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Can I make my existing kitchen footprint work?

12 years ago

Hi all -

I previously posted a layout for an addition but we are having cold feet about doing such an extensive remodel for the relatively little space we gain. Thanks to those who suffered through that thread - you were so helpful that I realized maybe you can help me make my current home just work better for me. Quick background - 3 kids. Enough said.

Here's my current floorplan to scale (yes - those are 18 and 22 inch counters. Ceiling is 8'):

Here are my desires:

- more open connection between kitchen and dining to reduce the servant effect and traffic jams in/out kitchen. BUT I do not want it completely open because it is a small traditional house and the front door is right there and I am just not that neat. I like room transitions and I am afraid of the railway car look in my home if I take the whole wall down and have nothing there.

- one good prep space (currently the Ikea island)

- more storage/pantry

- willing to downsize to 30 inch range (anyone want an antique tappan deluxe?)

- over counter micro and toaster area for kids

- I have always thought of just making the wall to the dining room into a breakfast bar peninsula but I can't make the dimensions work!! Need help here.

Willing to move appliances I think.

The room has 3 doors which I know is limiting but they all get used!! I would hate to lose the side door since then we have to go through the house to grill/take garbage out. We could close the door to the hall but it gets heavy use from people coming up stairs from garage/family room and it also provides the (north facing) kitchen with a lot of light. So it would really need to be a compelling trade off to close it but could be considered.

Thanks for any ideas and feedback!

Comments (36)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I want to add one thing - I don't find my kitchen to be small to cook in (just lonely). In fact I would like a tighter work triangle as right now I am doing laps to get from fridge to ikea island to stove, etc. So a better flow would be lovely.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Domino- Instead of having to walk around the peninsula all the time, what if you closed off that extra doorway and put the peninsula on that side? Room for three stools, for the kids and a great snack/baking area. You could always add a second oven, under the counter, if necessary and have your microwave and toaster, to the left of the fridge. This keeps the kids out of your main work zone.

    I'd close off that window (yes, I know, it's never easy to lose a window) but you'd have a great access for your vent/hood and could have ventilation for a gas range, if you don't already. This would keep the cooking and clean up areas, close to the table, but the peninsula would give you a little division, hopefully cutting down on the 'railway car' effect :) {{gwi:1979589}}From Kitchen plans

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  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A "U" almost like you have and LL drew but with the peninsula on the bottom. I would choose not to lose a window. You'd keep your hallway the way it is. Top half: Prep sink and range. I'm assuming you can vent straight up through the roof since you mentioned coming up from downstairs, it makes me think there is no floor above the kitchen. Next to the door on the right, frig, sink under the window on long side, DW, lots of storage, peninsula. Orient your table the other way. Work at all?

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Does the 53" window have room for counter/cabs under it?

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I like Lavendar_Lass's plan because the front door to kitchen entrance has a better flow. Is the front door your everyday entrance to the house?

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    lavender - Thanks for the visual (and for sticking with me on these threads)! I hadn't thought of putting the peninsula there. I like your point about the zones - just wondering about the pinch point between stools and table and all the traffic that passes through that one opening. Most of the traffic into the kitchen on a daily basis is from the hall - not the front door. And the loss of light is a big concern - my kitchen is already very dark because of the northern exposure.

    remodelfla - I drew up your plan but I ran into 2 roadblocks. 1) Can't fit the fridge on the wall next to the sidedoor or the fridge door "traps" the person at the sink. And can't slide it more to the left (within 12 inches of the doorway) or there's not room to get out the door. So fridge has to go on the top wall (backing bedroom) I think.
    Also - can't turn my table or there is no room to get by. 10 foot wide room and 5-6 foot table (depending on how comfy we want to be). And yes - stovehood is currently vented through ceiling on the top wall of the plan.

    rhome - The 53 inch window is currently a deep one but I am willing to replace it and match it to height of the sink window since they are the same width and it will look fine from the street.

    dilly - I park in the garage (downstairs). Dh comes in the front door. Majority of daily traffic to kitchen is from the garage/downstairs and bedrooms. But I want it to "look nice" from the front door since that is where all guests come in.

    Trying to sketch out the plan with the peninsula on the bottom wall but struggling a bit with appliance placement.

