Review my small kitchen layout

dcward89December 23, 2013

This is the only layout I have right now...I have changed my mind about a few things and don't have an updated layout yet.

We are at the point that I need to order cabinets and I'm having trouble pulling the trigger. Someone suggested I post the layout and get feedback so here it is...I hope it works.

If it works I'll post a f/u with an explanation of a few things, I appreciate any feedback, good or bad.


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Sorry...double post...I obviously don't know what I'm doing. Any suggestions?

This post was edited by dcward89 on Mon, Dec 23, 13 at 12:55

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 12:52PM
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God this makes me feel stupid...anyway, the space in the bottom left corner is stairs going down to the basement and can't be moved.

The lighter shaded wall at the bottom and right side is a 1/2 wall that over looks the living room and dining room with the doorway into the kitchen leading directly from the dining room.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 1:02PM
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Swap the sink and DW. As it is, the DW interferes with primary prep.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 1:36PM
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My main concern with the current layout is that your back will be up against a cabinet while you're standing at the range. Here is my sketch on how to modify the kitchen work triangle to better use the small space.

If you want to learn more about kitchen layouts I have an online video course on kitchen design you might be interested in. It's called Dream Kitchen Academy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dream Kitchen Academy

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 2:46PM
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ryanhart...that was one of the layouts we have gone through. Where you have the range and where we have it in our current layout are the only 2 possibilities for it...unless we put it where the refrigerator is and having it up against the wall is not desireable either. We currently do not have a range hood and that is an absolute must in the new kitchen. Any other placement of the hood and the duct work for the range hood will be passing through finished space on our 2nd floor. I didn't like the range where you have it due to not having any counter space to the right of it. I have that now with only about 15" of counter on the left side and nothing on the right...don't want that again.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 2:54PM
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One thing I should mention that may make a difference...we decided against the 30" bank of drawers at the end of the left side of the U. It will be an 18" cabinet just like on the other side of the U. That will give us an extra foot of space between the stove and that cabinet.

Also the uppers in that corner will be different... an easy reach cabinet in the corner with a 30", 2-door cabinet on each side. We rarely use the microwave anyway so I'm fine with leaving it in the basement pantry where it currently is.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 3:02PM
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What the about putting the range in front of the window?

Check out the attached link.

Here is a link that might be useful: range in front of window

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 3:06PM
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I like a window over the sink...would you be able to have the main sink and dishwasher on that side, with the pantry and fridge? I swapped them, but if that's not possible, it would still work the other way.

Then, the range and a prep sink could go on the other side of the kitchen. Just another idea :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 3:28PM
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LL, I like your layout but I think the OP has limitations due to venting. Is that right dcward89?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Thanks, Debra...I did not notice that concern :)

DC- Could you use a downdraft vent? Is it going to be an electric or gas range?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 5:33PM
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debrak...your layout is the ideal layout for the space I think. The sink is currently under the window with the dw to the left. I would have left it that way but there is no way to vent the range unless it is on the outside wall or the end of the short wall by the basement steps. I have read so many reviews of how ineffective down drafts are that I haven't even considered that as an option. It is an electric range but we still really want a regular, through the roof hood range.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 6:37PM
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I think I gave credit to the wrong person, lavender lass, your layout is the one that I would love to have but we can't figure out a way to make it work due to venting issues.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 6:41PM
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It looks like you'll do your prep moving to the right of the sink (as you face it) since there the counter space is better on that side. If so, consider moving your trash pull-out to that side. Maybe swap the current location with the cabinet that was 30" and will now be 18".

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 7:57PM
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Do the walls between the kitchen and the DR/LR have to stay as they are? Just a thought, but what about shifting the DR entrance down toward the LR and putting in a bank of cabs coming down from the top right, with the range in that run. I think (?) you could then vent through the exterior wall, running the ducting either between the joists or through a soffit. Then the fridge and possibly pantry could go along the stair wall, and the whole LR wall could be open.

