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Kitchen layout of potential home

Posted by megs1082 (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 11:45

I've never posted on this forum, but am hoping you will all be able to provide me with some outside perspective on the layout/functionality of the kitchen in these pictures. This is in a house we are considering purchasing. Hopefully you'll be able to get a feel for things, but if you need me to explain the layout better, please ask. I will just confirm the appliance placement when looking at the picture that shows the kitchen overall -

Electric cooktop on island

Wall oven and microwave to left

Dishwasher in peninsula

Refridgerator - Kind of obvious :)

As for scale - when the dishwasher/oven is open, you cannot walk between the doors and the island. I'm not stating that as a negative - just fact. I'm not asking for comments on aesthetics. We wouldn't be doing a major kitchen redo, though we might consider putting in a new wall oven and cooktop.

A bit of info on our family and kitchen use - we have a 4 year old and 18 month old who enjoy "helping" in the kitchen. We hope to have more children in the future. While gourmet meals aren't something I'm able to accomplish with two young children, I enjoy cooking/baking quite a bit and our kitchen gets used hard.

So, could you give me your observations? Positives and negatives? If the kitchen is important to you in a home, and the layout couldn't be changed, is there anything that would either make you want the house, or be a dealbreaker for you?

Thanks!

Megan

There are additional pictures added further down in the thread - my husband requested they be posted to give better view of space around cooktop.

This post was edited by megs1082 on Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 1:21


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

Additional picture


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The cooktop in the island would be enough for me to not buy the house. Its dangerous, there is no room to either side and it appears to be no venting.


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

debrak - thanks for your input - the current cooktop is downdrafted..

ALL opinions are welcome - the more the better!


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

I agree with Debrak. I would never use a cooktop in that location, not with kids, not with adults. Perhaps if I were the only person living in the house and never had guests in the kitchen, and I had no budget to move it... but you get the picture. To me this should be a Safety Rule # in the children's book Officer Buckle and Gloria: "Never place a cooktop in a location where you could be seriously burned from all sides and where you can never set a hot pan down without crossing an aisle and potentially tripping over small children."


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No drop zone for the fridge or the pantry.
But the other posters are most correct: no countertop on either side of the cooktop is ridiculous.
I don't like the open cooktop much either - but that in itself wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me - kids can be taught and/or blocked to stay out of the kitchen.
But this layout means a lot of criss-crossing the kitchen to do anything.


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I would only purchase this house if I intended to and was able to immediately replace the wall oven and cooktop with a range that is located on the wall where the oven/mw combo is currently located.

I will occasionally defend island/peninsula cooktops. I was raised with one and it was never an issue. But we had lots of counter space on each side of the cooktop and it worked much better with the overall layout of the kitchen then what I see in your photos.

It is not just the fact that this house has an island cooktop. It is the lack of counter surrounding it combined with the fact that it faces the back wall that would make me not buy this home and keep the current layout.


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I really appreciate the feedback.

This is an open floor plan - the kitchen is open to the living area on the right and circles to the rest of the livingspace on the bottom floor. I don't see how it would be possible to keep children out of the kitchen. It is also important for me to have my children be a part of all that goes on in the kitchen.

Could someone explain the "drop zone" comment?


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A drop zone is like when you take something out of the refrigerator and need to set it down, preferably close by. I don't have the ideal drop zone for my fridge so for me thats not a deal breaker. If there was no drop zone for the oven thats different as a hot pan needs to be set down quick.

The whole island cooking thing is not just about kids. To me it would be like having a picnic on the grass median in the middle of the freeway.

I think you could make some changes to the kitchen without tearing it apart.

Is this a house you really want and just one on your short list?


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

Megs, First let me say I love island cooking! Unfortunately not this one. Island is narrow so no safety behind the cooktop. (little hands coming up over the counter) It is a telescope or JennAir flat downdraft? I have had both and the telescope was far better. Not as good as a really good over the range hood, I agree no load/unload area near the refrig. Picture yourself getting all the salad ingredients and no place to set them down. Picture your self home with groceries and have to put stuff away, one at time since you can't load most everything on one counter then open and put it away. If I really loved the house & location I would look into removing the kit desk and moving some cabs around to make this a more functional kit. Just looked at the picture again and realized unless there is a set of drawers near the DW you will have to unload DW and carry thing to cabs.

This post was edited by eandhl on Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 15:38


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debrak - I e-mailed you.

