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Help Help this layout needs help!

Posted by iheartgiantschnauzer (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 15:21

Hi.

I would appreciate some help. We reached decision paralysis last time and just threw our hands up in the air and replaced the ruined floor after the flood but delayed the major Reno. However now we are ready to start this, but have no idea which direction to go.

Tiny kitchen by today's standard. The room is 11'8 by 11'8. I really don't know how much pantry storage I need. The only items we keep are grains, beans,lentils, spices, pastes, oils, vinegars and a few jars of tomatoes.I store flours in the freezer same with nuts. We do have a few bulky items: vitamix, dehydrator and rice cooker. And this will be a working kitchen! We cook every day at least twice a day even if it's only oatmeal in the morning and a quick veggie primavera at night.

Buehl came up with a very nice plan a while ago.

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But the husband isn't sure about what it would entail as he doesn't think the wall the DW would be on is tall enough. He doesn't want to close that wall up completely as it makes stairwell seem more open. He also questions why we'd want to stare at a wall during dish clean up instead of the fireplace or whatever game is on tv or talk to someone at the peninsula. I guess I just liked the 2 sinks and ease of cleanup as the dish storage was right next to the area. Does anyone know if we would need to increase the height of the wall? The husband says it's not expensive to move the refrigerator line however he is more concerned with moving the DW and adding am extra sink. �Any ballpark on how much that would run. �The area under the kitchen isn't finished yet. So i think it should be fairly easy for the plumber as he doesn't have to ruin a ceiling or break up cement?

Then we have this one:
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The pantry cabinet is a tad bigger.. But is it big enough? We have also played around with just putting a floating shelf desk rather than the 21" cabinet next to the refrigerator. We could tuck a stool underneath it and use that to jot down a shopping list from one of the cookbooks stored above. Not sure if this is best use of space or if either the floating desk or pantry are large enough to be fully functional

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Lose counter space but gain more storage... Is this the best option? �Or is this last one?

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Please be honest. Do you prefer any layout over the others? Do you have a different suggestion. I love critical information. Brutal honesty welcomed!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

No one-layout suggestion, but some thoughts.

I love corner cabinets with lazy susans as I think the storage they offer is phenomenal...you have 2 corners in the room so I would definitely make use of both.
Note that the 27" corner cab in the plan just above is unreachable, unless it's accessed from the stool side.

I am not a fan of the clean up area in the penninsula because it means that anyone sitting at the counter will be overlooking dirty dishes...not my favorite. I can see a small prep sink there though and using it more like an island/prep area. Especially if you are cooks, you might consider making that counter height...great space for rolling out dough and such.

A number of your plans have 18" pantries which I question for usability, only because they are deep and narrow which makes accessibility an issue. I'd rather see (and I've suggested it for GF's small kitchen) a cabinet on the end of the fridge which opens up into a doorway that can be used as full height pantry storage...narrower shelves and easy to reach.

Just for how I cook, I'm a chop and drop cook, I wanted a minimum of 24" on either side of the cooktop. I have even more than that now, and love it.

An 18" dw is pretty little and wouldn't be adequate for our needs.

I also prefer upper cabs to open shelving for cleanability and usability issues. The open shelves look great, but it's hard to keep them that way in a working kitchen.

HTH


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

of these 4 plans, plan 2. Move the range down about 6-12 inches in order to expand the corner between sink and range......you're still far enough away from lower doorway when at the range. People coming from family room can make a straight line to fridge without interference with cook or clean up person du jour. Probably would do single sink and would install wall cabs as opposed to open shelving-I think you'd be happier long term with cabs due to smaller kitchen size. thumbs up to vertical pantry next to fridge-even 15 in width will be valuable if you want the extra inches for counter on the other side of fridge. I much prefer the fridge in the lower left-only see one plan with that. On the lower right, altho technically this spot may be advised, the pathway and zone creation at the fridge for multiple persons doing various things seems better on left side. Good luck-it's small-keep it simple. Do the peninsula perhaps even deeper for your stools and put the focus there with back panels/etc. Have fun whichever you pick-it's pretty open-you'll enjoy this when you get to materials even if it's not a mcmansion space.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Thanks Annie! I never thought about boxing in the fridge by placing pantry sideways. I understand the concern about deep and narrow. However I have that now with Blum drawers behind the door; I find all the space usable. However I like the idea of the narrow pantry on side of fridge... Perhaps something like this:
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I couldn't just extend the counter of the penisula so I put in cabinets there to give the idea. I would just support the countertop with brackets.

I'm not sure how to move the cleanup area and keep a 24" DW... It is the other concern with the double L plan...


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Herb, so rather than 3 24" stacks you would do a 24 and 18" drawer stack then the range then a 30" drawer stack? would you put the 18" or 24" closest to the stove? Or since I'm thinking of going custom would you do two 21?

I'm happy to not be in a mcmansion. This house is right sized IMO. However more space was given to the music room, living room & dining room.

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 16:41


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

I like the pantry next to the fridge opening to the side - I'm doing that in my new kitchen. But in your case, it eliminates the landing zone next to the fridge. Maybe a rolling cart with a butcher block top,tucked against the left wall, would solve that problem.

Is the range on an outside wall? Can you put a window next to it, on the left?

You don't have a lot of storage space - I would put upper cabinets (to the ceiling) to the right of the stove.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Ann- no it's an interior kitchen. What do you store in upper cabinetry? Perhaps I'm thinking about this all wrong... The china and crystal are in the dining room. The chafing dishes and entertaining platters and ice buckets we keep in closet between penisula and garage. we have good amount of cookware but are picky about what we have.. In other words I don't have 3 different sets... And not really into gadget cooking... no crock pot or huge roasting pans. Do I really need more storage? I'm not trying to be smart or defensive. I appreciate your suggestions and help... Just wondering what I'd put up there...


Edited for clarity

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 16:55


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

I'd bring the wall up to full height and move the fridge over. Then you could have the microwave there and make it a snack area.

