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Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Posted by rockvillegardener (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 11, 13 at 22:41

We took the wall between the kitchen and dinning room to put a hi-low counter on the kitchen side. Put high stools for the kids to eat on the dinning room side. See pic 1. The counter will be above the window in the kitchen.
Option 1 is to put the counter at the kitchen side. To prevent the counter block the window, We plan to leave a little space between them, then it may look odd.
Option 2 is put the counter between the two windows, the counter would take up dinning room space, which will make the dinning room
small. See pic 2, there will be 100 inches left for the dinning area. On the other hand, we will have much bigger kitchen.

Should we go with option 1 or 2? Thanks for any suggestion.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

To be honest, I don't see how either option works. 100" is too narrow for a table with chairs backed up to bar stools. It is too narrow even if you move the bar slightly into the kitchen area.

Something to think about - do you really need bar stools if the dining table is right behind them? Using the dining room for seating and keeping the kitchen side with a regular countertop may be far more functional for both.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

To be honest, I don't see how either option works. 100" is too narrow for a table with chairs backed up to bar stools. It is too narrow even if you move the bar slightly into the kitchen area.

Something to think about - do you really need bar stools if the dining table is right behind them? Using the dining room for seating and keeping the kitchen side with a regular countertop may be far more functional for both.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

My dining room is 114". I have a narrow table--35 1/2". My chairs, tucked in, are 29" from the edge of my peninsula. I would not be able to pull the chairs or bar stools out if I had both.

Before we remodeled, we had what you plan on doing. It never made sense to have barstools IN the dining room! There needs to be a walkway behind barstools. So that flaw drove our remodel. I now have a one-level peninsula with a large counter to prepare food on.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

We have 3 kids. We're thinking the bar as a quick eating area for breakfast and snacks.
Now we're considering to cover the lower half window next to the door, and put the hi-low counter there, some space to walk around, then fridge against the wall on the other side.
Would this plan look good? Thanks!


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

No. See above posts.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Is the space with the door where your dining table will go? I can't see how you could fit stools and a table in that space. I have four kids myself (and young - range in age from 8-14). I have a u-shaped kitchen with peninsula in between the kitchen and dining area. I do not have barstools at my peninsula b/c the walkway would be too tight and I actually have more room than you do. With the kitchen and table/dining area so close, there really isn't a need for my kids to eat at the counter. They sit at the table to eat and do their homework. I prefer that anyway as it leaves the peninsula for me. I used to think it would be nice to have stools at the counter, but really it works much better just having them eat at the table. If my dining area was in a separate room, it might be nice to have quick meals IN the kitchen at an island/counter, but since your table will be right there, it doesn't seem to make sense to me, especially since you also need access to that door.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Is this your only dining space? If it is, then I'm with may_flowers and fourkids4us in discouraging a bar with seating. You will forever be whacking hips into chairs and knocking them around. Nobody will be comfortable using that space for either dining or passing through from wherever that door goes.

If you have a dining room elsewhere, have you considered not putting a dining table in that space? Do your bar stools, but use the rest of that space for some other purpose. You could put cabinets along the wall for storage of things like good china and coffee/tea service things, or possibly use it as a mud room entrance with lockers for boots and bookbags.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

This is the only dinning area. You make good points on the bar counter.
We're thinking to put a flat counter there.
Here's a floor plan of the kitchen side. The dinning area is 120'' instead of 108.
The counter is above the window. If we cover the whole window, the contractor cannot find matching bricks for outside, suggesting a wood panel there. Would it look odd from outside(pic 4 showing outside look)
If we put a Peninsula between two windows in the middle, it'll only leave 100'' at the dinning side. Would it work for the dining area?

Shou we use the original plan which leaves little space between counter and kitchen window? The link shows more pictures

Thanks a lot for any suggestions!!

Here is a link that might be useful: More Pictures


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

You do not need the seating there. It's redundant. And people won't fit there after you put in all of the chairs.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

I agree that there is not enough space, even with backless stools that tuck under an overhand when not in use. You could do a small peninsula with one seat at the short end.

If your contractor cannot find bricks to match, you should do a window box under a shorter, double hung window, repeating the x-motif on the door.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Your DR would be 10' wide, which is narrow even without the bar stools. The experts who've commented are right that this cannot be done in a way that would be comfortable for you and your family. Always think ahead to resale too - that configuration would be a deal-breaker for a lot of families buying a home of your size. Maximize your kitchen remodel to make the best use of space there and let the DR be seating for your kids.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

You do NOT have room for stools there, regardless of how you hoped they'd be used. I'm not sure what you are not understanding from everyone's posts.

