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2 new layouts- please vote and critique!

14 years ago

Hello everyone!

I would love to get your feedback on our kitchen addition layouts, which we changed to incorporate some of the great ideas we got here a few days ago.

Can you please vote on which one of these you like better? All suggestions are very, very welcome! We have quickly learned that GW-ers are far more savvy about layouts than any of our friends and family.

Layout #1 (Kitchen on right):


Layout #2 (Kitchen on left, where it currently is in a much smaller, crappier version)


Here's some background info that may be helpful (repeat from an earlier post)

 Our house is a split-level, built in the 1950Âs.

 We are doing a kitchen addition which will be open to a dining area, living room and sun room area.

 I love to cook and our 3-year old daughter helps me cook all the time. We want to open up the kitchen so I can be cooking and cleaning and still keep an eye on our daughter while she is playing (eventually doing homework).

 I bake sometimes, but more often I cook curries, stir fries, soups, etc.

 Our current kitchen is only 10 x 10, so we really want a lot more storage and space so we donÂt bump into each other all the time!

Our plan/Desires:

 We are probably going to get cream colored inset cabinets (inspired by all the awesome cream cabinet kitchens we have seen on this site), going for a classic, yet warm look.

 Ovens: Wall oven and microwave; 30 inch cooktop. (We are not opposed to using a range rather than a separate cooktop and oven as long as we can find a good place for the microwave.) We absolutely do not want downdraft ventilation nor do we want the microwave over the range.

 Fridge: Standard depth 36 inch FD refrigerator.

 We would like countertop height island (would consider a peninsula) with seating for 3.

 We plan on running new, prefinished hardwood throughout the whole level.

 We would like to get some extra built-in bookcases and comfy chairs/ sofa into the rear of the addition, with a well-situated desk somewhere as well. Some extra pantry and/or china cabinets worked in to the layout would be nice if possible.

 We want lots of window in the back to take advantage of the nice view and have a sunroom effect.

Comments (91)

  • 14 years ago

    It goes without saying that your galley design was a big improvement, Rhome. Yeah, what was our KD thinking...designing a kitchen for one?! I feel like I should be paying you guys instead! (At least this design-build team has very reasonable rates, great references and are very open to our ideas.)

    Good point about the view from the island seating. I guess I am selfish and know I'll be prepping or washing dishes most of the time, and I'll have a nice view! (BTW, we are talking a nice serene hill with pine trees, not the ocean or anything like husband felt like maybe he oversold the view a bit..)

    Off to our contractors meeting in a few minutes. I am glad to know you like both layouts, Rhome. And that you seem to like it as well, Bob, Cavila, Remodelfla, and Bmorepanic (with your alterations, including reducing the island a bit.)

    Thanks again!

  • 14 years ago

    People come to the kitchen to be near the chef! Keep the view.

    We had an old man next door. He used to sit on the front porch all day in his underwear. Every once in a while, his grandkids would walk down from their house about ten houses up and they'd all sit out front cleaning guns and doing duck calls. He passed away and the rest of the family left town. The neighborhood is a bit more "normal", but sometimes I miss them.

    Rhome, I thought the galley just didn't work well. I wasn't criticizing you or your design or thought you claimed anything - I was being honest. Yours was way better than mine - I tried about 4 of them and they were very sad.

