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cplover

Please Help! Small Kitchen Layout with pics

cplover
10 years ago

Hi. I have been lurking for a while now and I think I am finally ready to ask for some layout help. The remodel will be a complete gut of our 1957 ranch home. We bought the home, our first, 2.5 years ago from the original owner. I am married and DH is not very handy and neither am I for that matter, but I am more willing to try than he is.. not sure yet which is better! Currently we have no children, but probably will in the next two years or so. This is not my forever house, but my husband could stay here forever. My thought is that will be in the home for at least 5-8 years.

About ME and DH: I do a TON of cooking (solo cook/DH does dishes, currently without a dishwasher) and some small informal dining. We currently eat all of our meals at the dining room table.

Here is the layout of my home:

Current Kitchen: This view is of the north wall with stove and east wall with widow. There are NO cabinets only the west wall. Along the south wall from East to West is the Fridge, then approx 60 inches of base cabinets and uppers with counters.


Current Dining Room:


The ceilings are 8 feet tall and currently the whole first floor has natural stained oak hardwood floors except the kitchen that has awful vinyl tile. The kitchen is tucked away in the back of the house and in order to get to the kitchen (or the basement where the laundry room is) I have to go through the entire house. For example my MB is in the front of the house, so laundry must travel down the hallway, past the bathroom, through the LR, DR, and Kitchen. I would like a more open floor plan. One thought is to put an entrance to the kitchen directly from the LR and possible close the opening in the DR. We are also interested in knocking down all or a portion of the wall between the DR and kitchen to make the rooms feel bigger/more open.

The current layout is terrible. The kitchen has little to counterspace and the storage space is not great and NO DISHWASHER. Also I do not have a ton of prep space. The problem is that my kitchen is small 10'7" x 10'9" and has a ton of doorways which prevent me from having a typical L or U layout. The only good thing is that the window brings in a lot of natural light.

Goals: Functional layout, more counter/prep space (possibly a peninsula), and a DISHWASHER!! A pantry would be an added bonus. Would like a gas 30" range (now have electric, but house has gas line). Microwave can be built in a shelf or a microhood. We will buy all new appliances including a CD French Door Fridge. Sink does not have to be under window.

We are planning on new windows in DR and Kitchen but do not want to decrease the size of openings (we looked into flipping DR...

Comments (62)

  • chicagoans
    10 years ago

    Hi newbie: I thought you might enjoy some pictures from firsthouse_mp's remodel. She also has a ranch style home and did a big remodel. The opened up space looks amazing. Maybe you can find some ideas here that would work for you too.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Firsthouse's amazing remodel

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Wow! Amazing transformation, but compared to my home they seem to have so much space!! Chicagoans- did you like your GC? If so would you care to share the name with me?

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  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago

    Okay, budget-friendly version :)

    How about a corner banquette, with a round pedestal table (always the best for a banquette) and two chairs. Still have access from the garage...and maybe a bookcase under the big window, for cookbooks?

    The sink is under the little window, dishwasher on the right and lots of upper cabinet dish storage on both sides. I added a small peninsula, with a few stools for extra seating, but this is also a convenient landing space for groceries, coming in from the garage.

    The gas stove is on the wall to the basement stairs, along with a small 18" pantry, on the end. You could do a really nice backsplash, with a focal point behind the stove. This would like nice from the dining area and stools, too.

    The fridge is on the back wall, with the microwave next to it, up off the countertop. Great place for snacks...popcorn and drinks, during the commercials!

    So, what do you think? :)

    {{gwi:1518815}}

  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago

    As for asking about GCs in the Chicago area, you might want to start a new post. You'll probably get a lot more responses :)

  • John Liu
    10 years ago

    This might have been mentioned already, but I'd consider stealing space from a closet etc for a laundry chute. Or a dumbwaiter as that will bring folded laundry up as well as dirty down.

  • Buehl
    10 years ago

    Wow! A lot has been done already!

    FWIW, I like RHome410's "A" version the best. So many of the others put the range & Cooking Zone in the middle of the kitchen traffic...either from DR to Kitchen or from LR/FR/Front Door to Kitchen. Neither of those locations is very good...

    Plan "A" Pros:

    • Protects the range & Cooking Zone from traffic

    • Separates the Cleanup Zone from the Prep & Cooking Zones

    • Keeps the Prep Zone and Cooking Zone together

    • Counter space where it's actually needed

    • Adequate landing zones around appliances

    • Gives you extra pantry storage w/the shallow storage along the south wall (shared w/the bathroom closet). This shallow storage will put everything within easy reach and will give you more space than you realize. It will also have plenty of room for small appliance storage (the only small appliance that doesn't fit on my 12" deep shelves in my pantry is the toaster oven. All others fit...toaster, waffle iron, food processor, blender, coffeemaker, breadmachine, KA stand mixer).

