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Appliance/Pantry Placement

Posted by armada (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 4, 13 at 9:07

Hey all,

I've been getting involved at GW over the past month since my wife and I are about to start an addition on our house in the Washington DC Area. The biggest task to the interior is deciding how to organize our massive (at least to us) new kitchen. I'll have another thread with my appliance decision questions, but for now I want to tackle the layout of appliance location and ask the excellent advice of fellow GW'ers.

See below for my current sketch.

Some notes:
The area in the top left is where the large dining room table will be located. The french doors to the right open to our new deck.

Upper cabinets are designed to be on the bottom wall (same wall as the cooktop & fridge) only.

We would like built in seating in the corner for casual dinners, as well as a few bar stools at the island for conversation when my wife is cooking.

I was trying to avoid the cooktop in the island just for ease of venting (the bottom wall is an exterior wall.

We need two ovens, but we don't care if one is built into a slide-in range, two single ovens, or one double oven.

We plan on putting a microwave in the pantry.

So my questions are:
1) Where would you place the ovens? In the island? By the fridge? (they're currently not drawn in here anywhere)
2) Should the sink (or cooktop) be in the island, or leave the island open for prep space (our current thinking)
3) We'd like a "coffee station" area and a "dog bowl" area, in either to the left of the built in seating, and/or north of the pantry. Right now those are just represented by a counter top w/base cabinets. Which makes the most sense in each location?
4) Is there enough space to walk through to the deck w/ bar stools?
5) Should we move the fridge to north of the pantry to gain more counter space by the cooktop? We are afraid the 'work triangle' becomes too far apart this way.

Thanks, I'll stop at 5 questions for now :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

I think my description of the dining room table might be confusing, so I figure i'd just upload a floorplan of the whole first level.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

Hi armada, I am by no means a pro at this but I will let you know what works in our kitchen.

Depending on how your fridge doors open, I would put your fridge up against your pantry. That little bit of counter space there is now would be wasted.

I would put a prep sink at the corner of your island near your pantry/fridge or centered on the island so it is almost directly across from your cooktop. I would leve your clean-up sink and DWs where they are on the first pic.

Unless you plumb in your coffeemaker, you will want it to have close access to water (as well as for the dog water bowls). With the coffee maker/dog bowls against the pantry you will have water at the prep. (And maybe dog food in the pantry?)

Not sure about ovens. One idea is to put wall ovens next to your pantry where your coffee area is. It looks like you would have enough room for counter space next to it for a landing area and small baking area. Coffee could go here or on the corner counter between cooktop and DW. Dog bowls at the end of the baking run?

Looks like a beautiful addition.
Hopefully some of the seasoned GWers will chime in too.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

Thanks for your feedback camphappy.

We are definitely doing a french door fridge so the doors can't get too close to a wall, hence why we had that "wasted" space.

I was avoiding having to plumb another faucet/prep area, but your suggestions are logical. We too were struglling with the fridge placement and that wasted area next to the pantry. We thought about trying to squeeze a microwave in there, but I like the idea of the oven(s) being up against the pantry (either side) and relocating the fridge a bit.


RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

Just use a narrow piece of filler instead of the narrow cabinet on the other side of the fridge. Then use the remaining inches on the stove side of the fridge.

Switch the swing of your pantry door so it opens against the coffee/dog station rather than the fridge.

1. Double oven ... We have this one which has 2 ovens in one stove. We use the top oven the most !!
We also have a third oven built in - its a single oven with microwave above it. If you did oven stack, I would recommend next to the fridge.

2. Prep sink in island

3. That's tough, I see advantages to both. Personally, wherever they were, I would want the dog bowls hidden.

4. That might be tight. Minimum, you need 5 feet from counter edge to table edge to slide between bar & table when there are people sitting at each.

5. Keep fridge where it is, closer to the action.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

I would consider putting a pull-out pantry between the fridge and the walk-in. I believe 9 inches is the smallest you can do, maybe 6. I would go with the smallest that makes your fridge functional. I have both a pull-out and a walk-in. The pull out is very handy for the every day stuff - loaf of bread, jar of peanut butter, oils/vinegars, cereal boxes, etc. I keep the wraps/foils/baggies in there too, right next to the fridge is a handy place.

Another option could be to put the ovens between fridge and cooktop. Can you move the cook top down a bit? I think if you put a prep sink on the island (agree with others that this will be a great benefit) you will primarily prep on island opposite cook top, so the loss of space isn't too bad, but still think 30" next to range is ideal, but at least 24".

I think it looks tight between the 2 kitchen seating areas, but again, no actual measurements so it is hard to say. Are you set on a rectangular table? A round would remove that tight spot at the table's corner. I also think it would be too tight to have a coffee bar next to the table. I think above the walk-in pantry is ideal because of its proximity to the dining room and entertaining. I am assuming that dog bowls would take less space, even if in a cabinet, and a better choice for near the table/banquette.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

Do you really need three seating/eating areas in the same room?

It seems like too much to me. Extra big kitchens are not an unmitigated blessing, IMO.

