Blueprints Finally!! Kitchen Questions

joallen001December 29, 2013

Finally making progress on house plans and wanted to get some input on the kitchen. At this point the layout pretty much has to stay the same as far as wall layouts. Anything as far as cabinets, etc. can be moved around. I posted some rough sketches a while back but cannot seem to locate them. Right now I am thinking of a microwave drawer to the left of stove, and a toaster oven/oven combo beside the dishwasher. Looking forward to everyones input! Planning to break ground in late February or March.

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Will you have a half wall b/w the Great Room and the kitchen? If not, maybe you can move the toaster/oven combo to that side instead of having them right next to the entry from the hall.

We rarely use the MW, but most seem to prefer it next to the fridge to keep snackers out of their prep/cooking zone.

I guess there'd be traffic from the bottom hall both to dining and GR, so I'd try to keep the cooking/prep on the less busy area and have the aisles b/w the island and both cleanup and cooking wide enough (48'?) to accommodate that traffic. I hope experts will chime in with much better suggestions.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 6:52AM
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The half wall is optional between the great room and kitchen. I was planning to look online at some pics to see what I like best. Wall or no wall.

buehl drew up a rough sketch a while back, that I can seem to find now. If I remember right he put the microwave drawer to the left of stove. But the wall layout has changed some since then. Hoping he will chime in with thoughts as well.

The hallway you see leads to two kids bedrooms, the x's in the drawing is supposed to be a cased opening leading into the billiards/dining room. Great suggestions so far!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 5:30PM
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Thought I would go ahead and upload a photo showing a larger view of the rooms around the kitchen.
Since the hallway is 6' going to the bedrooms, we may extend bedroom 3 into the hallway 1 or 2 feet. Although I like the wide hallway. Several relatives say 12x12 is too small, but as a kid growing up I liked smaller cozier bedrooms. I think 12x12 is fine if laid out the right way.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 5:45PM
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I think I found your old tread.

The half bath seems quite large. Will there be a shower there?

I think 12x12 is a good size for a BR. I wish there were 2 windows in that BR though. Maybe you can have a squarish bath with 1 sink and linen closet in the hall, and the BR closet (not walk in) on the billiard room wall and have that 2nd window in the BR.

Did you post in the building forum?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 5:17AM
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The half bath will not have a shower. My brother is in a will chair so it will help accommodate him.

I really want to keep the two sinks for the bathroom. I am not following how your saying to lay that out?

I have not posted in the building forum since this was mainly about kitchen layout. I may do that to get some more feedback..

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 8:57AM
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Sometimes two sinks in a bathroom shared by kids is a waste. Why? Because rarely will two siblings want to share that space. Maybe when they are young and you are supervising. Of course each family is different. I would put in one sink and use the other space for counter space and/or storage.

I agree 12x12 is fine.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 10:05AM
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What I have in mind is something like this. Since I'm no expert this may be totally inapplicable.

Happy New Year ))

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 10:06AM
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I can't follow other people's posts (I don't even know WHICH bathroom sena is describing!), but just a couple of specific comments.

Is the half-wall referred to above the wall between the kitchen and the great room on the oven/micro/sink/dw run? If so, I'd definitely keep it. It's just a way to make it look "finished".

We had two sinks in my kids' bathroom when they were growing up and it was great - each had their own and for years they used it at the same time. Necessary- of course not, but functional, for us, definitely yes.

12 x 12 is plenty big for a kids' room. The room I grew up in was 11 x 8 and IT was big enough! Just having your own room is really all that matters.

I'd move the prep sink on the island down toward the refrigerator, sort of half-way between the refrigerator and the cooktop.

Are you definitely going to use a drawer microwave (we just got one and it's great looking down into it. A little pricey for heating vegetables and defrosting, but it works)? If so, I'd think about putting it between the cooktop and the refrigerator.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 12:20PM
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Thank you for the comments. Definitely need to keep two sinks. Although two separate sinks and the shower area separate would be ideal. I need to see if that is possible for each bedroom to have a sink but share the shower in the middle.

Thank you for the drawing. I see exactly what you mean by the closet now. The only issue would be everything is inside the same room verses the shower been separate. Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 12:44PM
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sena is describing the bathroom shared by bedroom 2&3!

You are right on the half wall being the wall on the end of the sink, dishwasher, etc.

I agree on the sinks. A single sink in the bathroom just is not an option. I grew up with two sinks. One me and my brother shared, the other my sister took over. Took her forever to get ready.

I am glad to see everyone so far thinks a 12x12 is plenty big for a kids room.

I will look into moving the prep sink. I agree closer to the fridge would probably work better.

