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need ideas for this space

D E
5 days ago
last modified: 5 days ago

my spouse and I were looking over our plan and asked ourselves why we had a big 48 sq ft island in the kitchen. It was supposed to house the cooktop and be an eating island but there was also a dining table in the space so it seemed redundant.

so we deleted it.

well, that created about 280 sq ft of space that we had not planned for. I'm happy for the extra space but am now at a loss on how to use the space.

Any ideas? Thanks


Comments (39)

  • D E

    the space


    the render



  • jmm1837
    I think you might want to redo that rendering, because right now it shows a dining and living room, but no kitchen.
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I am not seeing the issue. I happen to like open spaces with nothing in them.

  • sheepla

    Where is the kitchen?

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Offer dance classes and eat out more.

  • Kristin S

    Where is the kitchen? Is it the single wall by the dining table? What happened to the cooktop when you deleted the island?

  • remodeling1840
    I wish I had designed this—think of the money you save by not having a kitchen! And the best part involves eating out every meal!
  • Bri Bosh
    In your plan that space looks too small for an island anyway. I’d be more concerned about people waking in the front entry right into...a couch?
  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Its a 3D model with a plan view cut at the level of the upper kitchen cabinets.

    The obvious solution is to switch the Media Room with the Guest Room and remove the excess space from the house. That would save money and provide a better location for a covered entrance in the notch and a more interesting exterior.

  • Kristin S

    RES - but then it wouldn't be a perfect rectangle, which we know (from past long painful threads) is a deal breaker for the OP.

    It's really hard to tell a stranger on the internet how to use spaces in their house. It could be a library, a craft room, a sitting room, a play room, an exercise room, or any number of other things, but without knowing what is most valuable for your life it's hard to say.

    My thought would be to move the front door over so that you have an actual foyer with a coat closet, a place to drop keys and mail, etc.. Then swap guest bedroom with media room, run the wood paneled wall to the ceiling, put a sliding door into this wall, and combine new area with media room to create a larger media/rec/playroom. But it's highly unlikely that my priorities are your priorities.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Yes Kristin, but because it would save space and money it would be, by definition, more efficient than the rectangle. If the Guest Rom was put on a loft under the roof the house could be even more deficient.

    It would also be smart to provide a roof designed for solar voltaic panels for now or for the future.

  • PRO
  • jmm1837
    As I recall, the OP is constrained by his/her HOA to build a single story house of at least 2500 sq ft, so reducing the footprint is not an option (and neither is changing the fundamental layout - the OP has made that clear). I seem to recall the OP at one point saying that they didn't really need a separate media room but had put it in anyway to fill up part of the space. So , to be honest, I don't know why it matters that the island would have been wasted space (always assuming the measurements were right in the first place) because the OP already has more room in her house than she needs for functional purposes. I just don't see that adding another little closed off space with an ill defined purpose is an improvement on a large open area kitchen/dining/living area. It's going to be wasted space either way, since neither is actually necessary.
  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    OK, then make each of the rooms a bit larger and keep the notch for great efficiency and more comfortable rooms. You can't beat that. [or add a foot to each side of the house plus an entrance vestibule]

    I've never believed in the basic premise of "wasted space"; space is always beneficial if you know how to use it. An island provides additional storage, a place to sit and talk to the cook and a great workstation especially if two cooks are in the kitchen and it can be well lighted and doesn't have cabinets in your face. Its the best feature of an otherwise featureless house. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Does it seem odd to: 1) Have a minimum footprint size of 2,500 SF; 2) Want functional efficiency as the uppermost priority; and 3) Have interior spaces that the OP doesn't know how to use or want to use?


    How efficient and logical is that?


    Wouldn't it make more sense, and be more efficient, to: 1) First figure out what interior spaces the OP actually needs and will use; and 2) Develop a design that is organized around those interior spaces to achieve the necessary footprint of 2,500 SF?


    And...wouldn't it make even more sense to design the house around the site's features and let the site and site develop help to configure, organize and place the house, instead of designing the house without regard to the site, as if it doesn't exist?


    How efficient and logical is that?

  • cpartist

    Wouldn't it make more sense, and be more efficient, to: 1) First figure out what interior spaces the OP actually needs and will use; and 2) Develop a design that is organized around those interior spaces to achieve the necessary footprint of 2,500 SF?


    And...wouldn't it make even more sense to design the house around the site's features and let the site and site develop help to configure, organize and place the house, instead of designing the house without regard to the site, as if it doesn't exist?


    How efficient and logical is that?

