Return to the Kitchens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is better?

Posted by new_morning (My Page) on
Wed, May 29, 13 at 23:26

Hi all! Newbie, first-time poster here. First of all, I've learned SO much about appliances and design from you experts out there since I discovered GW this past month, so thank you. I was hoping to get some valuable feedback as the time draws near for us to start our own kitchen renovations!! Here are some things about my family/home that might help you discern which layout would be the better of the two.

A little about me/my family:
-We have 3 young kids, and plan to have more. So the need for a larger kitchen with more counter space is inevitable (it's constantly a disaster zone, as is).
-I'm the sole cook, DH is the dishwasher. But when we have family in town (quite often), we may have multiple cooks in the kitchen (which does NOT work, as is.)
-Kids are constantly running thru the kitchen; usually i'm okay with that. They love to help cook, and will moreso as they get older.
-We entertain a lot. Large family, big parties.

A little about the home:
-1979 two story, traditional, limestone. Can feel the charm/age of the home, even with recent renovations (hardwood floors, knocking down walls). So traditional/transitional style, but with constraints of the original build/layout. Think white trim, plantation shutters, limestone fireplace, rocking chairs on front porch kind of house.
-8 foot ceilings everywhere.

After looking at several layout options for redesigning a kitchen, we're going back n forth on these two drawings (and boy, are they different!) Here they are:

 photo Option_A_zps43888a94.jpg

Option B photo Option_B_zps625497c9.jpg

-Front door entry is on bottom
-Entry from right (by w/d) is garage
-Entry on top (back of house) is currently a sliding door to a large backyard pool and patio.
-Entry to left is a large multi-purpose, piano/music room. (previous owner built this extension as a dining room, but devoting so much space to dining wasn't as functional to us). Notice the weird way they built the extending doorway in the corner - too bad! We can't build cabinetry up to the doorway, so wasted space.

Finally, here are my thoughts regarding the two options:

Option A: open kitchen to living area. This is great for mingling, but two negatives (IMO) are 1) you can see the kitchen from the front entry, and 2) closes the space somewhat with an island. Still open, but feels a bit smaller than it currently is. I've read the threads on open v. closed kitchens, and I'm all for an open kitchen in a newer build, but it seems a little 'off' to me in our home, since we have neither soaring ceilings (8') nor much depth from the front door clear to the back door (25'). Of course, exposing the messy clutter is also an issue, but maybe I will have to learn to keep it tidy... or just have to get used to seeing my kitchen (including stove/hood, sink) from my front door entry. It is nice to have all the natural lighting throughout the kitchen in Option A.

Option B: Kitchen is hidden away from the front entry (can build a door immediately to the left of the entry). Altho kitchen is now even closer to the front. I have my own prep area and DH can have his own DW station. We lose our existing dining room though, and would basically flip the dining table to the top right (by pool entry), which would probably also get covered with clutter... but better than island of clutter? The island clearance on both sides is drawn at 3' which is too narrow, from what I've read. I might have to cut back the island to a 2' prep area (behind dishwasher), and keep 3' at the top end for sitting/chatting/homework (L shape). Is it still too tight, or not worth it to have an island? But w/o the island prep sink, I think a 9' hike from sink to stove is just too far. Note: On option B, we could potentially flip the bkfst area and kitchen, so the table would be closer to the front door, and kitchen north of the bkfst table. Not sure if it'd be better to have the breakfast table as is, in line with the dining, divided by passthru (good for adults/kids table when entertaining, more sunlight, bad for weaving around to get to piano room), or closer to the front door, so kitchen is further from front entry?

SO, if you've actually read this far...
1) Which option is better, overall? Which makes better use of space? Which is better for our growing family?
2) Which layout is better for resale? We are not planning to leave anytime soon, but if we ever have to sell, we don't want a buyer to say, "What the heck were they thinking!?" Obviously, both of these require major reconstruction, and once it's done, it's done. We want it to really be worth the time and investment.

Any and all input is very welcome! Of course, there are many variations regarding these two options, too. Thanks in advance for helping out this mom, who is very excited (and nervous) to get this going!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

I don't necessarily love everything about it, but VASTLY prefer option A for these reasons:
-Keeps the kitchen close to the garage entry for schlepping in groceries
-Integrates the kitchen into the primary living space
-Allows for monitoring of outdoor pool/patio activity while working in the kitchen
-the kitchen dimensions in B seem tight, and the location feels somewhat closed off to me


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

I prefer A for the same reasons as Melissa.

