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sherri1058

Your help is needed! How would you design this kitchen?

sherri1058
7 years ago

Long time lurker, ocassional poster, I am looking for help with the kitchen in our 90 year old home.

Initially I was just going to switch out the island, but after some thought, decided it's probably the right time to renovate the entire space, so that we can age in place comfortably (drawers, drawers & pullouts!). The current layout has worked pretty well for us, but I'm wondering how I can improve on it as I just can't see outside the box!

My goal for the island is to get a larger workspace. With the current sink placement I have 2 feet to the left of the sink (dishwasher) and 3 feet to the right (minus the piece that has become a dumping spot) and it seems that I never have quite enough countertop space in any one spot. I am considering adding an extra foot to the length of the island and I'm wondering about moving the sink a foot to the left and switching the dishwasher to the right.

About us. We are a late 50's couple, no kids, one cat. We entertain occasionally and casually for small groups (dining room{{gwi:807}} or out on the patio. We do not sit at the island. I cook dinners from scratch most days, bake occasionally and DH will help with clean-up (loading/unloading d/w).

There are a few non-negotiables. The doorway to the dining room cannot be changed, the post cannot be removed and there is also a section of the kitchen ceiling that is under 7' tall (yellow shading) which cannot be changed.

This is the layout of the main floor

{{gwi:2137598}}

And here is a "blank slate" with dimensions
{{gwi:2137599}}

Hopefully the pictures come through okay. Any questions? Fire away. Thanks in advance, your suggestions are greatly appreciated. (and eagerly anticipated!)

Edited to change floorplan.

This post was edited by sherri58 on Thu, Jan 22, 15 at 13:30

Comments (30)

  • funkycamper
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What a nice, big space to work with. I'm sure the more creative folks here will pop in with lots of suggestions. In the meantime, I'm curious why you have your sink and range crammed so close together when there is so much open space farther "south" in the layout, in the area closer to the dining room. What do you use that area for now?

    At the very least, I would put just a prep space on that island but offset it from the range so there's more space if two people are working in the kitchen. And then I'd do a clean-up area on one of the long wall in the more "southern" part of the kitchen. Thus, your DW would move there. It just seems like you have a big space but cramming the main functions close together so you're not really utilizing all that space well.

    Where do you normally enter your house from? I'm trying to figure out why the island has a dumping ground and where you're coming from that causes that. You need to have some kind of landing spot for things like keys, purses, wallets, mail, etc., near where you enter the house. Example: if you use the front door, there should be plenty of space there for a console table or something similar to use to drop your stuff without cluttering your island.

    I know that's not much help. I'm still learning myself.

  • lisa_a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I suspect ireneyeo's post is spam even though that user didn't register today (that's usually a dead give away).

    Your working part of the kitchen seems a long way from the fridge and pantry and from the DR and as you noted, you don't have a lot of counter in that area. I would be tempted to concentrate the kitchen in the area next to the DR and add a beverage center and/or a Command Center (a "dumping place") in the area where you now have the range and sink.

    I'm unable to save your image so that I can work on it in Paint. Please change your settings in your photobucket acct so that the images can be shared. I have an idea but I can't show you without being able to save your image to my computer.

    Can you relocate or enlarge the window in the kitchen area next to the DR?

    We can get you started but I think you would be wise to contact a KD who is trained in aging in place issues. Look for someone with CAPS behind their name (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist). You can do a search via NKBA's website. Punch in your zip in the link below to find professionals in your area.

    Here is a link that might be useful: NKBA Pro Search

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  • Jillius
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lisa, I've found with photobucket that if you can't save the image, hover your mouse over the image till a little menu appears. The menu will contain, among other things, a magnifying glass. Click on the magnifying glass, and then you can save that version of the image by right clicking on it.

    This post was edited by Jillius on Thu, Jan 22, 15 at 4:47

  • laughablemoments
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm wondering if you'd benefit from an office type space or command center on your first floor that could catch the things that typically land on the island? I know most of my clutter is from things that don't have dedicated homes, so they float around landing on vertical surfaces, waiting to be put away (but where?)

    It looks like you might have space for a command center if it is worked in carefully along with the kitchen.

