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Fridge too far away from the sink? 13 ft.

Rachel Williams
last month
last modified: last month

I am designing my home from scratch. The whole thing revolves around the kitchen. I have 5 kids and cook constantly. We will have lots of family coming to visit regularly so lots of seating is important to me. Right now I have it designed with a bar AND an island which will double as an informal eating area. My dilemma is: Is the refrigerator too far away from the sink? It doesn’t seem that far to me at 13 feet, but it technically violates the kitchen triangle rules. Thoughts?


Comments (82)

  • Malcolm
    last month

    Here are two options I was thinking for a double island. It wouldnt work if you're now committed to the second hallway but I think it could come out looking nicely from an aesthetic point of view



  • Lizzie J
    last month

    Hi, Rachel. Can you share where you are with your kitchen plan?

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  • Felix Pradas-Bergnes
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hi Rachel, please consider these additional tweaks to your floor plan. The space behind and atop the master closet is a wasteland. I suggest expanding your master closet and thus eliminating a blind wall presently exposed to the environment. I also modified the location of the toilet in the master bathroom so you can add a window if you want. I added a generous lining/towel/supply closet across from the toilet.

    I also removed an unnecessary wall and reduce the size of the one by the foyer in the music room. By doing this you eliminate the hallway thus visually expanding the space and flow. I hope this helps.

    The mudroom and pantry also need work. I will look into a possible alternate arrangement. Cheers!

    Kudos to all the other contributors. It is a thing of beauty to see how generous this community is in using its knowledge to help out others.



  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi everyone-
    I guess I need to post the whole floor plan. I’m kind of stuck on the kitchen-I’m not thrilled with the working triangle but I can’t figure out how to fix it. I’m thinking of reworking the plan entirely to get rid of that long hallway and have a direct path from the laundry/garage to the master bedroom. All constructive comments are welcome. I appreciate all who have weighed in so far.

    I would like to keep the piano room enclosed because we have 5 people who play the piano in the house and actually need a practice space where a door can be closed. It’s not just a decoration. I’m curious what you think is wrong with the pantry. I would like to have a counter on one side and have space for shelves on both sides. For the mud room I just want a closet and plenty of hooks. (This is a house for lots of boys working with animals and other farm work-it needs to be very functional! ) of course as the only female involved here I want to somehow make it pretty too! Thanks for all your feedback everyone.
    Thanks everyone

  • Felix Pradas
    last month

    Rachel, if you do not mind, where is the north, and in what temperature zone are you?

  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi there-thanks for asking-this is in the southwest so hot and dry. with the house facing northwest. The stairs go to a basement.

  • Felix Pradas
    last month

    Thanks. I will endeavor to find a more effective arrangement of your spaces. I will work on that this evening. You have done a great job, but there are areas that need tweaking. Cheers

  • loobab
    last month

    Rachel, Sorry, I think your plan is not at all suitable for the size of your family and how you said you live.

    You said there are 5 children and you entertain a lot.

    In your living room you need a minimum of two full sized sofas and two chairs. A minimum.

    If you ever entertain for meals, your dining table should be able to seat 12. At a minimum.

    Your immediate family alone is 7! That doesn't even include the grandparents.

    I am not saying you need to spend a fortune on a huge single table, but you need to have the space in the room for two tables or three tables.

    What will you do over the holidays when your children have significant others?

    And what about a buffet in the dining room?

    With a family that size you are better off with a large separate refrigerator and a separate freezer.

    And two sinks, separate from each other, so people can work separately, and each should have a disposal.

    And yes, the refrigerator needs to close to a sink, because produce needs to cleaned and washed.

    And with a family that size I highly suggest two dishwashers as well.

    You don't need an island with seating.

    Do you really want to be treated like a short order cook?

    If you want a place for a quick cuppa, have a place for one stool, but let the family sit in the dining room and learn to converse politely, that art is being lost all to rapidly with the advent of cell phones.

    Use either an island or a peninsula whichever works best for food prep and storage, not for eating.

    I highly suggest you use a highly experienced certified kitchen designer.

    While it is fine and dandy to get ideas from us, this is far too expensive and important to merely crowd-source your way through.


  • Cherie
    last month

    I like your plan. But please add the prep sink on the island. The kitchen triangle isn't critical since you have multiple zones and the fridge is accessible.


