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Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Posted by homebuyer23 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 4, 13 at 21:53

Got our first real layout and quote from a KD today. I'm in total sticker shock at the quote :-(
But its very exciting to see an actual possibility for our space on paper.

Im attaching our current 1st floor layout so you can see how it relates to rest of house. We have other major changes planned hopefully...The current family room will be likely converted to a dining/hearth/great room, opened up to the formal LR, which will be converted to our family/great room.

So, if you can let me know what you think? My biggest concern is the aisle width behind the long sink/cooktop run & the island. I've stressed with the KD, due to reading on here so much, that Im nervous I don't have enough space for an island, she insists we do. But then she gives me an aisle that's basically 30" counter to counter! Im pretty sure I cant live with that, she said we can reduce the width of the island and theres a little room to move it back, I think theres almost 5' on the other side, though that is a main traffic path.

If I can get the aisle to the 36" minimum recommended on the one side, do you otherwise think this is a functional layout?

We are a family of 5, 3 young kids, I'm sahm, main cook, but dh does help on weekends and holidays, and kids will hopefully someday be helping in kitchen.

I really thought I was going to have to go with a wide u design...does this layout confirm it or give me good reason to hope a large functional island with some seating could be realistic?

Current Layout.with stuff

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

I think I might prefer the wide U with seating facing the kitchen on a peninsula coming out from where the stove is now. I worry that those aisles will be too narrow. I also wonder if the fridge will be too far away from the stove. I might move it to the wall of the powder room (to the left of the susan).


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Sorry I meant where the stove is drawn in the kd's design!


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Thank you Amanda, I figured that! However, if we do a peninsula there and move the refrigerator where you suggested, where would our cooktop go? I don't like the idea of it on the peninsula opposite seating, I don't think its safe. I also don't really like the idea of putting a sink on the peninsula, facing out. Unless maybe we did raised bar height seating on the other side to sort of hide the dirty dishes & dish rack? Im not a huge fan of that idea for several reasons.
I just love the long run we get with this plan. But I do worry about those aisles. And you may be right about the REF. Thanks! Hope I get some more feedback...


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Where to start... First, I understand your desire for an island, it's the "in" thing right now and so many people are trying to shoehorn in an island - with seating - even when there really isn't enough room. Even many kitchen designers are guilty of it...especially if they have a client who they think will walk if they don't come up with just what the client wants, regardless of suitability.

I give you high points for being willing to consider not having an island if you don't really have the space!


OK, the layout...

  1. The island is a "barrier" island b/w the cooktop and refrigerator

  2. The DW is in the middle of the Prep Zone (b/w the sink and cooktop - the most natural spot for prepping)

  3. If you try to prep on the island, the DW is also in the way, especially with that very narrow aisle!

  4. Will the DW even open fully with that narrow an aisle? (Actually, it will, but you're only going to have about 3 or 4 inches of clearance b/w the open DW door and the closed cabinet doors on the island!)

  5. Without a water source on the island, prepping on the island will not be convenient

  6. There isn't enough room for 3 seats on the end of the island the way they're shown...you can't have the seat on the end and one around the corner - they share knee/leg space.

  7. Each seat needs 24" of linear space and at least 15" of clear knee/leg space/overhang - that's after accounting for the decorative panels on the back & side of the peninsula (the decorative panels/doors take up 3/4" to 1"). It does look like you may have 15" of clear overhang b/c of the shallow cabinet.

  8. The tall oven cabinet will lend itself to creating a "black hole" in that left corner

    • Would you be willing to forgo the cooktop + oven for a range? It would free up counterspace. (I couldn't find anything to tell me one way or another in this thread or your "peninsula" thread.)

    • Part of the problem is the lack of wall space available for use b/c of the island and, possibly,. the removal of existing walls.

  9. Isn't it a little over 12' b/w the top wall and the stairs? Let's say 12'6" (150").

    25.5" perimeter + 36" aisle + 33" island = 94.5"
    150" - 94.5" = 55.5"

    If there's less than 12'6", then the final # above shrinks.