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    Having two kids (6 and 10), I'm just putting this out there. We moved from a house where all our rooms were down one long hallway. It was great when they were little. When they started getting older and more active, it got a little TOO close for comfort for us. They didn't care...I'm sure they would have if we were still there when they were teens. But having all the rooms in such close proximity just got to be a little bothersome. Sometimes it was noise coming from their rooms (if one would have a sleepover or whatever). But sometimes (and I'll put this delicately), we would have to muffle noise from our room out of paranoia. Did I put that delicately enough? ;P Anyway, it's something to think about since you're building and can start from scratch. It seems as if there can be something else done with this upstairs other than a long narrow hallway. However, if you're fine with this, then I vote number 1 layout because it's more versatile. And I would keep that bathroom to the left because of the open balcony and privacy of the kids going back and forth to the bathroom. I like the second front elevation. I'm looking at the set of four rectangular windows that's kind of in the middle of the house. Why do they seem to be attached to the roofline? They're really really high. Why is that?
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    Sure, the city might have noticed the stair error but they would have had no obligation to you to do so; they could have issued a permit and then flag it as a violation after it had been built, so never rely on an inspector for code compliance, that's your responsibility even if you hire a designer and a builder. Regarding the future room square footage, are you asking about zoning ordinance, building code, sewer/septic, or HOA regulations? I can't think of any maximum square footage restrictions in a building code; it is primarily concerned with safety and energy conservation so if you show a door to the space you must give it a use and design the floor structure for that use even if it is only storage. So call it storage so you don't need emergency escape windows and design the floor structure for a bedroom/living loading. You would probably show exterior insulation, a utility light, subflooring and omit all finishes. Are you suggesting that you might build above the Great Room later? Incidentally, a two-story space on a corner of a building needs additional attention for lateral bracing because wind forces are greater at corners and it is the floor that provides bracing for exterior walls so be sure to hire a good structural engineer.
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    Wow Rhome, I went to Beagles' open house (WHAT a kitchen and WHAT a house) today in PA and just got home to this wonderful posting of yours. THANK YOU! I am going to print it out and study it very carefully. My schedule is very crowded these next few days and I may not get back right away but I will study it carefully. I really appreciate it! Angela, the single oven is 27" tall, the micro is 19 inches tall (Including the face plate), and the steam oven is boxed- the box is 20" height. They are all made to go into 24" deep cabinets. I suppose the steam oven could go over the single oven, and I could just have a small micro anywhere (instead of an advantium), but the steam oven has to be plumbed so it would not work in Rhome's layout above. The canisters are about 7" diameter and 5" diameter- my stirrers, spatulas, tongs, large spoons, my prep and cooking utensils are all crammed into them right now. The rice cooker creates a fair amount of steam and I would like to keep it out next to the cooktop so that I can place it under the hood when cooking. Similarly the thermomix can produce steam when it is cooking and stirring, depending on what I am making.I don't think they would do as well in a cabinet or appliance garage.
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    hmmmm this is interesting.....i've actually changed those 2 or 3 rooms around alot. I originally had it so that you had to walk through the laundry to get to the PR, which was the big no-no. We ended up with the PR on top, and laundry/storage in the south. What is interesting is that all this time (6 months!?) no one I've spoken to - architects and contractors and friends and family, had a problem with having the PR on top. In fact, while we were discussing how to not have the PR accessed through the laundry, everybody felt that it makes the most sense for the PR to be right next to the entrance to the stairs to go downstairs. That seems to be where people expect the PR to be - by the entrance. While, the laundry was put directly next to the entrance to the MB for convenience. Everyone who saw that thought it would be great to have the laundry there. So now that you guys are telling me not to have the PR there, I really don't know what to think, and don't know what to do. Personally, having the PR with easy access to the kitchen/living room is actually a plus - why would I want my guests to hunt around for the bathroom when they need it? People like peeing before they leave a restaurant/party/house etc. Personally I never thought it would be a problem to have the PR so close to the kitchen, since it has a door anyway. And also, putting the PR near the entrance of the MR would not benefit me at all - whoever lives in the MR (me) won't need to use the PR so close. Having the Laundry there just seem to make most sense? I'm just shocked that I've never heard this rule before. I guess I have not been to enough nice houses? And I have come to some conclusions on the fridge locations - splitting the fridge looks nice due to symmetry, but the problem is, just about every example of a split fridge I've seen have both relatively close together. OK, I accept that in reality you either need the fridge or the freezer, you don't need them close by, but once I got the tape measure out, and saw the actual distance - 13.5', between the freezer and the fridge (which is also the length of the island), thats just too far away.
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  • 14 years ago

    Here's an odd thought... which is typical for me. I have a dual island fetish so since I can't have one I think someone should. It needs major tweaking and ignore the "stuff" outside the frame... I didn't see it to delete it but you should get the idea. Highlighting beautiful views, kids space, table space, and I dunno... it could also be major league off base but I had fun doing it.

  • 14 years ago

    Ooooh, dual islands! I share your admiration for them and this does seem like a space that might lend itself to two islands to orient as much activity as possible to the back wall.

    Another way to get at that might be to do a 30 X 10 or 11 addition instead of 20 X 15 or 16. This would increase wall space facing the nicer view and cut it down on the nosy neighbor side.

    You could move the swivel chairs, bookshelf and desk into the 10 X 10 space that would be where your future patio is now for more of a true sunroom space. I think you could keep much of the most recently revised layout except the pass-through cabs which would return you to more of an eat-in kitchen feel. There would likely be some refiguring of the island and sink run too. The patio could be moved to the back of the house (with strategic anti-nosy landscaping) and the sliding doors could exit where the swivel chairs are now.

    This arrangement might also help to shrink the bowling alleys a little and bring the view closer to the dining table.

    It may be more reworking than you might want to do at this point, or be infeasible for some other reason, but it might be worth considering.

    Hope your meeting went well!

  • 14 years ago

    The layout looks very nice, except for one thing. I had a refrigerator in the path of a walk through, which is what you have...and I can tell you that it was a huge problem! It looks like you will only have 10" clearance if you have the door open fully, and every time you do...anyone trying to walk past, will have to wait or walk around. It's a headache. So..if I were you, I would consider putting the fridge on the wall where the range is.
    The wall where you have the fridge now could be a wine cooler, with a little bar above. It would work well there, if you could move the fridge. JMHO

  • 14 years ago

    Oh, my esteemed friend, Bmore, please don't think I was offended or felt you were being critical...Nothing of the sort! I was just explaining my vision of the space-- Just a different way of looking at it than yours, which I completely understood and believe had just as much merit. When I'm cooking, I'm too busy to care about view. When I'm hanging out with my family at the table, or parked in a chair enjoying a moment of stillness and quiet, that's when I like to see the relaxing view outside. Since the kitchen still had a view in the galley, but the dining didn't in the large L, I went for the win-win approach with the former. :-)

  • 14 years ago

    Hello...Oof....Back from our meeting and a dose of reality. Everything we want is expensive! (Sorry for stating the obvious...but we are new to all of this.) There are so many gorgeous kitchens on the FKB and I am starting to realize how much some of them most cost.