    But Virgil, the OP read a book and knows more than you, RES and Mark. Anyway, don't confuse HIM with facts!

  • D E

    Kristin S and Patricia Colwell Consulting,


    thank you for the ideas. They are very helpful and have given me things to think about

  • D E

    Patricia colwell, if you are still reading this, I read you run a catering business, so you know kitchens. here is my straight line kitchen idea for your thoughts.

    thanks

  • Bri Bosh
    Where’s the dishwasher?
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    That for sure but even more to the point in this large space why a one line kitchen, they are great in tiny apartments but you are trying to fill spce so why not have an awesome kitchen

  • J Williams

    It doesn’t seem like you have a lot of uninterrupted counter for food prep, and you’ve got what I’m assuming is a microwave breaking up what little you have (imagine it blocking your sightlines). So if you are only doing very basic food prep, you should be OK. If you like to bake, or assemble complicated meals with multiple components, you will have some juggling to do, and you will be facing a wall. Also, food storage might become an issue unless you keep only minimal amounts of food (ie. pantry items) on hand. You will also have to be very very tidy lol. Otherwise your counter will become congested. Do you use a toaster, for ex?

  • J Williams

    In answer to the original question - storage? work? conservatory? TV room? library? hobby room?

  • lyfia

    I would put the island back in again as it gives your kitchen the ability to function better for normal everyday living. The island adds additional prep space so you can have more than one person in the kitchen helping with dinner. Useful if one has kids as kids really should be involved in helping and learning to cook. The island would be a great space for baking, for example, cookies with the family or family and friends. The island also allows someone to interact with people while cooking by facing where they sit vs. having the back against them. The island would also function well for entertaining with putting dishes out for buffet style or just having snacks available for easy access.

    The line kitchen works great for a single person working in the kitchen. Very common to have these with the setup you have where I grew up, but if you have space and don't know what to do with it use it to enhance your daily living function which a kitchen is very much part of.

  • D E

    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    "That for sure but even more to the point in this large space why a one line kitchen, they are great in tiny apartments but you are trying to fill spce so why not have an awesome kitchen"


    Thanks for the input Patricia. We dont use a dishwasher and spouse does not want a dishwasher in the new house.


    I kinda thought this straightline kitchen was already awesome but I am open to your thoughts.


    thanks

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    If you have created a major space and cannot think of something to put in it you have either misunderstood or rejected all design advice offered by good designers for centuries.

    The first rule is to not let perfection be the enemy of good. An ideal should only be an inspiration not a goal because it will often prevent you from discovering a good solution.

    You are unlikely to hold on to a rectangle plan shape if you believe that form should follow function. You are now trying to create a function to follow a form.

    Put the island back so you can sit at your dining table and not feel like you're in the kitchen or let it be and break the rectangle to let the plan accommodate your program spaces or make the rooms slightly larger to meet the arbitrary HOA rule. All rooms can use an additional foot in width; its not wasted space. Often, good design is a matter of knowing what rules to break and it take many years to know how to do it consistently.

    This is what you would learn in the first year of design school and later think you had thought of it all by yourself.

  • clt3

    If you ever plan on selling this house, I'd add a dishwasher anyway. You don't have to use it.

  • ksc36

    Just put a 24" base cabinet next to the sink. You can put the appropriate power outlet in the base cabinet. Then you'll be dishwasher ready.

  • D E

    lyfia

    "I would put the island back in again as it gives your kitchen the ability to function better for normal everyday living. The island adds additional prep space so you can have more than one person in the kitchen helping with dinner. Useful if one has kids as kids really should be involved in helping and learning to cook. The island would be a great space for baking, for example, cookies with the family or family and friends. The island also allows someone to interact with people while cooking by facing where they sit vs. having the back against them. The island would also function well for entertaining with putting dishes out for buffet style or just having snacks available for easy access."


    Thanks for that input. So, we dont currently have an island in our house and when we were designing our new house it was front and center of what we wanted just because of how ubiquitous they are. Then we stayed at a house that had a big, beautiful,(rather expensive) island, but it was essentially a raised dining table as in we ate there and nobody used the other dining table that was about another 5 ft away .


    That got me thinking if I really need an island. Ive seen articles for, and articles strongly against them. All options are still open but its one cook most of the time (me) so more than likely we will omit the island


    clt3

    If you ever plan on selling this house, I'd add a dishwasher anyway. You don't have to use it.

    valid point. thank you


    ksc36

    Just put a 24" base cabinet next to the sink. You can put the appropriate power outlet in the base cabinet. Then you'll be dishwasher ready


    Great idea Ksc36!! I think that's what I'll do.

