peyton_moran

Kitchen Layout Help

P M
July 9, 2019

Hello - Looking for recommendations on how to most efficiently layout our kitchen! Our plan is to avoid upper cabinets on the 2 walls that contain windows. The majority of our kitchen storage will be in the large pantry and in the lower cabinets (planning on as many drawers as we can afford for most efficient storage). Looking to have an oven/stove, dishwasher, sink, and fridge. Expecting standard sizing for all appliances. All recommendations are welcome! Thank you!


Comments (39)

  • cpartist

    Is this a new build or a reno?

    We need to see how the kitchen relates to the rest of the house to give you meaningful feedback.

  • P M


    Hello. It's a new build.

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  • PRO
    Anglophilia

    When did people start building houses where the front door opens directly into the dining room? The table will become a major catch-all and always be cluttered, plus walking around a dining room table to get to other rooms in the house, is beyond awkward.

  • P M

    That's not the front door. Thanks.

  • damiarain

    Yeah it's a bit confusing - I think maybe the actual front door is just above the double doors? Personally not a fan of having two sets of doors so close to each other.... am also curious about the top left corner room


    As for the kitchen, which direction is North? I think you're going to have to give up some windows - since both the fridge and the range+hood need wall behind them... With the pass through there, how are you picturing using it? Having the sink underneath? Or just some countertop? Given that the kitchen is only 11' 6" deep, in order to not encroach on the walk way or the dining room, I might think about a non-seating island

  • P M

    @damiarain - The doors connected to the dining room are french doors and will be flanked by door-width windows on either side. You are correct that the front door is the one that is just above the double doors and opens into the entryway.


    Attached is image showing approx. orientation.


    You're correct with the Fridge/Range. At first look, I'm thinking that would be on the non-window wall.


    Regarding the island, I was thinking any seating would only be on the dining-room-side of the island.


  • salex

    Anglophilia, I agree with your comment about opening directly into the dining room. I have a similar situation in my 1920 bungalow, although the door opens into the center of the combined living room (left side) and dining (right side), with a walkway between the two open spaces going straight toward the kitchen. In our house, there's no way around that layout. And it is indeed a constant struggle to keep clutter off the table.

  • damiarain

    Thanks for the extra info.

    I'm not sure that the one non-window wall is long enough for the fridge and the range (and presumably a corner cabinet)... makes things way too squishy. But you could do something like this: which still gives you soooo much window along the south / east with decent aisles






  • cpartist

    First thing I'd do is flip your pantry with your door to your master so your pantry is next to the kitchen and you don't have to walk past the owners suite to get to the pantry.

  • P M

    @ cpartist - the in-swing of the garage door is actually flipped in this drawing. It will be swinging open/inward to the right so it is against the wall, rather than blocking the stairs. Moving the master bedroom entrance to the garage side of that wall will cause the master entryway to be blocked when the garage door is open. Not something we want.

  • P M


    Here is the broader plan if that helps anyone better understand context

  • cpartist

    Moving the master bedroom entrance to the garage side of that wall will cause the master entryway to be blocked when the garage door is open. Not something we want.

    And how often will the garage door be open that it will be a problem for the master bedroom? Never?

    Whereas the fact that your pantry is now in your private area is an issue.

  • P M

    cpartist It will be an issue every single day. As soon as I walk into my house each day (from the garage entrance) I head directly to my bedroom - it's my first stop. Every day. The pantry entrance is literally 2 steps past where it would be if we flipped the pantry with the MBR entrance, and I don't know that I'd consider a mudroom/drop-zone as being in my private area.


    Thanks for your input.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Why do plans look better when ARG draws them? It must be the clouds. I am going to start drawing clouds in my preliminary drawings. I gotta find some good clouds.

  • D N

    P M, apologies for sidetracking, and your house renderings are lovely!


    But the front entry seems incredibly confusing. The front-facing gable is centered over the French doors to the DR, rather than over the actual front door. Even if entry steps line up with the front door, isn’t that going to feel rather weird, especially to visitors?

  • 3pinktrees

    To me it looks like the double doors to the dining room are recessed farther back than the entry door. As a visitor I can’t imagine being confused with the stairs leading to the door that was farthest forward.


    It looks like it will be a lovely house and all the exterior doors are very appealing to me.

  • Annette Holbrook(z7a)

    Is there a way to put up the laundry where the pantry is and make the laundry the pantry?