  • lisa_a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    That worked, thanks, Jillius!

  • Circus Peanut
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Do you normally enter the house from the driveway? Is that why there is a large open space around the door -- the lower "kitchen" actually functions as your entry/mudroom area?

  • sherri1058
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Okay, first of all thanks to everyone that has responded so far! I’ll try and answer all of your questions, but before I do that I took a closer look at the main floor plan and I think that the current kitchen cabinets, etc. is not to scale. It does look like we have a lot of room, particularly on the dining room side, but it sure doesn’t feel that way!

    The drawings were done by our architect for another purpose, and it looks to me now that he gave us a just a rough picture of the cabinetry in the space. In reality, when the fridge door is open we have approximately 2 feet between the door and the end of the island. Also, the top left corner of the island is literally about 3 or 4 steps from the door that we use to enter the house, hence the drop zone that my DH has created. I've made some adjustments to the picture and it does look closer to what we currently have now.

    Funkycamper, thanks for your comments, getting the junk off the island is one of my main priorities! It really is a lovely space and what the plans don’t show is that in the family room is almost all windows, and the windows are pretty much floor to ceiling overlooking the back yard. We are situated on a ravine, so the view is trees, not neighbouring homes. For the most part, we use the kitchen/family room door to enter the house, which takes us to the back yard, and when I am working at the island I have a wonderful view, as far as city views go.

    Lisa, I’m glad you were able to copy the images. I look forward to your ideas. I am not interested in making any changes to the kitchen window as it looks into the side of the house next door and there is no reason to see even more of it lol. Eliminating it would also be problematic as the side of our house is 90 year old brick that I have not been able to find a suitable match for. Thanks for the NKBA link. I will look at contacting a KD, but wanted to get some ideas from the wonderfully creative people here first!

    Circuspeanut, I guess you could say that we enter the house from the driveway, although the driveway is on the opposite side of the house from the door! It wasn’t one of the features of the house that made us want to buy it, but on the other hand it is accessible and that is more than I can say for other garages on our street.

    Hope I've answered everything. Keep the questions and comments coming!

  • lisa_a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The fixed side wall window, the odd jogs in the exterior wall and the less than cab and counter depth wall between exterior wall and DR doorway ... whew, what a challenging space you have! I tried multiple ideas, only to run into snags every time. So I changed my perspective... and your kitchen's and found one possibility for a starting point to get the discussion rolling.

    First of all, I have no idea how on earth you're able to get an island where you have it and have decent aisles between range run, island and island and post/interior wall. That is, if your dimensions are correct and if I added them up correctly.

    Here's the base map. It would be a good idea if you were to double check that I interpreted your rough plan correctly.

    {{gwi:2137600}}

    Anyhoo, this is what I came up with. I forgot the part about wanting to age in place so I failed to swap out the range for a cook top and wall oven. I also didn't plan for a MW. I also realized that you didn't tell us if you're keeping your existing appliances (looks like standard depth fridge) or what your wish list/budget is for new appliances. But, as I wrote above, it's a starting point.

    {{gwi:2137601}}

    Because of the window (didn't see that you don't care if it stays until just now), the only way I could make decent use of that wall was to spec built-in, fully integrated fridge and freezer columns. However, if you're willing to close up the window and you can find a suitable alternative to matching the existing brick (perhaps a decorative wood treatment), that would make that wall a little easier to work with. Or you could replace the window with glass block and not worry about it. You could also leave it as is and cover it up, too, but you'll likely see that it's covered up if you keep the window as clear glass.

    I moved the range to the bottom wall and the sink and DW to a long run of counter and cabs facing the interior. This gives you oodles of counter on each side of your sink.

    To do this, I had to block off the 2nd entry into the kitchen/FR. You can either build a 42" high wall with an opening for a "window" over the sink, like this (but without seating)

    [{{gwi:2137602}}[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/brooklyn-2br-transitional-kitchen-new-york-phvw-vp~7463687)

    [Transitional Kitchen[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/transitional-kitchen-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_709~s_2112) by Brooklyn Design-Build Firms Ecostruct LLC

    Or you can build a wall and install a window like this:

    [

    [(https://www.houzz.com/photos/shingle-style-home-in-hanover-nh-victorian-dining-room-burlington-phvw-vp~106099)

    [Rustic Dining Room[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/rustic-dining-room-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_722~s_2111) by Norwich Architects & Building Designers Smith & Vansant Architects PC

    I've seen a kitchen on houzz that has an interior window above a sink but danged if I can find that photo when I need it.

