lkitchen layout suggestions

Landlord8544December 19, 2013

My wife and I are going to be building a new house. We are still doing our personal research on appliances, but I thought I would post this kitchen layout to get suggestions as to appliance placement, flow, cabinet makeup etc. We are planning a double wall oven of some sort, 48" frig, 36" cook top. The window over the kitchen sink looks out to the lake and a golf hole, the sun room will have panoramic views of the woods and lake and golf course. This is all from an elevated position as it is a walkout ranch on a sloped lot. Our current plans are to not have a double island as shown, but a 60" round table. The opening off that dinette area leads to the great room and a screened in covered deck. Don't know if this it TMI but I have seen a lot of posts that ask for more information. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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If you put a dining table in the kitchen, how often do you think you'll use the dining room? To me it seems remote even for relatively formal get togethers.

Full disclosure, I'm philosophically opposed to large formal dining spaces that are only used a couple times per year.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:42PM
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I don't mind formal dining rooms, but the connection from the kitchen to the dining room in this plan is not so good.

The elevator area also seems a bit tight and remote if you are going to end up using it regularly.

My disclosure is this: the entire footprint of my house is the same size as your kitchen and sunroom, (albeit on three floors + basement), but to me the size of the kitchen seems inefficiently overscaled.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:36PM
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The hallway between the kitchen and dining room is 4 ft wide. The elevator door will always be closed when the dining room would be in use. Don't think that will be an issue. When we entertain, everybody hangs in the kitchen. Thanks for your opinions though.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:25PM
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I don't think the size is the issue, more that the appliance placement could be much more efficient leaving more room for the social aspects of the kitchen. Right now, if everyone hangs out in the kitchen, you are going to be weaving in and out of people to get from one appliance to another if you are preparing something.

Also there is going to be a circulation bottleneck between the kitchen and dining room --entertaining-wise, regardless of elevator placement. 4 ft. wide and two smallish doorways is passable for serving in the dining room but not so great for social gatherings.

Maybe the elevator can't be moved, but the best residential location for an elevator is near the main stairs/entry of the house. (and it looks like this would still be near the kitchen if you are concerned about groceries).

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:11PM
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I don't understand where mealtimes are gonna happen in this place. Where will you eat breakfast, dring your coffee & read the paper every morning? What percentage of the time will you eat in the dining room and what percentage of the time will you eat somewhere else and where will that somewhere else be? My biases against unused formal dining rooms notwithstanding, you need to think through these basic use cases before you can place appliances.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:30PM
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I agree with GauchoGordo1993 and I have a bias for formal dining rooms! However, I think it best if you do not need to traverse a hallway (even a wide one) to get to it! How about making the pantry area into a casual dining area with a table or banquette seating and windows. Then move the pantry to enclose the space on the other side of the stairway (perhaps even configure it as a butler's pantry). The add an entry directly into the dining room

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:52PM
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I am a fan of having a separate dining room. I'm a throw-back, I guess. That said, I agree with the others about the location of your DR entrance and think you should make an opening in the lower right corner of your kitchen. I don't think you'd actually lose much as far as storage.

Keep range and clean-up sink as is. I think I'd move the prep sink to the right of center so that there is a large expanse of counter available on the island.

Use the wall on the right for fridge and wall ovens, microwave, perhaps a beverage center, coffee/tea makers, etc.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 7:48AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I'm not a fan of double islands as I'd feel I'd need roller skates to get have to circle the middle island to get from anything you need to where you want to set up. So you're constantly going around and around to get to where you want to be. Not good. Further, the island is taking up a lot of space but only providing seating on one side. I would rather see a breakfast table instead with more seating at the single island. So you can just reach across to set up at the island, for personal use or small gatherings. The table itself will provide more seating for larger gatherings that is still convenient to the kitchen. So for entertaining purposes, you'd make much better and more efficient use of the space.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 8:28AM
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Thanks again for the suggestions. As I originally stated we are not doing the double island, it will be a table. Here is a layout of the whole first floor to give a better perspective. The main entrance to the dining room is actually off the foyer. The hall entrance is for serving and access to the kitchen. Not sure if this makes a difference to those who don't care for formal dining rooms, but that part doesn't matter to us as we want a formal dining room. The house we are building calls for it, and our lifestyle also calls for it. I do understand those that think it is a waste of space, but in this house space is not a problem. I am however taking all critique under advisement.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 10:23AM
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The first layout shows the island. Most people are visual so if they see something on your layout they will assume its there. If its not there then remove it or post a new layout in its place.