Put the pantry where the fridge used to be and make 30" cabinets on either side of the range. Just an idea :)

From Farmhouse plans


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

I have a U-shaped kitchen, with fridge on the end of one leg, sink on the closed end, range opposite the fridge. Most prep is done between sink and stove. I don't have a pantry, so most food goes in the cabinets.

I have a china cabinet in the dining room, but we use china and crystal rarely. Everyday (stoneware) dishes are in uppers between fridge and sink (near DW). Mugs and glasses are to the left of the sink.

Between sink and range, the uppers contain soups, tomato sauce, spices, oils, mixes (cake, pancake, bread), canned fruits and veggies. To the right of the range I have baking and serving dishes.

You know best what you have and where you want it - I've just lived with a small, inefficient kitchen for so long, I'm use to thinking in terms of maximizing storage space.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

figure out which final plan for fridge area in the lower left....you'll need a specific opening for the fridge/panels on the sides for faux built in etc/ this is a zone so figure it out whether it's lavender's rendition with an L or just the one wall.Then go on to the range wall.Pantry cabs and panels and fitting in a mwave is more fiddly/expensive-so get this part done. the L is nice, done by lavender-it's a more involved plan. If the[ one wall] I'd stick with fridge and vertical pantry to the right with rollouts and regular cabs to left, with counter. But spend some time and figure what goes where..it's an afternoon or day long exercise. go to Ikea and look at all the pantrys I think the vertical with rollouts can't be beat.....some air at the rear so it's not as deep with unused or awkward space. Esp if you are thinking of omitting wall cabs. My mom has the pantry turned sideways next to fridge as discussed-just think about what you want on this side of kitchen....ease of use/type of storage/number of people back and forth here, doing what kinds of things?......[storage and counter space-2 coveted things in planning a small kitchen-try to hit the "sweet spot",while you still like the feel of the space....this is not easy]


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Lav- I like that plan. I just have reservations. The kitchen is only part of all cash renovations we are doing at two homes (yes we are crazy). I really need the kitchen to cost less than 25k. I'm afraid your plan would take us over that number. We don't need to calculate any flooring into the cost as the insurance replaced our old throughout whole home after broken refrigerator line flooded half the house. Appliances are new too as is the drywall. So thinking you're plan looks great but out of my league.

Off the top of my head I was thinking our storage would go something like this:
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Am I on right track? Underestimating or over estimating how much stuff I can fit where? I thought I could always use the drawer of the induction range for extra bake ware storage if needed


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

What would be too expensive? Putting in a taller wall or the cabinetry, or both?

I like having a prep space around the fridge...and it's closer to the sink this way, too. Only you know what will work in your space, but you are losing some potential storage with the fridge on the back wall. It's always a trade off, when you have to consider budget.

Have fun with the plan and I know you'll find something that will work in your space :)


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Lav- The electrical wiring for refrigerator, the building up of wall etc would be cost prohibitive, I'd think? Plus if i know i have room for mw then id want an advantium and id need to up the electrical on backwall.... Oh the domino game! Whereas, We already have electrical if we place fridge on back wall and the plumber told us when he fixed leak it would be 150 to install water line to the back wall. True about compromises and we will be making many with our 25k budget.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Is it possible to move the doorway at the bottom to the lower left corner?


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Pal I don't think so. I took a few minutes and drew up a really crude layout of first floor for you. The rooms are all missing closets. And the box you see in the foyer is my crude attempt. At showing coat closet... I don't think we can really move things around much, but if you think so, let me know. At one time we toyed with moving kitchen to back of house where the family room is, but we didn't really come up with anything that seemed to justify the extra cost

You are a fountain of knowledge so feel free to give critical advice. I can take it.
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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Well, I really like what you've done with Herbflavor's overall suggestions in your 7/25 2010 drawing. This is to me by far the best of your four initial plans, and (without ever actually seeing it, of course) I sympathize with your husband's desire to keep the kitchen open to the stairwell. With this layout, it's an asset utilized without requiring significant sacrifice.

I like the stove just where you've moved it in that drawing. You now have a good everyday work counter perfectly located between it and the sink, and a second good one to its right for when you need it. And possibly for a breakfast/snack-grabbing area opposite the pantry--depending on how good your family is at taking the long way around when this path is clogged.

In any case, given that central-corridor position of the kitchen, and the decent storage this gives, I probably would make that pantry by the doorway shallower to allow cruisers-through to swing that much farther left, away from the stove. My own wall storage is 12" deep, which is deep enough to hold all standard-size items and still lose canned goods in the back. Do you need deeper than that? :)

Doing the open upper storage you want above your main work space, (with open or closed to the right of the stove) would combine with the stairwell to make your kitchen feel open and spacious. On the right, uppers, no uppers, or even a combo--doors starting higher on the wall with a shelf beneath. You could always try shelves to begin with and install uppers a bit later if desired.

MOVING THE DOORWAY. Leaving all the above and regarding moving that door, your entry is almost 12 feet wide by 20--! feet long. If you tore the existing closet out, the kitchen doorway could move left and that could be GREAT.

From just moving that doorway, you could place a U- or L-shape kitchen to the right so that your family would perambulate through to the left along the stair well. Among other things, no more view from the front straight to the kitchen mess--and on into the most private family area at the rear; and, especially, no more traffic bumping into the cook at work. It would all be channeled through OUT of the cooking U or L.

And you have so many options for closet layout without disturbing anything else.

You could put a pair of standard 2' deep closets on each wall facing each other just north of their respective doorways to the living and music rooms, leaving an almost 8' path between--this'd feel almost the same as now.

OR, you could set those 2 closets, 3 foot wide each, sideways, with their doors facing the kitchen to create nice display walls in the foyer. This setup would hide the kitchen doorway even better and still leave an almost 6-foot-wide doorway. I might go for 5 feet wide. though, with the intention of framing a nice display wall firmly to the right of the kitchen doorway.

BUT, this would require jogging back and forth for family. So, how about an almost 7-foot-wide closet, doors to rear, on the right side, with a 5-foot doorway on left? This would allow traffic to swing right around from the living room, head straight for the kitchen doorway, and cruise on though without entering the cook's territory to the right.

