Kitchen layout for family of 10, please help

anneinmissouriDecember 14, 2013

Hello! My cabinets are falling apart, the tile floors are slippery, and I really want two dishwashers. I want to DIY as much as possible. I love IKEA cabinets. I need your help getting the best layout possible.

Functional, clean, simple, light filled, uncluttered, industrial/rustic/modern.

We are a family of ten including eight kids ages 2 - 19 (oldest commutes to local university). We homeschool and DH works at home so we use the kitchen all day long. Almost always there are multiple people cooking at the same time. At least once a month, we have gatherings of 18-20 people.

The house was built in 1997 and we bought it and moved in 2006. We are surrounded by trees. You can see the lake from the deck through the trees. The before pictures are right after I painted the walls green in 2007.

The corner sink location is not my preference. However, there are finished rooms above and below so I think it would be expensive/difficult to move the drain line much and an island sink is a no-go. I want a proper vent hood through a wall, so I don't want an island stove either.

I have a Frigidaire Commercial All-Refrigerator and I would like to continue to use that. There is an upright freezer in the pantry. I outfitted the pantry with IKEA cabinets in 2007 and love that.

I'm not sure what to do for eat-in options. We never sit at the island, only at the table. We have been squeezed into a square table but we recently started using the dining room for dinner because the kitchen was too crowded.

I don't want this to get too long so I'll get to the pictures:

Thank you for reading this. I've been reading these forums for seven years and I respect your expertise and the time you all put into everything there is to know about kitchens. I'm finally ready to start doing something about our dysfunctional kitchen but I can't start without your input. What do you think the best layout would be?

Anne in Missouri

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A second sink is useful for so many cooks. Is there plumbing on the wall common to the laundry room?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All I can say is, my hat's off to you for preparing meals for and feeding 10 people in a space that size. If anyone deserves two dishwashers, it's you. Good luck with your remodel.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 6:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can you move the DW to the right, and put the sink flat on the wall? That would give you a nice prep area between your sink and range.

Would a big round table fit in your space? Maybe a 60".


    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, tbb123, a second sink would be great if it can fit. In the laundry room, just on the other side of the kitchen wall, is the washing machine. So maybe a sink could drain into the same drain as the washer. Great idea!

Well, linelle, I must admit that my DH is the one who cooks most often and the older kids cook also so it's not just me. Thank you for your kind words.

Nancy, I have admired those huge round tables. Wouldn't that be amazing? I think it would take up too much space in this kitchen, sadly. It is also the main highway between the garage and the rest of the house so I have to keep some walkway space too.

You're right, I can put the sink flat along that wall. One of the ideas I was considering is dw, sink, dw, maybe even dw, sink, dw, sink? A 24" IKEA Domsjo sink would be big enough I think. I was thinking of eliminating the corner cabinet and have the cab next to the stove not start until 36 inches in front of the dishwasher. Below is a picture of that idea. Will that look insane with the windows the way they are? In a perfect world, I would rearrange the windows and really feature the lake view (the wall with the sliding glass door faces the lake) but that is not in the budget this go-round.

Anne in Missouri

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the photos of your current layout above, I think the layout with the discontinued countertops is suboptimal in your case.

It should not be prohibitive to move the sink to the center position on the far wall, and put the dishwashers both to the right of the sink so you can have a person cleaning up that will not interfere with people cooking.

You can turn the far end cabinets in the island to face the dishwashers and keep most of your often used dishes and cutlery there, making emptying your dishwasher a snap, just make sure you have at least a 40" isle so you can have the DW open and open the cabinet at the same time - dishes out of the DW and into the cabinet right away. The cost of a second sink at a budget level turns into about $800 when you factor in the faucet with a pull down spray, a sink basin, and extra plumbing, but may be less than that if you were going to put storage drawers there instead.

similarly, you can have the cabinets on the side of the island closest to the table open toward the table to keep things like placemats or kid's art supplies so they can access things without coming "in" to the cooking/cleaning area.

Do base drawers instead of traditional cupboards or bases with doors and pullouts, I find the 3 drawer sets to be useful for most things, but have two narrow 15" four drawer stacks for kids' plates/bowls/sippy cups and kids' junk drawers for crayons, glue, and such.

This post was edited by detroit_burb on Sat, Dec 14, 13 at 21:55

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you have a problem eating your meals in the DR? We also outgrew our eat-in kitchen and, when we renovated, eliminated it altogether - and made it "all kitchen".

