Kitchen Layout - Help Deciding/Eliminating options

baltimore_hyggeDecember 4, 2013

Hi Forum,
You guys and gals have been so helpful thus far in our planning. We are struggling a bit to figure out our kitchen layout. We have a largish (16x17ish) space with beams and a gabled roof, with windows or doors on 3 sides. On the North Side we have 3 windows � but which look out directly into our neighbor�s house, into their kitchen/great room. Their house is below ours on a slope, about 20-30 yards away. On the South side we have a door with a window on each side � the current sink we use is here, because it looks out on our lovely garden and patio, and it�s right near the stove. On the West side is the stove, fridge, and a door to the backyard that we do not use and do not need. It exits to a very small porch (4x4?) which is covered, so very little light comes into that at the moment. The East side connects to the dining room via a swinging door. We don�t want to enlarge the doorway to the dining room but we may take the door off its hinges since we have a toddler.

I�ve been sketching up ideas and last night we met with our GC and the architect who came up with some other ideas. We are probably going to install a large horizontal window high on the West Wall, above the brickline and cabinets, for a bit more light and a nice focal point on that wall. The rest of the kitchen is just function, function, function as top priority. The empty corner in the sketches below has a table and chairs for a breakfast nook � we may end up with a banquette but essentially we eat all meals there with our toddler, using the dining room for larger gatherings. We like to cook and are usually team cooking (me and my husband), with one person �leading� per dinner. We are used to much smaller rowhouse kitchens and so this space feels large to us!

We have no gas line but will be using a 30" induction cooktop with a built-in oven, so no need to bring gas in. Unfinished basement below provides easy access to joists etc. Plumbing is currently to the prep sink (our main sink) below the window on the South wall and to the deeper sink in the middle of the North wall � these are not likely to need to move. Squeezing in a DW next to the current prep sink is doable but tight, requiring a sink no larger than 24" (which is bigger than what we have now and would be fine with us). The proposed island in the sketches below is all counter height, for prep, not interested in putting stove or sink there, and not interested in seating at island.

Below some sketches/options we are considering. In all sketches the top wall is West. Can you help us eliminate some of these or identify trouble spots?

1. L with Straight Run, Sink on South Wall � this most like our current layout (except our current island is a very long skinny island parallel to and 2 feet away from the North Wall. It is always in the way!). I�ve drawn in the rest of the bits of the house.
From Kitchen Layouts

2. Two L�s, Sink on South Wall �
From Kitchen Layouts

3. L with Fridge in the Straight Run. This eliminates the useless back door.
From Kitchen Layouts

4. U with Sink-DW on North Wall � this sketch should also have the same island as the others, sorry.
From Kitchen Layouts

5. U with Fridge in far corner and stove centered on West Wall. I�m concerned about trekking all over the kitchen here � but we kept the prep sink for that reason.
From Kitchen Layouts

Thank you!

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The location of the patio door in the heart of the kitchen seems very sub-optimal to me. Could it be moved to the living room?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 2:33PM
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I like the last one! It has a nice flow and the second sink gives you another great prep area :)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Definitely eliminate the door. I like option 5 better than the others.

Have you consider making the island longer? You could put the prep sink in the island and the stove where the DW is in option 5. Move the clean-up sink and DW to the west wall. That would give you a prep zone and a separate clean-up zone that don't run into each other.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:43PM
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I like option 2, but I' d change a few things:

- remove back door,
- move main sink to the north wall,
- have a prep sink on the south wall.

Also, instead of the shallow cabs on the north wall you can end that cab run where the window ens with a rounded cab (if you don't dislike them), and then have 18" deep tall cabs next to the fridge, for storage and MW.

I don't know if you'll be able to use the blind corner on the south west. If not, maybe you can consider a 36" corner susan and have the prep sink slightly of center.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 2:37PM
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Thanks for all the ideas!

GauchoGordo, we have french doors to the patio from the living room (2 of them!) but then we'd have to take the trash out to the garage through the living room, and we like our big dutch door in the kitchen.

Cindy103d, I think the stove would still be under our window if we move it to where you suggest - it's probably hard to see in the illustration, sorry about that.

Sena01, that drawing looks fabulous! It makes a lot of sense to me. I think we keep running into this problem where that North Wall, with the 3 windows, looks out into our neighbors house - it is also DH's boss's house (we live right next to a private school, where DH teaches, and the headmaster is our neighbor). We have put some window film up on those windows so we can't see everything they're doing in their great room, but it's still really close - and we have a much better view out of the South Wall, into our garden. Maybe it doesn't matter so much. Right now we don't have a DW so we're at the sink A LOT, washing up (on the south side), so it seems like we spend a lot of time there - but once we have a DW this will reduce, in principle. And we'll still be cooking at the south wall and eating there.

DH is also unconvinced that two sinks are necessary, in his effort to keep costs down. I would need to do some more research on GW to gather arguments for both sinks. One thing in our favor there is that we have two right, so moving/adding plumbing isn't a problem.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 2:50PM
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With you guys plus architect involved, I'm sure there's a very good reason for a high window on the west wall, instead of the north wall, but I am curious because my first thought was to put one on your north wall, showcasing the sky but nothing else. Is there another problem out to the west to be edited out?

BTW, losing that west door seems...necessary to the ignorant view from this side of the screen. :)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Hi rosie, sure - here's a photo of the space, looking at the north wall from the dining room door. The kitchen is gabled and we have a slate roof, so we're not messing with the slate :) We can squeeze a window in above the cabinets on the north wall.

I think we're settled on losing the west door, the gains seem to justify the cost (and it was just a cost issue, really). From Kitchen Layouts

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 4:36PM
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Can you remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room? I'm thinking that part of the reason that you feel you need the door to the patio is because the kitchen is closed-off from the rest of the house, and that you wouldn't feel it necessary if the kitchen were more open.

One more thought on the door to the patio - could you move it to the corner of the kitchen, where the window currently is? It's easy to replace a window with a door so long as it's wide enough and the header is >=6'8" high.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 4:43PM
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