Layout help & brutally honest advice needed!
We are planning a gut renovation of our kitchen. Nothing will be left standing, so everything is on the table.
We are a family of four (two boys (currently 2 and 5, but they will be closer to 3 and 6 when this is done)). We both cook (although my DH cooks more frequently and better than I do) and the boys REALLY like to help. Currently the kitchen can barely contain one cook, and certainly does not hold two. I like to bake, but I really don't enjoy it with the lack of counter space. We like to entertain, but it's usually fairly casual. We have a pool, so when people come over in the summer, there's a lot of coming in and out. I'd like the kitchen to be the center of all the action. I like the idea of the kids doing homework at the island while dinner is being prepared and everyone just hanging out in general. I really don't like to cook by myself!
There are a few things that I think we want to change/are questioning right off the bat...
1) Eliminate the bank of rollouts at end of sink run in order to gain some additional counter-space and reduce the cabinet to 30" so it does not extend beyond the end of the island (probably will add an additional window).
2) Eliminate "blind corner" upper and end the run at the sink wall
3) Eliminate cabinet over the range and just have a hood
4) Eliminate super lazy susan and replace with a bank of drawers on the diagonal
5) All/most bottom rollouts become drawers
6) We're considering getting a cooktop and oven instead of a range. Cooktop would stay where range is shown now, but where should the oven go. Would it be weird to sandwich it in between the fridge and cooktop or next to the dishwasher?
7) For the bottom 66" area, we're envisioning a breakfast station. This will be two 15" full height pullout pantries (one will likely become a broom closet) flanking a 36" run of counter. This will be where the coffee maker and toaster will live, as well as MW/speed-oven (planning for under-counter). This will allow the preparation of breakfasts consisting of cereal, oatmeal (water from fridge), fruit, yogurt, etc without moving into the "cooking" part of the kitchen. I'm thinking we may do no uppers, but add a shelf for the cable box and perhaps do a wall-mounted TV there. We don't watch TV much, but I'd like to turn on the news if I'm cooking alone. We have an under-cabinet one now that's fine, but our current layout is more consolidated.
I would greatly appreciate your feedback on our layout and our potential changes. After living with a dysfunctional kitchen for the past seven years, I'll take the bumps and bruises now to end up with a fabulously functional design!!! TIA!