Thank you for explaining the drop zone. I currently have no drop zone at all for the fridge, so it's not a big deal to me. Right now all the groceries end up going on the floor, and then get unloaded to the fridge etc. I guess the one thing I do see is that scenario isn't as great in this set-up either, since the floor area by the fridge is taken up with the island. Taking things out of the fridge, I always just load up my arms and make multiple trips, though I see the added inconvenience of having to walk everything around the island to the counter area by the sink.

eandhl - pardon my ignorant question, but is there a special type of drawer you thought might be by the dishwasher? There are 4 narrow drawers of almost equal height, directly to the left of the dishwasher, when you are facing it. I could see you would be able to keep some things like storage containers etc. in those drawers, but that still leaves all other dishes and glasses etc., right?


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On the stack of 4 are they deep enough to hold silverware on top and dishes next one down. I was referring to handy place for everyday dishes to store near the DW.


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I apologize if this thread is becoming redundant as so many of you have pointed out the same problem with layout. HOWEVER, please bear with me as my husband requested I post a few additional pictures (I didn't realize he had these on his phone). He feel the pictures I posted previously, didn't show the counterspace around the cooktop as well.

If you responded earlier, but happen to be in the thread again, it would be greatly appreciated if you could comment as to whether your previous impression still stands. :)

Thanks!

Megan


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pic

This post was edited by megs1082 on Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 21:14


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The drawers by the dw are visible in this one.


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Sorry but it looks just as bad. There are NKBA guidelines which are suggestions of how much space would be ideal. I don't have time to find those right now for you but will tomorrow if no one else does. Actually, read the "new to kitchens..." thread that is posted by beuhl. It has all the info you need. I can tell you that the space is not even close to ideal. Not even close. What do you have, maybe 18" on each side????

I have over 3 ft of counter on one side of my range and 18" on the other. I use all of that each day.

OK so it has layout issues. Determine what needs to be done and come up with an estimate and subtract it from the offer price. That is if you really want the house.

The odd cabinet next to the refridgerator could be removed for more landing space.

If you don't want a total remodel, the kitchen can be adjusted to make it better.

Hopefully this weekend more will chime in.

Bad layouts in newer kitchens are not uncommon. In fact tour expensive or any model homes and you will notice bad layouts. Designers on TV do bad layouts. Architects and builders are known for bad layouts. BUT they don't have to cook in the kitchens they design YOU do have to use your kitchen.


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Not an expert here but agree with controlfreakecs -- put in an oven range in place of the micro / wall oven. Put the microwave (as a drawer) in the island. To give enough space for counter on right side of new range, you will have to take down the cabinets to the left of existing set-up. Replace the tall cabinet left of (new CD) fridge and over fridge with full-depth cabs. Or, put in built-in fridge & freezer with full height pantry along existing fridge wall. Use the open island space as a drop zone. You'd be changing enough cabinetry to make a nice mix of new and old. It'll be beautiful and I'd bet the real view is outside those windows, anyway!


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My two cents is just what it's worth!

Are you paying full price for this house or is it a short/foreclosure sale? This makes a big difference!

If you are paying a standard sale at top dollar, and you still need to completely reconfigure... I say, not worth it!

If you are geting a bargain, then you need to consider the costs of getting perfection.

We did get a bargain, and the costs have far exceeded our projections! The kitchen was bad, and you can't move the bones! It will be better, but still not perfect.

I say, "the right one will come along." Waiting is worth it!

So am I a hypocrite? Yep! Incredible view has brought me to my knees, and willing to accept all kinds of unacceptable stuff!

Good luck with your decision!

Suzi


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I will say I'm not necessarily hoping for perfection, and my view of "perfection" for a kitchen is probably much different than most of you have with your amazing kitchens/kitchen update plans!

If we bought this house and rearranged anything in the kitchen, it would would likely only be to solve potential safety issues, and diffuse how inconvenient the current set-up is (lack of counter space around the range). I'm used to a kitchen that would be deemed far from perfect aesthetically, and many in the kitchen planning world wouldn't find to be an 'ideal' set-up. I do however, currently have enough work space, and safety isn't a concern.

The house would be full-price, but a good value for the size. We would offer a lower bid to offset anything that needed to be done.

I would be interested in ideas anyone has, that involves the least amount of cabinetry work, and still gets the cooktop off the island. Is it against code to have the range right where the oven currently is? Wasn't sure with the door right there? I currently only have landing space to the one side of my range, and I'm comfortable with it since it is a sizeable space.

This post was edited by megs1082 on Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 1:28


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Honestly? I would only buy this if the house was so cheap that I could afford to immediately rip out the kitchen and redo it...or, if the price was reduced about 30 to 50K (depending on where it is) so I could put that money toward a kitchen remodel.