    You didn't say if you wanted to keep island seating for guests but I added 3 seats at the peninsula, just in case. You could use the peninsula for setting out a buffet when you entertain (you wrote casually so thought this might work for you).

    Oh! I just had another idea that might work! But you'll have to wait for it until later.

  • lisa_a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    On a whim, I googled "filled in window" and found this image:

    {{gwi:2137603}}

    I think the closed shutters work better than the close-but-not-quite brick. Maybe that's an easy way to cover up that window and make use of that wall. It preserves the window in case someone down the road wants to open it up but it blocks it for your purposes.

    Here's another, similar treatment as the shutters:

    {{gwi:2137604}}

    Another option is to go for a complimentary brick for filling in the window:

    {{gwi:2137605}}

    You may get additional ideas from The Old House forum here on GW.

    Here is a link that might be useful: The Old House

  • sherri1058
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What a lot of work you’ve done Lisa, thank you! I was happy to read (in a perverted sort of way) that you find it a challenging space - makes me feel better that I am having problems as well.

    So to start with, your interpretation looks pretty good, but I wonder if you realize that there are no interior walls in that entire space? I think that is why the island has worked for us in that location. That, and the fact that it allows me to look out into the back yard, or talk with guests in the sun room while I am working makes me happy.

    I am open in respect to appliances, which is why I didn’t mention them. I currently have a dual fuel pro-style range and a standard depth 34 inch bottom mount fridge (not French doors). The fridge gives me more than enough storage. I love my range, and am really torn about whether to keep it, replace it with an induction range at a later date or put in a cooktop and wall oven now. In either case, I will likely look at putting in a speed oven which I expect I would use as the main oven in most cases.

    I will take a closer look at your plan this evening, but the first thing that I noticed apart from all the counter space (wow!) is that the window above the sink is looking directly into the powder room, so no chance I’ll be putting a window above it!

  • lisa_a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "...the window above the sink is looking directly into the powder room..."

    Oops! I was so zeroed in on your kitchen, I forgot about its relation to the rest of your home. I agree, not the best view but you could put in a stained glass or hand-blown glass mimic window instead. It doesn't have to be clear glass. An added plus is that this feature would look appropriate, given your home's age and architecture (unlike how such a feature would look in my 20 yr old transitional home).

    "...I wonder if you realize that there are no interior walls in that entire space?"

    Yes, I do. But if your measurements are correct and the narrowest point really is only 127" wall to post, you really don't have room for an island with perimeter cabs. That's why I drew a peninsula.

    127" width of room at narrowest point
    -25.5" depth of cabs plus counter overhang
    -42" aisle between perimeter & island
    -42" aisle between island & wall
    -----
    17 1/2" - that's all that's left for an island. No way will that fit a sink and DW.

    You'd need 10" more to create an island of 24" deep cabs with 1.5" counter overhang on front and back. That would cut your aisles down to 37 1/2". That's tight for back to back work and likely won't meet aging in place recommendations.

    Let me see what else I can come up with.

  • lisa_a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Here's another idea for you.

    {{gwi:2137606}}

    Here's what I did:
    Moved clean-up sink and DW to south wall
    Closed up window overlooking driveway
    Added shallow pantry next to DR door
    Swapped out range for cook top and wall oven/MW column
    Swapped out 33" standard depth fridge for 42" built-in fridge (not integrated so a little more storage room)
    Created a long island with prep sink and seating.

    The island is made of 27" deep cabs (w/ deeper guides, gives you more storage). The prep sink is roughly centered. I did not put it on the south end - that's your landing zone for fridge and oven items. It's a bit farther than recommended (48") for fridge items and definitely farther than recommended for oven items so you could also use the counter next to the clean-up sink as well.

