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Kitchen Design - Take 2

Posted by Dizzy149 (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 3:44

This is a sketch of the main floor of the house:
 photo MainFloor-sm_zpsb9a92165.jpg

First off. We will be taking the kitchen down to studs and running gas for the rangetop. Water and electrical can be moved, so all appliances can be moved.
Ceiling height 105.5"

Here is a sketch of the kitchen completely empty:
 photo KitchenEmpty-sm_zpsc19855ef.jpg

Existing: Sub Zero 650/S Fridge (36x27x84)
Existing: Maytag MMV5156 Above Oven Microwave (30wx16h)
Electrolux EW30EW65GS Double Oven
Samsung 80F800 Dishwasher
Edgestar TWR282S-KF Wine Cooler (18" wide)
Wolf 45" Low Profile CTEWH45 Hood
36" Gas Rangetop (Still Deciding between Capital, Wolf and Dacor)

An organized, working kitchen for a busy family.

Must Have:
Gas Cooktop/Rangetop
Passthrough to Dining Room

Seating for Kids
Small "Bar" area for wine and mixing drinks (wife's fancy coffee maker would go there as well)
Undercounter/hidden trash cans (tired of the dogs getting into the trash)

Family Makeup:
Wife and I are in our mid 30s. We have a 10yr old son, and a 4yr old daughter. We have two dogs as well. One is a gigantic boxer.

My wife and I do cook. I do most of the "family" cooking, and she does most of the "party" cooking.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are always at our house, and will have 10-20 people, with 1/3 to 1/2 kids. Aside from that, we might have some friends over a few times a year. We're not huge on entertaining.

The kids tend to 'hang out' when we cook (no matter how many times we ask them not to). So instead of fight it, we'd like to give them some seating in the corner. We were thinking a corner nook similar to:
 photo Nook_zps0a869470.jpg

We have a separate dining room that we eat in most of the time. We would like to open the kitchen up to the dining area. We feel a passthrough would open up the rooms, and provide a place to put food for serving during regular meals or while entertaining. It would not be used as seating/eating area. We will make the passthrough fancy on the dining room side with something similar to this:
 photo PassthroughArch_zps37796eff.jpg

We will have something nice in the kitchen too, but not nearly as fancy.

Here are two designs we came up with:
 photo KitchenDesign2-sm_zps8588f57e.jpg

 photo KitchenU-sm_zpsdf544352.jpg

Organization Concerns:
Originally I was going to have a pot rack over an island, but we nixed the island. I think I can put the pots/pans under the Rangetop. Never know where to put the lids though.
We like the plates/bowls in a lower cabinet so the kids can get dishes for themselves easily. Cups would be in an upper cabinet.
We currently have *ONE* full size drawer in the whole kitchen for the silverware. It is under the cooktop and the worst possible place ever! I want to ensure that doesn't happen again.

As always, all thoughts, ideas and comments are greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

This post was edited by Dizzy149 on Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 3:47

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

I love the look of the "fancy" passthrough from the DR side and like the idea of the nook table. Not sure you're allowing enough room for it though. Have you measured one that you like to see if it will fit in that space with enough room to get in and out comfortably?

Assuming the nook will work, I don't like having the stove right next to that space, especially with a small child. Consider putting the fridge next to the chimney and the stove on the wall that backs up to the pantry. You could put the sink and DW in the peninsula if you go with that plan. It would give you a lot of great prep space on the wall with the window.

With kids, consider your microwave placement too. Your 10yo will be old enough to nuke stuff when you're not around shortly. Put the microwave on a level where the kids can reach it without potentially spilling on themselves taking something out. Maybe a drawer MW?

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

The nook bench will be made to fit. All of the ones that I have found have the same side longer and wouldn't fit well. I checked with a guy here, and he could build one for about the same price as a decent (non-Target) one.

Right now the fridge and stove are where you suggested, and the sink and DW are under the larger window. Unfortunately, it makes it difficult for more than one person to be in that area.