Deal breakers:

  • #1: The Cooktop:
    • No safety zone around the cooktop
    • No workspace around the cooktop
    • No real landing space around the cooktop - enough for an emergency, but not for normal use
    • You need at least 24" on each side and 18" to 24" behind the cooktop for all three: safety, workspace, landing space
    • No real venting - and in an open plan venting is very important as grease, smoke, steam, etc. will spread quickly throughout the rest of the house
    • Cooktop island is a "barrier island": barrier b/w the sink & refrigerator and b/w the cooktop & refrigerator

  • Inaccessible cabinets - the upper ones on the refrigerator wall and above the oven that will be very difficult to access (what were they thinking when they put in those cabinets???)

  • Insufficient overhang where there's supposed to be seating - behind the sink. Anyone sitting there will get splashed....and meanwhile they'll be uncomfortable sitting with so little leg/knee space. (There should be at least 15" of clear leg/knee space and, with a sink, at least 18" b/w the faucet and the edge of the counter overhang (behind the sink)

  • The clutter magnet, a.k.a., a desk in the kitchen


Not as big a deal b/c they can be fairly easy to fix/replace in a short time or that I could live with for a couple of years...but would be added irritants to the above:

  • Side-by-side refrigerator

  • What looks to be a very old cooktop

  • A MW that looks like it was installed by cobbling together spare stainless steel panels

  • The overhead light

  • What appears to be not enough space in the table space to accommodate a table, chairs, and counter stools and still have sufficient space to maneuver around the table and b/w the counter and table

  • The look of the refrigerator that it was thrown into a too-small space: no built-in look to help reduce the mass of SS (or black or white if it were a different refrigerator) and it sticks out so far from the surrounding cabinets & counters

  • The lack of useful drawer space and far too many base cabinets w/doors instead of drawers

  • Personal preference: The cabinet wood and door style.


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Megs it seems like you really want this house and being another gal from the area (I bought my first two houses through Reece and Nichols) the Midwest hasn't experienced economic setbacks like other parts of the country so not a lot of deals on homes like this.

As a SAHM of a two year old I cook a lot and my kitchen is sort of set up like yours with narrow aisles but my range is on the outside wall. My little little babe likes to watch me cook, but I can certainly wouldn't let her if I had to worry about her all around the cooktop. I could see her little hands popping up here and there. I also don't think there is enough landing space. Even if its big enough for your pots they would be right on the edge of the counter. Not good for curious hands or worse.

If it were me, and I really wanted to make this work I would at least put in a range where the wall ovens are and have under counter micro like someone suggested above. That will mean new countertops and maybe a couple of new cabs, but those cathedral golden oak cabs could be easy to find at the Restore if you would on a tight budget. Full price would be hard to stomach because the kitchen is really out of date. I would also do some research on downdraft hoods.

I would also consider a long term plan of gutting the kitchen especially if you plan on staying there a while.

Good luck. I would be drawn to the wall of windows too.


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Unfortunately your lovely daughter is exactly the right height to have the most tragic accident possible the one time you forget to turn a pan handle inward away from the aisle. It would freak me out.

If you had to have the house, I would do more or less what janecat describes above, but I would also price out adding a prep sink where the cooktop is. The reason is that there's another huge, huge flaw I don't think anyone has mentioned: To prep for dinner, you need to take food from the fridge and pantry and pole vault over the cooktop to get to water. And do it through traffic. It's the most absurd layout. If there's a range on the current oven wall (but scootched away from the door a bit) now you have a much, much more efficient workspace by a mile if you have a prep sink where the cooktop is.

The light looks great, though.


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Hello,

Thank you for the comments. My name is Jonathan. I am Megan's husband. She mentioned a couple minor issues she took with the kitchen and I felt they were of minor consequence. She neutrally posted here to see what other's thought. To her credit, you guys have voiced the same issues she was concerned with. I personally am flabbergasted by eveyone's fairly unanimous response in this thread. If I didn't know my wife better I'd think this was some sort of candid camera joke or something. I've showed this home to many of my friends and family and we all think it looks like a nice home (even if a bit dated style).

May I ask what price range homes this group of responders owns? If you own million dollar homes, then sure this kitchen won't be much to look at. We currently live in a starter home, and in my opinion this kitchen is an upgrade in every way from our current home. Call me a country bumpkin if you will, but this home is one of the nicest homes I've ever been in. The kitchen sink and dishwasher have a great view into a wooded area/nice homes behind. The dishwasher being a few steps away from the cabinets does not bother me, because it was obviously a design choice to take advantage of the view through the large windows. The sink overlooks the view, and the dishwasher should be immediately next to the sink so as to prevent dirty dish transport from the sink to the dishwasher. I'm not a huge fan of the cooktop, but I don't see how it's a deal breaker by any means? Megan is a great cook and so I want to respect her opinion on the kitchen, but the aggressiveness of the comments here really surprise me.

