 butt' kitchen?

autumn.4November 19, 2012

Hello all-

I am on the hunt for laying out a 2 butt kitchen with our current measurements for a new build in 2014. In general, is there a determining factor for having a 2 butt kitchen? Is it predominantly aisle widths or appliance location or a mix of both?

I have a couple of layouts I've been working through but in the end I'm not sure what would ensure they be for 2 butts! My current kitchen is barely a 1 butt kitchen and I don't want to repeat that unknowingly! There are 4 of us, dh and 2 kids and myself. I am figuring my dh and I will mostly be WORKING in the kitchen (okay okay - more me than him but if we design it for 2 then maybe he will come in, lol) with the 2 little butts mostly in the pantry and frige EATING in the kitchen (faster than we can keep it stocked).

Any advice? I've been chicken to post my layout(s)....but I realize I likely just need to DO IT.

Thanks for any tips you want to share.

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Hopefully, the little butts will grow and want to help out and do cooking/baking of their own? ;-)

I think aisle width can be important... 42 - 48" instead of 36", for example, but mostly zones, with a good sized work counter-spaces, properly located for task efficiency. Like if you drew paths for each one to the things they needed to access, such as fridge, a sink, and the work area, their paths wouldn't be too long nor would they cross much, and the kids' wouldn't cut through to access the fridge or dishes.

I don't know if I'm explaining this well. I did a blog post on zones, showing in the layout how I planned our kitchen for different tasks and multiple workers that I'll link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: zones and workpaths in our kitchen

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:52PM
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I think adequate counter prep space is more important than the aisle widths or appliance locations. The latter is important, too, as you shouldn't have the sink or cooktop/range too close to a corner or to each other. (You shouldn't have that anyway!)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:08PM
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The layout is the most important element in my mind. My kitchen had roughly 36" aisles when we bought it and we really couldn't change the footprint, so we were stuck with something similar. The island didn't go back in exactly the same spot or dimensions, but pretty similar. The main difference was moving some of the appliances and creating better work space. We moved the cooktop out of the island (where it had been right across from the sink - a definite one person setup) and put in a prep sink. The ovens moved down to give better work space to the cooktop and for baking. Made a HUGE difference.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:45PM
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DH and I love cooking together, so a 2 butt kitchen was very important for us. I took advice I got here and really began to pay attention to when we had the hardest time in our old kitchen. Not only did I find I needed a secondary prep space, but the sink was the spot almost all of our conflicts occurred. Either we both wanted to wash something or he needed to wash his hands or rinse a plate while I was in the middle of scrubbing veggies and our double bowl sink was large but we couldn't work at it at the same time.

I ended up designing a u-shaped kitchen with 2 sinks - a prep sink about 40 inches from the range in one corner, then the cleanup sink around the other corner on the other side of the range. We can now prep on either side of the range and each have our own sink to access. There is also a peninsula on the other side of the prep sink which can act as a 3rd prep area or a nice large space to lay out ingredients or make things that require a little more space.

So, I don't know if you have the same issue at the sink, point is you need to pay attention to how you work together to determine what kinds of things will help you.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:30PM
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I think that safety is a big part as well.

For example, our original "1-butter" required the cook to cross the lane of traffic to get from the stovetop to the sink. This lane of traffic had 5 doorways!

Draining hot pan of pasta and had little kids running to and from made me crazy.

Our enlarged and remodeled space has a wide enough aisle to allow for a cook to be at the cooktop, and for plenty of room for a second person to pass behind the cook with no danger of bumping into the cook. This is a big deal as far as I'm concerned.

Having a both a prep and cleanup sink if feasible is a good thing too.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:50PM
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Thank you all. This has been challenging - I guess because after 14 years in my current kitchen I still don't feel comfortable. So while some things are obvious as to why - it's hard to imagine working in a different space. I am trying to visualize but it's tough because there isn't any single thing that I'd repeat in my current kitchen. :( So it's truly a complete do over with nothing anchoring me to a starting place. The one thing I was *sure* I wanted was to have the sink and stove on one run to avoid all that back and forth with hot pots and dripping veggies but the length of my kitchen isn't long enough to make it functional and would put me facing the wall while prepping which I know I'd not like either.

rhome-thank you for the link. I've actually run across and studied your diagram several times before while thinking things through. The little butts do love to help already but normally we are working together doing the same thing if that makes sense. More working along side and not doing different things so much. I'm trying to picture them older where one may be baking while I'm doing dinner or prepping or something - and that is hard to imagine right now. ;) I'm sure they will be there in no time. My kitchen as drawn is 14 (less a doorway so really 11) x 12 and has the only and main sink in the island. I'm hoping that even with a smaller footprint we can still achieve a functional layout.