Why can't they just eat breakfast at the table? That's what my kids have always done, even when we had stools at the island in our old kitchen. It will all be open anyway, so it won't feel like they are in a separate room.

You seem much more concerned about the wind then about making your dining room practically unusable. The pictures all show an island with a small gap between it and the window - that plan seems to work well. I don't think you'd gain enough useful space to make it worth covering the lower few inches of window.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

I took all you suggestion, have desided not put stool by the counter anymore.
Now my question is where to put the Peninsula.

Shou we use the original plan which leaves little space between counter and kitchen window?
Should we put it between two windows in the the middle, which leaves 100'' at dinning area.
Or put it as the original plan shows, but not leave a few inch space there, since it's above the window, do we need to remove the window. The contractor cannot find matching bricks for outside, should a wood panel look odd from outside? Thanks!


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Another option to consider, if budget permits--take out the window and the brick between the windows. Install a wider, shorter window, then use the salvaged brick to fill in the gap at the bottom. You can put the island/peninsula up against the wall, under the window--added bonus is that the counter can be longer, and won't look so off-center of the window.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

My husband wants to go with the bricks. It would be more solide red, less washed out. Would not-exact-matching bricks look ok from outside?
That's facing our backyard.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

You have a small area with awkward window placement. Instead of a peninsula, how about a rolling work surface like this one.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/210754457536104443/


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

As the owner of a small house with the only dining area very similar to yours, let me say from experience that 100" isn't enough for comfort. That leaves out placing the peninsula between the two windows. Leaving:

1) The original plan of leaving a space between the peninsula and the window. I keep looking at it and thinking I've never seen that done. What would you do with that little gap? Then I think, why not? The gap gives you space to open and close the window and a smaller person could pass through that space. I think I'd choose this, although without the overhang on the DR side.

2) Place the peninsula against the wall, changing out the window and doing the repair on the outside. There are several reasons I don't love this one. One is the expense. Another is I think it would be glaringly obvious from outside that a "patch" had been done. I'm not convinced the gain on the inside is worth it.

3) Use a rolling station of the sort lazygardens suggested. I've seen larger ones than the photo which might work, but still, would it have the storage you need? In a small kitchen every square inch counts.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

A couple of more thoughts on your plan other than the placement of the peninsula:

Your peninsula looks like it has a double door cabinet space on most of the kitchen side. Unless you want that for a specific reason, like maybe a cabinet with a mixer lift inside, you'll probably be happier with drawers. The same is true on the sink wall.

Are you using frameless cabinets? They'll give you just a little more space for everything.

Have you considered a pantry? I think one could fit on the refrigerator wall on the opposite side of the doorway. I have some concerns that it might seem a little tunnel-y coming in that doorway, but the gain in storage might be worth it. We were able to add in a 27" pantry with roll-out bottom shelves when we reno'd, and it made all the difference in the world.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

You only posted a picture of your kitchen plan. How does your DR line up against the Kitchen? Is it possible to make it one large room?

As a person who lives in a house less that 1200 sq ft. We just converted our kitchen/dining room set up to open up the house and we decided to put the dining table in the middle of the kitchen. I know people will talk about resale, but we are not planning to sell the house. Additionally, the appraisal loved our decisions when he came for our pending refinance. Do what is most comfortable for you especially if you plan to stay in the house for more that 10 yrs. An uncomfortable house is just a dead weight.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

You can have counter extension on DR side and get stools that can be stacked.

 photo counterextestion2-1.jpg

Also, it might be better to have the pantry cab b/w the wall and fridge so fridge door can open more than 90 degrees.

This post was edited by sena01 on Wed, Nov 13, 13 at 15:56


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Since this is the back if the house, put what window treatment you have on the other windows, seal from the inside and leave the outside intact.
We have done this is two different homes.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Have you considered a galley? Rotate refrigerator and pantry 90 degrees and connect island to it so entry is at the top near the windows. I agree expense not worth it to modify windows but other options look like a patch job.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Just to clarify...you want to have stools on the island/peninsula, but you don't have enough room for the table...and the stools?

What if you put a banquette on the long wall of the dining room (opposite the kitchen) and slide the dining table up to it? Is there a wall there? This would give you a few extra feet that could be used for the stools.

