Layout Challenge!

12 years ago

First let me say that I love this forum! I stumbled on it randomly and now I can't leave! Anyway, we're in the design stage of our kitchen makeover and we are really stumped on how to configure it. Here's the layout:


Currently the kitchen is totally blocked off from the rest of the house. The simplest way to go about the rework is to just take down the wall (red) between the kitchen and dining space. And that'll work. But one of our big "wants" is to be able to see out to the patio/backyard while working in the kitchen. So my hubby wants to rotate the kitchen along the north (top) wall adding in a window (or two).

We've got a big but not limitless budget. We're not into fancy appliances or custom furniture grade cabinetry. So we're hoping to save money by using less expensive versions of those types of things. Then use the savings toward all that moving around.

We've played with a bunch of designs but our biggest issue is the sheer size of the space. I really like a tight work triangle (I know zones are better but the triangle works for me right now so I'm hesitant to change that). It seems like everything we've come up with is soooo spread out! I'll be walking 18 feet 40 times a day! Not cool...

Another challenge is the area where the dining space is currently, is raised. It's a poured concrete step that is about 3 inches tall. We'll have to chip it out ($$$) unless we can figure out a way to make it work with the new design.

*Our main goals are to:

Open kitchen to rest of house

Kitchen to have better view of pool patio and backyard

Increase countertop space and number of cabinets

So, here are a few other wants/needs:

*At least one area of lower counter height.

*Can windows or doorways change size? Yes

*Can they be moved? Yes

*Can windows be raised/lowered? Yes

*Can any walls come down? Yes (red one and laundry area)

*Does the sink have to be centered under a window? no, can be in an island

*I'm not a gourmet or baker generally, but part of that is because of this kitchen config. I can't see my kids while I'm in there so I'm in and out fast!

*Range or Cooktop: either but we're partial to induction cooktop with sep. oven

*Single or Double or no Wall Oven: either, we're wanting an oven/micro combo (has to be near cooktop as I use it alot)

*Warming Drawer: na

*Standard: diswasher

*Fridge: standard probably though I REALLY want an all fridge all freezer combo...dream kitchen!!

*Vent Hood: Downdraft probably

*Sizes of desired appliances: Not sure exactly. I definately want a 30 inch oven and 5 burner cooktop.

*Pantry: Cabinets that pull out.

*Cabinetry: I prefer drawers of pullout shelves to standard lower cabinets. And LOTS of them! I'm short so upper cabinets have to be well thought out in terms of storage so that I can use them effectively.

Can't live without? Fridge to be acccessible without interlopers crossing into my work space!...

Comments (30)

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Drat. Didn't add this in the first time:

    That's the link to the other layouts we've been playing with. Hubby thinks the galley doesn't meet our goal of getting the view into the backyard (he's right). The peninsula one is good but seems lacking somehow. Almost too open...and the trek to the pantry and ovens on the east wall...sheesh!

    So, that's that. :)

  • rhome410
    12 years ago

    I really like the galley, but would want to swap the stove and sink. It seems open enough to see out all the windows. You could have windows on the entire wall if you want. The only view to the backyard from the peninsula one is while you're at the stove and you have the fridge and cabinets taking up most of the view wall. Better to have a prep area face the view...That's generally where you spend the most time and might have time to gaze out...

    Here is a link that might be useful: your album with layouts

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  • kas81057
    12 years ago

    How many children do you have and how old? I think that's kinda important for future needs planning.

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Great suggestion about the prep area facing out since that is where you spend the most time. That's so true!

    Two boys. Ages 3.5 and 1.5. Agree it is very important.

  • bmorepanic
    12 years ago

    Just another orientation.

  • Buehl
    12 years ago

    Here's it too big?

    It gives you quite a bit of counter space and cabinet space.

    Clockwise from top:

    • Move slider to DR side

    • 87" of base cabinet (drawers) and counter workspace that looks out over the backyard. I suggest the window go down to the counter for the grandest view. [Could be 2 banks of 36" drawers plus a 15" pullout for spices, oils, etc.]