So about potentially fixing the issues.
Can the island be replaced with a longer island that extends towards the living room for more counter space?

What kind of ballpark cost are we talking about with these recommended upgrades? 5, 10, 15, 20K?

We both actually like the little desk area. We don't have that now and either you 'clutter' up a desk area, or you clutter up your kitchen table. If I had my druthers - it'd be a desk area.

Here is the zillow link for the home:
http://www.zillow.com/h/2427-NE-79th-St-Kansas-City-MO-64118-66415665/

One of the nice things about this home compared to other homes we've looked at are the cabinets are nice quality. They are oak (not mdf) some of the newer homes in our pricerange have much cheaper cabinets installed - they might look nice at a distance or in a picture, but you get close and the doors and shelves are cheap. We had a home builder friend of ours look at this home with us for a couple hours and he said the build quality of the home was excellent.

I appreciate your further feedback good or bad.

This post was edited by Archaea on Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 13:20


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Hi Jonathon-

I almost never respond to threads like these because I am terrible with layouts. However, I've been coming to this forum for almost 3 years now (short time compared to most), and believe me, what everyone is talking about above is totally about function, not form-that is, not high end appliances, countertops, backsplashes, etc. etc., but the way the kitchen actually works. The people here have an awesome collective knowledge about this.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


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I have lived in KC my entire life, and my sister lives not five minutes from that house.

I understand wanting a nice house. We live just outside of KC now with acreage and a two year old, but I grew up in the ghetto of East KC with hookers and drug addicts outside of my window. Oh and there was a strip club two blocks down so yeah I get it-you want a nicer house in a nicer neighborhood.

That being said the people on this board can get a little persnickety, but if they see a problem they're going to be honest. We worry about your kiddos with that island cooktop.

We're DIY people so I couldn't give you the cost of a professional renovation. I think the listing on Zillow said those are solid surface countertops, and those are much easier to cut and manage than stone. You can take out the wall ovens and cut the countertop on the other side where you want your range to go. You can scoot down the cabinets and countertop and maybe finish the countertop edge next to the doorway. You will have to buy a new counter for the island though. You can buy anything for that. The Restore on Deramus just put out a ton of remnant slabs of different stones (I was there yesterday looking and most of which are $20. Yes $20), and I bet you could find something really nice to fit that island. So you would have to buy a range (the Sears Outlet by Front Street has some really nice floor models right now too). You may have to get creative if there is a gap in the cabinets where the wall ovens/micro is, but you could build a shelf and put in a micro if you needed too.

That's what I would do. Maybe 3k involved there. Good luck.


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I agree with previous posters on the layout issues. What everybody has pointed out has nothing to do with the looks or anything that remotely has anything to do with the price of the home. It has to do with the flow in the kitchen and that unfortunately happens in all price points.

To fix as easy as possible the cook top should be removed from the island. I would remove the wall ovens and the base cabinet next to it. Wall cabinet would also need to be moved with a taller space for the stove. Can't tell from the pics if it is a double or two single cabinets. I'm assuming a double cabinet. get a replacement cabinet to fill the gap up to a slide in range Shorten the counter top there and put a slide in range so you have at least 12 " of countertop on the door opening side. Then put a countertop on the island. This would make the kitchen workable for the least amount. Not sure about venting though. May still need to do a down draft.

The cost would be the countertops, some cabinets (might be able to find used), electric for the stove if the oven connection isn't in the right spot, venting, and potentially a vent hood.

To fix the island safety issues, You need space on the sides as well as behind the cook top ie the depth of the island. Doesn't look like there is room to do that since the fridge is sticking out and it is a walkway.

It looks like a very nice home, but I'm guessing the price is reduced because other people are seeing the same problems. My house is half the square ft of this one, and one less garage.


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Hi Jonathon,
I don't have a fancy house or a fancy kitchen - I'm in the process of remodeling to make better use of my limited space. But I have been lurking here for quite a while, and have come to truly appreciate the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of the people on this board. I'm new here, so I don't feel like one of "them" yet, but I have learned enough here to recognize that they are giving it to you straight.

My kitchen is a 10' x 9' U-shape, and even before the remodel is is a lot more functional than the one you guys are looking at.