angie-I am thinking if the bake stuff is to the right of the stove and the pots/pans and dishes are on the left with sink dishwasher across we'd be close to having several different stretches of counter space. We will likely all end up wanting the same one!

controlfreak-it's hard to visualize because our current kitchen is so bad that we just don't work together. People are on top of each other no matter where you turn. I really think we would enjoy it if the space was more usable and that is why I'm trying to get this clean slate right!

juliekcmo-hmmm, are you talking about my current kitchen? ;) That is exactly what we've got going on now. Drives me NUTS!

Redrawing my sketch and then I'll post it - too many eraser marks!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:30PM
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I'm trying to picture them older where one may be baking while I'm doing dinner or prepping or something - and that is hard to imagine right now. ;) I'm sure they will be there in no time.

Yes! It happens SO quickly!!!!

You don't have to have a huge kitchen to have a great and functional, multi-person layout (remember mine was sized to fit 8 or 9 extra butts, and not so little any more). Instead of like the old, single kitchen triangle, it's like triangles, or sometimes rectangles, for each main task area. How many of those are needed are up to your preferences and ways of using the kitchen. Looking forward to your sketch.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:44PM
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rhome-I am sure you are right - this first 10 years have flown right by (I totally agree with your blog statement about somehow being 50 - that is how I feel about 40)!

Okay......here it is in all it's glory. Is it okay to post it here or do I need to start a new thread?

I am including how it was originally laid out in the plan which makes me feel claustrophobic just looking at it and forces everyone to go all the way through the kitchen - no thanks. We are planning to meet with an architect in the spring but I wanted to have the kitchen somewhat nailed down by then.

What I've come up with so far:

I moved the pantry door to inside the kitchen - I thought that was a better use of space than in the hall - yes? no?

Should the stove and sink be more staggered or are they okay right there?

Prep space-wishing I could have the sink off center for more continuous counter space...any ideas? Should the trash go elsewhere and I could slide the sink to the end by the fridge?

We don't really want to move the fridge - would rather have it 'hidden' from the living room.

The cabinets look confusing on here - I was trying to show the lowers (drawers) AND the uppers. I'm not sure if I should go with 24 & 30 or 18 & 36. I haven't measured my kitchen stuff yet.

Zones: I am thinking prep and cook by the sink stove, bake to the right of the stove and clean up would be to the right of the sink.

I tried to center the stove but I am off a bit. There will be 18" windows on either side (sort of like this but I will have a standard 30" free standing range):

Traditional Kitchen design by Portland Interior Designer Jenny Baines, Jennifer Baines Interiors

Any and all thoughts welcome. I have tried hard to follow the advice on here but if I am way off - let me know. I can take it.

Thank you for your time and advice!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:12PM
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    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:56AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You'rw trying to cram in an island where I don't think an island works. Think peninsula instead. That gives you a section to the left of the sink for your cleanup that can also double as a secondary prep spot after someone's loaded the dishes (do it as you prep), a nice long run between the sink and range for some spread out prep, and a separate snack zone next to the fridge for the kids. And there is still 60" between the sink and range, which is plenty for two butts.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:22AM
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holly-whole new perspective. I immediately went to island when I saw that wonky peninsula they had drawn.

My biggest fear with what you have shown is feeling 'exposed' or naked while in the kitchen and having my back to the living room while prepping - I am torn on that. That island would have been a barrier for me a little from the living room. So my oddness with feeling so 'out there' while working.

I'm not sure how it would look (visualization is not my strength) having the kitchen so open to the living room - absolutely no separation of space visually.

Where that closet is by the stairs will actually be stairs going DOWN (see my sketch - we will have a basement). I as kind of worried about having the pantry open right there for safety - maybe it's a needless worry.

The other thing is I do like having a few stools for sitting. I know the dining room is right there but currently we have a peninsula (which I do enjoy as it's my only prep space) and the kiddos help on the other side of it as well as have breakfast and snacks there every day.

??? Do you know of any gw kitchens that are more open like this that I could peruse? I am pretty good at googling but I'm not sure how I'd phrase what to look for.

Thank you for your ideas. I will definitely chew on that!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:06AM
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I'm not very good at layout or visualizing so I can't offer that help, unfortunately.

