Kitchen Layout Help Would Be Greatly Appreciated!

rosskaDecember 26, 2012

Hello all, My DW and I are trying to finalize our house plans and after posting in the Building a Home Forum there seems to be a concensous that our kitchen needs significant work.

To us the kitchen is the most important area of our home. I would like for it to be very spacious and handle a large get together, functional for everday use, eating meals, kids doing homework, and comfortable when a few friends come over and socialize while my wife and I cook.

We are a family of 4. My wife and I are in our early 30's with two children (7yr old daughter, 4yr old son). We are from Louisiana but currently live in Houston, TX. The elevation style of our home will be Acadian/Louisiana. We plan to do a good bit of entertaining along with having large family get togethers so we really focused on that when designing the plans. The space off of the dining are will be a wine grotto/wet bar with iron doors so you can see into it. Unfortunately our home will have to be east facing so we made the porches deep for efficiency and outdoor entertaining. We really want as much indirect natural light coming in as we can. We plan to have 12' ceilings throughout with transom windows in the dining and family room. A lot of our inspiration came from pictures of the Terrebonne floor plan.

Here is the post from the Building a home forum:

I hope this gives everyone a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any additional information. Thanks

Here is a link that might be useful: Our house plans

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Here are a few pics that I somewhat based our layout on.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:36PM
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Here is another pic. I am a very visual person.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Love your inspiration kitchen. Very pretty.

A couple of thoughts after looking at your layout.

Definitely move the DW to the other side of the sink. Your main prep area is going to be between the sink and the range and you won't want your DW in the way.

I can't tell from the layout measurements, but it looks like you have 3 ft of clearance between the wall and the island and the fridge run and the island. I'm guessing that isn't taking the counter overhang into consideration. That's too tight IMHO. You'll want generous clearance around the island, especially in front of the fridge. I have 48" between my fridge and island and 42" elsewhere. I find those generous but not too much. 36" with and additional 1 1/2" counter puts your clearance down to 33" between the fridge and island and 34 1/2 between the wall and the island. Pretty tight.

I'd consider changing the shape of the island to the rectangle in your inspiration photos. While the shape you have now is pretty, it ends up arranging the seating directly in front of the fridge and in and way. If you go to the rectangular shape from your photos, seating would be out of the way.

That's my 2 cents for now. I hope that is helpful.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 4:59AM
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A 48" range in a corner is nothing but a trap for one cook. If, as you say, you enjoy cooking with other family members, this isn't the setup for it. Also, the kitchen is a bit small overall to have a 48" range in it. Is that particular bit of equipment negotiable? How do you plan to vent this? The best method is straight up through the roof. Is that going to be possible? Have you studied about makeup air that such a large range and hood will need? Do you understand the additional costs that that will bring to your HVAC system? Just the venting and makeup air can cost more than the range will. What size refrigerator? Those who choose to have an upgraded range often want a larger refrigerator as well? A large built in? And why on earth would you want a wine grotto upstairs in the too warm temperatures and light? It will ruin the wine. If you enjoy wine, do a wine cellar where it will actually keep. It may be a little less impressive, but only to those who don't know anything about wine.

All of the individual components need to be nailed down before the layout can be addressed. And you need to decide if you want a faux theater of a kitchen, or an actual functional kitchen. Right now, it's set up to be impressiv visually, but not really work. If function is important to you, then you'll jettison some of the showy crap in favor of items that work harder.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 7:22AM
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Thanks for the post poohpup. I will have my designer move the dishwasher. I told my designer that I wanted plenty of clearance around the island and I think the drawing I posted is misleading. The counters a 2' deep which means I have 5' between the island and the sink counter. Then the fridge is supposed to be a counter depth (25"-27") and that would leave 45" of space between the island and fridge and 48" between the counter and island. Do you still feel there is a problem with seating on the fridge side? I really want a curved island so when people sit around it they can see each other to socialize. Here is a pic of the island that I really want.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:42AM
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Your kitchen is about half the size of your inspiration kitchen. Do you want to go back to the drawing board and make yours larger? Or do you want to scale down the components in yours to be more in scale with the actual size that you have?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Taking some cues from your inspiration. This is MUCH more functional to have multiple family members participate in food prep.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Greendesigns. I can see your point about the corner design range. I liked the picture of the range in the corner but now that i think about the feel of it i would like the range on a wall. I figured for the 48" range to make sure I had the room if I decided to go for it. The other points you mention are also great and I will discuss with my builder. I am defiantly going with a built-in refrigerator/freezer and I figured for a 42" may go 48" depending on the deal I am able to get on the appliance package.