    • Gives you more direct access to the back door and basement. BTW...I would not want the basement door in the bathroom! Just b/c the Laundry Room is downstairs doesn't mean I would want people traipsing through the bathroom to get downstairs. Is the basement finished? If so, I'm even more strongly against putting the basement access inside a bathroom!

    • The new LR/FR allows you to have the functionality of two rooms...a sitting room on the west end and the FR on the east end. It's still one big room, but it's separated a bit for more than one use.

      I wonder how the east end would be as a playroom for your future children? We used our DR as the playroom when our children were young...it kept them fairly close to me while I was working in the kitchen, gave them lots of natural light b/c of the double window. Our DR is in the same relative position as your current DR/RHome410's proposed new LR/FR. (We had a small kitchen table we used at that time...but as our children grew, we outgrew the table...so now we eat in the DR and merged the small table space into the rest of the kitchen.)

    Plan "A" Cons:

    • This applies to the move of the DR to the LR/FR...where would you put the TV in the proposed new LR/FR?

      Hmmm...maybe in the Northwest corner?

  • bmorepanic
    10 years ago

    A riff on rhome's "A".

  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago

    The biggest challenges seem to be easy access to the basement and having more counterspace/prep space. Since Newbie likes to cook (she says she does a ton of cooking in her OP) I think she wants to see more work/prep areas.

    With a small kitchen (and a lot of doorways) this is going to take some creative thinking. Also, what's the view from the dining room table?

    Since cost is a huge consideration (isn't it always LOL) she really needs some help finding a good GC. Does anyone else think some of these estimates are a little high?

  • chicagoans
    10 years ago

    Hi newbie: We are in the western suburbs and we liked our GC team quite a bit. One of them lives in the neighborhood and so they are very aware of doing a good job and keeping a good reputation here. They have done several remodels and spec homes in town.

    They are Collins and Sarsfield: http://www.collinssarsfield.com/ Nice guys; You can tell them Katie sent you.

    HTH!

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thanks everyone for all the feedback!!! I am still trying to process all the ideas!!!

    Just as a note, the DR photo is a photo that the seller's realtor posted online. I have not taken any recent photos. The DR room now does not have carpet but rather has hardwood floors and only hosts a dining room table and chairs.. no tv, etc. Just in case that was confusing anybody.

    Buehl- I didn't understand about the basement entrance in the bathroom, but that is not happening. My bathroom is roughly 5x8 so no room for anything like that. I was thinking they meant that I turn the bathroom closet (which is just outside the bathroom) into the basement door. I had thought of this but again, DH says if I want to change that much stuff--we should just move! :)

    Rhome/Buehl- I really like the idea of the shallow storage in "A" but am wondering if that is possible with IKEA cabinets or if I need to look into custom. I have been having problems finding cabinet companies that offer angled cabinets for the space that leads to the back door/basement stairs. Also I love the furniture layout in "A" but cannot actually picture in my mind walking through my front door to find the dining room table. Its looks good on the drawing, just not sure why I cannot picture it.

    DH is unsure of having two entrances on the N/S wall but I think I can convince him especially if we do pocket doors.

    Lavendar- I love your banquette and the bookshelf idea for cookbooks! You mentioned in your posts that a gas stove should be located on an outside wall-- why is that? I had not heard that before. Because I prefer to have the range where "A" has it so that make I can interact with people in the DR rather than where my back would be to the DR.

    Thank you all for all of your feeback! I don't know what I do without GW!!! :)

  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago

    Newbie- Thanks, I love corner banquettes and I'm always looking for a place to stash more cookbooks! :)

    As for the gas stove, I had it on an inside wall, this time, too. That was actually something I was told on GW, but probably because I have a one and a half story farmhouse that I'm remodeling. Since you have a ranch home, there shouldn't be a problem. It was something about the ventilation you need with a gas stove and making sure it was easy to vent.

    Moving the stove so you can talk to people in the dining room is a good idea. Just remember, when you're setting up your eating area, make sure your table is at least 42" round (for four people to eat, not just have drinks) and that you have clearance to get between the chairs and stools, even when people are sitting there.

    As for the cabinets, I think you could take off the angled corners, no problem, making it much easier to order your Ikea cabinets. Again, I still think your bids are really high, so I'm glad you got a new GC recommendation :)

  • rhome410
    10 years ago

    The table near the entry was just a suggestion. Plan A takes no more out of the dining room than plan B, so you could probably still fit the table. It just bothered me to have the garage entrance into formal dining...So was trying something different. I've seen a lot of floor plans with the dining room off the entry, so it seemed to make sense with the new kitchen doorway on that side.

    Shallow storage doesn't have to be 'kitchen cabinetry.' Bookshelves and other storage units can be adapted as an unfitted look. I'm not sure, but I bet IKEA offers some sort of storage units that are 12" deep. And as one custom piece, it might not be too bad to have it made the way you'd like.