But in a small change, think about having your pantry door, wherever it is, be a pocket/sliding door rather than a swing door. In your sketch, the pantry and freezer doors look to be fighting, for example. Even if you don't have room for a shelf behind the door as in the original plan, you could at minimum put up shoe-holder-type storage for some things, or possibly extremely shallow shelves just deep enough for a can. If you have a regular swinging door, you'll always have to go inside, shut the door, get your stuff, and open the door to get out.

All of these have been done by folks here on the forum, though of course I can't find pics or threads at the moment grrr (yes, even with Google search).

A pocket door slides into the door frame whereas a sliding door sits on the outside wall and slides on an exposed track like an old barn door. If your house style is rustic or country or Arts N Crafts, perhaps the sliding door would fit the aesthetic, and you could even open it with your elbow if your arms are full of groceries.

I know you have lots more to think about than this but I hope it might be helpful.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:23PM
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mtnfever-thanks it is helpful! I will need to think about all of that so I appreciate you commenting. The freezer is a chest not an upright so I shouldn't have a conflict with doors but a pocket would probably be helpful - although I am thinking it would mostly get left open then with the way kiddos are.

Any others?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:02PM
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Hate to be negative, but this seems pretty short on workspace and on storage.

The inspiration pic for your stove area is so lovely, but seems to make it a focal point. I think the view of your kitchen will be odd with that so off to the right and the island, another focal point, off to the left. I want to think about this more, but have a busy afternoon. I'll try to get back to this later.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:28PM
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I know you wanted to hide the fridge from the LR but I would put it at the pantry end of the counter run. Being in the corner it would still be somewhat hidden. (I would actually consider putting it at the eating area end of the cabinets but you don't want it seen from the LR and you lose counter space for dirty dishes and prep work - so the other end works better for you)

Where you have the fridge currently drawn I would do that as a 6' counter run with your coffee pot And MW, etc and it could double as a drinks bar or buffet when having company. Put your appliances away in the pantry when having company. It is a wall that straddles the LR and kitchen so I would make it functional but in a pretty way. Hopefully the MW is going to be off the counter and inset into cabinetry somehow.

(I need to run but I'll be back) I do like the idea of an island for your space given your desire for separation from the LR. Just remember that the seating in the island will take up space and could infringe of LR floor space. you may want to reconsider the curved top and instead just do a straight 12" overhang..

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:33PM
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I'd rather have a sunny and bright kitchen facing the family room than a dark kitchen and a breakfast area that isn't used that much hogging the windows. If this is a home where the main dining area were there, and versatile, to work for small and large meals, that might be another story.

But, I'd move the kitchen under the windows. Then do a peninsula with a couple of stools for seating and then a cozier banquette in the interior of the kitchen for family meal time. The fridge would be accessible to the main prep area on the peninsula, the snackers from the great room, and the cereal and toast crowd in the banquette.

I'd change the windows to be single ones flanking the range and grab the space under the stairs for some secondary storage for the kitchen as well as potentially relocating the powder room to the laundry area to get a larger pantry to make up for the loss of wall cabinets.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:24PM
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I meant to include the diagram, but when you edit a post, you lose the link.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:25PM
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BTW, the actual usable space in that family room is more like 14'x17, NOT the 19'x17 it indicates. It's pretty darn small when you start putting furniture in and have to account for traffic paths. I'm afraid the area as a whole isn't as usable as the "room sizes" indicate because of the layout. Whomever the architect was, he forgot about furniture placement and people moving through the space.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:28PM
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Wow - thanks for pulling me out of the 'box' I'm in! Very different ideas I'd never thought of.

Sorry I forgot to mention it is erroneously labeled breakfast room - it is the only dining room in the house so we will use it daily.

rhome-no worries - I want to get the best out of the space so I appreciate it all. I welcome anything you have time to share. You are right - I was hoping to sort of make the stove the focal point because that is what you'd see most. I wonder if we'd need a wall placed by the fridge on the other side of those cabinets to block it from view? My current space is completely hidden from the living room so this is so hard for me! I welcome some of the openness but at the same time a little scared of the 'all one big room kind of open' concept.

blfenton-yes I was hoping to make that space by the fridge sort of like a hutch with the MW tucked in on a shelf - not on the counter. I thought that would be easy for coffee, quick snack prep. ??? I am okay with a straight overhang. I have a curved peninsula now so I keep drawing it that way but it's def. not a must. I do like those 'indented' islands where the seating side is hollowed out for the stools (weird description but that's my best stab at it) but I don't think I have space enough for as large as it'd need to be.

greendesigns-this is a stock plan that we generally like MOST of so we have yet to take it to the architect for drawing with the changes we need to make it work for us. Hoping to do that in March with some clear direction to give on changes, including what I can learn on here from all of you kind souls that are willing to help the design challenged. My largest concern is the kitchen...and rightfully so it seems. ;) Because it is our one and only dining area I am hesitant to do a banquette. I hear ya on the room dimensions. We were thinking of having the door to the porch go from the dining room instead of the family room to keep as much usable space for furniture and walking as possible. That would potentially save us 3 or so feet due to not having to accommodate a door swing.