    As you've stated, the path behind the island is a major path, so you don't want the aisle too narrow - especially if you have seating at the island.

    If you could keep the seats completely to the right of the stairs, you would have room...can the island be wider/longer by a couple of feet?


  10. The cooktop setup. It appears you have cabinets to the counter on both sides of the cooktop. While it looks nice, this arrangement as you show it is not very functional - quite the opposite.

    • This type of arrangement works best if you have your Prep Zone across from the cooktop (including a water source) and you have at least 18" to 24" b/w the side of the cooktop and the cabinets.

    • Deeper counters work better with this arrangement as well.

    • Right now, those cabinets are in the middle of your Prep Zone and block easy access to the cooktop from the sink on the left. Basically, those cabinets are obstacles.

    • Last, I personally think this setup looks best with a range or rangetop. Cooktops don't have a big enough presence, IMHO, to work well.

  11. Last, aisle widths. Yes, 33" is far too narrow. Even 36" is a bit tight for multiple cooks. Minimum recommended is 42", but many here say 36" works just fine.

Hopefully, others will chime in...

BTW...I started another layout for you, but it's quite late. I will try to finish it tomorrow.


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Your biggest layout problem is the location of your stairwell. It closes your kitchen off and leaves no room for a proper island. The draft layout shows an island that has too narrow walkways and faces (and is split by) the stairwell/closet rather than opening up to a living space.

My suggestions are much more expensive. The way I see it, you have two main options for getting your island and a larger, more functional kitchen:
1. Push your kitchen exterior wall out 2-5 feet.
2. Move your kitchen to the right rear of the home opening up to the great room right front (remove wall), formal living front left, and formal dining left rear.


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Boy, a wide U with a peninsula seems the easiest way to go. It is too tight width-wise in there. I've got the same thing in our redo. Can't put 10# in a 5# bag, unfortunately.
But, if you are going to change your FR into a dining/hearth room, it seems appropriate to have the counter seating in there, too. And, you lose some of the long sink wall run but you gain another run of cabs under the peninsula. I'd move that DW to the other side of the sink as suggested and skootch the stove down a bit closer to the sink, just so you have some relief from the corner of the peninsula. Consider moving the fridge to the pwdr room wall, too. That might be nice to have that closer and then you can have a beautiful hutch or pantry wall where the fridge was? I just fear that you'd be doing a lot of running and 'excuse me'-ing with that island in there. My U is narrow rather than wide like yours would be, but fwiw, I taped off my inside U dimensions at 38" and there was no way that worked so I changed it to 48", which isn't spacious but works fine. 30" seems nuts to me.


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Boy, a wide U with a peninsula seems the easiest way to go. It is too tight width-wise in there. I've got the same thing in our redo. Can't put 10# in a 5# bag, unfortunately.
But, if you are going to change your FR into a dining/hearth room, it seems appropriate to have the counter seating in there, too. And, you lose some of the long sink wall run but you gain another run of cabs under the peninsula. I'd move that DW to the other side of the sink as suggested and skootch the stove down a bit closer to the sink, just so you have some relief from the corner of the peninsula. Consider moving the fridge to the pwdr room wall, too. That might be nice to have that closer and then you can have a beautiful hutch or pantry wall where the fridge was? I just fear that you'd be doing a lot of running and 'excuse me'-ing with that island in there. My U is narrow rather than wide like yours would be, but fwiw, I taped off my inside U dimensions at 38" and there was no way that worked so I changed it to 48", which isn't spacious but works fine. 30" seems nuts to me.


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Thank you!
I have always felt a wide U would work best in here. Its not ME pushing for an island to be trendy! However, I have started to wonder just how functional the wide "U" will be...We have space for it to be quite wide, and so I THINK Id want to use all that space, making the widest U possible. But, in that case, where the peninsula comes down, it'll be what you look at as soon as you enter our front door, especially if we cut back or totally remove the long wall separating the FR and Foyer/LR, which we think we are wanting to do. So, I know its function over form, but I really want to make whatever you see when you enter our house look as nice as possible. So, a peninsula with seating and nice cabinets on wall above it sounds good to me, but if I don't spread out some part of the work triangle down to it, I feel like my work triangle will still be cramped like it is now, and the expanse of counter on the peninsula will be too far away to be used for prep much.

