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Small Kitchens/Family Room

Posted by idie2live (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 9, 09 at 14:06

Hi Everyone,
I have a question for those of you who have small kitchens/FR combos. I know the word small is subjective, so for this question, let's say for those who have somewhere around 200-225 sq feet.

I have a 12' x 18'kitchen (216 sq ft) which has 21' of poorly-placed cabinets (which is plenty for just me).

I'm seriously thinking about adding on a room (12x15) to use as a sitting room. But given the state of the economy, I figured I would explore other options.

I was wondering if it was possible to have a Kit/FR combo in this small space without feeling like you are 'sitting in the kitchen'? I've looked at photos of apartments to see how they intergrate small living/kitchen spaces, but it is difficult to tell what works w/o room dimensions.

I once saw a photo in a magazine of a 'smallish' kitchen, with a loveseat, coffee table and end table on one end of the room - it was adorable.

If you have such a space or just an opinion I would love to hear it.
Photos would definitely be appreciated.

Loretta


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Are your cabinets across the length of the room? I have friends with a small kitchen with a tiny breakfast area at the end. They have a couple of comfortable chairs and a small bistro table there. It is great, comfortable when you want to visit while you cook, and two people can eat at the little table.


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Am assuming you do not have a dining room or one connected to the kitchen.

I have an eat-in kitchen with a drop leaf table on one side. Two chairs and two benches. Am single and don't eat in there often. When there is company, it is actually too hot if using the stove. My options are barbeques in the summer and warmth of kitchen in the winter. The area gets a lot of use when visitors hang around the kitchen though. And I expand over for some meal prep.

If I had thought ahead would have used a couple of rattan chairs and small glass table from the patio. If you don't really need to eat in there, a nice area for friends to sit and share tea/coffee/drink/snack. Not sure if I would put a sofa directly in a small kitchen. Perhaps one with wood arms/back and pillows that could be washed.

As Marti mentioned, a couple of comfortable chairs would work well.

Look through the Decorators Forum in their Galary photos. They have tons of ideas for both small and large. I love that forum for ideas. Both my bedroom and bath got a makeover with a couple of pics from there.


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

We have a small couch and trunk for coffee table in our kitchen and two captains chairs. No kitchen table. We have a fold up table for the rare times we have a sit down dinner. It sits right over the trunk and we pull up the captains chairs to the table. Long cloth and you never even see the trunk. Works great for us and the cats love the couch to lay on and watch me cook. Hehehehe

I know the bike behind the couch is not ideal but it is the only place for me to have it where I will use it. If we were going to have a sit down dinner I would move it out of there for that evening. We always eat in the living room on lap trays. Been that was for more then 20 years . Guess we will not be changing that bad habit. Shrug.

Here is a link that might be useful: Other side of kitchen


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Marti8a, since my fridge is dying and I plan to buy a taller one, I'm planning to re-arrange my kitchen cabs if I can get this figured out. Currently they are on 2 walls but there is no 'flow'. My stove is in the corner and that has always bugged me for some reason.
Emagineer, when I was raising children there was a table w/6 chairs in there. Since it is just me I have not had a table in there for years.
Ladies I really appreciate your help. I have a few months to think this through before I have anything done. If you come across any mor pics that will help, please post them.
Loretta
**Not sure if I would put a sofa directly in a small kitchen.**
I think you hit the nail on the head! I think that is what was worrying me - cooking smells in the fabric and how to deal with them.

shades_of_idaho, I love the sitting area you have! I think your space is larger, but It centainly does help me to 'see' it in my home. I recently took over my dining room so I could have a sitting area in my bedroom and a walkin closet. So I spend most of my time in there. But sometimes I want to be on the front of the house and see what's going on in the neighborhood (nosy?) and still be a slob!
Is that chair wicker? That work well since the cover can be washed.


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

I have had the couch in our kitchen for a few years now. At our last house and this one. I can wash the cushions covers everything. Since we do cater to the cats I have all easy washable stuff. The couch is an old Haywood Wakefield. Fun piece. I have real covers on the cushions but as stated it is easier to use a throw.

I have not noticed smells getting into the furniture. The living room is right next to the couch so in the same room and smells would get into that furniture too. We have even quickly lifted the small couch and turned it to face the living room when we had more people drop in for visits. It is not all that heavy to move.

Your sitting room in the master sounds great.I use my sewing/guest room as my sitting room if I need to get away from the TV. There is a futon in there in couch position unless there is company coming to stay. The window in that room looks into my courtyard so I like it in there. I don't know I seem to sit all over the house. I also have a sitting space in our master in front of the window.

Chris


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Chris...love the area you have created. And I'd love to have the space. It is like a little garden room. Would enjoy seeing more of your little house if possible.

And you are right about kitchen smells. In a small house it is a bit difficult not to have them throughout. I love taylored slipcovers and have three changes for the seasons. They wash up beautifully and I don't get crazy about spills or what the cats are up too.