    Some people prefer the pantry to be a closet that's connected to the kitchen. I think it's fine across the hallway if you're mainly using it to store canned and dry goods overflow or rarely used items/appliances.


    I like the hallway to the mud room/garage. I wouldn't want people cutting across my prep & cook zone.


    For your overall plan, I would square off all the rooms and try avoiding all the corners and bump outs/alcoves. A shower in the powder room next to the mud room would be nice. You could take a shower before walking into the main house if you're dirty.

  • Felix Pradas
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hi Rachel,

    Here is a diagram of how the sun interacts with your structure. This is one of the first things you need to consider when designing a building, a home in particular.

    The next thing to consider is what are your backdrops. What do you see in the near distance and in the far distant as you turn to each of the eight cardinal points. With that information in hand, then you are able to locate the various rooms (functions) and decide which views deserved to be minimized (negate) and which ought to be maximized (exploit).



  • Felix Pradas
    last month
    last modified: last month

    And here it is when you turn it in as in the original plan. As you can see the master bedroom and bath get the brunt of the midday heat. The rear patio gets full morning sun and midday heat as well. The sunset views are enjoyed by the garage, the utility room, and the master bath.



    Armed with this information, you start playing around to minimize heating and cooling expenses. See this for example. By flipping the plan on the vertical, now you have the screened room getting both sunrise and sunset views and sheltering the living room from the sun. The master is cool in the later part of the evening and the two bedrooms get sun all afternoon and into the sunset.



  • Felix Pradas
    last month
    last modified: 29 days ago

    Hi Rachel,

    I reworked the right side of the plan to simplify the design. The bathroom now is more spacious.

    The pantry is still not any closer but there is no hallway waste space.

    I placed the refrigerator in two different spots for you to decide. There are different schools of thought on the ideal placement of refrigerators. I hope this serves as food for thought. Cheers!



  • Felix Pradas-Bergnes
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hi Rachel, pardon the intrusion, where are the rooms for the children located? I only see one by the guest bedroom. Are the other rooms, restrooms, and ancillary spaces going to be located in the basement? If that is the case, I need to flip around the entrance to the stairs. Let me know at your leisure.

    Also, does your lot has specific boundary constrains or is it a large, level lot?

  • beesneeds
    last month

    Not kitchen commentary... but wow is that sewing nook tiny. At almost 4"x5", you must not be planning on working in there. It's just for sewing supply storage and your workspace will be in the laundry room, yes?

  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    last month

    Ha ha don’t worry-that sewing area is just a closet for storage of sewing machine, fabric, etc and my cleaning supplies. The desk next to it is the sewing area.

  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    last month

    Yes there are two bedrooms and a bathroom in the basement. 😀. The lot is flat and at the end of a cul de sac. The nicest view is to the south/southeast-a view of the mountains. The West sun is harsh and also the direction of the wind usually. Wouldn’t want anything facing west. Our neighbors are glad they only have two small windows facing west.

  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    last month

    The lot is large-1.3 acres approximately.

  • Felix Pradas
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hi Rachel, take a look at this rearrangement of the floor plan. It has everything you wanted and multiple possibilities in the layout of the kitchen, which remains the center of the home.

    I added an glass-enclosed open-air atrium that will bring indirect light into the inner part of the house all through the day and can feature a fountain or small flowering plants or trees.

    Notice the rhythm of the façade. Notice also the scaled arrangement of the rooms to the south which will cast a cooling shadow into the other rooms as the evening progresses.

    The garage opens to the front of the house but can be flipped 90 degrees if you want vehicles to enter from the side.

    The green wall in the middle of house is meant to be a 1' thick rough-hewn rock wall that will lead the eye from the foyer to the back and give the house a great sense of permanence and solidity, if you want. Otherwise, it can be a standard thickness plaster wall.

    I added a second stair off the basement for fire safety and also to allow entry to workers needing to make repairs to the temperature control systems. I hope this helps.



    P.S.: The one room I am not satisfied with is the screened porch which feels too secluded from the center of the house.

  • Felix Pradas
    last month

    Here is another arrangement that adds a linen closet, flips the garage, expands the guest suit, relocates the stairs to the basement to the foyer, and moves the studio to the screen porch area. More food for thought.


  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    last month

    Wow thanks for all your input! This is a really cool design!

  • Felix Pradas
    29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    Rachel, I am glad you like it. I will do a 3D rendering of the design to give a better sense of how the spaces look. Architecture is, after all, three dimensional, and that aspect of the craft must be kept in mind as you work the 2D plans.

