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beth_schroeder

Help with Kitchen Design/Flow

Beth Schroeder
5 years ago

We are adding onto our kitchen and relocating a bathroom that is between our kitchen and family room. As a result of opening everything up and eliminating a hallway that run behind the kitchen (that is dark and maze like), you will need to walk through the kitchen to get to the family room and to the outside either through the kitchen or the family room, which will also have a slider. I'm trying to figure out the best way to configure the kitchen so that people don't have to walk through the heart of the kitchen (sink/stove) to get through the kitchen. On my plan each square represent 1 square foot. I'm trying to decide between one island or two. I'm also open to any other suggestions/input you have on the drawing.


Also, I've attached a view to our backyard from our kitchen. I want mainly big windows/sliders looking out because it's a nice view and it's North facing. I've also attached a 1 island v. 2 island kitchen to illustrate what I'm trying to decide between.



Thanks!

Comments (11)

  • Beth Schroeder
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Hi tedbixby,

    Good questions. The two dining areas are due to having preschool/elementary children that I don't trust in the nicer eating area. We have it planned for big seating because we have 3 kids that are going to be giants, large extended families that visit often (5 family member and then grandparents visit) and we live in Southern California, so we do a lot of indoor/outdoor entertaining so we want it to flow from one space to the other (hence lots of doors). We are working with an architect and currently are talking to a kitchen designer. I guess my main question is for the Houzz public is would walking into the kitchen the way I have it sketched be a problem for you if you were looking to buy this house because you have to walk by the sinks or stove or refrigerator? We're not planning on selling any time soon but want to consider resale value.

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Yes, it's a huge problem. It's a terrible layout. If that's the best that your Pros can come up with in a 300K remodel, then you need to change Pros.

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  • beseaside
    5 years ago
    I get the feeling that the plan you shared is one you have come up with to share with the pros? Why not provide the kitchen designer and architect a list of your desires, what is non negotiable and the basics needed. The pros will have tricks that most of us doesn't even think of to make the space everything you want it to be. Even moving the sectional might change the path through your kitchen.
  • PRO
    Manias Associates Building Designers
    5 years ago

    Hi Beth - You have a very nice back yard area , its really worth while making the effort to take advantage of the space. I have difficulty understanding the flow from the drawing that you provided - seeing the whole house would help. At the moment the distance between the fridge, hot plate and pantry is extreme, and the traffic flow is certainly to close to cooking and food storage - food, human, and equipment crash problem - pain and doctors bills!

    1. I assume that where the slider is indicated is the access to the back yard area - and that is the direction of the above photo?

    2. In the family room the L shape item is a wall or a sofa of some kind?

    I will do a little sketch to show a possible alternative and post it tomorrow - if I have time.





    I




  • Beth Schroeder
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    This is one of the sketches that is all mine. The architect I'm working with is encouraging us to reconfigure the kitchen so that there is nothing along the wall where I have the refrigerator and that the whole kitchen is off to one side and you can reach the family room without walking by any cabinets on your left. I'll post a picture in a minute. My concern with that design is the lack of cabinet space. In term of the other rooms in the house. When you walk in the front door, to your right is the living room that leads into the dining room. To your left in a study and the stairs. Walking straight down the entry way currently leads you to a coat closet and then you zig zag to enter the kitchen that is separated from the family room. Off the laundry room in the garage. I want it so that you can walk straight in and see through to the backyard. The goal is to bring in more light. Additionally a concern is that by putting cabinets up along the wall that leads to the backyard, means less light rather than big sliders or big windows (either is fine). However, given the strong response that it's a bad idea to have to walk through the kitchen to get outside/to the family room. I'm still trying to work things out. Here's one idea keeping my wishes in mind:

  • Beth Schroeder
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Another idea, but worried about lack of cabinet space.
  • beseaside
    5 years ago

    Beth, I like the second plan better. That said, the view from the front door is going to be the kitchen work area. The view you have is beautiful, but in neither plan are you getting a straight shot to the window wall. In my opinion, the kitchen would need to move at least 2 feet towards the dining room so that the window would be the direct sight line. You have a wonderfully large pantry in #2 and if you really feel you need more cabinets you could add a 15" deep wall of cabinets to the wall that backs up to the laundry/powder. I do really think that one of the big issues will be the view corridor as now it looks at a wall in both drawings. You have great possibilities here!

  • PRO
    Main Line Kitchen Design
    5 years ago
    Architects can be good kitchen designers but only if they specialize in the field. In general the worst kitchen designs we see come from people on the edge of our field. Like architects, General contractors, or interior decorators. Actually homeowners do a better job designing their kitchens than these pseudo professionals because they are more likely to spend time learning about kitchen design and are more thoughtful and conservative in their designs. If you are spending this much money then you need to get help from a good kitchen designer. Quite often their help will be free because the best kitchen designers have their design time incorporated into the cabinetry that they sell. Often builders and architects steer their customers to cabinet showrooms that are giving them a kick back and have been instructed not to rock the boat. Find a showroom kitchen designer that isn't affiliated with the people you are working with. Especially since their plans are lacking.
  • rocketjcat
    5 years ago
    Do you really need seating for 20? Seating for 12 in the kitchen? All the time? I think I would start with that question and work from there. Currently your kitchen functionality is being sub-optimized due to these large capacity seating elements. What do your really need?
  • Beth Schroeder
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Yes, we're waiting for a design from a kitchen designer. To be fair to our architect, he very much encourage us to have a kitchen designer determine the placement of the appliances. I'm just a DIYer by nature and trying to figure out a way to make it work.

    rocketjcat - the islands I'm thinking of have more counter space as there isn't as much along walls. I do meal preps with friends and it's useful to have multiple areas to work. But perhaps we can have a smaller table that holds only 6. Some things that we are still considering is that we are very tall people (6' and 6'9") and our sons will probably be close to 7' tall in the not so far future and therefore we may need more space for seating and chairs than the average person. Additionally, we have a large number of close family members nearby(20+ people), and host Boy Scout and Girl Scout meeting so more seating/counter space/ room to move is a consideration.

  • KD
    5 years ago

    But how often are you going to want to host all those people inside, and in the kitchen specifically? You said you live in Southern California and want stuff to flow from inside to outside easily, and you have several family seating areas on the second plan (living room, family room, outdoor room - looks screened in?) that can also be used as gathering space. How much will those spaces be used when you have lots of people around or meetings? Do the meetings have to be in the kitchen?

    I understand having lots of people coming and going and wanting to entertain, but it doesn't sound like you have lots and lots of people actually living in your home every day - but you WILL be using the kitchen every day, so you should think in terms of what will make the kitchen work best for daily use (cooking, meals, etc.) and THEN see what you can do to maybe get a bit more seating area, rather than starting from the seating space and trying to fit the primary function of the kitchen around it. Does that make sense?

    As much as I love entertaining, I'd rather have a kitchen that works really well for me and some folding tables I can whip out and set up for extra seating as needed than lots of seating all the time that I have to work around when trying to use the kitchen. But I love cooking and time wasted in an awkward kitchen layout REALLY bugs me. :)