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Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Posted by ekwan (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 28, 14 at 14:54

Hello~I am planning to redesign my kitchen so that I can have more counter space as well as a kitchen island for eating or food preparing purpose. Currently, the kitchen is so not efficient. Based on the floor plan, I cannot find of any way to put in an island unfortunately. I wanna see if forum members can give me some insights on this...

As you can see, there is a low wall between family room and kitchen which I think I have to demolish it to open up the space.

Any idea would be so much appreciated~


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

I am thinking this one may be one of my option. However, there is a open door way from dining to kitchen right besides the peninsula. I am not sure if I put two bar stools in, would it be blocking the way to kitchen. I am also thinking if the fridge is next to the wall, will there any issues for opening the door. Should i open up a wall to create an entrance to kitchen in front of the fridge and close up the entrance besides peninsula?


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

What are your options for opening up walls? Does the wall shared by kitchen and dining room need to stay? I notice your mockup kitchen doesn't have much (any?) eat in space. Do you want a separate formal dining room only? If that wall needs to stay, would it work to use the family room as a dining/hearth room area, and then have a smaller, more formal sitting area where the dining room is currently?


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Sorry, it took me a while to get back. It takes so much time to ask for a blueprint from my town. As seen from the blueprint, the wall between kitchen and family room/dining room are all load bearing, so opening up a wall probably is not an option anymore. I am thinking to make use of the half wall between kitchen/family to put a built-in cabinet.

I want to add in an island or bar for eating instead of putting a separate breakfast table in it.

What option do I still have now?

Thank you!


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

What are you going to use the breakfast nook for if not a table? Sorry, but at 10'6", you simply don't have the room for an island. The peninsula could work, although your aisles will be very tight, and where will you put the dishwasher?


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Obviously, you need to get an expert to verify, but it looks like wall to family room is load bearing, but wall to dining room is not. If this is the case, do you want a separate dining room? If not, then maybe that could be one big kitchen/dining space with island.

I don't know your budget, but this is just one (quick) possibility. Hope this helps :)

From Kitchen plans


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Because of the narrow width of your kitchen and the presence of the patio door, it will be difficult to even fit a peninsula with seating in this kitchen and still have a functional layout.

Going on the assumption that you are correct about load-bearing walls in both directions and not changing any exterior doors or windows (that can be expensive if exterior finishing is not easy to "fix to match"), here are two ideas.

Layout 1 has no peninsula (or island) but has plenty of counterspace and work/floor space. Note that the counters are 3" deeper on the "bottom" wall where the Cleanup Zone is. This gives you more space behind the sink as well as allows deeper upper and base cabinets. It also gives you deeper counterspace for the Prep Zone on the range side of the sink.

Layout 2 has a peninsula with seating in the DR doorway - but only when someone is sitting there. When no one is seated there, the stools are not on the doorway. The other thing I don't like is the DW in the middle of the Prep Zone - but to give you decent counterspace in the Prep Zone, this was a compromise. Hopefully you don't prep and cleanup at the same time. If you do, you'll be dodging an open DW door. The last point is that there isn't a lot of room b/w the range and peninsula. I did face all cabinets away so there won't be any conflict b/w the oven door and the cabinet doors & pulls/knobs.

(Now, if the patio door can be moved to the FR or made smaller and/or the FR doorway can be moved "down", I might be able to fix that...but I don't know where you're flexible).

In both layouts, (1) the Cooking Zone is protected from casual traffic in the kitchen, (2) the refrigerator is placed so it's accessible from inside and outside the kitchen so cooks and snackers can use it without getting in each others way, and (3) the dishes are near the Cleanup Zone and easily accessible from the DR and (in Layout 2) the peninsula.

I think #1 is more functional, but if you really want seating in the kitchen with no wall, etc. changes, then I think #2 is doable.


Layout #1:

ekwan's Kitchen #1 photo ekwan1_zps454fc0f2.jpg


Layout #1 Zone map:

ekwan's Kitchen #1 - Zones photo ekwan1z_zps1290b08a.jpg


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Layout #2:

ekwan's Kitchen #2 photo ekwan2_zps73da40b8.jpg


Layout #2 Zone map:

ekwan's Kitchen #2 - Zones photo ekwan2z_zps4c5f9d23.jpg


I understand that islands are all the rage right now and that everyone wants one - but they aren't feasible in all kitchens. They work best in large kitchens where there is plenty of room for (1) a decent sized island, (2) decent aisles all around, (3) a minimum of 15" of clear knee/leg space for the seating overhang, and (4) so the island doesn't become a barrier. In fact, in larger kitchens, an island can often be almost a necessity to bring the work zones together so they are not so spread out that you are hiking all over the kitchen when preparing a meal or cleaning up.

Even peninsulas need space to prevent the feeling of being trapped inside the kitchen.

[Don't feel bad about wanting an island - I did too! But the very patient people here showed me how my kitchen really couldn't handle one - and it was 11' deep (yours is 10'6"). I did end up with a peninsula similar to yours with the seats in the LR doorway with similar space issues - it works OK so I think you'll be OK with yours in the DR doorway.]


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

There is no way the knee wall is load-bearing. Does it have columns at either end? Perhaps the columns are, but the knee wall itself is not and can be demolished.

How did you realize from these blueprints what is load-bearing? They don't show the ceiling joists at all.


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

From the layout of the house (looks longer than wide) and the columns on either side of the knee wall, I'm guessing the load bearing wall is to the family room. The dining room is probably not, but again...need to contact an expert.