    One other option is to lose the 24" tall pantry between oven/MW and DR and go with a base cab and upper so that you have a little bit of counter next to the oven/MW.

    Another placement option for the prep sink is at the top end next to the seating overhang. You'd then have a very long uninterrupted stretch of counter for prepping. In this location, the prep sink could work as a bar sink when you entertain.

    Garbage goes under the sinks. I know, the horror of it ;-) but it has been done by many GWers and they've survived. I just didn't want to give up cab storage for garbage.

    I extended the counter beyond the post on the cook top wall to give you a little more counter around the cook top. The base and upper cabs will be shallower than usual but it should still prove useful. If you work with a custom cabinet maker, have him make the base cab to the right of the cook top one unit with a shallower drawer section in front of the post. It would be full width but not full depth the whole width. Does that make sense?

    The only thing I couldn't fit in to this plan is a Command Center of sorts so you'd have a place to dump stuff.

    I tried and tried to give you a butler's pantry of sorts but I just couldn't make it work with a cook top and wall oven/MW column.

  • sherri1058
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I prefer this last one better. It's similar to what I have now, but does give me more counter space. Still looking at it as I didn't get the chance to check in until this morning. First thing I did was lose the seating on the island. I don't like/want it. Second thing I did was move the D/W to the other side of the sink as it seems to me that having a dishwasher in the farthest corner of the kitchen isn't a good thing for me.

    {{gwi:2137607}}

  • sherri1058
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have to say that my mind has become a jumbled mess! It's amazing how having a different perspective can get the thought process going. Thanks so much for your time Lisa!
    I really like how you've increased the cooktop area - that's very clever! I'm already filling those extra drawers. I've been staring at the kitchen and your drawings and mulling over what you said about the distances between fridge and oven and their landing spots and wonder if it would work better if we flipped the sink to the window wall? What do you think?

  • lisa_a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm not a huge fan of island seating either but so many like having it, that I add it by default.

    Anyhoo, since you don't want island seating, swap out the seating overhang for 12" deep cabs to house a charging station and your drop zone. Like this:

    {{gwi:2137608}}

    I'm not sure exactly how wide these cabs will be because I don't know the width of the post but I added my recommendation for clearances between the Command Central area and the post.

    I chose to put the DW against the wall because in that position, it's less likely to block the aisle when open. It also puts the silverware, dishes and glasses storage closer to your DR. Add that to your think-it-though process and see which location you prefer for the DW.

    Funny that you would wonder about switching the sink to the window wall because I read your post just as I was finishing up 3 plans that have the sink on the window wall. Two of them include a walk-in pantry (finally figured out how to get one in!). I'm posting those 2 first.

    {{gwi:2137609}}

    I couldn't quite figure out how to do the math for the angled DW to know just where the sink would go but a KD can help you with that. The plus of this plan is a longer, deeper continuous stretch of counter between clean-up sink and cook top. Perhaps a place to place your coffee maker? It does create quite a few void spaces but I was less worried about giving up storage because of all that you gain with a walk-in pantry.

    Plan E goes with the DW and sink placement next to each other.

    {{gwi:2137610}}

    The cab to the right of the sink could be a china hutch. You could even make it look like a piece of furniture with furniture feet and a glass fronted upper cab. You could also add glass panels to the side of it, like this:

    [{{gwi:2137611}}[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/cobbage-kitchen-traditional-kitchen-charleston-phvw-vp~202315)

    [Traditional Kitchen[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/traditional-kitchen-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_709~s_2107) by Charleston General Contractors Structures Building Company

    I don't know all the aging in place recommendations but I would think a walk-in pantry would be a plus. At least I love mine and would never give it up. It's the same width but not as deep, plus it has a sloped ceiling because it's tucked under my stairs. But it stores a lot! Here's my pantry.

    Adding the pantry means a shorter island but since it only houses a prep sink, not a clean-up sink and DW, it provides a longer stretch of work space and more storage than your current island does.

    I placed the fridge against the wall and not the oven/MW column, even though that now makes the island a bit of a barrier island, because I figured that coming around the corner and running into an open fridge door was less of an issue than coming around the corner and running into an open oven door. But if that's not a concern, you can swap location of fridge and oven/MW column.