Or, you could even put a 4' wide closet smack in the middle of the hall (with maybe a nice chest topped with lamp and painting facing the front door?), so that traffic could swing out of both front rooms and straight for rear destinations through doorways on each side.

In any case, keep the kitchen doorway only 3 feet wide to maximize kitchen space on the right and limit view through? I suspect it's already super-inviting already, no need to augment. :)


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Rosie- wow a lot to think about! I never thought of moving the doorway because people always look right past the kitchen and at the fireplace, but I can see how it may help traffic flow better. Anyone have any idea of the cost of something like that? I doubt the closet is load baring, so it shouod be easy to rip out. Yet the kitchen wall does contain ac/heat ductwork and electrical outlets. I'm sure I will face resistance with the hubs as we literally just replaced some wiring in the wall, and put up new drywall after the flood. if it's relatively affordable it might be something we'd tackle by stretching the budget, but we don't have unlimited funds. At some point would be robbing from other projects if we splurge too much on kitchen. It will be a balancing act...

Isn't it funny that we've never noticed a traffic problem, but as soon as the gw community asks about moving a doorway or redirecting flow I can see how it would be better? However, I think moving the door would need to give us a better layout too before I'd ever broach subject with the hubs.

So pal, Rosie and other GW gurus,what would moving the door allow me to do with the layout?

And thank you for all suggestions!


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

I like the way this is headed! Move the bottom kitchen door to the left, so the fridge is at the end of the row. You'll have a U kitchen, with lots of counter space - and 2 corners. You already have a LS in one corner - so with the way the corner of the kitchen juts into the hallway, I'd look at accessing that blind corner from the hall - drawers on the bottom, doors on top (this only works if that little wall is more than 2' wide). You wouldn't see it from the entry. I think it would be a great place for spare linens in the drawers, and board games, or photo albums, or tax records - who knows what in the cabinet.

Of course if you have a lot of things that would work on a second LS, that's fine too.

Back to the kitchen, I think you have room to put your side-access cabinet to the left of the fridge, opening toward the doorway, but you'll have to draw it out to make sure you don't produce a black hole in the corner. You might also want to move the range a bit to the right.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Thanks for the feedback Ann. I've played around some more. But I'm stumped. If the doorway was moved... I do see a better traffic flow. I also think the space along back wall next to fridge could become a snack/ tea station etc.. However I'm really confused about what to do with the uppers along that entire bottom L.

I don't know if it will increase functionality enough to justify price., but then this is probably due to my lack of creative thinking....

I was thinking something like this but it has some glaring issues.

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Glaring issues: what do I do with the dehydrator? Although once a week i don't think it's impossible to walk to closet in den put the thing on the pennisula and use it. The husband thinks we can just leave it out on counter l'm unsure. The bottom corner is just awkward! it needs some major help! Suggestions welcomed!!


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Oh! Ann- Please don't thi I was rude and ignore your suggestions about cabinet to hall. I did consider, however, the last thing we need in this house is more storage. It's not shown on the crude floorplan I sketched earlier but we have walls of built-ins in the upstair office halls and playroom. Closet in master bath. Linen cabinets in hall bath. Plus a huge utility closet at the end of hall and a nice sized closet between kitchen and garage. Not to mention the built ins flanking fireplace for games etc.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Ok. I have a few questions... I have been tweaking the original layout while waiting fir more replies on what moving the door gains us.

But I have a few questions... While perusing barker cabinets website I saw these two pictures and tweaked the layout like follows:

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Question: given the limited size of my kitchen would it be better to do the appliance garage between the microwave drawer and dishes... Or better to extend the dish storage and have a flatware drawer? And would I be better off using two 24" uppers on top of whatever and making that entire 48" area a hutch top on top of the 18" and 30" bottoms?


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Can you move the kitchen to another location? With such a small footprint and no windows...and a fairly large home, the kitchen seems like it could be a lot better.

Is that a fireplace in the room behind the kitchen? Is that your main living area? Do you use the formal living room?

If it were me (and it was affordable) I would move the dining room to the front living room...and move the kitchen to where you have the dining room. You would have windows, access to dining room and porch...and a little more space...and less of a hallway to the family room.

Maybe make the current kitchen a little bar area or mini-kitchen with stool seating and a nice entry into the living area. You could have an under counter fridge and maybe a small prep sink (even a microwave) and maybe pantry/glass storage on the other wall. This would give you easy access to snacks and take some of the pressure off your main kitchen. Just an idea :)


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

I understand that our kitchen is "tiny". I don't think it seems that out of proportion with the rest of the home. I think maybe because it seems as if the kitchen is part of the den with the peninsula bar. We could likely extend the kitchen 3-4 ft into the den. Doing so, we would lose 1 good sized closet in addition to the one pantry closet we are already losing. However that was a halfway useless pantry closet in the kitchen (that was along the wall by stairwell 1/2 of closet was the header or whatever for stairs so only 1/2 of it was useful).

We use the formal living room often. It's a great place to read or play a game of chess or visit with friends. With the French doors to the LR and pocket door in DR it's easy to close off noise from the den or kitchen. We also use the den frequently. 2 seasons a year it is a great place to curl up by the fire, we watch sporting events there, or catch a movie occasionally...
And we use the DR nightly unless it's summer or fall then we often dine on the porch.

We have a kitchen and bar in the basement plans. So I think your proposal is a tad redundant there. And I'd rather have bar area in the lower level where we have summer party access to the pool or easy access to the pool table and poker table etc for the guys.

I guess the thing is I do not need a show kitchen fit for a mcmansion or a true mansion. My home is neither. I have a nice modest home and am trying to get a modest ( 25k budget does not include flooring or appliances) kitchen that will function for us a family of 3 (2 vegetarians and 1 vegan). We bake only occasionally so I don't need a baking center. We have alcohol and wine storage elsewhere in the home so I don't need that in the kitchen... I need a kitchen that has adequate storage and can handle two cooks occasionally. I'm not overly concerned with a snack area as we snack on fruits or nuts and both are at the ready and don't require elaborate prep. If it's a game day then we may splurge with popcorn or chips and salsa but those things are prepped and then placed on the peninsula for easy access during the game or taken down to the pool area etc....

