Help me decide between two kitchen plans
Ilija Pavlic
November 25, 2013 in Polls
I need help deciding between two kitchen plans:

1. an L-shaped kitchen
2. a line kitchen with a free-standing fridge

Plan 1) currently has shorter upper cabinets
Plan 2) likely calls for an additional drawer cabinet next to the fridge as a breakfast bar. The cabinets are currently displayed as taller and can quite easily be made to look built-in.

The space is a kitchen-dining-living room combo. We're planning to add a table for four in the middle of the kitchen space, and proceed with the living room to fill the remaining space in the room. The only room windows are on the wall opposite the kitchen.

Images attached.

Please advise.
Line kitchen
L kitchen
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dclostboy
I like the L better, but would get rid of the tall pantry cabinet in exchange for additional counter space.
0 Likes   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 25, 2013 at 9:44AM
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Dytecture
Just be aware corner cabinets reduce the amount of accessible counter space.
0 Likes   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 25, 2013 at 10:18AM
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Darzy
What is your design style? If you did the straight line kitchen, you could get a rolling stainless steel island and shove it against the wall with your pots/pans underneath. Then, you could roll the island into the center for prep space, buffet, or bar space if you want.

2 Likes   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 25, 2013 at 10:29AM
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PRO
Royal Kitchen and Bath Cabinets
L shape makes more sens. It gives you countertop next to the fridge which is good to have. While shopping for the fridge look for a counter-depth one, it will make that counter more accessible and useful.
0 Likes   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 25, 2013 at 1:06PM
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smileyface2013
I chose the L shape; however, Darzy has a great idea using a stainless steel island with wheels that can be moved about as needed.
1 Like   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 25, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Stacey at Dohiy.com
If you are going to have the fridge on that wall anyway, then the L make more sense. Otherwise, you have dead space between the kitchen units and the fridge. Fun to design a new space!
0 Likes   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 25, 2013 at 1:33PM
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Ilija Pavlic
@dclostboy That counter space is almost dead anyway, since it is behind the door. I like how it looks without the pantry cabinet better though.

@Dytecture I'm aware of that :(. What do you suggest?

@Darzy If I try to fit the fridge in the line as well, the best I can get is a 40-50cm drawer cabinet. I don't feel that's enough. If some pots or pans could end up on the island, it might become enough. An interesting idea, thank you! I don't know about my style. Simple, elegant and colorful all look nice to me!

@Stacey When in an L, the fridge opens up to planned table space, making it more difficult to use. That's why I considered a straight line. You are right about the dead space though. The L brings in one additional lazy Susan in the corner.

