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needsometips08

Would you knock out this wall and make a huge kitchen?

needsometips08
12 years ago

I am playing around with ideas again!

Here is our current first floor layout:

Here is the current reno plan:

Here is my latest idea:

I know formal dining rooms are barely used anymore, and we certainly don't use ours - it's a sewing room!

Does this make the house disproportionate as there would be so much kitchen?

Do you like it better than current reno plan?

I really like the current reno plan, but I wonder why we see no kitchens centered around a table. I went through every single kitchen on the finished kitchens blog and found not a single solitary one! However, there is no other decent option for my kitchen, which got me thinking about knocking the wall out.

Comments (50)

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think you don't see kitchens wrapped around a table, because having seating and loose chairs in the work area would be a pain...to me, at least. The surface is too low (and blocked by loose chair backs) to be of any supplementary workspace.

    I think it could use some tweaking, but I do like the new plan. It's not disproportionate, since the current kitchen becomes the dining room. Will you then have a place to sew? The office looks perfect, right next to the laundry and all... ;-)

  • erikanh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We did what you're contemplating. Our dining room was previously completely wasted space. It was cramped and closed off, and we never ate in there -- it became a junk collecting room.

    I don't think the kitchen would look disproportionately large because the table area is actually an open dining area, not kitchen space.

    Your new layout is a little too small for me to see everything, but if you don't use your sewing room very much, I think it's very smart to put that space to better use.

    Erika

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  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Sewing would be tight but doable in the "living room" which also is not used - not even as the "homeschool room" that it's designated as! There is a big sectional and all homeschool supplies in there now, which would make it tight. Office cant be used though since hubby works from home most days.

    I tweaked the kitchen a little more and hit upon a layout that instantly sat right with both my hubby and myself.

    Here is the preliminary. Feedback much appreciated. Also, do you think it would hurt resale that there isn't a formal dining room? The demographic in this neighborhood is about 90% families with elementary age kids.

  • raenjapan
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Looks great to me, but I love open floor plans. If someone wanted a formal dining room when you sell, the current formal living room could easily become a formal DR.

    The only thing that really bothers me is that it seems like there is a fair amount of wasted space in between the hutch and the table. I'm not sure it would bother me in real life, though, it might just be a problem on paper.

  • bmorepanic
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like it = my comments are about the peninsula shape and the location of the ref.

    I think you'd be better off with a plain one at a 45 degree angle - you lose a lot of use with the end wrap back and the overly tight interior corner because of fillers and cabinet sizes. The peninsula needs to be wider to accommodate both seating and cabinets - 3 feet or so.

    With the location of the ref and using a french door or sxs ref - be careful that the door on the right side can fit when open without banging the counter. And that whatever is on the other side of the corner can open without hitting the ref.

  • RoseAbbey
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    In our area, (all homes are very recent builds), there is not one with a formal living room, but some still have formal dining rooms including mine. I would change the plan to eliminate the living room,keep the dining room and take the table out of the kitchen, and make the island larger to accomodate everyday family meals. Looks like the kitchen is plenty big for a nice big island with multiple seating.

  • laxsupermom
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like this one a lot and agree with raenjapan that the formal LR could be a DR if future owners felt the need for one. I like the angled penninsula. After factoring the overhang, the stool on the right end looks a little tight on space. I'd move it to the other side of the 2nd stool with overhang there too.

  • cotehele
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Rooms in a house that are not used collect junk, at least in our house. The LR could be the daily DR with a pass thru between the kitchen and DR. Tear down the wall in your new plan and reconfigure that space for sewing, home school and FR.

  • sweeby
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Another vote for the 45 degree angle instead of a diagonal-ish angle. Isn't yours an older home? Diagonal peninsulas are a very 2000's look (not that that's a bad thing) -- but I think it would look somehow wrong in a house with 'old bones'. (Or maybe I'm confusing yours with another house?)

  • dinkledoodle
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Can I mix it all up again? Since you're relocating all the plumbing and electricity anyway, what about this.

    Move the kichen ot where the living room with what is currently the dining and kitchen becoming a great room. simple rotate your design 90 degrees and tweak. The kitchen would open to the dining area, and the larger space at the bottom would become the living area. Great room plans are very popular with families.

    As you come into the house, you'd turn to the right and walk past the office to enter the great room. Or really good friends would just turn left and go into the kitchen where they always end up anyway. Would the LR work on the back of your home? Is there a bood view out of that huge window?

