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kbear_15

Please help! Need help, advice, and ideas regarding kitchen

kbear_15
6 years ago

Also posted under building...was recommended I also post here.

Am building...(foundation hasn't been poured yet, so I hope I have a little leeway); Supposed to sit down and design/review/finalize kitchen layout in 2 days. I'll attach the plans (The current kitchen layout is the architect's "vision" of the kitchen).

Was staring at this for hours yesterday and somethings aren't sitting right with me.

A. If your sink is 45 degrees, dishwasher should not be directly next to the sink (when door is down, doesn't allow you to stand at the sink), hence need 6-12 in of space between sink and dishwasher.

B. My husband and I don't want a raised counter on the island - just one, continuous same level island. (that's an easy fix)

C. We wanted open concept, so we don't want a wall on part of the island (currently drawn in by the dishwasher). Builder said it is structural/necessary, so we will plan on having a post/column in this location instead.

D. We want to maximize all possible storage and counterspace. (We do want sink and dishwasher in the island). Current island shape seems not the greatest use of space. I realize this is a very small kitchen to begin with and thus our options are likely limited. However, I was wondering, the dinette area is fairly small (and you need clearance around the pantry door and access to the sliders). If a table were placed in this area, it would be very small. Is there anyway to "extend" the island out further toward the dinette area? (Would this compromise walk ways and flow between rear foyer/great room, etc?)

E. What is the best island shape for this plan? (L/V shape? more rectangle? one that is drawn on the plan? trapezoid shape? I'm okay with it not being symmetric, nor having 45 or 90 degree angles.

F. Was told they don't plan on venting to the outside but I really would like this. Would changing the stove (move 30'' closer to the corner) so it shares the garage wall help really make a difference? (design wise, is it a bad idea to have the stove in this location)?

Other ideas/questions include:

I feel the current position of the hallway from the rear foyer limits the design regarding the island.

1. Does the current location/position of the hallway/entrance from the rear foyer to kitchen area make sense? With this current layout - you seem to be walking straight towards the island, thus limiting what one could do with the island.

2. Does it make any sense/is anything gained by "moving" the hallway/entrance over to the right slightly so you enter the kitchen (rather than straight into the island). (I don't even know if this is feasible engineer/structural wise). If this were done, would this allow more options for the island/help with aisle clearance (assume the 27'' cabinet would not be there)? Is it worth losing this cabinet (or making it much smaller)?

One concern if this were done would be the rear foyer wouldn't feel like its own separate space, esp the little mudroom bench?

Would it matter if you came out of bedroom #4 and the sight lines to the kitchen were not perfectly lined up?

Any thoughts/ideas would be much appreciated!!!!

Comments (42)

  • kbear_15
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    More photos...

    Me playing around with plans showing wall/opening moved, moving range, getting rid of wall by dishwasher. (white supposed to represent removal of those areas)

    Regarding the rear foyer area - enter from garage, immediate to the left is a small mudroom bench (live in NE Ohio - need a mudroom of some kind!); 11 o'clock to the entrance of the rear foyer is a niche in the wall (1 foot deep) - this is supposed to be the message center/drop zone (for mail, keys, etc) - we really need this. 12 o'clock when standing at the door from the garage is one closet - I designated this to be the "broom" closet - to store buckets, cleaning supplies, swifter, mop, broom, vacuum, etc. And the closet behind the "broom" closet/on exterior wall is our pantry. We need a pantry - i don't have kitchen space to use cabinets for a pantry. I need to check w/ the builder - my pantry was supposed to be a little deeper (6 inches) as I was going to move it back into the bathroom (and move the whole bathroom 6 in to the left).

    Another option I supposed is move the entry towards the rear of the house, so one would enter in the dinette area - with this scenario, I'd lose the broom closet. Would that be odd, having to make a little zigzag turn when walking from dinette to rear foyer? What about the drop zone? that could still remain, right?

    Perhaps if the above occurred, we extend the kitchen wall towards the dinette and put either the broom closet or pantry there?? would that work?


  • homepro01
    6 years ago

    k_bear,

    I am not an expert but the design looks very jammed together. You have a 10x10 kitchen in a house that looks to be 3,000sq.ft. The kitchen is not proportional. The design also has a 30" doorway coming into the kitchen that is not very big and will feel constricted in front of the fridge. Can I ask why the dining room is so separate and far away from the main living area? I would rather expand the kitchen into the dinette, take down the wall to the dining room and use that room more often. This would open up the left side of the house.