No matter what in each you see it from the front door, except in option B you have pretty much a full view.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

I will add it seems odd to me in option A to have the breakfast area right next to the dining room - are you set on that? If not, potential changes I would consider:
-Turn desk area into a beverage center to service family room / folks coming in from outside / breakfast area
-Slide kitchen down into current breakfast area, and put the breakfast area near that back patio door


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Part of it depends on where you live.

If you spend a good part of the year with the pool covered, I am not sure I would feature it prominently outside a glass wall as in plan B.

If it is in use and provides a nice view most of the year I would not want to have it hidden from view behind a wall forming the back of the kitchen as in plan A.

If it's constantly a disaster area, I would not want it to be on constant view from the living area as in plan A. A pile of stuff around the clean up sink is not my ideal view from the LR.

I think how many steps there are from the garage it is a very poor primary decision point about where to put the kitchen. I would never compromise a view out of the house or a connection to the outside because I had to take more steps with some bags of groceries. If both a view and a good floorplan can be achieved with the shortest trip to the garage, fine. But if not I would walk a few extra steps carrying something to preserve a view or connection to the outside.

I don't love B whole heartedly. I would try a version that slid kitchen B to the back of the house into the breakfast area in B and pantry area in B and put the breakfast area up front.

I would also try a B variation with a pocket door adjacent to the entry.

But I think A is going to feel like you walk into a giant kitchen with a sofa in front of it, not a LR.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Is there any way to get the kitchen into the top left area... Where the breakfast table is in option a, then put the breakfast nook to the right and dining room at the front of the home. Then the kitchen is closed from sight as you enter the front, but you have a great view of the backyard and supervising. I would put breakfast nook in top right and keep a beverage bar there like you have drawn for the dining room when it is there. Good luck! Lots to figure out.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

In plan A, I think you have too much space devoted to different eating places. It seems as if you have thrown all of the current fave dining options into one relatively open space.

I suggest you think through which the choices are most important to your family and do some editing.

A couple of notes on Plan B:

I think the pantry position is not optimal. I'd have it open more directly to the cook's working space.

And if you opt for having your main dining room along the sliders to the pool, will you be OK having having wet kids race in and out of it all day long?

Also for such a large space, I don't see any downstairs powder room. That's an important thing to add; perhaps it's just not in the portion you have drawn.

With three young children (and more planned) it may feel like all your waking hours revolve around feeding, but well-fed kids grow up very quickly and then I think you would find it useful to have more separation in your non-food public spaces: in addtion to a "family room" a living or sitting room may seem necessary.

I got a kick out of your description of your house's age (1979) and how it shows its "charm/age". Aside from making me feel old as Methuselah since I was born decades before 1979, it amused me because I live in a house that's 125+ years older than yours and that's exactly what we say when faced with unalterable, often maddening, design constraints.

HTH

L.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Hi, New Morning.

Plan A is a giant no-starter for me. Your living room would always be visually cluttered and noisy, and physically significantly smaller for furniture arrangement. 90% of family living would take place right there. In that room. The passage to and from the back yard, even, stays in that room.

You really need to find a way to use your entire main floor square footage for your big-family living.

How often would you use the dining room. If it's a whole lot, why a breakfast table right next to it? If not all the time, couldn't that space be used better? I'm sure there's a way to use your square footage to seat 5 now to 20 both more efficiently and still graciously.

Plan B: You're already 5 and your plans for more mean that breakfast area will be inadequate in short order. As designed, that area has to serve traffic and dining. You're going to be unhappy with it.

Regarding placement, I like the kitchen in the front, but is it okay not to be able to monitor the pool area while you're busy there?

What I like about this is the large room created, which allows a lot of flexibility of use, thus allowing it to live large, as well as feel large.

Question for both plans: Why does that vertical wall jog left in both plans after clearing the stairs so that the breakfast area is narrower? That seems an unnecessary constraint to your various options.

One thing I'd be interested in exploring would be creating: A circular traffic flow around the stair well, using all these areas for noncooking family activities, and out to the pool. WITHOUT the kitchen being in the main flow because it's shifted to the right, and traffic flows past its left end. As you know very well, children love to run in circles, and adult groups also circulate naturally when allowed.