The wine grotto/wet-bar is downstairs off of the dining area. I told my designer I wanted a wet- bar area that our guest could access easily from the kitchen and outdoor living and this was his idea which I liked. It is not meant to be a insulated wine cellar.

I defiantly want my kitchen to be functional but be visually pleasing also. That is why I'm here. I open for suggestions! Please remember I am a visual person so anything you can show me helps. Again thanks for everyone's help. I can't say it enough!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 3:18PM
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I agree with live wire oak's drawing. It is a flipped image of our layout. We are also a family of 4 with similar demands. I agree with the prep sink being at one end of the island. And with having fridge and stoves one leg, and cleanup sink and dishwasher on the other.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 5:08PM
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I like lwo's layout a lot, seems more functional than having everything crammed into the side and corner per your original. And offsetting the prep sink gives you a good run of counter space to prep on.

I don't think your kitchen is anywhere close to small enough that a 48" range would look funny. If I'm reading your plan right you have about over 250 sq feet just in the appliance/island area and near double that when you count the breakfast table area. The 48" will look great in that space ... just not in the corner. :)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 6:10PM
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Thanks for the visual livewireoak, it helped me make the decision to put the range on a wall. One of the main reasons I liked the inspiration pic was when you walk in from the foyer and look into the kitchen it becomes a focal point. What about starting with the range being centered with the island and having the windows on each side as you have drawn? Then placing everything from there. Is there a way for that to work out?

Today I went to Factory Bulder Stores and determined I will be going with the 48" range (DCS) and the 48" built-in fridge/freezer (probably KA) so we can defiantly figure for these appliances. Since I am going with the range I will not have any ovens on the wall.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 10:41PM
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If you want a range centered on the back wall with flanking windows, then you will have to change your home's floor plan and move the kitchen or the study. You could have a window on the left side, but the right side backs up to the study.

Or you could make the island into a peninsula.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 8:15AM
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Thanks for pointing that out greendesigns. I guess I got excited when I saw lwo's drawing. Would a centered range, single window with sink in corner be functional? Cornered sink?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:43AM
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Function trumps aesthetics. I suggest having the sink and other appliances where they work the best. Then look at the elevation drawings and play with window trim and uppers to get a pleasing balance and proportion.

I would not want trade the functional layout LWO created to cram the sink into the corner.

And I meant to mention it in my earlier post, but design the space as though you have 4 adults living at home. Those kiddies grow really quickly. Ours were young when we did our remodel, but here we are 10 years later and they are in college. Our excellent layout truly gives space for 4 adults to be working in the kitchen. Room to pass behind a cook at the stove without a worry of bumping and a burn. Cook can easily move a pan of boiling pasta to the main sink to drain, and not get in the way of the person making salad at the island/fridge/prep sink area. Another can be setting the table from the cupboards. And another can be loading the dishwasher. It Rocks!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:54AM
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I'm trying! I downloaded this app on my iPad and recreated my kitchen layout. These are the two layouts I have come up with. I understand the corner sink is not recommended but I wanted to see what it looked like. One thing you can see is I want at least two cabinets on each side of my range hood. I have always wanted a window in my kitchen but if it is not going to work out and look right I will give it up. Please let me know your thoughts. I am not going to move forward with my plans until my kitchen is GW approved. Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 4:27AM
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Here is the other layout. As you can see by the time I am a little stressed to get our plans complete!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 4:34AM
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I went ahead and put together another layout this AM.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I don't have any ideas for your layout as I'm just starting the same journey! But I would live to know what app you used for this. It would be so nice to be able to work on all of this on my iPad.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 10:15AM
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LWO's layout is better on all counts. The zones are more separated and none have crossing path conflicts. Yours all do. And a corner sink you're suggesting is a huge pain. It's the choice of last resort for a tiny kitchen. Yours is anything but that.

