jake_stephen7

Seeking advice on Kitchen Layout

J S
12 months ago

I'm laying out a kitchen in a wide open space. The plumbing hasn't been done yet - so the kitchen layout is wide open.

I think a kitchen with an L-shape makes sense for my layout. The leg with the sink will have countertop seating. I wanted to get some feedback from people who've gone through the process.

Some of the things I'm debating are :

1. Electric Wall oven & gas cooktop vs all in one range. The price difference is significant. $1700 vs $700. Plus the cost of the wall oven cabinet. IMO the wall oven cabinet looks way slicker. If I go with traditional all in one range, where do you put the microwave so the lines look clean? The microwave on the countertop looks clumsy and takes up a lot of real estate.

2. Kitchen sink on the wall or cooktop/ range on the wall. If sink is on the wall, then the cooktop/range will need an island range hood. If sink is on the peninsula I need to run an island vent.

3. I used Fabuwood on my last reno. Great cabinets, already assembled, 1/2" thick frames with real wood doors and a modern styles. Soft close doors, etc. This reno is a bit lower budget. Does anyone have any experience with Ikea kitchens. Is putting together all those cabinets a pain in the ass? The showrooms look slick, but i wonder how durable the cabinets are.

4. What's the ideal amount of countertop space? If I go with a wall oven layout I would have about 7' of countertop space. This is a 3 bedroom apartment that will likely rent to 3-4 single people. That's the clientele in this part of NYC.

5. Is the L-shape the way to go here???

I created a rough diagram of how the kitchen could be layed out. I wanted to offset the peninsula leg away from the main entrance to make the walkway as wide as possible. I don't want the kitchen reaching any further into the living space.

Notes on the diagram:
-The cabinet b/w the fridge and the range could be wall oven cabinet
-The cabinet in the corner (b/w the dishwasher and sink) will be a corner style cabinet. My software didn't have a corner style cabinet available.

Looking for input!

Thanks!


Comments (68)

  • cpartist
    11 months ago

    What is the layout of the apartment right now? Can you post what it is now because i agree this is not good

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    11 months ago

    At what stage is construction in the apartment? What walls are there now, JS?

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  • Jake
    11 months ago

    all the walls are up except the front bedroom wall and the main entrance wall which will hug the staircase.


    moving the bathroom plumbing around at the onset of the project was out of my budget.


    agreed having the kitchen cabinets within 8’ of the bathroom doors is not ideal.

  • acm
    11 months ago

    I would not do a wall oven -- much better (for safety and utility) to have counter on both sides of the cook top. And I honestly think I'd do a microwave over the range -- you just can't justify the luxury of putting one elsewhere, and OTR kind are built like tanks and will take the abuse of renters. You can still vent the exhaust. I have more kitchen than you are planning, and that was still the right choice for me; anything else seems criminal in this tiny space.

  • J S
    11 months ago

    @acm. Agreed on the OTR microwave. Having countertop space on both sides of the range makes sense.



  • hummingbird678
    11 months ago

    One thing that looks like it would annoy me in your drawing is the position of the dishwasher relative to the sink. Trying to picture taking a stack of dishes from the sink to the dishwasher, with the dishwasher open. Looks like some contortions may have to happen, with a few banging up of shins to help things along. I'd rather have the dishwasher somewhere like next to the sink to the right, so it can be open next to me as I transfer plates.

  • J S
    11 months ago

    @ hummingbird678

    Yeah good call. I’ll swing the dishwasher to the left of the sink.

    I did put that cabinet to the right of the dishwasher to create some space as an offset. But now that I’m thinking about it, it’s a lot of twisting to get dishes from the sink to the dishwasher.

    Thanks

  • Gcubed
    11 months ago

    Following

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    You could consider a corner sink - that way you have a large piece of counter to sit at to eat... or leave a smaller counter between the range and the ref and have the sink on the same wall as the range.