    • 34" of wall cabinets

    • 36" Induction cooktop in the corner with a 42" vent hood above

    • 33" of base cabinets (drawers)

    • 24" of wall cabinets [glasses, perhaps]

    • 33" tall cabinet housing a 30" oven plus MW [Advantium, perhaps, so it can act as both a MW and second oven]
      Tray storage above MW, baking dishes, etc below oven

    • 36" Pullout Pantry (tall cabinet)

    • 36" All Refrigerator + 36" All Freezer (total 72")

    • 24" Utility tall cabinet for brooms, etc.

    Island, east side

    • 36" base cabinet (drawers) [Dish storage, perhaps]

    • 36" sink in 30" deep sink base

    • 24" DW

    • 18" Double trash pullout. This location is easily accessed by the island, cooktop, and counter workspace on both sides of the cooktop. It's also not too bad for the DR.

    Island, west side

    • 18" of island raised 6" to bar height.

    • By raising the west side of the island, dirty dishes are hidden from both the DR and from the patio (looking in the window). It also helps shield people seated at the island from splashing (sink)

    • 15" of that 18" will be the overhang for seating

    • 15" deep base cabinets (doors, probably) for seldom used items: 42" on north end, 36" on south end

    • Bar seating for 4

    Dining Room

    • 72" picture window...perhaps 18" off the floor to within 12" of the ceiling ??

    • 42" x 72" table shown with 6 seats Your DR is long enough that you could use leaves to extend to 108" long

    The refrigerator & freezer are on the perimeter so snackers will not interfere with cooking zone.

    To save steps, the prep areas are mostly in the north end of the the left of the cooktop and on the island north of the sink.

    Landing space for the refrigerator and pantry is on the island.

    Landing space for the MW and oven is b/w them and the cooktop.


    • Refrigerator/Freezer and on island w/sink

    • (cooktop/MW/oven)

    • or seating (sink in island, seating in island, DR table). Staging can be done on the island.

    • Serving/ (island and sink)

    • Extra prep space/staging area west of the cooktop. Note that this space is also an excellent place for staging food to be taken outside to the patio or backyard.

    Aisle Clearances:

    • B/w island and laundry room: 70"

    • B/w island and east cabinet run (w/oven, etc.): 48"

    • B/w island and north cabinet run: 48"

    • B/w island and DR table: can be anywhere from 52" to 64", depending on how much room you want b/w the DR table and window

    Perfect view of patio and...

  • homey_bird
    12 years ago

    While I was reading through the entire thread, a layout was forming in my mind, and Buehl drew it perfectly! In fact I could not have drawn it by paying attention to such detail!

    I do second the following suggestions:
    1. Move the sliding door to dining area
    2. Replace current kitchen's sliding door by a window. This will open up the kitchen. Depending on how open you want to make it, you may get a wall of sliding windows in the dining! (assuming your budget allows this -- this is an indulgence but IMO totally worth it!)

    Now, for the difference: and this is a big one, and I may be wrong -- in which case feel free to correct me:

    I believe that a single-level island is the most wonderful surface for prep work. Putting the sink in the middle actually breaks up this space. Therefore, my vote goes to leaving the island as one contiguous space. Another drawback currently is that, people sitting at the island get into the "splash" zone, plus might be subjected to an unflattering view of the sink. Therefore, IMO such islands should be left without sinks. However depending on the need, one may put a prep sink on the island.

    3. Thus the suggestion that is different from Buehl's plan is that, I would take out the sink from the island and relocate it to the counter along the north wall, just next to the dining area. Then I would put a slightly raised pony wall of sorts, so hide it from the direct view from the dining, and move the D/W underneath. Then, I would add a prep sink towards the south end of the island.

    This prep sink will serve the refrigerator and the pantry.

    Phew! I hope this works out!!

  • homey_bird
    12 years ago

    Oops, forgot to add:
    4. In the island, swap the locations of trash and dish storage so it is nearer to the DW. I know, I know, taking dishes out of D/W and putting them in the storage now is akin to ballet dancing; and in that case, one may consider facing the dish storage towards D/W.