    Thanks for your feedback, diwomen1. Actually, the pass through cabinets will probably have to wait, so there won't be any problem with clearance. On the plus side, we will have a very open feel!

    Feeling a bit overwhelmed and have a lot to think about...supposed to pick out drawer, cabinet types tomorrow and am soooo not ready to do that. It's just to get a rough estimate of cost, but still....

    Remodelfla, the two island approach is very interesting...Right now, I am not sure my addled brain can handle another layout, but I really think it's so great that you can come up with such creative ideas!

  • 14 years ago

    Missed a post....Cawilla, one of our neighbors did a bump out kind of like that and it really worked for their set-up. brain can not compute another layout right now...but thanks for the cool idea!

    Rhome....the galley concept is still on the table. The one thing we didn't think of is that the kitchen in the rear screws up the cool symmetrical long window effect b/c you have to start the windows about the counters on the right side. With the galley, you could have longer windows throughout the whole back wall.

    Lots to think about!

  • 14 years ago

    Be sure you get full-extension drawers! :-)

  • 14 years ago

    Hello again!

    Feeling a lot better now after a tentative cabinet meeting with the KD. We also made a major tweak, adding a wall and a corner pantry (inspired by Rhome's and Buehl's and others I found on here.) I didn't realize how much I wanted a pantry until I saw them on here! We also moved the dining table to the back. The table looks a little crowded, but it is bigger than our current table. Also the aisles in the KD sketches are all 48"; we might go 42" between the island and range wall, which would give us more dining space.

    I am almost scared to get your feedback, since we really like this layout, but here it is. Please let me know if you see any issues, layout-wise and/or with storage. Some things are labeled; there is a single trash pull-out in the island, and an oil/vinegar pullout thingy to the right of the range. We still might consider a cooktop/wall oven set-up, but have to work on our budget so see if that's a wise choice.

    We will be knocking down the front load-bearing wall, so there will be a pillar that will be integrated with archways. You can see tentative pencil sketch that our KD drew in the last sketch. Sorry if this is too many photos! Anxious to hear your thoughts!

    My husband's layout that we gave the KD: (The actual pantry might be a little different; there will be a filler panel between the fridge and the pantry)



    Range wall:


    Sink wall:


    Corner pantry: ('s very light.)


    View from front door, with tentative arches: (Would create a cool sitting nook/piano area that part of the living room)


  • 14 years ago

    I'm so glad you came up with a layout your excited about. I like the frig placement and the work area looks efficient. I'm concerned about the clearance between the one chair on the island and the table. In that space there appears to be barely 36" with the chairs pushed in. YOu need 2' of space while the person is sitting. No one could pass by and you couldnt' have two people in each space ( I don't think).

  • 14 years ago

    Make sure you'll be able to open the fridge door toward the pantry. If the pantry didn't extend past the fridge front, you'd be OK, but with most fridges, you need more than 90 degrees to open and pull out the drawers past the door shelves. With a French door and this plan as drawn, the door handle will hit the pantry wall. If you can angle the face of the pantry back so it's at a 45 degree angle and even with the fridge sides, it should be OK. Is there a reason for the odd shape to the pantry, anyway? With the door so close to that side of the pantry, you won't lose anything by trimming it back on the fridge side.

    The table area is a little tight and a little close to the island seating, but I think it's something that you can make work.

  • 14 years ago

    This is a caution, not a fault. The dining space is only about 8.5 feet wide and you have a large empty space.

    This is an example - maybe not the best - of trying another island shape to increase the table area, use some of the floor space and tame the pantry walls a bit.

    This pantry is larger - but does it by taking more of the corner space. It extends the divider wall of the kitchen just a bit to line up with the post.

    It transfers the eating area to the end of the new shape - using up some of the empty floor space and providing some spaces with window vista (waves at rhome) as well as cook vistas. Cook can socialize with people at table and seated on stools simultaneously. Also accommodates a buffet or a helper on the outside of the island without having to remove stools.

    Don't be afraid of us - altho sometimes we do resemble taskmasters! We all want you to have the best kitchen possible and for you to enjoy it for a long time.

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks for your comments everyone! We would much rather know what you think now that regret our layout. Please be honest.

    Rhome- the KD did put in a panel between the fridge and pantry, which I assume was to make sure the fridge would open completely. I think he changed the pantry a bit. I stupidly forgot to ask for a printout of the new layout, though, so I can't tell you the exact details. I'll try to get them to fax them to us.

    Remoldfla and Bmore....I see the concerns with the cramped dining space. I like the new island shape, though I am not sure that we want to give up that much living room area. What do you think about shrinking the island a few inches?

    Thank you all for your help! BTW, how exactly are you changing our plans like magic? Photoshop? Very cool, whatever it is!

