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Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Posted by jams (My Page) on
Fri, May 2, 14 at 20:46

To all the wonderful people here on GW, please opine.

I have a preliminary layout (plan A, with the help from buehl and others)that I've been working with and started to get quotes for the kitchen. 2 places recommend that I should make my range hood the feature and centre it in the wall since the space is open concept. To be honest, I didn't think about this option since I had a great plan from the help of GW and it never occurred to me...but now it has me thinking. Can I have both?

I've tried to draw up my own elevation plans (I know, kind of ghetto but I'm not tech savy and working on the computer takes longer for me). Please let me know which plan you would choose, which feature you think is more important and is there a way to combine it.

Plan A - has nice space btwn the perimeter sink and range. But I imagine I will be working at the island for most of the time. My plan is to use the perimeter sink for cleaning pots and pans and to the left will be where plastics and such can dry off. It also has a 24" easy reach upper corner cabinet which I like.

Plan B- this is my own rendition of having the range hood centered. Should I have space btwn my cabinets and the hood? Do you think 26" is enough space for a secondary prep space btwn range and sink? I like the horizontal cabinet look. Do you think it looks ok to mix styles?

Plan C- I tried to get a larger sink on the perimeter while still keeping the range centered and keeping a fair space btwn the range and sink. How about glass cabs beside the hood and glass cabs to counter on the short "L" beside the fridge (plan F). Also is this look worth having a blind corner in the upper wall cabinets?

The differences btwn plan D and E are the horizontal cabs and a wall at the end of the run (in case I can't remove all of the wall. I just needed a visual)

I'd love to hear your opinions. Thanks

Jamie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

This is the elevation for the short side of the "L"


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Here is the overall layout of the main floor


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

By whose royal decree must a feature be centered? Most designers will tell you that not centering things makes for what's called "tension" and makes something more interesting to look at. It's important to have balance if you don't have reflective symmetry, and balance is harder to achieve, but your plan A was fine. The spacing is very rhythmic. It goes: and beat and Beat and. Perfect! You can reinforce the smaller beat of the sink area with decor, but the raised cabinet mimics the lines of the hood area and reinforces the design, which does the job nicely. Or you can add something to the backsplash behind the sink that picks up the intent of the hood.

In the other plans, the sink feels squished, and the rhythm is more: and uh BEAT and uh. Not nearly as pleasing, plus you lose the very useful zigzag flow with the island. Theoretically, it would be useful to center the range to be more protected by the island, but I think between its partial protection by the island in A, and the general embrace of the L to the right, you're fine.

I wasn't around for your design process. I'm seeing it for the first time, and I think A is your winner.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

I completely and totally agree with plllog. I would never have been able to use those words, but I nearly always prefer assymetrical balance over symmetry.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

I'm not sure I exactly understand why you feel Option A would be more functionally sound than Option C, but that is an important consideration. Aesthetically I like Option C more than Option A, mostly because I think the upper cabinet layout in Option A seems a bit random. Seems like others disagree though...


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

I would find options B and C more difficult to work in. The space between the cooktop and the sink isn't big enough for prepping food. I go for function over form every time and I would not center the range hood in your case. If the symmetry issue bothers you, and I can understand that because certain symmetry issues bug me a lot, I would just not have the range hood be a focal point, but have it blend in to the upper cabinetry instead.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Where are you planning on prepping?


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

GreenHaven and plllog, I agree that A is balanced and functional, hence I never thought of another design. But...DH and I like the look of the centered range a bit better.

Calumin, the reason why B and C aren't as functional as A is because the prep space btwn the perimeter sink and range is small

Crl and blfenton, I plan on prepping mostly at the island. Do you think 26"/27" is too small for a secondary prep space.

I've also been playing with another idea. What if I switched things around. Do you think having the sink in the right corner awkward to work at? But it does give me more prep space btwn perimeter sink and range. And if you can't tell, I really like the horizontal cabs. Can I have both types of cabinets? Anybody with a new preference for layouts.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

I am no expert at all, but I have read here that kitchen design people find that just about everyone ends up prepping in the space between the sink and the cooktop. No matter what they think they will do or plan and no matter how cramped that space is in comparison to other spaces in the kitchen. Since reading that I have tried to pay attention to what I do and I find it to be true. YMMV.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Of the three new elevations, I think G is the nicest looking, but in all of them, you're robbing the symmetry you're gaining from centering the hood with the tall cabinets at the end.