  • P M

    @ D N - Thanks for your input. With the stairs leading to the front door, I don't think it will be confusing at all. Additionally, we plan to have a double-door to the front. Similar to the attached.


    @ 3pinktrees - agreed :)


    @ Annette Holbrook(z7a) - we could, but that would be a waste of a window in my opinion. I wanted a window in my laundry room, and I don't think having one in my pantry would be as useful/enjoyable. Additionally, having a laundry room on an external wall is always preferable due to the exhaust.





  • 293summer

    I like Damiarain's suggested layout.

  • Architectrunnerguy

    Nothing to do with the kitchen but there'll be no confusion over which door is the front door. I had the exact two door setup in a house we just sold and in the 14 years we lived there, no guest went to the French door.


    Funny story.....I first met a client at the civil engineers office. Narrow house. Discussion came up about exterior doors. He wanted to put the mud room door on the side. I suggested the front. He was insistent the house would look like a duplex. When he came out to my house for our first design meeting, he looked at my 30' wide house and said "That'll work!"

  • D N

    Got it, everyone. I didn't see where the steps were going to go, and the gable seemed to point to a different spot.

  • damiarain

    @PM I realize things have gotten a bit off topic, but I posted a kitchen layout above - giving feedback on what does and doesn’t work for you would be helpful towards getting you a layout that you like

  • P M

    @ damiarain - Yes! I got a bit distracted :) I like your layout, however it seems that it is sacrificing my windowed walls and showcases my solid wall (where I'd actually prefer the opposite). Would something like the attached make sense? I'm toying with moving the dishwasher to the other side of the sink, but unsure if that's "too far" from the glass cabinetry. I suppose I'd rather take a few extra steps to the cabinets than not be able to stand on the other side of my dishwasher to put them away, which i feel like my sketch is potentially doing by having only 2ft of clearance between the dishwasher and the cabinets. Not sure if this is important at this current stage, but I'd like the sink-side of my island to contain pull out drawers for trash bins, and drawers deep enough to house frequently used pots & pans.






  • cpartist

    PM, what i do like better with your layout is that the fridge would now be closer to the pantry. What I don't like is that you'd be crossing zones.

    Normally when we cook, we take food out of the pantry/fridge, bring it to the sink to wash, and then prep between sink and cooktop before moving the food to the cooktop.

    How about something like this layout which is very similar to what I have and I can tell you, I love how it works for me. Probably the best layout I've ever had.

    What I did was shorten your island by 6" so you can have a full 4' aisle between what is now the stove and the island.

    I also suggested putting in a counter depth fridge instead. The problem with what you show is that the 3' is not really 3' because you need to measure from the object that sticks out furthest (the door handles) to the edge of the counter, not the cabinet. So you'd lose another 4" there. I have 38" between my fridge and the edge of the island and it's plenty, but I wouldn't go less than 3'.

    Instead of one large window, I gave you the same windows split on either side of the stove. I'm assuming a 36" stove with a 42" wide hood above it.

    Run cabinets along the sink wall and make sure all lowers are drawers. :)

    I would probably make the windows at the top of the plan long windows to really let in light! Or what about having them sliders instead of a pass through?

    If you want the coffee bar at the end, make the windows just a bit narrower on the stove wall.

    PS, I also have no problem with the dining room doors!

  • zinnia

    I can only tell you what makes me happy in my kitchen. One of those things is not having to run around it! Ours has always been a household of two people, so while I see the value of prep zones, I find proximity super important to me.


    Towards that end, having the fridge closer to the sink is nice if you cook a lot from scratch. Some families don’t, and if you have kids that regularly grab snacks, drinks, reheatables etc I think your fridge is in a great place to keep your work path clear :)


    If the fridge is in the best place for your needs and non-negotiables :) I will suggest that your pots and pan drawers in the island be located across from your cooking area instead of across from your sink. Again, just something that gives me much satisfaction lol when I have everything tucked away but in reach. You may find it perfect as is if you consider ease of putting pots and pans away.


    I am am a big fan of a coffee bar area :) suppose you could consider that a cooking zone lol. Having a coffee area seems to shift the traffic with guests as well as the two of us. I am sure you will be happy to grab a cup of coffee while looking out the windows :)

  • cpartist

    PS: My kitchen is close to the same size as yours. My cooktop wall is 15'8" and my side wall is a bit longer but you can see what I did here in my kitchen

  • zinnia

    Wow CP your kitchen is *so* beautiful!!! Absolutely breath-taking!! Never really thought about pantry and fridge proximity, so nice to learn about flow!