Sorry I don't mean to be so long winded or defensive. I really am interested to seeing why pal asked about moving the door or what expanding 3 -4 ft into the den would do in functionality of the space. But moving the kitchen is too extreme for us. I do appreciate the thought though. Thank you lav.

Anyone else have any thoughts?


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Earlier, you said:

"At one time we toyed with moving kitchen to back of house where the family room is, but we didn't really come up with anything that seemed to justify the extra cost."

That's why I thought you might not use both living areas and moving the kitchen was something you might consider.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Lav, thanks. I understand. Just that was before we decided to take on projects here and at the other house like crazy people :) our 25 k budget could stretch some but not a crazy amount now... And I think we could really only look at moving the opening or expanding into the den.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

To me your kitchen is big enough to functional well for typical home cooking. It says a lot that you feel it is appropriate to the house. You've somehow missed being carried away by the tendency to cannibalize living spaces in favor of unnecessarily large (for actual function) kitchens.

When I suggested moving that doorway, I was imagining a cumulative benefit to the entire house that would seemingly add elegance, as well as correct functional issues--all without moving the kitchen from a location you're basically satisfied with.

Somehow, though, the amazingly compelling benefits of this simple "fix" appear somewhat less than compelling to you, leading me to suspect there're yet more things I don't know...

At this point I'm happy enough to retrench to your plan I thought would work well in the first place. My only concern is that the current view from the front is apparently a distinctive one straight to the rear fireplace--something worth preserving. However, the view from the front with any of those plans would be the mess on the peninsula. Yet any peninsula obviously would need to come off the right wall. That can't change.

So, if you go that direction, IS there something that could be done in that large front hall to keep the view through the house nice? Obviously you don't really need yet another closet, so any changes there would be specifically to develop an enjoyable foyer while blocking views of pots piled up for washing. Of note, nothing would have to be done at the same time as the kitchen remodel as long as the option of a favorite potential restyling was kept open, just in case.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Rosie- sorry I don't know what I said to make you think I was not open to moving doorway. I'm open to moving doorway. It seems like a "doable fix" without pushing us into the budget stratosphere :) I am even in for pushing into the den a little (1-4ft) I'm just curious how you would lay out the kitchen if we move the doorway. I keep getting stuck in the corner when I fiddle with the u shape..

I appreciate all the feedback. Thank you!

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Sat, Jul 27, 13 at 16:38


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

I think Rosie makes an excellent point with your view and traffic pattern, through the kitchen. It's a hallway from the entry to the family room. That's one of the challenges, so if you want to keep it as is...maybe play up that aspect.

Moving the door and seeing the fireplace is wonderful...and I would NOT want people walking between my main 'triangle' or fridge, sink and range. But, you don't want to lose the potential storage on the 'stair' wall. You said your DH is concerned the wall is too short for a dishwasher...what about this?

From Farmhouse plans

You walk between the fridge and pantry, as you enter...and then you have the option of sitting down at the 'window' seat, with storage/cookbooks under.

(I have a walk through kitchen right now...and one of my biggest problems, when people are over...is getting them to walk through the kitchen to where they can sit down and get out of my way! LOL) I don't know if you'll have that problem getting them to walk around the peninsula to the stools, but this gives you another option. They can visit and not be leaning on the counter, by the stove! :)

Possible ideas for 'window' seat...

From Farmhouse plans

From Farmhouse plans

And the really good reason to have an extra seat...at least at my house!

From Farmhouse plans


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Thanks Rosie and lass. My communication skills are lacking. Right now where the doorway is you look dead on at the fireplace. If you move the door way you would likely see a built in book case ( if door is all the way to left) or a partial look of stone and bookcase from the foyer when looking through the door. As for the closet that is currently on stair well -- we are 100% ok with losing that closet as it's partially pointless and we thought we would get more use by moving fridge etc.

If the kitchen as a glorified hallway is so bad why would I want to put anything on the 1/2 wall?

I think that the doorway would stay as is OR it would move all the way to the side like rosie and pal suggested. The closet/pantry would be drywalled over and art hung. Or we could disguise the door more and leave it there for storage of the bigger bulkier infrequently used items.... Thus the "hallway" would be moved all the way over and the kitchen would be contained on that right hand side....

Sorry I'm so stressed right now and I feel that my words in text seem pointed or cross when I don't want them to seem so. we have meetings with two different cabinet places Friday plus a custom shop and I'd like to have a firm plan by then.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

I'm so sorry for adding to your stress, Iheart. Not my intention, but I wrote early and forgot to send until I was leaving later, so I missed later discussion. You always sound very nice and open to ideas, BTW, which is part of why your discussion has been such fun to come muse on.

If you don't have a firm plan by Friday, it would be perfectly reasonable to have two possible general layouts (door left, door where it is), plus some questions to discuss with the shops about possible fine tuning of each.

You sound very busy with all those projects, but if there were any way you could mock up these layouts with cardboard boxes and sheets of flattened cardboard for counters, you'd probably develop some definite ideas.

As for where the dehydrator and other items go? If the door stays, how about in that mostly unused closet? Its location makes it seem perfect for adjunct storage for the kitchen, better than my basement even, and I love my basement. :)


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

The other projects are all designed just the work got delayed. But once the design is completed, I stop obsessing and the husband takes over. He monitors all quality control etc. So I'm looking forward to turning this over to him as well :)

Rosie, thanks for your kindness. I appreciate the generosity everyone gives on these boards. I'm definitely open and not just looking for validation. I think that's what I'll do go in with two plans for pricing comparison...and see what shake out... In the mean time I'll tweak the two... Although I think the husband is coming around to moving the doorway and building new closet(s) in entry.