    On another topic, I would like to suggest incorporating salvage architectural items into your foyer, particularly the wall to the music room and the banister in the stairs leading to the basement.

    Within your style, consider acquiring in antique or architectural salvage stores a couple of windows to install in the music room wall facing the foyer. This way the room is brought in to play with the rest of the house but it remains closed off to sound.

    Likewise, an antique banister could be purchased in a salvage or private sale and installed in the foyer to add visual interest. It goes without saying that history is key to define who we are and where we wish our lives to lead.



  • Felix Pradas
    29 days ago





  • Felix Pradas
    28 days ago

    Hi Rachel. here are some 3D rendering showing the spaces in the plan last posted. I added some colors and items to highlight the position of doors and some furnishing. This is one of the many ways the same floor plan can look as it rises in 3D. I hope you find it useful. Cheers! (part 1)





  • Felix Pradas
    28 days ago

    Part 2:






  • Felix Pradas
    28 days ago

    Part 3:






  • Felix Pradas
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    Part 4:








  • Felix Pradas
    27 days ago

    Rachel, here is another rendition of the floor plan that includes a second refrigerator and an ice maker in the laundry room and expands the shower to a 6'x6' space. Cheers!






  • suezbell
    27 days ago

    If you live in a really hot place and do not want west windows because they'll add a lot of heat to your home, consider a floor plan that puts your garage on the west side.

    To me, your floor plan looks really chopped up into small rooms that will not get a cross breeze to help cool them. Your AC bill will be larger because of that.

    How much age difference there is between your children and which are girls or boys can make a difference in how you want to plan their bedroom and closet space and the bath(s) they'll use.

    Do pay attention to the drawings kindly provided by Felix Pradas as you decide on your final floor plan with regard to which rooms get the most sunlight.

    Porches can shield the mid day heat and/or if you have a center atrium, some part of it would be shaded during all but mid day when the sun is directly overhead.


  • suezbell
    27 days ago

    Just some thoughts :


    Since you mentioned your neighbor being glad there were few windows on the west side, I take that to mean you live in an area that gets really hot?


    Rather than chop up your spaces so much, you might consider recreating your pantry and mud room and laundry room -- as a single large utility room with floor to ceiling and wall to wall storage (apart from doorways) and locate it between your kitchen and garage, perhaps with a powder room accessible from it (and, perhaps even having your front entry connected to it separated only by a door) and have that utility room with exterior access or at least access to the garage beside the exterior wall of the garage, That way you can put a ceiling fan in the large room -- and an island in it can provide additional storage and folding space for laundry and/or a collection place for school backpacks .


    Every angle you add to your exterior wall rather than have the exterior wall of a side of the house as a straight line will add to the cost and require adjustments to the roof which will also add to the cost. In addition to risking creating a McMansion appearance, it can also require more framing, potentially complicating insulating the space and even wiring it.


    If you live in a really hot area, the upstairs, likely requiring a separate cooling system, will always be more costly to cool.

  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    Hi everyone-
    I do think that 3D rendering is lovely-that is generous of you to take the time. To answer Suezbell’s comment-the stairs will go to a basement not an upstairs so that will hopefully help with the cooling bill. Yes it is very hot especially in the summer during midday. There are 5 boys and they mostly want to be in the basement but we might have 1 or 2 of the younger ones upstairs. (There will be two bedrooms downstairs as well.). We are certainly going for efficiency and we are not wealthy so not sure if we can build something the size Felix has in mind but maybe we could scale it down. I’m shooting for a main level around 3,000 square feet. Ideally the house would be entered through the mud room where there would be easy access to a bathroom (don’t want muddy farm boots traipsing through the house!). I prefer that the clean laundry not be in the traffic area and there must be a coat closet for all the coveralls etc.) Ideally the stairs would be close to the kitchen and entry as we will have two extra freezers and a fridge downstairs in the cool basement. Thanks everyone for your ideas. This gives me lots of food for thought.

  • Felix Pradas
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    Hi Rachel, here is another arrangement of your spaces at below 3,200 square feet. To do this I combined the studio and music room into a single space. I hope this helps. By the way, the atrium is not a luxury item, it is key to moderate your house temperature and humidity levels by creating micro climates.




