Layout Sandbox -- What would you do?

greensannDecember 30, 2013

What would you do with this layout? Below are the specs for the current house layout, and some pics of the current 1968 kitchen. I am looking for sandbox ideas on what you would do with the space. Right now, I am in the beginning planning stages, and I am struggling to envision the options I have for the space. I figure the great minds here will introduce all kinds of new possibilities.

Home: Currently it is just me and my dog, but the home is really a family house so the kitchen needs to work for a family. House is 2100 sq ft, 4 bd, 2.5 bth built in 1968 in Ohio. The living room, kitchen, and dining room are all undecorated and basic because I have spent the last year of home ownership fixing up the rest of the house.

Design Limitations: No exterior walls move. The wall between the dining room and kitchen can be removed entirely. The wall between the living room and kitchen is load bearing but can have an opening up to 3 ft wide (already talked to an engineer). Not interested in moving any other interior walls at this time. Unfinished basement below so appliances can move wherever. Soffits are empty and can be removed. The stupid wall square in the kitchen used to be laundry chute, but I reworked that so the space is now entirely empty.

Goals: 1) Flow for family environment. 2) Seating to talk to the cook. 3) More storage. 4) More counter space. Space for multiple prep cooks if possible.

Appliances: No limits at this time. I would prefer a separate cooktop and wall oven if possible. An odd struggle with the current layout that I have not solved is that the dishwasher space is rather tight, but that is also impacted by storing plates/cups in the wall cabinets above the dishwasher.

I am looking for a basic idea of how you would use the space, considerations you noticed looking about the layout, any tips you have based on the house, etc. Really rough ideas will do right now -- I am just looking for things to ponder going forward.

House Layout:

Kitchen Blank Layout:

Current Layout:

Current Photos:
Kitchen -- Standing in kitchen facing sink

Kitchen -- Standing in Hallway

Dining Room -- Standing in living room

Living Room -- Standing at front door

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Sophie Wheeler

The first thing I'd do is switch the living room with the family room functions. Make the quiet away space away actually away. Then I'd talk to a different engineer because you can replace the whole wall between the living room and kitchen/dining room with a steel beam and have a complete open concept room. That's really not that expensive to do, and it will make the world of difference between a 1979 house and a 2020 house.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 7:37AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I have some ideas, but it really starts with function...what functions would you like to see in the space? What is missing from your house that you'd like to you need more closet space? Office space? Do you want to maintain a formal DR or would you like it open to the kitchen? All of those are possible with the space you have. And I keep thinking about the LR and people realistically need and use both? Or might there be a better function for the rooms?

I would probably keep the DR more formal as that's my preference. I would move the door to the DR down and make the kitchen a real U shape with the fridge (counter depth for sure) on the left, the sink under window and the cooktop on the right. Then I'd add an island which was just counter height, rounded on the far side with seating facing into the kitchen. On the wall that backs up to the LR, I'd put a pantry and a desk and/or bar area. This way the traffic would flow by the kitchen but not in the cooking area and people could gather at the island and flow into the DR.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 9:07AM
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Holly -- Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to look at more fully open concept houses to see if that would work for me. Any special considerations with having the range in front of a window like in your design? Will it impact hood options?

Annie - Thanks. Can you tell me more about island you mentioned? Would it come off the U into the room?

My goals are better flow, kitchen seating to talk to the cook, counter space and kitchen equipment storage space. Right now, the house has plenty of other space for me for office or closet space. I want space for a good sized dining room table, but I'm not set either way whether that needs to be a formal room or open space. Right now, I use the family room space for TV and whatnot. The living room isn't used much but may be more for entertaining or socializing after I put some effort into that room.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Would you consider swapping the kitchen with the DR? You can have an L there and have the fridge/pantry on the wall bottom wall.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Sorry but have to ask: what does 'sandbox ideas' mean? I'm surmising you mean general thoughts but I've never heard the term.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 8:51AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Well, I've not done scale drawings like others have so it may not work, but I was thinking something like Hollysprings has but shortening the run of cabinets where the sink is in her drawing and using the extra space to add an island. Only I'd keep the sink under the window and put the fridge on the right and the stove on the left.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 9:14AM
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Sena -- That is really interesting. I hadn't thought of that and it has lots of workspace.

Running -- It is IT slang that basically means freeform design within the box. I guess I thought it was more common than it is. Oops.

Annie - Thanks for explaining more. I get what you were saying now. I can sketch it out and see what size of island I could use.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 11:43AM
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