I keep coming back to this plan--does it have merit?

laughablemomentsNovember 12, 2012

Hi all patient, forbearing GWers. For some reason, I keep coming back to variations of this plan for our kitchen. Does this make any sense?

Review: Family of 9, scratch cooking and baking 3 meals daily + occasional canning, freezing, batch cooking. Childrens' ages range from 1 yo to 12 yo.

Note: I've "removed" 2 windows at the top of the picture to make this layout work. IRL they are west facing.

I picture using the left stove primarily for baking tasks and the right stove primarily for meal prep. Deedles (thanks for commenting on my peninsula thread!) suggested I move the prep sink a bit farther from the edge of the peninsula, which I'm considering doing to increase landing room at the end nearest the fridges. I'm trying to weigh that out with losing some ctop and shrinking the drawers to do so.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. : )

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All I can see is that you might want a little more counter to the right of your prep sink?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 3:00PM
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If the left stove is primarly for baking, you could put just an oven there (no cooktop) and have more counter space. If you don't need two cooktops, I'd rather have the counter space and use a wall oven installed below the counter.

I'm assuming that you have already considered and priced out the option of one large range/cooktop with 2 ovens rather than two separate ranges. I ask because with the space between the two ranges as shown, the door for the right hand one when open will block access to the cabinets in the peninsula. Anyone doing prep to the left of the prep sink will have to move out of the way. This might not be a big deal since the oven door typically doesn't stay open for long. But I'd still weigh the ease of use of two smaller ranges vs. one wide one.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Everything looks great except, perhaps, for the island and the prep sink location. Like others, I would move the prep sink over to leave maybe 15'' on the right side.

Regarding the island:
I cannot really see the graph squares in your layout. How wide are the aisles off the ends of the island? I would settle for 36'' aisles here since if that meant I could add more length to the island. That is SUCH prime work space.

And can you make the island wider? I would want 42'' or only a little less aisle space between the stoves and the island, but I don't see the need for more than that. Below the island you have plenty of space except for the narrowing caused by the projecting cabs to the left of the fridge. Can you shorten these cabs?

People working at the island will work on the long sides, not the ends, I think.

If you can make the island larger, you have room for a drawer microwave on the island. A really great place for one.

Here's a sketch of what I think might work:

And a final thought. Have you considered 15'' deep cabs on the range wall? You won't be doing a lot of prep on this wall and 15'' deep cabs hold a lot more than 13'' deep ones. If you will have the range wall cabs wrapping around the corner on the left, susans in the wall as well as the base are amazing!
Here, if it is useful to you, is a thread I started on susans in a 15'' wall cab. I absolutely LOVE them. Unbelievable amount of accessible storage.

Here is a link that might be useful: susans in 15'' wall cab

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 4:43PM
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I like the plan overall, and even moreso with bellsmom's recommendations above re. wider island and shifted prep sink.

I would also try to add a small trash pullout beside or under that prep sink, as walking your trash across to the other side of the fridge will get old fast.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:19PM
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I also wonder why 2 stoves rather than maybe a 6 burner 1 and a wall oven. or a 6 burner cooktop with double wall ovens. Also with separate ovens it'd allow someone else (as the kids get older) to keep check on the baking for you. The 12 yr old is old enough now. I was baking at about age 9.

I do like the prep sink moved from the end a bit.

and on the island I'd make it only 32" deep allowing more space for the lower aisle. With 7 kids running in/out I think it'd be safer. you could put doors on that side of the island with about 8" shelves in it for storage. might need those kid locks on them (and others) tho.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:26PM
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I like it a lot.
2 ranges give some redundancy, and extra capacity at about the same cost as 1 range and second oven. I say keep the 2 ranges. And will most certainly be easier to replace in 15 years with new.

I think a butcherblock counter between the 2 ranges would be nice. You can put hot items on it, and it would be a good carving spaces as well. I like the idea of extending those cabinets a bit too.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:39PM
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I would slide the ranges together. When you need more burners than 1 offers, you don't want to run back and forth...And I think that will happen often as your kids get bigger (the ages like mine are) and eat more.

I agree that your island, as drawn, is too small to be of use to a kitchen crowd the size of yours. I don't think you have room for Bellsmom's island, though, either. 54" x 30" is the largest you dare go, I think... and that would have to include overhangs. Can you eliminate the peninsula and put the prep sink in a longer island? Slide a table by the bench, perhaps, if you want in-kitchen seating/dining.