  • 14 years ago


    Hard work indeed! You are getting there - this is the tough part & right now there are too many cooks in the kitchen - but it is a good thing. These are the die hard TKO that have tried & true and all well intentions on your behalf for getting what YOU want. That, becomes the bottom line & can easily get muddied in the waters - You morph into a 13 yo girl that changes her mind w/the wind (yes, we have ALL done that!) - So while you really feel the push (perhaps fr. dh, KD, GC) to get the floorplan so they can hit the cabinet order button - DON'T rush. You have been in a frenzy of design overload, coupled with reg day to day duties and thinking about the finishing touches, appliances, windows, flooring, etc...
    The world won't stop because you cab order comes in 2 weeks or 2 mos. later than anticipated and don't allow anyone to think it will. In this economic down turn they (all involved) want $$$$ - keep things in perspective...

    - I'll throw a few things out there:
    I would not totally remove windows on neighbor side - due to balance and natural light - I would consider carefully placed & sized windows
    - Speaking of windows - do the one's on plan match the current architectural spirit of the existing? Have you taken pics of outside of house & seen what new windows will look like - esp in front you would want them to appear as they have always been there or the front of the home will be off balance.
    - The sink windows - if you can get casement there I would do so, as double hungs are more difficult to operate in that application
    - Pillar/arches - It appears the pillar in the LR will really be a hinderance - does there have to be a pillar? if not, what is the other option for load bearing? if so, can it be placed in a different location.
    I don't know if you stated type of home you have, if I recall it is small ? 1600sq ft or so. To me, introduction of pillars/archways have the propencity to upset the orig rendering of the existing architecture - making the home something it just isn't - if that makes sense. While there is excitment about expansion/new space - seeing the big picture is important. Trying to convey this properly - hope it is coming across right -
    If the rest of the home is modest with smaller rooms and simple design - putting archways,french doors,cathedral ceilings and pilars will cause an off balance
    As I drive around my town - my favorite additions are the ones that just look like they have always been there - they are carefully crafted to embrace the architecture of the original home.
    I'd rec taking pics of your home inside & out - taking night time pics of exterior helps with what the final exterior will look like -
    You could post here & may get help w/someone photoshopping the adddition to your existing space in & out.

    - Last thought .... Have you had any designs w/o island?

    I hope this helps

    Good luck

  • 14 years ago

    I didn't MOVE the living room wall - I made it a bit longer.

  • 14 years ago

    I am amazed that you all are giving way more thought into our home than our contractors!

    Jejvtr...very insightful and thought-provoking comments. We are going on vacation next week (with internet access) so we have some time to think about our plans and will not be ordering cabinets until sometime after we back. We can get a LVL beam for $4700 to avoid having the pillars, which is something we may consider. We have a 3 bdr split-level; nothing fancy in an East Coat neighborhood where the house values are around $350,000 or so. Additions are very common here b/c people love the neighborhood. We have seen three that open up in the back with cathedral ceilings in the back and they looked a breath of fresh air creating a very open feel. The pillars with archways...I haven't seen that. Some neighbors just have a plain ol' pillar in the middle of their expanded living room. Wasn't a great look...maybe we will try to go see it again to see what we think. Good reminder not to rush....The whole process feels like riding in a race car at 90 mph!

    I will keep the rest of your ideas in mind as we continue our layout process.

    DH also loves Bmore's island idea.

    Re: the empty space diagonal to the island...that will be a toy area (and/or bookcase/desk) for a while so we are going to leave it empty for now and let it evolve with our needs.

    I did find the updated plans if this helps at all, so you can see the pantry/fridge corner and dining clearance.

    The whole level:


    Just the kitchen area:


  • 14 years ago

    Glad you receieved my thoughts as well intended - I always fear I'm not conveying the spirit appropriately -
    Glad you are going on vaca - that will offer a much needed buffer from the 90mph pace and you can digest recent info.

    $4,700 for an LVL seems very high, but not know what the expanse is or what is involved with install. I had to have several in a reno 3 yrs ago - due to prior plumber cutting way too many/too big holes through joists (jerk!) -

    Try to take interior & ext existing space pics before you go - there are lots of talented folks here (as you know) who may provide insight & do mock ups

    Enjoy vaca!

  • 14 years ago

    So sorry, Bmore...(looks like we cross-posted). I misunderstood the drawing....I had a 3-year old tugging at my leg the whole time I was looking at it! She is at school now, thankfully! The island shape is really awesome. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

  • 14 years ago

    Hello again! Thanks again for all our your helpful feedback. I am bumping up this thread again with two different layouts for our kitchen addition. We would be very grateful to hear your thoughts and input. Both of these additions are only 15 feet, as opposed to 16 ft. earlier, which will save us several thousand dollars.

    We have had a few changes in our situation that have prompted these new layouts.

    -Our nosy neighbor finished making his deck and it actually has a frame around it with supporting beams that blocks him from our view. So we donÂt mind facing that side anymore.
    -We realized that moving the kitchen to the back meant that half the windows would have to stop at counter height. We want to be able to have all the rear windows go down to about 16-20 inches above the floor, to bring in lots of light and the nicer view. We also were concerned about the exterior appearance if we didnÂt have any windows on the rear right side if we moved the kitchen there. (Thank you, Jejvtr, for bringing this to our attention.)
    -We wanted to have the kitchen connected with both dining and family room areas. These options create more of a "great room" feel.

    These two options have the kitchen in the middle of our ground floor. Option 1 creates a somewhat isolated front living room. Option 2 has two entrances to the kitchen from the front living room, but will have the added expense of a 36" range.