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Shades, I had to look up Heywood Wakefield to see who he was. That furniture line is very nice. The peices are all so distinctive.
-And you are right about kitchen smells. In a small house it is a bit difficult not to have them throughout.
You are right. Sometimes my son cooks garlic bread late at night, and the smells always wakes me up.

My friends and I are going to the beach next month. I am going to take my tape measure because a lot of those condo kitchen/living room spaces are laid out really nice. I know it is doable, I'm just one of those people who think thing through again and again and ........ you get my gist. lol

--I love taylored slipcovers and have three changes for the seasons.

Emagineer, did you buy these or sew them yourself? I've bought several, but could not get a good fit for my loveseat. I would love to have one that fits well.


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Idie,

I have bought slipcovers from a few resources. One was called SofaCovers, but it went out of business. The prices were great. Think I paid $150 for my couch and everthing was piped, fitted covers for each cushion, etc. in a twill. Would love to know where they went.

My couch is from World Market and bought two covers, one is still in the bag from 3 years ago. But used one has held up great. This was on sale, couch was $399 with one cover, the extra was $100.

I have a chaise too and bought a cover from Ballard Designs. They have sales all the time and still have this one. It was $160 at the time, has been washed more than a few times and very well made. Watch for their sales as they have 3 furniture designs for slipcovers and keep adding new fabric patterns.

It is hard to find covers for winter, so I make them and really like corduroy. Working on one for the chaise. Have upholstered and sewn slipcovers for years. If you haven't before, find a friend that does and work together. It is really like sewing puzzle pieces together. I don't make separate piping. Add this to the flat pieces, like the top of the cushion, by folding over the edge on the cord. Then sew the sides to the top.

And don't worry about a mistake if you want to try it, no one will ever see them. Walking foot for the sewing machine makes it very easy to sew denim or heavy upholstery fabric. You can always use a really cheap fabric to practice on, the cushions are the most time consuming or one of the arms. I make a paper pattern from the furniture and add a couple of inches.

As for sizing when buying taylored, give yourself an inch extra if necessary from what their measurements are. You can always wrap the arms and cushions. Makes them higher, not wider or deeper. Also pay attention to the measurments for depth of arms and height of back.

There are a number of other resources, but I've found them to be more than wanting to spend. Ebay has a lot of options, but not an ebay person that much.

Do a search for "taylored slipcovered furniture" and you'll come up with a number of sites. I always do an image search and works well to see what they are really selling. You'll still get a bunch of the ole' covers for everything.

Link below is for Ballard.

Here is a link that might be useful: Slipcovers


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Emaigeneer,

The house keeps evolving.You can see the changes if you work your way through the album. And if you go to the yard album it shows the big changes there from last year. I did spend some time in the yard this year and am pleased with how it is starting to shape up.

Even after these last pictures there are changes made. I move a little of this or that. Again hoping to soon be able to take the time and really get into making this house nice.

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: House changes


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room B

Small Yard Changes for anyone that wants to look. Remember this was a bare piece of land last spring. No yard no house no nothing.
Progress is not as fast as I would like. I am not as spry or strong as I once was.The best part is the courtyard is fenced now. Feels so much different. Loving it.

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Yard 2009


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Emagineer, Ballards is a really nice website. I saw several slipcovers I liked. I saw a green stripe that I absolutely love, but I have such a strong green in here already, so I probably need another color.

Shades, I thumbed through your album and I love all of the white you used. There is great continuity between your rooms.

As you ladies have probably figured out, I am all over the place trying to figure out IF I want to do some work to the house, and is so, then WHAT that work will be. My friends' eyes tend to glaze over when I start talking about this plan versus that plan, lol. But I decided to post pics of my dysfunctional kitchen so you can see what I'm starting with.
This a pic of the present floor plan.
Photobucket
Photobucket
I need a new fridge. The one I picked out is taller, and this cabinet have to be modified, so that is when I decided to re-arrange my kitchen.
Photobucket
Behind the curtains is a large closet I use for storage, but I can do w/o it.
Photobucket
Photobucket

This is what I'm leaning towards. At least today, lol
Photobucket
Loretta


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Are you on a pier & beam foundation?

Here's another plan you might not have considered, which will cost a bit less because you won't have to move as much and will have more kitchen room. There is a pony wall behind the stove and cabinet so you can still have an open kitchen and a wall to put the stove up against, and the sofa on the other side. Plus you can see the tv from your kitchen side and not have to walk through the kitchen to get to the seating area. And your kitchen mess and noise won't be right next to the door to the living room. But if you plan on adding on that direction, it probably wouldn't work.

Photobucket


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

I've always loved this 'kitchen in plain view':

Photobucket


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

marti8, That is a nice looking lay out with out all the concern for changing door and window.

This is the picture I had my kitchen couch inspiration from.Some one showed it from another site. I do use a fold up table instead of the regular all the time wooden one pictures here. But I just love this look too and if I had a nice narrow wood table I certainly would consider changing it.