Do you suggest taller upper cabinets (bringing them closer to the ceiling)? Would that make the room appear bigger or smaller?
0 Likes   November 25, 2013 at 1:50PM
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groveraxle
L-shape, and take all the uppers to the ceiling. Gives a cleaner look and one less space to dust.
2 Likes   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 25, 2013 at 1:55PM
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PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
I like the L shape over the line. I personally designed a kitchen centered off the pantry/saferoom in the corner, then a large island with built in range with island exhaust fan.
1 Like   November 25, 2013 at 3:52PM
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dclostboy
Even though behind the door, it holds coffee maker or some other thing that's constantly on countertop. And ceiling height cabinets, definitely.
0 Likes   November 25, 2013 at 5:01PM
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Ilija Pavlic
I'm attaching the updated line image to show what I meant with an additional drawer cabinet next to the fridge.
0 Likes   November 25, 2013 at 11:48PM
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smileyface2013
Ilija, which way is the refrigerator facing?
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 4:30AM
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Ilija Pavlic
In the line kitchen it is facing towards the line, making the line become more similar to a galley kitchen. In the L kitchen it would have to face the table in the center (taller cabinets visualization for L attached).
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 4:38AM
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Ilija Pavlic
Here's a reverse visualization of the line-turned-galley kitchen.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 4:40AM
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Ilija Pavlic
Finally, I'm including a hybrid between the two. It might make the room appear more spacious. What do you think?
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 4:43AM
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smileyface2013
I definitely prefer the first L-shaped kitchen. I do not like the refrigerator's back to the rest of the room, as it is in the line/galley kitchen. Also, the first L-shaped kitchen has more upper cabinet space than the hybrid model.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 4:52AM
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feeny
Why can't you put a counter depth fridge against the back wall in the line kitchen and put either the range or the sink in an island that doubles as a breakfast bar? That would be much more attractive than looking at the back or side of a refrigerator from the living room.
2 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 5:10AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@feeny I would hide the backside with a bookshelf. A sink can't be in an island because of piping. A range might be possible but only as a galley. An island would involve too much work with the finished hardwood floor. I'm not sure to position the extractor fan over the island and would like to keep the dining table. I don't like an island as the only seating space.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 5:31AM
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feeny
I would much prefer to have a range in the island and a clear line of sight than to have a tall bookshelf or anything else that tall hiding the back of the refrigerator and thus interrupting the open feel of the kitchen. But if you don't want an island then what about having the sink or the range in the position where the fridge is in the L shaped kitchen? Anything to get that fridge onto the back wall would be my top priority. Otherwise it looks like a very poorly designed kitchen layout to me.
1 Like   November 26, 2013 at 5:34AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@feeny I would too. However, the room is just 5.65m long. I'm counting 60cm for the line counters, 100-120 spacing and 100 for the island would bring the kitchen to 260cm without the table. We were planning on having the kitchen at 250 maximum, 220 optimal to leave enough space for the living room in the remainder of the room. How do you suggest working in a table in that space? Thank you!
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 5:49AM
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dclostboy
I like what you've done with the hybrid, but why did you take away the cabinets from over the refrigerator?
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 5:51AM
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feeny
I'm suggesting keeping the footprint of your L-shaped kitchen (either original or hybrid), but switching the placement of the refrigerator onto the back wall (counter-depth fridge) and putting either the sink or the range in its place on the L. This shouldn't affect the size of the kitchen, only make the sight lines more open.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:02AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@dclostboy The only windows in the room are opposite the kitchen. I did't want to block light if it wasn't necessary.
@feeny Is this similar to what you had in mind (images attached)? If not, did you think that a range can be freestanding on that wall - a line kitchen, then a gap, and finally the range by itself or with some cabinets by its sides?
1 Like   November 26, 2013 at 6:10AM
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feeny
That is one of the configurations I had in mind. The other would place the fridge nearer to the center of the back wall, with either the sink or range to its right against the back wall and either the sink or range against the side wall in the L shaped configuration. All I'm trying to do is open up the sight lines so you aren't looking at either the back or side of the refrigerator (bookshelves or not) from the living room. It will create a much more open feel.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:16AM
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Ilija Pavlic
I really like how the island looks on the visualization. Can you offer some advice on how much space is needed on the island next to the range? The sink location is fixed unfortunately.

I'm not sure I understand your other suggestion though. Do you suggest splitting the kitchen into two separate pieces so that the fridge opens up in the direction of the door (translucent on the visualization, bottom on the top view) and has the range to the right of it, and then a separate piece for just the sink?

Here's a quick look (upper cabinets removed for simplification). That doesn't look so good to me.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:26AM
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dclostboy
In the last image, you really have no counter space...I would be willing to sacrifice having the side (but not the back) of the fridge face the rest of the room.

Also not sure why having the cabinets over the fridge on the side wall blocks the light if they're there in the L.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:29AM
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dclostboy
With the range on the side wall doesn't work at all.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:30AM
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feeny
No, don't split the kitchen. Put the refrigerator where the sink is with upper cabinets around and above it, then extend the lower cabinets against that back wall to the right of the fridge, with the sink (or range, if you prefer) to the right of the fridge against that back wall as well, then turn the corner with the L and put the last appliance (range or sink) there against the side wall. It keeps the L configuration, but puts the fridge against the back wall so you are never looking at either its back or side.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:35AM
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dclostboy
@feeny, then you either put the tall pantry back or have hanging counter space behind the door. There also may not be enough room there without moving the sink.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:37AM
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feeny
I'd prefer the look of putting the tall pantry back, butted up against the fridge with counter and sink to the right of it and more counter and range against the side wall. I just hate having that fridge on any wall except the back one as it closes off the room visually. But if it were my kitchen I'd be using an island rather than an L or peninsula shape.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:41AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@feeny I can't move the sink unfortunately due to plumbing constraints.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:45AM
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feeny
In that case I'd put the refrigerator against the back wall in the right corner and put the range in an island.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:47AM
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dclostboy
If the windows are at the other end, they will be your focal point for the rest of the furnishings. I'm still feeling the L shape.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 6:49AM
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Gina
I voted L shape but after reading all the comments and seeing the overall room size and look you are going for I wonder if you move stove "island" center and "T" out a counter hight table to accommodate seating?
1 Like   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 26, 2013 at 7:04AM
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Ilija Pavlic
Here's the floor plan I posted some time ago on another topic.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 7:05AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@ginchar104 That also looks very nice. Thank you for the suggestion! We were looking for a normal height table but I'm not sure any more.
0 Likes   November 26, 2013 at 7:08AM
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PRO
Daniel DeSantis Interiors
"L" all the way with the upper cabinets reaching the ceiling.
1 Like   November 26, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Ilija Pavlic
For the line with an island, I like the positioning of elements very much. I have a big drawer cabinet right next to the dishwasher to unload clean dishes, and smaller drawer/pullout cabinets to store oil and cooking utensils next to the range. For this configuration, I'm not sure how the cooking splurts are contained. I currently have an old white range, so I can see that it's not rare that some of the cooking ends up on the backsplash. Without it, how is that handled?

