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Critique my Kitchen Layout

Posted by joallen001 (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 26, 13 at 9:51

I posted my house plan layout in the building a home forum and buehl recommended I post in the kitchen forum also. So far this is just the schematic layout of the house and the designer is awaiting us for changes. The wife and I are both 30 years old and plan to have 2 kids in the near future. We know for sure that the pantry and laundry will at least be flipped. The pantry may even need to be relocated. I will also post the link to the other thread if anyone would like to see the comments on the overall plan. Any advice on things that should or might need changes are welcomed. This will be our first house and we are trying to invest the time to make it as perfect as possible. Thanks so much for taking the time to look at the schematic design! I will also post another image showing the left side of the plan. Also here are a few measurements since the plan a little hard to see.
Kitchen 11x15
Dining 12x14
Laundry 8x8
Pantry 4x8
Mud room 5x8

Here is a link that might be useful: House Plan review thread

This post was edited by joallen001 on Thu, Sep 26, 13 at 9:54

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

Left side of plan

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

I can't really speak for the,ktchen layout, because I am clueless in that regard.
What I do notice is each bedroom having its own bathroom. As the mom to a water loving daughter, I am happy she doesn't have her own bathroom tucked into the back corner of her room. She spends lots of time playing in the sink and often forgets to turn the water off. She would have flooded our house several times if I hadn't heard the water running..........

Perhaps if you made the one bathroom a little bigger and the entry way off the hall you could hear the water from the kitchen. Then it could be used by both kids and guests.
Just my 2 cents for what it is worth......

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

Yes the bathroom has been mentioned several times in the other thread. More than likely we will make it one large bath and have a half bath area for the pool.

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

I would like a window in the laundry room. If you consolidated the bathrooms, maybe you could have the laundry, where you show the powder room and the main bath between the bedrooms. This would give you a larger pantry and mudroom, too.

As for the kitchen, perhaps you should read the link about new to kitchens. That way, everyone will have a better idea how you hope to use your new kitchen and what you would like to see in your plan :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

Yes I am letting the wife read the new to kitchens and will post her feedback. I am leaving the kitchen up to her since she uses it the most.

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

Do you like to cook or bake? Maybe holidays or like my husband...anything meat?

If so, make sure you design the space for your needs, too. If there's a conflict, the primary user should get an extra vote (LOL) but this kitchen should reflect how the entire family will use the space :)

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

Kitchen details and our thoughts! A lot more to this when you really think about it. Most of my cooking will be done outside at the outdoor kitchen area.

Goals: plenty of counter space and kitchen cabinet space, have somewhat of a bar with 2 stools for kids, have the kitchen as a go-to place for hanging out, cooking, cleaning, etc., want to be able to see kids in living area or at dining table without having a wall to walk around to find them.
Family: 2 adults, hopefully 2 kids in the future.
Kitchen Workers: only 1, 2 adults help with cleanup, 2 adults cooking when husband is on diets (fixing diet foods, protein drinks, etc., hopefully have kids helping with cooking and cleanup in the future.
Kitchen Cooks: 1 cooks 2-3x/week, sometimes more or less. Wife loves cooking and wants to do more and get better at cooking, especially with such a nice kitchen and double ovens.
See Kitchen Being Utilized: for cooking, cleaning up, hanging out, watching the kids while they do homework or play, family get-togethers; should be the focal point of the house other than the living room. The kitchen will be used daily in many ways.
Entertain: as of right now we do not. We plan on doing a lot more informal entertaining once we are moved in.
Kitchen as a “hang-out”: absolutely and used every day. It will be utilized as a hang-out for parties, family, etc.
Dining Room: as of right now, at our apartment, we do not have a formal dining area. We have a dining table that is adjacent to the living room. This dining table is a “catch-all” table and area ��" books, mail, laptops, hobbies, food, etc. Our Billiard room will serve as the “dining room” and will have a pool table with the possibility of it being used as a larger dining table when needed for holidays and parties. The “breakfast area/dining” in our plans will hold 4-6 people and will be the table and area we use as a family for daily/nightly meals.
Opening up the Kitchen to other areas: yes, opened up to the living area and breakfast area/small dining area. The kitchen should be closed off to the mud room and billiard room. The kitchen island would be preferred in order to open everything up in that vicinity.
Merge 2 rooms into 1: no.
Areas where flexible:
• Can windows or doorways change size? Yes
• Can they be moved or eliminated? Yes
• Can windows be raised or lowered? Yes
• Can any walls come down? Yes
• Does the sink have to be centered under a window? No, not at all.
• Does it have to be under a window at all? No, not at all.

