Suggestions needed for best prep zone

cz_scrapDecember 27, 2013

I posted a question about placement of refrigerator and wall oven in another thread, but am also looking for suggestions for best placement of prep zone. I'm thinking to the left of the cook top but am wondering if that's too far from the sink. I've included the layout. We are fairly far along in the permitting process in California and won't be able to make changes in plumbing(at least that's my understanding from my husband) as it would mean months to get approval.

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Switch the cooktop and DW, then use the prep sink as a prep sink. Clean up area then moves to main sink.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 12:56PM
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I'm not an expert, but I think you should mentally walk through how and where you'll do things in your new kitchen. I really like prepping where I can look out at people, tv, and/or a view, so I think in your kitchen I'd prep at the island and I would want a sink there.
How wide are your aisles around the island? I love the shape, but wonder how you'll make it functional with drawers?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Best place for primary prep is counter between sink and cooktop, which is too small in the layout. Swapping dw and sink would make primary prep reasonable big, bit then DW is in middle of prep, which kinda sucks. So if it were me I'd go hack to the drawing board.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Not a fan of this plan for several reasons. Can you switch the main sink and prep sin and then move the DW closer to the main sink?

Not loving the pantry/fridge/oven tangle either. I'd want a redo. Extra time spent in planning can be your best investment of both time and money.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 2:48PM
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In North Carolina, you can change the location of items within the kitchen (like say you move the sink down 4 feet as an example), even after you have gotten your building permit. It would be worth a call to your permit office to see if you can still make changes. I agree this kitchen layout needs some work to make it function MUCH better.

Also, you have 2 layout threads going at one time. This can get confusing for all of us as people who respond to one may not read the comments or see the changes made in the other layout thread. My advise is to pick one thread you want to be your main thread and post a comment to the other thread to direct people to make all replies in the thread you want to be the main thread.

Your beach kitchen has a lot of similarities to the beach house we just built. I have some ideas, but will wait to see if it's even possible to make changes at this point, and also to see which thread you make your main thread. I would like to see a layout of the kitchen that includes dimension measurements. Also, it helps to see the layout of the whole floor so we can see the kitchen in context to the adjoining rooms.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 2:57PM
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Are you sure you can't change anything? Assuming you cook, I think you will be unhappy with this kitchen once you begin trying to work in it on a day-to-day basis.

May I ask if an architect designed it? I'm asking b/c this kitchen looks like a kitchen designed for architectural interest and looks - not for functionality. It's unfortunate, but most architects don't know anything about kitchen design...I also think most don't cook! Architects are usually very good designing structural and architectural features, but not kitchens. The smart architects hire a certified, experienced kitchen designer (not a cabinet salesperson) to design their kitchens.

If you don't cook and this kitchen is meant to be a "show" kitchen for looks/aesthetics only (i.e., not a working kitchen), then you may be OK with it. Having a "show" kitchen is not a bad thing b/c we all have different lifestyles and different needs/wants. However, we need to know if it is b/c the majority of us on the Kitchens Forum are "function first" people. It's easy to make a functional kitchen look nice; it's often difficult, if not impossible, to make a dysfunctional but nice-looking kitchen functional enough to work in. We have had a few people come here over the years who really just wanted a "show" kitchen and, once we knew that, we stopped trying to make them functional! Sometimes it's tough to shift gears, but we can do it if that's what you want!