    But I admit, I am willing to compromise to get one big island. I guess, it is an individual's choice as what is more important to them. Yet, tackysue mentioned that she spends more time doing prep work so our cooking styles seem to be similar.

  • sweeby
    12 years ago

    I like the core of Buehl's drawing as it puts the cook in the heart of the space with views into the dining area, back year and patio. Great start -

    What I'd do is to make the island and the space directly behind it the COOKS ZONE! A tight little space where, during meal prep times, only the cook is allowed and no one else has a need to get into it. So in that space, you'd need:

    - A prep sink on the island and trash can,
    - The cooktop on the wall behind, plus perhaps oven and MW if you use them a lot every day,
    - Pots & pans drawers, knives, spices and most every-day-use cooking utensils.

    Immediately adjacent to that space, you'd need:
    - The fridge & freezer
    - Pantry space
    - Clean-up sink and DW

    I'd vote for a separate clean-up zone since you have the space and it allows you to kick the kids out of the Cook's Zone guilt-free! Keep the china in the clean-up area so the kids can set the table without crossing into the work zone.

  • houseful
    12 years ago

    FWIW, chipping out concrete doesn't need to be expensive. You can rent a demolition hammer from HD for $50 a day. It is very easy to use. If you are sure that the step was poured over existing concrete, it should be a breeze.

    Also, just because you are taking down walls doesn't mean you can't rebuild different walls. I disovered this doing our remodel design. You may want a wall and hallway to hide the laundry room from the kitchen. That could give you a U-shape, smaller kitchen that you want.

    I am anxious to see how this one evolves. Have fun!

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    WOW! Holy Schnikies! I never expected this level of help. Good grief. Should I be expecting a bill? :) These are great ideas. I was so excited I called hubby at work and now that he's home we're pouring over all this deliciously detailed information. After we digest this I'll post some comments and see what we get. :)


  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    After digesting all the great suggestions we've come up with this:

    I don't know how we never thought to anchor the kitchen in the NE corner but that was PERFECT! As soon as I dumped the design into iPunch (modeling software we're using) we both looked at it and said, "That's it!"

    We modified the basic design from buehl. I realized that one of the very few things I do like about the current kitchen is my east facing window. So we've got one in the "final" design. Not sure just where we'll put it...kinda depends on how much it'll be to move it vs leave it right where it is currently. It's shown in its original location in this layout.

    We moved the stovetop to the north wall but hubby really likes the "different-ness" of the corner location. I moved it thinking that it might be easier in terms of finding cabinetry/hood stuff for a corner and I was beginning to panic about having so few wall cabinets. In our last kitchen redo ( I should post pictures one of these days) I LOVED our corner cabinets and moving the cooktop would give us the opportunity to install them here. So...we'll see.

    Also, though I really want my two towers, I'm afraid of the cost and have ditched them in this layout in favor of a standard type of fridge with the possibility of adding an under the counter fridge for snacks/beverages. Our contractor suggested it to give us more usable cooled space for less cost. We also have a small deep I'm losing the battle big time for my fridge/freeze

    We've had to move the ovens away from the pantry/fridge (hubby doesn't want fridge and ovens to be neighbors) area to accommodate the window and that's a wee bit awkward over toward the corner. I don't mind the "dead" space over there though because I'll need somewhere to store knifeblocks and such and that's kinda hidden.

    We may flip the pantry and fridge or do a pantry/fridge/pantry sandwich...not sure. And the object on the south wall is a potential desk area. I know many folks have said that a desk area is just a dumping space, but we all need a dumping space and I'd personally rather have a dedicated space for it than for the junk to end up on my counters! So, that's why we've opted for it.

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure we're going to use this design. Thank you all so, so much for your input. We may actually get this project started now!!! Along with the rest of the house! LOL (we'll be renovating both baths, new flooring, windows, doors and God in heaven know what else at the same time.