    If I place the stove on the back wall (by door) I have 12 inches on left and 6 inches on right - then the 24 deep counter. Is this feasible? Then to keep the sink a little under the window there is just a tiny space between sink and stove. Off to my graph paper...

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I would move the garage door to the middle of the kitchen or even a little further to the south. You could then move the fridge next to the wall and gain an extra 30 inches of counter space between the frigde and stove and even more if you go to a 30 inch range. You loose the counter space along the garage wall, but I could not imagine you use it that much since it is outside of the kitchen triangle.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Domino- Your house has so much potential, I'm kind of glad you're rethinking the remodel. I think you can definitely work within your existing footprint and have a very nice layout.

    If you do decide to move the side door towards the window wall, you could slide the fridge down and put the range back on that wall, just further to the right, than it used to be. I'd keep the peninsula and maybe put a prep sink on it. Then, you have a great work zone, which is separate from your clean up zone.

    Maybe move the toaster/microwave over to that area, between the door and main sink (which would be a few feet smaller) and have that for a snack area, near the sink and not too far, from the fridge. Sorry I don't have software, but here's a quick sketch.

    This way you could bring back the window, but I like the doorway being closed to the hall. It might be a few more steps to bring up groceries, but you could set them on the peninsula to put them away. Hope this gives you some good ideas...and here's a prep sink, similar to the one in the plan :) {{gwi:1979590}}From Kitchen plans
    {{gwi:1979591}}From Kitchen plans

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    am finishing up my kichen remodel and kept same footprint: 11x13. it was the original 1942 kitchen w/just a few narrow counters. even though i have more cabinetry and it is deeper to meet todays standards, because the layout was maximized it feels bigger now and i have more storage and counter space! if you have not already done so, check out custom cabinetry vs. pre-made. by going custom i was able to really get exactly what i wanted and stretch the bounds of what i could fit into a small traditional kitchen.

    i think you are on the right track. will post pics when finished.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    lavender - I'm glad someone is feeling positive about my options! I am still scribbling up everyone's ideas and will post another layout but the cabinet options are looking pretty limited.

    babushka - thanks for the encouragement - can't wait to see your pics although I've already admired your marble. Any way that you could post a link to your layout?

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well...if you can make the window counter height then how would something like this work for you? Forgive the crude drawing... I don't have a design program.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ah, remodelfla and I are thinking along the same lines - mostly. ;-) I stuck the range between the windows, too.

    Here are two ideas for you to try on:

    and

    G gives you a tight dedicated cook zone and a dedicated clean-up zone. H gives you a pantry and a snack zone between fridge and pantry.

    You could add a short peninsula to the left of the range to both plans but it would be only about 20" of counter from the corner (aiming to keep that aisle 48" since it gets quite a bit of traffic). Leaving the peninsula out also gives you more room to move easily around the table.

    Neither of these give you island or peninsula seating. Your space isn't really large enough to accommodate back to back seating.

    Now if that back door can be moved down that wall and the front wall can bump out 3' - just for the kitchen - then here's an idea (not drawn to scale):

    This does increase the budget but not as much as your earlier addition would and it certainly doesn't negatively impact your DR space as much as that plan did. In fact, this allows you to have a decent DR space.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    here you go. first image is the empty room dimensions, second is the final layout of cabinetry.

    PRE-CONSTRUCTION DIAGRAM: ROOM DIMENSIONS

    FINAL CABINETRY LAYOUT. NOTE DOOR TO ACCESS GARAGE AND CORNER KITCHEN WINDOW STILL IN SAME PLACE, JUST NOT REFLECTED IN DIAGRAM

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    domino3, I forgot to ask you last night - where exactly is your DR table placed? It looks like it's about 30" from the area you're designating as kitchen. If so, I can't see how you can get a peninsula with seating, as LL suggests, in that same space and have enough aisle room to get past chairs and diners.

    I need to tweak my plans because I forgot to figure the table into the clearances. I just did a quick check based on my above assumption and the aisle between table and DW counter (plan G) is something like 33" and a fair bit less than that between table and fridge (plans H & J). That's too narrow to work. Give me more specifics about your table placement and I'll give it another stab.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa- You're probably right, but the table could move a little, toward the living room, or be turned, or even replaced. I think Domino's concern was avoiding the 'railway car' feeling of one long room. Any ideas to divide up the space, a bit?

