Climbing out of the Pit of Despair

drybeanNovember 2, 2012

Many thanks to all of you who helped me in my last thread. I'm so glad I posted and had you all give me advice that prevented a very costly mistake. Shout out to EAM for picking up on the Princess Bride reference. :-)

So I've been obsessing about the layout day in and day out.

Here is where I currently am:

After spending a lot of time with blue tape and a measuring tape spacing things out, I don't think I have room for a banquette in this kitchen.

As Herbflavor pointed out, we do have a dining nook off kitchen. If we had gone with a banquette, we would have converted existing dining nook to additional living space. However, looking at footprint of room, I don't know that it would often be used, resulting in wasted space in a small house (2k sf).

I need to seat 4 at the island, and I like the idea of having 2 x 2. Does this work, or should island be a bit deeper?

Range Wall.

Should I tile to ceiling over range?

In lieu of banquette, I think the back wall is best utilized as additional storage. We don't have a formal dining room in this house, which means I have a lot of servingware, extra place settings, china, crystal, etc., that need a home. I thought about adding a prep sink and making it a coffee bar, but I'm the only coffee drinker in the house. It would be a good staging area for parties. Also would be good to have a place to store dog food. :-)

Thoughts? My contractor is on his way over and we are scheduling a start date, hopefully for end of month. eeeek!

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oops. I meant to post this one with counter to counter measurements:

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 7:03PM
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    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 9:14AM
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What are the measurements of the yellow part of the island? It looks like the folks on the corner will konk their knees.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 10:35AM
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What is along the left wall? What is the distance between it and the island?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 1:07PM
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I also meant to ask what overhang measurements do you have planned? Depending on how comfortable you are with narrowing aisle widths you could probably get an extra 6" for your island width and maybe also on your length. It would help to make your seating and prepping a little more comfortable. 46"-48" of aisle width would still be very comfortable. (not on the seating side because you do need more there if it is a traffic throughfare)

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 1:12PM
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That's a lot of dog cabinet space.

I'm not trying to talk you out of the 53" aisle between the ref and island, but I'd spend some more time there noodling about the placement of everything and whether I'd be better off --
(1) with a counterdepth ref
(2) perhaps a single door ref instead of french doors or an sxs - its a little far to the island landing space and a little clunky to reach when doing dishes
(3) with a 28-30" deep counter on the range run
(4) without the ref and dw opening into the same piece of aisle - if we're cleaning up after a meal, the ref is being opened and closed while the dishwasher is being filled - leading to...
(5) whether to flip the entire island so the seating end was towards the dining room side which puts the stools, micro and ref together plus has improved views of the outside and fireplace from two of the stools and some improvement in fire safety. without stools backing into the actual fireplace.
(6) Big bit of counter space - really is only available on the end of the island without the stools. It's one of those spaces that exist on paper - but maybe not so much in real life - its the perfect drop zone and I would expect to see many book bags, purse(s), cell phones etc piled up there. And its the landing spot for things going to/from the dining room and for used dishes. It's another argument for perhaps reversing the island but also something to think about for exact positioning of the range.

Lastly, the only big issue is that people will cut through in front of the range to get outside. This is not the end of the world - its just so you know that's going to happen. Some people would decrease the aisle space, but that tactic may not work for you if multiple people use the kitchen at the same time.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 6:19PM
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BMorePanic-Thank you for your thoughtful suggestions. I do see that having the fridge behind the sink would be problematic. I strongly dislike counter depth fridges, as one can not fit a large plate or bowl inside of them easily.
I moved the fridge over to the recessed area, which tucks it in nicely and out of the island dish and cookiing zones. This layout makes flipping the island, as you suggested, not possible, although I do like the idea of looking outside whilst seated at island.
We live in Southern California, and the fireplace will likely never be lit, FWIW. I do see your point about lack of counter space, so I added additional space where I previously had the fridge.

I would like to have a closet with narrow shelving built in next to the fridge for my pantry and m/w. Is the space (3 ft) adequate? I have a huge blank space at the back of the kitchen now. I could have a long shallow pantry back there, but it's a hike to get there from the cooking zone, don't you think?

I could add more cabinetry to do hutch storage, as I had above...or I could just do furniture storage. Not sure what else.

What would the reason for increased depth around range be? Just so that it doesn't stick out?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Mulling this over more.

Here is what it looks like with the island flipped and the fridge moved over. I had the post in the wrong location earlier, which affords me more room to the right of post for fridge...further away from sink.

I like this idea because it gives me more room to place 2 chairs near fireplace (under windows), and more pantry storage space. But not sure that the fridge is ideally located near island seating.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 6:04PM
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BLFenton-I think you are right on about losing a bit of aisle width between range and island. In the last iteration above, I have 24" overhang on back and 18" on sides. I may change it to be 18" all around.

The left wall has nothing on it. 2 windows and a door that leads to backyard/pool/courtyard. I am exploring having it expanded into a double french door.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 6:11PM
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The deeper counter would be to get the countertop to be as deep as the refrigerator body. In real life, you would normally get deeper side panels for the ref anyway and its just a little bit more in construction costs to pad out the base cabinets to be flush with the ref body. The ref doesn't appear to stick out as much because everything is the same depth as the ref. The other thing it lets you do is put deeper uppers (14-15") that will still be proportional but will hold a lot more stuff.

When the run is short, it can be a blessing to be able to have appliances or canisters on the counter, but still have nearly a full depth work area in front of them.

If you move the ref to the recess, increasing the depth would not matter as much because there would be no cabinets to match. BUT it would stick out into the main aisle and ref users would kinda gum up the traffic lanes.

Just to let you know, I always hate this stage of design - when you know overall what you're doing but you have to finally, finally choose stuff like the dishwasher on right or left; offset the sink or let it be centered, etc. I hope others chime in too, but I don't see anything huge wrong.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 6:25PM
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