Baking and Baking Center: Not much. Usually, baking occurs around holidays and get-togethers (if we are talking about baking cookies and cakes). Not sure what a baking center is or if I even need one. A decent sized island with counter top space will be sufficient.
No coffee/tea/beverage center needed.
No snack center needed.
• Stove? Prefer Cooktop or Rangetop ��" will depend on gas line availability and cabinet space.
• Oven? Prefer built-in Double Oven if cabinet space is available.
• No warming drawer needed.
• Microwave? Prefer built-in or on shelf ��" no taking up countertop space
• Dishwasher? Beside the sink
• Fridge? Prefer Side-By-Side, but top/bottom freezer will work , have not really looked at fridges and what is available
• Ventilation Hood? Yes
Other possibilities:
o Built-in Microwave but maybe incorporate a shelf for the Toaster Oven to free up ample countertop space.
o Small cabinet area with sliding door/regular door that holds the Small Toaster and/or Keurig ��" keeps countertops organized and frees up more ample countertop space.
o Sizes of appliances depend on cabinet space and affordability. Prefer microwave big enough to hold a 9x13 dish. Prefer fridge to be bigger to keep more organized and make everything that’s inside visible.
o Prefer pantry to be walk
Cannot live without: cabinet space, countertop space, and a walk-in pantry. Also, the pantry may be needed for storage of other appliances that may not fit in cabinets in kitchen.
Definitely do not want: the kitchen to be unpractical when cooking, or to be hidden from the living room or small dining table area.
Would like if you can find a way: double ovens, shelf for toaster oven, built-in microwave, cabinet area for small toaster and/or Keurig ��" to keep hidden and off countertops but can still get to quickly and easily, gas rangetop or stovetop, small desk area for the kids to sit and work on homework or play on the computer while I am cooking.

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

A lot of great information!

While I won't have much time tomorrow to work on a layout for you, I may have time this weekend. Meanwhile, I suspect others will have some proposals.

I understand that this is a new build - are the exterior walls set?

Regarding the # of kitchen workers - plan for multiple because (1) both of you cook together sometimes and (2) your future children will want to help out!

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

thanks buehl

We tried to be as detailed as possible. This is going to be a new build. We should have plenty of room to move things around. The lot size is basically 1.5 acres. The exterior walls can change but we are going for a greek revival style house on the outside. I will post a pic of the style which was done by the same designer that is doing our plans. I am sure you are right on the children helping out! Looking forward to seeing your ideas and thank you for the help!

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

Here is a photo of the house style. We are a little concerned about all the windows on the front of our plan compared to this one. The designer says we need the wings on the sides since are lot is 307' long and 216' deep.

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

If you want to keep the ovens I think it would be better to move the crossing to the 2 BRs outside of the kitchen area.
If you can do that I'd suggest you to move the fridge to where the ovens are, have a prep sink on the island and at the borrom wall have ovens, cab for dish+glass storage and landing place for ovens, then DW and sink+trash.

Re double doors discussed in the building forum, if you want to keep office door that way, I think you can have the light switch at the outside wall.

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

If we moved the crossing wouldn't that change the whole layout of the kitchen? I am not sure how we would change the entry to the bedrooms.

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

Well, maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't want kids to pass/run through the kitchen to go to their rooms or anyone to the bath.

Maybe top 2' of the billard/dining could be used as a crossing.

If you'll have only fridge/storage or clean-up area at the bottom wall of the kitchen having the crossing to bedrooms there might be fine (though I would still be worried about a kid running blindly towards an open fridge or DW door).

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

  • Posted by buehl 7a, AHS 5/6 (MD) (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 19:53 are two options. I reworked the Pantry and Mudroom as well as the kitchen and Dining Nook. Note the Nook + Kitchen is longer - it expanded into the "Growth Space". Personally, I think if the Dining Nook is flush with the porch wall you will be able to see more of the outside - especially the pool. This can be very important later when you have children and they're in that in-between age when they don't need constant surveillance but they do need checking on periodically.