You have a laundry room (yes, you need one, but) and apparently other utility area on the garage side? It might not be the best answer, but have you at least considered reorganizing those to shift the kitchen to that side, taking some of that space?

This would still place most of the kitchen behind the living room, but there are ways to open a kitchen discretely to a living room for communication without without exposing all the mess, letting any view sweep right on through and out the back window for instance, if you wished. The front entry view would not be through the kitchen. NO stools in the living room. Instead maybe 3 on a short L that divided the kitchen from either a dining or family/sitting area to the left, where the breakfast room is now? This would shift a bit more space to actual living, but with a large family noisily engaged in a variety of activities, that seems a good thing.

Or if that just wouldn't work, could you do the same kitchen-shift thing to the left, using the piano room and moving that quiet function elsewhere? All these notions are based on family growth which plan B would meet in a limited manner, but maybe you could do even better?


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

About the breakfast area and din rm - would work well as your family grows and you said you entertain extended family. We always ended up having a "kid" table and this would keep them close and part of holiday dinners. I also wouldn't want a dining rm table overlooking a covered pool. In our area 3 months is max for pool use. Is there a need for the bar stools with 2 dining areas?


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Although in my own (informal) house I would do option A, for you I like option C - flipping or eliminating breakfast nook and putting kitchen near the back. With lots of kids I personally would love to be able to monitor the back yard.

For me option A would work because I hate, hate hate feeling trapped in the kitchen away from the action.

For option C -- what if you put a peninsula with prep area facing the back window, but leaving a travel space behind it to get to family room, then take the kitchen down almost all the way to the front? Is there any way to move that piano room doorway?


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Or, what about option D, where you keep most of the layout of Option A, but instead of a low island/peninsula, you do a more formal arched passthrough with nice cabinetry to maintain the separation? You don't really need the seating of the peninsula if you have the breakfast area...

This is one of my inspiration pictures:


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

None of the above They all have their flaws. The primary flaw is too many places to eat. Better to have 1 casual and one formal, than it is 3 places that don't work well for any of the functions. Plus there is the issue of the view from the entry. I think some of that could be solved by putting in some walls and creating an entry though. It will vastly improve the home to have a welcoming and gracious separate area that doesn't dump you right into the family living space.

Post a measured drawing of the space that exists NOW.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

I agree with most of the other posts that option A is much better but I would close off the door in the breakfast room and flip the kitchen and the breakfast room. You would still have room for an island and it would be much more functional when you are eating in your dining room. Good luck!


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

You've got some good feedback here. Also agree to flip the kitchen and breakfast room in Option A and to create more of a separation/entry space for the front door. I love having a kitchen with windows facing the backyard which is great for supervising children. If there is clutter/noise, think about pocket or french doors that would allow the flexibility to expand/restrict the flow from room to room as your needs evolve.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Option A seems to have more potential imo.

With your present and potential family size, and the frequent big family gatherings, I think you need 2 of everything. A smaller pantry in the breakfast area for anything you need in that area, and another larger one for anything you need while cooking in the kitchen might be considered. Maybe desk can be eliminated for that 2nd pantry and fridge can be placed next to it, if you'll have another fridge for beverages, drinks etc. in the wet bar.

If you move fridge to desk wall then you can have a prep sink + trash on cooktop counter (maybe move cooktop to the left). You can move the DW and cleanup sink+ trash to the left near the breakfast area both to hide the clutter and be near to all eating areas Maybe get or reserve a place for a 2nd DW.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Wow, such great feedback... but not sure what do with it all! I will do my best to address everyone. Looks like an existing picture and the adjacent piano room might be helpful. Greendesigns - here it is!

Existing photo Existing_zps3b181a8d.jpg

-the powder room is opposite the laundry, and that narrow hallway is <10' to the garage, so nothing going on that way.
-the existing kitchen is partly viewable from the front entry (don't like it as is). But you can see the dotted lines where we took down walls a couple years ago, also a wall on the left side of the LR enclosed that space.
-Kitchen is seriously lacking counter space and cooking prep space (that peninsula holds the DW, and is usually covered with clutter.) The L-shape to the left of the stove has upper/lower cabs, and a lot of appliances on the counter, so not much workspace.
-that small space next to the REF is covered with our mail/bags/junk.
-the "butlers" room is an overflow of my kitchen, and holds my periphery kitchen appliances, pantry items and platters. It is wasted space, and is currently a pass through to the piano room, and on down to the gameroom.
-the piano room feels big, due to the 10' ceilings and lots of windows. It serves as a nice music room b/c of the ceilings, and I was originally thinking (when family is bigger) we could put a big dining room table in there near the french doors.
-Not sure if we could give up the music room for the kitchen! Or if that would be a wise option. (we love cooking, but we love music, too :). I haven't thought through that option yet. As it exists, there's nothing in there but the baby grand, and the little kids run circles around there and dance to music, and use it as a passthru to the gameroom... but when they get older, will they need that room "set aside" for practicing?