    Plan F is a variation on Plan C: no walk-in pantry, sink on window wall.

    {{gwi:2137612}}

    I moved the fridge to the right end with a pull-out pantry cab between it and the oven/MW column. The latter is in a protected spot, thanks to the wall next to it; no danger of someone coming around the corner into an open oven door.

    Since your view out the window is less than lovely, you could dress it up with stained glass (or a facsimile) like shanghaimom did in her gorgeous kitchen (still one of my faves). See link below to find her kitchen reveal thread.

    Oh, and I goofed when I told you how to do the drawers to the right of the cook top. I was thinking you could do cut-outs around the post but I forgot that the limiting factor for drawer depth will be the shallow right side, which means you wouldn't be able to pull the drawer out farther than the depth of the guide on that side. Oops. But you can still make use of that space with a drawer base to the left of the post and a shallow cab in front of the post.

    Check out how a fellow GWer handled it in her kitchen:

    [{{gwi:2137613}}[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/swanson-transitional-kitchen-boston-phvw-vp~6078852)

    [Transitional Kitchen[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/transitional-kitchen-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_709~s_2112) by Portland Cabinets & Cabinetry Pennville Custom Cabinetry

    [{{gwi:2137614}}[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/swanson-transitional-kitchen-boston-phvw-vp~6078866)

    [Transitional Kitchen[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/transitional-kitchen-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_709~s_2112) by Portland Cabinets & Cabinetry Pennville Custom Cabinetry

    Whew, but that was a brain teaser! I'm glad I could give you some ideas that you can take with you when you meet with KDs. I'm sure they will all need fine-tuning to suit your needs, especially the aging in place requirement (for instance, the KD may suggest DW drawers, not a DW). Best of luck! And please, please, please post your reveal when it's finished. So many people ask for lay-out help and then never come back to show what they created. And we really want to see! ;-)

    Here is a link that might be useful: finished! Vintage Cream in the City

  • sherri1058
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    A pantry? Oh my! Please excuse me while I go play with that idea!!

  • sena01
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Quoting from lisa_a

    placed the fridge against the wall and not the oven/MW column, even though that now makes the island a bit of a barrier island, because I figured that coming around the corner and running into an open fridge door was less of an issue than coming around the corner and running into an open oven door. But if that's not a concern, you can swap location of fridge and oven/MW column.

    Since you're entering the house from the entry across the island, can't you wall up the doorway across the powder room. That way ovens and fridge can change places in lisa_a's plans D and E and you'll have a very functional layout thanks to lisa.

  • sherri1058
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I really love the pantry idea, but as I sit and stare at my space i can't picture it with my ceiling heights. I would end up with a narrow corridor in front of the fridge/ovens with 8 foot ceiling. Would that look really odd? I do have a pantry in the basement, so I may have to be content with that?

  • funkycamper
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow, Lisa! Lots of great ideas.

    I agree with sena01 and really like the idea of a wall to give more privacy to someone entering the bathroom and, this way, if someone doesn't close the door behind them you're not looking at a toilet while cooking.

    I think if it were me, I'd do it this way:

    {{gwi:2137615}}

    With the wall blocking view to powder room, no one will turn the corner and run into the DW.

    I like the fridge on the other wall better as someone in the dining room can access it better. Of course, someone coming from sun room area will have to skirt the work areas but it's do-able. Your aisles are wide enough as long as they go outside the island and around instead of right through the cook space.

    For some reason, the DW on that wall bugs me. It seems like it would be more in traffic paths there. I really like it in the new corner better. With upper cabinets there, you will have a LOT of good storage for dishes/glasses/etc.

    The area "south" of fridge could be a nice hutch-style cabinet for overflow dishes, serving pieces, anything you typically use more when in the dining room. Or would make a nice beverage center. I think it's close enough to access the clean-up sink when needed without being a congestion issue.

    I think all of the options Lisa did would work well. It's just a matter of fine-tuning it.