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Domino- I know you wanted to see if you could change things and improve your home, without adding on. In your earlier post, you had the dining table in the kitchen. Would you still be open to that?

    Would you consider switching the kitchen and dining areas? Maybe having a peninsula between the living room and kitchen with the table in the 'southeast' corner? You could leave the side door as is...and how do you feel about banquettes? There are a lot of possibilities, but it would help to know how you plan to use the space :)

    Also, would you be open to closing off a window, or making two smaller, if you could add a window, on the same wall as the side door? That corner would make a nice, sunny breakfast/dining area, if it's something you'd like to consider.

    For me, I chose to have an informal dining area in my remodel, with a banquette on one side. It makes more sense, for the way we live, than walking around a table all the time...to get to the kitchen. Just another possibility.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My concern about moving the DR table farther into the LR is that it would act as a road block between front door and hallway.

    Turning it to run vertically in the space won't work at all. The room's width is 121" and her table, IIRC, is 42" x 72". She needs to seat 5 people daily with the ability to expand the table to seat 8 with 2 at a counter or 10 if she doesn't have counter seating. 121" - 72" = 49" to split between 2 aisles. Never gonna work on a daily basis, never mind when she has company.

    The only way to place the table is horizontally. That gives her 39" aisles on top and bottom sides of the table. That's less than NKBA recs for walk behind seating aisles (44") but I think it's doable. Our aisle between table and island (no seating) is 40" and it's a major pathway through our kitchen. I'd like a few more inches but even so, it's never been an issue for us.

    domino, I think you should be working within a 121 x 142" footprint for your kitchen. That will give you 44" between table and kitchen footprint with the left edge of your 72" long table lining up with the front door wall. Let me see what I can come up with.

    Personally, I wouldn't swap kitchen and DR because I like having my social spaces - LR and DR - together because it makes it easier to expand when there's a crowd.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa- My concern about the dining table is that it's just floating in the space. There's no place for a banquette or china hutch and not enough room to center it on the window or between the doors.

    I'm just wondering if Domino has thought about switching the spaces and making the kitchen more of a conversational area, with the living room (like having a peninsula where the table is now) and then having a dining area in the 'southeast' corner.

    It may not work, but it's another option I'd like to see Domino consider. Did you see her earlier post on the Remodeling forum?

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Domino- Here's a possiblity, with a corner banquette (2 people on one side, one on the other) and three chairs. The range is between the windows (smaller windows) and the banquette has corner windows, starting above the back cushion/upholstery. If you're going to do a banquette, make sure it's comfortable and you use a pedestal table.

    From the side door, there's a hutch, pantry, fridge, dishwasher, main sink and trash pullout. (A plate rack over the sink might be nice.) On the other side, there's a range between the windows, with a prep sink in the corner of the peninsula and room for two (maybe three) stools.

    This may not work for your lifestyle, but it's just another possibility. Of course, there could be changes...one sink with bigger windows and the peninsula and fridge/range across (like you have now) but you're still crossing the aisle, to use the sink. Let me know what you think. One other advantage...no more carpet under the dining table! :) {{gwi:1979596}}From Kitchen plans

    And here's a plate rack, over the sink and range between windows... {{gwi:1979597}}From Kitchen plans
    {{gwi:1979598}}From Kitchen plans

    And a couple of corner banquette pictures... {{gwi:1979599}}From Kitchen plans
    {{gwi:1979600}}From French Country Cottage

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    LL, nice idea but it limits the ability to extend the table for company, which domino wants. LR furniture can be shifted to accommodate an expanded table. Kitchen counters can not.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    True, but more people can fit into the banquette...and I understand what you're saying, but I want to see what Domino thinks. Whether it's what we would choose or not, I'm trying to come up with as many options, as possible :)

    Have you thought of any way to break up the railway car feeling, that Domino mentions, above? Can you fit in a peninsula anywhere, keeping the dining table where it is?

    I think Domino would like to keep the table by the living room, too...but it would be nice to have some kind of seating in the kitchen, especially for the kids!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa- Here's a link to Domino's post on the Remodeling forum. Maybe you can read through it and come up with something wonderful that will work in her space. Maybe a smaller addition would be a better fit. I think the cost/compared to what she's getting, is really giving her cold feet. Maybe you can come up with something better? I actually have faith in you, because you've come up with some great layouts, in the past! :)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Domino's other post

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Do I see the kitchen that ate the house straining at the cage on this thread?

