Return to the Kitchens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Open Kitchen layout thoughts

Posted by sadiect (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 3, 12 at 20:39

My builder is somewhat talking me into a more open concept kitchen/living/dining area. The area north of the kitchen is the dining room and to the right is our living room. Originally there was only a three foot doorway b/w kitchen and living with cabinets, etc on that wall and a smaller island. I have come up with this new plan with a larger island. I'd like for the island to have the higher counter on the sides to match the bar side so that I don't see everything in the sink while sitting in the living room.

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Open Kitchen layout thoughts

We've had an open kitchen livingroom dining area for thirty years. One large, deep sink instead of a double takes care of anything. And there actually are no dishes. They go in the dishwasher as a matter of course. It's a logical change of habit and mutual responsibility.

RE: Open Kitchen layout thoughts

The plusses: very ergonomic plan, everything is where it belongs, very few obstacles/obstructions, refrigerator is close to but not in the cooking and cleaning zones. It's a cool plan.

The minuses:
1.) your family is going to walk between the cooking and cleaning zones to get to your fridge.
2.) your french door fridge is right next to a wall and recessed - so the left door will not open completely.
3.) the island is 10 feet long in a room that is 10'10" tall, so it's going to look gargantuan. You'll never cover it without seams in your counter material.
4.) if I'm reading this correctly, you have a lot of 24" wide cabinets. Choosing wider cabinets makes them more functional, and you get to buy fewer of them.

I would move the fridge to the right of the range against the wall, center the range between the ovens and fridge, and make the range wall cabinets deeper than standard 24", so that the fridge cabinet is flush with the wall, but the doors extend slightly beyond to open fully. I'd make the current fridge location an upper lower cab area for toaster, microwave, coffee maker, etc... I'd also put trash pull out to the left of the sink.

I'm sure it'll be lovely.

RE: Open Kitchen layout thoughts

I think you're off to a great start with this plan. I spent about 9 months on my kitchen plan, and it took me about 6 months to get used to the idea of an open plan. Being totally open was just scary to me, but I really like it now that I'm living in it. I also have the dining room in front of the island and the living room to the side. It works out really well for me.

Like dan1888, I'd suggest that the raised counter isn't necessary. I just moved from a raised peninsula to a one-level island, and the difference is astounding to me. It is just SO much more functional and I feel less closed in. In my old kitchen I had a double sink, and I'll admit that there were a lot of dishes on the counter, but the raised peninsula didn't really hide them. Now with my large single sink you don't really see them at all, and dan1888 is right about putting them right in the dishwasher. Trust me, when you get into the new kitchen with all the great storage space, you won't have anything you're trying to hide. If dirty dishes are really a concern, consider two dishwashers.

I respectfully disagree with some of EAM44's minuses. Your family doesn't have to walk through the zones to get to the refrigerator - there is another route and your aisles are nice and wide anyway. You should check to make sure your fridge doors will open, but many would in that situation. My standard bottom-freezer refrigerator in the basement will open fully against a wall. Even with a french door refrigerator, you just have to stick the doors out into the aisle a couple inches. My brother and sister-in-law have an island your size and didn't have a problem finding granite slabs to cover it.

Good point, though, about the 24" wide cabinets. You may have just been sticking anything in there to get the general layout, but don't worry about symmetry for your base cabinets. You won't really notice it. Instead of 2 24" base cabinets I would perhaps use a 36" 3-drawer base and a 12" tray storage. In general, drawers are a lot more functional than cabinets with doors.

Think about how much seating you want at your island. If you extend the cabinets around in a u-shape with a 12" deep base cabinet on each side you would lose seating for one, but you'd gain a lot of great storage and give your countertop extra support.

Good luck with your plan!

RE: Open Kitchen layout thoughts

I think you might regret the higher counter thing. First of all, it won't hide very much. Secondly, it ruins doing prep on the island - facing your family and guests. Third, when you have a big task, its nice to be able to spread out and have a deeper area to use.

Starting from the pantry side, I'd go trash, sink, dw, cabinets to mass more usable flat space together on one side in front of the cooktop - just a pivot and drop into pot.

As a larger thought, and after all, its just paper at this point..

Dishes are not front and center anymore. I like keeping dishes on the wall, so I'd be a lot happier not having to rotate every time I wanted to empty the dishwasher. The oven move is to allow plenty of clearance no matter how anyone uses the oven (from the side or from the front).

I'd leave the entire island at one height - you actually have enough depth that people seated should be ok. If this design was actually for me, I'd cut the stool seating completely in favor of a secondary prep with perhaps ref drawers to get rid of "drinks" traffic behind the island.

The other thing you can think about in any design, is whether to make the back wall counter a little deeper too. It really does help with small appliances. Some people like a narrower clearance between back counters and an island. It may also help convince people to go 'round the island instead of through the work zone.

RE: Open Kitchen layout thoughts

Thanks so much! I was actually thinking about the split level island after I posted this and really agree with you all that one level will be much more functional and will go with that.
As far as the cabinets go, I was just throwing the standard in to get a feel for everything, but definitely want more drawers and will probably do 36" as suggested.

I'm not really concerned about having a lot of seating at the island, so plan on having the U-shape cabinets with more storage.

Good points about the refrigerator clearance. I'm sure my builder will take care of this, but I will double check.

If the 10' island has enough clearance, I'd like to keep it, although I'm considering making it 9'.

 o Post a Follow-Up

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

    If you are a member, please log in.

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

Return to the Kitchens Forum

Information about Posting

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

Learn more about in-text links on this page here