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Kitchen Layout help....please...

Posted by dazedandconfused (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 4, 12 at 23:08

Hi, I am a long time member, frequent lurker and sometime poster ( I know there's a song with these words in it- just cant think of the name of it...which reminds me of the hilarious and creative kitchen song post I read on the KF recently...sorry, I digress). Yes, my kitchen layout.

We are considering two layouts for our kitchen renovation. Our current kitchen is a galley type kitchen that is closed off from the sitting room/dining area by a wall (which is coming down).

Option#1- The range will be placed on the west wall ( where a bay window currently lives) and adjacent to the sink in the peninsula to the left and to the right a door which leads steps down to our side yard and trash area ( Dh is not willing to part with this egress- he says it's practical..LOL)

Option #2- The range would be placed opposite the sink. I was hoping to have the sink and range adjacent to each other. If the range is placed here the window will have to be closed.

I also had the architect enlarge the kitchen the distance between counters from the current 3' 9". I think he enlarged the distance to 6ft ( too much?) We are a family of five ( two teenage boys and a tween girl) and there never seems to be enough room for all of us in the kitchen at once.

My ceilings are just about 8ft, FWIW.

Any critique, help, advice or comment would be appreciated. I am going bonkers trying to decide which option will be more practical and functional and at the same time aesthetically pleasing. My dh is of no help. Whenever I want to discuss it with him or shove the sketches under his nose, his eyes just glaze over. Hmmph! I need to move forward on this project but feel so paralyzed by this decision.

Thank you


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kitchen Layout help...please Option#2

Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to upload the other picture...so, here it is.

Thanks again.


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

You have a lot going on in your space, so you are right to be concerned about locations and clearances. The major concern I see in plan 1 is that the clear space available to access the refrigerator and range appears more restricted that in plan 2. Generally speaking, these are the two appliances where greatest access and room many be needed. I also think the use of sliding doors in the dining area for plan 2 will take up less space, if they are to be closed often. Good luck with your choice!


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

A couple of thoughts - the ref location in number 1, the pantries in number 2 and the desk chair location in both can lock the aisle. Like, who cares where the back door is when you can't get there anyway. Or perhaps your spouse is thinking ahead that the aisle would be blocked and he'll just use the two exterior doors to go 'round.

when I look at your layout, I'm wondering how much room in the kitchen is actually being used just for circulation and what your existing layout is like. Because what appears to be "the main drag" goes right through the end of both arrangements with a spear over to the sorta misplaced back door.

Also, why seating for 13? in the kitchen...

So, I would think about the room more like this... It's still got circulation aisles but the working one is without any. I'm trying to consolidate entrances and exits as much as possible, but also trying to have a nice work area.

One of the hardest things is to try and think about how the room would work if "everything is different". Also - don't worry if this takes you a while.


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

Thank you so much or your input virgilcarter and bmorepanic! Sorry, It took so long to respond but with school starting and my mother in law having a stroke Ive been a bit preoccupied. My apologies.

I forgot the tell you that the sliding doors in the dining area lead to our stone raised patio and grill. So, that door must stay. The kitchen door to the right in the kitchen leads to the side yard and trash area. That also must stay.

The existing layout is a galley kitchen with only 3.9 ft between the counters. ( There are dotted lines on the sketches where the line of the existing counter is. Presently, there is a wall between the kitchen and the dining with a pass through window and the entryway from the kitchen to the dining area being where the "pullout under cabinet "is in the sketches.

My main concerns are closing windows to accommodate appliances like in the Option2. Where the range is in that sketch is a bay window. Will there not be enough natural light? Will the kitchen door ( even if we make it open out instead of inward) interfer with my cooking at the stove?

Would I rather have the pantry or refrigerator in the aisle? Will either interfere with the flow? There would be at least 3 ft between the pennisula and refrigerator or pantry. Would I be restricted to a French door refrigerator?

Is 6 feet between counters too much ? Especially if the stove and sink are opposite each other as in Option 1?

Virgil-thank you so much for that alternate layout! I wish I could use that layout. It would solve most if not all of my concerns and ease my extreme angst!!

It would be a dream! Unfortunately, the sliding doors lead to our raised stone patio and grill. So, those doors must stay. It's not in the budget to reconfigure all doors, windows , remove patio, build new patio with steps leading down etc. of all adjoining rooms although i would love to The sliding doors look offset because we want to push back the existing footprint of our kitchen about 2 ft into that adjoining room.