    My 2 cents and worth far less...

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    THANK YOU - all this help means more than I can say.

    raenjapan - that's exactly what I was thinking a new owner could do if they need a formal DR. And, the big open space is my only concern too. That's a little where I was going with asking in the beginning if it would be disproportionate. I will have a lot of "unused" space, but maybe the opennesss will feel good and clean? Or is there a better use of that space?

    Bemorepanic - I started with the 45 (posted at very top), but it didn't look right at all. There was even more open space (a concern!)because the only thing in the current kithen (13 x 19) was a table and a hutch. The open space was overpowering. The angle protruded into it, looking a lot better. Can you see a better use of that space while still doing a 45?

    Roseabbey - thanks for the suggestion, but we already hashed out the decision b/w keeping just an island or just a table in the current kitchen (cause we have both, it's not working at all), we determined we cannot live without a central table.

    laxsuperman, yep, if this ends up being the final, those details will definately need fine tuning

    Cotehele, see the very first layout posted of our house. It would be nice to keep both the kitchen and dining within view of the family room as that's the main area, rather than hide it in the living room around the corner and out of sight.

    Sweeby - you may be confusing mine. Ours was built in 1998, but I don't want a dated angle to date my kitchen esactly. I was thinking too that I could get as creative as I wanted there - My main inspiration kitchen, Margieb2's (\http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0722383431827.html) has a very unique peninsula just as an example of directions I am toying with.

    Dinkledoodle, if you look at my current floor plan, the family room is there - when you walk in the front door, past the office, you are alraedy in essence in our "great room" (family room and kitchen combo). With this proposed plan, I would just be making that smallish great room into a very large great room with a formal living room being the only area out of sight. So I don't even need to rotate anything to get that. Catch me?

  • remodelfla
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'll apologize if I somehow missed this and am repeating a comment but how you thought about some banquette seating for the table? I can see it with storage underneath for home schooling supplies. I'm assuming most school work would be done in /around the kitchen cause that's where kids always end up anyway!

    Now I"m not sure of your window height...but then the banquette seating thought leads to other thoughts (always dangerous with me). But first I have to ask... is that a window or slider on below the table on the short wall?

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Remodelfa, there is a window on the long side of the table, and a slider door along the R of the table.

    And yep, that was the former "final plan" to keep the same layout and just use a banquette seat, but it's just too tight of space. It's made for a 3 to 4 person table. We have a 6 person one, which we need that big, and you can barely get out the slider door on one side and cannot utilize the wasted desk area on the other side. Even with a banquette, it's just too tight and knocks out an entire 1/2 of my kitchen storage space. You can barely access it without anyone sitting down. Occupied, it's impossible.

    So great idea...I clung futilely to it for many months, and cried when I had to let it go....but I've embraced the new, realizing the banquette plan is not a good one!

  • remodelfla
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Do you need/want a dedicated home schooling space? Or do you think it's a great idea in theory but won't be utilized as such in real life. Though I'm a teacher, I've never home schooled. I do know that a dedicated homework area never worked out for me. My boys either were at the kitchen table or on the floor in their bedrooms.

  • rubyfig
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Perhaps I missed something, but it looks like your new plan has an (aprox) 12' x 10' "hallway". Just seems like a lot of wasted space to me.

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I didn't know you were a homeschooler, too! We use the dining room table, or the kids go off to favorite spots to do their schoolwork...What I do need dedicated space for is all the stuff and millions of books! I'm still working on that, probably with built-ins in the dining area and bookshelves in our living/family room.

    I also see no benefit and some negatives to angling the peninsula. It looks like you could have an island, if that interests you over a peninsula.

  • lascatx
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The idea of not having a formal DR doesn't bother me, especially with a formal living area that could be used as a DR. A lot of folks use one or the other, but most folks I know -- especially younger families, don't use both.

    What I don't like is the large volume of excess space without a lot of function, not only in the hutch area, but also in the kitchen itself. I like more efficient kitchens -- it's the most expensive real estate in the house and I think you ought to get the most out of it. Plus, it is easier to work in an efficient kitchen -- and the more you work in one, the more that matters. One other thing that bothers me is that for the amount of space, there isn't a lot of flow. If you have a large group over for a dinner or party, that kitchen is likely to get bottlenecked.

    I've got some ideas, but need to see if they would work.....