Melissa, Lyfia, & Momto3 - thanks for the tips about groceries & pool watching, sometimes the little things matter. You can now see the existing plans - the bkfst area is right where you suggested! We do love that area to sit. It makes for a small kitchen though, since we can't push it far left due to the butlers - corner entry. We can push it left, but not far left enough out of view from the front entry. I tried drawing something like that (exactly what i wanted, initially!) but pushing the stove/sink/fridge left made an island for prep work on the right side less relevant.

Palimpsest - we live in TX, so pool is open May - Oct. GREAT points made, and I agree that the LR will feel much smaller.

Liriodendron - also tons of great insight, thanks. I have thought about pool traffic, and was thinking of putting a single door/pass through all the way to the right, and putting dining table slightly left of that, with just windows above. I know, 1979 is really not that old - sorry about that!! But given your 'experience,' I would love to get your opinion in particular about the flow of the house - and whether it would be a good/bad idea to move the kitchen to the piano room (and where would the piano go, and what function would the other rooms serve?) I have much to learn about a growing family.

Rosie - thanks for all your great input. The wall does not have to jog left, you're correct. We could definitely move it over, and if we did so, how much space do you think we need to accommodate kids and traffic? Or is the corner spot just asking for trouble? Also, I think putting the laundry in another spot is doable, but that's only for expanding the kitchen further right, which may not be necessary (i think we have enough space, if we chose to go the 'open messy kitchen' route). Your final comments jump started my thoughts about the piano room, and including it in the existing drawing. I'd also love to hear your opinions about the use of that space!


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

So, who plays the piano - the adults or the kids?

If it's the adults, then the "piano room" is ideal for an adult focused sitting room. If it's prinarily the kids, then make that room the family room and dress up the room in the main block of the house as the living room. if the kids practice on the piano, but it's regularly used by the adults, then it's still adult-oriented.

Once you know which room is primarily "kids world", you'll have a way to think about where to anchor your kitchen and eating functions.

Renew my question: where's the downstairs powder room? Gotta have one in a house that size and to keep kids from peeing in the pool.

Are you someone who likes the intellectual challenge of thinking about how you use your space (and how it can be used more effectively to enhance your family's life in it )vs simple room uses and decor issues?

If yes, then I recommend getting a copy of Alexander's A Pattern for Living Great book on house arrangements. Articulates the best ones from cross cultural study and more importantly why the recommendations work to support human beings' private life within their spaces. No pretty pictures, just short chapters that each deal with one principle and how it relates to others. From big picture things like siting a house (already done for you, but thinking about it will enhance your design intuition) to how high the window sills should be. And much about how to mesh kids' world and adult's world and define spaces within a building. I have two copies, because one is almost constantly out on loan. It's the book I have the hardest time getting back from friends.

The book is a good part of the intellectual underpining for the much more well- known Susan Susanka of the Not So Big House fame. Without any glossy pics, Alexander's book is very thought provoking. Get it from your library to see if it resonates with you. The first sections have to do with community and neighborhood design principles, so do not focus on individual houses, but it's worth it to go through them to "get" the mechanics of how the book and its ideas are organized. Topics are inter-related and cross-referenced, but even just cherry picking from one little chapter to the other is useful.

If you're using an architect, he'll recognize Alexander's work and ideas.

HTH

L.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Edited to correct wrong title in recommended book below. Sorry, and Thanks to Melissa 99 for querying me on it so I could correct it. L

So, who plays the piano - the adults or the kids?

If it's the adults, then the "piano room" is ideal for an adult focused sitting room. If it's prinarily the kids, then make that room the family room and dress up the room in the main block of the house as the living room. if the kids practice on the piano, but it's regularly used by the adults, then it's still adult-oriented.

Renew my question: where's the downstairs powder room? Gotta have one in a house that size and to keep kids from peeing in the pool.