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Inspiration picture


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room B

mjlb That is just beautiful. Have my brain working.on changing things here. Hummmm

One more thought Loretta. How about building in a banquet into your existing kitchen? I was considering that for two of the last three kitchens we had and then I found the little couch and just had to have it. LOL The banquets do not take up as much room as a couch would. And you could go with the narrow table.

I am assuming there is about 10 foot from your sink counter to the wall across from it??

OK I am taking myself off to bed to have sweet dreams of green and purple walls and re-arranging your kitchen Hehehehe

Chris


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Marti8a, thanks for the floorplan. What program did you use? I have an idea notebook that I have numerous drawings in. Putting the chair up against a pony wall isn't something I've looked at.
I'm thinking that I could flip the sink and D/W to the pony wall. There is 40" on the other side of the window (on the short wall). The fridge could slide down there. Then the stove could go down where the fridge is and not have to go against the wall (which I've always hated). What do you think? Tomorrow I'm going to get my tape measure and measure it, maybe put some boxes in place to see how it feels.

Mjlb, that kitchen is 'to die for'! (Big sigh) A girl can dream, right?

Shades, I use a foldup table also when my DGD comes to visit. I have a drop-leaf dining room table, but it now resides in the living room.


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Jeesh, I love those photos. Have never seen a kitchen like that and it is beyond beautiful. Plus the dining photo perfect in loved colors and fabric.

Idie, my favorite colors are red/green. But am not cottage, more rustic.

Comment on the kitchen layout. One of the things that bugs me about mine is the less than enough counter space between the stove and sink. May have mentioned that whenver my kids show up, the 3 of us end up in the corner. Plenty of other space available, but they just seem to be magnets to the corner. Most of my past kitchens have been U or L shaped with more counter space between. If I could figure out how to move stove or sink over that would be my first option. Isn't going to happen though without a ton of remodeling.

You have a lot of room for so many options. You could put the stove on an angle, add counter/cupboards on both sides. This wouldn't cost much as the outlet wouldn't have to be moved.

Would be fun to follow along as you change things. Great so many people are responding too.

Chris, You have done so much to your yard, plus love the kitties. We are working on a cat run too, the ole cat box in the house has finally gotten to me. Can't let kitties out, too many bears, lions and cyotes. And...I live in the city, but near the base of the mountains. We actually had a bear wandering around in the middle of town this summer. Poor guy and all the other wild life, must be really short of food in the mountains.


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

mjlb, I love that kitchen too. If I ever get to build my dream house, that is something I will consider (so I snagged it for my inspiration file ;) ).

Chris, your picture is exactly what I have been looking for. I want to make my living room easy to convert to dining room when there is company, but a comfortable living room the rest of the time. I asked one time over on the decorating forum & most people said a normal sofa is too low (which it is), but that one looks like it would fit the bill perfectly. I was going to just put my reclining loveseat in there and try to shove it against the wall when company is there, but I know it would always be in the way. Your photo encourages me to keep looking. Thanks!

Loretta, I thought about moving the sink over there but that meant more plumbing to move and electric is easier. Moving the sink over there would open the room up more though since you would want a higher wall behind the stove. I don't like the stove in the corner either, but I wanted to reuse your cabinets and give you some work space. What would you do with the window on that wall?

I used the free design program at Ashley Furniture. You don't have to download anything if you don't want to. I save them by doing a screen print & saving it in my paint program.

BH&G has a better program, but you have to register and I don't like spam, so I didn't try.


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

That kitty kennel has been the very best!! They love to go out there and yes they are safe from harm. Cost me $250.00 and I bet it has saved me 1000.00 or more in vet bills. One of our kitties is a fighter. AND it makes a small house with pets live bigger for us and them. It is 10 by 10 by 6 foot tall. They also make a 5 by 10 by 6 foot tall. I think it would have been fine too but since our kitties had been used to running free I got the bigger one for them.

Chris


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Thanks for all of the great ideas, ladies. I have lots to mull over. This is my late winter/early spring project, so I have a little time to nail it down. I'm off to play with the room planner.
hagna, Loretta


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

UT OH Loretta will disappear into computer land forever with that program. Fun Fun fun. Enjoy Chris


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Hi,
I also have a combo kitchen and a family room. What I did was I searched on the design which suites my interest and taste and I look for someone who have the talent and expertise to make the design for me at a very reasonable cost. I cannot upload the photos at the moment because we're in the process of rebuilding the place. I prefer using wall mounted furniture to save more space. Thanks.


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RE: Small Kitchens/Family Room

Gardenlover, what are the dimensions of your room? I'm still obsessing over it. I've used the Ashley link to do 11 different plans (with and without adding on). Every time my 401k shows some sign of life, I like the addition ideas. Other days when it seems to still be on life-support, I remember there is a difference between 'needs and wants', lol


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