  • cawila
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If you are thinking about knocking down the wall, could you move the eating space to the current dining room? That way the table would be in the smaller room and the kitchen in the larger one? You could put an island where the table sits in the current plan. You might not be able to open up the whole wall, but you could definitely open it some, and maybe leave a small peninsula.

    This would leave you with less wasted space I think, and a future buyer could just close up the wall again if they really wanted a FDR.

    Just a thought - either way it's shaping up into a lovely space!

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I agree tht this latest kitchen plan isn't the most efficient, which isn't suprising since I slapped it together in an hour to see if it's even workable.

    It sounds like it is, it would just need a lot of fine tuning and rearranging. An island would be very cool. The space that was the old "dining room" (the new kitchen) seems a bit small to cramp an entire kitchen and island into, but I wasn't sure how to bring part of that space out into the other area (the old kitchen) without it looking weird.

    lascatx, I am open to all ideas, and would be very thankful for anything you can offer (and to anyone else for that matter!)

    You all are hitting the nail on the head with regard to a lot of wasted space. I know the one must-have is room for a table, and preferably one that seats 8, and that is open and accessible from both family room and kitchen.

    As far as homeschooling, remodelfla, you are right - I've found the dedicated spaces never get used. Usually we end up at the kitchen table or the coffee table in the fam room.

    But as Rhome says, what I do need and would LOVE is to have room for bookshelves and to accommodate all the supplies and curriculum, which is currently in those rubbermaid drawers in the "living" room. I wouldn't at all mind merging shelving into the new, informal dining room, I just don't know how to lay it out well.

    The one run I'd like to keep in any sort of scale(or at least have enough elements to evoke the same feeling) is this run:

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    And cawila, to answer your questions, I tried every angle I could to make the kitchen work in that bigger space and have the eating area be in the current dining room (but with the wall removed).

    There are 2 huge problems:
    1) I want the table to be in the middle of the action rather than tucked at a far end. I love the concept of gathering around the table and our lives definately operate like that with friends and family. Keeping it in the bigger area puts it right between the family room and the kitchen so it's perfect.

    2) This is the biggest problem. There is no room for anything in the bigger space. If you examine it carefully, you'll see:

    W wall: has a 3'x6' recessed alcove good for a pantry, and the rest of the wall sticks too far into the room to make it useful for anything much deeper than ~15".
    N wall: will be mostly removed, leaving only about 7' of wall.
    E wall: 85% covered by a large window
    S wall: there is no wall, it's the opening to fam room and the sliding door to the outside.

    So that leaves ony 7 feet of workable wall space for that entire room.

    Which means the kitchen really HAS to go into the old formal dining room area.

  • remodelfla
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Forgive me... I always see things weird first and then realize all the things wrong with it after. So I was playing ....

    Changed the orientation of the table and that allowed some narrow depth storage that I can see you also using as a buffet. Took out the angled peninsula and put a straight eating bar on the other side. Also, took out the wall (walls are in trouble in my world). If the pantry is maybe a bi-fold door that pulls left it might work. And then again.. might not!

  • lascatx
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I had to go for a bit and can't remember all of the different ideas I had popping into my head, but one was to put the table in what is now the oversized hallway and divide the area where you have the table into two areas -- one to be a sewing room and the other to be a variation on a mudroom -- one that could have storage, a hutch, a beverage cooler -- whatever would best suit your needs for the transition between the indoors and the outdoors. It would require changing the large window to two smaller ones so a wall could go between.

    The other was also to put the table in that center space and to put a wall in the center of the opening between it and where you have the table drawn. You could use a pair of pocket doors if you wanted to have a way to close it off. I was picturing the other side of that wall being built-ins ant the area having storage for the kids things that don't really belong in the kitchen and for your sewing. If you put a bench under the window and into the corner, you could have storage under the bench and up the tall walls.

    Both of these could require changing the angled wall to a peninsula or opening that up and using an island. I'm not sure about an island - I like the idea, but the fridge placement is an issue. I don't have a program to play with this like some others, and I should be working on a fundraiser I'm involved in or getting some sleep, so I'm going to leave it at that for now.

  • Cook1
    12 years ago

    How about using the "dead space" for the kitchen table and closing off the area where the current table is and turning that area into your sewing room.

    There is a lot of empty space that separates the family room from the kitchen; I'd rather keep them closer so that it feels part of the same space.