For the L, the positioning is not the best, but also not bad. There is no dedicated space for oils, but that should not be a big issue.
I'm a bit apprehensive about to-the-ceiling cabinets. Won't they overwhelm the space? Also, I'm a bit worried about seating space interfering with the work triangle.

Any suggestions for those problems?
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 2:19AM
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rinqreation
Have you considered moving the door a few inches?
1 Like   November 27, 2013 at 3:00AM
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Christine Virgin
Definately like the L ........which could have a book/ornement shelf from floor to ceiling to conceal the bulkiness of the side view of the fridge and provide useful storage space ( a kitchen unit could be used but facining the dining area
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 3:05AM
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Christine Virgin
or a wall to put a pictures or furniture to make the L more discreet
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 3:06AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@rinqreation I have. Sadly, I would have to get a signed permission from all tenants (45 flats), get an architect to re-do structural calculations and apply for the permit. After that I would have to cut through 35 centimeters of solid concrete (surprisingly, not very expensive to have it done). I gave up because I think it is unrealistic that everybody would sign, and the other costs are also considerable.
1 Like   November 27, 2013 at 3:45AM
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rinqreation
My view on the L-shape, clockwise starting at the door: Full height cabinet (food storage) 90x50cm - 60cm (maybe a dishwasher?) - 50cm sink - 50cm small drawers - 90cm corner cabinet (pans!) - stove 60cm (or cooktop with combi oven) - 50cm large drawers - fridge. Assuming you won't have four people dining on a daily basis, consider buying some nice folding chairs.
2 Likes   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 27, 2013 at 3:49AM
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rinqreation
And an island-ish version: Also fullheight storage behind the door, 50cm deep and 90cm wide. Then a built in fridge, same type cabinet, but deeper. Three 60cm wide cabinets with a sink in the middle. The peninsula has 3x 60cm (one is stove) and 2x 37cm deep on the 'front side', the countertop is slightly extended, so you can dine on the corner. Again foldable chairs will come in handy (I have some comfortable foldable barstools from ikea). Between the two blocks there is 120cm, which is a recommended minimum.
If you have a drop-leaf on the side, you could make space for more than two people.
4 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 3:57AM
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Ilija Pavlic
Sadly, the sink cannot be moved (installation constraints). We had a similar plan with the range next to the fridge but could not decide which way to go. Another unfortunate constraint is that we were looking to have an Ikea kitchen to cut on costs and it appears there are only 40, 60 and 80 cm drawers.
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 4:01AM
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rinqreation
Fortunately 50 and 50 is also 40 and 60, right? I'm getting an IKEA kitchen too, can't afford anything else and will also be installing it ourselves. But installation constraints as in.. drain?
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 4:05AM
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PRO
ACR Villa Skovly
I would have chosen a drawer fridge instead of a tall freestanding fridge. Check this out on : http://www.norcool.no/produkter/kjoleskuff/kjoleskuff-for-pamontering-av-mobelfront/
This will give more countertop space and more air to the solution.
I use these drawer fridges in many of my projects where it is difficult to place a regular fridge. It fits to IKEA fronts and it has a lot of space.
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 4:07AM
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rinqreation
Because drains can be moved (and water pipes too).
1 Like   November 27, 2013 at 4:10AM
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Gina
1 Like   November 27, 2013 at 4:57AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@rinqreation Yes, both the drain and water pipes are on a fixed position in the wall. The wall is again solid concrete and we can't move them. Behind the cabinets could be possible, but I don't know how much space there is for pipes. I'll consider that! Thank you a lot, especially for your drawings. They're great!
1 Like   November 27, 2013 at 5:12AM
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rinqreation
Moving the cabinets a few cms forward shouldn't be a problem. Since you're working between two walls (thus niche) You could even have the backsplash forwarded too (drywall), to be able to move the faucet too and not worry about a deeper countertop. Or create a nice edge to place your soap and some utensils on, similar to the photo.

1 Like   Thanked by Ilija Pavlic    November 27, 2013 at 5:17AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@ACR Villa Skovly These look nice but I'm having difficulties finding them in my country. They also look costly. Thank you for your suggestion, it's a good one.
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 5:46AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@rinqreation I just found out that IKEA also has shallower drawers. Incredible, and would help a lot with planning if I knew that!