My family has stayed in a lake cabin (fairly new) with cabinets like the ones shown above the peninsula. Look at where the hinge is: you can't get in there from the far side, and you can't reach it from the kitchen side. Very annoying! That's in addition to the things other folks have already pointed out.

Please take the criticisms in the spirit in which they are intended: with your family's safety and happiness in mind. The fact that you are getting unanimous rejection from this crowd should tell you something - if one or two people had negative feedback in the midst of positive, you could write them off as jerks, but if you read other posts here, you'll see that these folks are not jerks at all.

I get that it's a beautiful house, and I understand that you really don't want the kitchen to be a huge drawback - but it is. You've gotten lots of great suggestions on how to make it work for you - but it's going to take some work and some money to do it right.


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Hi Jonathan, it does look like a nice home, and if your builder friend says it actually is nice (i.e. great quality, beyond just looking nice in photos), it sounds good. If you love the home and it's reasonably priced, then absolutely buy it, I don't think anybody's saying otherwise.

But there are layout issues that make this kitchen impractical, and to me if you do nothing else the one thing you should do is move the cooktop off the island, because it's a safety issue as well as being impractical. As people have suggested, the microwave wall might be the best place for it. You could think of doing that as actually being four smallish projects:

(1) remove cooktop and microwave/wall oven from where they are;
(2) install cooktop and put a decent vent hood over it;
(3) install microwave and wall oven--you could probably just put the wall oven under the cooktop, and maybe the microwave could become an "under-counter" microwave in the island--this might require you buying a bit of cabinet facing or extra doors to match, to fill the spaces you've changed; and finally,
(4) replace the island counter and do whatever you need to do with the counter where the cooktop is moving--perhaps not too much depending on exactly where you position the cooktop.

But these are not expensive things to do; you can replace the counter very reasonably with formica or butcher block, and then you would just need to buy a vent hood, have some cabinet/counter/minor electrical work done to get the cooktop reinstalled, and probably get some matching pieces to fill in whatever "holes" in the cabinets you create. Your cabinets are a popular style and species and shouldn't be hard to match.

Of course if you felt like spending money you could also buy a new cooktop at the same time if you wanted, but you don't have to. Just doing those few things would solve most of the issues. Keep the fridge, keep the desk area--those are just fine, why fix what isn't broken?

So I certainly don't see it as a dealbreaker, and it's a lovely house--there are plenty of lovely houses with problematic kitchens. I just bought such a house myself, and unlike you I don't have any nice oak cabinets in the kitchen to make up for it. :)


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Home prices vary greatly by location. I see that you are in MO. I am in the DC-Metro area - and homes cost a lot more here than in MO...not b/c they're nicer, b/c the cost of living is so high here. Yes we have our fair share of McMansions - those large 4000 sq ft + homes, but mine is very definitely not one of those!

What I can tell you is that this home is much larger than mine and, I suspect if it were in this area, it would be going for $500K or more (maybe closer to $600K)

My home:

  • 2500sq ft - counting the basement

  • 2-car garage

  • 4 bedrooms
    • 3 of which are quite small (10x10, 12x10, 15x10)
    • Master BR is 17x15 with small 10'x4' walk-in closet - and no fireplace

  • 2.5 baths - none of which are those fancy "master bathrooms" you hear about

  • Kitchen (not eat-in), DR, FR, Small LR , Library/Computer Room (9'x10' - carved out of the LR)

My kitchen has no island b/c it's not big enough to support an island (I'm not sure about yours b/c I don't know the dimensions of the space).

We use our DR for all meals.


So you see, it is not a matter of my having a "million-dollar home" and comparing it to yours - in fact, a "million-dollar home" here would probably be a 500K home in your area. It's the undeniable fact that the kitchen is very dysfunctional - at any price-point! (In fact, it took us 13 years to save up to redo our kitchen! b/c we're not DIY people - at least not to that extreme! I wish we were - it would have been much cheaper and we could have had it years earlier!)

I appreciate that the kitchen looks nice, but it is not very functional for someone who cooks and for a family with small children. There are some people who value looks over functionality, but most of us here are "function-first" people. It is easy to make a functional kitchen look nice, but it's very difficult to make a nice-looking, dysfunctional kitchen functional.

BTW...The cost of remodeling a kitchen will also vary widely, depending on where you live and the state of your local economy.


Can you make the island longer, etc? I don't know. I'd have to see a measured layout to see what kind of space you're talking about. Dimensions and entry/exit points in the kitchen are key. It's not just the length of that island, though, it's also the depth. It needs to be much deeper.