  • desertsteph
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    how about making the DR the 'school' area? with bookshelves all around (lower ones w/doors to hide clutter/supplies), a big desk or library table w/a few chairs for them to work at /do crafts etc.

    put the eating table and chairs in the open area between that room and the FR with the kitchen area off to the right in the 'pop' out part of the room (where table is in a few LOs).

    you could have cabs in a U or a shorten version of it because of the door (can change to regular door instead of sliding?). sink looking out back...fridge on one wall and stove on another. work triangle.

    you could even run part of the counter top between the DR and kitchen -peninsula style (at the joining corner) for the kids to sit up at (on the DR side) to go over homework, ask questions etc while you are cooking, baking etc. They'd be at a 'bar/counter' and out of your working space.

    kids would be visible /within hearing range if they were doing schoolwork or playing/watching TV in the FM. They wouldn't have their work spread out on the eating table and have to clear it for a meal. They could just leave it at the desk/table in the school area and walk over to the eating table.

    the DR area would still be there in the future if a new owner wanted to switch it to formal DR again.

    it would also give another table top area to put out goodies if you're having a party.

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Here's one idea. The areas labeled school storage and pantry could be reconfigured to make room for sewing stuff, maybe even divided into 3 separate areas instead of 2. Or the conversation and buffet areas could become sewing space...

  • scrappy25
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Can I ask what software you are using here and how easy is it to use! I've enjoyed following this thread and seeing the possibilities!

  • lascatx
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    rhome, I like that you evened out that wall with the pantry. I had been wanting to look at something similar but going inthe otehr direction. My last house had a half bath where part of it went into part of the space under the stairs with an angled ceiling. Mine was over the toilet so that where anyone would be standing was tall enough to stand, but I think I have also seen similar arrangements with the sloped ceiling over the sink. Anyway, that mess of walls there was bothering me and it didn't seem to be doing the right things in the right places.

    I like what you've drawn. Instead of a formal living aea on the other side of the house, you have a second living area that would tend to be more casual in a place where it would be used constantly instead of seldom. There is a nice wall for a hutch, china cabinet or whatever, so the dining room can be what I would call semi-formal -- nice enough to dress up near the entry and have dinner with guests, but casual enough for everyday use and even projects when needed.

    In the reading/conversation area, if small children will need workspace for projects and you want to keep the dining table and area near the entry clear, you could look at a table and chairs there too -- even a pub table that could transition out to the patio nicely -- saving the comfy reading chairs for when they are a little older. The buffet and storage closet give opportunities to put away sewing things too. In fact, if the buffet area was kid storage, the school closet could become a sewing area that can be closed off completely when not being used. I would put shelves on 3 sides of that pantry -- one side can be shallow for cans and such.

    Our family lives pretty casually, so I like the way this feels and I think would live. I like the versatility in it too. The two different rooms can switch functions on either side of the kitchen by just moving furniture -- possibly a different size table.

    It does still have a large hall space, but it doesn't feel so vacant.

  • jejvtr
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Needsome

    I'll preface by saying 2 things -
    1. I did not read any responses so I would not tarnish my op
    2. This is a hot topic in the sense of knock down/not knock down

    My first glance at you existing floorplan was - Nice layout - seems to make sense & have good flow

    I am a strong lover of architecture - esp homes prior to 1950s - But also to honor the original architectural renderings of any home - unless of course the orig rendering is... well not nice
    I think people often think inside rather than outside with expanding their homes & end up w/additions that well... look like an addition that is not necessarily cohesive with the original architecture of the home, therefor takes away from the home.
    Inside people seem to be of 2 camps - large expanses of open spaces - and small, more intimate, quieter settings
    I'm of the small intimate opinion - especially in our 1930 Dutch colonial - Large expansive spaces were just not meant to be. I like having the kitchen somewhat (3 casement openings) closed off from the back entry & dinning room - Our dinning room is well located so we use it frequently - it is far more conducive to conversation and staying at the table then island or kitchen table eating - for some reason
    The more a house is open the noiser it becomes - no way of getting away from that - couple that with 1/2" sheetrock, PVC plumbing & you are adding noise - I grew up in household of 11 people - you would think noise would not bother me - It does.
    Decorating - It is more challenging to decorate expansive open spaces - because it is harder to dilineate DR/Kit/Family room etc...
    I like to be away from the kitchen mess - I'm a big cook and a good cook which means a big mess - I want to enjoy my meal not think about what task I have to perform next - it would make my delicious food get caught in my upper esophagus

    So, from cursory glance it looks like you have nice layout - my op, for above stated reasons, would be to improve the function of your existing layout

    Take time in the design phase - it is far more critical than cabinet or appliance choices

    Good luck

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Wow, so many options!