  • lisa_a
    10 years ago

    Challenging space but wow, rhome and bmore, awesome ideas. I like rhome's Plan A kitchen and bmore's banquette plan that is a riff off rhome's plan (and it's all about me, right, ;-). One advantage: by moving the banquette to the lower end of that room, you gain a MOL straight path from garage to kitchen, always a good thing when one's arms are full of groceries. Second advantage: traffic through house to basement/back door and back again does not cut through your main cooking zones. Might not be a biggie now but when you have young ones who tend to run once they can walk (at least mine did), you'll avoid collisions of seemingly faster-than-light kids and open range doors.

    The cost to move a gas line isn't a huge expense - or at least it won't be for us. I can't remember the exact quote anymore (it's been several months) but it was in the neighborhood of $250 to move it 6 feet. It went up if it was more than that distance but it was still reasonable for what we'd gain. You'll also incur costs to move the venting but you might be able to run it up through your attic, which is less of a hassle than if you had to run it between joists between floors.

    And YES to johnliu's idea of adding a laundry shoot/dumb waiter to make hauling laundry much easier. My aunt has a shoot in her bathroom in her 3 bedroom/1 bath ranch home. It's built into the bathroom cabinetry and drops laundry very close to her basement laundry area. Hers has a trap door at the bottom of the chute but you could also set it up with a hamper below and not worry about a trap door. Check into fire codes, though. We tried to do something like this when we built (between our first and second floors) and our builder balked because of new building codes (he wasn't eager to do anything that was - gasp - out of the ordinary).

    Thought it might help you to see a photo showing a wall of shallow storage cabinets, courtesy of Kitchen Sync's blog.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Sync - shallow storage

  • lisa_a
    10 years ago

    Missed the last few posts while I was getting mine up.

    newbie, you might be able to create a wall of shallow storage by stacking upper cabinets on top of each other and then cover the end pieces with their cabinet cladding (not what it's called but the correct name escapes me at present). Aha, looks like someone did just that (although they set theirs into the wall):

    {{gwi:2109731}}

    I found the above image at the link below.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Ikea fans - *appletree*âÂÂs IKEA LIDINGO Kitchen

  • bmorepanic
    10 years ago

    Ikea does sell tall but shallow cabinets, but they don't have a tall angled piece. You can do the base near the sink with a rounded edge 1 foot wide open shelf unit if you want to - accomplishes the same purpose of giving as much extra counter as possible while transitioning back to the wall.

    The reasons for placing a range on an outside wall are that given the same blower motor, shorter duct runs are better fume removers and its cheaper not to go up through the roof or across the room with a duct run..

    In any version of the room, you want to make sure that a seated person can't get wapped by the door or the refrigerator. And that the seated people don't lockup the aisle to the garage door.

    Seated people need about 24" beyond the edge of a table or counter for their body depth and the depth of the thing they're sitting in - if they are seated in a large dining chair, they can use more, but not generally less. When you need a passage behind a seated person, 12" to 36" gets added on to maintain the aisle. When you have back-to-back seating with an aisle to a door, it calculates out as 2 feet for each seated side plus an aisle in the middle. So, minimum is about 5.5 feet between the edge of the counter and the edge of the table giving an 18" wide aisle between them.

  • rhome410
    10 years ago

    GORGEOUS examples of shallow storage, Lisa!!

    Since Newbie likes to cook (she says she does a ton of cooking in her OP) I think she wants to see more work/prep areas.
    I think we all realize that and have tried to give her adequate workspaces...

    2 things I tried hard to do were to get a path to the basement that didn't include going through the kitchen, and to protect the stove area from through-traffic, even if just with a little wall section, as in Plan B (which doesn't do as well in getting people to the basement either...which is why I prefer A). It's a hazard for anyone for the stove to be in a traffic path, and worse when kids are in the picture.

    The prep sink in Plan A has a question mark, because it'd be great for the cook and for prep, but also detracts from a good baking or other large project space. Bmore's plan also protects the stove area and give an even bigger project space, with some cool storage additions in the dining area. She is better at stylizing than I, as that big island with the range would be a cool focal point.

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Wow! You have no idea how I am excited by everyone's feedback!!

    bmorepanic- thanks for the great ideas and I like the banquette for the lower corner.

    rhome- I agree that walking from the garage into a DR is not ideal and one contractor actually suggested that we lose the door all together-- an idea which DH hated. Also thank you for telling me the obvious-- that the shallow pantry does not need to be cabinets. I guess I am so busy searching for cabinets that work with my small space that I completely forgot about doing something a little more out of the box! I am glad I have GW to help clear my lapses of tunnel vision!!

    LisaA- wow that wall of cabinets you found is amazing! The people at Ikeafans really know their stuff! I just wish it was easier to navigate their website.

    Chicagoans- I am going to call your GC tonight!! I agree with Lavender that I thought our bids were high, but I was not sure, but we had not decided on a GC yet, so we still have time!

    Also here are some pics I found from the realtor.. again the guy we bought the whole was the original owner of this 1957 house, so clearly a lot has changed (carpet, decor, etc) from this photos, but I thought it might help visualize the space.