We have been eating all our meals in the DR for the past several years and I don't know why we didn't do it sooner! There's more room, it's more conducive to conversation and a relaxing meal, the kids don't try to bolt from the table as soon as they used to, and their table manners even seemed to improve (although that may have been more a factor or their growing up...)

We did take down the wall b/w our DR and Kitchen when we remodeled, but it worked just as well when the wall was up.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, detroit_burb, I definitely will be using lots of drawers. Current lower cabs have just a half shelf and they're a mess. I have one stack of IKEA drawers in my pantry with the soft close feature. Aahh, so nice.

Buehl, I could move all eating to the DR. Biggest downside in my mind is having to walk past the powder room repeatedly, but I can get over it. With the sliding glass door and the stair railing, I don't know how else to use the space on that side of the room though. I could make a really long island, or two smaller islands, but it just seems weird to me. Have you seen something that might work in this kind of space? Thank you for your ideas.

Taking your suggestions into account, I drew up another plan. I'm calling this one Plan B. Any suggestions for improvement? Not sure about island size yet. I put tall but shallow 12" deep pantry cabs to the right of the sinks/dws. I am thinking that would be good for dish storage (plates, bowls, plastic cups, mugs).

Bah, sorry about the orientation. I turned it around in Photobucket but the preview shows it upside down, sorry. **Edited to say - I guess it fixed itself because it no longer appears upside down to me.**

Thank you!
Anne in Missouri

This post was edited by anneinmissouri on Sun, Dec 15, 13 at 18:36

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you bake a lot? If so, you could do a baking island where your table is by the slider. It could double as a craft/school area when not being used for baking. Then the spot where the desk is could become a snack center where the MW and maybe a toaster oven (we use our TO all the time for our family of 9) could go.

I like your plan B better than your plan A. : ) Does it have enough landing space for dirty dishes before they head into the DW, though? I think I'd be inclined to switch the fridge with the oven/ MW tower to help keep from crossing the island every time you needed something from the fridge. Although that might make the aisle too narrow. Hmph. I'll have to do some more thinking. ; )

Here is a link that might be useful: Did you see this 2 island kitchen?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's so funny that you mention landing space for dirty dishes. I was consciously limiting that area in the design because I'm sick of dirty dishes taking over the entire counter. When we have two dishwashers there won't be so many, right, right? I was thinking the area on the far right could be the coffee center.

We do like to bake. Sometimes we use the table for that anyway. Especially if little kids are helping and they can reach better. In the picture, you can see that the table was counter-height. I got tired of it, so I cut 6" off all the table and chair legs so now it's standard height. I do like having a table height area to work at sometimes so maybe it's better for that to stay. I did see the beautiful kitchen you linked to but I hadn't seen the two islands. I looked up the other thread with more pictures to see it better. It makes sense in that kitchen. Since we wouldn't be adding a sink, I think for my kitchen, it wouldn't be much different from when I had the counter height table there.

I don't think I've ever owned a toaster oven. What kinds of food do you cook in yours? We do use the microwave all the time, that's why we have two.

The desk is gone now. I have my all-refrigerator there and it's not a problem to get things from the fridge, put them on the island, prep, and then move to the stove. I think I'd rather have the fridge in the main pathway versus the oven for safety too.

My DD pointed out that the trash pullout is not accessible when someone is loading or unloading the dw. I'll move trash to the island and put silverware drawers by the dw.

Thank you so much for your input. I appreciate you sharing your ideas.

Anne in Missouri

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 6:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just a few ideas.

You can have a smaller island and a cart (maybe this). That can give you more flexibility in the kitchen.

One of the sinks can be on the cooktop wall.

You can have MW on an upper shelf next to the fridge (2nd one can be next to the cooktop) and just have oven in a tall cab that can go where you now have the fridge with another shallow tall cab with shelves next to it. The oven cab can be used to store dishes/glass along with any uppers, wall shelves you can have b/w the sinks and the window. The shelves next to the oven can be used for other storage.

Here's a drawing showing all I mentioned above. Maybe you can use some of them. Trash is on the DW wall, next to corner cab.

Btw, Anne means mother in my native tongue. So correct :))

edited to correct link

This post was edited by sena01 on Mon, Dec 16, 13 at 8:01

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 7:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm going to design this with function in mind...and hope that an island sink might be possible. I would definitely check and see how expensive it would be to put a sink on the island and change the slider to a single patio door...and maybe move it over just a bit.