For reference, total sq foot of the main level is 1700.

So sorry I didn't include that information the first time. Thank you so much for helping me with this!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:30PM
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Still trying to digest all of the ideas. Wondering if I recess the fridge a bit or lengthen that wall if it would be a better use of space. I will try to make another drawing yet today before the festivities begin - then I'll be out of town until Sunday.

Rhome-wondering if you meant the stove would be lost because the space is so open with no division? I do want somehow to have either columns or an arch leading into the living room. I need some sort of visual separation. Not sure about the dining room though.

Thank you everyone.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 2:08PM
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I have a small kitchen that works because there is an entry/exit at two ends and a way to bypass the kitchen altogether. The only photo I have which shows how that looks is an "in-progress" one, but it does have the advantage that you don't get distracted by stuff like counters and backsplash.

The cabinet at the right of this photo is a pantry. At the photographer's back is a large sliding glass door to the back patio; the end of the pantry goes right up to the door. The LR is on the opposite side of the wall where you see the TV trays. That hallway leads to the bedroom end of the house, or turn left and go to the front door. The LR has openings both from that hall and from the DR, which is the room from which these photos were taken.

Here is a finished photo which helps you see what is where in the kitchen, but the first one is more helpful for the flow issue, and I think it's the flow that makes a small kitchen work. Note that the hallway is light gray, not green! And I so agree - you don't want to be toting the pot of boiling water across no-man's land to get to the sink!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Thanks suzannesl. The pictures really help. ugh - flow. That is why I ditched the peninsula as it would trap people into going THROUGH the kitchen and I thought the island would help with flow as it gives you an 'out'. I think the issue might be trying to work something in this smaller 'open' kitchen that I think is really begging for a wall? I am drawing 2 other different options right now but they both are frustrating and I don't know where to put everything. Placement is tough. More and more unsure the more I try to think about it....

Do you have a window over the sink or no? Any issues prepping facing away from the opening?

Still trying to get my sketches finished to post yet tonight. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Hi all. 3 more tries. Are any of them any better? I feel like they all have issues and I wonder if it's due to being so open. I know I won't have much for upper space but I am hoping to compensate with the storage in the island and with the pantry.

If the stove and sink are opposite each other - how much of a stagger is preferred?

I added a foot so the dimension would be 14'8 x 12'2. I also tried to center the stove more so it'd be more symmetrical from the living room. Adding a foot also lengthened the island giving me 42" prep on one side - I see I switched it and left the 42" marking by the dw instead of the other end. I see what happens when the kids get home from school....oops.

Turned island which helps with aisle by the fridge? Not sure on the repercussions on the view from the LR. Not sure where the best stove placement is. The lowers will all be drawers except the sink and the middle back side of the island.

Sink and stove on the outside. Island there for seating and serving. Concerned about prepping facing a wall but it does have 42" of counter run on either side of the sink...

Curious if these latest tries are any better at all.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:40PM
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Yes, there is a window over the sink as that's the outside wall.

I tend to prep fruits and veggies at the sink, but most other stuff I do at the peninsula. I put all the baking things in the peninsula drawers, so when I do the pies here in minute, pretty much everything will be right there. The big container of flour and the shortening are in the pantry, but besides that the rest is close at hand. I've never really felt I had my back to room and people tend to wander over to keep you company. The bar stools have been a big hit with visitors - everybody wants to sit there.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:57PM
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suzannesl-thanks so much for that other view! It's an odd thing because I don't mind if friends are in the kitchen during clean up, etc from a casual meal. But - on the other hand, if I am in there cooking and we are having a dinner, I really don't like an audience while I'm cooking/futzing around. Dh thinks I'm nuts and we really don't have much company but if he and his parents are chatting - I'm fine with them being out of view while I'm doing last minute stuff. I'm the type that likes to have everything done by the time company comes over and get flustered/cranky if I'm not when they arrive. I have a lot to sort out I think. My current set up the sink is by the window with the peninsula a pivot away (sort of where your stove is but not as roomy) and then the stove is across the way where sort of where your peninsula is.