With no seating, it should be at least 43.5" deep:

1.5" counter overhang + 24" deep cooktop cabinet + 18" behind the cooktop - I suggest putting 15" deep cabinets behind the cooktop cabinets to add a lot of additional storage.

With seating, add another 6" for 24" behind the cooktop for adequate safety of those seated there.

Here are a couple of threads from the "Read Me" thread that may help you understand where we're coming from. Also, see the "Read Me" thread (linked below).

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg010521247761.html
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0508230128712.html


Note that when you ask for opinions & help that we will give exactly that. And no, most of us don't pull punches just so you can get a "warm fuzzy". We have all worked long & hard on our kitchens from planning to implementation to the finishing touches (I'm still in the ABB Club - and probably will be for another 5 or 6 years until our kids all go to and get through college.) We're all very happy with our kitchens - both functionality and looks - and wewant everyone to feel the same way about theirs.

My kitchen was finished (All But the Backsplash) in June/July 2008 - I still do the "happy dance" in my kitchen once in a while- it is so wonderful to work in!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: New To Kitchens? Posting Pics? Read Me!


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I appreciate all your comments and suggestions. I wanted to correct the square footage of the home as zillow might be including the unfinished basement. They list it as 4100 but the finished space is in fact 2600. Still a nice sized home, but wanted to correct.


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

A former frequent poster named johnliu wrote:


http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/115/1/10

The scientists examined the records of all kitchen thermal burns that resulted in a child's visit to a statistical sample of 100 emergency departments nationwide, over a period of five years, 1997-2002. They looked at all cooking-related thermal injuries, excluding accidents where a child pulled on an electrical appliance's cord and was injured by the toaster, coffee maker, etc and/or its contents.

The main findings were:
- Scalds from hot liquid were the main cause of burns serious enough for an ER room visit (was 2/3rd of the cases), and are the dominant cause of hospitalizations.
- Burns from touching hot pots or other surfaces were less common (was 1/3rd of the cases), and seldom resulted in hospitalization. Most burns were from touching a hot pot.
- There were 7 total injury patterns: (1) reached up and pulled down pot from stove or other elevated surface; (2) grabbed, overturned, or spilled pot onto self; (3) collided with pot or with person holding pot; (4) put hands into pot; (5) pot contents splashed onto child; (6) other; and (7) unknown. (1) (2) and (5) were the most common, accounting for about 50% of all the injuries. (6) and (7) were less than 10%.

- Boys were more likely to climb up on counters and spill pots on themselves. Girls were more likely to have hot liquids splashed on them.

Note what was not a significant pattern of injury requiring a hospital visit: chidren touching a hot oven door, chidren holding their hands in a gas flame, children turning on a gas burner and blowing themselves up. I can't say these accidents never happen, but if they do, it is so rare as to not show up in the data.

Here's my take on this. Your concern for the safety of your children, both born and unborn, should have essentially nothing to do with what kind of range, cooktop, or wall oven you choose. Whether the pot is on a gas flame or an induction hob really makes no difference to your child's risk of being scalded or burned, whether the knobs are on the front or the top makes no difference, and whether the pan is in a range oven or a wall oven also makes no difference. It isn't the appliance! that is the threat to your child. They all do the same thing: get pots and pans, and their contents, very hot. The threat is the pots and pans and the food in them.

Take care to keep pots on the back burners, handles turned in. Have landing space to set hot pots away from counter edges. Design your kitchen so you don't have to criss-cross the room carrying pots of hot liquid (unlike a couple of kitchens recently discussed here). Supervise your children and watch where you're walking. That is what is important, not your appliance selection.

From a father whose two kids have reached 11 y/o and 14 y/o without any kitchen accidents, despite having grown up in some awfully dodgy kitchens!

Your daughter is the precise age and height to be severely burned. This is not a forum that buys in to too much paranoia about kids. We regularly tell people who buy ovens with hot doors (like a Bluestar) that if the kid touches it once, they'll learn to never touch it again. This is a far more serious danger.

Maybe the house is a good deal. Maybe it's right for you. The only thing that would make it absolutely wrong would be if you were opposed to making any changes to the kitchen at all. Then I would tell you to pass.

This post was edited by marcolo on Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 16:25


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

My house's tax value is $130,000 but I live in an area of fairly affordable homes. While my kitchen is brand new it is not large or fancy. It was layed out with a great deal of thought. We DIY everything because we can't afford to do otherwise.

I love houses and am always looking, IRL or on line, etc. As I mentioned before million dollar or high end homes have bad layouts too.