    The other thing you could consider ( I'm sure plenty of folks would disagree ) is to put in a very narrow island ( 18 - 20" ) . I have seen that many times in these tighter row house kind of places... it could even be a stainless "cart" so it can be mobile.

    The other thing I would suggest is looking into the micro over the range - I do not think that vent is strong enough to go as far as you need it to... Just double check - there may be a better model for that...

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    11 months ago

    Had another thought... what about a U shape??

    It will use up some of that floor space and puts one of the bathroom doors into a " hallway" ... Just a thought

  • J S
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    I gave the layout so more thought and incorporated some of the advice here. I also created some new layouts - eliminating the wall oven.


    Here are the options:

    1. Sink and dishwasher on the peninsula. Having the d/w next to the sink makes loading dishes easy but unloading dishes a task b/c the wall cabinets are on the wall only. Also having dirty dishes on the peninsula is not ideal.



    2. Cooktop on the peninsula.

    I like this layout b/c cooking is a social thing and lets the chef look out into the living space. It also creates adequate countertop spacing around the cooktop and sink and solves the dishwasher placement issue. Downside is the cooktop takes up valuable countertop seating area.



    3. Nothing on the peninsula & eliminate the wall oven. Range oven close to fridge. This solves a lot of issues. Adequate spacing around the sink and dishwasher is easy to unload. Peninsula with nothing on it becomes a prep area / dining area / desk space. Whatever. Also the microwave will go in a wall cabinet. I will have a ducted hood over the range.





    4. Nothing on the peninsula & eliminate the wall oven. Range oven close to peninsula Flip flops the sink and range. More countertop space closer to the range. My gut says this is the optimal layout.



    Would love to here your thoughts / critique.

    Thanks!

  • mainenell
    11 months ago

    MrLandlord.com has a great Q&A section.

    Quite frankly, a huge percentage of landlords use big box in store kitchen cabinets for their rentals. Probably 90 - 95%. Could be as high as 98%. At least in my market. Some do an over the range microwave. Personally, I would provide a “cubby” with dedicated circuit for a countertop microwave.

    I note that you have the fridge in a corner against a wall that is deeper than the fridge. You will need an additional 4-6” between fridge and wall for the door the open properly.

    When installing baseboard and cabinets the application of a combination of boric acid and diatomaceous earth behind/under them will help significantly in the control of unwanted critters. (Tip from MrLandlord) Mix them together in a squirt bottle like a picnic ketchup bottle and squirt into cracks and crevices.

  • cpartist
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    None of the above.

    1 doesnt work because as stated you can’t have a fridge up against a wall. However ditch the wall oven, move the fridge over a bit, put in a narrow pantry next to fridge, move cooktop.closer to fridge so there’s more room between sink and cooktop for prepping and i think you have the winner.

    2. Never a cooktop on the peninsula like. that. Just too dangerous. Plus only 10% of our time is spent cooking. 70% of our time is spent prepping

    3 and 4 don’t work because there is no room for prepping. I had a layout like that and having to carry everything from sink to peninsula just to prep got old quickly.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    11 months ago

    What about a corner sink? It moves the sink down to give some more counter space.

    Keeping in mind this is a NYC apartment where having that size peninsula is a huge bonus, I think you could really do plan 3 or 4 and be ok - ideal- No but ok.

    You are in a tough spot... the other thing you really have to think about as well is what these cabinets are going to be... size, configuration, etc - that may also drive how you lay things out.

    I'm still a fan of the U shaped design.

    Are you working with a designer? Have they put this into a computer so you can see what it looks like 3d? Have you tried laying out furniture for the living room? Those things are just as important as the kitchen...

    Keep going! You are almost there...

  • J S
    11 months ago

    I like not having anything on the peninsula. A 38 -40" wide peninsula with a cooktop or sink kills a lot of the usable space.