    I suggest play-prepping/cooking/cleaning-up in your space with each suggested design. When I'm physically moving around in the space role-playing, it helps more than just doing it in my head while looking at the paper layout. If there are often other people in the kitchen, have them doing one task while you're doing another. Consider role-playing different types of tasks, i.e. "I'm baking cookies while you're cleaning up" Or "I'm making prepping and making dinner while you're making dessert" and see how the flow goes.

  • lavender_lass
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I like Lisa's plan, but I would put the range/cooktop closer to the dining room. The sink (under the window) seems like a good location...and now the fridge and microwave (and prep sink) are closer to the sun room/family room.

    This will keep guests out of the main work area and allow the island to serve as an informal buffet. Just a few ideas :) {{gwi:2137616}}From Kitchen plans

  • laughablemoments
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I would trip over myself jumping at a 42" x 88" pantry! Just sayin'...

  • sherri1058
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lots of things to think about, and believe me when I say that I’ve thought of nothing but. Thanks to everyone for all their suggestions / ideas. Lisa, I loved the idea of the pantry, but try as I might, I don’t see it working in my space. It might be okay if I didn’t have the wonky ceiling heights but that limitation really killed it, I think. You have a great pantry and I’m sure that you give thanks for that space on a regular basis. Thanks for sharing the photos, they made it even more difficult to put the idea aside. Laughable, I hear what you’re saying, and I’m using that argument to make it easier to put the idea aside.

    Sena01, with no pantry effectively bumping the dining room wall closer to the island, there isn’t an issue with the oven or dishwasher or whatever is put in that corner, so it won’t be necessary to close that doorway in. And while we may use the back door to enter the house, it is the entry that you suggest blocking off that we use multiple times every day, so I’m glad it’s not necessary to consider blocking off from a functional perspective. Funkycamper, after all the years that we’ve been in the house, it never occurred to me that there could be some privacy issues with the bathroom off the kitchen. It is tucked away, and after reading your comments I had to go and take a closer look. What I discovered is the way that the bathroom is situated, there is nowhere in the kitchen that you can stand and see anything in the bathroom except for a small sliver of the sink. I guess that’s why it’s never been an issue before!

    So for the last day I have been playing with each of the layouts that have been suggested. Lisa, I can’t thank you enough for all the time that you must have spent, and all the visuals you’ve given me. I think that adding the charging station to the top of the island is such a good idea. It is such a natural spot for a dumping ground, and it’s so hard to teach an old dog new tricks, don’t you think? I’m not concerned about the distance from the post (42”) as it replaced a much larger one that was there previously. The larger one wasn’t an issue in terms of traffic and at 8x8, the new one is a minor nuisance at best.

    I spent quite a bit of time figuring out all of the “paths” that I/we would be taking during the course of meal prep, serving, and clean-up. Funkycamper, I laughed out loud when I read your suggestion that we role play "I'm making prepping and making dinner while you're making dessert". I know it was only a “for instance”, but the only dessert DH would make is pouring chocolate sauce over ice cream. I did pay attention to what we actually do together though, and your suggestions make a lot of sense.

    Lavender Lass, thanks so much for your input. I always admire how your designs make so much sense, so I am sure that I am missing something with this one. Is it because I’m in the space that I can’t see? I can’t understand the reason for putting the fridge and microwave closer to the sunroom.

    I’m sure I am unduly influenced by my current routines, but when I start playing around with the various layouts, the ones that seem to make the most sense for me are the ones that have the cooktop behind the island. That’s because I will prep at the island, to the right of the sink and from there I can easily turn to tend to anything on the cooktop. It’s the shortest distance from the sink to cooktop when a pot needs to be filled or drained. It also keeps me closer to the better views outside, my coffee and computer in the sun room (for my breaks) as well as to any guests that we may be entertaining.

    Back to mulling over all of this. I know there has to be a solution in here somewhere!

  • lavender_lass
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It sounds like you eat most of your meals in the dining room, so I was putting the range closer to that location...and getting the sink back under the window. And when I first read through this, I thought you entertained more often and wanted more buffet space...and a nice baking area. Okay, maybe that last part is just me (LOL)

    Since you like the cooktop/range closer to the sunroom, (and views) what about something a little different? Lisa has given you some GREAT ideas for cooktop on that wall, so I'm going to try cooktop on the island. It's a large island and with the prep sink (and raised backsplash) it would make a wonderful main prep/cooking area.