    Rhome, your layout has some fascinating possiblities. Some of those possibiities didn't even cross my mind and now need some percolating time to toss it all around :-).

    jetvtr, you bring up some very good points. I really have no idea if I like open floor plans or separated areas. I am going to have to put some serious thought into that and think about people who have houses I like and if they are open or separated.

    Rhome, one thing I like about your proposed layout is that it feels partly open and partly separated. Also, you managed to get in an island and a walk in pantry. Interesting stuff going on in that layout!

    Scrappy25, it's Better Homes and Garden's Home Designer Suite. I think it's easy, but I am very at-ease with computers, and had a friend who used mine and said it was hard. I'd fiddle around with smartdraw free 7 day trial (try building a cabinet run in it for example). If you find that workable, this will be too. The functionality is similiar.

    Here is one more that I came up with based on cawila's thoughts, but I am not 100% sold on it either. Feel free to offer your input.

    Oh, one idea I LOVE that did come about in the process of making this plan is a big, custom, white armoir that holds all my sewing stuff and fabric (an armoir would hold it all and it's used infrequently enough that it would be a dream come true to have all that clutter hidden when not in use)...and have the armoir flanked by bookshelves (the whole unit being built as one) with doored bottoms or drawers across the entire length of the bottom. The shelves and drawers would hold homeschool stuff. This would go near the table ideally. I fairly drool and get heart palpatations thinking about this peice. I love, love, love armoirs. Did I mention how much I LOVE them? Back to the plan:

    I know this view doesn't matter so much, but just for kicks:

  • lascatx
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    In that setup, I'd rather have your maiun sink att he window and the prep sink at the peninsula -- where it also works for entertaining and things moving in or out doors. The placement right next to the fridge doesn't work for me.

    The main thing I don't like about this arrangement though is the placement of the pantry. Every trip tot he pantry is around a barrier and across and down the hall. If you kept your oils, spices, and heavily used items inthe kitchen itslef and used the pantry for infrequently used items (possibly including small appliances, bakeware, etc.) then it might work, but I would hate having to walk over there several times per meal and preparing anything while entertaining and that space is filled with people would be a major pain.

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like the armoire idea, but 2 cautions: Make sure you're drawing it deep enough to be realistic and practical, and make sure you're leaving enough room to open and use it, as well as enough room get into and out of chairs at the table. Right now I'm worried that it looks shallow, and you have minimal space around the table...if you didn't need to get into that doored unit.

    This last plan has definite possibilities.
    -You won't have room for that 5th stool (not enough width or room behind it, and check out where that person's feet will be...in the same spot as the feet of the person in the stool closest to the dining room on the long side).
    -I would center the prep sink on the long counter, creating 2 nice work spaces, which would be wonderful.
    -I would prefer the wall to extend behind the uppers on the left of the range.

  • raenjapan
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like this last one, but I think if it was me I'd switch the prep and main sinks, so that you have more room to spread out projects on the peninsula (which I'd probably turn into an island, but that's coming from an entertaining perspective rather than a kids-in-the kitchen perspective, so others will be more helpful with that.) The island would allow for better flow from the kitchen to the dining and more direct access to the pantry.

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I feel dumb to have missed the point Lascatx made...If the cleanup sink and prep sink switched counters, you'd have no dirty dishes on display and visible from the adjacent rooms, there'd be less of a splash zone for the people seated at the bar, and you'd be able to visit while prepping.

    The pantry location doesn't bother me at all, as long as you'll have often used supplies based in the kitchen and the pantry is for extra or less often used items. I've said enough times that people are probably sick of hearing that in my last house, the pantry shelves were in the basement, and I was just happy to have them. I never considered it a bother, and this plan is sure better than that! :-) I'm more concerned about the long trip from the fridge and stove to the table. It helps that you can put things on the bar counter as an in-between or pass-through spot, but it gets to be a pain to have to move things twice.

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Such good feedback - from it, I know that this last plan would likely be runner up.