    @cpartistGood point on carrying things from the sink to the peninsula prep area for layout #4. What if I put a small prep sink on the peninsula? That should reduce the amount of walking. See pic.


    @Debbi WashburnI can't do a corner sink b/c I want a farmhouse stainless steel front apron sink. I will call the cabinet manufacturer to make sure the cabinet sizes i want are available.


    I like the U-shaped kitchen idea, but it closes off the walkway. And one leg of the U is right in front of the bathroom door.


    I'm not working with a designer. Just drawing things up on on Live Home3D. It will allow me to put furniture in the space to see how things will fit.




  • mainenell
    11 months ago

    You don’t have enough space to sacrifice for a prep sink, IMO.

  • mainenell
    11 months ago

    Actually, taking a look at the overall dimensions of spaces, it seems that you are not giving enough space in the bedrooms for even a dresser or nightstand. Have you added those to your floor plan yet?

    Perhaps two full baths is pushing your dimensioms too much. Maybe go with 1 full and a half bath, freeing up a bit of space for the bedrooms.

    I think the u shape with sink on the peninsula is the best layout. It is giving you two good prep areas in the corners of the u.

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    11 months ago

    You may be over-estimating how much cooking (vs. reheating) 3-4 unrelated single people sharing one very small NYC apartment will be doing.

  • mainenell
    11 months ago

    Beckysharp has identified a basic point. Generally, most tenants don’t cook. Especially if they are unrelated. We’ve rented to lots of student groups and other tenants in roommate situations. The only thing an oven is used for heating up pizza.

    Don’t overthink this. You are putting too much thought into it. Your goal is clean and functional. And to not overspend on your renovations taking away from your profit. Go to MrLandlord and ask questions there about how they do their kitchens and what they are using for materials. Landlords with lots of experience and a multitude of markets and target groups.

  • cpartist
    11 months ago

    @cpartistGood point on carrying things from the sink to the peninsula prep area for layout #4. What if I put a small prep sink on the peninsula? That should reduce the amount of walking. See pic.

    You do not have enough room for a prep sink. You need at least 30" MINIMUM to one side of a prep sink for prepping. You don't have that!

    I'm not working with a designer.

    I'm sorry but creating a kitchen that works in a small space like yours is much HARDER than creating a kitchen that works in a larger space. You really should invest in working with a KD.

  • jpp221
    11 months ago

    I’m coming late to this party, so forgive me, but not one but two toilets facing into the kitchen are troubling. I’d move the door to the left-hand one to open into the entry area. The other could be reconfigured, I suspect, so its door is at least opposite the w/d.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    JS - that was my whole point with the U shape - give a more counter and cabinet storage and create a bit of a hallway for at least one of the bathrooms.. You will probably do a 30" ref an lazy susan corner is 36" - thats 69" ( if you do the side panels on the ref ) - that leaves 54" for the "hallway" - Thats huge... I would add a tray cabinet in there...

    I took some time to play with this over the weekend...

    You could always flip the sink and the stove if you prefer.. and I would consider an 18" dishwasher - then the sink could slide left some more... The wall the ref is on is 79" leaving a 44" walkway there as a hall...In this kitchen multiple people could be grabbing a quick bite or making coffee.

    Just something to think about

  • J S
    11 months ago

    @Debbi Washburn Wow that looks amazing. I'm going to play around with your layout. Thank you!!!

  • J S
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    @Debbi Washburn I must admit I was bit skeptical when you first mentioned U-shaped kitchen a few days ago, but after seeing your rendering and drawing and measuring it for myself, I'm sold!

    Advantages of your proposal:

    • The U-shape compartmentalizes the kitchen. It defines the space. The L-shape felt like a wall of cabinets.
    • It increases the NON-peninsula countertop space from 5' to 8'3". 65% increase!!
    • It shortens the overall length of the kitchen by 6".
    • Uses up some "semi-dead" space.

    I attached my sketch... (I dont have corner cabinets, so i just used regular cabinets).

