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Layout for Review/Input - Appreciate any and all help!

13 years ago

GW sages,

I am posting here the draft layout for my upcoming kitchen overhaul. I have loved reading all of the helpful suggestions and am finding endless inspiration in all of the beautiful kitchens on here! I would love any and all input from the faithful out there (I am pretty green)...

I have dutifully detailed all of our "info" based on Buehl's helpful questionnaire - see below for our story and our current plan. Sorry to be so long but I think it helps.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Goals: Since our current kitchen is very old (1950's vintage in a 200-year old house), we are basically looking for more/better of everything! More counter space, more/better designed storage, an island with casual seating and overall, a place in the house that is highly functional as both a place to cook and a place to entertain/lounge

Family: We are two adults and 2 boys every other weekend + Wednesday (ages 8 and 11). Hope to have additional children beginning in a year or two.

Kitchen workers: I am the primary user (cook) and DH helps modestly (sometimes with prep, usually just keeping me company/making drinks/setting the table). My two step-sons help set the table and like to watch me cook when they are with us.

How kitchen is used: Like most, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen - not just for cooking. I wish I had a place to read cookbooks and I occasionally work from home, so I see myself using the island a lot for things like that. Also we hope to use the space for entertaining and casual get-togethers.

Entertaining: Not a lot currently b/c house is under renovation and our kitchen is so sad/ugly/small. BUT we hope to do a LOT in the future! More casual/informal than formal, although I would like to have a dinner group someday with more formal dinner parties.

Separate Dining Room: Yes, although we want it to be fairly well integrated into the kitchen without being completely open (I really enjoy relaxing at the table and not seeing the messy kitchen after making a big or special meal). The dining room will have our only large table (seats 10) - so we will not have a formal dining room in the traditional sense, but it will be used for both "family" dining when we are 4+ people and for formal entertaining/meals. On average, we would be eating at the table 2-3 nights/week. Other nights it is just me and DH eating at the island.

Flexibility: This can be a little tough for us - we live in a 200 year old stone house (was actually a one-room schoolhouse) with walls that are about 14-16" deep! So no moving windows or doorways. The good news is that we really don't want/need to. In terms of the sink, I would really like it to be under the window, and centered. We have a large backyard with lots of creatures big and small that I would love to be able to look out and see. The only other thing that we are firm on is that DH does lots of woodworking and insists on trim/mouldings of certain widths (we are going for more of a "period" look). So around the cased openings into the kitchen, he wants to go with the wide trim, which sets limits on the amount of wall space available for cabinets. Also, the width of the cased openings themselves is somewhat fixed, as we are going for the same width in all rooms of the house and we already have 3 others in the size shown.

Baking: Yes, although it's not my primary kitchen activity.

Planned Appliances:

36" Gas Cooktop

Oven: Would LOVE to get the Miele speed oven and a 30" single wall oven. I use the oven a LOT when cooking and love what the speed oven could do for me in terms of convenience and combining oven/micro/toaster into one unit to conserve space and streamline the look of the kitchen

Warming Drawer: No

DW: Standard

Refrigerator: 30" Bottom freezer, single door, standard-depth

Ventilation Hood: No, downdraft behind cooktop. Do not want a hood.

Other: under-counter mini-fridge (21") for "beverage station" in an area separate from the main fridge so that DH and step-sons can easily prep/get beverages without entering into my work triangle. We are considering this a "must have" based on where the fridge is located in the plan - doing a separate mini fridge was the way that I would deal with having the fridge (a heavily used appliance by non-cooks) in a less-than-convenient spot (although honestly, I don't think what the plan calls for is so inconvenient).

Can't live without: 36" cooktop and speed oven + 30" single wall oven or double ovens (not smaller widths)

A few final notes on the drawing itself:

1. The plan is our "best thinking" after several weekends of research/drafting and a few consultations with a KD. We have tried several different configurations (changing the placement of the main/anchor appliances like the fridge, oven, etc), and we think this is our best bet in terms of maximizing cabinets and getting an island in. The opening/doorway along the bottom of the drawing leads into the DR (wall opposite the sink), while the opening on the left side of the drawing leads into a hallway that will have built-in coat closets/bookcases on either side of the opening.

2. To get the aisles wide enough, we have to go with the slanted corner cabinets flanking either side of the non-DR cased opening. I don't love these (not as functional), but they were the compromise we landed on to get the space we need in the aisles while still keeping the openings/trim to DH's specs.

3. This plan doesn't show upper cabinets but they are pretty straightforward. One glass door cabinet over the under-counter fridge, uppers above the sink wall and adjacent wall. Nothing out of the ordinary except the slanted corners. Also, above the oven I plan to have Buehl's AMAZING configuration of bakeware storage :)

4. The 12" base is for cookie sheet/cutting board storage (with junk drawer above), the 15" base is for trash/recycling, the 12" tall cabinet will be a pullout with multiple open-sided shelves, the 15" bases flanking the cooktop will have pull out trays, and there will be 2 deep drawers below the cooktop (not visible on plan). Also, the peninsula will be accessible from one side (oven side).

5 The cooktop in the island is (I think) really the only place we can put it even though that is somewhat of an atypical placement. I actually first found GW and these AMAZING forums by googling on that issue...after much reading and deliberation, I think that our cooktop on the island works quite well and I really like the idea of being able to "see" everyone in the kitchen when cooking. I think it works well because of...the next and final note...

6. The island will be counter-height where the cooktop is, but then elevate to bar height for the eating area. This design element was the main way in which I feel that having a cooktop on the island will work - it will be separated by a ledge that is about 11" (9" deep cabinet + 2" overhang) and provides a nice transition between the two areas. The "notch" behind the cooktop is for the downdraft vent (and I like the way that looks vs. a straight line).

The current plan is for the countertops to be some kind of stone (TBD) and the table top portion of the island to be wood (beautiful old distressed - LOVE IT!). Because the only way to get 42" high cabinets is to use wall cabinets (we are going with Thomasville - both for budget and for a style that we love), DH figured that we could get 9" wall cabinets and have the doors open into under the table top portion of the island. My thinking is that I will not put any handles and they will just look like paneled bases (that only I know open).

OK - I think that's everything - I tried to provide as much detail as possible in anticipation of the questions that may come up as well as to (hopefully) gain the most useful advice! We are mainly looking for help with the questions "Does this all fit/flow together?", "Is this the most efficient use of space?" and "What have we missed?!"

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