Would help to see a floorplan showing the rest of the surrounding rooms.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 7:59PM
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I like Lavender's layout although I may switch pantry and fridge...but what are your venting issues? sometimes it's really not as big a deal as you would imagine.

I reworked an existing lemon of a downdraft (the whole range was a lemon not that the downdraft was the major issue) and got an island hood over a conventional range with venting that met all the requirements re: bends and total length and such with only one small area of visible soffit--it just took a bit of ingenuity.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 10:02PM
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Here's one other idea. If your sink is already under the window, why not have the prep sink there? Scoot the range down just a bit and give yourself more prep space by moving the pantry.

The pantry could go over on the other side, next to the clean up area. Your main sink, dishwasher, trash would be there, with views into the other room, while you clean up :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 11:56PM
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I really, really appreciate all the input! To answer a few of the questions:

The venting issue is two-fold. My DH insists that we need a straight run vent, no turns or angles. We don't have a range hood now so maybe it's going overboard but he wants it to be as efficient as possible. I cook ALOT...every single day and we have issues with too much moisture in the house settling on windows and we have had to replace at least one of our beautiful wood windows due to moisture damage of the frame. We also would prefer not to have the duct work for the vent run through any finished space upstairs and then have to box it in. Our house is cape cod style, built in 1947. Our upstairs is 1 big room (master bedroom) and the finished space upstairs covers approximately 1/3 of the kitchen space, from the bottom of the plan going in towards the middle. I guess that was a big explanation for a problem that we are making harder to solve by our "wants".

Flying C's idea of moving the entrance from the dining room is intriguing. I'm going to play with that idea a little bit on the NKBA room planner and see what it looks like. I'll try to add the rest of the downstairs layout to help add perspective. I'll come back later and post that as another option and see what kind of feedback you all have on that.

Again, thanks so much for all your really helps seeing things through different sets of eyes!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 8:03AM
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A variation LL's layout. Fridge on the LR wall with a narrow pullout, another tall cab for MW and storage on the exterior wall.

I think, if you enlarge the entry anyone coming for a snack would not be in the way of clean up or prep.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 9:25AM
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Take a look at how the floor joists run in the basement. That will tell you the likely way they run in the kitchen ceiling. You may be able to run ductwork in the joist space. There are all kinds of duct work sizes that actually move the same amount of air.

Try to encourage your spouse to read up on his "no turn" opinion. Lots of residential hood installations have a turn in the ductwork somewhere so he might want to ask around about that.

The main issue in every one of the range-on-window-wall plans is that you are cooking in a hallway that others will be using. The hall will be sited there because it's the path to the stairs.

It would be better to have cleanup and refrigeration on the window wall and cooking/prep in the protected "U".

Some other fun facts about appliances...

It is difficult to site a refrigerator immediately beside a wall. Refrigerators need between 3" and 15" of clear space on the hinge side. If you're thinking french doors, think about needing clearance to both sides. There may be obstructions like door or window casings that stick out causing the needed clearance to increase. Most refrigerators need the clearance to be able to properly operate the doors and interior drawers as well as for cleaning and airflow.

For the purpose of calculating clearances in a tight space, normal refrigerators are about 36" deep and "Counterdepth" refrigerators are about 30" deep. This is because you need to include the door depths and the handles.

It is likely that the ref you show above will not be able to open its doors completely and may not be able to open one side wide enough to be usable at all.

Ranges may also be deeper than you'd think. The basic problem is that most require the crack between the door and the body of the range to be in front of the base cabinet doors. And a fair number of them forget to say where that puts the outside of the oven door or the door with handles. 28" is a good planing rough number.

Also take a good look at how far the stick-out is when the oven door is open. One of the consequences of sticking bigger sized ovens in the same size spaces is that the oven doors generally become taller and stick out more when open.

Using a Wolf gas range for the heck of it, it sticks out 28-3/8" when the door is closed and 43-3/8" when the oven door is open. A random whirlpool is 27-7/8" deep with the door closed but 46-7/8" when open. Taking a different view of what their customers need to know, Bertazonni does not disclose this information.