Definitely want the microwave drawer. I like the way it looks and have read so many positive things about them. A built in microwave drawer and a stacked toaster oven/30" wall oven is what we want. I am not a fan of having a bunch of small appliances on the counters.
Thanks for your comments

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 12:55PM
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I like the prep sink where it is.

(1) It leaves more of the island open for a larger Prep Zone - especially needed, IMHO, b/c there is seating on the DR end of the island. If someone is sitting there, you don't necessarily want to be prepping in that person's with 58" of prep space - 15" when someone is sitting on the end - you're left with 43" of prep space - a respectable amount and definitely not too much! (I have found a minimum of 42" is best for prep space.)

(2) It allows you to use the island for the refrigerator landing space so food is placed right where it's needed w/o having to move it twice (once to put it down when taking it from the refrigerator and twice when moving it to where you need it on the island.)

(3) It's also nice having a bigger area on the island that's free for larger projects, etc.

In your layout, how deep is the seating overhang? I would want it at least 15" after accounting for cabinets and decorative end panels on the cabinets. It looks much shallower than that.

With your new dimensions, etc. - here's a "tweaked" version of your most recent layout (I did not include the other rooms around the Kitchen - this is the Kitchen & DR only).

With the added width to the room, you have room for additional seating at the island, if you wish. Seating on two sides is more visitor-friendly and more conducive to conversation.

I widened the aisles a bit to allow for a wheelchair - both room to pass through and to turn around. This is especially important b/w the island and sink run b/c of the traffic coming from the bedrooms to the Great Room and, possibly, the front door and Office. (BTW...where's BR #1?)

I left the door from the DR to the porch in the layout (from the older versions) - take it out if you don't want it. There's more room now so that door will fit with enough room around the table in the DR.

In the DR, the space is wide enough that if you need a bigger table (e.g., around the holidays), you can definitely fit a larger table!

Mudroom - I highly recommend adding a Message/Command Center to the Mudroom. It provides a place for keys, etc. at the point of entry/exit to/from your home.

I also recommend "cubbies" for children (in addition to a closet) - it gives them a place to easily/quickly hang a backpack, coat/jacket, etc. They could be as simple as hooks along a wall (with 2 or 3 hooks per child and spaced so there's room for a backpack)/storage space underneath that also provides a "bench", as elaborate as curved walls w/drawers below/cabinets above, or anything in between!

Regarding a 12'x12' BR - it is a bit small, but if it's a 1-child BR and there's plenty of wall space for a bed, dresser, and chest, then I think you'll be OK. We actually have a 10'x10' BR - and I think it's much too small. You seem to have better wall space than we have. We made it into a spare room (it was originally the nursery - plenty big enough for that) and we ended up having to put the bed in at an angle to fit it + dresser + chest. There's not much room to get around the bed, but it's OK for short-term use. Actually, with that large a closet, you may not need room for a chest - you can put it in the closet or build drawer space into the closet. The BR itself then, could have a bed + dresser + toy chest/shelves. With a toy chest or shelves, it's easier for a child to cleanup his/her room. Later, it can be used for books, trophies, and other personal stuff. I would rather have shelves than a chest for that reason - shelves can grow with a child, toy chests usually cannot.

[Plus I think shelves are safer than a covered chest - just be sure to bolt the shelving unit to the wall - actually, you should probably bolt a chest to the wall as well, if you have one. Anything taller than 3 or 4 feet should be attached to the wall for safety where children are involved. We have a TV in our BR on top of a chest and we bolted it to the wall as well. Not only b/c the TV was there (makes it top heavy), but b/c we knew our children would be in and out of our BR and we didn't want them pulling it down on top of them if they started playing around/on the chest.]

I question the wisdom of putting a window in a closet. Sunlight fades clothing and heat can buildup in the room - especially in the South. I'd rather bring that second window into the BR and make the closet wall a "straight" wall that's flush with the BA wall. If you play with the exterior, I think you can get it to look "right". I can't see the entire front, so I can't advise you on that aspect. It may not even matter if the windows on the BR "wing" of the house are different than the main frontage - it may look fine. I'd have to see the entire front of the house - preferably both layout and elevation.

Whatever you decide, I would aim for hallways that are at least 4' wide throughout the house b/c of the wheelchair.

Here's the Kitchen & DR layout:

What's a "Safe Room"? Is it a place to go when there's a tornado warning or similar?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 10:30AM
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Thanks so much for the comments and the time and effort you put into it. Really liking the layout you presented!