    Front of home with large picture window and attached garage:

    {{gwi:7329}}

    Living Room with Fireplace on North wall, Picture Window on West wall and entrance to DR:

    Oh and someone asked if the basement is finished-- if you consider an inlayed shuffle board table "finished" then yes it is!! :) Sorry, too good not to share!

  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago

    Cute house! Nice fireplace (they're so inviting this time of year) and great rec room.

    Newbie- I thought I'd merge your two plans, and try something without the second doorway. With little ones possible, in the near future, you sacrifice a door, but keep them out of your main work areas. I added a small prep sink, between the fridge and stove and a pantry on the end. I left the peninsula at the top (as in your second plan) since it's closer to drop off groceries and leaves more room for the corner banquette. Also saves a few steps, with the laundry!

    This will give you a clean up/prep zone by the main sink, and another zone for cooking, food storage and prep. It also gives you a little more wall space in the living room, for a sofa or TV/entertainment center.

    Lisa- Beautiful cabinets.

    Sorry, if my earlier comment came across the wrong way, but it's such a challenge trying to balance storage, prep space and walkways! I'm having the same problem with my own kitchen plan :)

    {{gwi:2109733}}

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    bmorepanic - in your riff of rhome's "A" do you have the range in an island or is that just stardard cabinets with an overhang for seating? I really like your idea of turning the range inward so I would be facing the DR just not sure if I would be in the flow of traffic with people entering the kitchen behind me. I also love the buffet under the window--making every inch work!!

    lavender- one of the cabinet guys that came to the house thought of that same layout. I like it, I am just not sure if I want to give up the idea of a direct entrance to the kitchen!

    I wish someone would create a Wii game where you could design your own kitchen and then actually cook a meal in it to see how you like it!! :)

    Thank again... your plans are really helping me think differently about my space!!

  • lisa_a
    10 years ago

    Glad I could help by posting those images. You're right, the Ikea site isn't easy to navigate. I found that image with a Google images search, waaaay quicker than if I'd gone through Ikea fans, I'm sure.

    My two cents' worth (don't spend it all in one place ;-) ).

    If it were my home and I had to give up one of the doors in the wall that divides the front half from the back half, I'd give up the DR doorway not the kitchen doorway. Here's why. I'd hate the longer schlep just to do the laundry, which, let's face it, isn't fun to begin with. And if for some reason you are in your house longer than you anticipate (it happens, I speak from experience) and your basement becomes the kid zone (as it was in every house I lived in growing up, much of it in Illinois), you'll be happier when your children and their friends don't have to cut through your living and eating areas and the kitchen to get to the basement.

    Going back to your initial post, you actually mentioned this possibility: "One thought is to put an entrance to the kitchen directly from the LR and possible close the opening in the DR." That helps clarify something you wrote that's confused me, "DH is unsure of having two entrances on the N/S wall but I think I can convince him especially if we do pocket doors." If I understand this correctly, you're saying that he doesn't like the existing doorway set-up you have and is open to closing one up.

    One plus if you eliminate the DR opening: you'd gain a wall, handy for a TV and entertainment unit (assuming you have a TV on this level).

    btw, I'm digging that shuffle board floor in your basement! And those avocado, harvest gold and burnt orange doors? Groovy! LOL

  • rhome410
    10 years ago

    I think Bmore left 2 ft of wall to the left of the range to shield the cook from the traffic coming through behind.

    The angled cabinets in my plans are just a suggestion...I tried to leave them transparent in some cases, so show that they would be optional. I'm not a fan of angled cabinets, personally, and would just stop short. But I have to say I liked the way they almost made the walkway to the basement door seem cleaner and clearer...No corners sticking out in the way to catch elbows and hips. Maybe an illusion. But still...Not a 'must have.'

    That last plan, besides not solving your problem of the through-the-whole-house-and-kitchen trip from bedroom to laundry (which would drive me nuts...and the problem will get much bigger with kids' clothes), has clearance issues...Between dw and fridge corner, and in between all the seating when coming from the garage. (a rectangular table at the banquette might solve some of that) I'd avoid having the dw open into the path to and from the basement, I think. If your basement was one of those tiny dark ones that are only good for laundry and storage, it might be one thing to have the entrance in the kitchen, but with the option to make it into a good recreational or even entertaining space, I'd sure want a better path to it...Again with guests and kids this will become more of an issue...And thinking of potential resale, also.

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    LisaA- Currently the only opening on the north/south wall is the opening into the DR (Entrance A). Someone gave us the idea of making a second opening into the kitchen, which I showed on the drawing with dash marks, Entrance B. DH is okay with creating Entrance B but then wants to close A since he thinks two entrances on the wall create sort of a "swiss cheese" effect in that they are too many holes in the wall! He actually is okay with just A. Its me who has been the driving force into Entrance B and possibly keeping A. Any opinions? Would you keep A?