Your microwave is too far out of the loop for me. I use it to steam veggies, melt butter, thaw meat and do other meal and baking related things. I'm afraid that counter by the fridges will be a catch-all, since it's in the walkway. Some specific organization that fills the spot might keep it from happening. It's a good spot for napkins, etc for setting the table, since it'd be near the dining and kitchen seating. Or maybe the toaster oven and peanut butter, etc.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:04PM
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Thank you for looking at this everyone. Deedles, I think we can certainly move the sink a little closer to the middle of the peninsula.

Chicagoans, going w/ one range or two is still a decision I'm hashing out. I think we are probably going to head to two. Part of the reason for doing 2 ranges instead of 1 larger range is for the economic sake. We can easily slide in any 30" range should one of them decide to die on us. The price of the big ranges is scary to me, and they still haven't come out with a good big electric one that I've been able to find.

Thanks for the sketch, Bellsmom! Each square is 12", I was shooting for 48" to the left and right of the island, about 40" above it, and about 36" below it. Unfortunately, I cannot shorten that funny little wall that juts upward from the bottom. It contains a post that is holding up our 2nd floor. Ohhh, how I'd love to change it if I could!

I think I can tighten up the aisles some...I'm only really concerned for causing a tripping hazard to the left of the island when the DW door is opened. Should I not worry about this?

A MW in the island might be nice. : )

I've oggled your upper susans. Very cool. If we went to 15" deep uppers, would that require us to use deeper lowers, too?

Taggie, you are so right. I do not want to be trekking to the trash from the prep sink. Trash container needed in that area definitely noted. Thank you.

Desertsteph, that's great you learned to cook so young. My 12 yo is part of the reason I want to increase the work space. She loves to bake and helps out quite often in the kitchen. And she darts like a hummingbird! She needs her own zone. : ) I like the idea of extra storage on the bottom edge of the island. With locks. Last baby stayed out of the cupboards and off the stairs, really weren't any issues. This one? Well, we now have locks under the sink, and have installed a baby gate. This little gal can move fast!

Juliekcmo, your thoughts on the cost of the ranges are very similar to our reasoning at this point. I'd love some butcherblock between them, that'd be very handy, I think.

Ahhh, Rhome, the ranges would be better snuggled up together, I agree. If only that heat run (and post) wasn't mussing up that top run. It's stuck between the ranges and is about 24" wide. I could put both ranges to the left of the heat run, but then there is not room enough for a Super Suzan in the left corner. I was really hoping to put one of those in that corner, besides leaving space between the range and the left hand run of counter so that people wouldn't be on top of each other at the corner, especially when the oven door is open.

Yes, I suppose we could do a longer island and no peninsula. But then we'd have a barrier island. I was trying to get away from that. I'm also trying to have some dedicated room where my little helpers can be on stools and help without being in the walkway or main work-paths.

Which side of the island should the micro open up toward? I'm thinking toward the stoves, right?

In regard to the cupboard next to the fridge, I was kind of going for a plunk space there. : ) When my MIL comes over she always brings multiple bags, and that would give her a specific spot to set them. Maybe she could put them on the bench, and we could stick an upright freezer in that spot, instead? That'd be more convenient than traipsing into the basement for frozen foods.

Thanks for all of your encouraging words and thoughtful ideas. : )

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:55PM
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I forgot about that heat run! I guess I'd leave the ranges as is, then. Maybe put a piece of stainless counter or butcher block in between and create something that seems to give it some unity if you'd like?

If you want that spot to be a catching spot, then great. Just wanted you to be aware in case you hadn't thought of it.

Good point about the island length, too. Didn't you have an island plan that was pretty good?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:05PM
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The biggest issue that I see that hasn't been addressed is your ventilation. You will need to either do 2 36" hoods separated by what looks like about 18" of space, or you will need one commercial sized LARGE (and CUSTOM!) hood. Whatever money you just "saved" with two ranges just flew up the vent flue. And, two hoods would look odd, frankly. So, it would have to be the large single hood. Dropping 8K on a hood probably isn't anyone's idea of budget.