    I stuck with a 33" fridge and a 24" dishwasher.


    I'm going to contact my cabinet guy and see what my cabinet size options are. The other thing I worry about is how are the countertop guys going to get 2 large pieces of countertop up to the 3rd floor. I might have to break it out into 3 pieces. I'm thinking quartz or corian (I'm going to live in this unit for at least 3 years so I want it to be nice).


    Btw, what software do you use to sketch stuff up?


  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    11 months ago

    I am sorry if I was a little pushy... I knew if you could "see" it you would know why I like it... You will have a counter separation due to the range - then have a seam at the sink since it is an apron sink - that should break it down easy enough.

    I am using the 2020 design program... this is what most kitchen designers use - it really helps the customer see their new space!

    I am glad I could help!

  • J S
    11 months ago

    @Debbi Washburn

    I showed the layout to some friends and they love it. One friend said he's going to incorporate it into his kitchen remodel!

    One variation of the latest layout I was playing around with is moving the range to the island. That would buy me about 30" of length outside of the kitchen for the living space.


    The downside to that I lose that wide open countertop. I think I'm going to leave the countertop wide open.


  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    11 months ago

    Leave the wide open top - no one wants to sit and get splattered with hot oil!

  • herbflavor
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    Re:"wide open top" why dont you put sink and dishwasher there. face people and relieve that corner between fridge and sink as you show......it will get crowded there easily

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    11 months ago

    I think a corner sink might work... although there's the flow of ref to sink to prep to stove that was trying to be kept.

    It is a NYC apartment - most rules go right out the window.... everything is much more compact and only one step apart..

  • J S
    11 months ago

    I got in touch with my cabinet maker on laying out the cabinets.


    Here’s the cabinet layout (@Debbi Washburn layout).


    A few things concerned me.

    1. Is the sink is too close to the fridge?
      • The fridge is 29” deep plus it needs 2” behind it for ventilation. So it’s spaced 31” off the wall.
    • The corner cabinet measures 36” in both directions off the corner.
    • There’s only 24” from the front center edge of the sink to the closet corner of the fridge measure diagonally. That seems a bit cramped for a person to stand in. Am I wrong?
    • Solution : put a 9” drawer cabinet b/w the corner cabinet and the sink.
    1. Corner cabinets
      • The cabinet maker used two 36" corner base cabinets and one corner wall cabinet.
    • My concern is that these cabinets are inaccessible, dark and probably expsensive
    • Is there a better solution?
    1. Wall cabinet height.
      • I have 9’8" ceilings in the kitchen area. The cabinet maker used 36” tall wall cabinets.
    • with a 36” countertop, 18” of backsplash, and 36” tall cabinets, there is 26” of unused space up top.
    • Should I use 42” tall cabinets to reduce the empty space to 20"
    • Or build 26” tall soffits over the cabinets


    Cabinet total cost is $6700 including tax and delivery. Cabinets are already assembled.


    Here are some pics of the cabinet layouts:



    Thanks

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    11 months ago

    I would do no more than 24" sink. 30" is overkill for three or four single people in an apartment, and it eats up valuable counter space. Your tenants will thank you.

    Those corner cabinets are definitely dark and inaccessible. What to do about corner cabinets has been a popular topic over the years in the Kitchen forum,

    https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/kitchbath/query/%22corner-cabinets%22/nqrw

    Here are a couple with some good ideas,

    https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/3566521/please-help-lazy-susan-corner-cabinet-or-blind-corner-cabinet#n=69

    https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/2665584/corner-cabinets-dead-corners-what-did-u-do#n=45

    As far as the height of the cabinets, for your sake and your tenants', I would want to minimize dust and dirt accumulation on top of the uppers, so crown molding or soffit -- I don't know any of the particulars of the apartment.

    Also, on the peninsula, ALL DRAWERS. No cabinets. Maximize the storage. Your tenants will thank you.