    The laundry issue does not seem to bother him like it does me. That is why I wanted to post it here to see what others thought and since this is not our forever house I want to make sure that whatever we do HELPS resale value not hurt it. Also since do not yet have children it is difficult to try to create a space that is more kid friendly, and thought it best to get feedback from people who have raised children in a home.

    Rhome- I agree with you, having clear access to the backdoor/basement is important. At first I thought that having an entranceto the kitchen from the LR would be weird for people entering the home from the front door because they could see a 3ft peek into my kitchen---but an earlier post by a fellow GW'er answered that question!

    Thanks again for your help!! I am 99% sure that I want to create the opening into the kitchen (B) just cannot decide whether to close entrance A or put in pocket doors or just leave it (maybe with a slight modification).

  • rhome410
    10 years ago

    Wow, Lisa...I guess great minds not only think alike, but at exactly the same time!! :-D

    Do you mean, though, to close the dining room so everyone has to go through the kitchen to get to the garage and dining area? And family coming in from the garage have to go through the kitchen to get to the public area or bedroom end? I wouldn't go for that... Am I misunderstanding something? I don't think the 2 doorways detract as much as they add. JMHO

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Rhome- You got it!! That was the point that I was trying to convey to DH. Because creating an entrance to the kitchen is great, but closing the current opening into the DR would just create more problems. I agree. I just didn't know what others thought. DH gets scared when I want to make too many changes..;) He thinks I watch too much HGTV and will not be happy with this remodel unless I get to tear down a wall!! :) So I just wanted to get some unbiased opinions. Thanks everyone!! Its good to know that I am not going crazy~

  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago

    Rhome- Good points. It might be a little more accurate, without the smeared white out (LOL) but let me try, one more time. Oh, for a software program! Maybe this Christmas :)

    Anyway, here's one more attempt (slow day at work today). There should be at least 3' between the corner of the cabinets by the fridge and the corner of the dishwasher cabinet. If there's room, maybe the microwave could go above the cabinet.

    The gas stove is now closer to the table, with a prep/bar sink next to it (for dumping that hot pasta) and the peninsula by the main sink is still a good landing place for groceries...and people.

    The rectangular banquette probably is a better fit (thanks Rhome) and the chair on the end doesn't have to be there all the time, but more chairs can be brought in during a dinner or party, when you're not accessing the garage.

    Still have the bookcase under the big window. Anything more, seems to be in the way of the garage door opening into the room.

    {{gwi:1596105}}

  • lisa_a
    10 years ago

    Too funny, rhome!

    Thanks for explaining what's going on with the doorways, newbieremodeler.

    Rhome brings up a good point about the advantage of keeping both doorways. If the garage entrance is used regularly, it might be worth keeping the DR doorway as well as adding a kitchen doorway. You could install a pocket door in the DR, in the kitchen or in both places so that you can close one or all as desired (very handy for blocking noise). Just make them generous (again, I speak from experience, we had to bring our new refrigerator in through our back door because the two interior doors to our kitchen weren't wide enough. Thank goodness, the back door was!).

    Anyhoo, the goal is to find a compromise between a desire to avoid a Swiss cheese appearance (I don't agree with your hubby but it's not my house) and a desire to create traffic patterns that make life easier for you.

    Just an aside ... the laundry hassle doesn't bother him. Okay, I get that. He doesn't do laundry. I'll bet that you'd be okay with moving the stairs away from the backdoor, too, because you probably aren't affected if they aren't directly accessible from the backyard. Am I right? ;-) Oops, minor wickedness came out (okay, devil on my shoulder, get back in your cage....). Keep at it, you'll find a plan that makes you both happy because it makes your lives easier. Happy is a good thing!

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Lisa, the good news is that DH knows that this kitchen remodel is my baby AND that more than anything he just wants it done. So I do not think it will be too difficult to convince him. Oh and he does do laundry! Weird, I know. He is just very easy going. Its me who is the planner and just wants to squeeze every inch out of this kitchen remodel. He just wants it done and in budget! But overall we do balance each other out! :)

  • bmorepanic
    10 years ago

    That's funny. dh does our laundry.

    Formally, the thing with the range is a peninsula and made out of base cabinets and some bath cabinets on the back side. The bath cabinets are about 18" deep and some (or it might be all of them) can use the kitchen doors. The way under-the-overhang ones can be used for turkey platters or other equipment you don't access very often.

    I found the ikea kitchen design program to have the best inventory of cabinets. Um, save frequently as it can be a wee bit cranky.

  • ae2ga
    10 years ago

    I have no suggestions for the floor plan, but have you looked at M. Teixeira Soapstone for your counters (I hate shiny grantite too even though it is all the rage). They have some DIY options that might be useful for you as well as some very decent sale prices.

    Here is a link that might be useful: DIY soapstone counters

  • lisa_a
    10 years ago

    Oops, my apologies to your laundry-doing hubby! Mine doesn't do laundry. Or more precisely, I won't let him. He sorts everything incorrectly, even after years of me explaining my very simple rules, and I just know I'll end up with shrunken shirts or pink undies. Okay, that latter would be okay with me but not with my teen boys! LOL

    I'm so glad that your hubby's supporting you on the remodel.