    Option 1:

    Option 2:

  • 14 years ago

    Welcome back!
    Option 1 - I like less cut-through traffic and having more options in arranging the living room. I think the living will become somewhat ornamental as your focus will naturally shift into the new space.

  • 14 years ago

    First of all, I'd urge you to decide which you want, a range or cooktop and oven, and then make the layout fit your needs, since either is possible in the amount of space you have.

    I think I'm voting for option 1 for the reasons Bmore stated. I would like to see a nice dish storage unit where you have the fridge, the fridge where you show the pantry (and maybe oven and mw, too) for more workspace on both sides of the stove, and a prep sink in the island. :-)

    I need to point out that your corner 'sitters' at the island will be sharing leg space.

  • 14 years ago

    Wow, you all are fast! Thank you so much for the quick feedback.

    We worked up Rhome's suggestions. I really like the idea of the dish storage near the DW and dining table. Do you think the fridge seems far away from the dining table and island?

    On the 36" range vs. cooktop/oven...It will save us money if we can get the cooktop option to work, so that's in this updated layout.

    If we put the ovens near the fridge, wouldn't we need a fridge landing area?...Which would make it hard to fit in a prep sink.....Too far left would conflict with the fridge landing, too far right, might as well use the other sink?? Thoughts?


  • 14 years ago

    I think the island and counter next to the stove can serve as landing area. Others may not agree, but as long as there's space fairly handy, it's not a huge deal to me. You have plenty of room for a prep sink. You can work around it for landing space if you put it on the corner, but you could also put it to the right about 18" or so, if you'd prefer. This would leave you about 4 ft of island to its right still...Not too close to the main sink to negate the benefits of having the prep sink.

    Is the pantry full height? What do you have in mind for the appliance garage area? Is there a reason you don't have the cooktop centered in the space? Oh, I see that it's centered on the island. You may, then, want to check an elevation or 3D of that wall to design it how you like...Maybe enlarge the pantry or move it out a bit from the corner to balance things out...which could be a good thing, either way.

  • 14 years ago

    Welcome back - hope you had a nice get away.

    Range vs. Cooktop & wall ovens - I'm surprised the cooktop would save you$$ typically that version is more - Purchasing separate appliances & adding cost for more cabinetry below cooktop & surrounding the wall ovens

    - How do you plan to vent the range/cooktop - It appears that your only option in that space is downdraft which is less than desirable. That is my only concern w/both layouts - cooking odors, grease etc has lots of room to travel many places given this set up. I wish there was an option to have it on an exterior wall - that would secure efficient ventilation

    - Glad the neighbor thing seems to be working itself out. I have a row of hemlocks on one side of our backyard property line - I keep them as a tall hedge more or less, just keep triming the tops - to aprox 8' tall. Plenty of privacy. Arborvite are another option - although I'm not a big fan of them, they have a purpose. Either way make sure you don't plant too close to the property line to allow for mature growth - keeping the trimed keeps the bottom 1/2 healthy and fuller.
    Just had a thought about the neighbor deck - do they have a permit (you can easily ck at Town hall building dept) - We had similiar issue @ our summer home in Maine - neighbor built deck off 2nd story - no permit - made us feel like we were in a fishbowl when they sit out there.

    Good luck

  • 14 years ago

    Good morning! Thanks...we did have a great trip to the beach, Jevtr.

    I hadn't factored in the cost of the cabinetry in the wall oven/cooktop option. I am having a hard time finding a decently reviewed 36" range for under 5K (wasn't sure if we would want to try the Bertazzoni, NXR, Fisher and Paykel..anyone have opinions on these?) I like the look of the range better, so I would definitely still consider it if we could find a mid-priced option.

    Re: ventilation....We definitely don't want a downdraft. Hopefully, we could vent up the wall through the ceiling. I'll have to ask our GC about that tomorrow.

    Rhome- I would like to have a full-height pantry; bigger if possible sounds good. We'll make up a 3D mock-up soon and think about how best to center the cooktop, etc. And add a prep sink. I keep thinking I could save money without one, but it's really about the same cost as a drawer stack, so I need to stop worrying about the expense.

    Thanks again!

  • 14 years ago

    I really like the kitchen in the center of the house. This design is working well I think. And as much as I love openness, I think you made the right choice to close off that second opening. I think this will encourage traffic to go around the main work areas rather than through them.

    I am strongly pro prep sink because it will let you use the island more easily as your main prep space. With only the main sink, you'll likely wind up doing your prep work near the sink, facing the wall. Using the island for prep will allow you to face out into the rest of the space, and your nice view.

    If you wanted a landing space near the fridge, could you integrate the desk with the bookshelves? Maybe a secretary-style desk with hutch flanked by bookshelves? Pottery Barn has a couple of secretary/hutch combos (one called Graham, I think) as an example.

    I really like how this is coming together for you. I know it's been a lot of work, but I think you've done well.

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks for your comments, cawila. I checked out Graham and it is beautiful. We'll definitely keep that in mind. Good point about the prep sink encouraging use of the island.