  • D E

    J Williams

    "It doesn’t seem like you have a lot of uninterrupted counter for food prep, and you’ve got what I’m assuming is a microwave breaking up what little you have (imagine it blocking your sightlines). So if you are only doing very basic food prep, you should be OK. If you like to bake, or assemble complicated meals with multiple components, you will have some juggling to do, and you will be facing a wall. Also, food storage might become an issue unless you keep only minimal amounts of food (ie. pantry items) on hand. You will also have to be very very tidy lol. Otherwise your counter will become congested. Do you use a toaster, for ex?"


    Thanks for the great feedback. You raise a lot of points for me to think about

  • lyfia

    Just don't provide seating on the island and you won't need to worry about anyone sitting there. But consider how it might help improve use of the space otherwise. It would also be a selling point in the future to have one.


    Please do teach your children to cook and make them part of prep.


    If you're doing dishes manually then having something other than a wall to stare at might be nice. Not advocating putting the sink in the island (not a personal fan of that) , but maybe an L shape with a sink in front of a window and a smaller island.


    I think trying to figure out what to use a space for and not having an idea at all is not the best use. It seems like you should think of how to use that space to enhance your existing spaces that you need or use.

  • Kristin S

    I agree that if you really cook (or hope to ever sell the house and have cooks among the potential buyers) you should put the island back. What you show now would not work well for me, for example. Where do you roll out dough? What if you have several sheet pans worth of prep happening? What if you have several different preps going simultaneously and are moving back and forth among them? I do all of this and would simply need more counter space.

    I agree you don’t need an island for seating, just workspace. I wouldn’t put seating at one with the table right there. You could do a traditional cabinet island, or see if a freestanding one (less storage but also less expensive) from somewhere like IKEA or Crate and Barrel would work for you.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    "...We dont use a dishwasher and spouse does not want a dishwasher in the new house..."


    Does spouse do the dishes, pots and pans?

  • cpartist

    A prime example of penny wise/pound foolish.

  • chicagoans

    Your proposed design wouldn't function well for me, as I want and need more prep space (as well as a DW.) I also use my island quite a bit for serving (large holiday dinners; parties large and small; pizza night...) Your needs might be much less than mine, so think about whether you'll ever want to entertain or prep and cook a whole meal. It looks like you're planning a table that seats 8-10, but can you prepare, serve, and clean up a meal for that many in the kitchen you have planned? (If you can, you're a much more efficient cook than me.)


    Also, think about just putting groceries in and taking them out of the refrigerator. Once you open the door, you've blocked your access to the counter next to it. (And if it's right next to the cabinets/counter to the right, the door might not open all the way.) At the very least I'd look for a ref with a door that swings the other way.


    re: the unused space -- I'd rework the whole kitchen / dining / living / ? areas. Orient your seating to a view; incorporate an entry (looks like the door is just a few feet from the couch?); give yourself a bit more counter space in the kitchen, whether with an island or a different config; include space for a broom closet, small appliances like a mixer, coffee maker, etc.

  • jmm1837
    That kitchen, in a 2500 sq ft house, has less than half the counter and storage space of the kitchen in my 2000 sq ft house. I couldn't even fit my espresso machine in there. Putting the island back, with or without seating, would create a much more proportionate and functional kitchen, and would be much less a "waste of space" than a little room you don't need.
  • D E

    Ive received a lot of helpful info from all. Special thanks this last go round to Lyfia and Chicagoans and KSC32.


    It looks like there is work to do so I am going back to the drawing board on this design. I will start with an L shape but all options are on the table, including an island.


    Chicagoans, I like your idea of orienting the living room seating to the view. I'll work on that as well.

  • zibbe

    I have a 2200 sq ft home with an open room---18x44 that functions as living/dining/kitchen. I have an island w 3 seats and a table that seats 10. Unless it is just me (live alone) ALL entertaining happens at the dining room table. I use the island for many things, but hanging out is always at the table. My girls have an ongoing banter about who gets the table when I pass! I cannot imagine NOT having the island. And yes, it's awesome to drop groceries on and off load to fridge as well as setting up buffets.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Start with a site analysis, orientation for passive solar and natural light, and a site plan and house concepts which are derived together.

    Keep in mind that one's first idea is seldom the best idea. Design is a patient search and takes a lot of exploration before a concept is proven workable.


    Here's the guiding concept for passive solar and natural lighting strategies, and why a southern orientation is so important:




  • D E
    zibbe, do you have any photos of your living space? I would love some pics as dimensions are close to mine

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