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Anyone like to give kitchen design advice?

We are purchasing this house and would like to do a kitchen remodel. The goal is to add more cabinets and make the small kitchen more conducive to a large family of 9.

Here are things we are thinking:

1. We would like to move the slider doors down to the living room (currently it is a living room, but it will be a dining room once we remodel) and use the space where the sliders are currently to install more cabinets and our refrigerator or have it become a pantry. Not sure which would be better.

2. Above the sink, I really would like to have a double (or triple if we can afford it) window to add light to the room.

3. To the left of the stove, there is a doorway to an office that we want to close up and put more counters and cabinets in that space and the corner (where the shallow pantry is currently).

4. Where the fridge and shallow pantry is currently, I'd like to create a larger pantry. OR, we could put the pantry where the slider is and keep the fridge where it is and just do more cabinets, creating a U shape kitchen... don't know...

5. I don't think I can fit an island, can I? The room is pretty narrow.. but what do you think?

6. I am hoping that we can take out the bulkhead and have cabinets go to the ceiling.

Does anyone have any advice? Any red flags? Any better thoughts?

Kitchen Remodel · More Info


Kitchen Remodel · More Info


Kitchen Remodel · More Info


Kitchen Remodel · More Info


Kitchen Remodel · More Info


Kitchen Remodel · More Info


Kitchen Remodel · More Info


Comments (41)

  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    Welp, this is what I’ve got. Not everyone has unlimited options. I’m just trying to be the best steward of the things I’ve been blessed to have. I am thankful to be in a home at all.

  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    Those houses are about $300,00 more than what I can afford in my area. Do you have any suggestions with the room I have to work with?

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  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I think if you move your fridge out of that spot, you can use that entire area there for a pantry.

    I like your idea of closing off the slider. If you do that, you can move the fridge over to that end


    ignore the island and the style in this one, just look at placement of everything. (except your stove would continue along that other wall.

    You'd have the sink, DW, cabinet, and then the fridge.

    same w/this one. ignore island. notice your 3 windows. and you shouldn't have problems removing that soffit.


    L shape. if you can close off that area next to stove, you can put fridge there. or maybe the double oven and move the fridge to far right of sink.


    this is one possibility.

    Now, if you can close off that door next to the stove, or whatever that is,


    You could do this layout, and you may be able to swing an island like this


    and if you can do a full U


    this is a small u shape kitchen. imagine your fridge on the far right, and a pantry, larger pantry, on the left. you may be able to do narrow island and have a built in microwave in that.


    you won't have room for this large island, but you may be able to do one like this


    Or, where your fridge is now, turn that entire wall and width into a pantry.


    not w/glass doors, but just showing you an option. w/the beverage bar!

    Since this is a large redo, i'd spend the money and get a professional kitchen designer to come in a design the space for you. This way you'll maximize every inch and have a perfect layout that fits your house/family. Plus, these designers work w/kitchen cabinet places. get a bid from them.

    Look on Yelp for the best rated kitchen designer, or Kitchen contractor. get the one w/5 stars. that's how I found my kitchen cabinet guy.


    (oh, and I would not go through lowes or Home depot to redo your kitchen. You pay through the nose to have them do it. Now if you want to take in your specs and see what they can draw up for you, you could do that. But I would never use them to redo the space. )

  • Susan Davis
    last month

    We raised 8 children. Finding a house with enough bedrooms was always a challenge! Kudos to you!
    I like your idea to incorporated the dining room into a kitchen and use the living room for the dining room.
    I think Home Depot and Lowe’s have kitchen designers that can give you ideas and vision for your remodel. Expert help can be a time and money saver!
    I always wished for two dish washers and a separate full standing freezer and separate refrigerator......but you know we made do. My daughter bought two fridges with freezer on bottom fridge on top and had one in the garage and one in the kitchen. They were a bargain price and had plenty of room for back up milk, etc. I think your house is lovely! And I agree the soffits probably have heat ducts in them. Go for a large pantry instead of lots of cabinets! Much more economical!