Your cake looks wonderful by the way. ;)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:32PM
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In this pic there isn't an island but I have one now that is a 4'x3' work table. We have a 4 butt kitchen and narrow isles as far as what folks on here think is acceptable. It works so well because of zones. We regularly have several folks doing complicated tasks in this space and it is never a problem. Planning is the key...

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:03PM
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I think #1 is an improvement. I wouldn't do the upper to the right of the stove, though. Instead, I'd do something that goes down to the counter beside the fridge, because that counter will be a cave back there.

For #3, I'd put the stove behind the island, about 30" from the dining room, and add a prep sink to the island. I'd consider one of those cleanup sinks that wraps around a corner and put it in the corner where you have the stove. Or, way better, I wonder if there is ANY way to redo the entry, so you could come into the kitchen where you show the stove in #3? That would shove the 2 short counters together that now flank the doorway, so you could make a cleanup area on the side of the room.

Still thinking. Will try to work on it tonight. But you're making progress by trying new designs. Love that graph paper!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:35PM
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trailrunner-planning...yes. That's why I started NOW when the build is so far out, lol! If I waited I'd be a frantic mess (not ruling that out either way). I am trying to think in terms of zones.

Rhome-thank you for coming back. :) #1-yeah wasn't sure what to do over in that dark corner. I have seen several of those on here (you have one and I think breezy as well I believe). Well, honestly that section of the house is what we will want to make some changes to - we will be pushing the garage over and possibly angling it and trying to gain an office 'space' for a drop zone, printer, shredder, charging station, etc.. So - I think that could be possible but I don't want to ditch the pantry. I am not quite sure what you are saying on the '2 short counters'. Still an L shape, yes but stove space moved left to the other space where the hutch is adding that 30" to the left? Where are you picturing the sink to be?

I think the 1/2 bath is larger than it needs to be and taking up valuable real estate right there but I'm not sure of a better way to configure it.

So in short - we have yet to go to our architect so I think that area is fair game to an extent (size which translates to budget).

I am continuing to let all of these ideas sink in as well. Lots of aha things pop in the head when settling down to sleep. Some of them are better left unremembered too of course.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:48PM
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"Short counters" are the ones to each side of the door that goes past the pantry. THey'd be the short side of the L if they were together.

I want the stove behind the island and the sink to the side, if possible. When I suggested moving the stove to where you show the sink/dw in #3, I meant the sink to be in the corner by the pantry...Between trash and where you show the stove. One of those weird sinks that have a basin on each side of the corner..If that makes ANY sense.

Here is a link that might be useful: picture worth 1000 words... Corner sink

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:18PM
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With rhome helping you the chance of it going RIGHT is much greater :) Hang in there ...everyone gets through this stage and the next...and the next..and you have wonderful help. c

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 4:59AM
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I'm not an expert at layouts. I do have a comment about how you are drawing your islands though ... Your first drawing shows 24 - 30 - 24 drawers under the curved overhang. Your subsequent drawings usually show 24 drawer 42 door 24 drawer. Just want to make sure you are thinking those 24" drawers will open out to the ends of the island. It doesn't work to open a drawer under an overhang. You wouldn't be able to access inside the top few drawers. Especially the 30" drawer in the middle.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 6:47AM
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Angela good spy! I was going to have the drawers open on the short ends not where the bar stools would be and the doors underneath which would require some crawling-maybe shallow shelves in there for vases and such?

Trailrunner-well I will say I am sooo thankful for the folks on here (including yourself) that are willing to share their experiences/ideas. I would not fair well doing this all on my own and shudder to think what I'd end up with. I know you are supposed to 'enjoy the process' but this part is down right scary to me, lol!

Yes a picture is worth a 1000 words, thanks rhome. I will be gone the rest of the weekend - try to check in from my sisters or tonight before we leave. Thanks again for your help, I've gotta get going or I'll be late for church!

Happy Turkey Day!!!!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:12AM
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This is an unusually crappy drawing - pls forgive.

I'm sorta liking #1 which is what I draw a version of and also Green designs - just maybe not the long peninsula.

Rhome has mentioned most problems with #1 but also the ref likely won't work well in that particular location - it's just too close to the corner. That not only makes the "cave" rhome referred to, but also could be difficult to open the doors without banging into the counter - plus users would blockade that entire section of counter as just about everyone hangs in front of the ref.

The ref in that position entices cut thru traffic from the dining area to the ref right through the work aisle.