Are you someone who likes the intellectual challenge of thinking about how you use your space (and how it can be used more effectively to enhance your family's life in it )vs simple arrangement and decor issues)?

If yes, then I recommend getting a copy of Alexander's A Pattern for Living A Pattern Language .Great book on house arrangements. Articulates the best ones from cross cultural study and more importantly why the recommendations work to support human beings' private life within their spaces. No pretty pictures, just short chapters that each deal with one principle and how it relates to others. From big picture things like siting a house (already done for you, but thinking about it will enhance your design intuition) to how high the window sills should be. And much about how to mesh kids' world and adult's world and define spaces within a building. I have two copies, because one is almost constantly out on loan. It's the book I have the hardest time getting back from borrowers.

The book is a good part of the intellectual underpining for the much more well- known Susan Susanka of the Not So Big House fame. Without any glossy pics, Alexander's book is very thought provoking. Get it from your library to see if it resonates with you. The first sections have to do with community and neighborhood design principles, so not focus on an individual houses, but it's worth it to go through them to "get" the mechanics of how the book and its ideas are organized. topics are inter-related and cross-referenced, but even just cherry picking from one little chapter to the other is useful.

If you're using an architect, he'll recognize Alexander's work and ideas.

HTH

L.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Alexander's A Pattern Language entry in World Cat

This post was edited by liriodendron on Thu, May 30, 13 at 18:49


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

What lovely possibilities you have. My opinion of the piano room space is that I'm in love with it, though of course I can't guess what would be the most fabulous use for your family. It could be a really terrific kitchen, or just about anything else it looks like. You must have a practice room, but does it need that large, prime walk-through space? Could a piano stand against the wall in another room, such as the dining room, or is it a grand?

Where do you guys like to sit and spend most of your family time? What relation do you need your kitchen to have with it?

PLAN A KITCHEN: If you expect to live most in the current living room, for me Plan A is still a no for the same reasons, but even more so. This house can be wonderfully cozy and also live big. Choosing cramped seems like a waste.

On "paper," the two best potential kitchen locations seem like the piano room and the Plan B location closer to the living room.

PLAN B KITCHEN: There are layout issues here, but leaving that aside for now, if the kitchen were up front perhaps
* The piano room could multifunction--practice, dining, sunny sitting room? Perhaps with an expandable table, or a long drop-leaf that could stand against the wall when it's not needed for larger groups?
* The breakfast area could be enlarged somewhat.
* The entire living room side could be living room. Would that be too big? Would you be interested in placing a wall to define an entry at the front door?

PLAN PIANO ROOM KITCHEN: The piano room could be a really terrific family kitchen with either a large island or table right in middle of the room and children running in and out from the back yard, the whole between the game room and main living areas.

The dining room would be in whatever portion of the current breakfast-dining area you wanted to allocate to it, with, of course, a generous area along the back wall allocated to through traffic and views, plus...a piano practice area and/or a quiet(er) sitting area looking out the front?

If your kitchen were in the piano room, the best relation with the current living room would be obtained if that room were enlarged to extend from front to rear, otherwise you'd have no direct view from one to the other. That place you love to sit could be a nice sitting area overlooking the pool.

What ceiling height does the main part of the house have, BTW? That would be a factor in how large a room could be and still look its best. Your LRM seems a very pleasant size right now.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Oh, I just saw Liriodendron's post. All great recommendations, especially the books. They'll get you thinking of whole-space dynamics. I haven't seen the Alexander title recommended, but I have "A Pattern Language" which describes what studies have found about how people live in their homes and what is highly functional and what is not. Extremely valuable for getting the synapses snapping.

Jacobson's "Patterns of Home, 10 Essentials of Enduring Design," takes some central ideas from it and presents them with pictures and thoughtful discussion. I just looked on line--as low as $1.29 plus the usual $3.99 shipping. With your home, including its great relation to the outdoors already built in, and other features, you'd probably have no trouble relating these ideas to your home.

Same for Susan Susanka's books, which had fairly large printings and are available very inexpensively used on line. I'd just order a couple, $0.01 for at least one of them. If you haven't already read any of them, don't be put off by her "Not So Big" thing. It's not about small homes, rather about making spaces be special and work very well without thinking houses have to be blown up like balloons. :)


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

I like A because it is open to the family room which I think would be nice for being together and because I like that you get to the pool that way rather than through the dining room.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

The powder room is across from the laundry. You can see it on the plan.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Do you have a plan where the kitchen is just extended into the "butlers" space? I like having the kitchen in the back due to the pool, but Plan A just doesn't do it for me.