That would make it easier than moving the entire cabinet forward. Still, it would be best if the sink and washing machine just exchanged places and shallower drawers won't help with that.
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 9:16AM
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rinqreation
It will be worth the lost centimeters.
Counterspace on both sides of the sink is a must, in my opinion.
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Ilija Pavlic
Possibly, but the configuration seems bad.

One wall: pantry, drawers, sink, dishwasher, some space (could pull 40cm with an extremely tight fit: 90+40+50+45+[39]+90), corner element. Other wall: corner cabinet, stove, 40cm drawer, fridge. No wide drawers means space wasted on cabinet and drawer sides.
0 Likes   November 27, 2013 at 2:08PM
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rinqreation
So the total width is 354cm?
0 Likes   November 28, 2013 at 3:13AM
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Ilija Pavlic
Yes, the precise dimensions should be 354cm x 565cm. The walls are surely not perfectly perpendicular nor even, so I'm planning on having around 5cms for fitting.
0 Likes   November 28, 2013 at 3:24AM
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rinqreation
Because 90 (pantry) + 60 (dish) + 60 (sink) + 40 (drawer) + 90 (corner) = 340cm
0 Likes   November 28, 2013 at 4:04AM
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rinqreation
Maybe this helps? :)

(just imagine there's a hood over the cooktop)
(and the backsplash is 10cm forward but ends below the upper cabinets)
0 Likes   November 28, 2013 at 4:12AM
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Ilija Pavlic
The dishwasher could be at sink's place only if the countertop is moved, right. My calculation was for when it is not moved. Your suggestion will allow 2 40cm drawers (we'd like to have an oven under the range).

Without moving, we could hope for:
- 90 pantry, 60 sink, 45+5 dishwasher, 60 drawers, 90 corner on one wall
- 90 corner, 60 range, 40 drawer on the other (+60 fridge = 250)

Alternatively (for a shorter L), the configuration might change to:
- 90 pantry, 60 sink, 45+5 dishwasher, 60 range, 90 corner
- 90 corner, 60 drawers (+60 fridge = 210)

In either case there would be
a) just 15-20 cm of landing space to the left of the sink or
b) no pantry, just lower cabinets or
c) pantry will be just 40cm wide (and also used for storing brooms).

We have 51cm before the door frame. If we take out 3cm for the cabinet knobs, the cabinets might be pulled out to at least 45cm instead of their standard 37cm depth.

That would give approximately:
- for b) 100x45cm landing space
- for c) 60x45cm landing space

How important is the landing space next to the sink when a compromise is presented between the pantry and that landing space?
0 Likes   November 28, 2013 at 5:18AM
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rinqreation
I'd really go for the 'cabinets a few cms forward', what is 8cms when you win a considerable amount of countertop with it? Plus I'd say a dishwasher in an inner corner is a no-no and a sink in a corner isn't very practical either.

A stove also needs at least 30cms on each side and a stove in a corner is neither goodlooking nor practical, if I may say so. In loads of old kitchen layouts you would have no other choice, but this will be a completely new one, so please choose wisely. And I might seem a little pushy in my opinion, but my intentions are good (don't want to be rude).

The pantry cabinet should best be full height. Small houses and nifty storage are best friends (I even had a hook for my folding chairs in my wardrobe). You could go for a 100cm wide pax closet, there is a 37cm deep one, but you could also look for a 45cm deep closet, anything that matches your kitchen cabinets, just add the same handle. 45cm would indeed be a maximum, because of the room-door handle (install a anti-bump-rubber on it!).

Is the a reason you don't want a full height cabinet there? Because a full height would also cover the offset in depth (I'm not a fan of an offset countertop with a seam).

Again, when you move the sink over there is no need for compromises.
0 Likes   November 28, 2013 at 1:36PM
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rinqreation
Some minor changes, new drawing. From the entry door towards the left: Pantry, dishwasher, sink, 120 corner cabinet, all forwarded for the drain (10cm is max). Around the corner a 40cm cabinet (door), the stove, a 40cm drawer cabinet for cutlery and the fridge.
0 Likes   November 28, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Ilija Pavlic
@rinqreation You are definitely not pushy nor rude. I really appreciate the your effort in helping us with the kitchen. What software are you using for your drawings?

