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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

my kitchen: a designer's dream or too much

williamson2of6February 26, 2013
This might be a lot to ask, but does anyone have hints, tips, ideas for this space?

Attached is the kitchen plan for a new build. The space is huge - about 17x19. It has the potential to be an amazing gourmet kitchen or too much to handle. I need some help.

The nook will have a 5’ round top table.

The triple bowl sink has to stay where it is – dishwasher preferably on the right.

There could be an island or two – one for prep work and one for seating. Or should there be a walk in pantry somewhere that would take up some of the space?

The stove top preferably needs to be on the back wall, but could be adjusted left or right. The windows on the back wall are very negotiable: right now they are planned to be casement 1’6.”

There needs to be a double oven somewhere – diagonal, right corner or the wall with the ref/freezer.

The ref/freezer can be moved anywhere the wall it’s on.

Thank you!
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
I think you would be best advised to work with a professional kitchen designer (look for NKBA certification) who can take this project through to completion and give you the best possible result.
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:00AM
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I have an amazing Designer ..... BEAUTIFUL SPACE !!! Gourmet ? YES !!
    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:09AM
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A logical layout would be an U-shaped perimeter kitchen with an island in the middle.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:16AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
I agree with both Dytecture and Cynthia Taylor-Luce
1 Like    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:22AM
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A Crew of Two
My advice is an island for sure. Maybe a built in cabinet on the wall between the pantry and the nook. Maybe a desk? And if your ceilings are high enough getting taller upper cabinets and staggering them for a custom look.
    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:29AM
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nFORMAL design
I don't think window placement is always that "negotiable" if the designer placed them there for a proportionate layout on the exterior, etc.

@Dytecture, kklinton & Cynthia. If you notice, this is a fixtures plan...no cabs or counters, etc. show up on this plan, so as far as we know, and island may already be there.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:34AM
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nFORMAL design
My biggest complaint with the layout is that if you cook a lot and don't have a really strong vent hood, you are going to get a constant film on the windows.
    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:36AM
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Yes I agree with the others...something like this but more professionally done...lol...

Congratulations on the new kitchen!
    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:39AM
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I'd pay a lot of attention to the path to the deck. You want it to be easy to get food, drink and people in and out.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:52AM
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Thank you to all.
Cynthia - yes, we are going to get bids from multiple designers. Didn't know to ask about NKBA cert. Thanks.
Dytecture - I agree with your logic :-)
Kklinton - we've discussed putting something on the wall you mentioned, and great idea about staggering heights.
nFORMAL - pretty much everything is negotiable since the plans haven't been approved by regional yet. The window sizes and location could easily be changed or eliminated. The draftsman did originally drew in a small island and walk-in pantry. It looked weird though.
Rawketgrl - thanks for the great sketch
Sigrid - good point on the path to the deck
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:39AM
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nFORMAL design
Draftsperson...so where did the plans come from? If window sizes can be changed or eliminated, what will the outside look like? That seems a little too "loose" of a design to me.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 4:18PM
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dont know your style, but here is an idea
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 4:45PM
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here's another. if you have a large family than it is good to have large gathering kitchen. if not do you have a maid? lots of space and things mean lots of cleaning.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 4:48PM
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nFORMAL: sorry for the confusion. you must think this plan came from somewhere other than my husband's and my imagination and/or dreams. :-)

actually, the plan is currently "loose" because it's a custom home being uniquely designed to fit our on our lot. in other words, this particular house has never been built before. therefore, since the plans are not final yet, they are easy to change; that's why i asked for design input here.

anyway, in this preliminary phase, our draftsman has been able to tweak the floor plan, room sizes, window/door placement, elevations, roof lines, etc... on his CAD software. once structural and truss plans are ordered and ultimately the plans go to the regional building dept. for approval, things will be more set in stone.

hope this helps clarify.
    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 5:04PM
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88 Atelier for Architecture
If you want a working kitchen that is made for people who actually cook then I suggest you focus on functional zones and make sure that these zones work well. Kitchens where the refrigerator is really far from the sink and the range are not functional. The refrigerator should move closer to the range, and I would add an island or peninsula with bar stools to define the space better. A zone for baking, for setting down food that is ready to go to the dining area, for storage of china, a kitchen desk with computer, these are some ideas. A large kitchen is not a small kitchen on steroids, it needs to be defined with more assets and program functions.
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 5:33PM
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nFORMAL design
@williamson...I had a larger comment written but it got vaporized.

Basically, in our world, your house isn't being "designed"...it's being drafted and built. That is a huge difference.

A good designer/architect should open a dialogue and relationship with you, take your wants/needs, find out how you spend your daily life, and translate that into a 3-D form that fits into your style and budget. What good designers DON'T do is figure out a 2-D puzzle and translate that to the exterior. For instance, if you are doing a traditional 3-flat in Chicago (where we are), you can't just put windows on the first floor which are proportionally historical and laid out correctly, and then just randomly put windows above it. Now THAT would "look weird" to use your terms.