    However, I think Rhome's plan is pretty close to being "it". I drew it up on the software with a few minor modifications, and hubby and I both absolutely fell in love with it. The more it shaped up, the more excited I got, and I think I even got a tear in my eye because I've worked SO long and SO hard for so many months, and to see almost every element I've ever dreamed of actually possible is overwhealming. With it, I get:

    -an island (that was just killing me to give up since I have one now) AND a small peninsula (the latter I added cause there was nowhere for anyone to sit close and chat while I was working in the kitchen (and I realize that small peninsula could go at either end of the L and maybe is too big to go at this end, although this end is ideal cause the fam room is there for more connectedness)
    -a walk in pantry (who knew that was even possible in my house!!!????!!)
    - the absolute perfect blend of openess and separation
    - keeping true to the structure of the house as jetvtr pointed out

    And speaking of, Jetvtr, that was awesome advice about figuring out if we were open floorplan people or more separate, and we figured out we hated big, wide open houses, but didn't like blocking walls everywhere either - we want clear dilineation while still feeling connected, and this plan does it.

    Lastly, hubby and I, since moving here 5 yrs ago, have always talked about how we love our floorplan so much that if we were ever to build our dream home, it would be the same layout with tweaking. I feel like this plan is the tweaking we'd do. With this plan, I am getting so much more than a kitchen, I am getting a dream home :-).

    That said, I swapped the table and the conversation nook as Rhome said could be done, but I would expect to switch it up on occassion back and forth just cause I can. How many people get that type of versitility with their space? I LOVE IT!

    I also took out the snack hutch/bev area....for now...just cause I am not so sure about it. I put in a hutch just for the meantime.

    Rhome, I moved the armoire and englarged it to 21" deep. I quilt a couple times a year, so I am not as avid (and thus having as much stuff) as some! I made the bookshelves bigger, but as you pointed out, I would use the "second pantry" for homeschool supplies as well as a broom/mop/vacuum closet.

    So here's the first draft of the going plan. What do you all think? What advantages do you see over the runner up? We will see what the cabinet guy's ideas are, but this will be hard to trump:

  • remodelfla
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I"m so excited for you... I know how much work goes into layout after layout and FINALLY coming up with something that speaks to the flow of your home and ways of your family. I really like these last ones by you and rhome. I think I prefer the orientation of the pantry in rhome's plan. Could you widen it some and change the entry in your layout? I really like the interest of the little angle in yours and think I prefer the table where you show it. The armoire idea is awesome and I almost wish you could find a location for it that would highlight it more.

    OH! In your iteration it appears the island is 2' deep and rhomes 30" deep. If you tweak the pantry I think you may be happier with a deeper island.

    Great work!

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm afraid that after you put in the overhang where you show the stools, you will be crowding your table...and possibly diminishing the use of that area for a sitting room if you want to switch things around. Do you already own the table you'll use?-- Because in the last plan it's about 3 ft wide and in the plan before, it's almost 4 ft, and its width will make a big difference in how/if it fits. If you could make the pantry a little wider, I think it could be more useful and comfortable.

    Just a suggestion to bring the peninsula in a bit, both on the sink wall and in altering the angle so the the inner side of it lines up with the pantry wall to give the table more room. Also enlarged the pantry...Maybe a little too much, but probably not even necessary if you're willing to have it open toward the peninsula instead of the island.

    Anyway, I'm mostly glad at how excited you are and how it will turn your current house into your dream home!! That's WONderful! How many people could do that within the footprint of a home? :-) Best wishes.

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oh yay, you both approve basically, which is good. No big red flags going up at least. Just little details from here. I would switch the door orientation if it meant not having to add more to the pantry. It can be really annoying when a main entrance to a kitchen is cramped. I like at least 4 feet in major thoroughfares.

    I have a table currently that is 4x6, but in the quote from the cabinetmaker, that included the L and a custom table. This new plan will be adding the costs of the peninsula, the island, and the amoire (and thankfully, we will be doing most of the other work ourselves). So with these new plans, I am not sure if we will have to forgo the table and apply that $ to the other elements, but if at all possible, I'd like to go with a new custom table, and with the spacing, it may be necessary. I guess I will have to see...

    Thanks so much for all your guys' input. It was so helpful. It feels good to finally have hit upon something workable - thanks to your help, and especially yours, Rhome. I am deeply thankful for you sharing your time and talents when you aren't even getting paid. The ideas you have imparted are elements I will enjoy for years. It means I won't be "settling" simply because I can't find anything else that works. So I have much gratitude :-). Thank you!

  • lascatx
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I don't want to knock anyone's dream house, and I know how much it means to vastly improve something within the existing walls, but I want you to think about a few things to make sure you will love the space as much when it's off paper and you are living with it. This is the time to check and recheck your ideas, so in that spirit....