As for the Microwave, yeah, I've been stuck on that. My wife and I are both 5'10", so we thought that we might see if we could put the double oven a little higher, and have the microwave under it or something. We don't microwave much, so it wouldn't be a big deal if we had to bend down to get stuff out every now and then.
Another thought was net to the double oven, basically on the counter.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

You mw use might increase when the kids get older. Between school, sports, and jobs our teenagers were coming and going at different times. Our mw use doubled.

I know you can't plan for the unknown but I would put the mw at a comfortable height, expecting some increased use in the future.

And the kids will continue to hang out in the kitchen as they get older so you are right to just plan for it!

edited missing word

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 14:25

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

The best location for the microwave would be between the refrigerator and the sink. If you don't want to spend the money for a drawer microwave (they're brilliant, but ridiculously expensive for heating up a cup of cold coffee!), maybe consider a shelf below the upper cabinets next to the fridge?

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

Holly raised a good point in the other post about your goals in having the kitchen eating area, passthrough, and dining area. If you have the passthrough with the connection to the dining room, then why do you feel the need for an eat in kitchen? If you have an eat in kitchen right next to the dining room passthrough, do you really think the passthrough will be useful? I fear it will only put a spotlight on kitchen clutter while you are entertaining unless you can do some version of the Mary Richards shutters to close it off. Plus, you'll have to clamber over the table and seating to be able to use it to pass food through. A passthrough from a kitchen to DR is truly only useful if there is counter below in the kitchen. It's a great way to have a connection to use the kitchen as the server and cleanup space while keeping entertaining. It keeps the mess there in the kitchen.

Analyze your "whys" here first.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

In both layouts you have the DW b/w the sink and the cooktop. I think you should separate your cleanup and prep areas. You and you wife may be working in the kitchen at different times now, but since your kids like to hang out in the kitchen, it's possible that they may start to help you in the kitchen in the near future.

I'm not sure about the peninsula idea. I assume you'll want a 2 tiered peninsula for security reasons. Do you think your kids will sit behind the hood and the 2 tiered peninsula? Will your little girl be able to see you from there?

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

"I'm not sure about the peninsula idea. I assume you'll want a 2 tiered peninsula for security reasons. Do you think your kids will sit behind the hood and the 2 tiered peninsula? Will your little girl be able to see you from there?"
--- I hadn't thought about that. I was playing around with the peninsula idea since the wife was finally a lot more open to changing the design. Thought it was a good place for the rangetop, but COMPLETELY forgot about the hood (eyeroll). Yeah, not a good place for the rangetop at all.

"Holly raised a good point in the other post about your goals in having the kitchen eating area, passthrough, and dining area. If you have the passthrough with the connection to the dining room, then why do you feel the need for an eat in kitchen?"
--- Honestly, the nook will be used more for homework, coloring, hanging out, than it ever will be for eating. I (personally) don't consider it an "eat in kitchen" because of that.
--- As for the passthrough. Right now when we eat, we tend to set the dishes on the counter near the doorway to the dining room. Kind of buffet style. When we do Xmas/Tday, we have dishes kind of all over. The passthrough would be a serving area. Yes, the seating would go under the passthrough, but only 1 foot, which is easy to reach across, or place the dish down and slide it over.

What about a peninsula as the eat-in area, and counters under the passthrough?
Something like:
 photo KitchenPen-sm_zpse2a2bc10.jpg

No idea where to put the appliances, but I think that might work for the eat-in area and passthrough... Maybe?

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

Add me to the list of folks that don't understand the nook, passthru, dining room arrangement. The latest proposal with the nook table underneath the passthru seems particularly awkward to me.

Like Holly said, opening the DR to the kithen with a passthru deformalizes DR. So if you open it up with a passthru, then the additional informal dining nook doesn't make sense. If, on the other hand, you really want separate formal & informal dining spaces, then you shouldn't open the formal DR up to the kitchen with a passthru.