If you both really love the house then just fix the kitchen, not only to make it safer but to make it more user friendly. Since my remodel, I cook much more, so do my teenagers. I find clean up easier. We are all enjoying family time spent in the kitchen which didn't happen before.

Don't be offended if we say your kitchen has a bad layout. Candice Olsen, one of my fav designers has done some bad kitchens. Why? because she put form before function.

People get blinded by "stuff". Sometimes a view, or a fireplace, or high ceilings, whatever. Focus on the function of the entire house as its more important.

We all want to help everyone have the best kitchen that fits their needs, budget, and what limitations they may have.


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

Agree with the posters that the cooking area is dangerous. But I also am concerned about the windows that go to the floor. Are these at ground level? I would be very concerned about my kids tumbling through a screen if the lower sash was open. My oldest son did this when he was about nine. The goofy kid was sitting on the back of the couch (something he should not have done), leaned back and he went right through the screen onto the ground.


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

Yea, there are lots of concerns that people have pointed out and before we all did our kitchens we all lived with those imperfections. My only real biggie concern is one that has been mentioned and that is that there is NOWHERE to turn your pots on the island that little hands can't reach up to grab or knock the handles.

Frypan handles are even longer than normal, or handles of knives that are left on either side of your stovetop, those scenarios are just frightening. If you can just free up some money to fix that imperfection - yea the rest of the kitchen isn't perfect but like the rest of us you just live with it until a complete gut is in the budget.


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

I agree that the cooktop island safety issues are huge. However it seems to me that you could pretty easily rectify the safety issues by moving the island cabinets (plus a couple more) over to make a peninsula coming off the end of the sink/dishwasher run. With that wide walkway you could afford to add the amount of countertop behind the cooktop that would make that safe from little hands/faces/heads, and also without the island there, the peninsula could extend far enough to put a good sized stretch of countertop for work space on the end of it. Hopefully the wood floors were put down before the cabinetry was, so that the only thing you'd limit your costs to new counter tops, and a new cooktop (no way would I reinstall that one into a new countertop due to its likely age) and maybe a floor refinishing job. Perhaps you could negotiate these costs into a cash-back deal from the seller (do they do that anymore?).

I confess that I took a look at the full listing on the listing realtor's website, and I think it looks like a nice home, and I can see why you're exited about it. 13' ceilings in the basement would make an awesome rec room. Good luck with your house hunt.

Kris (a former Olathe-an with kin in your neck of the woods)


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

I've only been here a year, my remodel starts in 5 weeks. My home is about 1100 sf and worth about 220k. There are kitchens here that cost more than i make in a year. But the owners of even the highest end kitchens here that still post don't push for expensive upgrades or belittle my budget kitchen.

The amount of information I have learned here is amazing. One thing that is clear if you read enough is everyone has your best interests at heart. Facts are provided, at times rather bluntly, but never in a demeaning way. When opinions are asked for on matters of style, you do see more hedging, but still honest feedback.

If you want to see ideas, just try posting a layout thread and hold on to your hat! The amount of ideas tossed around here is amazing. What you see in this thread is just the big concerns. The daydreaming about your "perfect layout" has not yet started, that is not what you are looking for and that is not what has been offered.

I'm not one of the experts here, but feedback so consistent says a lot around here. This is not pie in the sky, this is both a safety and function concern.

If you opt to go with this house, come back with a layout on graph paper and the info requested in the stickied thread on posting for help. Include a general budget. You will get ideas consistent with what you want to spend.


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

I could find lots to quibble with in terms of aesthetics and function, but for me, the cooktop would be the dealbreaker.

That island is in just the right place to be used as a drop zone for just about every other function in the kitchen. It's relatively small and has a heat producing appliance on it. There is no guard on any side to prevent a kid from reaching up to grab a burner or a pot. There is nothing to prevent a kid who is running in from the other room to get a drink from catching a pan handle with their clumsy arms.

I think it's easy to say kids can be taught to not run in the house, not touch the cooktop or hot pans, etc. It's much harder to ensure 100% compliance. My kids don't always follow my rules, and while I believe in logical consequences for bad behavior, the consequences here are more than I would ever want my kids to bear.

Even if you were so cold as to only look at it from a $ perspective, one bad accident might cost more than it would to do *something* to alleviate that problem. And no one would look at it from just a $ perspective because the kiddos' welfare is most important.

I will be remodeling very soon. I know that the layout I have chosen will make some on this forum angsty for "what could have been." Sometimes we have to make compromises and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. But the compromise required by leaving that cooktop as is would be much too big for me.