  • lindacottonwood
    last month

    Beverly,

    She is already purchasing the house. Why suggest she purchase another when Tiffany just wants suggestions on improving THIS house for her family. I just don't get why you pros have to say things like this.

  • Susan Davis
    last month

    PS try to have the fridge not next to the island or walk way......this is the most used appliance by everyone so try to keep it open when the door/s are open. It can become a bottleneck that everyone is moving around all the time! A real headache.....they are so often placed at the end of an island with a 3 1/2 foot area in front and it just isn’t enough room.....just saying something to consider!
    We also never put in high end cabinets, but rather medium, and the were always pretty nice! Again, good luck.👍

  • everdebz
    last month

    Q - what if anything is within the large part [with photo frame, memo board] ?

    Makes sense to close access to office / where would you then get in -- is the front entry back that direction?

  • Susan Davis
    last month

    I am so excited to see what you do
    With this home!
    What are your children’s ages? Can not resist asking? 😆

  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    Everdebz, it is a hall closet on the opposite side of the memo board wall. I am thinking I could enclose the closet on the opposite side and flip the opening around to create the pantry.

  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    Susandavis, they are 13-23. Oldest daughter just got married Jan 1,2020. We are planning for more weddings in the next 10 years with grands to follow. We love big family dinners and everyone hangs out at the table for hours talking, so I am creating a bigger kitchen/dining space instead of a kitchen/living room space.

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Being at the very start can be exciting... By chance these photo-ideas could spark thoughts for kitchen/dining.

    If move sliders, might this be a combo with lowers at least....


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  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Lowers with windows, and doorway next to it [or farther].

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  • JuneKnow
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Add the 130K kitchen remodel that you are planning and go shopping again. Box stores do not have actual Kitchen Designers. They have software manipulators that make mistakes selling you cabinets. Big difference.

  • loobab
    last month

    Hi Tiffany-

    Congratulations on your new home!

    It's a great idea to re-purpose your living room.

    You had said you thought about getting rid of the soffit in the kitchen to allow for more storage.

    But that still doesn't allow for a whole lot because you have something on the floor above you.

    What if you flipped everything, and put the kitchen in the current living room?

    You aren't using gas for the stove anyway, so it's not like you have to move a gas line.

    If you move the entire kitchen, you can go as high as you like with your cabinetry, even have one of those sliding library ladders.

    Some people feel that linear cabinetry is actually more convenient for them than a separate pantry room. (Although you can have that if you want.)

    And there would be plenty of space for you to have a gigantor refrigerator freezer combo, either two fridges next to each other with top or bottom freezers, or a huge refrigerator and a full size freezer, whatever you want.

    If you want a gas stove, there would be enough space for cabinetry in which to put a propane tank. Or you be nearer the street if there is a gas line in your neighborhood.

    The living room area should also be large enough for you to have an island for additional prep space and a seat or two for a cup of coffee.

    Then your dining area would be more to the interior of the house.

    And your pantry could be wherever you want.

    I do think you should have a door somewhere.

    It's a good idea to have an additional door besides the front door for safety reasons in case of a fire.


  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    I would LOVE all those windows. But likely would be way out of the budget. Aside from moving the slider and putting in the window, we will have to DIY everything else.

  • Susan Davis
    last month

    Sounds like a fun group. Every year gets better!

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The new DR - does that mean space from the high-ceiling area, the LR?

    Instead of table in kitchen, why not small island with stools...

  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    Yes the dining room will be where the current living room is (two story ceiling area). I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to fit an island. We need to have the ability to open up our giant dining table to seat 12 (with family and significant others).

  • everdebz
    last month

    Just to be positive - none of kitchen that we see will become part of dining area?

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Above Beth posted a photo: this layout, and you may be able to swing an island like this --

    add seating however and wherever...

