help with kitchen layout, please!
I lurk here all the time (and post very occasionally) and have been biding my time until for our eventual kitchen remodel. We've had a precipitating event (30 year old fridge dying) that is forcing a few issues, so I need to figure a few things out, and would LOVE it if the layout gurus here could weigh in and help me get the most functional kitchen possible.
Backstory: we (me, husband, and our 5 year old son) live in a 1958 split-level. It was remodeled about 25 years ago, and the previous owner also added new appliances (except that darn fridge!) and granite counters about 2 years ago. The house is a pretty standard suburban split level. I'm very into mid-century modern decor and architecture, so where possible, I'm trying to play up the MCM roots of the house. At this stage though, I need to get a good layout. The rest will come later.
What I'm looking for: Overall, what's most important to me is an efficient, functional, easy space to work in. Our house is the family gathering house, so there are often several of us in the kitchen working on meals. An efficient use of space is EXTREMELY important to me, and things like symmetry are all secondary to functionality.
Why I'm trying to figure this out now:
We're a few years away from a full renovation, but as I mentioned, our fridge just died, and we bought a new one. The existing fridge was a 30 year old built-in, and a new built-in wasn't in the budget. So I picked out a nice counter-depth french-door fridge, with the knowledge that it won't really entirely work in the existing fridge area without being pulled out slightly from the wall. I was okay with this, because it will be a temporary situation until we can renovate, which will likely involve moving it to another location. (This is where the Gardenweb layout geniuses come in!)
With that said, here are some pics of what we have right now. First, my very rough sketch of the layout of the living room/dining room/kitchen level of the house, to give context to pictures:
The view from the front door (from the listing, with previous owner's furniture):
When you enter the kitchen from the front entry:
The view from the breakfast room/stairs to the family room, looking into the kitchen (previous owner's stuff - we don't use chairs at the island):
The view straight on from the breakfast room - the ceiling vaults to 12' at the highest (we painted, but otherwise haven't changed anything):
The pantry wall, viewed looking towards the front door. The one closest to the front door is the coat closet:
The breakfast room, which is two steps down from the kitchen:
And here's another rough sketch with some measurements (not to scale, even though I did it on graph paper. Sorry!):
So, for layout: I'm open to anything, and would love some fresh eyes on things. I've come up with a number of different ideas, but I really want to see what other ideas there are. I have toyed with moving the fridge to the pantry wall, and if that is part of the overall plan, I would look at the feasibility of redoing just that wall of the kitchen now (or in the near future), and have the rest wait. I am going to have to have some changes made to the water line for the fridge regardless of where it ends up (the line isn't in the right place now, even though we put the new fridge, which was delivered today, in the same place as the old one.), and if the new plan involves moving the fridge, I'd rather do it now if possible, so that I only have to have the water line moved once, rather than twice. (Make sense? I think I'm confusing myself!)
What I like about the current kitchen:
- the openness to the breakfast room
- the location of the sink. We eat all our meals in the breakfast room, and after meals, it is really nice to be able to put dirty dishes on the counter next to the sink, and then walk up the two steps and finish dealing with them.
What I want in the eventual new kitchen:
- Fridge is 36" wide, 70" tall, counter-depth.
- I'd love a 36" wide range, and whatever size, it will definitely be gas.
- An actual exhaust hood. Currently there's a downdraft, and it is almost completely useless.
- I really hope we're able to splurge on a built-in coffee maker. Don't know if it'll be possible, but I want to include it in plans.
- I'm open to moving anything and everything (water, gas, electricity) within the space of the kitchen in order to get what we want.
If I've left anything out, please ask me! I'm open to any and all solutions that will leave us with a functional, efficient kitchen. I'm really excited to see what happens here!