What would be really great (in my view) would be to replace the banquette area with a small kitchen sitting area.

Or use that space as part of the kitchen proper and shift the additonal interior square feet into other service uses (laundry room, bigger pantry, flower room, work shop, utility room, office - you name it.)



RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

Thanks for your ideas.

The filler idea does allow for more counter space; I was afraid of the door hitting the wall though with a 2-3" filler.

I do like that double oven in one that you have, we were looking at a similar GE model We are definitely going gas range, possibly just rangetop.

1 vote for ovens by the fridge (i'm keeping a tally) :)

We want to do a built in of sorts for the dog bowls, something like this

We're not married to an island of a certain width, and my wife wants stools that fit under the island, so I think we'll be able to design for flow OK here. Thanks for the 5ft rule between edges.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement


I really like that pantry pull out idea. I think I know what you mean but do you have a picture of an example?

We did think about putting 1 or two single ovens under the countertop; our concern there was losing too much prime drawer pulling real estate. But if we do 2 ovens we're going to lose that space somewhere.

We can move the cooktop (or anything for that matter, this is a brand new space), but we do want the cooktop to be the focal point; hence putting it in the center of that wall.

3 votes for the prep sink now :)

I can work up some measurements for the walkway between the areas; if 5 ft is what I need to put in I'll make that happen.

I would prefer the coffee bar by the pantry and the dog stuff by the built in seating for the reasons you state, and maybe that works best for a prep sink too so I can plumb water to that area as well.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

So cute !!

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement


Thanks for your thoughts. I'm confused about the 3 seating areas though. We just have 2 from my count (built in seating w/table, and then the bar stools). We do like to entertain, and would spend lots more time in the kitchen if we had the means.

The banquette area you mention to repurpose, is that the one by the pantry? Another question I haven't asked yet is where we should put a TV (probably around a 30" size). Maybe this sitting area you have would accommodate that? Maybe a quick sketch would help me understand.

Thanks, adam

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

What I mean by three is that you have an open-to-the kitchen dining room, and the table in the upper right corner of the kitchen AND seats at the island.

It's a complete laundry list of eating locations and all in one room!

If you 86'ed the kitchen table and kept the DR and the stools on the island you've have both regular meals and quick snacks covered. It's the kitchen table that's redundant here.

You could use that space in a redesign of the kitchen proper harvesting it for counters, cabs, work space, etc. (You could enlarge service spaces on interior walls which don't need that much light.)

Or (my preference) you could use the space now occupied by the kitchen table as a kitchen sitting area: couch, comfy chair(s),shelves with cookbooks, TV, Internet access point, etc. This is grand place for non-cooks to hang out and keep cook company. It's wonderful to plunk down in a soft seat to rest, while waiting for a cooking step to be completed. And it's a very intimate little seating area for visiting with very close friends and family. One of its chief advantages is that it lures a non-cooking spouse into the kitchen space with easy chairs or a sofa to stretch out on while kibitzing the meal prep. (Kids, too, but they will hang out on the stools at the island more willingly than most adults will.) It's a very cool thing, and you have an ideal space for it.

Then you could eat all your regular meals in the DR. I don't get the point of having a dining table and room not used for every meal where you sit down. (Standing in front of the freezer with the carton of Ben and Jerry's doesn't count!) I know people like the idea of a "formal" setting, but that's expensive real estate and furnishings wasted on show. Few households these days have the life style that requires a separate, used-only for fancy meals, dining rooms. Kids can learn to function at table right from the get-go.



RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

I have 60" of clearance between a counter and my kitchen table with no seating at the counter. I would not want less, to be honest. If there were stools at the counter, it would never work. I'm not sure how much additional room I would want, but at least 30" which is 90" total for clearance between back to back seating. Even when we say the chairs/stools will always be tucked in or pushed under the counter, it never works out that way IRL.

Here is a link to the type of pull-out pantry I have. Mine is 20 5/8" width and 66" height. The height of the cabinet is matched perfectly with my fridge. You probably wouldn't need that width.

I have an eat in kitchen and a formal dining room. The dining room isn't opened up to the other spaces like yours, and it isn't even furnished yet. (After the remodel, who knows when we'll get the money for that.) But, for the way our home (existing) is laid out it was formal dining or formal living space. We entertain and will be hosting most holiday meals now that my mother passed away, so we figured the formal dining space that's only used 5 or 6 times a year was more worthwhile to us than a formal living space that no one ever wanted to sit in. I do not have island/peninsula seating. I do have a small raised bar area that looks over our family room. Right now we are happy standing at it.

Personally, I refuse to have a TV in the same area where my family eats, so I can't help you with that one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pull-out pantry

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

OK all, sorry for dropping this thread for a while, but i've worked with our builders and come up with an updated design I wanted to share with you and get feedback.

