New Construction Kitchen Quandries-Yikes!

happy_grrlDecember 12, 2013

Okay, I've been wracking my brain for days now with a question, and I figured I might as well ask you folks. I always get great ideas from this site!

DH & I are building our forever home on his family farm. It's nothing too terribly fancy, but it is going to be extremely functional. We plan on living in it until we're at least 75-80, or the kids put us in the home.

We are going to have an L-shaped kitchen with the sink set kitty-whompus in the corner, facing south-east, so I can see if DH needs help if I'm in the house.

It's a nice layout, but I have some dilemmas to face. I have wants that might seem unrealistic, and I just would like someone else's opinion other than "It's your kitchen honey, do it the way that's best for you."

1)The fridge isn't anything spectacular, just your typical fridge on top/freezer on bottom, although we might splurge for a french door.

2) I would really like a cook top with double wall ovens. We work really long days out here, and by supper time, I don't feel like bending over anymore!

3)Also, in reference to the last number, I would also like to have my dishwasher raised up, in a cabinet with a drawer underneath, so I don't have to bend over to load and unload.

There will be a good-sized island and a large pantry for additional storage.

I haven't met with the cabinet designer yet, so I'm having trouble visualizing the space. Would it look absolutely ridiculous, in your honest opinion? We could go with a double oven range, but my mother has one, and that bottom oven is pretty low. I don't care for bending down that far.

Advice? Suggestions? I've included the rough drawing. I'm headed out there today to take measurements. The cabinets can extend around that little window on the southeast side.

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Exciting huh? Kitty - Whompus.......I like that, would you mind if I put that in my phrase book?

I love the open floor plan, I would make sure the door to the garage opens in to the kitchen area, towards the bath door. That way when people come in, they enter to full view of your home, not facing the door and having to "peek" around it.

I do not like double oven ranges, they make zero sense to me, My best friends have a 36 inch Kenmore, and I think the range has two ovens, but one smaller side by side. I think.......

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 11:51AM
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You may certainly add "kitty-whompus" to your phrase book! It's a term that was used by my grandfather, and it's stuck with me.

It is an open floor plan, which is a bit different for me. I'm an old house person, DH is a new house. (His childhood home was built in the early 80's.) I like being able to "hide" in the kitchen at times, so that's why the kitchen is set back from the living room.

The door swings aren't right in the drawing. DH just put them in to show that there's a door there. And there is basement access from the garage, not shown in the drawing, and the garage isn't quite as offset as shown.

I found a pic of the dishwasher idea. It's just for a rough idea, as I have an L-shaped kitchen, but I'll attach it..I've also seen them placed at the end of the counter space, but if I do a double wall oven, that's where it needs to go, right? I don't want to put my cooktop in the island, which is where, I assume, it is for the rest of the pictured kitchen.

I think it might work. A side by side double oven would annoy the heck out of me.

I don't know if I would call this process exciting....

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 12:09PM
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So right now the house faces north? Instead of angling the garage (which is more expensive), can you rotate the whole house 45ð? That gives you nice views to the SE, and you could move the sink out of the corner and still see that direction.

I don't think I've seen an island that shape - what are your plans for it? Will there be seating?

I'd move the stove away from the sink. Sink to stove is your main prep area, and yours is bottled in with the stove so close. There is lots of room on the other side.

Make sure most (if not all) of your base cabinets are drawers. It is much easier to retrieve things, especially as you get older.

Do the stairs go up or down?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Do you have children that may grow to help out in the kitchen? Currently, it's a one person kitchen. You can't even have someone loading the dirty dishes that you make prepping while you prep because you have a corner sink that only one person can stand in front of.

There's a much better layout to be had here for a family home. Move the sink out of the corner first of all. Put a prep sink on the island, and square it up. Angles are "interesting" expensive wastes of space. I'd run the cabinetry along the entire back wall of the breakfast area to create a small appliance area and additional storage. I'd also move the garage entrance to be actually inside the mudroom. If you don't do that, it won't get used as a mudroom. The kitchen will become the default drop zone for everything to be offloaded as you come in the door.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Can you post the drawing with dimensions included? It's difficult to draw up suggestions without knowing the measurements of each space.

I second LWO's suggestion of moving the garage door to open into the laundry/mudroom area. I'm surprised you're not making this room larger. Our family's old farmhouse (3 generations lived there but now sadly going to be sold) had a large mudroom/laundry room with a sink so that everyone could kick off their farm shoes and wash up before entering the kitchen.