So this is the ref moved out closer to dining and shifts stuff like the toaster/coffee pot (also used by diners) to something like a service counter in the dining area. I would do this across the entire dining exterior wall to have service and storage space - but would use 18" deep cabinets instead of 24" to look a bit more like a traditional/modern built in.

I used less depth on those hidden cabinets - like 15" or so. I'm not real sure I'd do those at all, but I'm certainly not in favor of sitting on the floor under the counter overhang sorting through the stuff on 24" deep shelves.

This version is trying to open up some breathing room around the sink. A simpler version would be to CUT the stools completely and use a two cabinet deep island - place cleanup/dish storage on the outside edge and fit the inside edge (facing the range) as all prep with a separate sink.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:35AM
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Drawing didn't show up bmore....I'd love to see it 'crappy' or not!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:04AM
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This is an unusually crappy drawing - pls forgive.

It's so bad, I can't even see it! ;-)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Sophie Wheeler

You know, I'm really thinking here that a lot of time is being spent on a not so great home design. It doesn't flow as a whole. Not just the kitchen area. Time to drop back and punt to a different house plan.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 1:21PM
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my dh and i cook together and our kitchen works great. he preps on the island and i prep on the counter. i think our kitchen could support four people cooking together, three on the 5 foot suqare island and me on the counter.

i think our new whitehaven sink will also allow us to share the sink space as well with no second sink. we will see...

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 1:50PM
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I hate it when that happens. I might have to face up to doing photobucket all the time again.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Love the way the angle keeps the sink close to the cooking area, but creates space for separate and nicely roomy work zones. I want the dw and dishes together, and, in the best of worlds, the micro by the fridge, but see the open dw would clog up the path to the fridge... So compromises come in. And what is the 'pt?' I'm intrigued and can't think of what that means.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:21PM
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To be blunt, I do not like it.

It screams chaos to me. I like traditional proportions and angles. This looks like a receptionist counter in a medical office, not a nice welcoming homey kitchen. It really makes me nervous instead of calm and centered.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Only have a sec before heading out of town...but I thought about moving the dining room back so that the whole of it is bumped out and then the kitchen would be the width of the living room. Would that help with symmetry? Issue with that is if we needed to extend the seating for a large holiday gathering we'd be boxed in. Not sure how often that would happen but that is the hold up. Sorry no time to draw that now but I will when I return.

holly-what are you referring to when you say the whole thing doesn't flow - being an open plan or something else? We like the positions of the rooms with where our land faces so we would like to keep them in those spots. As for interior walls - we can add or change but what would you recommend to help the flow? Is it that the kitchen is so open and needs more separation?

bmore-yes what is the pt in the diagram? The fridge, the pesky fridge! My issue with putting it there is all of the traffic while cooking or working in there from the kids coming inside from the garage for a snack and walking right through the work zone. :( But I see where you have it located would be much more convenient for meal times. Sigh.

julie-I can do blunt. What is a traditional proportion and angle that you speak of? That is too vague for me to know what you really mean. I do like homey - can you have open and homey at the same time? Dh and I are a little at odds with the openness. He thinks completely open YES, I think mostly open is good. We are early enough in the process to make changes but I do not know what changes would help.

I won't be able to sketch up anything more until we get back on Sunday. Keep the thoughts coming though. Thank you so much and enjoy the holiday weekend. Not looking forward to a 5 1/2 hour car ride but it's worth it to see my sis, niece and nephew!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 6:51AM
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donaleen-I googled for your kitchen but you haven't revealed yet right? Not quite done? Is your layout similar to ours? Can you post a pic? Hope you are continuing to heal.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 6:52AM
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Hey autumn.4 - I'm pretty sure she was referring to me!

PT = Paper Towels - or similar analogues in cloth.

I could see exchanging kitchen for dining. I spend much more time in the kitchen than in the dining room. Plus for almost half the year here, the dining room is dark when we're in there for supper. The light in the kitchen is better in the mornings. If they switched, its a little bit further to walk with groceries, but more convenient for casual eating/cooking outside (if you do that).

That's the kids way in? wow, uh, wow - just wow :( Have you thought about moving the door closer to the closet?

This is even more switching about but switch sides? Trading dining for family room, leaving kitchen in the current location?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 2:35PM
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Bmore-The doorway by the pantry is from the garage. If the kids don't come in that way it's either the front door or porch off of living/dining room. I was thinking I would discourage living room so they didn't walk through the house to grab a quick snack. What were you thinking? Only have a sec. Thanks. Would it help if I showed the whole first floor?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 4:27PM
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I'm a newbie at kichen design but wanted to say I really like the esthetics of the slanted island by bmore.
Doesn't scream chaos to me but then I'm not "traditional".