I'm surprised by Crl's info. Most people I know like prepping on an island because most that's most of cooking. They don't like facing walls. There are, indeed, people who want to chop with one hand and stir with the other. I try to avoid that. Every now and then, I'll say, "This needs another onion" and chop by the stove because I really can't turn my back, but that's rare.

My cooktop area and sink are separated by the width of a dishwasher. I keep the compost vase there, and sometimes a spoon rest, and it's where dishes get dumped. I do use it for cooking when I'm making stock. That's where I set up my straining station so that the yuck can go right in the sink. It's very efficient. Mostly, I prep on my island, just like my friends do. And I can start some onions or something and pivot back to the prep station, then give them a stir and pivot back. Interestingly, I always drain pasta or whatever at the prep sink even though it's technically a bit farther than the cleanup sink, and I have to lift the pot across the aisle.

Your elevations are really beautiful, but it would help to see layouts. It's hard to tell just how cramped that sink is in the corner.

The best way for you to decide on the functional layout, as I'm sure you know, is to analyze the way you cook, and mark out the distances, and pretend.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

I also don't prep much btwn my sink and my stove. I prep over my DW on the peninsula and turn 180 to the stove. However I have my spoon rest in that space and whatever is waiting to be cooked or added there. But my current kitchen is 9x10 (not including the Breakfast area) so there's not much room to begin with.

Plllog, I like G and H too. It's not completely symmetrical but I think there's still a balance. I'm just wondering if the sink feel claustrophobic. But I'm wondering if I feel that way anyways because I'm used to the window by the sink feel and any cabinets there feel claustrophobic. Do you think having the sink on the short ell is better? (But visually not as balanced)

I already walk around with the tape measure in hand, measuring my sink or my cabinets and visualising how large the prep sink or a single 27" sink feels or what I can put in 12"/18"/24" cabinets. Now I'll just have to stand by the corner of my kitchen where I have cabinets in front of me and to my right and feel my way through the sink by the edge scenario.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

I am not nearly as good as others here that have already chimed in, but in the overhead plan I noticed that your prep sink is 36"? Is this true? That seems really big to me for a prep sink, but maybe you want it that large?

Have you had an island with a main sink and dw before? Just asking because I thought that's what I really wanted and ended up changing that around and having a prep sink in the island and moving my main sink to the perimeter. This was based on suggestions here. I really analyzed how I could and used my space and realized I didn't want all my cleanup on the island. If I didn't get to something, sitting in the sink off to the side seemed less in the way, etc. just a thought. I'll let the gurus here do their magic. :)

Btw, my husband is really into symmetry, so we had our KD change things up a bit to make things symmetrical. Wouldn't have bothered me at all.

*edited to change one word

This post was edited by FamCook on Sun, May 4, 14 at 6:57


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Jams,

I can see some practicality to having the sink on the short run, but it puts your plan all out of balance in H. In that one, your hood might be centered but it could look off center just because of the balance issues.

A floorplan would really help.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Here is the layout of the kitchen using a modified plan G. Do you think the sink in the corner feels tight?

I have a 24" sink in the island, but I plan on using the island as my main prep and some of the cleaning, hence the DW in island. Dishes from lunch and dinner will get scraped off and put into the DW while someone else cleans the pots and pans on the larger perimeter sink. I'm pretty good at keeping the dirty dishes off the counter...it just the clean pots and pans and plastics from unloading the DW that sit in the dish rack. But I do try to put them away in the morning. I'm thinking to change to the tea towel camp and dry my pots and pans after washing so its just plastics I have to contend with.

I really do like the functionality of plan A, but would like a bit more symmetry if possible.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Here's the elevation of the modified G


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

This elevation looks a lot better than the previous. It has better balance. But I've lost track of why you moved the ovens away from the fridge and put the cleanup sink in the middle of your workpath. I have to be really frank because I'm just a stranger at the end of the wire: You're mucking up your beautiful plan! #C, for all its faults, would be significantly better. I know you like horizontal cabinets, but getting into the top one is a pain, and they're not helping the overall design.

That's neither here nor there, though. You've scrambled your workflow. It's very hard to ruin L with island. I don't think you'd be miserable with any of them. I do think that there will be serious inconveniences, though, and bad traffic patterns.