Have you considered dishwasher drawers? You could put one on either side of the sink. You get the benefit of a raised DW without a raised counter. Don't forget that when you put a sink in a corner cab (I also love kitty-whompus) that the DW needs to be at lest 12" away from the sink so that you can stand at the sink when the DW is open.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 1:30PM
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Oh boy. I knew I should have popped my questions on here a long time ago!

The house is set square, with the four directions. There's no going back now. Foundations poured and the walls are set. Angling the garage wasn't any more expensive, actually.

I haven't had much usable counter space in years, so I'm used to doing my prep at a table. It's not a big deal to me.

I looked at dishwasher drawers...So out of my budget. And if I put my dishwasher next to the fridge, I think I'd still have adequate prep space.

When we were looking at houses for ideas, we toured some model homes. "Danced" around the kitchen with another couple, to get a feel for the space. Four adults in the same space was a pretty good test, I think. It does work, really well actually.

There is an overhang on the island, so you can sit and eat breakfast or a snack, but it's mainly a prep station. We have an "eat-at-the-table" mentality. I do A LOT of canning, and since I haven't had much usable counter space before, I'm really excited about not working hunched over a kitchen table!

We will have a heated mudroom area in the garage. Those filthy clothes/boots aren't even coming into the house, per DH's orders.

I was definitely going to go with the deep drawers in the base cabinets. Things always seem to get 'lost' otherwise.

The stairs go down. It's a single level, with a walk out basement.

I'm okay with the laundry room. It has enough space with me, and there won't be mud in it just in case I drop clean clothes on the floor.

I've got a photobucket site if you want to check it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Paradise in the Valley

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 3:00PM
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A thought just occurred to me, I could probably swap the sink and the cooktop, and put the sink under the southern window. That might, however, be an issue with venting.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 3:11PM
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The one comment I'd make based on your last post is don't put your dishwasher that far away from the sink!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Since you're only one story, you can vent the range hood straight up through the roof. You can make the cabinets on that side deeper (uppers and lowers), giving you even more counter space.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 3:28PM
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I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Where do you think I ought to put the cooktop?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 3:49PM
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You suggested swapping the sink and cooktop, putting the sink under the window. You maybe meant putting the cooktop in the corner, but I'm not crazy about that idea. I would put the cooktop on the west wall.

Whether the cooktop is in the corner or the wall, you should still be able to vent it out the roof.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 4:10PM
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I've been drawing it out, and switching the two won't work for me.

The kitchen dimensions for the cabinet banks is
East wall: 16 ft
South wall: 13 ft.

Kitchen is about 18x15.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 11:43PM
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Dish drawers are out of my budget, too, so I understand.

I have another question. Why do you think you'll be spending so much time at the sink that it needs to be where it is so that you can see if your husband needs your help? Most of the time spent making a meal is spent on prep. Do you do all your prep at the sink?

Maybe you can put the clean-up sink against the garage wall and have less distance between it and the raised DW (I agree you'll want these near each other) and put a prep sink in the corner where you show the clean-up sink now. That might get you the result you want but with a better functioning lay-out.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:16AM
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Would something like this work for you?

Although I have the feeling that you want both clean up and prep in front of the window, I added a prep sink on the island because in a kitchen of this size/shape, either the range or the sink will be too far from the fridge without another sink in the middle (No. 3 in the below link).

Moving the fridge to the south wall next to the DW may be another option, but you probably wouldn't want the fridge to block the light from the DR windows. Besides it makes sense to have the fridge and panty close to each other.

If you have a raised DW it will be good idea to leave some elbow room b/w the sink and the DW. I have my trash b/w the sink and my raised DW, and it works very well for me.

For aisles, walkways, seating clearance see nos. 6-8 in the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: NKBA Guidelines

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 5:00AM
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Oh, I forgot your double ovens.

These two with fridge on the DR side.

With a corner sink

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 5:56AM
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as someone that curses her kitchen every time i cook, i would say if you can manage it, get yourself some more counter space between sink and stove. i also have an L and the stove is on the short part next to a lazy susan to make the corner then a standard 24" dishwasher, then sink and the place i prep everything is between sink and stove. i wish i had more counter there since that is the most used space!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 10:56AM
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This is a new build. Presumably your long term house. Even if you have to stop the build, you need to get this right. The kitchen you originally drew is marginally functional for one person. For a family, it's a disaster in waiting with everyone stepping on top of each other. If you keep the corner one person sink, you absolutely positively HAVE to have a prep sink on the island. It's where you'll do most of your work, with everything spread out, and it needs a second source of water. The corner sink can handle cleanup, but it's still a one person access for the process. It would really be best to not have a corner sink in a family farm kitchen. It's very limiting.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:36PM
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