  • J S
    11 months ago

    Thanks for the links Becky.


    It's a 27" farmhouse sink in 30" sink cabinet. I do envision living in the apartment for a few years before a rent it, so I'd prefer the larger sink size.

  • J S
    11 months ago

    Here's the diagram of the proposed corner cabinet. The Easy reach. ERB36.


  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    11 months ago

    I spent the first 30 years of my life in NYC apartments, and my parents spent almost 50 years in theirs. I understand the tradeoffs one needs to make in a NYC apartment : ) , and I think anyone, including you, will wish for more counterspace, especially between the fridge and sink.

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    11 months ago

    If it were me, I'd choose the lazy susan.

    Just for comparison's sake, I'd price out Ikea cabinets, especially if you're interested in maximizing storage.

  • J S
    11 months ago

    @beckysharp

    yes the spacing b/w the fridge and the sink is tight. That's why i am considering putting an additional 9" drawer cabinet in b/w the corner cabinet (lazy susan or blind) and the sink.

    I could drop down to a 24" sink and 27" sink cabinet. Not sure if my cabinet maker makes them.

    I'll check out ikea... I don't like the idea of putting all those cabinets together.

    I just plumbed out two ikea bathroom vanities. I must say they are a pain in the rear to plumb for b/c of the full size vanity drawers!


  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    I missed most of the discussion, but since the thread is back, I'll throw in my 2 cents. I'd put the sink and DW on the peninsula, and center the range on the long wall between the fridge and corner. I used the plan with the short stub wall for an L shape, so included a pull-out pantry.

    A trash pull-out can go under the sink (or for a budget-friendly solution, get one that attaches to the door). The cabinet in the corner opens under the peninsula seating overhang, to leave more drawer space beside the range. This plan could also be adapted to the U shape.

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    11 months ago

    1. mama goose always has good thoughts

    2. I'll check out ikea... I don't like the idea of putting all those cabinets together.

    Fair enough. I was just thinking that the cost savings and storage/organization possibilities for an already tight space might make it worthwhile.

    I just plumbed out two ikea bathroom vanities. I must say they are a pain in the rear to plumb for b/c of the full size vanity drawers!

    The plumbing is a pain but those full-size drawers are AMAZING and for me at least well worth the pain : ) .

  • cpartist
    11 months ago

    I like either of Mama's solutions

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    11 months ago

    The plan you have posted is about 20" shorter than what your previous floor plans were showing... can you expand back that? Here are the differences against the plan I did...

    Also - if you feel like a corner is too "hollow" by a ref you can pull things forward for a better function:

    And yes - 42" high cabinets unless you want to spend on stacked - then go higher...


  • J S
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    Hi Debbie,

    Thanks fo the great tips. I have a few questons.


    1. So I did swap the dishwasher and sink from your original plan. But now I see why putting the d/w to the left of the sink creates space for someone to stand comfortably and wash dishes. I'm attempting to recreate that space by putting a cabinet between the lazy susan and the sink. A 9" cabinet might be too small. Maybe a 15" will be big enough enough. OR maybe your solution is optimal. If I put in a 15" cabinet, the overall length is 174" vs 180" in your layout. Im guessing there are more reasons why your layout is better.


    2. The refrigerator Depth (Less Doors) is 24 1/8. Do I need deeper Ref panels than 24"?

    3. Good catch on the wall cabinets butting up to the range hood. Is 3" of space on each side good?

    4. More drawers. Got it

    5. Not sure what you mean by "no diagonal corners"?


    Thanks!!!

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    11 months ago

    The ref box my be 24" deep but it also should have an air gap requirement as well ( many times it is 1-2" ) and that needs to be added to the panel depth. It is also aesthetically pleasing when the countertop dies in to the side of the panel as opposed to sticking out in front of the panel ( counters are 25 1/2 deep ) creating an issue with a corner that the ref door may swing into and dent.