    Will also keep hemlocks/arborvite in mind when we get around to planting shrubs, Jejvtr. Storing that away in my ever-growing idea file. Thanks! About the neighbor's deck...I don't think the neighbors need a permit...and it wouldn't be anything we would want to pursue anyways as they have always been very friendly with us. Little do they know that they are about to have 3 months of our home remodel to watch from the new deck!

  • 14 years ago

    I would create a "real" spot for the TV. It looks kinda stuck in the corner. If it is going to be part of the room, and you building an addition, the architecture should accomodate the TV, not the other way around.

  • 14 years ago

    Palimpsest, Thanks for your feedback. We could always switch the TV and dining areas; that might make suit the TV better. (We might not have a TV in the great room, but want a decent option if we decide to go that route.) Switching the TV and dining areas would make setting the table a little harder, but would make it a little easier to get to the fridge during meals. Hmm....More to think about.

  • 14 years ago

    Here's an updated layout....Would love comments, esp. about fridge and MW placement. (We read that people usually put the fridge near the MW, but couldn't get that to work while keeping a pantry.) We shifted the range a bit and made changes to the dining/TV areas as well. Thank you so much for all of your help, everyone!


  • 14 years ago

    Or....We could put the Fridge on the same wall as the Range?
    Thoughts? Thanks in advance for any comments!!!!


  • 14 years ago

    That would be my favorite - but with the cooktop over a bit more - maybe a foot.

    One of the more silly but enlightening things we did was having dh take notes of where I went making some average meals. I found that given the way I cook (my ref is a shrine to condiments and left over bits - I am the queen of recreating leftovers), my relationship between the range and the ref was stronger than between the range and water source and was as strong as the relation between ref and sink.

    I'm just not organized enough to have the ref be in a different part of the room.

    In your case, you have kids. Kids spend 12 years being fascinated with the contents of refrigerators. And pouring those contents into glasses and heating them in the micro. So I have a minor reservation about it because the closest way to get a glass is to cut through behind you at the range, etc.

    It's looking good whatever you choose.

  • 14 years ago

    I prefer the fridge over on the side instead of on the same wall with the stove. It crowds the cooktop too much or moves it so it isn't completely behind the island. It's partially a form over function issue, but it would bother me to have the cooktop partly behind the island and partly not...but also function, because I like the prep area behind the stove, rather than an aisle behind the it.

    Is a 2 ft cabinet pantry that much more help than 2 ft of uppers and lowers? I'm not a fan of minimally sized cabinet pantries, so I would keep the microwave by the fridge and not have the pantry imposing on the stove run...Or WAIT, I might do something in the corner like Vicnsb's closet pantry, since you do have a lot of room in that corner. This is my new favorite style of pantry, or like the one Malhgold found and almost tried in her plan.

    Shoot, I can't find a photo of Malhgold's pantry already on the forum (and I have one, but on a different computer), but it was similar to Vic's how it tucked in behind the adjacent run...But it was doorless, so a different look/style.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Pantry thread with Vicnsb's photos

  • 14 years ago

    Hi Hollister,
    How do you use your microwave? Do you heat and remove the hot food and frantically set it on a nearby counter, like I do? I am so glad I have a counter next to the microwave. I need a counter near stove and sink obviously. I need the sink very near the stove.
    I need the pots and pans and dishes near the stove. Glasses near the sink. I like a pantry big enough to store plenty.
    Visited a friend this weekend with an island like you plan. They had the stove on the island.
    I know how people like the island concept. Another approach is to extend the island to the right and connect it to the wall. Move the stove and sink (and dish washer there). Watch the family (room) while preparing food and washing dishes and add a lot more room to the kitchen. And maybe forget the stools at the island. I would love to know how many people who visit this forum have stools at an island that they never use, because they have a wonderful table.
    Just more thoughts. You have thousands of options, as you know.

  • 14 years ago

    Hollister, I love the layout with the LR closed off. Great idea for many reasons.

    Given that, however, that bowling lane becomes the only major thoroughfare into your main living area. To me, having the fridge door open there would be a hindrance (even though it's a wide aisle). But even moreso, having to cross that thoroughfare umpteen times a day while cooking would be annoying, especially during busy times of the day (e.g. making breakfast and packing lunches; dinner's late -- you're trying to cook, fix drinks and set out a few healthy veggies for the grumpy, starving kids to nibble).

    There's also no real landing space there or next to the oven...I guess it depends how you cook and put groceries away. I know that some folks here say that for an FD fridge, landing space behind is more helpful than landing space next to it (we have the freezer-top model so I can't speak to that), but when that landing space is 5' away *across the main traffic lane*, to me, that doesn't make sense, given how often I just need to grab an ingredient, pour out a small amount, and put it back.

    I wouldn't want my oven in that traffic lane either...esp. not right around the corner from the stairs where someone could run into it (I'm not sure how often-used that downstairs area is, have you told us about that?).

    For pantry purposes, you have enough cabinetry in your cooking area that you could keep some of your used-many-times-daily staples within and avoid many trips to the pantry.

    What about your trash placement? I confess to being perpetually stymied about trash, especially in a large kitchen or great does one balance the needs of the cook, the cleanup crew, and the general population? (e.g. kids w/ granola bar wrappers and empty juice boxes, party guests, etc. -- do you want them tromping past the stove to toss that stuff?) I'd be tempted to put it on the island somewhere. I suppose you could add a wastebasket somewhere else for general use.