    Yes, absolutely, Domino, and I definitely favor something on the general order of Remodelfla's idea.

    You said it yourself, many things about this space will work well for you with intelligent reorganization, and you don't have to be lonely. Create a graciously discrete raised counter opening/window to frame you as you work, but hide the mess. Style it carry the look you want for the living and dining rooms on that wall. Make it well proportioned. Design the wall you see behind it to look nice. It needn't be a focal point, just an attractive backdrop.

    Keep the doorways, of course. You've worked with them, they've worked for you, and you want to keep them. Put all your main cooking functions on one side of the kitchen, the non-traffic side, so you don't have to run across traffic as you work.

    Your home is on the compact side. Don't duplicate dining seating in what is already a compact dining room, or you'll end up with physical and visual clutter all over the place. Bad function and bad design, and more, more, more to clean up and around.

    If you'd like company in the kitchen, tuck in a seat for 1 or 2, maybe even give it a table big enough for a glass of wine. It can be a stool (or two) that slides under the counter, a built-in seat on the doors side, or a platform rocker with cushions. The family sits at the table, though, where you can chat easily with them when you're still in the kitchen.

    The idea of what a kitchen "should" have and be grew with the ballooning of house sizes in the last quarter century--NOT because cooking somehow needed more room (it actually needs a lot less than our grandmas needed). Also, with the explosion of more and and moooore low-price thiiings, the perceived need for closets and other storage for them grew like a baby dinosaur hatched from a medium grade A egg.

    Fortunately, your space does offer excellent potential just as it is. Lucky you.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's a plan that works within your space and allows you enough room around your table.

    It's a little lean on storage because of the side door and the windows. I addressed the side door issue - with a relatively minor tweak compared to your previous ideas - with this idea: (I saw one of your proposals that bumped out the side wall by 1.5' - thanks for the link, LL, and for the vote of confidence - so I wondered if perhaps a 3' addition is possible.)

    And addressed both door and window issues with this idea:

    The storage area just ahead of the door could be command central, somewhere to store lunch boxes, mail, etc. In other words, it would be a pseudo-kitchen desk area.

    btw, one of the plans you posted - side bumped out 1.5', front bumped out (4'?) with a full bath is a nice plan. But it's definitely a more costly addition than either plans L or M would require. But you don't get all of the items on your wish list with my much smaller remodel. You wrote that you live in an area where homes are expensive. Does that mean that you would get a larger return on your remodeling dollars? Or would adding on such a large addition over-improve your home? As much as taking on a large addition remodel causes butterflies in your stomach, if your local real estate market supports such an expenditure, it could be a very wise investment in your home. You'd need to consult local realtors to get an answer to that question for you.

    Oh, one more thing - do you have a basement? Can you add a full bath down there? It's not as ideal as having one on your first floor but it would be a way to add a bathroom without increasing your home's square footage.

    Rosie, I drew up a plan that put all the appliances on the bottom wall. Looked good until I realized two things: the windows prevented the use of uppers so storage was very limited (no place for dishes, glasses and silverware) and the length of the kitchen encroached on the DR area too much.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Domino, I looked at your post in the remodeling thread and came up with this variation on a plan you posted there.

    I hope it's okay I'm posting this idea in this forum and not in the remodeling forum (I rarely go to the remodeling forum).

    Anyhoo, here's what I did.

    I shifted the entry to the right and pivoted the bathroom and placed it against the stairs. I also moved the sink and toilet to the lower wall so that they aren't on view from kitchen or front door when the bathroom door is open. Moving the bathroom against the stairway wall eliminates the need for a second aisle/hallway, freeing up more space for living spaces.

    This move also creates a master suite "wing" (notice that I added a door to make that area more private) and a kids' "wing". I didn't play with reconfiguring the master suite area but you certainly can change things around now that it's the designated grown-up area.

    I closed the opening to the kitchen a little so that it wasn't quite as much on display from the front door but still open enough to allow easy flow between the two spaces. Beyond that, I really didn't play with the kitchen lay-out. I couldn't make out the dimensions of the space beyond 14 feet & something and 12 feet & something. But if this idea interests you and you want to play with the kitchen space some more, let me know.