    Have you checked what remodeled kitchens in your area include? Worth doing so that you don't over-improve. For instance, if granite or soapstone aren't the norm, you may not recoup the expense of putting it in your kitchen. Now if you want it simply because you want it, well, I totally get that!

  • Buehl
    10 years ago

    I still see problems with most of the plans here...mainly placing the range in the middle of the traffic from the DR & garage to the rest of the kitchen & basement or from the backdoor & basement to the LR/FR & front door.

    I think your best choice so far is a combination of RHome410's kitchen and BmorePanic's DR setup.

    Here are some versions...





  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    I think I know what it is like to be a kid again! You go to bed at night and wake up in the morning to find that Santa and his elves have visited your house and left wonderful suprises under the tree!! Except in my case it is more and more layout possibilities!! Thank you Rhome, Buehl, BmorePanic, etc!!!

    Buehl- I agree with you exactly. I have been gravitating towards Rhome and Bmorepanics layouts. I love the idea of the shallow storage and the range being near the peninsula for the extra prep space. The idea of having a small prep sink is something I did not think was possible in my small space, but I think may be necessary to avoid crossing the entire kitchen to drain a pot full of hot pasta.

    Also just from living in my kitchen the DW will not work to the right of the sink-- it seems to work on the drawing but in real life the space is just too tight.

    I will really need to look at these 5 layouts closely. The concern I had before was where I was going to store pots/pans, but I think these layouts address this problem.

    THANKS AGAIN!!!!

  • lisa_a
    10 years ago

    Given the size of your kitchen and the proximity of the banquette and peninsula, I think it's a great idea to give up peninsula seating (as shown in buehl's plans), especially since it means you gain counter and storage space instead.

    Since you mentioned that one of your wishes was to gain counter space, look into the prep sinks that include or allow for covers ala elizpiz's very gadgety-cool sink

    Circuspeanut had a butcherblock cover made for her copper prep sink but I can't seem find a photo of it, not easily anyway.

    Anyhoo, something like this gives you the best of both worlds; a prep sink handy when you need it but presto-chango, hidden away when you don't.

  • still_lynnski
    10 years ago

    It is very cool watching this process unfold!

    Can someone explain why the layouts all have a cabinet between the stove and the corner cabinet (with or without lazy susan)? I would think that the 24" of counter on top of the corner cabinet would be sufficient resting place on that side of the stove, and that it would be nice to have more than 18" on the other side as protection from the LR walkway.

    I'm asking so I can learn. Thanks!

  • scootermom
    10 years ago

    I would bet the reason for not moving the range closer to that corner is because that whole area functions as both a cooking area and prep area. If you have someone at the stove, stirring something or opening the oven door, and someone else standing at the prep counter chopping veggies, you could have some conflict (bumping elbows, getting nudged out of the way to make room for the oven door to open) if the range is too close to the prep counter.

    The OP may not have multiple cooks in the kitchen now, but it's something to think about for later...

  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago

    Newbie- You have some very nice plans to choose from...and they all have good traffic patterns, appliance layout and storage. The only thing I don't see, is more prep space than in your current kitchen.

    In your OP, you stated that you had 5' of counter space, next to your fridge. In these plans, you only have 18" and 24" on each side of the stove and main sink, with a little more room between the stove and the second sink. Is this going to be enough room? What height is the countertop, under the big window, in the snack area? Could that be prep space?

    The reason I ask, is that this plan has about as much prep space as I have in my current kitchen...and it's cramped. It's a real challenge to do holiday baking, cakes, anything that takes more than 2' to 3' linear feet of counter space, in one area. I realize you can't get everything you want in your remodel, but I just wanted to ask you about this...and they are very nice plans :)

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Lavender- good question/observation. However, the counterspace that is next the refrigerator is NEVER used for prep space. It holds the microwave, coffemaker and a fruit/potato basket. Since the space is located so far from the stove and sink, it does not make sense for me to use it for prep. So currently I prep in that small space between the stove and the sink--and actually we normally have a dish drainer to the left of the sink so I have about 12-15 inches to prep. So the idea of having 24" sounds like a lot-- I know that is sick. Its sounds like I live in NYC not the suburbs of Chicago!

  • lavender_lass
    10 years ago

    Newbie- LOL! That is small. Well, this will be a BIG improvement, then.

    In that case, I think plan #5 looks great, but they all will work well in your space :)

  • rhome410
    10 years ago

    Can someone explain why the layouts all have a cabinet between the stove and the corner cabinet (with or without lazy susan)?

    It's so the most amount of prep counter can be together. 18" is plenty on the non-prep side of the stove for setting down spoons, or setting a pot off the heat. More would be nice because of the traffic going by, but we've all left a generous enough aisle, I think, and have tried to balance having the space there, but also getting her the most workspace we can in her limited kitchen.