With the current plan you get your hood centered in the space (though not symmetrically), and your horizontal cupboards, but you lose so much!! #A was such a beautiful, graceful plan. I weep for it.

I think you're overthinking this. What you really really should do is get a big roll of craft paper or large cartons and make mockups of each door and appliance and the hood. You draw well and know how to measure (a big advantage!) so I know you can do it fairly easily. When you have them, tape them up. If you don't have the right sized room, see if you can use an all purpose room at a school, church or community center. But tape them up. And use cartons to make the island. And walk around in each configuration, with someone washing pots while you're making dinner, and someone making sandwiches, while you're loading the dishwasher, and you, alone, trying to get the baking finished and dinner on the table. Do all that stuff and take it seriously. Really go through all the steps. Don't speed it up. At least then, if you don't like it in the end, it won't be because you didn't do everything to get it right.

It's not me you have to please, but I sure wish you'd go back to #A. It's such a beautiful plan...


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

I have to agree with crl_ that no matter how much space I have on the island, I always end up prepping in the space between the sink and cooktop. Mostly because I can wash whatever it is, bring it into that space between, then chop it, dip it, bread it, whatever and then just put it in the pan on the cooktop. Then move back over and wash hands and clean up the space without ever having moved more than a couple of steps. I really love moving along the space with the sink, prep area and cooktop. IMO it's the most efficient way and keeps me from dripping on the floor while trying to take from the island to the cooktop. It just feels more natural. It's like the cockpit area and very ergonomic.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Gr8day, I hear you and crl about the prep space btw range and sink. I'm trying to get a bigger space there but still try to get the range hood centered if possible. Moving the ovens over was just thought and I'm just trying to work everything out.

Thanks Plllog for hanging in with me. I'm not trying to be petulant or purposefully stubborn but can you explain why this current layout is really dysfunctional? This is what I see so maybe you can explain to me what I'm missing. (I've attached a picture of where I'd store things)

I've got good distance from perimeter to island, my DW doesn't interfere with the stove or clean up sink, it's close to my dishes, I've got 35" btwn my clean up sink and my cooktop, I have 48" of prep space to the left of the island sink (incl overhang), oven is close to cooktop in case things needed to stay warm, glasses are by the fridge, breakfast stuff close to fridge and bowls, the snacks are purposely kept in the corner away from little snackers, coffee area is to the side, spices close to cooktop and baking stuff close to ovens. I come from a small kitchen so I don't have that much stuff and don't imagine using the upper shelves in the cabinets much.

As for work flo:
fridge to prep sink to cooktop and dirty dishes to clean up sink or DW, almost like a circle.

or fridge to perimeter sink (for a secondary prep or another cook) to cooktop and back to cleanup sink or DW.

Primary and secondary prep zones don't overlap but my secondary prep and cleanup zone is beside each other. But that would be the same in plan A. Another thing I see is that my prep sink and cooktop line up, but I have 48" (or 45" btwn counterto counter). I'm still mulling over the perimeter sink at the end, beside cabinets, sort of like a corner sink but not. However I think an angled sink would take up more space and reduce my island size.

Our habits in the house is to empty DW in the morning so no one is cooking or cleaning and emptying out the DW at the same time.

As for baking...I can only aspire to be more like you and trail runner with your KAW. Btw, what is it you do? It seems like you have a lot of people over quite frequently and I think you have a son whose a cook or maybe that was trail runner. Sorry I forget. But my baking is only baking ie I cannot make dinner and bake at the same time and its limited to cakes/cupcakes and cookies. Maybe throw in the occasional banana bread or muffin. So before I bake, I tidy up my dishes and sink then pull out my baking stuff.

Again thanks for your help and help me see what I'm missing.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Jams,

Thanks for the kind words. It's Trailrunner whose son is a chef, but I do entertain by the dozens. Family, mostly, and it would be more but some of the younger ones live out of town, and there's another group who have kind of spun off on their own. Sometimes, it's friends or an organization.

If you can make cupcakes you can bake almost anything. You don't need to want to, but don't get intimidated. Em...but if you want to make French macarons, make some Italian meringue cookies first and when you feel comfortable with the method, go on to the macarons. Everything else is just knowing your oven and following directions.

Your plan isn't dysfunctional. It will function. It's an L with island. And you're designing around your own, current way of doing things, which is fine, whereas we out here are trying to find what will work in most situations, while keeping in mind your preferences. But I do think there will be some inconveniences.