Here's an updated drawing of the top down layout:

and the straight on range wall view:

and the 3d sketch:

and going off of advice i received that we had too many seating areas along with helping us stay within budget, we decided to forego the banquette and instead do a mini lounge area. TV to be mounted somewhere on the wall that extends from the DR into the Kitchen.

pardon the hacking of that last image, the pantry gets lost in my attempt to overlay the top down sketch on our floor layout.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

You have a lot of counter that won't be used under that window overlooking the deck. I predict it will become a dumping ground for people coming in those doors.

You added a large cabinet between the ovens and pantry that takes away valuable space next to the cooktop (as well as making things look unbalanced.)

I would also want drawers. And what is the new plan for dog food and coffee station? Do you have a microwave somewhere?

I can't tell what the sink size is, but it looks small for a kitchen this size as the only sink.

It's not that it's a terrible plan, these are just things that I would be thinking about.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

No offense taken. We are actually in counterspace overload as right now we have one prep area about 3ft long! But we want to make smart decisions of course. One reason we kept counters by the patio entrance was to encourage flow to the outside and let as much natural light as possible come into the kitchen.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

Personally, I would get rid of the short leg of the L that wraps around toward the patio doors. That piece of counter will be awkward to use (especially in front of an appliance garage) and getting rid of it gives you better aisles for circulation. I would just have a straight run of cabinets across the bottom wall, which will eliminate the corner cabinet (hard to use, even with expensive corner pullout options) and the need for a seam in your counters. I would center the range along the back wall, and then do 1 of 2 options.

Option 1: Leave the wall ovens where they are, get rid of tall cabinet next to ovens, use a full height, 24" deep x 30" wide (assuming 30" ovens) cabinet on the far left side to balance the ovens on far right, which should leave you with approx. 4.5' of counter and cabinet space on each side of the range. If you are doing custom cabinets, you could even incorporate a flip-up door for an appliance garage in the middle of the tall cabinet (assuming you want an appliance garage, as shown).

Option 2: Put fridge where ovens are (far right), move ovens to far left, use a 6" wide pullout between fridge and wall and 12" wide pullout between ovens and wall, which should leave you with about 3.5' of counters and cabinets on each side of range (assuming space is 17' wide (hard to read) and you use a 36" range). Then use the space where fridge was shown on other side of pantry as a beverage and snack zone, with coffee maker and supplies, maybe an undercounter wine or beverage fridge, maybe a microwave drawer or small microwave in an upper. (The pullouts next to fridge and ovens could be wider if you find that more useful, I would just keep the one next to the ovens 6" wider to have symmetry around range -- assuming 36" fridge and 30" ovens. There have been some cool 6" wide pullout broom closets shown on GW as a way to use that filler space next to fridge.)

With either option, I would replace most of the lower door cabinets shown with drawers.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

I agree with everything that kaysd recommended. Great suggestions! And definitely get drawers!

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

I like Kaysd's option 2 the best. It fixes my concerns except the sink size, which may not actually be a concern, but rather a perspective issue with your drawings.

And yes, drawers are more expensive, and so are pull outs, but they are so much more functional.

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

Thanks for the input everyone. I took the liberty to try to assemble option #2 by photoshopping my current renders. Here's the result:

I do like this render above, however I will mention one of the reasons we moved the fridge to the other side of the pantry was that we thought that area felt "disconnected" from the rest of the kichen when nothing substantial was there. Here's an older render showing just some cabinets:

By the way the sink size is 32" total, 30" inside diameter. I'm in love with the kohler sink below (link provided, scroll down page to see good pics) and would fill the island better, but I don't think the budget would afford it even though I think it would look great.

Here is a link that might be useful: kohler sink

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

sorry i meant the 45" in version of that sink. new link listed

Here is a link that might be useful: 45in_Kohler_Sink_K-3761

This post was edited by armada on Tue, Apr 16, 13 at 22:35

RE: Appliance/Pantry Placement

That's a huge sink! I love it too, but couldn't afford it nor did I have that kind of space for it. My sink is a 27" interior single bowl in a 30" cabinet. It is nice and big, I love it, but I also have a prep sink. I will say that I specifically designed my kitchen to have 2 separate water sources due to being a 2 person kitchen for almost every dinner. The sink was where we always got tied up in the old kitchen.

Your latest rendering is better. It still doesn't look centered, and I would play around with the individual elements to see if you can fix that a bit, personally. But not everyone feels the need for symmetry.

As to the fridge placement - I understand why you did that, but I have to disagree. You want a fridge to be on the fringes of the work space, but not so far out of it that have to walk around something from the work zone to get to it. Your former spot was sort of borderline. I could see it quickly becoming a pain for me, but it really may depend on how you cook and how frequently you cook.

I actually think that it is nice to have an area of counter for people to use that is outside the work zone. I have a similar space, but it is the wall opposite our "U" and has the fridge at the end. I have the toaster oven and electric tea kettle there as well as the MW drawer. It is also where dishes and glasses are stored. This way, 90% of what my kids want or need in the kitchen is located there, whether it is grab a snack or set the table for dinner. If I remember, you wanted a spot for the coffee maker and to store dog food. Seems perfect. The little bit of counter you had next to the fridge previously would have been useless.

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