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  • MizLizzie
    last month

    Congrats on your new home. I think you have more space than your realize. I hope there is room for an island. I would like to see a prep sink or beverage sink in the island near the fridge to keep kids out of my work zone. Not sure I would move any of the appliances. A carefully measured floor plan of the existing space would be helpful. Moving the slider is a great idea, and getting rid of that strange stub wall right of the dishwasher will help a lot. The room has really awful lighting. I think if you upgraded your lighting, you might be okay with just the one window, and save some money? With so many kids, I expect cabinet space is dear. I would try to completely demo that fridge hole. It is possible you might have room to flank the fridge with two rollout pantries unless you need more than a 36” fridge? If you can get extra deep rollouts, you could possibly make it look cabinet depth. That mightn’t work once you shut off the office, though, and again, not sure without a floor plan. I will be excited to see if you can demo all the soffits. Keep us posted, and congrats again.

  • Grace Reed
    last month

    JuneKnow, I agree with you to a point about big box store designers. But, here’s the flip side. There are many talented, knowledgeable designers there also. The kitchen one designed was featured in House Beautiful years ago. Last time I looked, it was still on their site. Another is now working for a small, high end cabinet company. And, I could go on. I encourage people to be open minded and explore all their options.

  • mjlb
    last month

    It's hard to comment without a measured drawing and more info, but my first thoughts:

    I think it's more expensive to have to deal with exterior, so I'd put the desired triple or double windows in the existing slider opening. I'd center the sink under those new windows, and ideally (for your large family), add dishwashers to both left and right of sink. I'd retain the existing window and probably a second sink under it.


    The left side of the plan is a bit more difficult to layout due to uncertainties about floor plan, but first thought would be to locate refrig as far to the left of the wall pocket allows, and then design whatever space remains in the area between the refrigerator and the extended counter to the left of the stove.


    It looks to me that there may be 7-8 feet between refrig and sink counter. With multiple people in your kitchen, I'd say that an island is unlikely. I have add'l thoughts, but without a measured drawing, it's too loosy-goosy to post.

  • felizlady
    last month

    If you change the living room into a dining room to seat 9 (without guests), where do you propose to put the living room furniture? Will you extend the kitchen into the breakfast area? We need to see a floor plan or at least photos of the other spaces (without people) and please include measurements.

  • mjlb
    last month

    Agree, but my assumption is that we're looking at the family room, and there is a separate living room, probably next to the office on the far side of the kitchen.

  • Buehl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Your description sounds like a piecemeal project. However, I think you need to look at the spaces as a whole and design it as a whole so it won't look chopped up and pieced-together.

    So, to start, we need, as MJLB said, a fully-measured layout of the spaces under consideration (Kitchen & Nook area). We also need a sketch of the entire floor so we can see how the rooms all relate to each other and how traffic flows throughout the home as well as in, around, and through the Kitchen.

    I realize you probably haven't moved in yet, but perhaps you can get in there for a few minutes to get the measurements.

    See the "Featured Answer" in the "New to Kitchens? Read Me First!" thread for more information about what we need, including an example of a fully-measured layout.

    If you cannot get the measurements, I would hold off making anything other than very general plans until then because details are needed to make more definitive plans.

  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    Actually the living room will be just off the dining room. In one of the photos you can see us looking away from the camera into the room where the living space will be. It’s a garage that was converted to a huge living space. There are dark stained railings overlooking the living room.

  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    I am hoping to get in there on Friday with an Amish contractor so I will get better measurements then. I was just trying to go into the meeting with him knowing what I want already.

  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    Here is the room that will become the living room.

  • mjlb
    last month

    That's an interesting space!


    I took the liberty of looking at your project photos. You certainly have terrific taste, and using guestimated dimensions, I would think you could implement some of your inspiration photos (with enough budget, of course). It will be a BIG job tho'.

  • Buehl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I understand you want to do it all now, but without more information, no one is going to be able to tell "yes, it can be done" (or "no"). It's just guesses at this point (and WAGs at that).

    Talk with the Contractor Friday to see what s/he thinks. I suspect they will tell you (1) just about anything can be done with enough money and (2) they'll need to measure the space as well to know what can/cannot be done.

    What is your budget?

