Kitchen Layout Arrived from Cabinetmaker

frogsterDecember 15, 2012

Hi all,

We received our kitchen layouts this morning from our designer, and we aren't ready to move forward without input from some of the folks here! We promise to post pictures when we are done.

Our plan is for the perimeter cabinets and family center to be painted dove white and the island, tall cabinets and butler's pantry to be a relatively dark stain. The appliances will be stainless. The floors are speced as teragren's java bamboo.

We have 8' ceilings and are going with 36" top cabinets and 90" tall cabinets for the floor to ceiling. So, there will be a 3" or so band of the same wood between the top of the door and the molding.

Here is the overview:

Here is the left wall:

Here is the top wall:

Here is right wall:

Here is the left side of island:

Here is right side of island:

Here is a perspective shot:

Here is the butler's pantry/dry bar:

Here is the family center:

Any input welcomed!


This post was edited by frogster on Sat, Dec 15, 12 at 21:56

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Wow! I personally love it :)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Without floor plan measurements and aisle way measurements it's really hard to comment on the plan.

For eg- the island might be in the way of the fridge and whereever you are planning on prepping. The island looks like it is too narrow to prep on, but without measurements it's too hard to tell.

For eg the fridge wall - without knowing the dimensions of the fridge and the abutting cabinet it's hard to tell whether or not it will be pleasing to the eye. I'm afraid that it might appear to be lopsided. You might be better to put a floor-ceiling pull-out cabinet there instead of the chopped up one.

Do you have both DW's opening opposite one another? How will that work?

In terms of symmetry, consider reversing the space pull-out and the trash-pullout. IT will give better symmetry on the window wall.

It looks like you have cupboards on either side of the range - convert those to drawers. Whereever you have lower internal rollouts - also convert those to drawers.

You posted the sink wall twice and there is no photo of the range wall.

It certainly looks pretty, now you need to imagine working, walking, prepping, cleaning in it to see hhow functional it is really going to be.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:50PM
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I really like your kitchen. I wish I had as much room as you do to fit another bank of wall cabinets in. It is giving me a lot of ideas on things I could add to my current layout.

One thing I might adjust, if I were you. Do you really need a bar/prep sink opposite the main sink? How wide is that aisle? You might consider putting it on the opposite site of the island, and offset it a bit to create a landing and prep zone near the fridge, range and wall ovens. It all depends, of course, on what you want to use it for. This would also make it a few steps closer to the other living areas, if you want quick access to water.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:50PM
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The clearances between the island and fridge look WAY too tight. Even with a counter depth refrigerator. What are those measurements? (And measuring from the refrigerator, not the adjacent cabinetry.) There really isn't room for seating at the island either unless no one needs to pass behind someone. If someone sits there, you've got completely blocked aisles.

This appears to be a kitchen that would be better with only a small portable type of island cart rather than the large island that you have planned.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:54PM
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First, welcome! I know you've been around for a couple of months, but it does not appear that you have posted before. Have you had a chance to read the "Read Me" thread? If not, I recommend taking a look at it. It has a wealth of information! [It also has a "Layout Help" topic that describes the type of information we need about you and your family as well as how to post a layout to get the best feedback (e.g., the various dimensions in a space are critical).]

Since you have been around since mid-October, I hope you've read enough to know that we all have your best interests at heart, so please do not take offense when we critique your plans. Now is the time to hash all this out - when you haven't paid for cabinets, etc. and when you're not stuck with what you have. As with anything, the most important stage is planning and most of the time spent on projects of this type should be planning. So, read all our comments with an open mind and please do not take this personally. We want you to end up with a kitchen that is very functional as well as one that looks nice. Keep in mind, as well, that it's much easier to make a functional kitchen look nice than it is to make a nice looking but dysfunctional kitchen functional!

To add to the other issues identified above, is that window going to be the way you show it? If so, you will be looking at the frame b/w the windows rather than out the window.

Do one of two things:

  1. Move the sink to the left so you're looking out the left window - that also moves some of the wasted counterspace from the left of the sink (where it's wasted) to the right side of the sink where it can actually be used - b/w the sink and cooktop where your primary Prep Zone is. It also moves the cleanup sink and DW down a bit to maybe make the island more useful (more on that later). (IMO, this is the preferred solution of the two.)