  • cpartist

    Thank you Zinnia!

  • P M

    @ cpartist

    Thank you for your suggestion! I do really like the layout of having the range on the windowed wall and then flanked by the windows. The area I'm struggling with is the refrigerator. After some research, it looks like counter depth fridges that don't sacrifice cubic feet are often wider than a standard fridge in order to accommodate the shortened depth. For this reason, the doors are wider and extend further out when open. In short, despite having a counter depth fridge, the depth with the doors open is still between 45-48" on average. Comparable to the 48" depth for a standard fridge. I put up a few more scenarios given your feedback (including your recommendation). Looking for input (from anyone) on the flaws/benefits of each.

    As a note, the long wall is actually 15'4" (not 15' even) as shown in the sketches.






  • cpartist

    You don't measure the doors when opened! You measure from the door handle (when closed) to the edge of the counter. A counter depth fridge usually sticks out 27" give or take. A regular fridge sticks out 30-34". You don't keep the doors open all the time. It's a one time thing but you still need space to walk around.

    Why I still prefer layout B.

    In layout A you're crossing zones. You take food out of the fridge/pantry, bring it to the sink to wash (red arrows), then prep between sink and stove(green arrow). Once done prepping food is brought to the stove to cook (purple arrow).

    Notice how you take food out of the fridge and you're crossing through the cooking zone? Additionally, notice how your dishwasher is right in your prep space?

    Additionally with the stove on the end people have a tendency to walk past that side to get to the sink if they're needing to use the sink or load something in the dishwasher.

    Now with layout C the main problem is your fridge is far from the pantry so you have extra steps to get things from both places. This isn't only an issue when cooking but when bringing groceries into the house and having to put them away.

    All the other issues mentioned with Layout A are still a problem with Layout C

    Why I prefer Layout B:

    There is no crossing zones.

    The fridge is next to the pantry.

    The dishwasher is not in your prep zone and it's actually closer to the dining room.

    The stove is no longer in an exposed area where people will be passing by so it's safer.

    Most time is not spent in front of the sink but is spent prepping so you'll have those wonderful windows to look out of as you prep.

    You still have room to put a coffee center on the end of the counter near the other windows.

  • cpartist

    BTW: There's no reason not to put the dw right next to the fridge and move the sink closer to the fridge too.

  • just_janni

    Hardest working area in a kitchen is between the sink and the stove. Putting the DW in that area is almost always sub-optimal.

    In layout B, you'll naturally prep in the corner area between the 2, having lovely view while you do!

    In layout A, you'll naturally prep in front of the dishwasher. :-( (However, here you could move the dishwasher "up" the walls and take it out of the way. But that might be inconvenient for unloading purposes - depending on where your dish storage will be)

    In layout C - you'll also naturally prep in front of the dishwasher. :-( and there's no good place to move the dishwasher.

    For what it's worth - I am a big fan of the stove flanked by windows look. Today's stoves and hoods tend to be statements, and flanking them by windows creates a huge wall of interest, and tends, IMO to be more balanced and striking than a sink in front of a window wall.

  • P M

    @ cpartist


    From an impact/view standpoint, my biggest concern with deviating from option A is the loss of a view here. We have awesome views out those windows and I'm concerned about breaking them up with anything (Fridge and Range hood included). I'm hoping there's a way to maintain the wall of windows and have the layout clean & efficient.

    I definitely prefer option B of the 3 I think as far as functionality goes - my biggest concern with that layout option was the fridge spacing when the doors are open (and from research, I've found that measurement to be roughly the same between counter depth and standard fridges, on average). While I agree that the space between the handles and the island is important, I think the space between the open fridge doors and the island is of equal (if not greater importance because there needs to be more than enough space to actually use the fridge.) Do you think 2.5ft is adequate clearance between the fridge (when open) and the island? I think it is, but I wanted to lay it out to be sure and get feedback on that specifically

    Additionally, the only thing I don't like about this layout is it requires 1 less seating option at the island due to reduced island size.