If you could do this....maybe something like this would be a possibility. A smaller table and banquette against stair railing...with stools at the island. Not enough room for everyone to eat in the kitchen, but space for some to be at the table doing homework or coloring and others to be helping at the island. Just an idea :)

From Kitchen plans

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Mon, Dec 16, 13 at 13:01

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 12:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, thank you so much for the 3D rendering, sena01! DH really liked the sinks separated like that. He thinks it will be easier to plumb that way.

Thank you, lavendar_lass, I like the idea of putting something near the stairs. I'm worried that a banquette wouldn't be safe for my kids though. First thing they would do is stand on the banquette and lean over the stairs. :O What if I had a bank of drawers and counter over there though. Could be a snack center or a buffet area for parties. Hmm.

So many ideas to try out. Thank you!

Anne in Missouri

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You all are so helpful. I'll call sena01's Plan C and lavender_lass's Plan D so the following is Plan E.

I set up a snack/buffet area by the stairs. I moved the cook's sink to the cooking wall. That didn't leave enough counter space, so I moved the oven undercounter instead of a tower. I made the island 72" x 36" to match the butcherblock counter size I want to use. The trash is a little less convenient for the cook, but this way, other people can get to it without interfering with the cook.

What do you think?

Anne in Missouri

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are you trying to seat entire family at this table? The island appears much too close to the table, while you have lots of room on the other end.

What if you put up a wall, just along the basement stairs...but keep it open to the upstairs? Then the banquette would work and you could have seating at the banquette and island.

This assumes that dining room will be only place entire family sits down to eat together. The kitchen seating would be for other activities/snacks, not main dining area.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 12:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are right. I'm definitely not trying to fit everyone at this table. We only sit all together at dinnertime and we have been doing that in the dining room for the past week or two. This table would be for times when only 6 or fewer people are eating/visiting/doing schoolwork. Our square table actually reduces to this size by removing the center. If the table was better centered between the island and buffet, do you think there would be enough room?

I'm afraid that putting a higher wall along the basement stair would block off too much view through to the living room. I could do some kind of spindles that would keep bodies in but sight through. Does that sound disturbingly like a jail cell? LOL I'm liking the idea of a buffet counter. When we have a get-together, the island is full of food and there is no where to prep anything else. That counter could hold fruit bowls too or cookie jars.

Anne in Missouri

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 1:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you need more counter space, I think that would be a good idea. However, even railing will not keep small items from falling down onto people's heads! LOL

Maybe a tall backsplash, so that everything stays up on the counter, where it's supposed to be?

The one thing that has me concerned is how far the fridge is from the sink. Could you move the sink over by the fridge? I stole some of your pantry space, so this may not work...but just an idea :)

Oh, I also took out the shallow storage, to make room for stools at the island. It would be nice for everyone to be able to sit in the kitchen, even if not all at the table. I added a space for cookbooks on the end of the island and maybe hooks on that back wall (by main sink) for aprons, etc. Too cute?

From Kitchen plans

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 13:37

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If there's enough room, you could do the little serving counter just under the landing portion of the wall of the stairway. I think maybe I'd make it shallower than 24" to make sure you've got enough room to get around the table, is all. Plan on the width of your table and at least 36" on each side for aisleways (More would be better in the main walkway, for sure.) Otherwise, you'll feel overcrowded.

I think I'd want to mock up plan E just to make sure I had enough room to operate the cooking process if the DW on the left is going to be open at the same time cooking is happening. If there is any way at all to get the second sink into the island rather than the perimeter, that would be my 1st choice. It would work well down at the end near the table, so that more folks could use it without interfering with the cook.

What do you think about flipping the island so that the drawers are facing the cooking area, and the shelves are facing the storage zone? The drawers would be great for baking supplies, pots and pans, mixing bowls, serving items, etc. The shallower shelves would be excellent for dish storage.

I love hooks for aprons, but personally wouldn't give up storage for the hooks. They could go on the pantry door or behind it, instead, as another option.

Funny you mentioned 2 MW's. I was just thinking about going to 2 of those this week.

In answer to your question, we use the toaster oven to toast big batches of toast (of course), bagels, and my favorite, for toasted deli-style sandwiches. Yum! A sandwich with a slice of cheese in it is awesome toasted until the cheese is a little melty inside. It will bake a pie or some cookies in a pinch, and I love using it in lieu of a warming drawer for keeping part of the meal warm until I have all the rest of the pieces and parts ready to serve. Ours is an Oster, and will hold a 9x13" dish. (It's slow to toast though...)