    So, any new comments?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Tackysue's Kitchen Layouts

  • Buehl
    12 years ago

    Looks good! I only have a few comments...

    Before you commit to the cooktop under the window, check your local codes. Some municipalities (counties/towns/cities) do not allow you to put a range or cooktop in front of a window. You will definitely not be able to put any flammable window treatments there.

    Do you plan to vent the cooktop? If so, you will be forced into a downdraft or putting a vent in front of the window. Venting outside, though, shouldn't be much of a problem since whether the cooktop is on the north wall or in the corner, it is on an exterior wall.

    Note, btw, that downdrafts, in general, don't vent very well. Check the Appliances Forum for more information.

    I think your corner is going to be crowded if you have a tall cabinet there. I'm also not sure of the overall balance of the kitchen. Do you have any elevation (or 3D) pictures to see how that wall will look w/the current arrangement?

    You might consider moving the cooktop west and then putting your oven cabinet in the gives you some of the "differentness" that your DH likes as well as opens up the east wall and gives you room for more wall cabinets. See Alku05's kitchen for an example of a corner oven stack. (I like the look and tried to fit it in my kitchen but wasn't able.) It does take approximately 48" off each wall. Check out Alku05's picture in the linked thread. You can't see it, but there is a large window to the right of the oven stack.

    There is also a possible conflict b/w the DW and refrigerator when may want to shift the refrigerator south a little bit to open that aisle up. If you do so, you might be able to put in another wall cabinet similar in size to the one on the other side of the window. That may help the possible balance issue.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Thread: Looking for pictures of cabinets on a diagonal 'corner' wall

  • bmorepanic
    12 years ago

    Perhaps reverse the two cabinets on the end of the island so it goes 24" cabinet, sink, dw, 18" cabinet. I'd be afraid of pushing the dishes off one end.

    Both the oven and the ref are in kinda not great places. What sweeby said about cooks area and kiddos access area.

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Hubby and I are finalizing lots of things tonight. We've ditched the stove under the window thing and have gone back to the corner stovetop, moving the window closer to the stovetop on the east wall (though hubby really would rather NOT move the window and has suggested putting the ovens on the north wall near the suggested sliders...I'm less enthused about that).

    We're still struggling to fufill his wish to not have to walk anywhere to put away dishes after unloading the dishwasher. I just don't see a way for that to happen in this type of kitchen setup unless we swap out the sink for the stovetop in the island and corner. But, we'll see. I'll post layout and elevation renderings soon. Thanks for your patience. We are SLOW down 'ere in the south...ptuey.

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    So hubby and I took time last night to figure out where everything was going to go cabinet by cabinet in the new kitchen. But when I went to model it we ran into a snag.

    That corner cabinet. A standard corner cabinet isn't big enough to hold a 36 inch cooktop. So we'd have to (in our figurings) go to a 46 inch corner cabinet. But that means a custom build and we were not planning on custom cabinets at all. Now we're stuck. I can't even do the modeling because I can't plan the sized cabinets on either side properly.

    So, my question to the knowledgeable...what sized corner cabinet are we really going to need to hold a 36 inch cooktop? I'll need the wall measurements to accurately draw the model and figure the rest of the cabinetry.

    And the second question is if we can't get a "standard" 46 inch corner (or however big it has to be) and don't really want to go with custom cabinets, can we modify a "standard" cabinet to work? Or do we take a big normal base cabinet (42 inches or whatever) and angle it in the corner?

    And lastly, does anyone have pictures of corner cooktops? I only found one measly picture on the whole (!) of the internet last night!

  • cpanther95
    12 years ago

    Is it necessary to have a corner cabinet? I'm not sure, but I'd think you could just use a standard stovetop/drawer base wide enough and place the cabinet back to the wall until the corners of the cabinet contact the two walls (then frame a ledge to rest the countertop on in the gaps). You'd lose some storage space in the unused angles, but typically corner space is a PITA to access anyway, so the loss may not be that severe. Especially if your ideal layout hinges on a corner placement of your stovetop - and it is only your budget preventing you from getting a custom cabinet made.