The rearrangement of the Mudroom gives you a wider closet and provides cubby space that is not in full view of the Dining Nook when the door to the Mudroom is open - which I suspect it will be more often than not on a day-to-day basis. It also provides a Message/Command Center where you can drop/hang your keys when coming in from the garage, charge your cell phones, drop mail, hang a calendar and/or dry erase/chalk board for keeping track of family activities and for leaving notes for each person, etc. The upper cab is optional and may not be needed. If you just want to hang a calendar/board there, then you probably don't need the upper cab.

The Pantry has plenty of 12" deep shelves for food and a set of 15" deep shelves for small appliances.

Both layouts offer you the ability to make your range/cooktop wall a nice focal point from the point of view of the Great/Living Room. They also both "hide" the dirty dishes a bit b/c the dirty dishes are no longer front and center and drawing everyone's eyes immediately. You may say that you always cleanup as you go/immediately unload/load the DW) and that you never leave dirty dishes out - but you don't have children yet! There will come a time when you don't have as much time to keep things perfectly tidy (think fussy babies, needy toddlers, etc.) and later it won't just be the two of you creating dirty dishes...

Regarding the island. With a prep sink, the island is ideally placed for your primary Prep Zone

  • It has a water source - very important for prepping

  • Plenty of clear workspace - even if the kids are sitting at the island

  • Near the refrigerator

  • Near the range/cooktop

  • Contains the trash pullout (prepping and cooking generate far more trash and recyclables than cleaning up and for a much longer period of time)

  • Prep & Cooking Zones protected from casual traffic ("just passing through")

  • It faces the Great/Living Room so you're "part of the action" and can keep on eye on what's going on :-)

Something to keep in mind:

Kitchen work studies have shown that kitchen work breaks down as follows for the majority of us:

  • 70% to 75% of the time spent working in the kitchen is spent prepping (i.e., "Prep Zone")
  • 20% of the time spent working in the kitchen is spent cleaning up (includes not just rinsing/loading DW, but also wiping down counters, etc.; this is the "Cleanup Zone")
  • 10% of the time spent working in the kitchen is spent cooking (meaning standing at the cooktop/range stirring a pot, etc.; this is the "Cooking Zone")

Other advantages:

  • The refrigerator is located near the primary meal area - the Dining Nook - for ease of getting condiments, etc.
  • No zone-crossing needed to get to the refrigerator from the Prep and Cooking Zones (yes, that is very desirable!)
  • The MW is a MW drawer so it takes up no counterspace and is easy to use for all ages (they also have a child lock, if you find it necessary to use it.) The location could be either next to the range/cooktop where I have it in the layouts, or it could be in the island - your choice. I just recommend that wherever you put it, be sure it's on the perimeter so someone using it for a snack won't get in the way of people cooking or prepping.
  • The aisles are wide enough that you can have people work on both sides of the aisles at the same time w/o them running into each other.
  • The refrigerator is a standard-depth refrigerator that is recessed into the wall behind it to appear counter-depth.

I don't have time for a detailed analysis of each one, but hopefully my notes on the layouts themselves will help.

So, here they are...

Layout #1...

  • Less counterspace than Layout #2 but a more convenient doorway to the Dining/Billiard Room

  • It has a 36" range and an oven stack that contains a single wall oven (30") and a shelf for the toaster oven. I have included three proposed designs for this oven stack - see below (b/w the layout and the zone map for Layout #1)

joallen001's Kitchen #1 photo joallen0011.jpg

Oven Stack Designs:

joallen001  - Oven stack options photo joallen001-Ovenstackoptions-TO1Oven.jpg

Layout #1 Zone Map:

joallen001's Kitchen #1 - Zones photo joallen0011Zones.jpg


Layout #2...

  • More counterspace than Layout #1 but no doorway directly from the Kitchen to the Dining/Billiard Room

  • It has a 36" cooktop and an oven stack that contains double wall ovens (30")

  • The toaster oven and Coffeemaker are in a corner appliance garage; the toaster is in the corner susan below. Since your island is your primary Prep Zone and it has a sink, having an appliance garage to the counter b/w the cleanup sink and range/cooktop is not a problem. If, however, there was no sink in the island, it would become an issue b/c your primary Prep Zone would move to the perimeter b/w the range/cooktop and cleanup sink.