Perhaps some of it comes down to elbow room. My own kitchen plan isn't very different from your latest, except the oven stack is around the far side of the island forming a U. It's just enough bigger that the sink isn't all the way in the corner, and there's a good stretch of counter between the stove and oven. That, and my prep sink is narrow and on the far side of the island, and the DW is by the cleanup sink.

The really big difference, the one that really changes things, is that my hood isn't centered. I have a 60" module with the ovens and narrow cupboards on either side, a 48" window, the corner, 48" hood, small space, 48" garden window, small space, corner.

Aha! I've figured out what disturbed me so much about the work flow. I have a an undercounter drawer fridge in my prep area that has all the fridge stuff I need at the stove. The aromatic veg, "dried" shallots and jalapenos that have to be refrigerated, butter, wine, milk, and vegetables that I've bought to cook. I don't have people crossing my workpath to get to the big sink if I'm cooking and need a splash of milk. Add to that the fact that your workflow isn't really circular because it has that back and forth from island to sink for all the cookware that's going to be cleaned there. Plan A worked better because you didn't have to cross that clean up line to get from prep or cook to the fridge. It's not really a circle flow--it's an X!

Also, in my version, I have actual working room before the sink corner on both sides, and can use the corner. I use wet appliances there (soda stream, juicer, cuisineart, coffee pots, ice cream freezer). I also have space to put dirty dishes that are out of the flow of work. You had that when the cleanup sink was in the tail of the L. If you're making dinner, you don't want people dumping their snack dishes and abandoned mugs and glasses in your prep area. They have to walk into the work zone to put them in/by the cleanup sink, whereas in plan A, they can be left at the cleanup sink and transferred to the DW when you're back in dishes mode. Oh! I suppose they could still dump them there by the oven. You could put a dishpan on the counter to act as a bussing bin.

I also think the coffee bar as you've shown it is an inefficient use of space. If the fridge were on the end, if you needed more counter space, you could move the coffeemaker and coopt it. What if you want to do a cookie party? Or make tamales or a seafood boil, or need to lay out trays of dough beads? Having a separated space like that is fine in a big kitchen where there's going to be wasted space anyway, but it cuts down on utility in a normal sized kitchen like yours, and limits your options. And it looks kind of funny.

Which gets us to the visuals. Again, you're centering the hood to the room, but not to the kitchen. You're creating tension, but not really in a good way. My eye fights with the elevation, and wants to smack things around. I think it would look a lot better if the ovens switched with the coffee bar, giving the half foot to the other side for the coffee, and leaving the left of page counter empty. Then fix the rhythm by lowering the cabinet over the sink to a flush line. Then your centered hood would be a stand out feature instead of competing with the ovens and sink. By eliminating the accent of the raised cabinet over the sink, and not calling it out with anything but the faucet, you kind of subtract it from the line, and all emphasis goes to the hood.

That doesn't fix my issue with your sink, but it gives you the visual impact I think you're after, and if you consciously use the counter on the left, you'll find it useful. And the length there helps make up for the lack by the sink. Actually, though, I think at this point that plan C is the best for what you're after, since that gives you a more functional workspace in the stove to fridge region, and uncrosses the cleanup route.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining this well. As I said, however you do it won't be horrible. I'm just offering you my strong feelings about it either so you'll see something in it that you need to consider, or so you'll be able to push back against it and decide that you're really on the right track for what you want.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Plllog,
I am truly grateful for your help. I think I'm understanding your crossing path business with the clean up sink and DW. I've always lived in a small one-butt kitchen so when we have multiple people, we're always crossing and bumping and have really gotten used to it. I'm also used to the DW across from my stove, and turn around and put it away...so it never crossed my mind. And with 2 little ones around, they're always in my path. But they're starting to get bigger so I try to enjoy the time they're still with me.

I'm going to digest what you've written and see what bothers me most and plan around that. Then see what I can live with. However so far the vote here is 3-3 for plan G (DH, sister in law and mom). My mom brings up a good point for moving the ovens to the cooktop wall -- that aisle is probably the most used aisle to get into the kitchen proper and Its better to not have the oven there. As for little snackers and their plates and cups, they can place it beside the prep sink before loading into dishwasher...and when they get older, place it directly into the DW. And my parents house had the sink at the end with a dish rack in the corner and my SIL has a corner sink so they're ok with the sink location. I guess because we've seen it, done that and gotten used to it, it's doesn't seem as inconvenient for us.