  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    This is really cool-I love the kitchen arrangement-I was stuck on the idea of an island but I think I like the large peninsula even better and it’s more unique. I don’t know much about the idea of an atrium- I admit it does seem like a luxury. I will have to learn more about it-it would have to have some very practical uses or I might never sell my husband on it! I’m amazed by all the effort you have put into this. Is the emergency exit for the basement?

  • Felix Pradas
    27 days ago

    Hi Rachel, yes, the emergency exit stairs is for the basement.

    The atrium is a great feature because it provides humidity during the summer months, helping with the cooling bills, and light, helping with the electric bill.
    In Christmas, you turn off the water feature and install the Christmas tree right there. you can also make the border around it a solid bench high seating area with pretty tiles or stone so that family and visitors have a place to sit when you have gatherings. you can put lanterns with candles for some occasions.

    The atrium is designed to allow light in but no direct sun. it can be as I rendered it, or it can be several flat single skylights.

    Also, notice that I added a snack cabinet between the dining room and the living room. This will foster the interconnectivity of the spaces. Even though it is only a few steps from the peninsula, it is where the children can get snacks and can serve as a bar for adults as well. You have endless options.
    A request, could you post photos of other houses nearby? And let me. know if you want to match their style or not.
    It is my pleasure to help you. Also, remember that you are indeed wealthy, your wealth calls you mom. Have a blessed day.

  • Felix Pradas
    26 days ago

    Rachel, I will prepare another floor plan without the atrium.
    Question: Right now your entrance is in the shade in the morning and gets the late evening sun. Do you like that? Would you like your entrance in the early morning sun and shade in the evening instead, by moving it to NE side of the house?

  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    26 days ago


    A northwest entrance wouldn’t really work as you can see the house is at the end of a cul de sac. Entering straight on would be facing west-my plan was to angle it a bit so the garage would block that harsh wind and hot afternoon sun, having the entrance more at the northwest. I don’t think the curb appeal would be great having to drive around to the back to enter the house. Neighbors backyard faces west and no one spends much time out there in the evenings because the sun glares so much and its hot or windy. What you want is evening shade here. The homes around aren’t really one style, but lots of stucco and sort of farmhouse/southwest flair. I’d like the facadd to be stucco and stone of some sort but I haven’t really thought too much about the details yet. We plan on having a metal roof. Sure is fun to get other people’s perspective on this-I’ve been staring at my own plan for too long.

    And thanks for your kind comment about wealth-you are right. This is about having a lovely place for us all to be together and doesn’t have to be a palace-functional and lovely and high quality. We are aiming for efficiency and plan on putting in solar tubes and will be adding solar panels when we can afford those. It’s definitely our dream house and we’ve been saving for years to make it happen.

  • Felix Pradas
    26 days ago

    Excellent! Thank you very much. This is helpful. I will post an updated plan for you later. Cheers!

  • felizlady
    26 days ago

    The fridge IS far from the sink, but you can carry your produce to the sink easily. The island may likely be your prep zone, and is not so far from the fridge. The pantry is REALLY far from the sink, and I would consider having a sturdy basket or a small rolling cart inside the pantry to transport multiple items to the sink or island when needed.

  • cheri127
    26 days ago

    Hi Rachel. I had the exact same layout that Felix suggested in my beach house kitchen and I really disliked it because 1) the fridge was too far from the sink and 2) prepping at the peninsula required a long walk to the range or prepping at the range wall put my back to everyone. Our kitchen was a bit wider so we put a 24" deep Ikea island in the middle. The aisles were tight but I didn't care. It was so much better to be close to the stove and face my family while preparing meals. I did LOVE the peninsula though because it kept everyone out of my work space. When we built our new beach house, we kept the peninsula to keep interlopers at bay but made the kitchen wide enough to fully accommodate an island. Best of both worlds.


    I'm not sure you have the space for both the peninsula and the island but you could swap the sink with the range in Felix's plan and put a prep sink at the end of the peninsula. Work from fridge to peninsula prep area to stove to clean up sink all the while keeping the rif raf out of your space (but still have plenty of room for helpers!).

  • Felix Pradas
    26 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    Hi Rachel, here is another floor plan in line with your sf requirements. I will prepare some renderings of the 3D elevations. This will be a very pretty old fashioned South West style home.

    You can still play with the location of the kitchen appliances as you need until you feel comfortable. Notice that this plan is on a 1'x1' grid. You can get some cardboard boxes cut them up and put in the floor and then walk the distances as you pretend to cook.