    By the way, I prefer the 90 degree corner options, as I feel that the angled lazy susans take up floor space, so offer less standing space, as well as less lineal counter frontage. The angle intruding on the space makes me feel claustrophobic.

    The corner prep sink makes it so there might be room for 2 workers on the peninsula...one by the stove and one at the end of the peninsula...But then the cook has such a tight work area, that I don't think it's advisable.

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Rhome- I think the Ikea (if I go that route) has a 37" base corner cabinet that is a 90 cabinet. Also I like the idea of having the prep sink on the end of the peninsula and having a cover made like Lisa suggested so that it can be used for additional prep space. Only thing is that I am not a huge fan of using 5" of filler--but I am still thinking on that one! :)

    One question I had about 1-5 is what is along the back window wall: a 24" tall cabinet, ___________, ________, 30" base, 36" CD Fridge, DW, 30" sink, 18" base/upper. What are the spaces-- it is difficult to read?

  • still_lynnski
    10 years ago

    Ikea also makes several versions of the Boholmen sink, and then, to fit the sink opening, they offer a wooden cutting board, a plastic cutting board, a colander, a dish drainer, and a cover plate. Ikea is definitely your friend! If you go to the Ikea website, just put in Boholmen as your search term.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Ikea sink series

  • Buehl
    10 years ago

    Sorry, they are difficult to read! I had to shrink them a lot to get them to be a reasonable size (not too big/not too small).

    RHome410 & ScooterMom are right, while it's nice to have 24" on each side of the range and you should strive for it, it's not always possible. In this case, it's more important to have the additional work space on the other side of the range and 18" is a good amount of space for emergency landing space as well spoons, etc.

    I also agree about the corner prep sink...while it gives you two Prep Zones of a sort, the one nearer the range is the more important and it's just too small w/that corner sink. I just included it so you could see various options.

    The corner susan, btw, is a great place to store pots & pans. In my old kitchen all my pots & pans, colanders, etc. fit in our 36" lazy susan (the one w/the pole in the middle).

    Here's a closeup of the Snack Center containing

    • A tall 24"W x 12"D cabinet either for additional pantry storage or for a utility cabinet for broom, mop, cleaning supplies, etc.

    • A long counter that is very shallow by the garage door and gets deeper as you move away from the door. The widest part is 22.5" deep, which means...

    • The two cabinets (24" & 30" wide) under the deeper part of the counter are 21" deep instead of the standard 24" (Ikea cabinets can be cut down, check IkeaFans for more information.)

    • Under the shallow portion of the counter is a bookshelf for cookbooks

    • A MW sits on the counter as part of the Snack Center. If you also drink coffee, you could put a coffemaker there as well.

      If you like them and they're in the budget, you might consider a 24" MW drawer so the MW is off the counter, leaving quite a bit more room for the Snack (or Snack/Beverage) Center.

    Snack Center Pros:

    • It gets the MW out of the main area of the kitchen so it isn't taking up valuable counter space nor is it taking up cabinet space (under or over) in the main part of the kitchen (where the primary zones are located: Prep, Cooking, Cleanup)

    • The MW is still fairly accessible from the kitchen's Prep & Cooking Zones but out of the main working area so snackers can use it (and/or the refrigerator) w/o getting in the way of those working in the kitchen

    • The MW is located near the refrigerator/freezer where most foods cooked or warmed up come from

    • MW is near the prep sink so if water is needed it can be gotten w/o, again, getting in the way of those working in the kitchen

    • If you also put a coffeemaker there, it's also close to the prep sink for water. Actually it's not that far from the main/cleanup sink as well, but the prep sink is much closer and more convenient

    • It helps spread out the various functions of the kitchen so you have more overall workspace. You could even work in front of the DR window if you needed to

    Snack Center Con:

    • It might make that area a little...
  • Buehl
    10 years ago

    BTW...if you look at Layout #5, you actually have the 24" next to the range + 18" b/w the corner and sink + the deeper counters to prep in...so you will really have 42" + deeper counters for prepping.

    And as I re-read your previous posts I see that you do have a coffeemaker...

    That 12" cabinet could be used to store cutting boards or cookie sheets & cooling racks (a tray cabinet). Cutting boards might also fit under the prep sink.

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thank you for the larger drawing of the snack center! I was showing my DH the layouts last night and he was was shocked! He could not believe that we got everything we wanted: dishwasher, a more open floor plan, easy access to the basement from the bedroom wing, prep space, peninsula, eating area, pantry, corner susan AND a few things that just make so much sense.. additional prep sink, snack/beverage center, cookbook storage, and MORE STORAGE!! DH looked at me and said are you sure that this is OUR kitchen?!?!

    THANK YOU!!! We just love it. I think I love it even more than my original dream idea of flipping the two rooms!! This is just awesome!!! I feel like I can enjoy the holdiays and not worry about the layout!

    THANK YOU GW!!! I am a very thankful girl!!