The galley style with so much traffic going through it seems to be a disaster in the making for a growing family. I envision people coming in from the pool and moving through the work space to get to the fridge, and kids getting tripped over as you are trying to dump a pot of pasta into a colander in the sink.

Plan B seems much more functional overall (but with the island narrowed and no seating) but the placement in the house for how you live just doesn't seem right.

Keep working!

One more comment.... you keep mentioning that your kitchen doesn't work because of all the clutter. I can relate, I am a clutter bug myself. It is easy to tell ourselves that a new kitchen will magically make us organized and all our problems will disappear. Think about your clutter - what causes it: school papers, mail, kids' art projects? And really put thought into planning a place for it, or how you will manage it, while your working on your kitchen design. Otherwise, you will find yourself frustrated with an expensive new kitchen that doesn't seem to work much better than the old one because of all the clutter.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

I would like to see even more of the existing layout and how the different levels relate to each other ... to pool, 'down' to game room, 'up' to bedroom, to garage, etc. Is the pool on the same level as the existing kitchen ? Is it right by the house or across the yard ? Is there any type of patio, covered porch, or deck off of the back of the house now ? Where does the driveway run - do guests park by the front door and come in that way, or does driveway have them parking by the garage entry ? Do the stairs at the front door go up ? Up to what ? Where does the door go under the stairs at the end ?

Also, what are the dimensions of your existing furniture and any appliances you will be re-using ? What about items you are planning to purchase ? I am concerned that you may not be allowing enough room for clearance around your breakfast table because I do not know it's dimensions. Take the size of your table and add a minimum of 36" on all 4 sides just to edge/slide past or scoot around seated diners. You need 44" on the sides to allow someone to walk past a seated diner. In other words, if your table is 42"x60" and you add 36" to each side, you need a minimum of 9'6"x11'0" totally clear area just to scoot around seated diners.

I am thinking something totally different than the plans you have shown. To get you thinking outside the box . . . .
How about if you carve a niche out of the existing LR for a more formal entry with walls and doorways so the first thing a guest sees when they walk in the home is not the mess in the kitchen. Use the current Piano room as the family room overlooking the pool area.

Put the baby grand in the current dining room and the dining table where the butler is currently. The table will run long ways from the front of the house to the rear. Open this new baby grand/dining space up as much as possible into one long room or, even better IMO ... depending on the size of your dining table, move the wall a couple feet so that the new dining end is longer and the baby grand end is smaller and they are separated by a wall with a wide doorway or arched opening. If the new dining space was 11x15 or 11x16 instead of 11x13, you could easily have a dining table 4x7 that would seat 8 and have room to pass around the end of the table to the doorway into the new family room. I imagine the new baby grand room to house the piano and some limited seating. A much better view when a guest first walks into the house. : )

Where you currently have the living room, it will now be somewhat smaller because of losing space to the foyer. Use the old living space for a combination keeping room with breakfast, desk/homework, sitting room space. The remainder of the current living room along with the current kitchen/breakfast will be the new kitchen. In my experience, most people congregate around the kitchen at parties and gatherings. This layout would make the kitchen and keeping room one big space which would be a great area for entertaining.

Between the new kitchen and the new dining room (old butlers) will be a wet bar and storage space similar to what you have shown on option B. Be sure to also carve out room for a coat closet, vacuum storage, toys storage, and a designated space where mail/bags/junk, etc can land very close to the garage entry (but be easily hidden by cabinet doors or something if someone comes over).

Depending on the pool and patio location, it could be nice to turn the double windows at the end of the of the old butler/new dining into French doors opening onto the patio. It could also be very nice if this was opening to a covered Lanai or screened porch.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

THANKS, everyone, for such great feedback. Lots of cool ideas to think about.

robotropolis - very nice picture, i could see that in my house. but it still seems to 'close off' the LR, which i'm not so sure we want to do? whenever i do see archways in pictures, however, i always take pause. so classic & pretty. unfortunately, we can't move that butler doorway. And yes, I'm in agreement (with many others too) that seating at the island is not necessary w/ so many other seating options.

liriodendrum & rosie - THANK you so much for helping me think through some of the important things, need to consider some of your options for sure. And check out some books! i'm on the fence about converting the piano room still (need to discuss with DH... and think about what that might be like down the road).

controlfreaks - i'm feeling the same way - not super excited about either plan A or B. I know I will need to compromise something, but I realize this may be the most important decision we make about the kitchen, and I WANT to be super happy/excited about it. and about the clutter, yup, you're absolutely right. :)

angela - i am still digesting all your questions! will respond to them... after i dig up something i can post, and maybe take some measurements...