If you did a 36" cooktop and separate double ovens, you could get by with a single 42" consumer grade hood, if you're putting in a consumer grade cooking equipment, that is.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:37AM
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Probably not what you're looking for, but I still like the wood stove in the kitchen :)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 3:32AM
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I originally planned two, 30" electric ranges for my kitchen as a way to get 2 ovens and additional burners. When I decided on a wall oven, that idea went away. But in that time, I also had them planned with a space in between and 2 separate, 30" hoods. It was definitely the most economical choice and at least in renderings, I didn't think it looked bad. Unusual, maybe, but so is 7 or 8 kids, and I wouldn't trade to be 'normal.' ;-)

The ventilation price issue is another good reason to keep the ranges separate, even if you could slide them together. But your ducting in the center wouldn't allow a big hood, anyway. I always had a 30" hood over a 30" range. I now have a 48" hood over a 48" rangetop. I can understand the recommendation to go bigger, but I really haven't had any problem.

I thought I had some of the renderings of the 2-range, 2-hood option, either mine or previous versions of yours, on photobucket, but I don't. I'll look to see if I have any elsewhere.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:26AM
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I'm fine w/ 2 30" hoods. I thought I could have DH build a custom wood cover to unite the two... until I looked at the heat run this morning and saw the angle support beam that comes off that heat run into the archway. Ugh! So, I think the hoods will have to stay separate. Goofy old house.

Well, Lavender, our heating season has begun, and our wood stove is chugging away. Liriodendron was right, I think it's a bit too warm to have the wood stove in our kitchen. If I had a huge room I was working with, I think I'd stick a wood cook stove in in a heartbeat, though. Wood stoves are so cozy, great for raising bread and incubating yogurt, and roasting the cooks in the kitchen!

Rhome, do you remember how much space you were planning between your 2 stoves? I thought that 2' (approx) space could be a blessing. It gives a spot for shared utensils, hot pads, pans, and a little space to turn the handles in out of the way without colliding into each other.

You don't think I'll need one of these glide boards in front of the stoves, do you?

I'd love to see your renderings if you find them. Oh, and I wouldn't trade my kiddos for "normal" either!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:03PM
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LOL... I think that might be a tad bit dangerous in the cooking area. Too attractive to the younger set. Or 18 yr olds... ;-)

I think I planned a 2 ft space in between the ranges, too. I was also trying to save buying a huge hood, and the 2 ft seemed a reasonable space.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:21PM
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A family of 9 needs food storage. Do you have a pantry?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:42PM
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OK, no glide boards in the kitchen, unless someone spills bacon grease. : ) I'm hoping 2' is reasonable, too.

We have 2 walls of pantry cupboards in our dining room. One is 10' long floor to ceiling by 15" deep and the other is about 5' long, 15" deep, also floor to ceiling. Thanks for checking, Mother of 3!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:08PM
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I have a 48" range configured like this: (from left) two pairs of 12" wide burners front and back; a 12" wide slab of granite; and a single pair of 12" burners, front and back. I often have things cooking on the two outermost pairs of burners, leaving the center pair and the granite space blank. I've never had the sense of stretching between my cooking positions even though this hiatus is pretty much what you would have between your two stoves. Granted the centers of your two cooking positions would be at the outer edges of my range, but still I don't think you'll find it too difficult to manage. I am often standing dooing something at the counters on either side of the range and the pots at the opposite end never seem to far away.

Having a perch space among the burners on top of the stove is truly fantastic. You might want to consider having a stone surface there that you can use as a heat-protected plunk space, even if you have no other stone in the kitchen.

Although I've hung on to my wood-fired cookstove, it lives out in the barn until there's no other choice. I'd give up running water before I'd go back to cooking on it; you have no idea what an effort it is to cook on.

It looks, alas, as though I'll have yet another winter in my inconvenient orginal-kitchen-with-the-house-heating-wood-stove in it. Just don't see all the things coming together in time to get me moved to the new room before serious cold sets in. So far we've held off firing up the stove (just using the pellet stove in the library for now) but it won't be long now. Curses, curses, curses! Yeah, I know, I should be happy: many people in NY & NJ don't have any light or heat yet and I'm up here kvetching about being too hot in my undamaged kitch. But still!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 2:41AM
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Your plan looks fantastic and functional, and though I don't have much to add, I wanted to pop in to say how nice it is to read about your plans to accomodate a large, active family with children who like to cook. We're about to begin our kitchen remodel, and have had to squeeze lots of function into our tiny kitchen, which is a workhorse for our multiple-food-issue, scratch cooking and baking family of 8. My kids love to cook too, and we're also planning with them in mind. I think two ranges makes a lot of sense for your needs, both functional and budgetary, and if we had the space we might consider this. As it is, we're squeezing in a double wall oven and 36" cooktop (yippee, can't wait to replace the 30" coil cooktop!). You will enjoy that space!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:43AM
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Laughable- I can understand not wanting too much heat, in the kitchen. Looks like L has been right all along :)

L- Sorry you can't get your wood stove moved this fall.