    Given the constrains of the square footage, remember you can always put the studio/office and the music/game room in the basement.

    Notice the design of the garage. It blocks the evening sun across of south west length the house. I had this same arrangement in a house I lived in years ago, and it works very well. I opted for this after seeing that you already have a road going pass the back of the house. I hope you find this useful!





    This last one flips the living room around to show an alternate option. By the way, the stairs to the basement are not enclosed by two walls, only one, this adds a greater sense of space to the living room and integration with the rooms below.





  • Malcolm
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    @Felix Pradas I feel like this is a significant over reach . . . OP asked if her fridge was too far from her sink, not to have her whole entire house re-designed! Also missing a lot of her "must haves" like a music room and pantry and who wants to walk through the kitchen to get to the living room? Her initial plan is many times better and I think works for her family better too. Im sure there was a reason for a separate home office and library and her original screened in porch is really nice too

  • Felix Pradas
    24 days ago

    Hi Malcom, Rachel actually requested and provided the necessary drawings to have her entire floor plan reviewed. In the process of our exchanges it came to litgh that their budget aimed for a 3,000 sq floor plan. Therefore, the screened room, the studio, and the music room were outside the scope of her desire for a simple, modest ranch house centered around the kitchen. Cheers!

  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    24 days ago

    I appreciate everyone weighing in. I think I will incorporate many of your ideas. I am not counting the screen porch or garage in my 3000 square foot space-just heated space (I thought that was usually how you calculate it.) the office and music room are not negotiable-as we will be running a business from home and you can’t put a grand piano in the basement. Thanks esp. to Felix who put so much work into his plans. I will use many of your ideas I am sure. Have a great week everyone.

  • Felix Pradas
    24 days ago

    Here is whishing you much success and joy in this process. I am looking forward to see the final product in the near future. Cheers!

  • cheri127
    24 days ago

    Yes, Rachel. Please share with us the final product!!! Best of luck to you!


  • Felix Pradas
    24 days ago

    Hi Rachel, here is one more plan including an interior patio and the studio and music room, with plenty of light all around. Just more food for thought. Cheers!



  • Cherie
    23 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    Hey Rachel

    I like your plan as it is. But you need a prep sink on the island to make it work.

    My counters were installed a couple of weeks ago. I’m really happy I went against the traditional kitchen triangle and separated my prep and clean up zones and put the fridge on the parameter of the kitchen. The 30” deep counters at the sink are wonderful for piling up dishes until the end of the night. I sort of wish I put in 2 DWs.

    I converted a hallway closet into my pantry so it’s around the other side of the house. I store my over flow and infrequent ingredients in there. I “shop” in my pantry once or twice a week and before grocery trips / large hauls, I re-stock the kitchen shelves and make room in the pantry. I use my reusable grocery shopping bins to carry things to the kitchen.

    A full standing freezer in the pantry might be nice for 5 kids. Do they eat a lot of ice cream and chicken fingers?

    I have mixed feelings about Jack & Jills. One of the door is always locked or you walk in on someone by accident or you need to enter someone’s room to unlock the door.

    If the office is an office, I would want the door to face the entrance. I’m constantly answering the front door. And I want to be closer to the kitchen to grab a coffee/snack.

    Do you like taking showers before/after your bath? I would do a shower/tub combo… you have the right layout for it.


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  • Rachel Williams
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    I would love to see a picture of your kitchen!

  • Felix Pradas
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Here is a picture of my kitchen. The stools are used to help the prep process. So it is my wife sitting down and prepping on one side and me cocking on the other or vice versa. It is a great way to cook and spend time together.


  • Cherie
    22 days ago

    I can't promise when I'll be ready to make my big reveal. But to help you visualize...these two kitchens are close match to my layout. But my fridge is directly across my prep sink.


    I think you have flexibility with your plan. You could put a pantry in the corner so the fridge lines up in range/island aisle, if you really want a triangle for your prep sink, but your clean up counter run will be shorter.


    Or keep the fridge closer to the dining room. I think this would be my first choice. I like having the DW door open while I cook so I can load it as I clear my space. You'd get more counters, maybe fit 2 DWs and it would minimize kids from entering the prep/cook zone.



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  • Cherie
    21 days ago

    Sneak peak - I found an old rendering of my plan (before I eliminated the uppers above the sink)