That room right now is a multi functioning room. It's our informal eating area, it's our desk and computer area and pretty much a catchall room.

I see there weren't that many GWers offering to help me so I thank you again for your invaluable opinions, advice and drawing!! I am having such major anxiety over this because I don't want to make an expensive mistake. I just want to do the right thing.


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

Thank you so much or your input virgilcarter and bmorepanic! Sorry, It took so long to respond but with school starting and my mother in law having a stroke Ive been a bit preoccupied. My apologies.

I forgot the tell you that the sliding doors in the dining area lead to our stone raised patio and grill. So, that door must stay. The kitchen door to the right in the kitchen leads to the side yard and trash area. That also must stay.

The existing layout is a galley kitchen with only 3.9 ft between the counters. ( There are dotted lines on the sketches where the line of the existing counter is. Presently, there is a wall between the kitchen and the dining with a pass through window and the entryway from the kitchen to the dining area being where the "pullout under cabinet "is in the sketches.

My main concerns are closing windows to accommodate appliances like in the Option2. Where the range is in that sketch is a bay window. Will there not be enough natural light? Will the kitchen door ( even if we make it open out instead of inward) interfer with my cooking at the stove?

Would I rather have the pantry or refrigerator in the aisle? Will either interfere with the flow? There would be at least 3 ft between the pennisula and refrigerator or pantry. Would I be restricted to a French door refrigerator?

Is 6 feet between counters too much ? Especially if the stove and sink are opposite each other as in Option 1?

Virgil-thank you so much for that alternate layout! I wish I could use that layout. It would solve most if not all of my concerns and ease my extreme angst!!

It would be a dream! Unfortunately, the sliding doors lead to our raised stone patio and grill. So, those doors must stay. It's not in the budget to reconfigure all doors, windows , remove patio, build new patio with steps leading down etc. of all adjoining rooms although i would love to The sliding doors look offset because we want to push back the existing footprint of our kitchen about 2 ft into that adjoining room.

That room right now is a multi functioning room. It's our informal eating area, it's our desk and computer area and pretty much a catchall room.

I see there weren't that many GWers offering to help me so I thank you again for your invaluable opinions, advice and drawing!! I am having such major anxiety over this because I don't want to make an expensive mistake. I just want to do the right thing.


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

Oops... sorry for the double post


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

First of all, if you have a serious family emergency then I suggest you should call a temporary halt to reno plans. There's no point in creating more of a crisis than necessary.

Secondly, I can't figure out why you have so much seating in your kitchen. I know there's a long-standing tradition of having a kitchen table to eat at and a current fad for opening kitchens up to other rooms, and a current fad for seating at an island (or peninsula) and lately there's a current fad for opened-up kitchens with a dining table and multi-place seating at an island in the same room.

Frankly, it seems redundant to me and visually it begins to look like a kitchen showroom where all possible alternatives are displayed in one space. Unless you have a ginormous kitchen, I think you should have one or the other, but not both. Or at least if you must have some kind of perch in the kitchen (in addition to an eating table) let it be de minimus, just the sort of thing where the cook can grab a quick cup of tea. Nothing that substitutes for feeding a whole lot of people diner-style.

I see you have a doorway that leads to the "present dining room". Is that staying so you are proposing to have three eating spaces ....? Perhaps since the DR is now cut off from the kitchen you are feeling a sharp sense of separation. If you are keeping the DR, then just having one quick-meal/snack-type eating area in the kitchen will meet your needs quite well, I think.

I couldn't decipher the changes and notes on Option 2 so I can't comment on it.

But, in Option 1, I'd swap the wine cooler and the fridge, so the fridge is closer to the cooking zone. No point in adding extra steps since surely you access the fridge more than the wine cooler during prep?

Before you go any further, think through the eating arrangements. If you have a DR, then use it for most meals rather than waste that space. If you're getting rid of the DR, then plan on an ample eating table in the kitchen and skip the peninsula seating.

And give some thought to whether you want to design your new kitchen around what may be a short-lived stage in your family life: when you have young children that need to hang around the kitchen while you prepare supper. And think about whether you want to wind up living all in one room. For if you start to add more functions to one large space you will find that the rest of the house becomes unlived-in.

HTH,

L.