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

Hi Jonathon & Meg,
We have a house that is about 2500 sq ft and just finished remodeling our kitchen which is about 11x17(I think). We didn't have room for an island.
I thought about having the cooktop on the peninsula but just couldn't do it. Venting was an issue as well as a few other issues.
Our city code requires a landing zone of 18 inches on either side of the cooktop. I had to sacrifice a few things to make this happen.

When I first posted on GW - I learned quickly that this group is blunt and honest with their thoughts and I sometimes warn newbies - if you are looking for a blessing of your kitchen - this is not the place to post. It is a place to get excellent feedback.

I also am a Physical Therapist who worked with kids for a zillion years. I saw the kids with severe burns from a variety of issues including hot water scalds from pots. These scalds can happen even in the best designed kitchens - especially if you leave the handle sticking out at all - curiosity - what is in the pot...

Your house looks like a great find and I think you will really enjoy your open layout. Because of the open layout - you can make changes relatively easily.

Here is what I would do. Your cabinets look like honey oak or maple (but maybe just the lighting). Find out if they are still available.

Move the refrigerator to the double oven location. You will lose one cabinet and you might need to add a pantry to the right of the fridge once in place (you can use that as a pantry cabinet. Also put in a deep cabinet over the fridge to "build it in" if you can find cabinets that work - otherwise re-use the old one over the fridge.

This puts your refrigerator closer to the sink area - so you can take things out and "prep" them.

Now - move your cooking area to the refrigerator area and rebuild the cabinets with either new or coordinating (not necessarily even the same cabinets - if you can't get the identical ones - coordinate but don't try to match - otherwise, it will look like you matched and failed).

I would use your lower oven and your cooktop in this spot. I don't think you have room for the upper oven - which might be a MW or a speed oven - I also can't see if it opens to the side or from the top- but draw it out and see. The oven and cooktop do not have to line up with each other - it may be possible but not required - I would try to have at least 18 inches on one side and 3-4+ feet on the other side of the cooktop.

Now for your MW/Speed Oven- If it is the 120 Advantium - you are in luck! You can move it to your current cooktop area and use as an undercounter oven. But I would replace it with a Sharp MW drawer. (I have an Advantium wall oven and LOVE it) but don't think I would like it under counter.

I say - if you love the house - Snag it! Make a few safety changes and enjoy.


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment and share your concern! If we purchase the home, we will turn the island cooktop to a prep island, and put a range in the wall oven area.

Jonathan is in love with the house, but I'm not at this point. It has great space for sure, but I'm still uncertain. I will say, all the golden oak (it's continued through the rest of the home) is a major deterant to me. Jonathan likes it and wouldn't want it painted over. Choosing colors just seems so much harder to me with that trim. If anyone has pictures of their 'golden oak home' - I'd love to look at pictures to get an idea of what it could be!


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

Just my 2 cents. You really need to sit down with your DH and share your concerns. If you don't like the oak, or anything else say so. For you both to be happy with this house, you need to be honest with each other.

If you decide to buy the house or any house with oak there is help here on gw. Many people have that colored oak and there are alot of threads here and on the decorating forum about how to deal with it.

There was one thread all about how to do a kitchen with oak cabinets.


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

Maria Killam has some ideas about working with oak cabinets here:
Coordinating with oak cabinets

And here are some ideas about working with oak trim. (number one recommendation: no pinky beiges. Pick paints like whites and creams with a yellow undertone. Lots of white.)

Of course being a paint person, her number one idea for oak cabs is painting them out, and although I like wood cabinets, for the ones we are keeping post-reno we are going to paint them out - my husband's idea.
White kitchen cabinets

I have the next step up from a starter home (duplex->condo->house). We have honey oak everywhere, and where we don't, the home owners stained pine to make it orangey like honey oak (think window frames, doors, stairs, vanities), just to let you know I am totally in this situation.

My husband and I are the opposite though - wherever he sees wood trim he wants to paint it white, and if we lived in a house with nicer wood I would want to keep it! I'm still trying to get him to go full on nostalgic and keep the knotty pine wainscoting in his mancave. On my side is the fact I told him he's on his own for painting it - he'll never get around to it.

In the rest of the house, the home owners pretty much wrecked the wood so instead of fighting over keeping it, we fight over who's going to get off their lazy butt to paint it! He does all the errands and cooking so it's usually me with the paintbrush.

That said, oak might be back!

Here is a link that might be useful: Looks like oak is back

This post was edited by robotropolis on Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 8:35


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RE: Kitchen layout of potential home

Here's a house in my area, full of oak cabinets and trim.

Here is a link that might be useful: house full of oak


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