But, I will play through all my scenarios with both plans and see which one works better for my family as we don't have plans to sell for a long time.

I think its the idea of spending such a large amount on renovations that I dont want to make a mistake or have regrets so I keep thinking and thinking. Again a big thank you to you plllog!!!

Anyone else want to weigh in which layout they'd prefer and why or why not. I've got some time to mull over my layout. Looking forward to AND dreading the "design" part. I may need some more handholding then :$


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

You're very welcome!

The point about putting dirty things by the prep sink/DW is that you don't want that happening during dinner prep. Your little ones will be big ones! Have you ever had a study posse of teenagers blow through your kitchen after practice? It's like locusts! As it is, and unavoidably, the most convenient place to put their detritus is by your prep sink. If you're working there, and they're good kids who actually notice (plenty of good kids wouldn't), they could easily drop their stuff on the left side of the kitchen--especially if you loudly assert that they are not to dump milky glasses and apple cores in the middle of your mirapoix.

Your mom is right about the path and the ovens, but I thought we were prioritizing looks here? If it so happens that getting something in or out of an oven blocks the path to the fridge for a moment, so be it. Again, teens might be rude about it, being teens, but it's not a big deal. Functionally, it's fine on the left of page. Ovens can be really out of the way and work fine, and your kitchen isn't so big that either one is going to be too far for shifts between stove and oven. I just think you're diluting the visual impact of centering the hood too much.

If you're going to make a design statement, you have to make it really clearly. As soon as you add clutter you have a jumble. Imagine a page in a newsletter or paper with a bunch of business card ads and eighth page and quarter page ads. Then imagine a full page ad. It has a unity of design, and a wholeness, whereas the other has a whole bunch of subsidiary designs. If you really want to feature the hood, you have to back it up by designing around it, or it's just shouting in a crowd.

Re teens, also remember that they'll be setting the table (hopefully before they're teens!) and helping with cleanup and cooking. Lots of crisscross traffic to come. Another reason to put the dish storage and cleanup sink on the left and out of the way of the food work.

Really, truly, mock it up full size, paying attention to the lines of the cabinets, not just the locations. That's why I suggested craft paper. It's a lot of bother, but it really helps to see what things are like in real life.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Plllog,

I've already taped out my future kitchen and moved the sofa for the island and chairs for the perimeter cabinets. Will test run it for a while. I have to say all my friends have different opinions about the layout but most prefer to have the oven away from the fridge? And it's that specific reason they would choose plan G. Have you heard of this bias before? Can we lay plan A out without the ovens by the fridge? Thanks again


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Excellent on taping out the layout!! I hope you also taped up, or will do, a "hood" and uppers. One of our members did that years ago when she was trying to decide where to put it and it made a huge difference.

There's an old bias from the middle of the 20th century, and before, not to put the oven near the fridge because the heat from the oven would make the fridge work hard, or previously, melt the ice in the icebox. Additionally, it's not nice to have the stove (cooktop) right by the fridge or any wall because it cramps your handles, elbows, etc. It has definitely become an embedded cultural trope.

Today's ovens are well insulated. Between that and the cabinetry, there shouldn't be any side heat warming your fridge, which, itself, is very well insulated. Warm air will be blown into the room to cool the electronics of the ovens, but it shouldn't be an issue. There are no warnings from manufacturers to separate them, and there would be weasel words (lawsuit preventers) if this were a problem.

The big issue with putting them next to each other is if the fridge door swings to cover the oven. I don't think we talked about swing. I would put the fridge opening toward the eating area, because it's more convenient for taking out armloads of the stuff that gets put on the table (condiments, pickles, drinks, salads, etc.), where as stuff for prep gets put on the island, which is the same either way. The biggest problem I foresee would be a gigantabird that you want to clean in the big sink, if that sink is going in the corner, because you wouldn't be able to just shovel it over.

If you'd prefer to have the door swing away from the kitchen, then you have to be sure that there's enough swing room. My Advantium is right next to my fridge. The fridge opens really wide, but the oven handle is angled. I assume it's just for this reason. If your handles aren't angled, you can either put a stop to prevent the fridge door from opening too far, or put a spacer between the two so they don't bang. The issue is not putting dings in your fridge door.