That's the line of thought that got me to thinking if I could try to get an island in here, then I could spread out the triangle more and have good prep behind me. But, I suppose the island is not going to work. What about a 24" island with no seating until way down the end, past the basement door?

David thanks for the suggestions. I agree if I could get 2-5 feet added on the back I'd be in heaven. But its been strongly suggested by all contractors coming in here that the cost of that will be prohibitive.

Beuhl, thank you so much for your detailed response. I am anxiously awaiting a layout if you're working on one! You did one for me before that blew me away, but it involved moving our powder room clear across the house, and I don't think that's going to fit in our budget. I'd love to see what you or anyone else can come up with. Thanks!


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

I think you could make some adjustments to her concept. Place range on powder room wall[is 36 in size obligatory?...30 in of high quality appliance pick might be just fine]....don't remove the windows as she did. around the window scape there,continue wall cabs at 15 or 18 in depth-if you want the windows out you can do some tall pantry mixed with regular cabs/counter. Move the island to the right and reduce the depth around the sink area to more like 27in[like a regular counter run]....then moving down the island increase depth if you want to because the window wall setup now is reduced depth. Or you could keep the whole island at 27 indepth or so....and at family room end make a T or semicircular assembly which will give the chance for more stools around/or butt a table of some sort up against the T for "real seating". If the T is located where nothing impedes on either window wall or foyer wall,you'd have better seating-the T part could be table height and have this serve day to day needs, even without adding a table on. She is giving you compromised aisles[altho the island could come down closer to basement door], only 3 seats at island and removal of window-I'd have to really think about that. If you want the windows out, and a T or expanded end of island gets a good spot,you could place a cabinet depth fridge where windows were[possibly?] You have pinch points with foyer and basement door traffic but furthur to the right,the 152 in from back wall to foyer wall is almost completely available....is there something that influenced NOT moving the island or the seating part of it down that way?


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

I played with your layout a little bit without my usual "gut everything and start from scratch" mentality just to look at the feasibility of the island. I think it IS feasible, you just have to give up on a few things: 1) the idea of an island that opens to a living area, 2) enlarging the kitchen significantly, 3) an ideal unobstructed work triangle, and 4) a full-depth refrigerator.

With my proposed layout, once you delete the wall between the kitchen and family room, there are adequate, but not great, clearances: 3'0 between island and window wall, 3'8-9" between island and left wall and back wall. You do lose the little piece of cabinet to the right of the old refrigerator, but you gain a lot more cabinet by extending all the way over to where the old wall was.

As for the "barrier" island, as long as you are careful to get all your ingredients AT ONCE to your prep area, you shouldn't be too bothered by walking around the island. Once you prep on the island, it's a short hop to the range top. It would be more ideal if the sink and the cooktop were swapped, though I don't know if moving the window is in your budget.


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Herbflavor, Are you suggesting my entire run on the longest exterior wall be made up of shallow 15-18" deep cabinets in order to have room for a deeper island? I've never heard of that or seen it done, never would've thought of that! Where would my sink be, on the island? Hmm, I can't imaginge that but I won't rule out anything! got any pictures? Or am I just misunderstanding?

David, Thanks so much for the layout. So you�re showing a counter depth refrigerator turned 90 degrees to face into the long part of kitchen? Interesting. That could probably work. The seating at the island near the basement door looks really tight to me, and I don�t necessarily need that much seating anyway. Would it make sense to just have 4 seats, 2 on far right side of island and 2 on right end of island?
How does the island come to be 36"? 18" base cabinets underneath, 15" for seating plus panel and 2"overhang?
In your layout, where would you put my main sink, range, and microwave? We are more than willing to move windows. I don�t mind losing one either if we need to. The double window already has to be dealt with, it goes down way below counter height right now.