Did want to comment that your original subject included what seemed to be top priority of wanting a "two butt" kitchen. And with that priority, I think that "screams" having a second prep sink.

What about moving the pantry back to opening to the hall leaving room for extending the counter around the corner from the stove? Wouldn't that provide a very nice prep area with sink for a "second butt"? or maybe not enough room?

Guess it does take a way some of the space around the stove but wish someone could figure out a way to get a small prep sink in this layout.

Also wanted to comment to autumn that you are sooo smart trying to get this nailed before the architect comes on the scene. they likely will have their own ideas and if you have a lot of conidence with YOUR own ideas, only good can come out of that type of collaboration.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:04PM
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My kitchen is similar to your drawing #1, just flipped. I have an island with the dishwasher, sink and trash pullout on one side and cabinets under counter and overhang on the other side. I have doors with pullout drawers in them and they are easy to use. Of course, you have to move the stools out of the way but I have stuff that's not used daily stored there.

My kitchen is 14'6" from the front of the refrigerator to the front of the cabinets between the kitchen and dining room. My dining room is almost the same as yours at 14'6" x 11'. The dimensions in the photos don't look right because of the camera lens distortion. Being open to the kitchen makes it feel so much larger than it did with a wall between the kitchen and dining room.

This is standing next to refrigerator looking into kitchen with the dining room beyond. We have 49" between the refrigerator and the island. If I were to build it again I would have overhang on that end of the island too (seating on 3 sides). We sit there even without the overhang. If no one sits there 49" is too much space.

This view is standing in dining room looking into kitchen (with the office in the background and where your pantry, stairs etc would be). We have 43" between the sink and stove. If I were to build it again I wouldn't add more room.

Here is the dishwasher, sink & trash pullout.

This doesn't have anything to do with the kitchen layout :) but I painted the kitchen and dining room walls brown. The rug is 9x12 to give a frame of reference to the size.

Good luck with your kitchen design! We can easily cook with 2 people and 3 or 4 isn't a big stretch. :)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:04AM
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I've added a prep sink in the corner.
There are always compromises - depends on what your priorities end up being (mine have changed as I go through the design process and try to decide what I really want.)
More food for thought at:

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 2:31AM
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I think I would switch the dining and kitchen areas.especially since this is the only eating area and you could put a large window on the side there too. This would then allow you to extend dining into living if you have a large gathering.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Butt width is a big driver

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 4:53PM
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Quick response (sorry, it's busy tonight around here!)

So...could the "Covered Veranda" become permanent part of the house - maybe a DR?

Honestly? The majority of the drawings I'm seeing above really aren't that great for 2 or more people working in the kitchen at one time...and believe me, you will be having 3 or more soon. Your children are fast approaching the age when they will want to do their own task w/o you "interfering" (aren't the teenage years great :-)!)

Even after they've grown and are out of the house, you will still need a 2-butt kitchen for you and your DH as well as when the kids come home (including someday w/their significant others who may also want to help out).

Before going any further, think about what you need for at least two Prep Zones:

  • Water access and sufficient workspace for each zone - with no overlap. That does not necessarily mean two sinks...if you can provide sufficient workspace on each side of a single sink (at least 36") and one person doesn't mind prepping over a running DW or getting out of the way if someone is trying to access the DW (putting something in or taking something out). BTW...in the case of a single sink, I strongly recommend at least a 36" wide sink base w/two bowls...so you each have your own sink/bowl.

Overlap at the range/cooktop is OK if there's enough room on both sides of the range (at least 24"). However, having to cross busy aisles are a detriment to both. Easy access to the MW and refrigerator (as well as pantry/range/cooktop/ovens) from each Prep Zone w/o crossing the other Prep Zone if the aisles aren't particularly wide. Easy access to the trash from both Prep Zones as well as from the Cooking Zone - even more important than access to the trash from the Cleanup Zone (although easy access from the Cleanup Zone is also good.) Anything else anyone can think of?

Once you've compiled your list of what's needed for two Prep Zones, then you can look at your space and see how you can accommodate it.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 6:40PM
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that is a good list. i also think islands can make good shared areas because of their outer corners.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Back in town. Thank you so much - a lot to process and too tired to do it now. I hope to be able to spend some time with this tomorrow and be back with and for more.