Finally, many are suggesting a front entry build - can someone show me what that might look like? we tore down a short wall (~6') that was immediately perpendicular to the front entry door on the right side. It did have a little landing shelf there - but the space felt so much better after opening up the space, since it felt cramped right upon entry, and all you could see was the sink straight ahead.

Thanks again! Love this!


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

new_morning - from the looks of your plans it seems like you *almost* have a center hall colonial - is that the style of the house? If so, what about getting back to that by adding in a hallway from the front door past the stairs all the way to the back and putting in nice french doors to open up to the patio.

Another option might be to create a foyer by turning your stairs so that they no longer run out the door. Put in a landing at ~ chest height, then have the stairs head towards the fireplace.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Robotropolis- I love your kitchen picture! It gives me some great ideas, for my own space. Thanks for posting :)

I like option A, but it will be REALLY open to the living room. If you like that, it should work well...but if not, go with option D.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Option B with modifications. And here's why:
You like open flowing space for big family entertaining, and need space for co-cooks. The island gives you that. You like to keep an eye on the back yard, but I like to see what's going on out front, too. I look into the future
and see middle/high school kids with their friends over, making music and playing games, needing that private space but connection, too.

The cooking wall could extend almost to the music room door. The peninsula could be longer, too, maybe with a couple stools for perching at the top end. Cleanup can be in the island. What your plan shows as a clean up wall could be a shallow pantry wall, which lets you move the island over, or make it bigger, or have a wider walkway. In any event, it improves the circular flow around the stairs. Take out the walk-in pantry, maybe move the wet bar there; it could wrap around a little to meet the pantry wall.

Now you have a wide open space at the back. If you put in almost-to-the-floor windows, and maybe a glass door across from the kitchen (for Texas barbecues) and one by the laundry room (for swimmers), it creates a sort of loggia. The loggia connects the music room to the rest of the house. You can use it as a casual sitting area--while those music parties are going on, you can close the door, sip iced tea and watch HGTV. (My friend's house has a similar space they use this way, it's their favorite spot.) From anywhere in the kitchen, you can see almost everywhere in the back yard.

The living room has a nice view out the back, now, and no view of the kitchen, although the cook isn't too isolated.

Where's the dining room? Breakfast room? Well, here's the thing. How formally do you entertain? Is your 13' dining room sufficient? Does it have good flow? I know mine isn't and doesn't. People get "stuck in a corner" in there. You could put a more rustic table in the loggia, and extend it for family. Also makes a great buffet for pool parties. The kitchen is also close enough to the music room to serve meals in there.

I'm loving that music room/game room addition. If you still need kitchen/entertaining storage, a nice wall of cabinetry could surround the bottom window.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Sorry if I am redundant. Lots of good ideas I'm sure, just to lazy to read them all right now.

I would go with lay out B.

Move the fridge to the corner next to the pantry. Leave that area open.

Rotate the island so it parallel to the dining room orientation. Put the sink facing the patio door. Put the DW in the island. I don't see the need for the expense of a prep sink. I maintain a "hot and cold" sides sanitary system in my sink when I cook.

Put the broom closet in the corner next to the front door opposite to the wall ovens.

As a cook, I would be walking around that island too much. I like having a large square to navigate rather than running laps around an island.


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Here is a VERY rough draft of changing the room purposes around. Not to scale. Just a quicky cut & paste to give you a visual and to get ideas flowing


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

deleted duplicate post

This post was edited by angela12345 on Fri, May 31, 13 at 23:49


 o
RE: Kitchen Layout: Two (very) different drawings - which is bett

Option B is too isolated. Now, some cooks like it that way, of course. I wouldn't want people traipsing through the formal dining room to get to the pool. ?

Option A is preferable, imo. It does seem like a lot of "dining" space. The whole floor is dedicated to food, lol. I would want a raised breakfast bar, to cover kitchen mess. It looks like the range is partially in front of a window? People will constantly be walking in from the family room through your work triangle to get to the refrigerator.

I think you need to keep working it!


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Kitchens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here