Here is a link that might be useful: A 2 sink kitchen similar to one of your plans above

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 3:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, more counter space is something we need. A counter would have to have a little backspash (3-4 inches?) to keep the apple bowl from tumbling downstairs. As long as it doesn't go much higher than the current railing the sightlines will be ok.

We have enough room to get around the table now but if there are drawers opening into that same space, it would need more room. I'll try a plan with 12" deep cabinets with shelves. That would still provide serving counter and some more storage.

Yes, I know the fridge is so far away. I don't know where else to put it. Where the fridge was originally pinches the island. I figured if I moved it away, then we could use the space more efficiently. I wish we had room for two refrigerators. We are actually still using the new one and the old one. The pantry space that you "stole", lavender_lass, for a sink is where the upright freezer is located so I don't think I can give that up.

People stand around the island but no one sits there. I did used to have stools there, but they were used for climbing to reach cabinets, never for sitting. I think I'd rather have the cabinet space.

I guess I need to call in a plumber to price out how far we can move sink(s) for how much $$. With finished space below, I thought it would be a big hassle (= big $$) to move drain lines much. Does anyone have any experience with that to share?

The drawers in the island are that way in my plan so that someone can be baking cornbread or biscuits on the outside, while someone else is cooking chili or sausage gravy on the stove side. We get in each others way a lot in our current kitchen so I'm trying to spread out the functions a little.

Thank you for the toaster oven info, laughable. I didn't know they had ones big enough for a 9x13. Will look into it.

Thank you so much for all your input!

Anne in Missouri

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How would this be? Top wall from right to left, a narrow tall cab, fridge, DW, sink, trash, then corner, DW, sink, cab, cooktop and oven. I'm not sure where MW can go, island or remain where you have it in your last layout.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

While our kitchen was being remodeled for over 6 months we ate outside or at our dining room table, which we usually pass by on the way to the kitchen.
I loved it.Even with just two of us, we sat longer, weren't jumping up to clear or wash dishes or counters so quickly, and generally paid more attention to our food.
I didn't follow all the comments, but if you have a place for quick breakfasts, get your bigger kitchen.
Ten kids, home schooling, husband home all must be blessed with patience and extra capacity love

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 12:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, sena01! I drew up something with your suggestions. (To keep things straight, I'll call lavendar_lass's plan with the cute aprons Plan F. Therefore this drawing is Plan G.) There aren't enough inches to put the trash cab on the top wall but I don't mind putting it in the island. On the left wall, there needs to be more counter between the cooktop and sink so I switched sink and dw. MW could go lots of places, even in the pantry if need be. I also switched it to a 30" range. DH is not sure if that would be enough compared to the 36" cooktop though. I think 2 refrigerators is better.

idabean, extra love definitely, patience notsomuch. LOL We do have a long table out on the deck too. I built it 12 feet long ( plans) and it's great to have so much room when the weather's nice.

This Plan G with the second fridge on the top wall is very different from the others we are considering. All comments welcome. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

Anne in Missouri

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you think 2 of you can use the sinks at the same time,or when one is loading/unloading the DW while someone else is at the other sink?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 3:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think so but I could mock it up to test it out. Good idea.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 5:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sena- That's a good point! What about a peninsula, rather than the island?

From [Kitchen plans](
    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 5:06PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Please help with Kitchen floorplan
Hello everyone, My husband and I are building a new...
Honed Vermont Danby marble countertop owners... Love it or leave it???
I am hoping to understand people's experience who have...
Ikea cover panel installation question (Akurum line)
Hi all! I was ready to post this to and...
How much has your Danby Marble countertops scratched?
Still looking for he holy grail of countertops… back...
My two tone kitchen reveal sans backsplash
My kitchen is finally finished! Well, except for the...
Sponsored Products
Four 22"Sq. Napkins - PARCHMENT
$109.90 | Horchow
American Drew Grand Isle Counter Height Barstool in Amber [Set of 2]
Beyond Stores
Emerald Home Brighton Server - Linen & Cashew - D254L-50
$753.99 | Hayneedle
Dogs WINEing Coasters - Boston Terrier
$39.50 | FRONTGATE
Corner Laptop Writing Desk with Optional Hutch - Vanilla - ALZ989
$159.98 | Hayneedle
Mini Cast Iron Skillet
$8.99 | zulily
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™