Having the door swing across the ovens also means that you have to be careful to fully close the oven before opening the fridge, which isn't usually a problem, but could be with competing kids. Train them while they're young to be aware of can't open the fridge when the oven's open, and when they're older it shouldn't be an issue.

If any of this makes you uncomfortable, that would be a reason for moving the ovens, but you really will be upsetting the visual impact you're trying so hard to achieve. There's no one better than Buehl for a well working layout. If there were a functional issue with the one you and she developed, I promise you, it would have been fixed.

What we've been working on here is taking what to my (experienced) eye, and Buehl's excellence, looks like an optimal layout and adapting it to your desire to make the kitchen fit a different aesthetic. Putting aesthetics first is not a bad choice. None of your options will be awful. The worst is that big sink in the corner, and, as you have already experienced in other kitchens, it can be lived with and worked around. There's nothing in G that makes me say, "That kitchen makes me want to rip it out," which I really have said many times in the last five years. I'm seriously blunt when people are going seriously wrong (though recently I did it because I didn't absorb a prep sink that was in the words but not the plan, and I thought she was specifically trying to make it work with a barrier island and no prep sink--my bad.)

You're not in that situation here. Whatever you do will be good enough. I just think, equally bluntly, that if you're going to sacrifice optimal function for looks, you'd better optimize looks, or you're just getting middlin' everything. Nothing really great. Nothing really horrible. But who wants to go through all this for meh?


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

I can hardly follow plllog's excellent summation but I will throw in a plebian observation. Your sink is waaaay to tight to the corner in that last elevation. You seem to have your heart set on form over function, which is not necessarily a criticism. If you want a centered hood you must accept some loss of function but the choice is entirely yours to make.

It would seem a great shame, however, for you to invest so much energy, time and money into a space that looks the best but does not perform to maximum potential.

When I was getting my education in landscape design we spent a lot of time discussing how you can make something look so great on paper, but you can't make plants do what they were not meant to do, so shade plants belong in shade and cold-intolerant plants belong in the south, no matter how much we might wish it were not so.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Plllog and greenhaven, I'm listening but seeing if I can get both function and a focal point. How about this new layout? I've put a door into the mudroom, moved the perimeter sink closer to the windows and not have the ovens beside the fridge. However, I've lost some cabinets in
both the kitchen and mudroom. I see some good functionality to having the kitchen connected to the mudroom. Do you think this layout is worth losing some cabinets?


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Yes, of course you can have function and looks! It's just that you were compromising on both. Since you're designing the kitchen around the centered hood, I say go for it the whole way!

It seems like you have less counterspace in this plan, but unless you're a spreader, you can get away with it. The corner wasn't that useful anyway.

The door looks useful, but it increases the traffic through the kitchen. It makes bringing in groceries easier, though, if the mudroom is the entrance from the car, and that's a very good thing. The door looks a little narrow, though. It's most useful if it's big enough to get through with your arms spread around a couple of big bags of stuff.

Hmmm.... groceries brought in the mudroom without the door have to be carried past the powder room, around the wall, and dumped on the solid side of the island. Groceries brought in through the mudroom have to be carried through the aisle to the back or far side of the island after the first bag or two next to the sink and stove. Maybe not such a huge gain. Unless you just dump them on the floor by the door.

Teens come thundering in from sports, with mud and gear and head straight for the fridge without stopping while you're trying to finish dinner. If they have to walk through the mudroom to get there, maybe they'll stop and put their things up first.

At the very least, put a lock on the kitchen side of the mudroom door. :) It'll save you retrofitting later. :)

As to the ovens, whatever makes you feel better is good, but ovens in a doorway are worse thought of than ovens next to a fridge. It works fine. Either way you have to close the ovens for people to pass.

Other than the intrusions through the mudroom (I was serious about the lock!), the flow looks fine. Nothing is cramped. But I'm still concerned that your hood won't look centered with the oven stack intruding. It's probably less obvious on the right because of the L's corner, nevertheless it isn't balanced. How does the elevation look?

In this plan, I don't think you've compromised function anywhere. I think you'll have more congress between the pot sink and the sink with the DW than you intend, but it should work fine. You have a good secondary prep area for when the kids start to help, and a number of possible work stations. The counter by the fridge is now wide enough to be useful and less cave-ish.