So, my first question for you is -
Is this supposed to be a functional/working kitchen or a "show"/looks-first kitchen?There's no right or wrong answer - just what's right for you and your family!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:17PM
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Thanks for all your input-I knew there would be some ;). I probably posted without thinking through and giving you enough info. This will be our retirement home. We are moving across country (from Pa to Ca) and our grown children will be in Denver and who knows? (our daughter will be graduating next December and has a job offer from Hershey(whew) but doesn’t know where in the country she will be). We don’t entertain a lot here except for family gatherings once or twice a year-being so far away from extended family, I’m not sure how much entertaining we will be doing in CA. We are downsizing, hence the smaller rooms, which I know, aren’t as desirable as we’d like them to be.
Hollysprings- I know the angles in the kitchen are space wasting, but our desire was for an ocean view-and while we won’t be seeing waves on the rocks, we will have a beautiful view of the pacific ocean out the windows over the sink and dishwasher and out the great room windows (to the back and right side of the house). The lot is narrow-300’ by 75’ which is one of the reasons the layout has the long hall from the garage to the kitchen (yes it makes for a long haul for groceries-we have that now so are used to it. I figure when we are older and it's harder to do, I will store one of those fold up grocery carts in the closet by the garage door and put bags in there and tote them down to the kitchen).Our neighbors are very close, hence the cook top wall being solid. Because we are up high, there is a possibility of ocean view out the angled window to the left of the cook top-peeking between two houses. We won’t know about that one for sure until the house is built. Pinch point entry is something I thought about-but I feel it may be a way to keep people out of my kitchen while I’m prepping for entertaining-my kitchen now is very open and people tend to gather inside that area(I have no idea why)and they are always standing where I need to work or get into cabinets-lol. The entry into the new house kitchen is four feet wide-I’ve been plotting it out here and it seems doable (maybe not ideal, but doable). It will probably end up larger as we had issues when we went to look at appliances and the refrigerator we want will stick out too far into the kitchen with the island. Have a feeling the powder room will need to be downsized to make room for it. I found out that we can make changes, just not add any plumbing due to water restrictions in the town. From your input, there will be some changes made-thanks.
Kksmama- there are sliding glass doors by the stools in the great room. Originally there were also sliding glass doors where the cabinet is over the microwave. I was concerned with not having enough storage space in the kitchen and figured we could pass out food or whatever through the window to the deck for outdoor eating. You are right about not seeing the ocean while eating-something to think about.( Probably only an issue for breakfast and lunch-we’ll be using the dining room for dinner-again-we are downsizing and decided to eliminate an eating area other than the counter in the peninsula). The island is 3 ½ feet around-another thing to think about. I have gone back and forth over the island, but ended thinking it was needed for storage-may need to rethink that one again. I also liked it as a landing space for things from oven and fridge.
Gaucho Gordo-will definitely think about switching the sink and dishwasher-probably makes the most sense at this moment.
Or as Lascatx suggested, switching main sink and prep sink(I worry about splashing anyone sitting at the counter though-think that has been discussed in other threads?)
Angela 12345-I’ll use this as the main thread from now on. Just really wanted an answer about the fridge being next to the oven in the other one. I’ll post a layout of the whole floor below.
Buehl-you are right! Designed by architect-in his defense he did what we asked him to-maximize the ocean view-but I think some changes are in order to make it functional too. To be honest, I’m kind of tired of cooking and don’t plan on making elaborate gourmet meals in the future. I do like to bake though and will want to set up an area for that. So-we want a kitchen that looks nice but is functional for everyday use for two people (with an occasional crowd of 8-10).

Sorry this was so long, I hope I answered some of the questions. I really appreciate all your input-its great to have a forum to help with thinking all of this through.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Here's a plot plan so you can see how the house lands with regards to neighbors. There is a wooded lot across the street from the front of the house which provides another pretty, but different view for the dining and bedroom.Again, the ocean view is to the right and back of the house(but partially blocked by neighbors house in the back).

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Congratulations on getting to retirement and finding a beautiful place to live!

I can appreciate your desire to maximize your view and it sounds like an awesome view at that! Our home has a lot of angles too (I call it the house of angles) but they don't seem as forced as some of the rooms seem to be. I can understand the angling in the great room but the kitchen and craft? room it don't seem to fit IMO. On the exterior of our home, it looks fairly "normal" except for the back where the views are. The builder of our home made sure that we had expansive views of our view but not at the cost of a floor plan with what I consider would need to get fixed.

On posting your overall floor plan, it's evident everyone who walks through the front door will see your kitchen at work. Though you don't plan on elaborate meals all the time, it does sound like you'd like to use your kitchen. The pinch point could be helped by removing some of the corner counter but as it stands everyone will see your kitchen in all it's glory or mess.

Another issue is the LONG distance from the kitchen to the dining room table. That's quite the hike for setting the table, and then again cleaning up afterwards. You can minimize your trips back and forth but you'll still have a LOT of trips.

Don't know what your budget is for the house but all the angling on the kitchen & craft room side seems unnecessary and quite costly. Unless you really like having angled walls for some reason, I'd save the money and put it on extra bells and whistles on the interior.