  • There is enough room in that corner for someone to be making coffee, etc. without getting in the way of someone prepping, cooking, or even cleaning up.

joallen001's Kitchen #2a photo joallen0012a.jpg

Layout #2 Zone Map:

joallen001's Kitchen #2a Zones photo joallen0012aZones.jpg


Layout #3...Dining Nook change only - could apply to both of the above

Note that the smaller table will only fit 4 people, though, not 6. You need 24" to 30" linear space per person for table-height seating. If you put seats on the ends, you need another 12" to 18" in table length for each end that has a seat b/c the end seats need clear leg/knee space that is not shared with the seats on the sides.

joallen001's Kitchen #3 - Table Dining Nook Change photo joallen0013.jpg

This post was edited by buehl on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 19:56

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

Thank you so much for taking the time to lay all of that out! We love both layouts! You mentioned several things that we did not think about. Such as the dirty dishes in view from the great room. Absolutely love the layout on the mudroom. We were concerned about everyone seeing into it before. We will definitely print those off and take them to our designer. We should certainly have a great kitchen now. The wife loves layout 2 the best due to the extra counter space and having the double ovens. We may have to resort to layout 1 though. Our biggest concern with option 2 is getting access into the bedrooms.
She is still on the fence about microwave drawers. I mentioned those a few months ago and she didn't like the idea of having to bend over to use the microwave. We have only seen one drawer microwave in person so maybe it was just a bad layout.

The only other issues I see now is that we need to figure out a way to get a half bath somewhere around the rear of the house. This would be used for pool guests and possibly house guests as well. We are still in debate on a built in desk in the kitchen also. Its just one of those places we wonder how much it will really get used, and if it will become a place of clutter.

Again thank you so much for taking the time to do the kitchen layout. If you have any layout ideas for accessing the bedrooms and the bath we would love to get your thoughts on that as well. Hopefully we can get our changes back to the designer this week and I can post up the changes soon!

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

Where do you live? Is winter an issue?

How about something like this?

 photo joallen001PowderRoom1a.jpg

Yes, you will have to figure out something else for the TV in the Master BR, but with some fiddling you should still be able to find a place for it!

I tried to create one with a shower b/c I thought you might want a "pool house" type of bathroom that's accessible from both inside and outside the house, but it took up too much space and would require you to increase the footprint of the porch and, possibly, reduce the amount of sunlight in the Master BR and/or Great/Living Room.

Here's a comparison of the two:

 photo joallen001PoolHousevsPR.jpg

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

BTW...I also like Layout #2 the best. I originally liked #1, but as I worked with #2 and saw the many possibilities, I changed my mind!

As to access to the bedrooms, the access is still there - you just have to go through the DR instead of the kitchen - which I would prefer anyway to cut down on casual/through traffic. It will also insulate the bedrooms from noise from the rest of the house - in particular, the Kitchen and Great/Living Room.

I also prefer the bigger Dining Nook b/c it's more spacious and is more versatile with regards to seating and use, but either one would work.

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

MW Drawer...we have one and will always have one from now on! It's so easy to use! The controls are angled up so you just look down and push buttons - no squatting down or leaning over to get to the controls.

As to access, the drawer automatically opens with a gentle tug, you simply place the dish in the drawer - with very little bending, and give the drawer a gentle nudge to automatically close it softly (very little sloshing - no more than with a countertop MW). If you need to stir something, it's even easier! Simply open, stir, close - no removing food to stir or reaching into a small MW opening to stir.

We're a tall family and have no issues with it at all! There's very little bending, etc. Note that I would never have a regular or built-in MW under the counter b/c those would be a pain in the back to access :-) For those, you would have to lean over to read/use the controls and lean even farther to put dishes in/take them out.

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

We are located in Huntsville Alabama. I like the looks of that location and I am sure we can find somewhere else to locate the tv's. There is actually two tv's back to back there. One for the porch and one for the master bedroom. I think your post convinced her to go with the MW Drawer. The garage area may be a possibility for a bath as well since we are going to make the garage deeper. Thanks again and great ideas!

RE: Critique my Kitchen Layout

We are located in Huntsville Alabama. I like the looks of that location and I am sure we can find somewhere else to locate the tv's. There is actually two tv's back to back there. One for the porch and one for the master bedroom. I think your post convinced her to go with the MW Drawer. The garage area may be a possibility for a bath as well since we are going to make the garage deeper. Thanks again and great ideas!

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