    You do NOT have stools at the island and that's one of the main points of concern about cooktops in that location. So, oven/microwave close by (less walking) and undercounter fridge for milk, cheese, butter and other items you want to grab quickly, while you're stirring a sauce, etc.

    The clean up area is by the dining room (easy route for dirty dishes) and fridge/pantry is on the wall nearby, but out of main work area...for people to access and not walk through your main work area.

    If you would prefer the microwave in that location, it's easy enough to move, but with just the two of you, I thought you would rather have it easy for you to reach while you cook :) {{gwi:2137617}}From Kitchen plans

    This post was edited by lavender_lass on Mon, Jan 26, 15 at 11:48

  • lisa_a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You're very welcome, sherri58! Have fun mulling over all the possibilities.

    If you haven't already, do a tally of what you own, measure each item and make notes of its logical storage location in your new kitchen. Then look at each of the plans you have before you and see how well each suits your storage needs. This exercise, along with the mental imaginings of making meals (had to laugh at your version of how your DH "makes" dessert) in each plan, will help you narrow down your lay-out options to the one that will work best for you. Don't rush this process; IMO, it's the most important step in creating a new kitchen.

  • laughablemoments
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm reading of you giving up the idea of the walk-in pantry, and it sounds like it has to do with ceiling heights....but I think I'm missing something of why the ceiling heights make the pantry plan a poor option. I'm not in the space, so I can't see what you are seeing, although I wish I could. : ) It seems like such a nice option to have a pantry of that size (42" x 88"! Oh for that extra space--drool!) located convenient to the kitchen rather than on a different floor, which could be more of a problem for aging in place.

    Your comment about dh making dessert with his chocolate sauce gave me a good chuckle. : )

    Best wishes as you continue to mull and plan.

  • sherri1058
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi laughable. Yes, it is the ceiling height that is making me think it is not an option. I think the house has had the kitchen expanded a few times over the years, and it now has a few different ceiling heights. The original kitchen (closest to the dining room) has an 8 foot ceiling. The island is half under a skylight and half under a ceiling that is less than 7ft. I've shaded in the the lower ceiling heights below.

    {{gwi:2137618}}

    Here is also a picture of the kitchen taken from the sun room. You can sort of see the various ceiling heights here as well. I am 5'3" and can reach up and touch the lower ceiling. I can't raise the ceiling because there is a room above. Old houses. Gotta love them!

    {{gwi:2137619}}

  • lisa_a
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Sherri, I would think that a designer can address the different ceiling heights. That's not my strong suit so I can't help on this but before you discard the pantry plan completely, talk to a designer and see what ideas they may have to address your concerns.

  • funkycamper
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't know how to work with the ceiling heights either but I think you have a very lovely kitchen, Sherri. Maybe you just need to do a couple small things to make it work for aging in place instead of an entire remodel? I'm not an expert in aging in place issues. I'm attaching a link to a cabinet builder that has an amazing amount of information on their site about clearances, ergonomics, and other issues including some info related to the aging issue. It would probably be helpful for you to review it.

    I kinda think some tweaks to your island (you have had several good recommendations for that to choose from) and putting in a better landing spot so your island doesn't get crowded with excess stuff might be enough to give you want you need. Maybe? I still think a good spot for that would between the wall and column. Maybe a counter-height half wall or cabinet with a wide enough counter for the mail, keys, and a few other items.

    Unless you really don't like your kitchen for some reason or if there are problems not apparent in the photo, I think you have great bones to work with. Those tweaks and maybe a few inside cabinet/drawer organizers might do the trick.

    And use the money you saved to go on a great vacation! :)

  • funkycamper
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oops, I forgot the link. Here tis. Note the section about ADA guidelines. While that's not an issue for you, a lot of those tips apply to aging in place issues, too.

    Here is a link that might be useful: The Thirty-One Kitchen Guidelines

  • janetrogers63
    last year

    Hi Circus Peanut, I just saw a comment you made about your dishes, Tiempo. I love them and want to start collecting. Do you know if they are safe from lead? Thanks for any info!