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

Thank you for your thought provoking and detailed response, Liri. Sometimes when there is a crisis, I need diversion to get me through. It gives me something else to focus on so I don't get consumed with worry. In a way it really helps me put things in perspective. That being said this kitchen planning has been consuming my every breathing moment even before my mil had the stroke ( her prognosis is good, thank goodness it was a mini stroke) I just have to make a decision soon so we can move on with this project and have a fully functioning kitchen ( current appliances falling part as well as cabinets etc). I've been staring at these sketchese revising them etc for many months. I know something's not right with each of them ( I have about 9 altogether with two revisions) but can't quite put my finger on it. They all have issues and I have a budget I must stick to.

Seating- we almost never use our formal dining room and are thinking about turning it into some sort of library/ reading space eventually. We are a family of five so I guess that's why the architect included 5 stools at the pennisula. I suppose we could cut that down to 3. Now that you mention it, it does look like a diner. Lol. Anyway, we have always eaten in that adjoining room since moving here over 10 yrs ago. We just found it more convenient to do so than to eat in our formal dining room. Funny you should mention something about living in one room you are absolutely right. We live in the kitchen. Everyone is always in the kitchen and it's a tight fit and squeeze with someone cleaning or clearing up and /or cooking etc so that was our impetus to enlarge the kitchen a bit from its existing footprint. I have two young teenage boys and a tween girl. The next room we live in is that adjoining room where the sliding doors are. The computer is there as well the table we eat dinner on as well as a bookcase so that's the next popular room. The next room is the sun too/ den where we have our tv sofa etc. That is the room on the left of the dining areaon the sketch ( maybe pocket doors to that doorway as seen on the sketch) That room sees a lot of action as well. The only two rooms that don't see much action are the formal dining room and living room.

We may not be getting that round table with seating for eight, as seen on the sketches, for months even maybe years or ever really So, for a long time and maybe forever our only seating in the kitchen area will be the pennisula and formal dining room. The table we eat on now will be donated.

Good point about the fridge and wine cooler. I didn't request it and probably won't have one in the kitchen at all! We don't even drink wine or any alcohol really. So, I think it's funny that the arch even put it in. Lol

Option 2- puts the range on the wall that is at the top right hand ( north) of the sketch instead of on the wall on the right hand side of the sketch ( east). It also moves the pantry to where the fridge is in option 1 and the fridge to the east wall.

Anyway, thank you again for your invaluable insights and ideas.


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

Thank you for your thought provoking and detailed response, Liri. Sometimes when there is a crisis, I need a diversion to get me through. It gives me something else to focus on so I don't get consumed with worry. In a way it really helps me put things in perspective. That being said this kitchen planning has been consuming my every breathing moment even before my mil had the stroke ( her prognosis is good, thank goodness it was a mini stroke) I just have to make a decision soon so we can move on with this project and have a fully functioning kitchen ( current appliances falling part as well as cabinets etc). I've been staring at these sketchese revising them etc for many months. I know something's not right with each of them ( I have about 9 altogether with two revisions) but can't quite put my finger on it. They all have issues and I have a budget I must stick to.

Seating- we almost never use our formal dining room and are thinking about turning it into some sort of library/ reading space eventually. We are a family of five so I guess that's why the architect included 5 stools at the pennisula. I suppose we could cut that down to 3. Now that you mention it, it does look like a diner. Lol. Anyway, we have always eaten in that adjoining room since moving here over 10 yrs ago. We just found it more convenient to do so than to eat in our formal dining room. Funny you should mention something about living in one room you are absolutely right. We live in the kitchen. Everyone is always in the kitchen and it's a tight fit and squeeze with someone cleaning or clearing up and /or cooking etc so that was our impetus to enlarge the kitchen a bit from its existing footprint. I have two young teenage boys and a tween girl. The next room we live in is that adjoining room where the sliding doors are. The computer is there as well the table we eat dinner on as well as a bookcase so that's the next popular room. The next room is the sun too/ den where we have our tv sofa etc. That is the room on the left of the dining areaon the sketch ( maybe pocket doors to that doorway as seen on the sketch) That room sees a lot of action as well. The only two rooms that don't see much action are the formal dining room and living room.

We may not be getting that round table with seating for eight, as seen on the sketches, for months even maybe years or ever really So, for a long time and maybe forever our only seating in the kitchen area will be the pennisula and formal dining room. The table we eat on now will be donated.