  • 14 years ago

    Also I have seem more and more expensive homes that are doing away with upper cabinets and using shelves. Glasses, dishes, spices, etc. that you can keep neat and that you use often is not in a cabinet. The rest of the stuff that needs to be hidden is in cabinets.
    While I have been rebuilding my kitchen (very slowly), I took off the doors. The dishes are white and shiny. The daily use glasses are beautiful slighty blue clear tumblers. The dinner glasses that never get touched are showy and sparkle. The open cabinets look great and the stuff is easy to get to. I will regret the day that I have to put the doors back on.

    A cheap way out that I have seen and that looks and works great: Connect the island to the right wall (I will call that the new bar, versus island.) Put the stove, oven, refrig, sink, etc. in the bar and wall to the right, making an efficient work triangle. On the wall where you currently have the cook top/range remove the cabinets. Add floor to ceiling storage with folding doors for access (i.e. a massive pantry versus inefficient cabinets). You save the expense of cabinets and probably double your storage.

    Just trying to confuse things more...

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks so much for all the great input, everyone! I went and looked at appliances again, so between those choices, budget and layouts, it's a lot to process!!! I'll probably have a new layout soon; we're trying to find a place to put the microwave closer. We are also considering going back to a 30" pro-range (Electrolux, if anyone has experience with that) which would help with the crowded range wall.

    Thanks again. I'll post more personal replies soon.

  • 14 years ago

    Hello again,

    Bmore....That's funny, my DH noticed the same thing a while ago...I am always making tiny trips to the fridge while cooking! Very good point about the MW placement. BTW, I just figured out that you are in Baltimore. We are in Lutherville, right near you! Small world!

    Rhome...I wish we could have more space on either side of the cooktop too. We made the sink aisle a little smaller so we could move the cooktop down a bit. Thanks for the pantry thread! We worked in a bigger pantry in this latest layout, which is much needed in our house. It means the single oven is realllllly far away, but I really don't bake much at all. Most of the time I use my Cuisinart Toaster Oven.

    Bugbite....Hmm...We have had various layouts with either the main sink or cooktop in the island and that didn't work for us. I really want a one-height island and fear I would either burn or drip all over the rest of the family at the island! We tried a peninsula approach and also ran into issues, though now I can't remember them!

    Scootermom....I am glad you like the closed off front room approach. We are feeling like we are getting closer and closer to our final layout, at last. We do go downstairs quite a bit. What do you think about where we moved the oven now? Do you think it's still dangerous if it's on the other side of the pantry? For trash...We will probably have a double trash near the sink, and a single trash in the island. And maybe another one near the desk area? Hmm...Still working on that one! here's another layout for you all! Thank you so much for your encouragement and feedback! We would like to get a rangetop and separate oven if we can get it work. I really want a 36" cooking surface, but don't want a 36" oven. The microwave will be in the cabinetry...copying Rhome's :)


  • 14 years ago

    Are you planning the mw in the upper cab? Do you have one picked out? Do you know how deep it is and how far it will overhang the counter? Did you know that I meant a pantry like Vic's in the corner between stove and sink so the stove can be centered behind the island? Just checking, not arguing with what you think will be best for yourself.

  • 14 years ago

    My favorites are:
    1. option 1 in the post at: Sat, Jun 20, 09 at 21:51 (kitchen only part) Great work triangle. Great design.
    2. The pantry and island are terrific in the Fri, Jun 5, 09 at 7:56 post. Love that kitchen layout. Living area is restricted, however.
    On the last layout, I wonder if you are packing too much den furniture in a 10 ft space. It looks very tight. Your couch is 5 ft from the TV. 1.5 ft from the chair to the couch. Nice in the drawing, but too tight in real life.
    If I had to do it right now. Finalize and wrap it up. It would be:
    Posted by bmorepanic on Fri, Jun 5, 09 at 7:56


  • 14 years ago

    One more thing. If you want to pick up a preception of more space, tell the builder to bump out the wall (not the foundation) the depth and size of the TV and related equip. Insert the TV and equip in that space. If you can do that without adding roof and slab you get a feeling of about a 2ft extension for very, very, very little cost. You have to be creative to make this work. It is kinda like the bump out some do for chimneyless fireplaces.

  • 14 years ago

    Ha! Neighbors! Waves a crab cake sandwich from the outskirts of Lauraville.


  • 14 years ago


    Boy this thread is getting almost embarrassingly long! You'd think we'd be able to figure out our layout after over 80 posts!

    Rhome- Aah...I was confused and didn't understand which corner you were talking about for our pantry. Our GC told us it's a lot cheaper for them to build a pantry in a pre-exisiting corner, so that's a reason driving our decision to put the pantry where you had suggested that we put the fridge. That is a cool pantry that vic created...I would have never thought to do something like that.

    I was thinking we would probably get a 2.0 cubic foot GE Profile...