Do you think this is the best use of my space or just the best way to get an island in? As I said, I really just want the most functional layout, I�m not married to an island. But I do question just how functional a wide "U" layout would be so I appreciate advice on how to do an island "right" in here.

I wonder if anyone has advce on the best wide U layout I could do...?


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

I have a similar issue with stairs coming up and the first thing you see being a peninsula. For that reason I didn't want the sink in the peninsula either but so far I think it's ok to walk right into it if you have nice cabinetry and nice stools. (We have cabs installed but nothing else so ill let you know how it turns out). I think a wide U will be nice and because it will be less cramped it should feel more open/ less long and narrow.


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

no-around the position of the range-[move the range to powder room wall],cut back the depth of cabs to 18 in or so..also move the island to the right and out a bit-even 2 inches-you'll expand the aisle by 8 inches total-you could even reduce island depth from 36 to 32 in or so for more aisle space. With inches shaved off in a few spots the island would work, with range up against powder room wall. More spacious over there for a cooking zone i think.You'd get the counter all along the right of sink and island opposite for a great "working zone".


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

I would do your wide U and have a very wide peninsula (you have the width) and do a raised bar height on the other side to cover the mess. (And move that fridge to the powder room wall!)


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Yes, the built-in refrigerator faces the FR, to leave more clearance for the island. With stools tucked in, still plenty of clearance behind island, and when entertaining a lot of guests, you decide which you need more: basement access or bar seating.

I'm proposing 24" deep cabinets with a 12" overhang in the island. NKBA recommends 18" overhangs for 36" high bar seating, but as you know, depth is at a premium in your kitchen. Also, 18" cabinets won't be enough support for an 18" overhang. :)

I assumed the kitchen side of the stairs was a closet under a 1st to 2nd stairwell, not the stairs down to the basement. If the island faced the family room, I'd put either the range or the cleanup sink in the island, but I wouldn't in this proposed island. Now that I know moving the window is an option, I'd definitely put the range where you have the sink currently, and move the sink to where you currently have the range. The cooking center would work WAY better closer to the fridge and prep area on the island. And as long as you have a prep sink in the island, there's no need for the cleanup sink to be near the refrigerator and range. The island would be a great place for a microwave drawer.

I do think this is the best use of the space, given the fixed elements like the exterior wall and the stairway. The wide U facing the stairway would give you a huge wasted space in the center, and the peninsula would block traffic flow.


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

David,
In thinking about your ideas, I tried something else out. One contractor who came in here so far said he thought moving the side entry door down could help out a lot. NOt cheap, but probably not a huge budget buster. Assuming that's a viable option, do you think that helps to have this island make any more sense? Enough to justify the cost? I just figured it would help with traffic flow since we as a family mainly come in our side door. NOt sure if its worth it but I kind of like having the PR feel a little more private and more of a mudroom, though I think I lose good pantry space.

Is this otherwise roughly what you were thinking as far as range and sink placement? Think I really need a prep sink? That's a new concept around here, my husband is of the 'what the heck do we need 2 sinks for"? mentality! Im more concerned with general layout at this point though, I'll read up on arguments supporting prep sinks later!

Herbflvor...Im feeling really dense but Im not getting what you're describing at all! I don't see how we can or what good it does to reduce cabinet depth if theres an appliance on that run anywy, which will have to stick out 24", right? Im really interested though so if you have any patience to try to describe/show me what you mean...?


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Homebuyer, I believe moving the side entrance does help the kitchen, but creates problems like the loss of pantry space. And yes, those are the locations I'm proposing for the range and sink.