  • txcat
    12 years ago

    I can help with the pictures since we are planning a corner cooktop also. The first 3 pics are all contriutors to GW. (sorry for the large sizes photobucket shut down everytime I tried to resize)

  • rhome410
    12 years ago

    You will still need to check codes to see about having a window close to the cooktop...or actually, I think it usually has to do with how close it is to where your hoodvent exhausts. For my sister's county (she's the only one I know who's had to check on this type of thing), she couldn't have the opening part of the window closer than 36" to where the vent went through to the outside. I think it's to prevent having the vent suck the exhausted air/steam back through the window.

    Those are some gorgeous examples, TXCat!

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    cpanther...I think I'm just gonna shelve the idea of an actual corner cabinet and just model the think using an angled base cabinet. You're totally right about the space in a corner cabinet being a PITA.

    And TXCat WOW for the pictures! I guess I didn't look through the *whole* internet after all. :)

    When I submit our drawings to the contractor I'll be sure to have him check the codes on the windows. I don't want to get my heart set on them being there when they can't be there.

  • txcat
    12 years ago

    Well, when you've been researching for more than a year, you tend to stumble across a few pictures. Glad I could help.

    Good Luck.

  • rhome410
    12 years ago

    I want to emphasize that, at least for my sister, it was windows that open that were subject to code. Ones that didn't open (including the side of a horizontal slider that didn't open) could be as close as she wanted.

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Nothing's ever final is it...until it's installed I think.

    SO, photobucket ain't working. I uploaded the images to kodakgallery.

    And wouldn't you know it, my kitchen is practically telling me that it wants a makeover...the fridge is dying. Yip Yippee Yipito! Now I just have to decide what fridge combo to get. I hate making decisions!

    Anyway, comments are ALWAYS welcome.

    Here is a link that might be useful: New Kitchen Elevation/Plan

  • sweeby
    12 years ago

    Looks good! Just to be picky...

    Your layout shows cabinets with doors and one drawer under the island overhang. Could be just the software, but with the overhang, you couldn't get into the drawers...

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    yeah, just the software. i haven't taught myself how to build my own custom cabinets yet. :)

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    TXCat, would you mind telling me who the contributors are? I'd love to be able to contact them with questions about their corner stove config.

  • Buehl
    12 years ago

    I think your kitchen looks great! I think you're going to love it...I know I do! :-)

  • bmorepanic
    12 years ago

    You might want to real-life model the dining area and counteredge stools. If you thinking of stools and chairs, be aware that you need about 5 feet minimum between the edge of the table and the edge of the counter overhang - it will be a little crowded if both are occupied. The far side of the table near the wall should be roughly three feet from the wall (looks like less than two feet in the floorplan). To pull out a chair or stool out and be able to occupy it takes about 3 feet.

    An occupied chair or stool takes up about 2 feet past the edge of either the table or the counter overhang. To have a walkway through takes about 24" to 36". So ideally, there would be 2 feet for an occupied chair, plus 2 feet for a walkway plus 2 feet for a stool or six to seven feet between the edge of the overhang and the edge of the table.

    You might also want to check the ovens opening into the back of the person at the sink and/or the relative placement and operation of the dw door and ovens.

    On the side, yours is the first plan I have ever seen where I'm thinking of questioning the need for all that storage space.

  • tackysue
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    LOL...The more I look at that pantry area the more I think it's overkill. We're doing fine with a much, much smaller pantry right now so maybe downsizing a bit won't kill me. :) I did notice the sink/oven issue and resizing the pantry may solve it. As for the dining area, not sure if we really want stools up at the island area or not. But we'll check out the space anyway to make sure there isn't a problem.

    buehl: We owe the whole thing to you!

  • txcat
    12 years ago

    Tackysue -
    I don't know who owns the kitchen in pic 1, but pic 2 is dinobambino and pic 3 is finallyca (you can email her from her page. she has graciously answered my questions).
    There are also a few more corner cooktops in the FKB including bamaspice and cangelmd.