FWIW, if it were my house, I'd do a peninsula with seating instead of the passthru and bag the nook entirely.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

It takes 18" front to back for a seat, and that's a small seat. Then there's the table in the way. If you have a passthrough, it's to talk, NOT pass dishes through there with any type of seating there. The laws of physics are against you on this one. Go grab you a couple of chairs and put in a doorway and have someone sit there with a table in front of them. Now try to pass a bowl of peas across them. It's a recipe for disaster, and potentially a trip to the hospital.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

We aren't "formal" people. So we don't NEED a separate formal dining area.

My original idea was to extend the passthrough so it had a 9"-12" overhang in the kitchen, and use it as a "passthrough", and an eating/hangout area.

Here is the "why" for the passthrough. We want to open up the kitchen. While I'm not a huge fan of the kitchen being open the every other part of the house, I also don't like it being completely isolated either. The biggest hangout areas are the dining room and the living room. As was pointed out, it allows conversation.
We also wanted to use it as a serving area, which is why the original idea extended the overhang to allow enough room for serving dishes as well as some seating/eating room.

I think the seating is far enough away from the rangetop that it isn't an issue. The rangetop is in one of the two places that I like it.

I keep putting the wine cooler in the bottom corner b/c we want the wine/drink area to be along that wall, and the corner seems a decent place.

 photo KitchenBar-sm_zps57010ed0.jpg

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

A seating area like you are talking of using takes a LOT of space in the kitchen, and that's just a simple 36"x60" table with a banquette so it's shoved as tight against the walls as possible. Even so, the chairs on the other side of the banquette are hazardous and in your way. I flip-flopped it here because it's useless having seating right next to seating. It works much better as a serving station with a DW there to accept the dirty dishes. You might as well just take down the wall between the two spaces completely as have a table next to a table. But, mirror image it in the other direction, and it still takes up the same square footage. You can't get around that.

Oh yeah, the island is on wheels so it can get shoved out of the way when it gets in the way. Even so, the clearances are about minimum around it.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

Perspective from the passthrough.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

What I have looks like an ironing board, but I'm thinking is a small rounded bar just for the kids, counter or table height. How would that be?

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

live_wire_oak, it took me a minute to figure out what you did :D Interesting idea. I think the wife was dead set against the sink under the passthrough. I don't remember why, I just remember that she said she hated it in our old condo that had a similar setup. She has changed her mind on a few other things though, so I'll run it by her. Where would you put the double ovens? Looks like the wine cooler would be next to the fridge, but I didn't see where the ovens would be.
If nothing else, it may spark some other ideas. Love the island on wheels! :D
We would prob not have chairs unless we had other people over, so I wouldn't worry about the space they take up currently.
(the more I flip back and forth to look at it, the more I like it. Any chance you could send me some other perspective shots? My wife is *VERY* visual. She hates the sketches)

sena01, yeah, that's an interesting idea, that might fly :D
Gives the kids an area to be, and can help out while out of the way :)

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

Why not a peninsula instead of a passthru? I'm guessing the reasons are purely aesthetic, which is fine, but you should recognize what you're giving up in terms of functionality.

A peninsula is far better for prepping and serving because it provides a bigger surface that can be accessed from both sides. And it's better for conversation betweeen the rooms because it's less of a barrier. And if you put seating at the peninusla you have the place for the kids to hang out doing homework while mom cooks. So from a functionality perspective the peninsula with seating is a win-win-win, and you're giving up a lot for the aesthetics of the passthru.

But then I'm biased because I think the peninsula would look better too ;)

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

I think the wife was dead set against the sink under the passthrough. Tell her sink will now be close to her coffee maker ))

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

GauchoGordo1993, I don't think I understand. Could I trouble you for a quick sketch/mockup so I can better understand?

sena01, you might be onto something. We paid $1000 for a fancy coffee maker because I calculated that it would be cheaper than her Starbucks addiction!! Paid for itself in under a year!