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

there's a couple of alternatives within an "island kitchen". End the counter run 24 in or so beyond the range in the last pic. Place sink and dishwasher on island behind range-dishwasher placed to left of sink can open easily with nothing on wall behind it. Because of this cleared wall,you can place 4 stools-2 across from each other at end of island-probably one stool only at very end.Or you can expand the seating end [semi circle or T],with nothing on wall at window spot..a better seating area. Or you can split the island-make 2 islands-the one closer to fridge end-more for "work", with sink/dishwasher/then a 2nd island closer to family room side with just seating. You have good spots with the original fridge location/powder room wall/ and range in this last spot you've sketched.....all for the "essentials"/ so the island or [double island] and establishement of good walking and seating around it will work. I think you can avoid the seating around dining room and stair door.


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

Herbflavor, Like this?


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

that's a really nice plan-love it. Work it out on graph paper till you like all the positions of the stools and clearances/etc. You can split the island into two as well-not necessary though. You can put openshelf/bookcase on back of island near dining room door for a nice visual[stools removed from that spot]....Keep at it-I'd love keeping windows[did you take out the little one ?]...you'll get benefit from the doublewindow and the patio door left intact with light/view/etc....esp with seating right around there. Was there a ledge under that double window? Can that stay or have to be adjusted or something?


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

THANK YOU! This is one idea I haven't thought of, and I thought I thought of them all!!! I feel like we may be onto something.

That double window (pic attached) is bumped out about 12" and only 22" off the ground. Its the one thing I thought was mandatory to change. In this layout I can pretty much keep it how it is, could be a real budget helper. The window itself is in horrible condition and will need to be replaced anyway. Would you keep it low or raise it?

Would splitting the island into 2 make it better in any way? better access to storage?

Having the sink right in the middle of the kitchen worries me a tiny bit. Feel like its always a mess and my dish drying rack is always out, guess I could get used to that and start hand drying and putting pots and pans away right away!

Is there a way to not have my sink on the island, using this same idea?

I think I might get it now what you were saying earlier...
What if I put the range back on the powder room wall, then I had a reduced depth run of cabinets along the exterior wall. Then my island could be deeper. Is that what you meant?

Sorry now to bug you with all these questions, but I really appreciate your (and everyone's) patience and help!


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RE: Got my first real layout, looking for input!

first-is the dishwasher meeting your needs... the key is to like and use the dishwasher.second-have you looked at the new single deep sinks-they are deeper and even if some dishes stack in the bottom,it's not cluttering the view so much.Re:drying dishes laying on counter...once you realize you have fewer to wash/can they get put away? If you have a household with lots of action...that alone can be reason for 2 sinks-prep isn't the only reason... people in and out/washing hands/getting water/dumping an empty jar or can in the sink/etc. In that case,what you are calling your mess of an area can be positioned in one spot with dishwasher......stick to the single bowl sink...and a 2nd smaller sink for secondary functions in another spot.You have avail:window wall/powder room wall and island. I think in kitchen design that is one of the hardest things for people to consciously reconfigure. Kitchens everywhere are laden with the old dbl bowls sink for wash and rinse. With new efficient dishwashers that handle more items/load better and are economical to run along with single deep sinks, the old "cluttered" sink area is less so. This is product shift and behavioral shift, so the "old way" isn't always forfeited immediately..... but an improvement can be made in any new planning.How would you feel about keeping the main sink on island with dishwasher but reduce it to a generous deep single bowl...and a 2nd sink on powder room wall or the corner or window wall? The window has the bumpout..get someone-like a skilled tradesman that does window install to look at your soffit setup and the mini soffit that runs above half wall as well as window and the ledge and soffits everywhere,really....some looking into areas behind soffits might be warranted. I would want a quote for window and soffit work separate from kitchen....and get a couple quotes for that. Size of window? Not sure-if you save money somehow with not messing with side door/etc, put a french door in with the mini terrace outside with decorative rail around-as in italy/etc-for ventilation and set plants on the rail and terrace-[not for walking out]... would be for effect.Or 2 dbl hungs milled together that you can lower from top-double hungs are okay because you can walk up and open them easily[no counter in front]...some grills in glass? not sure of the other window styles you have. Stay a little consistent.You have a lot of planning,don't you. I think your soffit work is pretty extensive so have you had that looked at/quoted? You can do that right away and still be planning the kitchen.


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