    If you go with the last plan, work on the furniture arrangement to more clearly define the LR. Right now, it feels like the armoire is a hallway to the kitchen with some seating way down at the end of it. Center the armoire or even off-center it a bit away from the pantry to make it more a part of the LR and then bring your seating more together with it. That's really tweeking your placement.

    Also keep in mind that the view from that seating area will be you island and kitchen sink. If you have guests and the kids go intot the FR to watch TV and the adults want a quieter conversation, will that be the spot you want to sit in? The other plan had a seating area tucked back a little, which could be nice -- possibly louder if the kids are all in the FR. I understand the appeal of the table there -- with the FR and the back entrance. If you don't build in the armoire, then this is furniture placement and could switch back and forth.

    I can tell that peninsula is very important to you, but like rhome, I would want to make sure you aren't giving up too much in your table area or the pantry. I once had a long, narrow walk-in pantry that I was so excited about when we bought the house and hated by the time we moved. Make sure it's not too long and narrow. Now, that kitchen also had serious storage issues and there was no place to have any oils, spices or frequently used food items in the kitchen itself. Everything required a trip into the pantry and most trips involved going deep into the pantry since it dog-legged at the end and that's where the most stuff was stored, including all the deep storage (four, sugar -- anything for baking, cereal, etc.). If you plan to use some of your kitchen storage for the most often used things, then you may be fine with that pantry. A 3ft wide table is fairly narrow -- you may only get 2 people on each side because the person on the end has to share that table space. With a wider table, you have more room for the person on the end to have a place in the center.

    If you took away the walk-in aspect of rhome's walk-in pantry and made it more like your school storage, you would open up that hall space and it might be enough to give you seating at a slightly larger island. Would that fill the need of a place for someone to chat (as well as the table and chairs) without blocking that area and limiting your table?

    These things aren't necessarily better or worse -- just a few things to make sure you have thought about. I love that you feel you can create a dream house instead of just a better kitchen. That's the ultimate. :-)

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lascatx, your advice to check and recheck I think is spot on, and you bring up excellent points to consider.

    Thanks for your input on the pantry - it's sounding more and more like the door opening to the kitchen may not be such a hot idea.

    Took advice, will mull it all over :-)

    I have one more question you guys may know - when knocking out walls, do you know if it's mandatory to have an engineer analyze it?

    And do you know why a cabinet maker may push for that? Is it to cover his own butt if the house collapses cause the homeowner was haphazard about it?

    I feel confident I picked the right cabinet guy (he stood heads and tails above the rest in every single aspect), but when I called to tell him "halt plans, I have a new one simmering", by the end of the conversation he was on board, but he made double sure he spelled out how much more money it would cost and how much more is involved and how it can weary a homeowner to the breaking point and mentioned the engineer. First - when it's DIY, it's none of his business how much it costs. His deal is cabinets only, but I am a little fearful he may want more.

    He is used to coming into a kitchen and owning it from the very beginning to the end. I guess he probably is more GC and cabinetmaker rolled into one. I think he is used to very rich people just turning it over to him and he makes it happen well and easy. But that's not us! Although very blessed, we do have to live within our means, and I know we can DIY - we have the resources.

    I have definate ideas and the final say, but I also greatly value his 30 years of experience, and I am so scared that this will turn into a fight since any time you have 2 people with strong opinions and a lot of investment (he cares a lot about final product and will turn down a job before building a poor design), the possibility is present.

    Any tips on how to approach this - and do you know if we HAVE to hire an engineer?

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Wow, sounds like your cabinet guy is weighing in on your construction decisions? That seems a little reaching past his area of expertise, but maybe he's just honestly trying to be helpful... But do you know if any walls you are changing are load-bearing? If they are or you don't know, and if you or DH aren't knowledgeable about such things, you probably should consult someone who can give you wise counsel.

  • lascatx
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You definitely need an engineer or someone with the right expertise to tell you whether those walls are load bearing and what if anything would need to be done to reinforce the structure. I don't think he's stepping out of line to make sure you have looked into that whether you expect him to do the demo, have a GC do it or DIY.

    The pantry opening into the kitchen does mean it is a shorter distance to the door from your working areas. It isn't a definite one way is good and the other bad. You have to evaluate all these things and come to the best mix for you.

    If you haven't looked into whether you are dealing with load-bearing walls and what you would need to do, it sounds like you need to do that before you try to tweek a layout. You've got a lot of options and good ideas to work with -- now find out what is workable.