Change the window to be either one big picture window or three windows so there is clear view out the center window.

On the plus side, at least you have the DW to the left of the sink and the trash pullout to the right where it can be used by all three primary work zones.

How wide is the trash pullout? It looks wider than 18". If it is and you're just planning two bins - one for trash & one for recyclables, then I recommend changing it to an 18" cabinet and adding the "extra" you took from the trash pullout to the cabinet on the left (the "spice pullout or tray dividers). You have ovens, so I recommend using the cabinet above the ovens as your tray cabinet b/c you utilize the cavernous interior (24" deep) and make it accessible by using it for pans, trays, etc. [Store the trays lengthwise so the long end goes back into the cabinet. You just need to be able access the front of the trays to pull them out, not the back.] That space is usually difficult to use b/c it's so deep. Then, you could use the base cabinet you've earmarked for trays or spices for more useful storage. What it might be useful for, though, is cutting board and pizza stone stone storage. Both of these items are too heavy to store above your head - imagine if you dropped one while putting it away or taking it out...

Be aware that the majority of your counterspace is not very useful - it's too far away from the Prep and Cooking Zones. As to the island, with the sinks across from each other and most of the usable island counterspace on the opposite end from the cooktop and blocked by both DWs (even if they aren't across from each other), it's not very useful. That island sink also isn't particularly useful as it has very little workspace next to it on the cooktop side and the other side of the prep sink is sharing floor space w/someone at the cleanup sink or prepping b/w the sink and cooktop. Your aisles don't look nearly wide enough for two people working in them at the same time.

You have quite a large kitchen...but you have crammed all three primary work zones into one end of the kitchen - the rest of the space - to the left of the cleanup sink and most of the island - is just an expensive dust and/or clutter catcher. It can't be used for most work; it probably won't even work well as secondary Prep Zones b/c of the DWs being in the way as well as the island being a barrier b/w the refrigerator and both the working side of the island and the counterspace to the left of the cleanup sink.

Is that the MW on the back of the island? While it's accessible for snacks, it's not very accessible for cooking.

Kitchen table...I don't think you have room for one in that space, especially with the slider there, but w/o dimensions I can't tell for certain.

To be clear, I agree with most of the other issues pointed out above (not enough room for seating, etc.) as well.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: New To Kitchens? Posting Pics? Read Me!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Thanks everyone, and I appreciate the welcome. We have been focusing on the appliances and hearing what others had to say before posting on this board for advice on the kitchen.

For a little bit of background, there are four of us, including two boys, four and six. Most meals are cooked by one person for four people, hence most of the cooking things at one end of the kitchen, as if it were a smaller kitchen. However, we do serve meals for 20 to 30 guests a half dozen times a year and meals for 8-12 a few times a month.

We do not personally have copies of all of the dimensions at this stage, because we are working with the cabinetmakers' designers.

In no particular order:

1. Eating area: It is an eleven foot run from the end of the perimeter cabinet until the wall at the bottom. So, I think we can fit a round table in nicely and still get to the slider and not interfere with the "walkway" on the right. It is a little over nine feet wide until you get to the walkway.

2. Window above sink will be three pane.

3. Aisles: The right and left aisles are supposed to be approximately 42" and the top aisle where the cooktop is will be approximately 46" after accounting for a slight bump out for the cooktop. The island itself is about 48" wide and will end up no longer than 119" long.

4. The microwave is intentionally in the island. We considered it going in the cabinet to the right of the cooktop, but decided that we wanted to be able to put glasses there to be near the fridge. And, we decided that a microwave drawer would be easier for our kids to use and keep the microwave closer to the cooking end of the kitchen. But, the microwave location is particularly difficult for us. (There is a possibility we will switch from an induction cooktop to a gas range, in which case we would only have one wall oven and we do not know if we should put the microwave with the extra oven, or somewhere else. That seems pretty far away from the cooking area. Note that if we use a gas range, the hood gets larger and the top cabinets on that wall get smaller.)

5. The fridge is a built in 48", and the cabinet to the right of it is approximately 18". That cabinet is split approximately two-thirds, one third so that the line between the dividers is the same height as the same line in the oven stack on the wall section to the right. We will consider making that cabinet just one door, instead.