I will make sure we have a 15" seating overhang. Definitely going to consider the seating on both sides of the bar too. The wife is exited to hear about room for a bigger dining room table

On the mudroom I definitely plan to do some type of built in. I will post a pic to see if this is kinda what you mean with a command center. You can see where I wrote in door on the prints that actually exits the to the pool area. I want something in this mudroom for guests to drop there bags, towels, etc.

I think thats a great idea on the shelves in the smaller bedroom. We do not have any kids yet so this will most likely start out as a nursery. I feel the bedroom is plenty big if the space is used in the right ways. I see a lot of people making great use of small bedrooms. Some even enjoy the smaller bedrooms vs. larger bedrooms.

I also had some concerns about the windows in closets. I have been in several new homes and it seems so common in this area now. Most everyone I ask that has one says they dont have issues. They seem to think the key is to install good quality windows and blinds. I will post a couple of pics showing the layout and elevation. The house style is greek revival so its all mirror image.

The safe room is for tornados. We are in tornado alley.. A lot of people also keep food stocked inside. FEMA requires a solid steel door. Some people go extra secure on the door in case someone does try to break in. You could lock yourself inside and no one is getting inside.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 10:26PM
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Floor plan layout

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Mudroom ideas

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 10:43PM
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    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 10:44PM
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and last one

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 10:45PM
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Great looking plan and house. I can agree with everyone's comments. Especially Buehl's comments and about the wider hallways for your brother's wheelchair access. He probably does not live with you and just visit, but wouldn't it be smart to have some additional areas accommodate that door and walkway clearance as well? I can't really read from the plan, but make sure the cased opening from the kitchen to the bedroom hall has that. It looks like the bedroom doors from that hall are the wider ones (great for moving furniture too!) but smaller again in the bath and closets. I'd suggest at least one bedroom have wider access to those areas. You might consider if you'd like a wider door on your safe room as well.

For your mud room to include an additional counter drop area, you could bump out a space in the garage next to the stairs and have something there. It would not intrude on your floor space or pathway in the mud room but only in the garage. Where you are likely to have some garage cabinets there also.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 6:53AM
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thank you cindallas
The cased opening from the kitchen to bedrooms is 3' and the larger bedroom has a 3' door to the bathroom. I will look into the mudroom idea you mentioned.

When you say toaster oven shelf and 30" oven is this all one unit or just a spot to put any toaster oven in?

Also does SD ref mean a single door fridge?

Looks like it is time to start researching appliances! We do not want to go overboard but we don't want to go to cheap either. Suggestions are welcome!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 10:38PM
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Just a word of advice on the prep sink, based on personal experience. I like it closer to the end by the fridge, because of the access to the dining area and proximity to the fridge (grab an apple, wash it, kid gone). It also moves the second trash closer to the table and fridge (versus 4 feet apart). The best bit of advice I got from a coworker was to make sure my prep sink was large enough to be usable and had a disposal. But to maximize the open prep area, you might have to lose the end seating (and gain lower cabinet space... perhaps for a micro shelf on the end).

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 12:41AM
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Should the fridge be recessed into the wall?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:14PM
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Is the fridge full-size (i.e. not counter-depth)? If so, I would personally both recess it into the wall, and build a cabinet around it (including full-depth cabinet above it).

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:32PM
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All appliances will be new so we do not have a fridge yet. Any recommendations on how many inches are needed for recess?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:42PM
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If that wall of cabinets is "regular" depth (i.e. 24"), then a full-size fridge will stick out about 6-8" depending on the model (ex. a Maytag I just looked at is 33-3/8" deep including door and handles, 30-7/8" including door but not handles), and a counter-depth fridge will stick out about 3-4" depending on the model.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:53PM
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My first comment is more about the pantry than the kitchen:

I'd make that small closet that "backs up to" the pantry a more shallow reach-in rather than a piddly-small walk-in. Then I'd use that bit more space to widen the pantry to the point that it can have shelves on both sides -- a 1/3 increase in pantry storage!

Then I'd go with a bi-fold door on the pantry. Why? Because otherwise your door will cover a portion of the shelves when it's open.

Other than that, it's a pretty standard modern kitchen. It works.

My one big suggestion: I'd do away with the prep sink and move the big sink to the island . . . why? 1) This would consolidate your work space into a small, comfortable area. 2) This would give you an empty cabinet off to the side (on the wall shared with the billiards' room) and you could include bi-fold doors over this cabinet . . . so that when you have people playing pool, you can set drinks and snacks on the cabinet, and they can have access without walking around to the kitchen.

Definitely do away with double sinks in the kids' rooms. I pretty much hate double sinks anywhere, but they're especially bad in a spot like this, where they'll take up all the counter space and prevent you from having storage in drawers underneath.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:55PM
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