Brickeye-yours is the only one I truly have an answer for...not so bad but the width seems to grow more and more as the years go by. ;) Maybe if I make the kitchen DYSfunctional we'll eat less because we can't stand to go in there or we'll burn more calories working around it's barriers?

So would any of you think it odd to enter the dining room from the mudroom? If we switched the kitchen and dining room that is how it would be. I can't quite get my mind wrapped around that.

For now - here is the first floor layout in case that helps (the gray strip on the right is just from scanning - it represents nothing). We are hoping to angle the garage once we meet with the architect and squeeze an office space into that mudroom area:

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:11PM
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autumn... we call our kitchen a 20 year project. we are on the final wall, which is the sink counter and upper cabs. my dh is working on the cabinets. we finished the island this past summer. last night we had four people cooking in the kitchen... i need a lot of help right now, still pretty helpless. i am happy to report that our kitchen is a 4 butt kitchen. i am including a link to kitchen photos.

yes, i am doing quite well. thanks for asking. tomorrow i get the x-ray to see if my bone is healing okay without pins... i hope so. do not want pins.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:29PM
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there is a significant amount of sq footage on this floor of the home devoted to corridors-for instance when the lady of the house wants to just go to her bath to brush her hair or do something quick with the makeup or such, it's rather convoluted...I don't see why that couldn't be more straight through path. The foyer is very large[some kitchens are that size], and the hallway to the right of foyer is big enough to be a galley kitchen. Some of this should be right sized and compacted...then something else could expand whether it be the kitchen,living room or dining alcove.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 7:35AM
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I meant move the door to the GARAGE towards the closet. So you have half a chance they'll go the other way (out the hall and up the steps or towards the tv).

Not disagreeing with comments about house plan or kitchen - but I don't see anything helpful to add.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:14AM
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So I have a bit of a new perspective. Just spent the weekend cooking in my sisters kitchen. Super old home with the most crazy kitchen layout I have ever seen (also with a lot of the large moldings, leaded windows and things that make old homes so quaint). Kitchen: 4 doorways, stove up against the wall and directly 90 degrees from sink - corner space there which is the ONLY prep space has a mw sitting on it, other side of sink is just wide enough for a dish drainer (no dishwasher). Largest wall space is in between 2 doorways and houses a huge picture window. Yowsa. We survived but it was comical in a bit of a maddening sort of way.

I am thinking having the fridge/mw/pantry close is a good thing and then stove/sink/dw also but now I need to apply buehl's guidelines to it and see if it works.

I was kind of thinking my dimensions would lend themselves to something similar to marmoreus's kithchen linked below (haven't figured to link it RIGHT where I want it). I read further (a different thread) though and see it wasn't the best layout for them but it was too late to make any modifications. :( I think it's gorgeous though (esp view from kitchen to living room).

herbflavor-the foyer size we definitely will address - it is way to big for the home and for our lifestyle it's not necessary. Good call on perspective - it is actually larger than my current kitchen. As for the master - I kind of liked the hallway as I think it will help keep private spaces private? It doesn't seem to be that far away, will think on that as it wasn't something that had entered my mind. The master bath will also be changed downward in scale - we don't use our bath as an oasis. Planning on adding a walk through from the laundry to our master closet as well.

bmore-yes that is what I am hoping! I think as long as they aren't wanting a snack they will likely go left to hang up their coats/shoes and then continue into the living room from there. Plus then you'd not have a view of the door while sitting at the table. The only hang up with traffic flow is snack time and right now I feel like they want to snack about 24/7 and I DO feed them regularly. :/ Go figure.

buehl-the covered porch will at the very least be screened but we are thinking at first to frame it to possibly be a 3 season room for the future but it's not in the current plan to do that right away. Live in MI - may dine out there but definitely not year round. Hoping to sit and read or have breakfast, dinner out there and catch some glimpses of wildlife. I was thinking I could prep at the island - kids could be on the other side helping and still someone else could be at the stove. Maybe not. The water and trash would be easily accessible from the sink/stove but no where else. My current prep area is about 56" (right over the dw which is a pain as its the MAIN space) and I use ALL OF IT! Still thinking on what you listed out. Thank you.

sundowr - thank you so much for...

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 3:07PM
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I love marmoreus's kitchen, too!

If we have 2 or 3 people cooking or baking we prep on all sides of the island. :)

Space between sink and stove - I think there is enough room. That's not to say you won't bump into each other once in awhile but you can use both spaces at the same time without inconvenience.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:22PM
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Thanks for coming back to answer my questions sundownr. I am ready to get settled into something but I think it's gonna take a while.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:00AM
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