6. The top wall image is reposted below.

7. I am not sure I understand the concern with dishwashers being in the way. They are rarely open during prep.

8. Thanks for the suggestion for the space above the ovens. We were thinking about adjustable vertical dividers above the oven.

9. That may be a good catch on the trash pull out. It was supposed to be 18", but I will have to check.

  1. In terms of spreading things out, we did consider putting the fridge down at the end of the perimeter where there are glass cabinets now. But, that seemed as if it would close off the space and would keep it far away from the cooking end, though closer to the eating end. And, we decided we were in and out of the fridge more when cooking than from the table. We are still torn about that. If we did it, we would then move the ovens to where the fridge is now.

Thanks for all of the feedback. It is much appreciated.

Best, Frogster

Here is the image for the top/cooktop wall:

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:54PM
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I don't have suggestions to offer you, because I'm still learning from the gurus here, but I do have a question.

Why would one choose internal roll-outs over drawers? I see this specified in your plans.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 11:12AM
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One of the main reasons is aesthetics. Some people do not like the look of all drawers in the kitchen, nor do they like the look of a four stack of drawers next to a three stack. So, a set of doors in between those solves the problems. Also, with a drawer you are essentially setting the object down into a tub, rather than removing it from a shelf, so that is less comfortable for some people for some objects. That said, I will defer to the many others here for their more eloquent explanations.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 11:20AM
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Ah, thank you! The oft mentioned love of drawers blinded me.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 11:47AM
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Couldn't figure out how the aisle space could be how you described - given the scale of countertops, fridge, etc.
now I read on the side (in vertical position) the explanation: "This drawing is an artistic interpretation ...".

Hope you get a true scaled version before you sign up to the plan for final approval.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:13PM
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And I agree with the poster who commented about the prep sink - if it were my kitchen, I would want it moved to a point in the island with better easier access from dining room (and pantry). I think it may end up having a function not so much for prep as for avoiding interference from others who might just be stopping in to refill a glass or get a wet sponge for a quick wipe-up - but as we know here - each to his own.

It will undoubtedly be very functional because overall, I think there is a LOT that is very nice about the config.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:22PM
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There's a lot I can't love about this design, especially since you state that it's mainly a one cook show. It's really not optimized at all for one person. At first I thought perhaps you were making obvious concessions in the design to try to accommodate a second prep area for two cooks at once but it just doesn't look like a very functional working kitchen to me, sorry.

Things that give me pause:

1. I don't understand the prep sink. It takes away from the most usable prep area of the island, IMO. It won't be practical to prep in the 18" to the left of that sink so in reality you'll use the corner by the range and big sink for serious prep jobs. But meanwhile you've compromised the ability for the island to accomodate even non-water prep by putting a sink in the most useful area of it. I would consider eliminating that sink and putting a second sink in the butler pantry instead.

2. Not understanding the dw in the island, not close to any water. I'd move the dw's to be on each side of your main sink, and put trash on the island.

3. Having the ovens so far away from the cooktop would drive me batty. I use the oven every day for dinners and having to navigate an obstacle course around family at the fridge or sitting at the island when rushing a dinner, or worse, navigating through congregating guests and partygoers when trying to get the hot hors d'oeuvres from the ovens, would get old fast. I'd look at switching ovens and fridge, and adding fridge drawers to the island beside the micro if you can swing it.

4. If there is a way to make the spice doors beside the cooktop into single doors, you'd have cabinets that opened away from the range hood instead of into the hood. Makes a difference re. easy accessibility when you're working at the cooktop.

5. Too many lower cabinets vs drawers IMO. You can ask your cabinet maker to adjust the drawer depths so that they line up nicely. For example, in your four drawer stacks it looks like they are three 8" lower drawers. If they were a 12 and two 6's then the symmetry would be better.

It will be a beautiful kitchen no matter what you do. Only you can decide if you value form over function or of you want to try for a bit more function in the design. Good luck whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:23PM
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Just re-looked at the drawing, and I don't think switching the fridge and ovens is a great idea either. It just puts the fridge too far away too. All I know is I couldn't live with my ovens in the kitchen table area, that would be a show stopper.

Can you move the ovens to the right side of the cooking wall? I would personally switch to a larger pro range to solve the problem, but if your heart is set on separate ovens, i think I'd put them to the rhs of cooktop wall.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Thanks very much everyone.