  • swampwiz
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The original living room and dining room combo away from the family room is really bad. The plan you presented @ Sun, Jun 14, 09 at 19:45 seems like the best way to make lemonade out of your design lemon, although I don't like the way that the countertop seating is impinged by the sink, as well as the resultant huge working triangle. You should keep that general idea and move the sink to a wall.

    The designs with the current living room being open to the kitchen are bad. That room should remain as a closable room, like a parlor.

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We do pretty much know what's loadbearing and what's not, there is a beam going through the center of the house that would pretty much divide the kitchen and living room in half. That might end up being an archway, which would also effectively further separate the 2 rooms. We know how to use a king stud and jack stud to open up a load bearing wall.

    Not only that, but my grandpa has built many houses from the ground up and would know. And knowing him, he will be here every day that we are working on it, overseeing, teaching, offering advice (and if he was younger, doing it). My dad has also built many various structures so he has the know-how and will help. My husband's best friend is an electricion and already agreed to help do the wiring. And we have an almost 6' crawlspace under the house so we've had many people, including cabinetmaker say that plumbing will be a breeze. So I know we can do it. We'd probably hire out drywall only cause I don't want to mess with texturing.

    The cabinetmaker and I are going to touch base tomorrow so I guess meeting with him is the next step. I am going to show him the top 2 or 3 of these layouts.

  • erikanh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I agree with lascatx about possibly making the sitting area more clearly defined by moving the armoire away from the kitchen a little more. You might also consider putting in an arch or other architectural feature to delineate the two spaces while still keeping them open.

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I love the arch concept, but not only that, I think I have to have the arch because that's where the beam is and right now it's....how do I describe it....picture an arch without the curves - it's just square....that's what's going on there right now and is a beam so it can't and won't be removed. I'd slightly tweak the kitchen layout around that to keep the kitchen on that one side if that's what it comes to.

  • erikanh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    needsome, I know exactly what you're talking about, but I'm also not sure what it's called. A header maybe?

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think a header would best describe it. Right now, according the the plan, it goes through half of the fridge, but it would be easy to move the fridge to the right a foot and problem solved.

    Having a kitchen flanked by an arch is actually in several of my inspiration pictures so this isn't an obstacle at all.

    Wow, planning a kitchen is just so full of ups and downs. It's like being on a roller coaster. I worked up a rough monitary estimate and it made me sad. Ug. Probably workable, but maybe on a different timeframe. Maybe not - the aim was October cabinet install. So hard to pay out SO much money!

    Then I also looked to see if they made a double oven, electric, slide in range, and they do, but it has horrible ratings and is $2300 and is the only one on the market (Electrolux). I was planning on spending $1200 on the range. Appliances are the one area I am NOT going expensive in. I have known nothing other than $300 ranges, $400 dishwashers, and $1500 fridges basically my whole life and have been perfectly happy with them. I learned to cook on them and can cook a good meal in them, and if I have to go with expensive appliances that will be what pushes this reno into absolutely not going to happen.

    So, now I am looking at a double wall oven and a cooktop because it looks like I might be able to swing both of them for about the same as a slide in range. Plus I am the queen of bargain hunting. When I get my heart set on something, I search relentlessly till I find ideally 30% or more off :-).

    I don't even know if there is room for a double oven, and then I assume there is more cabinet costs.....ah, the ups and downs continue....

  • lascatx
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think the arch idea would be very nice - no matter how you use that space, it would be a nice way to give it some definition and would soften the header. Even if you sued that area for dining, I think it's nice to have a little separation from the work space of the kitchen.

    I think what we are saying is, before you get into everyday of your project or even ordering your cabinets, make sure you more than "pretty much" know where things are, what you have to work around and how you are going to do it. We seriously poked holes in the ceiling to verify which direction our ceiling joists ran and where they were so we could tell whether we could run a duct for the vent hood and where the duct would have to run to make sure it didn't come up right in the middle of one. We checked and rechecked a number of things to make sure we knew that we could do what we thought we could do before we ordered anything.

    Yes, the planning is a roller coaster, but the more ups and downs and spin arounds you do now the fewer you should have when you start tearing out and putting in -- when it takes a lot more time and mooney to make changes.

  • remodelfla
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Doesn't GE make a slide in double oven range?

  • needsometips08
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yes, I just read about that thing. It looks pretty cool.

    Do you think I could put that in my island next to my microwave drawer? There is room available there and it means one less extra cabinet I would have to pay for.