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Removing Kitchen Window Dilemmna

April 23, 2019

We are planning a kitchen remodel in which the wall between our small kitchen and dining room will be removed to open up the space. In trying to maximize counter and cabinet space, we would like to remove the window over the sink (moving sink to the island) and change out the double slider to a single french door. Once the wall is removed, more natural light should flow into the space from the dining room. The island will be approx. 11' x 33" and the glass-top table will be going away. Are we making a mistake by closing up the window and 1/2 of the rear slider? The design renderings show 39" of countertop on each side of the stove, upper cabinets are 36" wide. Ceilings are 8'. We will have white shaker cabinetry with gray island cabinetry. Countertops will be marble-looking quartz. The refrigerator and pantry are on the opposite wall and will not be moved. I am having second thoughts on removing the window and having such a long run of windowless cabinetry. Will it be too dark? Thoughts? Advice?

Comments (11)

  • PRO
    Glo European Windows & Doors

    You are going to be losing quite a bit of light. I would rework the placement of the microwave/wall oven in order to keep the window. That is a long wall of cabinetry.

    Amy thanked Glo European Windows & Doors
  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design

    I don't think closing up the window, opening up the wall, and going down to a single glass door are necessarily mistakes, but that plan sure is. What's the reasoning behind the island sink? You'll be staring at your fridge, which BTW will now be less accessible because you'll have to walk around the island from the sink to get there. The wall ovens are cutting your countertop space in half too, making all that space to the left unusable in prep. The island seating also feels in the way with the aisles being too small. I assume the dining table with go in the bay area but make sure that area is all measured out to fit.

    IMO you need a way better kitchen plan before you start losing windows and taking down walls.

    Amy thanked Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design
  • Mrs. S

    I am not a pro.

    1.But having a sink and window to the backyard seems like a big plus. I would want more light in my kitchen, not less.

    2. I like the idea to take out the wall to open things up.

    3. 11 ' island? Do they make slabs that big? Or are you getting a a big ol' seam across the slab? Or perhaps you are putting butcher block or something there that requires no seam.

    4. I like a sink in the island as well, and I'm glad you have the stove against the wall, not on the island.

    5. I wouldn't need so much island seating, when there is a table right there. If you need storage, utilize that island-seating space.

    6. I'd put drawers in the island instead of doors. You are going to have a lot of storage, if you design it right. I'd put the window back in, and maybe keep the big slider.

    7. I'm confused about the overhead diagram, which seems to show cabinets across from the island. And a wall. Maybe I'm just confused, because I'm not a pro.

    8. Lastly, I realize this is a personal preference, but the appliance garage thing that rests on the counter is not something I'd want. I wipe down my counters and spray them, etc, many times a day. I would be concerned about the edges getting wet. Additionally, if you're trying to increase counter space, why use it up with an immovable counter-space sucking cabinet? You won't be able to use the small sliver of countertop right in front of the applicance garage, either. I guess that's my preference.

    Amy thanked Mrs. S
  • damiarain

    As mentioned by others, while you're not planning on moving the fridge, by extending the island you're making it a barrier to go from it to the prep space (vs in your kitchen now, it looks like the fridge opens up opposite the aisle to the sink). Also, having the tall cabinet to house the microwave really breaks up a great stretch of countertop. It looks like you're extending the counters and cabinets into the dining space (where the bay window is?), given that, maybe you could do without some of the uppers - leaving you the option to have a window

    I also think where the seating is might be problematic. Especially the range side of the island - imagine having someone seated there and you need to open the oven? I drew them in on the other two sides only

    What is the width of the kitchen? On your diagram, it looks like there's about 3' between the range and the island and maybe 3.5' between the island and the fridge....

    Another note: go for all drawers, not the "roll out trays", especially for the lower cabinets by the range

    Amy thanked damiarain
  • shead

    Not a pro but personally, I cannot imagine putting a sink in an island that narrow. I ALWAYS get water behind my sink when cleaning up. In my case, it's not a big deal because my back splash stops it from spilling over the other side but in this case, it'll easily splatter/spill to the floor. A wider island would stop the flow of water as well but you don't have that here.

    What is in the space to the left of the kitchen? Can you post a floor plan of the entire first floor to see how the flow of traffic works in your house?

    Amy thanked shead
  • girl_wonder

    Yes I think it's a mistake the close that window and 1/2 the sliding door.

    I personally prefer your current floor plan. I love having a kitchen table that looks out into the yard. You have a nicely decorated dining room. I'm not sure you need to remodel at all. If you're trying to shake things up, maybe paint the walls or redecorate (get new light fixtures) and then put that money towards a nice vacation and your retirement fund.

    Amy thanked girl_wonder
  • Amy

    Thank you all for your input, this community is so great! We are re-working the plan to keep the window and sink where on the back wall, remove the wall oven cabinet, and shorten the island. The space all around is pretty tight, thus our desire to remove the wall to the dining room and open things up. Here are pics of the overall "before" 1st floor layout and a VERY rough revised layout keeping the window in place. We will keep some casual island seating (the glass-top table is going away) and our main dining area will be the 52" round table next to the bay window. The tall cabinets in the dining area are not applicance garages, but tall cabinets with small drawers under the doors.

  • shead

    What are your long-term plans for the house? Is this your "forever home" or will you be moving in the next 5 years, 10 years, etc.?

    I ask because if this is your forever home, you might consider bumping the back kitchen wall out to be even with the back family room wall. If you did that, you could eliminate the kitchen exterior door since you'd have the family room rear door nearby. That would give you enough space to have a really great kitchen open to the family room. It might be cost prohibitive, though, in your area.

  • Mrs. S

    It's good you're thinking this through. Remember, I'm the non-pro, so I'm not qualified to talk about things like kitchen triangles and make-up air for the vent...

    But one aesthetic thing I'd do is to lose the cabinets on either side of the window, to give it some space. Look at some photos of gorgeous kitchen windows and range hoods to give you an idea of how cabinets might make it look crowded.

    I know you're worried about having storage space, but you do have a lot of cabinets, especially with that large island. I just don't like using up counter space for upper cabinets. btw, where is your pantry?

    Lastly, I hope you do work with an independent kitchen designer (not just a cabinet sales-person who designs). Because a professional should be taking a look at this for the work area issues, the 3" spaces here and there that allow doors to open fully, and how to best maximize your $$.

    Amy thanked Mrs. S
  • Amy

    Thank you shead and Mrs. S. I wish we could bump out the back of the house but that is far too expensive for our budget. 2/3 of the designers removed the window but we have definitely decided to keep it. We appreciate everyone's feedback!

  • housegal200

    Jumping in here to add some money and space saving thoughts for what they're worth. People often feel they need a huge kitchen, but the most efficient work space is the triangle, made up of sink/stove/refrigerator, which you have if you forget about taking down that wall. To get the open, light feeling you want, remove the cabinets on the sides of the windows and install a wider window. Create an island perpendicular to the one you have with counter seating on the family room side. That way you have a double window, and light coming also from the French doors and connection to the family room. Here's an image along these lines--deeper perpendicular island.

    Featured – Southbay Home Spring 2017 Issue · More Info

    With some serious culling, decluttering, and reorganization, you will have plenty of storage space with a new, larger island and keeping the other cabinets located where they are. If a new double window is added, some side open shelves could be used for daily use dishes and glassware.

    Kitchen · More Info

    Amy thanked housegal200

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