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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Does this kitchen layout make sense?

the5ksJanuary 10, 2013
While this layout has all of the necessary equipment, is it a design that makes sense? Suggestions? Thoughts? Ideas? I'd love to do the island countertop in pewter so if anyone has any thoughts on this, I'd welcome them as well. Thanks in advance.
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Main Line Kitchen Design
Design looks forced. If you keep it as is I would at least raise the bottom of the window over the bench on the inside and add a base cabinet and top. On the outside add a flower box to the exterior under the new window if it is difficult to patch the outside to match. This is an inexpensive way to make your kitchen less funky. Peninsula would work better with this space than an island. Looks like a design by an architect not an experienced kitchen designer. Consider spending a little more on structural changes to accommodate a better design and worry less about expensive appliances, cabinets, and countertops. If the design looks forced into a bad space change the space don't plow expensive items into a poor design. That's the mantra of a good kitchen designer.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 9:45AM
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I agree this kitchen layout looks odd, mainly due to the fact there are so many window and door openings and feel chopped up. The cooktop is too large for to be at that corner.

Personally I would close off the entry into the kitchen and remove the stud walls separating the kitchen and dining room to create a more open feeling.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 9:55AM
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Banta Builders LLC
correct me if I'm wrong, but the "kitchen work triangle" isn't working in this kitchen?...

1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:33AM
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^ There's a triangle. It's a decent triangle because it's out of the way of the traffic patterns.
I agree the cooktop looks too big for that length of cabinets. I would move the cooktop to the island and possibly move the fridge to the wall where the cooktop is.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Aggie Purvinska
here is a layout option, which would make more sense functionally (to me anyway).

I would move the main sink to the island, and leave a back up sink at the window, if need be. Ovens moved to the other side out of the way, cooktop on a diagonal in the corner with a nice feature hood, drawers below, microwave on the base level to the right from cooktop.

Shrink the cased opening to whatever room it is, and put a fridge with a smaller pantry where the ovens used to be.

The island needs to shrink and move. DW, Sink, Trash and Extra Storage with Seating out of the way.

Where the "Bench" is I would put a nice furniture looking pantry or dishes storage or desk even and echo something similar in the other side.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 11:33AM
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John Seiffert
Depending on fridge, sometimes when pushed against a wall door won't open enough to let fridge drawers open fully. That could be a big oops by itself.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 12:34PM
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You are correct...drawn by architect. Great symmetry but not so sure about functionality. I appreciate all of the insights. We've saved our money for 11 years to do this and don't want to go from one "bad" kitchen to another one (with a more expensive price tag on it). When you walk into the front door, you instantly see the dining room and kitchen which both lead into the family room. Since we're in the framing stage, I definitely want to make some changes before electrical/plumbing are put in.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 12:37PM
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John Seiffert
Tough to make a call without pics of dining room. You might want to consider incorporating dining room into kitchen area.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 12:47PM
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It's awkward.

As an architect, on the rare occasion that we do a residential home design, I always encourage clients to use a specialized kitchen and bath designer. While we are capable of layout out a kitchen, individuals specialized in this field do it every single day and have a wealth of knowledge based on experience regarding what works and what doesn't. Most kitchen and bath stores will provide you a design free of charge (some contingent on purchasing the cabinets through them). Even if you want to stick with your architect, let them know that you are not happy with the kitchen and want to explore other options. Paper is cheap compared to tearing things out once they're built!
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Artesia Kitchen & Bath
Where are you located? I would highly recommend speaking to a qualified kitchen designer prior to completing the framing on this project. I am a kitchen designer in Las Vegas, to me this kitchen is very chopped up. As Cassidyd said, paper is much less expensive than tearing walls out after they are already built. Your architect or builder should have recommended a kitchen designer for you to visit with prior to construction. I would meet with one asap to make sure you are achieving everything you require your space to be!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 1:33PM
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Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods
+1 to AggieDesigns' idea - good layout, "condenses" the work triangle and moves the traffic out of the way.

Keep in mind though, that putting the cooktop/range in the corner on a diagonal is going to require a bit more careful planning in terms of ventilation - a typical wall-mount range hood won't work. You'll need either an island-mount hood, or building a "filler" partition behind the range so there's a secure mounting surface for a wall-mount hood.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods
@cassidyd: "Paper is cheap compared to tearing things out once they're built!" - SO true!
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Kudos AggieDesigns.
Building a diagonal wall isn't a big deal. I've done this to accommodate both a wall-mount hood and a custom built in hood. If you don't want the stove to be bumped in, the wall will have to be bumped out more though and will be longer than the width of the stove.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:27PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I am a kitchen designer. This doesn't feel like a fluid layout. My biggest problem is the refrigerator. It is stuck in the corner so the one door won't be able to open much more than 90 degrees (and that's with a filler against the wall). There is also no adjacent landing space, which is one of the "rules" of kitchen design. Can I ask: is there a very crucial design reason to have the corner set back like that? Could the corner be flush, or at least less of an indentation into the room? I understand that doing so would possibly change the exterior look (does this match an existing setback somewhere else on the house?) but it would mean that you could have a continuous, or at least contiguous, countertop.

Concept A) Move the cooktop into the island if you can (but this will depend upon your ventilation) with a lovely hood, Move the refrigerator to where the cooktop was (but towards the end). This is another important point: by locating the refrigerator all the way across the room from the family room, this means that there will be a CONSTANT traffic pattern through the cooking area, I always locate the refrigerator at the outside of the work triangle so that everyone can get to it without getting in the cook's way.