    If layout B was chosen, I'd likely bump the dishwasher against the fridge, but I'm unsure about the sink. If I bump the dishwasher over and leave the sink the same, it may give spacing for drawers between sink and dishwasher. Additionally, it gives a longer stretch of counter space between the sink and fridge. Scooting the sink closer to the fridge only opens up more counter-corner area, which I feel would be less "preppable" counter space than the longer stretch of straight counter on the fridge side.

  • zinnia

    Just Janna, I have my DW between my sink and stove, and I really can’t tell you how perfect the arrangement is. I can easily load the dishwasher with any dishes stacked in the sink, I run the dishwasher and I have hardly to take a step to empty it. Because there is a counter top lol, I have excellent prep space. I am not a cook who spends more time prepping than standing over the stove to ensure my dishes are cooked to my satisfaction. I use fresh ingredients exclusively FWIW.

  • salex

    The DW between sink and stove usually becomes a problem when multiple people are working in the kitchen, i.e., one cooking and one helping with cleanup. I could not with it in the location in Layouts A or C.

    I do prefer having the DW near storage of glasses, tableware, and flatware as well - so that's another consideration. (All of those things are outside my sink-stove prep and cook areas - intentionally.)

  • zinnia

    P M apologies for slightly high jacking your thread! I deleted my comment :) I will keep any comments more relevant to you, however you are of course in more knowledgeable hands with CP, and others.

  • salex

    None of these suggestions or guidelines are "must-do", and hopefully people posting questions realize that. They're just suggestions, often from people who wish someone had made the same suggestions to them when they did their own remodels. (Some of the biggest budget-busters posted in this forum are from people who said they wish they'd given more thoughtful consideration to the layout and done it "right", which means right for them, the first time. Any budget, no matter how small, can benefit from thoughtful consideration of how to maximize the value to the homeowner, whether that means finding deals on tile or fine-tuning their layout.)

    zinnia, this forum helped me a lot in my kitchen reno too :). There are so many experienced and generous contributors here.

  • cpartist

    From an impact/view standpoint, my biggest concern with deviating from option A is the loss of a view here. We have awesome views out those windows and I'm concerned about breaking them up with anything (Fridge and Range hood included).

    You have the same number of windows. It's just divided in half. I didn't change the size of the windows you're showing.

    I'm hoping there's a way to maintain the wall of windows and have the layout clean & efficient.

    You're of course free to do whatever you feel works best for you and I do understand about a view. I'm just trying to show you the best and most efficient layout. When working, how often will you actually be looking out of those windows?

    I definitely prefer option B of the 3 I think as far as functionality goes -

    Do realize for some people function is most important and for others form is more important. Neither is right or wrong except for how you view it. :)

    my biggest concern with that layout option was the fridge spacing when the doors are open (and from research, I've found that measurement to be roughly the same between counter depth and standard fridges, on average). While I agree that the space between the handles and the island is important, I think the space between the open fridge doors and the island is of equal (if not greater importance because there needs to be more than enough space to actually use the fridge.) Do you think 2.5ft is adequate clearance between the fridge (when open) and the island? I think it is, but I wanted to lay it out to be sure and get feedback on that specifically

    I just went downstairs and measured my fridge door open to the edge of the island. I have 21". You're overthinking this. You're fine. No one has opened my fridge and thought they had a problem.

    Additionally, the only thing I don't like about this layout is it requires 1 less seating option at the island due to reduced island size.

    No if you go back to MY layout you have more than enough room for 3 seats. I have 38" between my fridge and counter and about 36" from the handle to the counter. You're once again, overthinking it. No one needs 4.5' between the counter and the perimeter.

    If layout B was chosen, I'd likely bump the dishwasher against the fridge, but I'm unsure about the sink. If I bump the dishwasher over and leave the sink the same, it may give spacing for drawers between sink and dishwasher.

    No it won't give you a wide enough drawer. Instead put drawers opposite on the end of the island facing the sink.

    Additionally, it gives a longer stretch of counter space between the sink and fridge.

    You really shouldn't need a longer stretch there. The idea is you take food out of the fridge and put it down and then bring it to the sink.

    Scooting the sink closer to the fridge only opens up more counter-corner area, which I feel would be less "preppable" counter space than the longer stretch of straight counter on the fridge side.

    It would allow for a corner cabinet or corner drawers like I have. In my corner drawers I have my knife block. I have a sink about where I'm suggesting you put yours and I actually then prep facing my window. Did you look at my photos since the layout would be very similar? The only difference is you'd have your prep/cleanup sink where I just have a prep sink.



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