widdy23

Help! Layout device needed!

widdy23
August 13, 2019

Hi all,


We purchased a home last year and worked with an architect to develop a master plan prior to moving in. Although his ideas were great, we found we used the space a bit differently than anticipated and a few things we THOUGHT we had to change we actually don't mind so much after all. Since we sank 12K into a master plan already (and won't be doing much of it at all), I'd like to have some pretty locked down ideas before we go back so we don't throw away money again. Plus, I'd like to solicit a few bids to ensure our latest revisions are in line with our budget.



The biggest thing we want to change is to knock down the existing wall between the dining and kitchen to open it up. If we relocate the kitchen to where the dining room is today, that would give us site lines into both the formal living room (currently used as kids play room) and family room. We would take the existing kitchen/informal dining space and move dining there. We are only a family of four, but have extended family visiting often, so that gives us the opportunity to expand the table when needed so we can all eat together (we don't use formal dining unless family is over and our existing formal dining isn't big enough to fit extended family). My drawing included us cantilevering the exterior facing wall out 2', which would give us a little extra needed space, without having to change our roof line.


Attached is our existing layout and my ideas on what we should do moving forward - I welcome all thoughts and feedback! And yes, we will eventually work with a kitchen designer, but I need to confirm I can get what I want within the existing confines + 2' cantilever. (Original plan was an addition which was much more costly and that is what I'm trying to avoid).

Thanks so much in advance!





Comments (14)

  • biondanonima (Zone 7a Hudson Valley)

    I don't know what your budget is for this project, but cantilevering out 2' seems like a lot of work and expense for not a lot of gain. If the dining room is 12'7" wide, you have enough space for a 42" wide island plus 42" aisles on either side as long as you are not adding cabinets to the seating side of the island (which it looks like you aren't - I see cabinets added to the area under the stairs but no depth added. I would also not put the cooktop on the island if you can avoid it - can you put the fridge where you currently have double ovens drawn, move the ovens to the island and put the cooktop where you have the pantry/fridge drawn? Like this:




  • auntthelma

    I’m confused. Have you already built the house or are you only drawing it now?

  • widdy23

    @auntthemlma - The floorplan is our existing home layout. The hand drawn ideas are my thoughts for the remodel.

  • widdy23

    @biondanonima - I considered the layout you suggested. I put it in the island because in that position I have direct site lines into both my family room and living room. I have two small children and a large family that visits often, and I felt I'd be more included if I didn't have my back to them. Regarding the 2' bump out - I was worried that 42" behind the island wouldn't be enough space as likely a lot of traffic will pass through. The entry into my living room is 5' wide - do you think 42" would really work?

  • biondanonima (Zone 7a Hudson Valley)

    Whether 42" is enough aisle space really depends on how much traffic flows through that area when people are seated at the island. It probably isn't enough for someone to pass through easily if people are seated at the island, but it is plenty if that area is usually clear. That area is out of your kitchen work zone except for the occasional trip to the pantry, so you don't have to worry about that traffic aspect. However, given the quantity of seating you would have available now that you have combined the two previously-separate dining areas, do you even need seating at the island? If not, you could make the island narrower and give yourself more spacious aisles on either or both sides.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    I don't care for island cooktops (just so you know), but most of the time spent in the kitchen is prepping--not cooking or cleaning. If your heart is set on the island cooktop with sight lines to the other rooms, add a prep sink to the island, so you can prep efficiently.

    On your basic plan, the yellow lines are flow from fridge to sink to cooktop, if you prep beside the only sink--which is more convenient--then move to the cooktop. The red lines are flow from fridge to sink to cooktop, if you rinse at the sink, then move all the items to be prepped/sliced/diced to the island beside the cooktop, to complete prep. The green lines are flow (etc) if you include a prep sink on the island.

    The blue oval is clean-up and dish storage, which intersects all but the green path.



  • widdy23

    @biondanonima @mama goose - Thank you both for your feedback. I need to think on this a bit more. Moving the stove to the back wall would allow me to have a decorative hood (which from a design point I really wanted), but I was trying to prioritize function over pretty. All good points made. I do think I would need minimally 48" clearance on the exterior side of the island. I don't need all the island seating, but would like seating for 4 at one end at a minimum since we are getting rid of our casual breakfast table.