Why do you "need" uppers on either side of the range hood? Your inspiration pic doesn't have them and it looks fine. You can fit everything you need for spices etc. into lower cabinets. Especially with that continent in the middle of the space. The island is too large proportionately to the rest of the kitchen and it dwarfs even the 48" range. It needs to become shorter, but especially, shallower. You'll never be able to clean the middle of it unless you use a sponge mop otherwise.

If a drive towards that functionality killer "symmetry" is driving these non functional layouts, then you need to drop back and actually analyze the two window layout. It will be very easy to make the range the symmetrical focal point between two windows, even if it's not perfectly centered on that back wall. Add in a built in MW cabinet to the counter next to the fridge. Then the range will be perfectly centered between the remaining space between the tall objects and the wall to the right.

I'd also suggest centering the cleanup sink on the wall to the left since that appears to be important visually to you. It's not clear as to whether or not the wall to the right is a solid wall or merely a construction line. If a construction line, it could add some interest to create the arched opening that is in the pic with the range on the exterior wall. That adds in some visual separation that will help to define the space, yet allow it to remain physically open.

Remember, "centering" isn't the same thing as symmetry. Balance, proportion, positive space and negative space, also factor into the equation as well. You're getting hung up on "matchy matchy" centering, and that's detracting from the functionality, and also the true balance of the elements in the space.

Or maybe jettison this home plan entirely in favor of something that has more overall style emphasis on equilateral symmetry such as a center hall Colonial or Foursquare.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 11:00AM
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I actually like the 2nd plan you put together (4:54 am) better than any of the others. Main reason is that it gets the fridge and it's associated traffic out of your cooking zone. With our family, fridge and water tend to go together and with the fridge at the end of the range run, we'd always have people crossing through my prep and cooking zone to get from fridge to sink to pantry. Your 2nd plan has fridge on periphery and by the pantry which makes for a well contained snacking area. Plus you mentioned you do a lot of entertaining, so this keeps the fridge nearer where guests are likely going to congregate.

A few things I would tweak.

1) Do you really need five feet between range and prep zone? That's an inconveniently wide prep aisle. I would shorten to four feet and give the extra room to the other side where it will be more useful as extra clearance around seated family and guests.

2) I too like having uppers by the stove. If you want them, I think you should pull the uppers all the way to that end wall as stopping halfway down could look funny. I'd consider a glass upper right down to counter height there, maybe to display some of your pretty stuff. I think that would give the run some better heft and visual balance.

3) You mentioned you want at least two cabs on each side of the range hood. Your pic shows one large cab with a center opening on each side. Strongly recommend doing two smaller width cabs on each side, so that they can both open away from the range hood, instead of into it. Much more convenient when standing at the stove and using your spices and oils, and you don't have to worry about steam damaging a door front that's always left open over the stove that way.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 11:57AM
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Terri the app is called Floorplans by Greentea inc. it is ok to work with. I wish I knew of another app that had more options.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Every post you all make I am able to see things better. You are right GD I see things symmetrically unless I can understand otherwise. That is were you all are helping. I have always wanted a window over my sink so I did this plan. I also narrowed down the island some and made the space between the island and range 48". I would like to keep the refrigerator by the pantry if possible. Please let me know your thoughts. I'm open for suggestions and explanations.

GD the line to the right Is a construction line it will be open to the family room. The inspiration pic I posted was only for the island shape. I really like the look and style of the first pic I posted. I have a bunch of pics saved on houzz and the uppers are common in most of them. It is pretty funny that since I started this post I find myself looking at all of these stylish kitchen pics I have and asking myself how functional they are.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 3:30AM
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