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Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

Posted by JDez (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 3, 14 at 11:36

Well, here it is. I think I'm happy with it. Tell me if I shouldn't be. These plans will be built reversed. So the plans you see will be built facing the opposite direction. Not that it matters, just letting ya know.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

jdez-any reason why the DW is on the right? That seems to be a prime area for prepping dinner etc and then you are blocking the dishwasher. I think I might want it on the refrigerator side. I am not one of the experts by any means but I payed close attention to that as it seemed someone was always trying to get in there while I was busy with food prep. It was in our busiest spot in the old kitchen so I was sure not to do that again in this new one. I like the fridge by the pantry but I'm wondering if you will be able to open the fridge door all the way with it being by the wall? I'd double check that too.


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

It looks like a great plan to me! Where will your microwave go? Make sure the refrigerator cabinets are built at least 30 inches deep so the refrigerator does not stick out past the cabinets. Most refrigerators not including the door need at least 30 inches of depth to look somewhat built in. If you have the builder recess the outlet behind the refrigerator it allows the refrigerator to be pushed back farther.


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

What type of cabinet do you have planned for the bases? Drawers, Doors with shelves?

Is the 3' 6" cabinet to cabinet or counter edge to counter edge? Its usually a 3" difference.

Is the island all one level?


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

I think you've got a very functional layout!

Regarding the comment about the location of the DW, although prep over the dishwasher isn't the best, in this case, it's better to have the dishwasher where it is if the glasses and dishes are going in the upper cabinets -- of which there aren't many/any on the other side of the sink. Bottom line - locate the dishwasher where unloading it will be easiest. (Maybe dish drawers in the island - that's what we did in both our last house and in the remodel we're just completing).


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

Autumn, the DW is on the right because thats how it was on the plans. I made no changes in the kitchen. You make a good point though. I might move it to get it out of that cooking/prep area.

RT, I don't know about the microwave. I will either build it into the wall cabinets or set it on the counter. I really wanted a drawer microwave in the island but I can't afford it. I thought about putting it in the pantry but decided it was too far away from everything. I didn't know you could recess the outlet for the fridge.

Deb, I will just have doors with shelves on the bases or doors with pull out shelves. I don't know how to read plans so I don't know about the measurements from cabinet to cabinet or counter to counter. I would prefer the island be all one level for one big working space. Do you think I'll regret that?


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

I love your kitchen!!


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

Island height - we had a bi-level island and breakfast bar for years and couldn't wait to get rid of them. We went to a single-height for both island and peninsula and were VERY happy with them.

Measurement of aisles - you'll have to ask, but even if they're 39", you'll live (not ideal, but okay - we had that on one side of the island in our previous home).

Lower cabinets - if you can (might depend on cost, or might depend on the stage you're at with ordering), switch any cabinets with doors and pull-outs to drawers instead, they're simply roomier and definitely more efficient (one motion instead of 2 (which with opening and closing, becomes two instead of four LOL).

Microwave, I'd recommend you investigate whether you can put the microwave on a shelf next to the refrigerator - the best location for a microwave is between the refrigerator and the sink anyway, and the cabinet next to the refrigerator isn't really big enough for much else.

Where is the trash going?


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

I like microwave base cabinets that just have a shelf to accommodate a microwave but not built in, just sits on the shelf.

you might consider drawers for your base cabinets, so much more functional than doors.


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I'm of the opposite opinion LOL. I like a regular microwave on a shelf, but not below the counter. It's too hard to see in and to take things in and out, stir, etc. Even seeing the buttons is hard.


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Is that a window in the pantry? Unless it's pretty high, I would think you'd lose a lot of valuable storage space to that window. It looks like you only have 12" shelves on each side. Deeper shelves will hold more! Also plan for shelves at different heights, so you can put like things together without stacking. Measuring what you'll put in the pantry will help you make the best use of the space.

The fridge will have to have a filler on the left side, so the door can open. If you can put a narrow pull-out on that side, you won't lose any space.

You might also ask for full-depth cabinets over the fridge, so you can reach what's in there. Lots of folks use that space for cookie sheets and trays.

And I'll throw in another vote for base cabinet drawers. My cabinet maker charged the same for drawers as he would for pull-outs (and drawers are far easier to use).


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

sjhockey - That is what I love about this forum you get all kinds of opinions and ideas! At least the one asking for advice can make a more informed decision of what works best for them.