Buehl- Nice options, as always :)


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Thank you so much for all your advice!!! I really appreciate a lot~~This forum is always warm ^^

Thanks lavender_lass: I do want a separate dining room. The reason i don't want to open up the wall between dining and kitchen is because I don't want people to see my kitchen once they step in my house. The house entrance is right in the middle of the house side (corner unit). So once they step in, they will see the dining room on the right plus the kitchen if no wall...that would be too open...I have consulted a contractor. He said there may be some electric wire going through that wall as well.

Thanks buehl for detailed analysis! Yes...i think everyone likes an island because it is a trend. And i kinda stuck in my head when I cannot get one in this narrow kitchen. But i do agree that it is not possible to have a standalone island that i have to compromise. And peninsula is not a bad idea too.
Your house has the same thing as mine? It would be nice to share some pictures for reference too :)

Thanks sjhockeyfan and Jillius: From the blueprint, my friend said SB means structure bearing wall...thats why we think the column to family room must be load bearing. I believe the wall in between column can be demolished but those columns are so close together. Don't know if it looks weird to have a little hole between columns.


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

I have found something interesting on the web. The half wall can actually turn to a set of cabinet :)


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

It's not identical, but I had some similar issues. We had a host of measuring and other issues (long, long story!) so we ended up having to increase the depth of the interior wall, thereby reducing our Kitchen from 11' deep to 10'6" (like yours).

One thing, though, we have the advantage of no patio/deck door in the Kitchen - it's in the FR. It makes a big difference! Our Kitchen is also in the middle b/w the DR on the left and the FR on the right (Foyer below the Kitchen). And finally, the window in our Kitchen is pretty much centered on the wall with other windows so we were able to add cabinets, etc. on either side of the window.

[See the end of this Message for pictures.]


If you could move your patio door & modify the center columns, you could do something like this:

Layout #3:

ekwan's Kitchen #3 photo ekwan3_zps83f9614d.jpg


It removes the knee walls and combines the two columns into one and reduces the total width to 12" wide (from 18"). If it doesn't need to be 12" wide, then make it as narrow as possible.

Yes, it takes a bit of space away from the FR if someone is seated at the peninsula, but it isn't much and when no one is seated there, the stools don't take up much room. In addition, if you replace one (or two) of the windows in the FR with a patio door, the seats won't interfere w/the door b/c there's still space b/w the peninsula and those windows or door.


Layout #3 Zone map:

ekwan's Kitchen #3 - zones photo ekwan3z_zps33e60db4.jpg


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Here's our final layout.

Buehl's Kitchen:

My Kitchen's Zones photo Kitchen-Zones.jpg

Here's what it looks like in real life:

Kitchen From FR [400x300] photo EntireKitchenviewfromFRIMG_3912400x.jpg

Entire Kitchen, view from DR photo EntireKitchenviewfromDRIMG_3830400x.jpg


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Or, if you can move the column to the end of the peninsula:

ekwan's Kitchen #3a photo ekwan3a_zpsb864b6cd.jpg

You prep in front of the corner windows or the long window to the right of the range. People seated at the island will also have a nice view out that big window!

With the prep sink (optional, but useful), in the corner, it leaves some nice space on the peninsula for additional prepping, staging food during parties, etc. The corner sink also pulls the sink/water farther from the visitors, so there's less likelihood of them being splashed while you're prepping and they're seated at the peninsula.

BTW...This peninsula is over 15" wider than mine...and I find mine very useful even if it is narrower! I love it!


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

That last version is brilliant! Well done, Buehl :)


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Thanks Lavender_Lass. Hopefully, Ekwan found my layouts useful. We'll have to wait to hear from him/her to know if the changes some of us have suggested (remove knee wall, move columns, replace door with window) can be done.


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Thanks buehl for the great idea! I do agree that if I can change the patio door to windows, it will give me more space for sure. But one problem is that the half wall starts from doorway to kitchen instead of the side with patio door. There is a doorway to family room right next to the patio door.

Plus, it will be so costly to change the patio door to windows and my family does not agree with it because the change is so big :(


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

I have talked to my colleague another day. He reminded me that I can make use of the 12 inches shallow cabinet. Therefore, I have made a preliminary idea of the plan. I definitely want the fridge back to the wall so it can free up a lot of space. I will put a little buffer between wall and fridge for opening the door. I will cancel the corner sink and put the sink right left of the corner, then dishwasher. Left side of dishwasher will be a tall shallow cabinet.

P.S. there will be cabinets under the countertop but somehow i dont know how to use ikea 3D planner properly..


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

I also draw the plan in paper. I am trying to make those electrical and plumbing and hood hose staying around the same place.

At the same time, the right and left side of the square in the half wall will be removed. There should be a counter top between columns only to open up and align the peninsula in the kitchen.

What do you think?

Another thing is that a contractor is telling me that my house is only 3.5 years and i shouldn't do it until the cabinet gets old....I am so confused right now.


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Attached is my current kitchen layout...i think the wall cabinet is a bit weird...


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RE: Kitchen Plan - any opinion please~

Please reconsider investing in opening up the area between the dining room and kitchen as well as changing your door situation in the kitchen. Your three main areas are fairly small. I feel claustrophobic just looking at your current floor plan. These rooms desperately need to be opened up to help your home feel more spacious and also provide additional light. Your stated goal is to block the view into the kitchen for those who step into your foyer by leaving the dining wall in place. My experience is that 99% of those we invite to step inside have already seen our home on a messy day. The stranger and those we hardly know are usually kept by the door. It would be better to cut corners in other ways with this remodel to achieve the goal of making your home "live large." My patio home is only 1500 sq. ft. but having the public areas as one big space has done wonders for it.


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