Concept B) Shift the opening into the family room all the way to the end, adjacent to the dining room. It doesn't appear to be centered on anything in that room, so I can't see that moving it would create a design problem there. You might also want to reduce it in size. At any rate, this would give you much more continuous counter/work and/or appliance space. I would then move the refrigerator to the end of this run, leave the cooktop where it is, and move the ovens to where the refrigerator was.

I have one more question: will the dining room be the casual eating area for the family or will there be another space for that (in the family room, for instance)? What is the feel you are going for in the dining room - very casual or more formal? I am asking this because the one thing I see is that most clients - and this is not right or wrong, just a comment - want more of an open plan to the living area. You really have a closed off kitchen. In order to open it up, you would HAVE to get rid of most of that indented corner. Then you could basically leave the layout that you have with the exception of switching the refrigerator (closer to family room) and cooktop because your counter would continue down and across the bottom wall. You might also, then, actually shorten the common wall to the family room so that you could open this up more.

Aggie Design's layout would work, too - you have to be OK with a sink in the island, though, and you would always be looking at the sink from the family room. Also, putting a large cooktop into the corner like that takes up a lot of room - you will lose useable cabinet space. One more option. I'll call it Concept C) Move the opening to the family room down adjacent to the dining room. Open up the wall between the kitchen and family room (you could use two-sided glass cabinets above). Put the sink in that leg of the counter, looking into the family room. Put the cooktop in the island and put the refrigerator to the left of the window where the sink is now. Oh, one more: Concept D) do the same thing as C to open up the wall, but leave the cooktop where it is and a do a beautiful hood visible from the family room. Mix and match from the previous concepts to locate the refrigerator.

I'd be glad to try to expand on any of these, but since I don't know what your goals are, it would help to have this information first. Hope this helps somewhat.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
One more question: how large is the cooktop you are using?
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Sorry to be offline...have a child sick.
So far, it's a 36" induction cooktop but could go to the smaller version if needed. We're not professional cooks. We're a casual family. Our vision was for them to eat breakfast/lunch at the island and then dinners would be in the dining room (farm table). Love all of the options and will begin exploring the maneuvering of appliances. Unfortunately, that large indentation (albatross!) in the left corner matches the other side of the house but will explore if this is feasible to tear out on both sides.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 8:47AM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
@the5ks - hope all is better and hope it wasn't the flu - bad stuff this year. On the cooktop: while a 36" is more de rigeur in high end kitchens, I have yet to find anyone who uses all 5 burners at once, Basically, the 5th burner is just "staging space". Now that I've said this, I'm sure a million people will disagree with me. Here is the bottom line on what I would recommend: if you can comfortably (key word) fit the 36" in, fine. If going with a 30", however, means the layout will work better, then go with it. In other words, don't let the cooktop define the layout.

If you are already framing, then your foundation is poured and without very costly changes, you will not be able to change the corners. Is this a renovation/addition or all new build?

Also, what is the sill height of the window at the bottom of the plan (where window seat is)?
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Looking at this again, I have one more option. Let's call it E) Instead of having two entrances into the family room from both the kitchen AND the dining room, why not combine them into one? This would also give you additional wall space in the family room. The cabinets (display?) in the dining room could go on the outside wall to keep the symmetry in that room. You could split the entrance between the dining room and kitchen space, giving you much more useable counter space in the kitchen. I would open the kitchen to the F.R. on this wall, perhaps using 2-sided glass cabinets above (you could also have a counter and seating space on the F.R. side). The one glitch I see with this is that it wouldn't make your access to the outside door nor your path to the screened porch as direct; a consideration...

I have one more idea: since it sounds like you aren't going to be able to change that corner, this might work to bring the cabinets out to the corner. Add side-facing pull out pantries against the wall on either side of the window and then add your cabinets/appliances in front of those. This would probably necessitate making the island a bit narrower and would also mean you wouldn't have the window seat, but it might solve some other problem in going to another layout. Just throwing it out there - not sure if it's really worth it or not (depends on context of plan).

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    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 11:16AM
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So sorry...another child down with it (flu). Let me look at this tomorrow when I've got my wits about me.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Oh-oh sorry to hear that 5k! Hope all is better soon.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 6:57AM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Just re-reading what I wrote to you to see if it made sense lol. In looking at your plan again, what I am basically suggesting is putting the one opening into the kitchen and dining room where the oven and dining cabinet are now. Then where the openings are now, I would leave this open to the family room, at least in the kitchen. In the dining room, you could leave it open (half wall, with or without a cabinet) or close it off. It looks like there were columns planned, so keeping it open would allow you to retain this concept.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:12AM
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A Crew of Two
I would make the one wall oven, pantry and fridge.....put the fridge where the pantry is shown- easy access for those not cooking and keeps them out of your path. and what about a cooktop in the island? For how large this kitchen is you really have no prep/small appliance space. Moving the cooktop frees up that whole corner. Of course you can redesign the whole kitchen, but if you are building a new home- it will cost you in change orders, etc. Any time you go outside their plan it costs you. But moving where things are without changing the size of cabinets should not cost you much more.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:33AM
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A Crew of Two
pewter is amazing, but it is a distinct look that will be expensive to change- make sure you are committed to it......think about what appliances you would like. Stainless? too much with the pewter, unless you go with the cabinet front aplliances
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:35AM
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Affirming Kitchen Clarity
Hello 5ks...i must admit this is hard to gauge without perspective visuals because the plan appears very traditional with the windows and passage ways.....the casework layout appears not in harmony with this approach.....do you have a prespective..... the height changes of casework seem to be visually distracting....have a few thoughts but they are....ok major .....again the pewter top leads to traditional and will be costly but stunning....lots of ideas already ....and just saw post..... so trust all is progressing nicley....and as I was taught "suppose someone wants to build a tower, wont he sit down first and figure out how much it will cost" sometimes not just monetarily.....
    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:43PM
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