    And Buehl--you are very talented!!! I completely appreciate your different rendering of the layouts-- really got me thinking of pros and cons! THANK YOU!!! Its hard to believe that I paid a "designer" $150 to tell me to the keep the existing layout BUT blow out the space between the stove and the uppers so that I could have a peek-way into the dining room! ALL THIS DESPITE the fact that I told her I hated the layout and the space was not functional and she told me that was the best I could hope for UNLESS I wanted to add on another 10+feet to the kitchen/DR. GW you proved her WRONG!!! :)

  • Buehl
    10 years ago

    From all of us...you're very welcome! (I did build on RHome410 & BmorePanic basic ideas.)

    Your experience sounds similar to mine...I came to GW with a plan I wasn't particularly happy with, which I admit was partly my fault, though, as I was originally insisting on an island & one just didn't fit in my 11' wide kitchen. The folks here at Kitchens convinced me that 11' is just too narrow but showed me how I could get the things I wanted as well. I added a few tweaks and now I have a kitchen that I absolutely love...so much that I tell my DH that if we ever move, the kitchen goes with us!! My DH, at first, was unhappy w/my spending so much time on GW & our layout, but once we came up w/a final design and got some very effective help with some issues we ran into, he swore he would never complain again and that GW "rocks"! He loves the kitchen, too, btw!

    I hope the two of you end up as happy as we did w/the final results.

    Please stick around and share your kitchen when done!


    Good luck!

  • rhome410
    10 years ago

    Sounds like your DH is now excited and more on-board, too. That's worth a lot in the process. Can't wait to see the outcome!

    And it's rarely about the actual number when figuring counterspace...It's having it in useful chunks WHERE you need it and with elements/zones separated so 2 or more bodies can work at once.

  • lisa_a
    10 years ago

    Yippee, that's great, newbieremodeler! Isn't it amazing how the right lay-out can make an apparently small space live large? You are going to have an awesome kitchen so, yes, please stick around and definitely show it off when it's completed! I live for the "kitchen finished!" posts since my own is at least a year away. Sad, yes, but can't be helped.

    I had a thought for you about your LR/DR set-up since you wrote that you weren't sure about having the DR right by the front door. Perhaps you've gotten over that but if not, consider breaking the "rules" (go on, be a rebel) and designate the space next to the fireplace as your DR and place your LR so that it greets people at the front door (here's where you follow the rules. How about that? You get to be a rebel and a rule follower at the same time.)

    If you don't use your formal DR regularly and are considering or have the option to purchase a few new pieces, here's another idea. Consider replacing existing DR table with a drop-leaf table to get more flexible use out of your space. Here's what I'm picturing: two comfy, upholstered chairs facing the fireplace, add a small table between them and a lamp to create a romantic arrangement for two. A few feet away, place the drop-leaf table against the back of a sofa to form the living room area. When you need to set up the DR table, move it away from the sofa and center it in the space near the fireplace, move the two upholstered chairs to the ends and then bring in other chairs from the banquette area and elsewhere. Am I explaining this well? I'm tired and in pain so probably not. So when words fail me, I find photos.

    In use:


    Apartment Therapy

    Put away:

    Both of the above are smaller than I'm picturing for you but hopefully you get the idea.

    Hey! I just realized the second photo shows how to have your DR by the front door without it looking like a DR.

    Don't know what your style is but here are a few chair ideas:

    {{gwi:2109744}}

    {{gwi:2109746}}
    Pottery Barn

    And one more (just because I'm having fun).
    {{gwi:2109747}}

    Oh! How about a bench instead of two chairs?
    {{gwi:2109748}}

    Okay, I'm having waaay too much fun planning your room for you. Crazy when I don't even know if it's something that even interests you.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Apartment therapy - drop leaf table

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Lisa~

    Love the chairs!!! Especially that rust color one-- the style, not necessarily the color. That is a good idea. Fortunately we are planning on buying new living room furniture and DR table, chairs, etc. The stuff we currently have is all a mix of college/family "donations", so not necessarily our style. I have always like the idea of having chairs by the fireplace--which we don't have now.
    Thanks for all of the pics-- and I will keep everyone posted as progress is made. :)

  • lisa_a
    10 years ago

    You're welcome (I had such fun, could you tell?). I really like that rust colored chair, too. I could see it equally well-sited in front of a fireplace or at a dining room table. I can't wait to watch your progress and see the final result.

  • cplover
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    I hope no one kills me over this but I met with another contractor who can switch the positions of the dining room and kitchen (my dream) for no further costs! So I guess that means I need help designing a new layout. I really loved the previous layout. I have tried several ideas on my own, but not sold on any of them.

    NOTE: We will enter the K/DR from the living room approximately 1 ft from the south side dining room wall. We are estimating a 3ft opening to allow for plenty wall room in the living room. The entrance to the garage will remain in the kitchen (previous DR) but the door will swing out to the garage. Windows can change sizes and shape, if need be. Thanks again in advance!