My advice would be to save yourself a bunch of headaches and hire a local professional. If you had a good designer, you wouldn't have to post this up on Houzz and have us try to figure things out without the proper context. A home is very personal, so asking us to solve issues without knowing you and your story and the rest of the house is not something that any really good designer could successfully do. Plus, what most people know is that the cost of a designer/architect is half--speaking percentage--than you'd tip your server. It's just that the cost of the "meal" is a lot more.

Hope you understand that I'm trying to help you out...and that this isn't on you as much as it is on my profession for not educating the public very well.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Pyramid Design Group Architects
You are going to probably spend 75,000 to1,00,000+++ dependingon appliences, cabinets and finishes. The size and budget need to be done with a professional designers . Kitchens are complex spaces requiring a lot of thought and complete detailed plans.
    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Houzz is a wonderful place for gathering ideas and brainstorming. There have been some good suggestions to think about here. Althought a good designer is essential to this project posting questions such as this asking for feedback is much like picking up a magazine on kitchens. You start to gather input and get ideas and figure out what you like and what you don't like by reading, looking at pictures AND posting questions.Then when you go to a designer you will know what you want. Maybe you don't want to sit back and let everyone else decide what you are going to like but when you get a GOOD designer you won't have to because a good designer won't be translating their own likes and dislikes into a design, but your likes and dislikes will be translated into a functional design that really does fit YOU.

But you do have to figure out first what you like and what you don't like, of course. And that's the HOUZZ stage, just figuring out what you like and gathering ideas.

As long as you know this is the gathering information stage, preliminary to seeking out a designer, we're all set.

With that in mind, I agree with 88 Atelier for Architecture about having functional zones. A large kitchen needs to be broken down in work areas. I forsee that you will have another sink, even though you have three already, because of that. Also, you may have to have two smaller islands to be able to get to different functional zones. How this kitchen will be designed depends on what you will be doing with it. The appliances you are planning fit a commercial kitchen. The three sinks fit requirements (here) of the Department of Health for commercial preparation of food. Look into the range hood. As was mentioned you will need a commercial type range hood which may require an air-to-air exchanger. Your designer will help with this issues but it is also cost issue. She/he can advise you on that and what is required by the state if you plan on using this kitchen for anything but a residential kitchen. Those are just some ideas. Best wishes.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:29PM
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Eagledzines and 88 Atelier: thank you for sharing -- exactly the type of insight i needed.
    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 2:47PM
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nFORMAL design
@eagledesignes...I agree with you totally about Houzz is a good place to gather ideas and input and solve some problems. It is also a good place to find a qualified designer (which is actually how the site started...don't read Wiki...talk to the people at Houzz).

That being said, I think what i wrote and what you wrote goes hand in hand. You wrote "You have to figure out what you like and what you don't like, of course. And that's the HOUZZ stage, just figuring out what you like and gathering ideas."

I totally agree with that, and I think the Houzz stage is also a good place to take those likes/wants/needs and find a good designer. That's what I said earlier...a good designer takes all those wants, needs, your ways or living, style and budget and puts them together into a wonderful design...just for the client.

To me, if you already have floor plans, Houzz isn't a place to go to solve layout issues because we only have a very small slice of context to work with, and as someone suggested in another discussion, there will be a myriad of options--which all may be "right"--depending on the person giving them. Floor plan changes should be made with a architect/designer in the context of the entire space...inside and outside.

There are much less important topics and ones that are easier to narrow down to a solution that are best served on Houzz. I just personally and professionally don't think floor plan changes, etc., are done in a good manner through this venue.

Here's an example. When I was first out of college and before "nFORMAL design," a house builder in the North Shore of Chicago (very wealthy area) wanted some floor plan changes to a $4,000,000 speculative house (yes...4 million) he was building. Just FYI, typically, an architect gets paid an average of 10% of a house project. However, he hired an architect that just "cranked out plans" for him that fit on the lot. The guy only charged him $7,000 for the plans, and then he needed changes which he paid me $100 an hour to do.

There were all kinds of planning, layout and strategy issues with these plans, but you have to remember...he wasn't paying for creativity and uniqueness. The point is that I couldn't make a ton of changes on the phone. I had to meet with him in person, talk to him about his goals, etc., see the site, and then begin to make changes in relation to the rest of the house and the site...not just having him cut a small piece out of context and say, "What would you do here?"

@williamson2of6...I wasn't trying to be mean or rude...just upfront and helpful. I think you can get suggestions on Houzz till you are blue in the face--most of which are all technically "correct", but it is a disservice to you for us to solve this issue without more context and without knowing more about YOU and the entire project as a whole (including site layout, etc.). You house is about you, your environment and how those function together...to make you a unique space you are happy in.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Happy to quote to design with you and draw it all up - via email as based in UK ! Just look on my profile for email address !
    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:44AM
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