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newbie/need help figuring out kitchen layout (sorry, long)

13 years ago

Hi everyone! I recently found this forum and I am in awe of the amazing ideas and knowledge of kitchen design that you share!

We recently bought our first apartment and are planning on renovating the kitchen/salon area. (salon = LR and DR areas)

I am a US expat living abroad and I'm trying to get used to small European living spaces and even smaller kitchens!

I am having a really hard time figuring out how to plan the kitchen since there is a load bearing wall that can't be moved and we don't want to move any windows which would be a major added expense. We would very much like to expand the kitchen into the main living area. My priority is the kitchen and I will work the other living space around the kitchen.

Here is the current layout of the kitchen/salon. (sorry everything is in meters)


Top left is the kitchen. The thicker part of the wall on the right of the kitchen can't be moved. The rest can be torn down/moved. Currently the owners have a dining area directly below the kitchen and use the whole right side of the room as a living room. Our priority is to enlarge the kitchen even if it means having a smaller living room area.

Here's my first attempt at reworking the space.


If I bump out the kitchen wall on the top right side I accomplish a few things - larger kitchen area (slightly), added storage space/coat closet facing the living room (European housing does not have any built in closets! Any extra closet space I can get is incredible.), study/computer area in the lower right half of the salon.

I'm sure you're all wondering right now why there are so many sinks in the kitchen. We keep kosher so I need separate sinks/prep areas/cabinet space for meat and dairy. The double sink is a want and not a need b/c there is actually a third category called pareve (basically, neutral - neither meat nor dairy) so having a separate sink for my pareve pots/baking dishes/utensils would be great, but if I can't fit it in I'll manage.

Chances are we would put in an Ikea kitchen, so cabinets are standard 60 cm (though they have widths of 40, 60, 80 cm as well), they have corner cabinets 90x90 or those long cabinets with a carousel 120x60. My frig is 90 cm wide, and my stove is 80 cm wide. I would have 2 shallower tall cabinets custom built put in opposite the frig.

Big problem is that I can't find a space to put the oven that doesn't have a window behind it.

Aside from tweaking the kitchen layout, I am basically ok with this plan. The one thing that I would LOVE to have that I don't with this plan is an EIK. I know I'm crazy, my living space is too small to really accommodate that, but I have 5 kids under the age of 10, and I find that when the kids eat out of the kitchen they trash the entire LR/DR area. If there was a table in the kitchen the mess would be contained...hopefully :-)

So I came up with an alternative plan.


I didn't bump the wall out to the right but just lengthened the kitchen all the way down. (I did take away a small bit for a closet facing the front door). I don't have to close off the kitchen b/c while it does keep the kids in/out of the kitchen, it definitely closes up the whole flow of the room. I still have the problem of the oven by a window, and while I could theoretically flip the kitchen and put the oven on the opposite wall, I didn't like having the frig right next to the banquette. My other concern with this plan is that when the frig is open is basically blocks entrance to the kitchen. But with a kitchen this narrow it would blow the flow of traffic wherever it would be.

I made one more attempt going back to the first design but adding a banquette.


I'm not sure how effective having a banquette open to the whole salon area is at keeping the mess contained, but I still like the idea of eating in the kitchen during the week and only using the main dining area on weekends when the whole family eats together and we often entertain. Sometimes I host meals with 15 people so I like the possibility of extending my dining room table almost into the kitchen and using the banquette as a kids table. (My dining room table seats 12)

Ok, thanks for following my lengthy thought process. All thoughts, advice is sincerely appreciated. Please do not hesitate to be harsh b/c I realize I am a total noob with absolutely no experience in designing layouts.


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