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

I'm suggesting peninsula instead of passthru. Here's one potential layout, but any of the others would be fine too.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

If you are gonna go to all of the engineering work to put in a header for a passthrough, it's only about 20% more work to put a bigger header in and just take down the wall all together.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

If you are gonna go to all of the engineering work to put in a header for a passthrough, it's only about 20% more work to put a bigger header in and just take down the wall all together.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

Or this

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

Thank you so much for that. It sounded like we had the same idea. The last one I posted had a peninsula with a 12" overhang into the kitchen (no counters under it). I just don't think it translated well (and I'm still trying to grasp the correct verbiage)

My squares in the grid are 3" each, so how wide is the peninsula you were proposing? (FYI, the wall between the living and dining room are 8" thick)

I like your second layout. I think a small sink in the lower area makes sense.

"If you are gonna go to all of the engineering work to put in a header for a passthrough, it's only about 20% more work to put a bigger header in and just take down the wall all together."
--- I'm not sure we want it THAT open, but I may run that one by my wife for her thoughts.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

> I'm not sure we want it THAT open, but I may run that one by my wife for her thoughts.

That is what the peninsula I'm proposing would require though. Regarding the overhang, I think you want ~15" total, so if the wall is 8" thick then it would have to project ~7" into the dining room.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

In the second layout, there's no landing space for the wall oven..

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

If you're fine with the peninsula with seats on the DR side, I'd consider a prep sink on the peninsula.

 photo dizzy149bp.jpg

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

We're all different and have different taste, but also perceptions of space, needs, wants, etc. Those all influence what each of us design. Just saying I won't be offended if you don't like any of this.

The picture isn't a plan as much as some different thoughts about your space. So personally, I'd connect the kitchen to the dining room completely and ditch the wall and the additional seating area. I guess I feel that there is nothing wrong with using a dining room for dining and kabitzing.

Even with dropping the wall completely, I would think about a peninsula just to control traffic by channeling it away from the business end of the kitchen as suggested above. In this instance, it would also keep everyday prep happening in a space with a good connection to the dining room. If this space was for me, I wouldn't do the peninsula. I like free flow and big long vistas, so the very long run without uppers would be very appealing as a work area.

Partly because of how I use space, I would move the door to the pantry to the kitchen. Its also a heck of a lot more convenient there. The opening could be any size you'd like, I tend towards plain, wide openings, but it would also work as a smaller opening with its original door or with a pocket door or a pair of pocket doors. Because the other openings in that hall have doors, I'd also lean towards taking the hallway door off its hinges.

I've shown two alternates for prep sinks (one with the peninsula and the other if you don't have a peninsula. I've taken the run by the counter and turned it into a cleanup area. It is possible to turn it into a "great wall of tall" things also - ref, ovens, deep gear storage and perhaps a lift door opening up to an appliance counter as well as a landing area for the ovens. It could be used to have above and below storage around the ovens instead of stacking. Or even a small bar with its own tiny bar sink.

That would push cleanup into the bit in front of the 66" window - further to carry the dishes and an interesting puzzle as to placing dish storage. It pretty much works with the peninsula and prep sink but not so good without it. I've shown a range option with the micro by the big ref next to the cleanup sink. If you have use for it, you could tuck a 24" combi oven undercounter on the window side. Heck, you could tuck a full sized oven under a cooktop too.

I'm also showing other refrigerator options, like tucked under the stairs or adding ref drawers to one side or the other. Part of looking at ref options is back to your original question about getting everything on one side. It isn't that everything has to be on one side, but its nice if all the stuff you normally need is together. Part is about adding some other options for prep.

If the ref is on the chimney side of the room, it's 11.5 feet from the range (or cooktop). It's further to either prep area. Adding ref drawers lets the big ref stay over there by adding space for milk, cream, eggs, butter, a hundred and one bottles of "stuff" that area used periodically plus some storage for food in process. That reduces the number of times people go back and forth from one side of the room to the other. Almost the same thing is true if the ref is under the stairs except I'd try to do something for drinks and ice closer to the dining room because that would keep people outta the pantry all the time - like one of those undercounter refs or a 24" wide sort of euro-refrigerator. It provides a place for the alcohol to be chilling and accessible during larger events too.