Do you have any ideas as to what to do in the lower corner if we move the door? I assumed you'd suggest a U shaped, was that a wrong assumption? Do you think I should bump into the den a bit? All that separates the two room is the pony wall of the peninsula. That should be easy enough to tear down and put up new pony wall 2 ft out ( which I don't think would entail a great amount of extra plumbing costs). That little amount would still allow seating. But I don't know if it helps with layout functionality that much... Although 2 ft is 2 ft right?

Thanks again.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

"So pal, Rosie and other GW gurus,what would moving the door allow me to do with the layout? "

I think putting the doorway on the left so traffic doesn't get into the working part of the kitchen is a great idea. Maybe some of those listed above can work out a nice flow for a U work space? If 2' are added in on the R wall then maybe both the sink and the stove can go on that wall? (depending on measurements of those walls maybe found on another thread?)

Having the sink on the peninsula isn't something I'd want but you might want to see the fire flickering away or watch/listen to the news while you clean up after a meal.

Adding the extra 2' would add space and storage in the work area and still allow for a good size room on the other side of the peninsula.

Here's a possibility for an upper corner cab - lots of space for dishes - if you're tall enough.

It can also be used in a lower corner area - with deeper shelves.

scherrs h


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Like Steph, your idea of possibly incorporating an extra 2' strikes me as probably highly desirable. If you can give it to the kitchen without real sacrifice, it would probably make a real difference.

The biggest cost I see so far to moving the doorway left is that it largely takes away the counter space you had in the bottom right corner. Oh, you have it still, back there in the corner and useful in its way (dehydrator at work?), but you can't stand at it and slice carrots. Extending the length would give you that counter-edge space back.

The other big thing to me is that it would help uncramp the space. Compact and efficient is good, but a refrigerator looming directly to your right would feel much different from one standing on the other side of the doorway.

A good 3D design you could walk around in might be useful to try to experience being in these spaces if mocking up isn't available. For all the advantages of moving the doorway, I wouldn't be sold on a U unless I knew I'd enjoy working in it.

It also finally dawned on me that a dehydrator has to sit out for some while as it works. You haven't said how large yours is, but it would be nice to not need the space it's occupying while it works.

BTW, a 30x12 wall pantry is what I had for years in my old California bungalow. Amazing how much it held. I liked it so much I copied it in this house, although larger as the nearest market isn't near. Just wish i could have brought the Trader Joes about 4 blocks away with me to rural Georgia.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Another vote for moving the door to the lower left if it isn't too cost prohibitive, for the reasons already mentioned above. Can you recess the fridge so it doesn't edge into your work space? That corner does seem cramped. I'd stay away from uppers in that corner as I'm not sure how accessible it would be in your current plan. Open shelving for cookbooks could work though. 2' would make a significant difference there I think, but I think it is a workable kitchen even without the 2'.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Desert, thanks for chiming in. I have become a believer of moving the doorway to the left. However I still have to see how much that adds to the cost, so we'll see. Although it's something both the husband and I say would be worth a small budget bump. Hopefully it is doable.

Sochi- thank you. I guess recessing will depend on where we end up putting it. We could also look into a CD replacement ( and reuse this one downstairs). I agree completely on cramped corner. Trying to work that out.

Rosie- our dehydrator is a big ole workhouse. 19 x 17 x 12.5 inches (the Excalibur is amazing! If anyone is in the market for one) the 12.5 is why I initially wanted deeper pantry. We could leave it out. Just a black box, but it could find a home in the closet. Thanks for the feedback on the 30x12. I have no doubt it will work.


Ok so feedback critique please

I have this plan which is using the current footprint of 11'8 by 11'8:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I like it because I gain about 1' of counterspace while keeping a pantry.

A couple of things: the 30 DS at lower corner what if I did one deep drawer with a 30 microwave drawer there? By the stove I am thinking I could do pots, pans on upper and lower 24" and then spices/ oil/vinegar in 18" upper and cooking utensils pot holders etc in the lower 18" is this crazy?

I understand that it's not ideal Breaking up "triangle" for a traffic pattern. But is it really any Different than how traffic currently interrupts things? However as I'm typing I can see it being more of an issue with the hot pot of water etc. Ok maybe I should nix this idea. or could it work?

If I should scrap that layout, Is this the best plan if we keep the current footprint:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The 30" in lower corner. Could I make that 1 deep drawer base with microwave drawer on top below the counter?

Finally, this is what I'm currently thinking on the optimal layout where we bump out 2 ft and move doorway:
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Thoughts on this plan? Is 10" too shallow for a pantry? It fits all of are ball jars and oxo stuff.

Oh one other thing:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

As I said I want to take two plans to the cabinet shops. So that's why I am still fudging around with the plan so many of you hate. Thus I'd appreciate feedback on both plans Thanks!!


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Ok.. I don't know if anyone will respond but I'd love to hear the critique on these latest two plans..

Plan A ( current footprint... )
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

1. Mainly on the issue of the 24" pantry next to 30" drawer. Would you reverse and do a 30 pantry and 24" drawer base? I'm thinking a 24 would be plenty for our family of 3, but maybe I'm wrong?

2. Would you give up a few inches of prep between the sink and stove to have symmetry of the cabinets glancing stove?

3. If I raise the depth of the cabinet to 30" could I do a tchcabinet that drops to the counter with a depth of 15"? It would leave 15" by 30" of exposed countertop (our widest every day plate is 9" ). However with the microwave underneath is this a bad idea?

Plan B (changing footprint moving doorway)

Same as the above
U in previous message.

Questions:
1. Is there a way to keep existing pantry for bulky items?
2. Is the fridge corner too tight?
3. Any reason not to do a sink in the corner?

Thanks!