I agree the microwave is more functional on a eye level shelf - but, I prefer the looks of it lower and out of view. I have my microwave in a base cabinet in my new basement bar/kitchenette (i do daycare in my basement) and i love it. It did take some getting use to.

my basement bar/kitchenette

http://www.houzz.com/projects/411566/Basement-Bar


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

Here's my 2 cents.

Put the microwave in the bottom of an upper cabinet next to the fridge or on open shelving there. Change the size of the island if needed to have at least 42" edge to edge. Agree on one level island. Get drawers instead of pull outs. Get as many drawers in the lower as possible. When I was pricing cabinets I found little difference in price between pullouts and drawers but a big difference in function.

edited to add: Agree on moving dw to other side of sink. My layout is not that different then yours and I would hate to have the dw between the sink and range. In fact the plumbing was originally set up there but I made my DH move the plumbing for the 2nd time.

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Fri, Jan 3, 14 at 13:06


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

jdez-yup - you will get lots and lots of ideas on here! I would look into the cost of drawers and use as many as you can while keeping in budget, that was my 'splurge' - all drawers. So much easier functionally. Do you know from the plan what your cabinet dimensions will be? Definitely find that out now so you can visualize and picture where your stuff will go (even if it's just a general idea) - dishes, glasses, pots and pans and all of that. It will help determine where and what size your cabinets should be.

For the MW - we ended up with one on a shelf. The only way I'd consider one under counter was if it was a drawer and that was out of budget. We use ours a lot and Dh is quite tall so it just wasn't going to work for us. I kept picturing raw chicken juice sloshing about while I was getting the plate of defrosted chicken out of the MW - ummm no way. A lot of people love them though.

You have a very nice layout and I love the pantry and that it's IN the kitchen. Mine is around the corner.

edit: cross-posting with debrak - that is how mine is laid out. MW on a shelf in an upper cabinet next to the fridge.

This post was edited by Autumn.4 on Fri, Jan 3, 14 at 13:21


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

Wow, so much good advice. Thank y'all so much. It sounds like it's going to be a good thing for us to make the island one level.

sjhockeyfan, I was thinking the trash could go in the island. I'm not at all worried about these kind of things, so the old under the sink trashcan would be fine for me but DH actually made a request on this one and asked for the pull out double trash can.

annkh, yes that is a window in the pantry. I currently have a pantry that is a double kitchen cabinet that only stays half full. So, at first I thought about removing the window but then I realized that I will only fill half of one side of that pantry with food and drinks and I'll fill the other side with small appliances. I honestly don't know what else I will put in there with plenty of cabinets in the kitchen, so I think I'll keep the window because I like how it looks from the porch. And a definite yes on the full depth cabinets over the fridge.

debrak, it looks like I could easily move the island out a few inches toward the dining space for 42" clearance but I'm not going to worry about the clearance from the stove. If I have the stove open, anyone going into the kitchen would be traveling to the fridge, certainly not coming to help mom with the cooking, and the fridge is on the other side.

Autumn4, yes I know that once again I am squeezing the wallet a little too tight. This is actually the one room that I said I would not do that with so I guess you just gave me a good slap. Thanks. :) As long as it is not thousands of dollars more, I will definitely pay for drawers on the base cabinets.


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Should I put a door on the pantry? If so, should I change to a regular size door or keep it 40 wide and use a bi-fold type door? I think I would rather not put cabinets like the plans show and just put open shelves and close the whole pantry off with a door. Just seems like it would be easier to see what's in there doing it that way. Whatcha think?


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I have a pantry that measures about 5' x 7' -- ours isn't in the kitchen, but around the corner in the hall. We put a door on it, and outfitted it with shelves. It's great. I don't really see the point of putting cabinets IN a pantry.


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I have over analyzed nearly everything in our build and sometimes lost site of the the big picture. Didn't buy a faucet because the other was cheaper - by $20.00. Really? Come on now. It all adds up and quickly but that is ridiculous! I was able to change it to the one I really wanted but A. it was 20 bucks and B. how often do you change out a faucet? That is a more permanent thing so I have tried to be conscious about spending the 'extra' on things that likely will not possibly ever change in my lifetime and cabinets are definitely one of them. I never even priced doors. I knew it was that important to me so I had them baseline price it out with all drawers. I don't want or need to know how much extra that was. ;)

My opinion - I would opt for a single door in the pantry for ease of use. And, like sjhockey would do shelves (most shallow for food and a few deeper for bigger things like bulk paper towels, crock pots, roasters, platters, etc.). I am not sure how wide our door is. I think 30"?

crazy ? - do you need an office/landing spot? nini804 has a really cool office nook right off the kitchen right sort of in with her pantry. I was hoping to do something like it so I asked her some questions and she graciously posted lots of pics. I though of it because of the window you have there.