    Cutout Dimensions for 27" Trim Kit
    Width: 26 5/8"
    Height: 19"
    Minimum Depth: 22" receptacle in cabinet, 19 1/2" receptacle outside cabinet
    Rear Width: 25 1/2" +-1/8"
    Rear Height: 16 3/4" +-1/16"
    Minimum Height from Floor: 36"

    That is quite deep, I am now realizing. I really only need the 1.0 but it doesn't come in stainless. I'll have to do a lot more research on this.

    Bugbite- I agree that that the TV area looks a bit crowded now. We don't have a sectional couch, nor will we have any money left to buy one after this remodel, so we'll probably end up using a much smaller couch and one nice chair. Good idea about recessing the TV, though I think we might not want to do anything permanent, in case we want to move things around eventually. I agree that Bmore's June 5 layout with the cool island was a great idea. I think we are leaning towards this new kitchen concept in the middle though, more for how it affects the rest of the house, and to avoid the risky unknowns of pillars and arches. It allows us to free up our TV den for an office. We will re-consider that fridge placement that you liked from the June 20th post. Thanks for your feedback!

  • 14 years ago

    Whoops! I was wrong...The GE 1.0 Spacemaker does come in SS:

    Exterior Width: 23 25/32"
    Exterior Height: 11 3/16"
    Exterior Depth: 12 9/32"
    Interior Width: 16 1/2"
    Interior Height: 7 7/16"
    Interior Depth: 11 1/4"
    Cutout Dimensions for Built-in Application with Trim Kit
    Cutout Width: 24 15/16" - 24 13/16"
    Cutout Height: 14 15/16" - 15 1/16"
    Cutout Depth: 16" for flush receptacle, 18" for in-cabinet receptacle

    So what depth would we need for a cabinet? Could we get away with only 16"?

    Thank you so much to everyone for all of your help, throughout this process!

  • 14 years ago

    I still feel that with the last plan you are hemming in your stove area which shouldn't be necessary in a space that large...
    But a piece of advice I wanted to offer is about the receptacle for your microwave. We put ours in the cabinet above the microwave so it wasn't behind and pushing the microwave out further. The cord just goes up through a hole and into an outlet in the back wall of the cabinet. That way we can also unplug it without hefting it out of the way. Don't know why we'd need to, but it's an option.

  • 14 years ago

    OK. I will stop it about the bump out after this.
    A bump out can be used later (if you remove the TV for book shelves, or (with doors) more storage or a bay window or future chimneyless fireplace or, well, I could go on and on, but I am sure you had enough about a bump out that will never happen. :-)

  • 14 years ago

    Bob, My DH really likes your bump-out concept! He's more of the artistic one, whereas I tend to freak out about anything that is going to cost extra! It's a good balance between us in the end, actually. I'll check with the GC's to get an estimate. If it's not too expensive, it seems like it would really add character and be a great use of space.

    Rhome, I have to admit that I didn't even understand what they meant by receptacles in cabinet until I read your post! Great idea to have the plug in a different cabinet. DH is working up some 3D models so we can see how that range wall works. I'll post them tomorrow if he has time to finish them.

  • 14 years ago

    Here's a rough 3D work up of the range wall. DH didn't have time to put in sinks, and some of the cabinetry isn't quite lined up right...and we still to do figure out the MW. But it's a start.


    In case you are interested, here's a photo of our current range, which will explain just how much we really need this remodel. (Yes, those cabinets are metal, and that drawer under the dishrack no longer closes...the light fixture about the dishrack broke long ago...etc, etc!)
    Right now, we have a 30 inch range with no landing on one side (there's a dishrack instead) and 7.5 inches on the other side!! It's basically a mess all the time because there is never anywhere to put anything! It's completely not up to today's code. But boy does it have a tight work triangle! :)


  • 14 years ago

    I am working with my lights now. I can't move my plugs but wish I could. In this 35 year old house they put plugs and switches where they thought they were the middle of the wall. Well one of those plugs is never used and creates a very big problem if I wanted to tile around it. If I could keep the plugs off the walls I would do it.
    Another thing that I am working on is my undercabinet lights. I determined which I will get (HD 3 pack 8watts FL 4100k around $28 for three and great light compared to the 7 others I tested.). The stove light (which I hooked up yesterday again after a year being off) can be turned off and on dependently. That's great flexibilty. The other new under cabinet lights also have that option. Wish I could independently flip the light over the sink light off and on. Maybe I will look at a light for over the sink that has a remote dimmer that can be placed lower (like a led light I saw at Lowes). I installed 5" recessed lights last week and put in 23watts CFLs. Great light with a HD n:vision 3500k cfl. For weeks I thought I had to go with the very low light reflector bulbs because of the look. But I don't even see the cfls because they are deep in the fixture and the light is beautiful. TCP (maker of N:vision) has a dimmable 20watt cfl that they say they approve for recessed cans.
    HD has a great 5" recessed can which is approved for insulation contact and is airtight. Halo has a great baffle for it. Got Lowes to price match HD and saved $4 each on the baffle. One other pont. Make sure all you lights are about the same Kelvin rating or some will be yellow (2700K) some 3000k (whiter) and some 4100K. All manufacturers don't create colors the same. So just be aware. For a white kitchen I don't want anything else than 3000k. Think I will also post this over in "lighting", since it really doesn't belong in the middle of your post.
    Off the subject, but that is what I am working on.