I am not against dining rooms. I have one this is used every day. I agree with many here who have been telling you that the connection of the kitchen and the dining room is awkward.

If you want to benefit from this forum you would be wise to stop and listen. You say you want opinions but you immediately discount the ones you get.

We experienced this when we insisted our refrigerator be in a certain spot. Upon the advise here we considered moving the fridge and the whole plan fell into place. Our kitchen is so much better once we let go of that one issue.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 11:25AM
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That layout makes sense. Fridge(s) are on the top wall, opposite the cleanup sink, right? That works. Then the top-right corner becomes the snack area (toaster, coffee, etc.). So only remaining question is where to put the microwave. I like microwaves built-in to tall cabinets - do you have any tall, counter depth cabs? Do you need counter on the top wall or could that be all tall cabs? If you do have counter on that wall, I think you'll use it very infrequently. Another option would be a combination of tall cabs and display shelves on that top wall.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 12:45PM
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You mentioned a wall oven in your 1st post, where would that be?

I'm no expert so I may be missing something, but since you have the cooktop at the bottom of the L, I assume all the tall appliances will either be next to each other on the other leg of the L and lack close by landing space or in the middle of the counter with cabs around.

Maybe it would be better to have 2 counters instead of an L, so tall cabs can be at each end with base cabs in the middle.

Although you only want suggestions for the kitchen I'd like to add something I noticed in the master suite. You may be young now, but If you plan to live in this house for a long time, distance b/w the bed and the toilet may annoy you in later years.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Make sure you move that prep sink closer to one end of the island, towards the final fridge area. This will open up more contiguous space on the island for prep. Think about where the main fridge will go. I assume it must go on the wall opposite the sink, but closer to the corner to keep a clear path open while minimizing the obstruction. You might also scoot the island back a foot more towards the sunroom, to get the people out of line with the main sink. Some people with larger kitchens here actually use 5 or 5 1/2 feet in similar situations. This will also allow you with room to put in the 48" fridge at the end of this run. If you do so, then you could put a second bev fridge down by the end of this run, with a station for coffee and other beverages.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 3:27PM
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Great suggestions all. Yes the plan in my mind was to have the ovens and frig on the great room side of the kitchen. Am not committed to the cabinet makeup yet. I like the idea of moving the island further out and I did always plan on the sink being to one side. I was thinking full cabinets with no counter on both ends, but I need to hear pros and cons on that idea. Dishwasher right of the sink. Not sure where the garbage pull out should be. Also not sure about the microwave. We use it very little. Was even thinking of having one to use in the pantry. Also the cook top in the layout is shown as a 48" and we will only be installing a 36".

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 5:54PM
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I think I would want the trash in the island at the end toward the clean-up sink. That should make it relatively accessible for both plate scraping and trash created during prep. Some people with large kitchen actually are able to find 2 spots for trash when they have a lot of distance between zones. You may be able to get away with that. In that case, I'd want trash on the clean-up wall somewhere an again on the island, but perhaps between the prep sink and the end by the fridge . . . snackers make trash too (or coffee filters, bottle caps, etc. depending on how exactly you use that area). I would want SOME counter, I think, on the fridge wall . . . is that where you meant when you said "full cabinets?" I am so glad I made a "snack zone" in my kitchen. I hadn't really thought of it before this forum, but it is by far the most used stretch of counter in the space. The fridge is there, a pull out tall pantry with snacks and cereal, the microwave, toaster oven, and electric tea kettle. All school day breakfasts and most lunches are assembled in that spot.

Lots of infrequent MW users here at GW put them in the pantry. If you rarely use it, that is certainly an option. Others do below counter (I did, mine is a mw drawer) or in a "wall of tall" which it sounds like you are interested in having.

So you plan on having stools at the island AND the 60" round table? That seems a little like overkill to me, especially if you move the island closer to the sunroom space.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 9:56PM
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