Burning Questions of a VintageReno-# 1 Layout
I am already waist deep in redoing my very small space with the very big problems.
I am trying to do (need to do) a modest renovation. My tastes are quite plain. Nothing too high end, which would be out of keeping with the simplicity of the rest of the house. The house is a small cottage, built 1854, in a gorgeous setting in rural CT. Total square footage is a bit less than 1000 sq feet. It was originally one of four workmen�s cottages for men who worked at the nearby but long-gone mill (there is a brook across the street). It is cape style, and because originally only the first floor was meant to be living space, the upstairs was unfinished until later and the downstairs ceilings are very low.
The kitchen presents unique problems, as follows:
Size. It is very small, and I don't have the budget to move walls, or build out, etc. Over the summer I did the window part of the reno, putting in new windows along the back wall that looks over the deck and onto the back yard gardens, stone walls and woods beyond. There is a cantilevered banquette bench below one set of windows. The windows to the ceiling have brightened the room, and made the low ceiling seem lighter.
Odd shape. It has a long narrow appendage (aisle?) at one corner (you can see this in the upper right on the drawing), and it has a cove/recess area/surround (I use for lack of a better term) measuring about 88" x 17" on one interior wall, which backs on our study.You can see these on the crude drawing below (sorry for the primitive quality).
Three doorways. They cut up the space on three walls. One goes to the mudroom and backyard, one to the hall and bathroom, one to the living room.
I am nearing retirement age; there are two of us. My partner never cooks. My cooking has lessened considerably as I have grown older: we rarely have meat except on sandwiches; we eat fresh vegetables from the garden or the farmers markets, eggs, simple pastas, soups; I do a little baking. I never broil or cook spicy, aromatic foods. That being said, I still want an inviting, and efficient space for when I do shake the pots and pans. The main problem is lack of counter space. However, three doorways in a room that is about 9-1/2 x 10-1/2 prevent any long runs.
I am not fancy -- no pot filler, disposal, prep sink (room for only one), wall ovens, and any other electronic high-tech gimcrackery. I have a Chambers stove, model B, and since there is only room for one star in this small kitchen (and it certainly isn't me), I will let her take the honors. In fact, all my design thoughts and the vintage qualities I have decided on stem from the stove. But more on that for another post.
The first burning question is how to maximize efficiency and get more counter space where it's needed. I have read thru the posts on basic space minimums, but given the footprint, it just isn�t possible to have 42-inch aisles. The aisle between the sink and the island will have to do at 36".
I have thought about layout and have come up with one that I think sort of works, given the constraints (Layout 1 below). That's the best I can do.
The second layout, with the fridge next to the stove provides for a longer counter next to the sink, but has no landing space next to the stove. The fridge, even at counter depth, also sticks out too far into the doorway to the hall. That hall leads to the study and the only downstairs bathroom. I don�t think the work paths -- having to go from frdge to sink and then back to stove -- really work as well as the other layout. And the doorway would have to be moved, adding extra expense.
Since this has gotten far too long, here are the two layouts. For all the layout gurus, please have at them and give me your thoughts and your help. And thank you!