    This idea is definitely the costlier option but it gives you a lot of (eek, quoting a HGTV show name!) bang for your buck.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow - Thank you all so much for all the thought and feedback. You guys come through!!

    If we go the "kitchen only" remodel we won't be removing any exterior walls. And I concur - the dream of peninsula seating is dead :( Also, I think I would keep the dining area near the living room and some token separation between kitchen and dining. This is in part due to the style and age of the home and in part the result of my more traditional leanings about separate spaces. So I am liking the options that have a small peninsula with maybe a raised bar that separates the rooms. This gives me a mini buffet area/room divider and hides my kitchen mess a bit from the front door. Since I can't have the seating on the raised side I was wondering about 12 inch cabinets or shelves to provide dining room storage. Kind of like this:

    https://www.houzz.com/photos/shingle-style-home-in-hanover-nh-victorian-dining-room-burlington-phvw-vp~106100

    The side door will likely stay but it gets little traffic so the opening does not need to be large (it's current 30 inch clearance works just fine for us) The hall door is still up for grabs. I've been playing with the options suggested (like remodelfla or Lisa's "K" option but I am using the full 121x169) but I'm struggling to get the sink, dishwasher and range on the long wall. I really can't see myself twisting to the left to load the dishwasher but if I put it to the right of the sink there is no break between dw and range. And the range is not quite centered between windows - it's pushed to the right of that area. Additionally it seems like my storage can't really be improved much.

    Lavender - You have amazing ideas and great pics too! I love the plate rack pic and the vintage stove pic looks just like mine. Thank you for the creative thinking - the in-kitchen table is tempting functionally but it is one of the things I was nervous about in the bigger remodel. Plus while on paper it looks like a nice sunny corner, in reality it is a shady corner with a view of the street and the neighbor's driveway (boo). So if it's a kitchen only remodel then I think the dining will stay put. (Oh - and we have all hardwood in the whole house - I would actually love to put an area rug under the table but my kids would trash it!)

    Lisa - Thank you so much for all the options. My table will probably be replaced in the next few years. It is a 45x60/72 oval that we would like to replace with a 40x65+ rectangle. We have never had it centered in the space. It is always tucked in the "L" closer to the window. Yes - current clearances are about 30 inches from both walls and that's what we are used to :). And there is a lot of space between dining and living so I don't feel that I should steal more space from the kitchen for table clearance. (Oh and yes - we have a bath downstairs so it's not a completely dire situation. Just that everyone sleeps upstairs.)

    rosie - Your post made me laugh out loud! Thank you for the reality check, the encouragement and the clear, no nonsense direction. Points well taken!

    Remodelfla - Love the idea of range between windows but d/w ends up literally right next to it. Were you thinking no peninsula/wall there? And what do you think about the side of my hood being the view from the living room?

    babushka - thank you for the plans! i really need to explore the custom cab options in my area...

    Again - many many thanks for all the help! Real life has been getting in the way of my TKO but I will try to sort through the options and get a more evolved layout up soon.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa - We cross posted. I just saw your twist on my bigger remodel and I REALLY like it!!! It is definitely a better use of space - I love the division between master suite and kids area. It's still pretty "open concept" for me and I'd prefer not to have the "floating" dining room but I guess I could anchor it with a light fixture (?) and rug and the clearances seem wide enough to even turn the table. I have to look into whether it would work structurally (that hall has the cold air returns and the attic access) But looking at those extra few feet of space in the kitchen has me dreaming again about the storage and island seating! And a full bath upstairs would really help us. It's such a smart plan - thank you! I am going to show it to my husband (he's on a business trip) and see what his reaction is...

    Would you mind posting it over on remodeling too?? Maybe they'll be as excited about this option as I am :)

    p.s. I think the kitchen dimensions in this plan would be about 13.5 x14.8 and side door would be on the other side of the stove. I'm going to go have fun playing with how much I could fit into it!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You're welcome! And done. Post your concern over there and see if anyone has any suggestions of how to address the "floating" DR (valid point), beyond your ideas to anchor it with a light fixture and a rug. I centered the table on the bathroom wall but it doesn't have to stay there.

    Can you bump out the entry any more? If so, that might provide more of a division between entry and DR, too.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Where is the cold air return and attic access? In the hallway outside the master bedroom? If so, then one way to avoid dealing with changes to those two things is to begin the master bedroom suite at the bedroom door. You would need to move the bathroom door to the left side but that's likely a less expensive change than moving the cold air return and attic access.