  • Buehl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Regarding an island...yes, islands are all the rage right now. However, not all Kitchens can support an island. First, you need the space and second, it depends on how you design the Kitchen. The island should not be a "barrier island" I.e., it should not be between the three main components in a Kitchen -- refrigerator, sink, range. If it's a barrier b/w any of the two, then it's not a good idea.

    Size is for both depth and width of Kitchen...there needs to be enough space for a functional island along with decent aisles b/w the island and whatever is on the perimeter.

    Island size...

    What's a functional island size? It should be wide enough and deep enough that you can work at it without knocking things off the back or the sides.

    IMO, I think the minimum island size is 36"W x 30"D. Keep in mind that, unlike counters on the perimeter, there is no wall behind the workspace to block things from falling to the ground. That means you need enough depth to be able to move things around a bit without worrying about them falling off the back.


    Aisles...

    Aisle widths are measured to/from the items that stick out the farthest into the aisle -- appliance handle, counter edge, etc. They are not measured cabinet-to-cabinet. (Most Contractors and cabinet salespeople mis-measure aisles.)

    What are the minimum recommended aisles?

    Work aisles:

    • 42" for a one-person and always a one-person aisle
    • 48" for two or more people working in the aisle; based on your family, this is the one that applies to you


    Walkways:

    • 36" for a walkway with no seating and no appliances or work spaces
    • 44" behind island/peninsula seating if there are no appliances, cabinets, or workspaces behind the seats and very little traffic
    • 54" behind island/peninsula seating if there are appliances, cabinets, or workspaces behind the seats and/or traffic
    • 48" between an island and table if no seats at either location
    • 48" to 54" between an island and table if there are seats in just one location (table or island, not both)
    • 60" between an island and table if there are seats at both locations


    Around a table:

    • 36" behind the seats if there is no through-traffic and there are no doors behind the seats
    • 48" to 54" if there's through-traffic and/or there are doors behind the seats


  • Buehl
    last month

    When you meet with the Contractor Friday, ask about:

    1. The wall b/w the Kitchen and the Hall - can it be taken down? If that can be taken down, your options increase (especially if you want an island).
    2. The doorway with the child gate - can it be moved or eliminated (e.g., if the Hall wall is taken down (see #1), can the door be eliminated? Or, does that door open into a different room? If it does, can a doorway be added from the Hall or other room so there's no doorway in the Kitchen?
  • Tiffany Trautman
    Original Author
    last month

    Buehl, thank you for all your help and info!

    I don't think we can take down the wall between the kitchen and hall. It contains ductwork behind the mini pantry. Also, I would be giving up either pantry space or refrigerator space by losing the wall. I need those more than an island. My husband has suggested a small island on wheels that we can store at the end of the dining room and bring to the kitchen space when extra counter space is needed. Not my favorite, but storage space is at a higher premium!

    Yes, the doorway with the child gate will be made into a wall. The room beyond the baby gate is an office and there is an additional door on the other side to access the office, so we are planning to close up the doorway to the left of the stove.

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Along the thought process, little parts can help --

    Idea to cut coat closet in half -- for canned goods in mini-depth storage on kitchen side...

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Guests - use DR table with leaf, and move it over to join kitchen island.

    Like this, with permanent lower table for daily.

    I suppose to 'normalize' the 2-in-1, you use tablecloths... :)


    https://www.houzz.com/photos/transitional-white-kitchen-in-ny-traditional-kitchen-new-york-phvw-vp~17548500

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    last month

    Others wondered if there's more space there than realized. Tiny house movement has ideas for super storage. Here's what you might do, as you know, use every 6" --




  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    A pro organizer could be as helpful. Reading about ideas as preparation.

    Have my envy if gadgets were out of the way !! where everyone knew to find them.


  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Where are you relocating sliders to ? If they stay... with a bit more money, could add nano doors and a window, like the photos you liked.

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I think you said you'd close the wall [where slider is]. An island perpendicular from there, and daily eating table like this -

    make 1 table with your DR table moved over [not the size, but position]


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    Randy Trainor
    last month

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