Good point about the fridge and wine cooler. I didn't request it and probably won't have one in the kitchen at all! We don't even drink wine or any alcohol really. So, I think it's funny that the arch even put it in. Lol

Option 2- puts the range on the wall that is at the top right hand ( north) of the sketch instead of on the wall on the right hand side of the sketch ( east). It also moves the pantry to where the fridge is in option 1 and the fridge to the east wall.

Anyway, thank you again for your invaluable insights and ideas.


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

I thought I'd recognized your name as someone who'd been here awhile. ;-)

The plans make me a little anxious. They look too crowded, especially for fitting in the moving bodies of your family. The open dw will block a lot of that back counter, and would be an even bigger nightmare in plan 2. With the stove and door in the same space, and hardly any room between the stove and sink, it's a no-go for me. Where will dishes be stored? It's a must for me to have them handy to the dw.

The 3 ft aisle, especially with fridge straight across is pretty tight, and just creates a bottleneck, then a trap for all the family members trying to get past each other inside the peninsula'd space. In my sister's and my mom's peninsula kitchens, it seemed people came in, but could never get out, and we were always in each other's way or path. If you can fit an island, and I think you might be able to, based on your plans, and Bmore's too, I think you could get better flow and separated workspaces for your family.

Can we have more room dimensions? (Clearer and some overall room sizes... if they're here and I'm missing them, I apologize)


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

Dazed, of the plans you've posted so far, I like #1 better. Although I crave windows, I would want to move the stove away from that doorway. However, although it does appear to offer the good work counter I require up on the top left corner, that area is isolated from the fridge, sink, and stove. It wouldn't work for me, and the tight stove counter would not substitute.

#2 has no good work counter, so it'd be off my list. The counter by the refrigerator would be wasted as I'd end up working in that little corner between sink and stove.

So, they're not horrible, :), but if it were mine I'd definitely keep drawing. Have you considered moving the door to the side yard down toward the pantry area? This would open up more options and also provide more direct access to it for everyone, while getting the door out of your main work area.

I do share the problem with 2 fully equipped dining areas right next to each other--with people's backs turned to each other no less. So typical, but not because it's wonderful. Do you realize you would have 48 chair legs, plus an unspecified number of cross supports, in that room alone to keep clean, that would have to be moved to clean under, etc.?

You mention using only the counter at first, maybe forever. That would mean you guys would never really see each other during those meals. The reason why restaurant counters are typically straight is to provide some degree of privacy for strangers sitting directly adjacent to each other. Good there, highly dysfunctional for a family.

You mention another table you have dinner at. If you are planning on keeping that other table, maybe change the kitchen relationship to that space so it works for all sit-down meals, and maybe put a counter in the kitchen for casual snacks and being with the cook?

The built-ins in the dining area? Since most can be placed independently all kinds of places, I'd put these toward the bottom of the priorities list while I decided on a really good prepping/cooking layout--just to make sure options are as open as possible for the stuff that has to be there.

Then place the desk, etc. Maybe in the new library just a few steps away? Or one of the other rooms? If you do end up with that wonderful large table where it is, I'm thinking more spaciousness to go with it would be really nice. That looks like it could be a very pleasant place for dining and socializing around a table. (Whoops! 52 chair legs--forgot the desk chair.)

As always, I'm uneasy when I hear families are cramming themselves into only part of the space they theoretically occupy and in reality pay to heat, cool, and maintain. On the plus side, something about this corner of your house is working for you since you gravitate there, and that should only be changed carefully. Sunshine, privacy, seclusion from the street, views, relation to the garden?

You have an architect. Aside from meeting your requests, what suggestions have been offered from that direction?


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RE: Kitchen Layout help....please...

More clearly: widening the aisle isn't the only issue in making your kitchen work with a lot of people in it.

I have had a 5 foot aisle and thought it was fine. With a 5 foot aisle, we could fully open cabinets on both sides at the same time. There was always room to walk by, but it was two steps from side to side.

At 6 feet, it's a little far for me - pretty much 3 steps - no turn, step and sit down that hot, but empty pot in the sink. It's like you're making space for people to be in your way, hoping its enough so you can walk around them.

I can't stand 3 foot aisles - srsly. I had one in an apartment and got way tired of handle injuries to my backside while poking around in cabinets for stuff. Maybe its cool to be able to reach into the uppers on both sides at the same time if you're a professional, but it doesn't make up for round black and blue marks.


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