I'm not sure what you meant with the about the corner comments. I'll try to reproduce the plans in text:

Shorter version:

|60fridge|
|60drawer|
|90corner|60stove|50dish|60 sink|pantry/shallow cabinets

Longer version:

|60fridge|
|40drawer|
|60stove|
|90 corner|60drawer|50dish|60 sink|pantry/shallow cabinets

Since the countertops are approx. 60 wide, there would be full counter space on each side of the stove but only on one side of the sink.

My "line" wall has preexisting installations for the original plan of:
|65fridge|40drawer|60stove|50diswasher|50sink|90pantry/shallow cabinets|

Perhaps this would be also workable with the peninsula for additional counter space. Since the only windows are on the north wall (the "line" is the south wall), the fridge will be blocking some light in an L.

At this point I'm feeling quite stressed. I had some wonderful suggestions from all of you, but have a hard time deciding. We'd really like to finish this by the end of this year. Thank you again for your help!
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 2:29AM
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rinqreation
Let go of the old kitchen layout. Gas and wiring can be moved.
Do you cook on gas or electric?
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 2:37AM
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rinqreation
And don't worry about light, it will probably be evening every time you cook, so a few extra led's on that side will bring you joy and light.
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 2:39AM
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rinqreation
And my corner issue was mostly a warning not to place a drawers or a dishwasher in the inner corner.
2 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 2:45AM
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Ilija Pavlic
I see what you meant. A lazy Susan carousel is L shaped 90x90, so 30cm are available on each side. The 120x60 corner cabinet was really wobbly in IKEA, so I've decided against it.

We only have electric in our building, so we'll be using that.

These show how a peninsula barrier might work. I like the separation and open upper feeling, but we would have great difficulties installing a fan extractor for the range on the peninsula. Therefore I've only considered the peninsula with just cabinets that continues into a table.

eggplant kitchen
Kitchen
Market
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 2:50AM
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rinqreation
Below is the front view of the kitchen as you stated.
Sorry, the fridge still has a niche on top.

I would not use this layout. It's just a bit too cramped, especially when I know it's going to be a brand new kitchen.

Too little space between stove and sink, not enough prepping space near the sink. I imagine myself cooking in there in logical steps, fridge - wash - cut - cook, also getting a spoon to stir, a knife while someone else is stirring, those type of things.

And last but not least, it's your kitchen, so please do as you wish.
1 Like   November 29, 2013 at 3:02AM
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rinqreation
LOL my ikea 120 corner cabinet has been wobbly for 15 years but still works fine ;)
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 3:02AM
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Ilija Pavlic
I think I'll follow your advice. Explaining the need for the drywall will be a bit difficult, but I'll manage :).
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 3:04AM
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rinqreation
Drywall is easypeasy, trust me, I've been there ;)

It's also a good oppurtunity to get the corners aligned and angled, so the countertop doesn't need fitting.
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 3:07AM
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jessegee
My feeling is number 1 built in, are you right handed? Think about how you open the fridge door, I always use my left hand to open it. Excited for you!
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 3:08AM
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Ilija Pavlic
Yes, I'm right handed. My best arrangement for the kitchen would be entrance → fridge and pantry → sink → range (with counter space in between). However, I have to adapt to the reality of my space.
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 3:13AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@rinqreation I'd just like to clear up the drywall option: I believe you are suggesting the A option in the attached image (or a C for the shelf). Am I correct?
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 3:46AM
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rinqreation
Yes, either A or C.
Of which A is easier to build, but C gives a ledge to place smaller items on.
Red would be drywall and blue some wood/c-profiles, no need to do the whole wall.

If you're building it yourself, make a wooden ladder-like frame in the right sizes and screw it on the wall, this way you'll start with a straight surface. I hope that makes sense.
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 4:26AM
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rinqreation
I did a similar thing in my mom's new kitchen (which me and by brother installed and customized). She did not want upper cabinets though. Still haven't made a picture of the finished kitchen..
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 4:40AM
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rinqreation
Don't forget to post results!
:)
0 Likes   November 29, 2013 at 2:04PM
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Ilija Pavlic
Sure, we'll see what's economic and doable for this year and get to work. Thank you all for your help. @rinqreation, I tried reaching you through your email - perhaps it ended in spam.
0 Likes   December 2, 2013 at 1:47AM
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PRO
Studio M Interior Design
I say go for the L-shape
0 Likes   December 2, 2013 at 6:14AM
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Ilija Pavlic
@Studio M Interior Design I have an option of the following divisions in the room:
2.1x3.5m kitchen/dining space, 3.5x3.5 living room space with range and sink on different L parts or 2.5x3.5 kitchen/dining space, 3.1x3.5 living room space with range and sink on the same side of the L, spaced 50cm apart.

What do you suggest?
0 Likes   December 2, 2013 at 6:30AM
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