Depending on where refrigeration ends up, you can add a small or pretty goodly sized island - actual size would vary with where everything else ended up. It could be up to 42" wide depending on what aisle widths would feel good for you - at 42" wide (countertop), an example aisle might be 4.5 feet on the cleanup side and 3.5 feet on the cooking side. The max length is something around 75" including generous 60" aisles off both ends.

As shown, because it suits my ideas of flexibility, I might do something close to a mobile baking/large project island that I could take over for the Sunday bake-a-thons but otherwise roll it to where I needed it. And maybe have a couple of fold-up stools hanging in the pantry for whomever is being sous-chef to be able to sit for longer projects.

So, take some or leave it all - but that's what I was thinkin'.


RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

From the DR, with the wall removed.

RE: Perspective Table

From the kitchen table.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

Dizzy, Looks like you've stumbled on the trinity of "kitchen design features on which reasonable people can disagree"!
1) wall ovens vs range
2) single level vs multi level peninsula/island
3) prep sink vs continuous counter

On the wall oven, sjhockey is right to point out that the oven placement in my previous drawing is untenable because it lacks a landing zone, and I don't see how to resolve it. Truth be told, I strongly prefer ranges over wall ovens for a handful of reasons, the most importantant of which is because my oven tends to generate a lot of smoke so I appreciate being able to exhaust it. But that's just me, and the pros and cons of ranges vs wall ovens have been discussed ad nauseum on this site, so probably best not to repeat that debate here. My only recommendation is that you reconsider a range if/when it starts to feel like you're forcing a square peg into a round hole with the wall oven.

Regarding single level vs multi level peninsula, your passthru is effectively a multi-level peninsula and my proposal is a single level. Again, the pros and cons of each have been debated extensively on this site, so best not to repeat that here.

And regarding the prep sink vs continuous counter, I think any sink on the peninsula spoils it for a handful of use cases, especially serving, so I really don't care for the sink on the peninsula, but reasonable people will disagree about this, so I agree with sena that it's something to consider.

One other comment on the peninsula - walkways less than 36" feel cramped to me, so I'd increase the walkway at the end of the peninsula (between kitchen and dining room) to at least 36".

And finally, regarding projection of the peninsula & peninsula seating into the dining room, if you don't want this to project into the dining room there are options. For one, you could use 12" or 16" deep base cabinets on the kitchen side of the peninsula, which would provide sufficient leg room for seating without projecting the island into the dining room. Or, alternatively, you could shift the whole peninsula left and either close-off the top right corner or make it accessible from under the peninsula overhang.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

I remember a 27" deep DW in one of your drawings (older tread?). If that means 27" deep cabs on the DW wall, it would be good to keep that in mind in case you decide to have an island.

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

Here's a few ideas I sketched up for you. They do include an island as I felt that was the best combination of prep area + seating + traffic control. Hope this helps!
 photo Dizzy149-1_zpsae4c4ce5.jpg

 photo Dizzy149-2_zpsc6d67117.jpg

 photo Dizzy149-3_zpsc4aaed8f.jpg

RE: Kitchen Design - Take 2

Wow, awesome replies everyone, thank you so much!
I will read through them a few times so I can understand them and digest them tonight.

Couple notes.
The doorway from the kitchen by the pantry. That used to be the exterior door. We leave it closed now because that hallway gets REALLY cold, and greatly affects the temp of the house. During the summer it's always open for the airflow. I'm working on resolving many of the thermal issues in the house but that still remains.
The pantry is very cold as well. Again, it was added about 10years after the house was built, it is very oddly shaped inside, and has NO insulation in the walls or ceiling.

I also considered opening the kitchen to the pantry (I've run one door into the other, and my face into the door more than once).

Thanks again for all of the ideas!!

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