As for the kitchen plan, I like the idea, but I'm still not sure about the fridges so far from the ranges. Here's a quick idea...with the fridges up by the ranges...and a prep sink on the island. There might be room for the microwave by the fridge, or you could have it in the island.

I know you like the corner lazy susan, but stuff does sometimes fall off and behind. This way, you'd have a lot more pantry space for food and pots/pans. What do you think? From Cottage house plans

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Liri, it's very comforting to know that you think the space configuration between the 2 stoves will work well. I love it when someone has had 1st hand experience with what I'm trying to only imagine.

Wow, I never would have guessed that a wood cookstove could be so hard to use. We have friends that have a newer Pioneer Maid, and know some Amish that have a nice Amish-made wood stove, and both folks love them.

I'm sorry to hear you have to wait a while longer for your new kitchen! It's hard to wait! I guess that will make it that much sweeter when it is done, right. My heart goes out to those who have suffered from Hurricane Sandy. The devastation is awful.

Thanks for chiming in Aimskitchen. Are you an Amy? I am. : ) I'd love to see your layout, did you post plans? Hooray for another scratch cooking big family! : ) And one that has allergy issues, to boot. My hat is off to you, that's not an easy job. Thanks for your encouraging words. I want this kitchen to function well and be a space we all want to spend time in, without getting under each other's toes.

Lavender, that is too funny that you drew up that plan! Thank you. Do you know I sketched almost the exact same thing in my paint program??

DH and I stayed at a cabin for our anniversary that had a layout something like that, and I LOVED it. Here it is:

OK, it was dark as night in there (so glad there was a skylight over the island), and it wasn't GW standard, but it still worked incredibly well. The island was 8' x 24" (What? Doesn't everyone bring a tape measure with them on vacation?)and had open storage to the kitchen side. It was sooo efficient to cook in. Of course, I was only cooking for two, so I didn't get to give it a true test run. I loved having the table off to the side of the kichen, too. Nice!

Anyone else want to chime in on which plan would be better?

Things I like about the peninsula plan:

1.The cooks face windows when working at the peninsula.
2. Folks sitting at the bar face the back window (pretty view) and their stools are out. of. the. way.
2. There are 3 distinct countertop areas to work at: peninsula, island, and counter under window.
3. People can get in fridges w/out interrupting workers in the working zones.
4. Seats 4 at the peninsula.
5. Set space between stoves.

Things I might not like in the peninsula plan:
1. Are the counters too small and chopped up?
2. Crossing a walkway to the fridges.
3. Will I get stuck behind the island? I don't like to be stuck!
4. No closet/pantry.

Things I like about the island plan:
1. Mega island with lots of room to spread out.
2. Prep sink is nice and close to stoves
3. Fridges are mighty close to stoves, I am at the fridge a lot to get a little of this or that.
4. A CLOSET (or pantry, the way Lav. drew it.) Good heavens, we could use some closet space in this house. I don't even have a broom closet at this point!

Things I might not like about the island plan:
1. The area between the island and fridge stove area is going to be narrow. Will it feel constrictive?
2. Working at the island faces toward the closet--boring.
3. Stools are in a major walkway.
4. Stoves are stuck together.
5. Can't do a susan or even drawer king in the corner.
6. Are there enough areas for multiple workers?

Anyone else want to chime in on which plan would be better?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:33PM
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Lavender's plan needs to be drawn more specifically to scale to see how things work and before I can compare to the peninsula plan. --For instance, fridges are deeper than 2 ft and I need to see how the island fits, how wide the aisles are, and how much island you'll have after there is a sink in it. I do think you might get a 36" lazy susan cabinet in the corner by the ranges.

In addition to possible problems with the things I listed... Will you be able to build a vent for 60" of stove that won't cost a fortune? Will you care that the counter and storage to the left of the left range will not be very accessible if there is someone working at that stove? But it could be that person's work area.

I am not generally a fan of peninsulas, because I think they trap people inside, but I wouldn't consider any of your negatives about the peninsula plan to be 'deal breakers.' The counter work sections are not too small, crossing an aisle to the fridge isn't a big deal, I don't think, and you might get caught behind the island at the left range, but not too bad? The island is sort of a barrier, but not really for the right range.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 4:21PM
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