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 0:56


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

'Desert, thanks for chiming in. I have become a believer of moving the doorway to the left. However I still have to see how much that adds to the cost, so we'll see. '

yw. and of course, it always depends on where the cost of it all ends up. Only you and dh can decide that. A lot of good ideas are always put out on here for the taking but in the end you are the ones who have to pay for it and live with it.

on the prev pantry - if you can still have a decent doorway to it w/out causing a problem for the stools at your peninsula. Could be you might just have to move the closest one back to get into it - but that can probably be workable. Or access it thru the garage?

corner sink - I think I've read on here several times that they take up more space. My sister did have one in her prev house and she liked it. The far back corner isn't easy to reach tho - unless you're tall enough. Hers had a build up across the far back part of the corner where she displayed some of her favorite mugs. I do think you might have a problem when the dw door is open in getting to the dirty dishes in the sink. Maybe dish drawers? or another 'work around' for that also.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Desert - good point on the accessibility of the DW and sink.. Looks like the moved doorway plan still needs work! Oh I'm not worried about the closet in the den next to peninsula. I was asking about the current pantry closet that is on the wall above the stairs .... If moving the doorway, I could still access the old pantry but think it may look odd having a 27" door immediately to your left as you enter kitchen? I wonder if dry walling the bottom portion (which is bulkhead or whatever to stairs) and then treating the upper as a recessed cabinet ... Would that be too odd?


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

With U plan keep sink at top-where you had it on peninsula-- basically all the old positions of things except the fridge wall particulars placed over onto bottom of U. Don't care for the close positions of fridge/sink and range...but the U, if you want to change the passageway, has merits. Don't push everything into the lower section......I don't think you'd be happy with that when you are using the kitchen...on paper it might pass but better to distribute the positions for fridge/sink/range .


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Regarding the U and previous pantry, IMO some oddity is highly desirable. Predictability is good in stair riser height, a level work counter, but mostly vastly overdone--to the the point that many homes can be predicted down to the last closet door without ever seeing inside (I used to be a residential appraiser). Having a pantry door there would make total sense--the kind of excellent "oddity" that arises from good functional use of space.

I agree with Herbflavor about spreading out the functions. Also, with the sink in the lower corner you would be moving back and forth across the stove to access the sink from that nice prep area, and vice versa. Lots of extra steps, potentially dangerous.

Sometimes corner sinks can make sense because they're a part of massaging everything in really good positions. Or as part of a larger kitchen that doesn't miss what's given up in tradeoff to have one. What's given up is some of the counter-front/counter edge area--where you stand and work at the counter. That counter square footage isn't lost, of course, it shifts to behind the sink, as Desertsteph points out. Thus, if you need that counter available for chopping onions or filling the dehydrator, you need to keep it up front. Go ahead and measure the inches of work counter edge you have with a square corner and an angled-sink one.

Regarding both plans and your 24 versus 30 pantry on the original footprint, my own choice would be to maximize my work counter area as much as possible.

You have plenty of storage in the house, giving you a flexibility for storage that you do not have with work space. After all, you can store the Christmas china in the basement, but you probably won't want to be using a work bench there to roll out pie dough because making stuffing is taking up the whole kitchen. My pantry is split between kitchen for stuff I need efficiently close and our basement for bulk storage. And as you said in the beginning, you run fairly lean in this respect.

On the other plan, regarding a 15" deep counter as landing space above a MW drawer, I don't see a problem with that specifically. The user would step back to open the drawer and lift and set the food forward--or back up into someone but that wouldn't be the shelf depth's fault. Really, any problem would come with the congestion in that area. Your family crowding in at mealtimes, a doorway right there, a stove very close by.

Otherwise, the only problem I see with deepening this area to 30" is that it brings traffic, through and otherwise, closer to the stove. I'm not sure, but I think I may have earlier suggested making the cabinet on this corner shallower than 24" to help traffic swing away from the stove.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Iheart, if you decide to move the door to the left:

Look at an upper "easy-reach" cabinet, as desertsteph showed. I'm putting 2 of these in my new kitchen - in a month or so I'll let you know how I like them!

You might also consider blocking off that bottom corner completely, if you have enough storage elsewhere. My U-shaped kitchen is pretty small; I put a super susan in one corner, and the other corner is completely dead, with drawer stacks on each side. Even though my goal was to squeeze out every last inch of usable space, it was worth it to forfeit difficult space in exchange for very functional drawers that I will use every day.

Your head must be just spinning with all the different ideas and suggestions that have been flying around for the last few days! Hang in there - I know you'll come up with the plan that makes everything click.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Oh, that last suggestion, I remember being very impressed with a kitchen showing what Annkh is doing--instead of having doors in the corner, drawer stacks are widened on each side and run all the way to the corner (closing off the area below counter in the corner). Depending on the size of susan cabinet that would be replaced, that would add anywhere from @7-10" directly to the size of the drawer stacks abutting the corner (they'd have to clear each other on opening by the depth of their fronts+handles). OR the existing width stacks could be slid to the corner and those inches could be added where needed to cabinets at other points on the counter runs.

If you have full-extension drawers already, you know how wonderfully quick and accessible everything in them is and how densely they can be filled--making maximizing this to-quality storage very possibly worth giving up technically "more" shelf storage. Wish I'd thought of this when doing our kitchen.

Not many people have done this yet, so it could be a new, or at least untried idea to the designer you meet with, but I'd suggest definitely drawing up and considering it--yet another tool in your box. A couple who did this posted their calculations with the pix, but I don't have them.

(You already have lots of out-of-kitchen storage, or I'd also point out that the "dead" space could actually be accessed by a cupboard door installed in the hall. :)


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Ann, my head is spinning. So many pros/cons to weigh. However it is helping me clarify things. I will look into the easy reach uppers. They seem like a great solution for some kitchens. Yet I have concerns, please see below.

Rosie
I see your point on the mw drawer. Do you see a better location for it? would you object to the placement of MW if I reduced down to 24" nixed the hutch on top and chose a CD fridge?

It's funny when I read about pathways and walkways and traffic congestion, I truly comprehend what everyone is saying. I just don't understand how the kitchen functioned for us before. Currently the fridge is immediately to your right as you enter along stove run. It is 33" standard depth I a 36" space Then there's a small 15" cabinet next to stove. Immediately to your left we like the previous owners before created an eat in area with table and chairs. I just can't stand the lack of counterpace and we weren't using the table other than for breakfast or our son sits there and plays while I cook away. So I guess I just feel like anything is better than the 80s kitchen which is there now. I mean if we had a 34" table floating with chairs Yet still had access to pantry, a working flow (not ideal) for parties and the kitchen worked with about people banging into things.... Would a 30 deep microwave counter on one run while reducing the entire L run down from 27" to 24" deep really be the end of a comfortable functional kitchen? I'm not sure that traffic is any further from the stove now.