This can help you decide how bad it will get when someone is coming up from the basement when you have the oven door open.

Lastly, remember that this stuff is very personal even though there are general guidelines. What is convenient for you might not be workable for someone else.

I really suggest that you look at how you and your family are moving through your existing kitchen. Where do you get in each other's way? Are you constantly going back and forth to the refrigerator or pantry areas? Where do you NEED counter space and how much is enough?

Compare the observations to the new plan and see if things will get better or stay the same or be worse. As an example, for myself, every inch the refrigerator was closer to the range would be a win in efficiency because I constantly wander over to the ref while cooks to fetch a little bit of this and that. It's because I "make up" meals more often than I use recipes.

You and your family will not have the same patterns that we have. Fitting the design to your patterns would be the very best thing.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Did I understand correctly that you're willing to accept a significantly worse kitchen layout just to avoid a single 90 degree turn in your exhaust duct? That would be a huge mistake in my opinion.

Do you know which way the joists run in the ceiling above the kitchen? If they run up/down in the pics above, then it would be fairly easy run the duct between the joists to the exterior wall.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 12:19PM
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I have been talking to my DH this afternoon and I think he is so sick of talking about this that he says 'whatever you want Sweetie. As long as you're happy and everything functions properly, I'm happy.'

So, our joists in the ceiling run up/down in the layout I posted. Assuming the hood functions properly with 1 or 2 turns in the duct work I think the layout would be drastically improved by moving the range and hood to the bottom part of the U. If this works, let me know what you think.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen plan

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 5:20PM
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And of course that doesn't work...

I'll try uploading a pic. It won't be a very good quality because I'm taking a pic of my screen with my cell but hopefully you'll get the idea.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 5:34PM
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I've been playing with the NKBA Virtual Planner. Anyway, basically what I did was I closed up 15 inches of the wall between the kitchen and living room at the bottom of the pic. That allowed me to move the range and hood to the bottom of the U. Again, this assumes that the hood will function properly with 1 or 2 bends in the duct work. The sink, DW and fridge will remain where they currently are. This also allowed me to add a little bit more upper cabinets on the outside wall.

Now what does everyone think?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 5:38PM
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I like it! I would think about adding a prep sink, in the corner overlooking the other room. Yes, it is an added expense, in a fairly small space...but you wouldn't have to cross back and forth while prepping...and it would be so much easier to prep and carry on a conversation with someone in the other room!

Also, you could have the dirty dishes by the main sink and continue to prep on the other side. Just something to consider :)

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 5:42PM
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There is a formula that tells you how much less Length you can have for a duct with each bend. With the size of your kitchen you should be well within the range of adequate efficiency with a couple of bends.

As an example, when I installed a range hood using a different duct that already existed, the vent fan forcefully blasted air out of an opening in the duct (yet to be closed) that was Down one floor from the kitchen. So a lot of air was going against gravity in 180 degree bends from the vent fan itself. It obviously was going to work with less bends in the other direction.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 7:29PM
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Don't you have to add like 4 feet for each bend and they don't suggest more than 2 bends (one or none being best)? I think the 4 foot per bend is right, though...

What I mean to say that each bend adds the equivalent of 4 feet of duct.

This post was edited by deedles on Thu, Dec 26, 13 at 19:00

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 6:59PM
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I think each 90 degree bend is comparable to about 15' of straight smooth wall duct, not 4'.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Here's one other idea...assuming you don't want to move the range or add a second sink. Would this work?

Fridge and microwave are on side that opens to other room, while range is on outside wall and sink bridges the two areas. Oops! Should have erased that extra lazy susan. Just an idea :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 12:27AM
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Something similar to what Flying C already suggested.

noticed it was partly suggested before.

This post was edited by sena01 on Fri, Dec 27, 13 at 5:40

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:30AM
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