    If it's above where I placed the bathroom ... well, then it would need to be changed and it would add to the expense if you go with this idea. It does seem to give you everything - or close to it - that you've requested so fingers crossed that this idea idea works for you.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa- That is brilliant! I knew you could come up with a great plan, but you're the only one to move the bathroom into the hallway and separate the bedrooms. What a wonderful idea :)

    Domino- I love this plan! A rug under the table, beautiful light fixture, maybe a picture on the wall to the bathroom...that would really define your dining area. And, there's seating in the kitchen! I hope your DH likes the plan because this is much better than anything we came up with, on the Remodeling forum.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The entry can't popout any further than 18 inches due to front setback. It can move somewhat to the right or left. And it can narrow to an internal 6 feet (or even 5 if we ditch the sidelights) if necessary.

    Yes - both air returns are directly under where you have the bathroom. Furnace is underneath that space in the garage. Attic access is a 4-5 foot pull down ladder that runs right above the door you added to the master through about where the bathtub is so that would need to change. Another thing I realized is that a few stairs disappeared in this version. The stairs actually run the length of the wall they share with the little bedroom. So the hall doorway lines up a little awkwardly with the stair post in the plan. People walking from the front of the house would have to jog right around it to get down the stairs. So it might make sense to shift the bathroom right a bit. But these are all tweaks - I am still excited about the idea!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Instead of ditching the sidelights (you mentioned this side faces north so you probably want to capture as much light as possible), would you be willing to do a door and window set-up like this?

    I scooted the entry to the right, without encroaching on the kitchen space. I shrank the entry a bit, too, which allowed me to add another window to the DR. The entry width may be narrower but I made the porch match its width. I think this is a better scale and it will seem more inviting. I also shifted the table to the left, too. Between that and the doorway moving to the right, the DR doesn't feel as if it's "floating" as much, IMO.

    We had a entry set-up like this in our first home and it was quite nice. Actually, your entry will be more gracious than ours was because our stairs started where the window was. I had fun dressing up the front porch outside the window.

    I didn't mess with the bathroom and hallway entry in this plan but I agree, those are only tweaks. I'm so glad to have helped you find an idea that just may be the right answer for you!

    And thanks, LL! Nice to know I lived up to your faith in me. ;-)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I came across your post on the remodeling forum, then clicked over into this one. I've never come across a floorplan that's so similar to our (built in 1952) house! We remodeled the kitchen last year and agonized over various layouts. I can't begin to tell you how happy I am with the remodeled kitchen. It works well for us, doesn't isolate me at all (especially when my 2 kids are playing in the living room) and is FANTASTIC for entertaining.

    Now I'm dying to add in at least a half bath and nearly fell over at Lisa A's suggestion - GENIUS! I'm trying to work it into my house! Anyway, I wanted to give you our layout, including the remodeled kitchen, because I think it's a very similar space (fireplace and stairs in a different spot - along with closets in 2 of the bedrooms), but otherwise it's the same. From the front door, you don't see any mess in the kitchen. And, a nice, deep sink really hides quite a bit of dirty dishes when guests are over! I'm more than happy to share some real photos, if you're interested. We "anchored" the dining table with a light fixture, a rug, and have the hutch placed on that wall adjacent to the hallway (also our load-bearing wall for the house).

    I should also note, we just recently closed in a 9x6 area (the old, gigantic concrete steps) off the existing front door that will be a new entryway. (Envision about 6 feet straight out between the living room large bank of windows and the dining room window). I was planning to put a half bath there, but can't get a decent view (without a door that opens into the entry) from living or entry door that doesn't end up showing the toilet. (Gross!) So...I may scrap the half bath there entirely and look to do something like Lisa's suggestion!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa- You always do. And I like the three windows so much better...and the new entry looks great, too! :)

    Kermit- Nice remodel...the new entry sounds like a wonderful idea.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa - Thanks for the entry idea. You're right - any window is better than no window. Right now I am a little hung up on how the house would look from the outside. I've never seen a home with the front door bumped out a little like this - just front doors flat with the front wall and porch bumpouts. And the front door will be off center so not sure how an assymetrical window would work with all that. So I am trying to imagine the view from the curb, the roofline, etc. Here is what it looks like now. The front door would be where the second window from the right is:

    Kermit - How funny!!! The layouts are eerily similar (although your current bath looks bigger - I'm jealous). And your kitchen looks like everything I could want - I'm so glad you are happy with it. I hope you get your half bath (you have to give up your closets but if you don't have a king bed you can put them in your bedroom). And of COURSE I want pics :) And now I am full of questions for you:

    - how deep is your "deep" new sink?
    - Is your dining fixture centered with the living room window? It looks like it is closer to the front wall for clearance - if so how does that look?
    - How do you like the clearances to get past your table on the way to the living room?
    - How is the noise with one open plan? (I have some LOUD kids)
    - Finally, I'd love a view from outside to see how you addressed your entry (since it looks to be off center like mine would be..)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ok, here's my super long reply!

    The sink is a Kindred, made of granite composite material. It's a dark grey color (WONDERFUL for not showing any spots and most stains). It's 31" long, 18" wide (front to back) and 8" deep, single basin.

    The dining fixture is centered with the window on the far left wall (where your fireplace is; I've got a side window instead). It's NOT lined up with the window in the "dining room" area - several inches off, actually, but I never noticed until I just got up to check. (And I see that in my floorplan it looks like it's lined up with that window - oops!)

    The clearances to get past the table to the living room are perfect. Plenty of room on both sides of the table (except during holidays when I put that extra leaf in...then I try to push it toward the front wall so you can easily get around the "back" (hallway side) of the table.

    The noise with the open plan hasn't been a problem for me at all - I've got a 4-year-old and 19-month-old who are regularly running laps around the room screeching at each other. (Who knew opening up the floorplan like that made for the first real circular running path in the house?) When I'm cooking, if they're in the living room watching TV, I've got the TV as my background noise too. My only issue is the dishwasher. We tend to hit the "delay start" button when company is over or when we're just trying to watch a movie in the evenings. But, we didn't spring for a quiet dishwasher either - it was one we bought in '06 when we moved in and just made it work with the remodeled kitchen. When it's time to replace, I'll look for a panel-ready or stainless model that's got reviews for being extra quiet.

    Now, for outside, like I said, we've JUST closed it in. No siding or even a real door or windows up yet! The picture I'll post was taken several weeks ago and we've made some progress since then, but with waiting for those materials to arrive and it being a project my husband is doing, it's not exactly fast moving. :-). I'll also show you a picture from a few years ago - the door has ALWAYS been off-center.

    On to the good stuff - pictures! Here's the pictures from the mostly finished kitchen remodel in May of last year. It's probably the cleanest my house has ever been (the day of my son's christening). Imagine many more toys strewn along walls in the living room and a wooden play kitchen in the dining room now.

    View from the hutch/fireplace area:

    View of my island - notice how we raised it on the one end - another great mess hider!

    Mudroom area we built into the kitchen, given where we really enter the house. The small doors are for a pantry we added.

    Another reason we raised the island on that one side - for the hidden microwave at a slightly higher height than the traditional under-counter ones.

    The sink I still drool over.

    Here's a view from the kitchen out toward the dining and living room. That front door will become a doorway with our new enclosed entry. But it's not moving location at all.

    The original entry with off-center door:

    And, I know it's a blurry picture (cell phone) and it's off to the side, but here's the addition as it started to take shape. It now has a small porch (about 3' deep) and steps that line up with the door. The porch is covered entirely by the roof overhang (there will also be columns on each side). On that blank-looking wall, we're putting in a 24" x 24" square window, set up high so the top of the window lines up with the top of the door. It helps balance the off-center door within the addition. We may dormer the attic at some point and we'll do different size/shape ones to balance it out even more, but it really doesn't look too bad now. I wish I had a more recent picture for you - maybe if I remember tomorrow morning since it's dark by the time I'm home from work.

    We laid out a lot with painters tape on the floor (as much as we could since walls were coming down and we pushed the kitchen out about a foot from where it was). Heck, I even set up pieces of cardboard to test our layouts. I was thinking peninsula too, but hated the idea of doing dishes and having to walk around the peninsula, and then around the dining room table to open the front door. My dad threw out the idea of fridge on the front wall and an island with a totally open wall and we loved it. I never would've thought to do it that way. The pantry/entry/2 seats at the island side keeps guests out of my way when I'm cooking - but they can still linger nearby.