  • biondanonima (Zone 7a Hudson Valley)

    Having the cooktop on an exterior wall is going to be much more function than having it on the island. Being able to vent directly out on an exterior wall is a huge plus, and island cooktops come with all sorts of other drawbacks as well. As for the island seating, if you dedicate a few feet at the end of the island entirely to seating (i.e., have the entire width be overhang, supported by legs instead of a cabinet), you could eliminate the overhang on the side completely and reduce the width enough to get your 48" aisle (a 36" or even 30" wide island would give you adequate aisle space). It looks like your island is going to end up being 10-12' long, so leaving 4' at the end supported by legs only would give you plenty of room for four or even five seats (two on each side and one on the end). You would have to reserve the seats in the work zone for use only when no one is actively working in the kitchen, but that should be an easy thing to train your family to do.

    widdy23 thanked biondanonima (Zone 7a Hudson Valley)
  • widdy23

    Taking your advice and trying to work within our existing footprint and not have a cooktop in the island I came up with the above. Thoughts on this layout? I added a prep sink to the island. I'm really torn on the cooktop in the island - I currently have it in my existing house (been using for three months now) and like it way more than I thought. Would welcome more specifics on the downsides of island cooktops.


  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    Disadvantages of an island cooktop are (IMO) #1) Impact on comfort and safety--sufficient space all around, so that no one has to worry about being splattered or fogged with steam while seated at the island, or that someone will catch a pot handle with an elbow while passing by, is primary concern. #2) Steam and grease capture--without a wall behind and/or cabinets surrounding the hood, it's more difficult to contain the plume. You'll need a more powerful hood. #3) Expense--a more powerful hood, finished on all sides will probably be more expensive. #4) Aesthetics (a purely personal observation)--an island hood drops from the ceiling into the middle of the room, intruding on sight lines. An island hood usually looks better when symmetry can be achieved, sometimes at the expense of function. In your plan, there is no long axis with a hood as a focal point, so this point might be moot. There's always the downdraft option--I've never used one, but have read that they are not as efficient as an overhead vent.

    You know the advantages, since you've been using the existing cooktop, and you enjoy it. As long as you know about the added financial expense, and you can achieve a safe and efficient work zone, then make your decision and continue to enjoy it. It's your kitchen, and although we can offer advice based on experience and common sense (that is not meant as pejorative in any way), you need to make your decision based on your lifestyle and cooking style.

    As for the above plan, the seats across from the fridge will be in conflict, and the two tall elements--pantry and ovens--are between the clean-up sink and cooktop. Even though you'll have the prep sink on the island, I think it would be better to keep the pantry and ovens on the edge of the kitchen, rather than stuck in the middle.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    Since I had your cantilevered plan already loaded to my Paint window, I did a quick rearrangement using it, with the island cooktop. The clean-up zone is shifted to the end nearer the dining area, which puts the fridge on the short wall.

    Similar fridge/oven/appl garage configurations:

    If you are scratching the cantilevered addition, I would omit the island seating, except for the seat on the short side. Maybe, if you could make the pantry only 12-14" deep, you could have a second seat.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    I altered the depths of the pantry and island on your most recent plan, sans cantilever. The island was drawn at ap 36" deep, but with cabinets, overhangs, and back panel, will be 41-42" deep. The NKBA recommends 15" as a minimum seating overhang, with 24" elbow space on the counter, per seat. (ETA, you could squeeze in the fourth seat, keep it tucked under, and use it only when everyone else in the family is seated at the island. since no one would be walking behind it.)


    I don't really care for the fridge in this location, but it's conveniently next to the dining area. Clean-up and dish storage are on the far end--though out of the work zone, still not as convenient to dining. There are plenty of prep spaces; in addition to primary and secondary prep, helpers could prep on the end of the island facing the ovens, or between the ovens and clean-up sink.

  • biondanonima (Zone 7a Hudson Valley)

    Widdy, I like your latest plan, although I'm not 100% sold on the fridge being down by the dining area. Do you find that people tend to run to the fridge from the dining areas and family room more than from the living room? If so, then it does make sense to have it down there. The other question is your oven placement - are you still planning for a double oven stack? If so, does that not interfere with your windows?

  • widdy23

    Thank you both for your additional feedback. My thoughts regarding the fridge being closer to dining was related to the fact we'll have a beverage/wine fridge accessible to the living room, and typically that is what we are grabbing (I could even add a small sink/filtered water center too). In addition to function, I'm trying to keep uppers to a minimum and have as many windows as possible. My pantry close to the dishwasher was essentially the place I'd store a lot of dishes (or so I thought) vs using it for food storage (the shallow pantry works well for that today). I like the idea of possibly swapping oven/sink location. The more and more that I play with it - the more I want those extra 2 feet!

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