Do you have any secondary storage, like in the garage, basement (if there is one), tops of closets? You might miss what you've taken out for the door, but the door does look really useful. If you have someplace you can move pantry items and things you rarely use, and non kitchen things, you should have enough storage for daily life. Is the wall of the powder room and kitchen L part of a hall, or open to a great room? If the latter, can you put a pantry on it? You can decorate it to look great roomy rather than kitcheny.

Just remember that as the kids grow, so do the size and number of their things..


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Ok, one more layout.

I moved the ovens to the end of the run, have 39" clearance by the mudroom door, I could take more from the cabinets beside the fridge but would prefer not to if I don't need to. The hallway by the powder room and closet is 39" so I think it should be ok.

What about a window seat? Do you know how deep it has to be for it to be a seat? Currently the window bump out goes out about 11". Maybe it should be called a window perch instead.

Where would you put the dishes? I was thinkng the cabinets to the right of the hood and spices btwn hood and sink. Or should it be reversed?

Thanks again plllog for all your help. I'll post the elevation picture in the next post.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

I forgot to say I do have a basement cold cellar and a second fridge there. It would be nicer to have more storage but as I see it, I think opening to the mudroom gives me some functionality that in my "vision" works well. For example keeping the mail sorted in a cabinet, shelf in the mudroom, the broom closet being more accessible, and hiding my calendar in the back side of the fridge.

However your idea of having some sort of pantry built on the powder room wall is intriguing. But I'm not sure if it should be "furniture" style like a tall hutch or built in all the way to the ceiling as a continuation of the kitchen cabinets. There are also light switches on that wall close to the powder room side.


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RE: Form vs function. Which layout would you choose

Jams, I think this is the one. :)

My only quibble is that the raised cabinet over the sink interrupts the line. It was good, visually, in plan #A because it balanced the offset hood. Here it is a distraction. But it's also practical, because it's over a sink! You plan to wash pots in that sink and who knows what else, and that might make it nicer. That's something you can mock up to know for sure. A lot of European kitchens have the line straight across and it works just fine. I wouldn't want that for prep, but it might unnoticeable for cleanup. You'll have to figure that out for yourself.

The rest of the plan looks pretty good. I think you might need a spacer between your oven and the wall, though. Or maybe I'm actually seeing one there?

I totally agree about the utility of the door there. If 34" is what fits, so be it. I moved and widened my dining room door in my remodel, partly because one couldn't walk straight through a 32" door holding a big tray of plates of soup. Even two inches is better. :) And sometimes you just handle what you get. The 39" hard aisle is fine.

Oh, crap. No it's not. You have drop door ovens. That's going to be tight and awkward. Try measuring it out at a showroom with your model oven and see.

Are you sure you don't want the ovens on the fridge wall? You could put a foot wide pantry pullout between them so there wouldn't be any issue of your friends not liking the oven by the fridge, nor any problem of the doors hitting. You could also swap the placement if you wanted the fridge to the outside for better access. And use the corner where the ovens are now for the coffee, et al.

Regarding pantries, moving light switches is pretty easy. 2x4's and drywall are noticeably cheaper, by and large, than cabinetry. Large furniture is hard to sell, so tends to be cheaper, so if you're at all into antiques, you could find a big old armoire or china cabinet or something that might make an awesome pantry against that short wall for a very good price.

You also said you love horizontal cabinets. They don't really work in the kitchen proper because of all the lines, but you could do a whole wall of them here, either to match your kitchen or the rest of the room. I've seen great applications of this. You could even make it into an art thing using the doors.

Pantries are better shallower than deeper. I have 18" deep, with full extension rollout tray shelves in the bottom half, which are great, but even 12" deep is good. I also have 6" deep "stemware" cabinets (also for tumblers, teacups and mugs, plus sugar bowls, pretty ramekins and the like) that could easily be a can pantry for someone else.

Given your basement, it's not as essential, but it's something to think about while you're remodeling.

Re dishes, I'd put them in the vicinity of the big sink. That's also near the dishwasher, and handy to the eating area. If you have multiple sets of dishes that don't all fit there, I suggest putting the less used ones away from the kitchen, perhaps even in above said pantry.

The area by the prep sink called "C prep" is part of the sink cupboard? Or is it drawers for your prep tools? I hope it's the latter. :) In general, there isn't a ton of storage in your kitchen, but it looks like there's plenty of room for everyday dishes and serveware, pots and pans, including baking, utensils and staples. I assume the area at the back of the island is one of those crawl under the counter cabinets for less used pitchers and vases and stuff...


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