I wouldn't change the window height. What if you connect the island/peninsula to the wall, with a shorter section that fits under the window? Maybe have a plant there? It would take advantage of the light :)

From Kitchen plans


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Hi, Rockvillegardener. Regarding the outside if you take out the door: Fairly well matching brick OR wood panel painted to match, then plant your favorite dependable evergreen in front of it. Your name suggests you'd have no trouble with that.

I agree there is no social substitute for a table a family can gather around each day, and I agree you're wise to protect a proper dining area for family life. One that's pleasant and gracious, not a constant conflict of feet and chair and stool legs whose cramped effect makes all the surrounding spaces feel somewhat cramped.

Everyone understands the desire to be able to line the kids up at the kitchen. Would thinking in terms of FLEXIBILITY for the future help? You apparently have 3 kids for whom Mom is still the center of the universe, or at least capable of directing them to those stools routinely. That won't be the case forever.

For instance, could you make a deep peninsula temporary (and put a 48" round table in a corner of the living room, say)? As in standard depth cabinets firmly within the old kitchen footprint, with an extra-deep top that could be replaced when your kids were older? And/or movable? Run flooring under and buy extra so it could be removed, and be delicate with the bolting down?

Note that I'm wondering about relabeling spaces, either temporarily adequately or permanently well, while always still making a nice area to gather for meals a priority.

Any possibilities?


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

I like the idea of connecting the peninsula at the fridge end with the fridge turned. While there is always traffic going through the workspace of a galley kitchen, this will help funnel any traffic from the back door into the eating area.

It doesn't solve the problem of not fitting stools (but I really don't think that is truly a problem, just an alteration of expectations) but it will make things look more purposeful at the window and door end.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

So many great ideas I never thought before. I wish I posted here earlier before the contractor tore the frame of the window down today.

We're gong to ask the contractor tomorrow to see if we can the turn fridge 90 degree, and connecting the peninsula at the fridge end. We will loose the tall cabinet along the fridge side, should be able to keep the one on the top.
The little wall by the fridge is 31'', the fridge is 30''. Just enough space to fit, is it enough to move the fridge in/out?

If the above doesn't work, we're going to try the suggestion from lavender_lass.

Thanks!!


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Having a fridge next to wall is not ideal as you need some clearance for opening the doors fully; hence why having a pantry first works well. For that you'd need to extend the wall a foot or so depending on the size of the pantry. It'd still be pretty open though. Your exterior and window trim is charming not to mention all the light.

If you are still weighing various options - don't let your contractor rush you. A kitchen remodel is a big expense and you want it to work well for many years to come.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

When the fridge turned to 90 degree, it opens to the right side on the peninsula side. The fidge is 30'' depth, the peninsula is 24'' depth, so the fridge comes out from the peninsula a few inches. The door should be open wide. My concern is if there's enough clearance on the wall side.
Thanks!!


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

We're going to do the galley style. The contractor says they can widen the little wall (the fridge is back to) if needed.

I think we can still keep the cabinet on top of the fridge, will loose the long pantry by the fridge in the original plan. Any suggestion where to put it since we already bought it? Also the top cabinet when turned 90 degree, how does the side look like? Would it looks just ok, or should we cover it?

Thanks so much for all your great ideas!! We feel much more comfortable this way. Keeping the window, we get good view of our backyard, more natural light, plus easy traffic flow from the back door.

Thank you!!!


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Yeah - it makes so much more sense for your space. I take it you've already ordered your appliances and cabinets? Is there room to put the pantry on the other side of the refrigerator - since your contractor will have to lengthen the wall anyway? You should be able to use most of what you have - though when you have an exposed end it will need to be finished (stained or painted). That is usually not done if it's against a wall or butting up to another cabinet, so definitely check on that and see if you can have that done.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Regarding your other question about the side of the refrigerator cabinet, it you are not putting the pantry to the other side, you should get a finished panel (either 24"D or 30"D depending on if you have a counter depth or full depth refrigerator) and give your refrigerator a "built-in" look. I don't have time to find a pic now but perhaps someone can post one for you.


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RE: Space dilemma in kitchen and dinning room

Have you considered a galley? Rotate refrigerator and pantry 90 degrees and connect island to it so entry is at the top near the windows. I agree expense not worth it to modify windows but other options look like a patch job.


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