Here is a link that might be useful: nini804's pantry and office


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if you move your fridge to the other end of the kitchen on the stove run, you will gain a little more counter-space by the pantry so it could be a nice baking area. moving the fridge will allow for people at the island and table to access it easily and plus being close to the stove is easy access for you.
as someone who wishes for more counter-space, this is always the first thing i think about when seeing a kitchen.


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Ardcp, I really want to keep the fridge away from the cooking area because that keeps my men, big and small, out of my work space. I am not exactly a gourmet chef so I am ok with the counter space with that Island to spread everything out on. I can see how that would work out a lot better for people who do a lot more cooking and baking, though.

Autumn4, that little space is so neat! If I am to be honest with myself though, it is not something I would use. I would want it for the cool factor but in my world it would just hold piles of my son's school work that takes me forever to make myself throw away. But, I already planned another spot in the house for that little duty.


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Question - how do I look at these plans and figure out what size cabinets I need? Is this something that is done by the KD or do I have to take the overall kitchen measurements and estimate it until actual measurements can be taken?


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JDez - to answer your last question, if you want to know your sizes and all you have is a PDF, you can download a trial version of bluebeam which will let you calibrate off a known distance, then you can take all the measurements you want.

You kitchen is similar to the one I'm currently planning. I like the layout you have, especially with the pantry and island. When do you build?


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We are building now. The slab was supposed to be poured two weeks ago but has been delayed twice. I am sitting here in the middle of the night drawing my kitchen on graph paper now for about the 18th time...lol. I'm not trying to figure out every little detail but when I meet with the KDs that I plan on calling in the morning, I want to know what I want or at least have a very good idea. Thanks for the info. I'll try it out. I think I used some of that high school algebra I didn't think I would ever need and figured out some of it...lol.


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RE: Kitchen Layout Thoughts?

Question - how do I look at these plans and figure out what size cabinets I need? Is this something that is done by the KD or do I have to take the overall kitchen measurements and estimate it until actual measurements can be taken?

I don't have an answer for that, but I think you should first learn inside dimensions of the kitchen/dinette. I see a 15' 8 and a 10' 5 (or 10' 8?) for the kitchen, but that seems to include the thickness of walls. When you learn the (nearly) exact dimensions you may be able to decide more realistically on the size of the sink base, fridge, range etc. you'd prefer.

I'm no expert, but I think you'll have something around 175" on the long wall to play with. You'd hate a fridge next to a wall, so as others already mentioned it would be a good idea to have a 9-12" pullout tall cab b/w the wall and the fridge. I guess there'd be a panel on the other side of the fridge, too.So, if you want to have the MW in an upper next to the fridge before the window starts fridge size, MW size matters.

The island at 3' would give 12" deep bar if you go with regular 24" deep cabs on the kitchen side. For 36" high bar recommended counter overhang is 15". But if you're not a tall family and use to island seating for short meals 12" may work. Maybe you can check this for other design tips.


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It looks like you've got the bones for a good kitchen and are well informed for your meeting today with the KD. The KD will plug in the size cab's you need, but knowing what you know now, you can ask to change around a bit if you don't like what they're plugging in.
Good luck and have fun.


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I had them same struggle when looking at my kitchen plan. I hope you have a good meeting with the KD and she/he can help put it all in perspective. I love your kitchen and think that your home is going to be beautiful! I love the open areas and the thought that you have put into everything.
I completely feel for you, with drawing the plan over and over!! Just remember, all of this work will pay off when your new home is complete!


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Also, I am not a builder, but I regards to your pantry door question, find out if there is any possible way to put a pocket door there. That way, you get the "look" and privacy of a door, but you don't waste either pantry space or kitchen walk space with the opening and closing of the door.
Not sure if it's possible, but a suggestion to look into!


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So random comment from way further up in the thread. I had a trash pullout put in my old house and I loved it. I am missing it terribly in the rental. I wouldn't mind it being under the sink but I guess my point is I'd try to fit one in somewhere. They are very handy.