After reviewing the comments last night and considering our needs, we decided that maybe we should go with a range instead as that would help get things into the right places. The below images reflect that. We would love to get some feedback before we go back and have the designs reworked.

Taggie, With respect to the wall ovens on the top wall to the right of the range, that is originally what we had been planning. However, we were advised not to put the oven on the right of the cooking wall as aesthetically it would not be pleasing. We would also lose a place to put our glasses, which we want near the fridge.

We cannot decide whether to have a prep sink, at all, but we have suggested a new location. Note that drinking water will come from the refrigerator.

The second dishwasher in the island will likely be used only a few times a month. We rarely have a dishwasher open while cooking.

We recognize the second oven is now opposite the fridge, but we rarely have them open at the same time.

Revised Overview

Revised Top/Range Wall

Revised Right Side of Island

Revised Left Side of Island

Revised Left/Sink Wall

Revised Right/Fridge Wall


    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Frogster, I think that layout is much better and that you'll be happy with how it functions and flows re. everyday cooking and entertaining. I like where you moved the mw drawer to, and while the range may not have been your first choice I think it's wise given your space.

I don't see the 2nd oven and fridge doors opening into each other as being a big deal. Like you say, they don't usually need to be open at the same time. There are tradeoffs to be made in almost every single kitchen, and you are making yours consciously to fit your priorities.

Re. the island prep sink, I would probably go for it. It gives you at least the choice to prep on the island for bigger jobs if you want to, say if friends or family are just dying to visit with you while you work. :) If the 2nd DW is in the island to the left of the sink, you may want to ensure you have an island overhang of at least 1 1/2". I have a 2nd DW under my prep space like that too, and having the depth of overhang above it ensures that it doesn't protrude into my standing space as I prep. (hopefully that made sense).

Good luck with your remodel. It looks to be a beautiful AND functional space for you.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:30PM
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I'm no guru, but I think that ALL of your improvements are in the right direction, and the result is looking pretty good!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:58PM
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Thanks again!

I spoke with and have sent our comments over to the cabinetmaker. They are going to turn out new designs.

We still have one big open question about what to put in the section of the wall where the ovens were originally going to go. We think that it makes sense to have food storage there and perhaps some small appliance storage. However, it is quite large for just those purposes. In part, this is because behind that piece, accessed from the hallway, is an entrance to a walk-in pantry where we can store extra food, small appliances not used as frequently (e.g., pasta maker) and table pads for our dining room table, among other things. Perhaps we will use it for our semi-formal dishes, rather than having those in a buffet or sideboard in the dining room. But, if anyone has any really creative ideas, or something that we could do that would look more like furniture, we would appreciate the input. Particularly, if the idea is for something that looks a little different then just a wall of cabinets. We do want, however, to consider keeping the top of that unit in line with the section where the refrigerator is and in line with the wall to its right. (I think there is a benefit to not breaking the symmetry of the rectangle.)

If we cannot come up with a good use for this unit, one possibility is that we could make it part of the same walk-in pantry and move the door of that pantry into the kitchen. One problem with that is we would then want to have the right side of the unit where the refrigerator is be a 4" wall, rather than be a finished cabinet side. This would mean that the usable size of that unit would be smaller and we would probably have to use a smaller refrigerator so that the tall cabinet next to it was actually usable.

Thanks for the guidance so far. We feel like we are almost there and we are trying to finalize the layout plans this week so that we can finish getting bids, etc. on the cabinets, plumbing and electric.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:21AM
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What about perhaps a small dry bar area, something similar to beekeeperswife's bar but without the sink. I tried to find a picture of it quickly but couldn't, hopefully you know the one I mean.

Or you could always make part of a full size upper into a broom closet for a broom, swiffer, and even cordless vac. That's one thing I regretted not being able to fit into my own kitchen plan.

Failing that, I do think your tall uppers look quite nice. I've never heard anyone complain that they have too much cabinet space. For sure you'll find stuff to fill them with in no time. You could give every member of the family their own personal junk drawer/cabinet ... and they would then have no excuse for leaving their clutter out on the table or island. :)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:17PM
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"You could give every member of the family their own personal junk drawer/cabinet ... and they would then have no excuse for leaving their clutter out on the table or island."

I love this idea!

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 7:25AM
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