It will be fun for all of us to watch your home unfold in your dream retirement home!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 11:41AM
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What a daunting project! I can understand getting to a phase in life where one chooses not to cook. I know women who have never enjoyed it, and one who says her next home won't even have a kitchen.
I would feel trapped by your layout, and urge you to explore alternatives starting with putting the 2nd set of sliding doors back in. There are few things better than an ocean view, but access through sliders to a deck with an ocean view might be. I suspect that you will want to embrace a more inside/outside lifestyle than was possible in PA.
Rather than your barstool area (a lot of stools there, do you really want so many?) I'd like to see an island larger than the one you have, and the room opening to the great room where the high counter is now.
I like angles and wonder why that back wall that has the 33 x 22 sink on it doesn't just continue at the same angle until it hits the living area wall at the same angle by the seating area? If I understand the lot and layout correctly, that would square the back of the house with the view of the ocean. But it doesn't seem likely that I understand, really; if you gave me a penny for my thoughts I'd be ripping you off.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:52PM
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I don't think the layout would be that bad with some small tweaks.

You could move the dishwasher to the right to make room for the sink on the same stretch of counter as the dishwasher. sink to the right just to the other side of the bend in the counter putting the dishwasher immediately to the right of it. That would make loading easier and provide more counter and more elbow room between it and the range.

A variation on that would be to leave the dishwasher where it is and put in two single bowl sinks (on either side of the bend) so one is next to the dishwasher and one faucet between them.

Then put the prep sink on the run between the oven and the cooktop - probably at the left of the window which leaves some counter to the left of it and plenty of prep room between it and the cooktop. That makes the work path from fridge to prep sink to cooktop work smoothly and allows the main sink to be used for clean up or secondary prep without getting in the way of the cook.

Another alternative would be to put the prep sink on the island and use that as the main prep space, but the angled corners mean there isn't a good straight area to put it and leave enough room around it. Also it seems kind of far from the cooktop.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Quick question - when you say you're "up high", does that mean the lot is a higher elevation or does it mean the main floor is a second (or third) floor instead of at ground-level?

If the latter (2nd or 3rd floor)...since this is your retirement home, then seriously consider adding an elevator or at least a place for an elevator (it could be an extra closet on each floor until it's needed for the elevator - if it ever is).

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Here we go-
Angling in kitchen and craft room is for aesthetics and view. It does create some wasted space but it also cuts down on square footage(at least I think that's so)-we have limits from the town and county regarding footprint of house on property(I may not have that right, this is one area that I turned over to my husband. There were a lot of conditions that had to be met to build here-there has been a building moratorium for several years here and we had to jump through hoops to be able to do this).

We are consulting with architect over removing the end of the peninsula and moving the sink under the side window, the dishwasher under the angled window and getting rid of the prep sink(although we already paid water fees for it). Although I'm liking cloud swifts idea of moving the dw under the micro and the sink next to it under the window.
It is about 18 feet from the kitchen to the dining room table-I paced it out this morning and it's about 9 steps. I'd love it to be closer, (we are about 5 steps in our present house) but I'm not sure its possible.(this is how I spend my mornings on a snowy day :))

As far as embracing the outdoor life more than in Pa-that's what we are planning on, but we've noticed, while driving around town through many different seasons over the past 7 years(yes, we've been dreaming about this for that long ;)) that we don't see people out on their decks. Seems very strange to us(vacationing at the New Jersey shore where people are on their decks all the time-except for winter), but the arch. and his assistant confirmed that most people don't use their decks very much. This is a central coast town and temps range from low 40's(winter at night) to mid 60's daytime, with some temps in the 70's and if it hits 80 the locals melt-lol. Being used to cooler temps off season at the jersey shore I'm hoping we'll be using the deck more than the local townspeople, but who knows. Hence the fireplace in the corner of the deck. The railing is a half wall with glass above it to protect from the wind and to allow view of ocean without a guardrail interfering with it.

There are way too many bar stools-I think he just put them in to give us an idea of what it would look like. The view from the back of the house is blocked by our neighbors house-the angles allow us to see past their house and also in between their house and the one next to theirs(clear as mud? ack)

Up high means the main living floor is on the second floor. We are on a sloping lot and garage entry is level with the main living floor. Under the kitchen, dining room and great room areas are office, man cave and two guest rooms.I pushed dh for an elevator space but he didn't go for it. Hence, my craft room in on the main floor and his office and man cave are downstairs-he'll have to figure that one out when the time comes :). Thanks again for the input-it has really helped to think these things through even if some of the changes aren't or can't be made. I appreciate your input.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 9:18AM
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