We currently have raised peninsula bar, but I think I'm going to lower it so I can relocate some kitchen table activities over there...

So I worked on the U again.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

any better? I did dead out the one corner yet turned the other around to face den (dog food and dog meds)
I have a concern: I feel like the U is causing the kitchen to veer too much from our vision of open shelving, relaxed unfussy work zone with simple lines. A little rustic to match the stone fireplace and old reclaimed mantle, but sophisticated or refined enough to transition into the formal dr and LR. I know it's the best use of space. But the lower corner by fridge just looks so heavy to me with uppers and then it seems the shelving is too bare on other side of stove so the only remedy is to do all uppers? All uppers is something I had wished to avoid. Am I missing an obvious solution?

Thanks for listening.

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 12:33


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

And now for something completely different. :-)

(not to scale)

 photo IHeartA-1.jpg

Here's what I did.

Since you want to keep the sight line from the front door to the fireplace, I removed the peninsula lay-out in favor of a galley-style lay-out, shifted the hall door way a bit over, enlarged it and centered it on the front door. This additional bit of wall to the right gives your wall oven column a safety buffer, too. (You can add a coat closet to the left of the doorway, facing the hallway to the right. Or you could purchase an armoire, perhaps more in keeping with your home's vibe.)

Some people aren't keen on seeing the sink (and quite possibly dirty dishes) from the front door but you already have that view in your current and proposed lay-outs so I assume it must not be a concern of yours. You could, if you wish, install glass double pocket doors at the hallway entrance like this:

I incorporated the seldom used closet into the kitchen, creating a gigantic pantry with additional storage space for other items. This also allowed me to set the full size fridge back so it mimics a counter-depth model. The pantry doors would work something like this:

Or this:

One wall of the galley holds the pantry, recessed fridge, 36" cook top and wall oven/Advantium column (I saw your other thread) with plenty of counter space for prep and small appliance use. I calculated counter and overhang depth at 25.5" (24" deep cabs, 1.5" counter overhang).

The island is huge, admittedly, but it had to be in order to hold the DW, 36" sink cab, 18" trash pull-out and counter seating for 2. I angled the very end of the island across from the fridge so that there would still be plenty of room to move past the fridge even when the door was open. The island is 30" deep - 27" cabs with 3" counter overhang total (1.5" on each side) to provide a bit more clearance between back of faucet and counter edge. If you can't afford to do custom depth cabs, do 24" deep cabs and add shallow storage to the back like this:

or this:

I also removed the half wall between kitchen and stairway. You don't have to do this - there is sufficient aisle between island and wall - but I thought that widening the hallway doorway and the stairway doorway would encourage people to walk to the left of the island and not through your kitchen work zone. NKBA recommends 44" aisles behind seating but 1.5" shouldn't make a huge difference, IMO.

However, if you want a bit more aisle on this side, you could steal that 1.5" from your work aisle. A tighter work aisle will encourage people to walk to the left of the island but you need to make sure it will work for you and not make you feel cramped (NKBA recommends 42" aisles for 1 cook kitchens, 48" for 2 cooks but many here go with slightly narrower aisles and have no issues with that set-up).

Or you could go with 24" deep cabs and 3" total overhang for the island. There is a bit of flexibility in this plan.

You'll notice that there are no corner cabinets in this plan. That will save you some money - corner cabinet systems are expensive - which will help you stretch your kitchen remodeling dollars.

Anyhoo, this is what my brain envisioned when I looked at your first floor lay-out.


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Lisa- That looks amazing! How clever to use the closet as a pantry. And that sink looks amazing on the island...you always have such great ideas :)


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Lisa-- I love it!! We worked extra hard to clean up as we cook and no dishes left out. I concede it wasnt ideal. Your layout isso nice! Thank you for taking the time. I cook most efficiently in a galley style kitchen. Anyway to get seating for 3 at island? could I shrink sink down to a 30" base and find a trash pull out that fits in a 15" maybe?

I like the pocket door. We could antique the glass to tie in with the pocket door in dr.

As we have a frequent visitor who is in what I consider to be a tiny wheelchair , what is the best walkway solution? Narrower work aisle?

Again, thank you so much!

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 19:56


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Sorry one more thing, How big is the pantry?

This post was edited by iheartgiantschnauzer on Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 19:31


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 19:56

Yet another possibility. Which is great. I wasn't "feeling" the relatively closed in feel of the U and it's clearly really bothering you. Nothing can be right if it doesn't feel right to you.

Regarding your earlier question about clearances, when you've lived with something and know it works for you, that trumps all the outside guessing piled together and tied up with gold ribbon. We actually technically need far less clearance than is conventionally insisted on, and you're feeling and knowing that from personal experience. So it comes down to what feels good to you.

Along the same line, I chose our aisle widths by mocking up our L-counter and island with cardboard boxes and sheet cardboard for the counters (including overhangs), then I rolled our DW and set our under-counter oven into place, and then I opened their doors. I tried unloading dishes in both directions, trotting past a DW door left wide open, basting and lifting out the turkey, slipping past an imaginary 450-degree oven door to get to the other side, etc., until I came up with exact figures that suited us. Then I put blue painters' tape on their outlines on the floor to live with a bit. BTW, the oven clearance is very minimal but did define no less than the 35" aisle I settled on. I figured it'd be open for short minutes not that often, and I could be slow and careful around it. Our DW, open too much to be willing to slow down for, is more like 42 or so.

This eliminated all guessing, all worrying about how it would work in "real life," and all regrets for mistakes that never happened. I knew exactly what I was getting before the first cabinet was ordered. I can't recommend it enough.

This post was edited by rosie on Wed, Jul 31, 13 at 20:03


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Thanks, LL!

I'm glad to help, Iheart! A galley kitchen is a very efficient set-up.