    First you need to decide how far down the room you want the cabinets to run, then you "fit" all the pieces in place.

    3" is fine on each side of the hood.

    The diagonal corner wall cabinet - I am not a fan especially when it is in a tighter corner.

    The only reason I did my layout at the size its shown at was because it was on one of your plans... The ref wall definitely should have the extra cabinet between the lazy susan and the ref - it still leaves plenty of space for the "hall" and keeps you from being crowded in the corner. If you must have the dw between the sink and the stove, go ahead - not the best way to do it - but again in a NYC apartment, many "rules" are broken...

    Hope this helps!

  • J S
    10 months ago

    @Debbi Washburn


    Back again. I know I sound like a broken record. ;>

    I went back to your original U-shaped kitchen and shrunk some of the appliances. I felt the kitchen was getting too long and was starting to consume the living space. I save 15".


    18" dishwasher, 24" undermount sink in a 27" sink cabinet. And an 18" drawer cabinet b.w the sink and the range.


    Here's the modified pic. The cabinet maker will adjust the upper cabinets accordingly.




  • D N
    10 months ago

    Sorry if I missed this: instead of paying $$$ for a counter-depth fridge, couldn’t you steal somof the space from the storage behin and recess a standard fridge to near counter-depth? In my experience, a regular fridge next to a corner results in completely useless space in that corner.

  • J S
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    There's no space behind the fridge per say. This is a french door counter depth fridge. $1500.


    I've been getting the feeling that corner is too deep even with the counter depth fridge. I'm going to take Debbie's suggestion and pull the corner cabinet's 2-3" off the wall, so as to make that corner feel less deep. See her post with diagram a few posts up.


    Thanks!!

  • J S
    10 months ago

    So I've run into another problem. At the 116" mark off the fridge wall the ceiling height transitions from 10' to 12'. This is exactly where the center of the range and hence range hood. The ducting cover panels will be running right into that wall.


    Not sure how to transition the ducting from the from the centerline to the just left of the wall transition and not make it look hideous.


    This is an old drawing but you get the idea. The blue line represents the ceiling height, the green the proposed duct.


    The red lines represent some type of bulkhead / soffit to cover up the mess.


    Another option is to move the range to where the sink is, 18" cabinet next to the range, sink, dishwasher, corner cabinet. That puts the duct in a better location.




  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    10 months ago

    Its NYC - the world of cool architectural elements.... try this

    Or this

    Or do an exposed pipe and just turn the elbow into the lower ceiling piece.

    Otherwise just flip it with the sink - no need to overthink it...

    Good luck!

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    10 months ago

    I may have posted too quick - I just saw your previous post where you said you are shrinking everything back. If you do that then the range in under the 10 ft ceiling and it is a non issue.

    Here is what I think. DO a final measure of everything - ceiling transitions - how far down the wall into the living area you are willing to go with the countertop overhang for seating, then back into the plan - you have made so may changes I'm not sure how anything will come out correct.

    Plus not one of you plans shows and additional cabinet between that ref and the lazy susan - Big mistake IMO - wasted space for a hallway that would be invaluable in a kitchen...

    Set your parameters, then design not the other way around.

    Good luck

  • J S
    10 months ago

    Hi Debbie,

    Thanks for the diagrams. I'll play around with it and see if I can make a soffit that's appealing to the eye.

    You're absolutely right about spacing that fridge further away from the main kitchen wall with a small (DB9) cabinet. I was standing in my Mom's kitchen and she has a corner lazy susan style cabinet. I drew a line where the fridge would start and it is very tight uncomfortable space.

    Yes, I need to set a determine the living room length and then plan my kitchen. Having a wide open space is making things more difficult b/c of the wide range of options!!..


    Thanks



  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    10 months ago

    If you can try to use boxes or folding tables or saw horses etc to stage your room... tape on the floor just doesn't work... This will help give you some perspective of the space...