Pantry-piggy backing on uponthehilltop: we couldn't make a pocket work so we ended up going with an out swing door for 2 reasons. 1 - I would hate having to come in and then shut the door to get to the contents behind it. 2 - it should help with people closing the door because it will be an obvious 'left the door open' it's in my way instead of with in swing I think they'd not notice they left it open. I also had a motion sensor put in so the light will turn on when I enter the room since my hands are full most of the time and the chest freezer will be in there. Just more food for thought and how we decided to do it.


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If you don't have room for a dedicated trash pullout consider one of the after market installs that actually fit under the sink. Ideal from a kitchen design standpoint, not really, but way better than not having one at all. I put one of these into my undersink cabinet in my small old house kitchen. It worked just fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: After_market_trash_pullout


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Have a meeting set up with the local home improvement store KD. I am not too impressed with their display kitchens but because they are local, I am giving them a shot first. I will also talk to Lowes (KD named Lee who I've already asked 1000 questions to while browsing) and then Southern Kitchen & Bath that is about an hour away from me. I've never been there but since kitchens are their specialty, they should know what they're doing. Hopefully, between these three, someone should come up with something good.

Upon, good idea on the pocket door! I can't wait to throw that one at my builder. I didn't get much sleep so I am ready to be a PITA today....lol.


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If you don't want to give up counterspace to insert a pullout between fridge and wall (and you really do need room to open the door), perhaps you could give up a little bit of pantry shelf space to scoot the wall in a little bit, like this:


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Autumn, love the idea of the motion sensor light and the out swing door will go in my notes for when the builder or DH has some kind of reason the pocket door won't work.

Mlweaving and Autumn, I am planning to put the double trash can pull out on one end of the island. Even if I have to just do an empty cabinet with no shelf and add the after market later. DH wanted this and for some reason he gets everything he wants....lol.


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Bpathome, thank you for that suggestion. I will show it to DH and see what he thinks. According to my drawings, that wall cabinet on the other side of the fridge is only 24 inches wide, so any loss of space at the fridge impacts the size of this cabinet, so this solution might help out with that.


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If you can't do a pocket door, you might be able to use a barn door set up -- double doors that slide to either side. Or double pocket doors. Definitely need to make sure you have room to open the fridge though. My parents bought a large 5 BR house and found it was almost impossible to put a refrigerator in it because it was next to a wall like that. They had to get a smaller fridge and cut back the countertop.

Your pantry seems like one that would use a door and shelving. Cabinets seem to be called for in something like a butler's pantry, buffet or bar service area -- or if that window was a door (to the porch, a deck, a DR) and you would walk through that area. If it is working storage and not something to be seen by guests and it isn't a million plus dollar home, I wouldn't put cabinets there. Save those dollars and get some drawers in your bases, the deep cabinet above the fridge and even the micro drawer.

If you really want the micro drawer, I would plan for it. Have the right space (shelf or drawer and the outlet planned in your cabinetry and you can use the spot for a small countertop model until you decide to change it out. Even if you never do, you keep the option open -- something you might regret not doing if you find a deal and want to put one in. Then it would get really expensive.

This post was edited by lascatx on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 11:55


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SO, were you a PITA with your builder today? That line completely cracked me up!
Hope you are not stressing, your home is going to be beautiful!


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Upon, no actually I am not stressing at all today. Not about the house anyway. Get this, all my interactions with KDs today were done on the phone and through email. The guy from our local home improvement store actually covers an entire region and he will look at my drawings and wish list and then he will come to me. Then I never made it to Lowes and this beautiful building in Lake Charles called "Southern Bath & Kitchen Showroom", I called them to make an appointment and they said they don't sell kitchen cabinets. I was shocked. He said they sell plumbing supplies. Their name is just a bit misleading. I didn't talk to the builder, I told DH to tell the builder while I handled some insurance stuff, so I was a 3rd party PITA, at least to the builder. And BTW, the KD that I talked to said that you should be working with them by framing so you don't have to rush any decisions because they will go out and measure after drywall is up and advise on any outlets or fixtures that might need to be moved to help with the design. Of course this guy covers a big region so he probably needs more time than most. Just FYI.


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Lascatx, good idea on planning for future micro drawer. I mentioned it to KD today. Thank you.


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