The pantry would be 5' 7" wide (same width as the current closet) by roughly 11'4" with a jog at the outer portion for the fridge. You could, when finances allow, steal 12" of its width to create a linen closet in the hall bath (next to the toilet). You'd still have a ginormous pantry with 12" deep shelving on the two long walls and a 31" aisle between the shelves. It's workable (I have a 26" wide aisle in my much skinnier pantry and my teenage sons and their friends still found ways to all cram into the pantry in their hunt for food, it was comical) and it allows you to create storage space in other parts of your home.

I didn't realize that you were also trying to accommodate wheelchair access. NKBA recommends 60" aisles for wheelchairs to pass behind seated diners. Not sure how much one can cheat with that recommendation.

I have a 39" wide aisle between DW and island counter and it works for us. We even manage to get by an open DW door as long as we move carefully. There are, however, no opening cabinet doors or drawers on the island facing the DW. You'd want to take note of clearance needs for open doors and drawers across from an open DW door. If you shrink the aisle down from 42", you may need to close the DW door before you can put items away in the cabs across the aisle from the DW. Not that you can't do this but it is less convenient. If you go to a 39" aisle, that gains you 3".

If you shrink the island from 30" to 27" (24" deep cabs with 3" total counter overhang), you gain another 3" for a total of 6", putting the outer aisle at 48.5", still below the recommended 60". You could shrink your work aisle to 36" and bump that aisle up to 51.5" Perhaps your friend would be willing to come over and help you run through a mock up to see just how narrow an aisle you can get away with? As admirable as your wish to include your friend's needs is, I caution you against creating a kitchen so specific to your needs that it would not appeal to most buyers. Unless this is your "forever" home - then do whatever you wish because by the time you sell, your kitchen will be dated anyway.

You can add a 3rd seat to the island by stretching it a bit more. The above plan has a seating overhang of 40.5" on the long side to allow 24" for one person on the long side and a 16.5" overhang for the person at the end of the aisle. To fit a 3rd person, add another 24" of counter for a total of 64.5", give or take a smidge. Or you could reduce the sink and trash pull-out and reduce the total island length. The person at the end of the island will be in the garage door path way a bit more than my plan shows.

I saw your comment about costs on your other thread but I'll address that issue here.

You will save money by eliminating specialty cabs (pantry cabs, especially one like you pictured above) and corner cabinet mechanisms. However, you will need to move plumbing so that adds cost to your bottom line but hopefully you have crawlspace or basement access to make that easier and cheaper to do.

Because you're working with straight runs, you may very well be able to work with stock cab sizes, which will help reduce costs. Keeping cab details to a minimum - pick a simple door style, avoid glazing, etc - will also help you keep costs down.

You can frame the pantry with 2x4s and sheet rock and go with a standard swing door. If you're handy, you might be able to do some of this yourselves (taping and mudding sheet rock requires skill most don't have to do the job well.)

You could also opt for laminate counters and reuse your existing sink and faucet until such time as you can install upgraded counters. It's the pretty packaging at the end that sends our hearts all pitter patter but frankly, all the bling in the world can't make up for poor functionality, so I'll always go for function over pretty. But that's just me.

Here is a link that might be useful: NKBA guidelines for seating clearance


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Lisa- thanks! I think on the weekly basis we can make the galley work. We measured the husbands grandfathers aisle in his kitchen tonight. So I think we will be fine there. No one will be coming through as he goes out is all. It'll work for the remaining years we have for his visits.

You are sooooo helpful. We have unfinished basement below the kitchen and den (will be finishing after kitchen goes in). So that should help costs! You've given us a lot to think about as far as the island plan goes. The sink, gd, faucet are in basement are waiting for install. So really I'm just looking at labor and cabinetry. I may have to return lighting and choose new lighting now. I can't wait to meet with our contractor and get estimates!

Thanks again :)


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Just to clarify I'm not worried about seated clearance. I just want to make sure he can navigate inti the family room, screened porch and out to hall and entryway. According to nkba: "Aisle width is absolutely crucial. The standard 36-inch minimum is not enough room for a person to safely pass another person in a wheelchair, so a 48-inch or larger width is best, with the absolute minimum width being 42 inches"

We will be at minimum but then he only visits once a week, so I am ok with that :).


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

You're welcome! I look forward to hearing about and seeing your progress and the finished kitchen pics!

I'm envious. My kitchen remodel is still a few months away, if not more. In the meantime, I'm making do by living vicariously through others' remodels. :-)


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RE: Help Help this layout needs help!

Stopped by to check out the progress on a small closet conversion project yesterday and chatted with our contractor. He'll give me a firm bid next week, but I'm confident that we can move ahead with this plan including widening doorway. He pointed out we could keep existing pantry and he could just rig it so wed have 3 24" deep ROTs for bottom shelves (that closet is sooooo deep and useless so he'd create a shallower back) and then do step back shelves in decreasing depth for the upper 3 shelves (wed finally be able to tell what is up there without getting on a foot stool!) then he suggested instead of the door, we consider drywalling bottom 1/3 and placing 2 sets of cabinet doors on the wall so it would appear as recessed cabinet. He liked Lisa's pantry suggestion as well, but he asked if I had considered making the area a nice coat closet with hooks for keys, purses, backpacks and such. I dont know what to think of that plan, but we do come in though the garage a lot. So I'll have to think on that over the weekend. He was really positive about the overall plan! However, he wasn't as keen with taking down the wall by stair well. He said it would equate to a lot of extra finish carpentry ($$$) to beautify our functional but ugly area. He's probably right there. So we may not do that. Although he'll show us some drawings. At this moment, i think that 1/2 wall will stay. I think it is fine, I have a favorite large piece of art hanging behind the 1/2 wall now that Ill see while doing dishes.

Anyhoo, back to kitchen lay out decisions-- what do you all think of 2 dishwasher drawers flanking a 30" sink instead of the 36" and trash pull out. I think we could make do with a small can under the sink and empty it into the larger can in the garage daily. We would also gain 2 drawers by doing the dishwasher drawers.

Thanks for your opinion!


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