    I hope others chime in. Corner sinks are not favored on the forum because they make it difficult to place the dishwasher right next to the sink. The dishwasher will usually be separated by a cabinet. It is not a first choice in a new build.

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  • Samantha
    6 years ago

    Is there any way to move the slider to the family room and just have windows in the dinette? That area does seem very tight for anything more than a round 4 person table. Also I'd leave the partial wall by the dishwasher, you don't seem to have anywhere to store dishes and a 15" deep upper there could be the place (and put glasses near the fridge). You do need some leg room between that sink and the dishwasher but it's going to eat into the dinette even more.

  • bpath
    6 years ago

    I agree with homepro, about moving the kitchen down into the dining room. Here's why: at 10x10, the dining room is very small, not much room for a side table and for people to walk around to their seat, and I think 8 would be the most you could squeeze in...before they've filled up on turkey and pie!

    If you move the kitchen to the front (disclaimer: I love my front-facing kitchen!) you get natural light in there, more room for the kitchen and island as well as flexibility in your layout, and a bigger, nicer dining room with view of the back garden.

    Now back to my Sunday morning coffee...and DH just offered to make omelets!

  • practigal
    6 years ago

    They have a raised counter in front of the sink so that you don't see all the dirty dishes in the sink. It is important to think about how you actually use your sink. I personally don't stack dishes in the sink and would immediately put them in the dishwasher so this would be a nonissue for me and I would lower the countertop. You are correct that the dishwasher is just a little too close to where you would be standing at the sink.

    The cabinets under the sink and the 9" cabinet to the left of the sink and the dishwasher door on the right of the sink do not appear to have even 2" of safety margin that they need in order to ensure that they can open each thing fully. Do you know the brand of cabinets that you are using? They will tell you how much space they need in order to be able to open the doors fully. If you don't know yet then you really need to build in that space now.

    I personally like the triangular kitchen but I can tell you that many people absolutely end up hating them because they feel too tight.

  • practigal
    6 years ago

    Do you like to watch the TV in the family room more than to look outside the windows of the dinette area? If I were doing this I would move the kitchen sink to under the dinner dinnette windows and the rest of the kitchen over into the dinette area. I would not chop the space with that sink on an angle it is an inefficient use of space. But again this is all a matter of personal choice.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Firstly, even if you do nothing to the layout, I'd think that your 38"
    fridge door would not open past 90° with either a wall, or a post, in
    this position, beside the 32" opening.

    Here's a suggestion, with a U-shape and extra deep counters, (30") since you'll have extra floor space in the center:

    If you can do without the upper cabinets over the sink and DW, the wall could end at the sink, or support post, which would open up the kitchen a little more. You could have bookcases/display shelves on the hallway side, under the counter.

  • bpath
    6 years ago

    Coming out of bedroom 4 I'd rather have a straight view to the family room than to the sink, and I'd rather not have to skirt the island to get anywhere. I would rather take a jog in the hall than to walk right into the island. The hall guides one, the island is an obstacle.

  • ImWithJoe
    6 years ago

    I couldn't function in this kitchen. That island with the caddywhompus sink would drive me nuts. That you can't vent to the outside would be a non-negotiable for many and would send me running. Have you toured a similar home? I don't understand the dining room. Have you imagined carrying cakes with candles and all the holiday dinner fixings back and forth, back and forth, through the hallway?

    i know you didn't ask for other input - but, have you considered making the entrance to the only first floor bathroom a real door? Pocket doors don't contain sounds like real solid doors. It seems the more natural place for the pocket door would be at the bedroom wall.

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    6 years ago

    I'm short on time and just skimmed through.

    The closet, the entry from the rear foyer and the slider kill the functional space in your breakfast nook. There won't be room for adequate seating because it's an intersection.

    7'6"x10' at it's widest dimensions is not big enough when you have traffic between a table and a bar and outside; it's recommended you have at least a 60" between counter seating and table seating.

    Do you really need three seating areas (formal dining, bar and breakfast nook)?

    If you haven't been hanging out on the board for very long you may not have seen that a lot of "before" kitchens involve these small bay window breakfast nook. Most people renovate and put a big island that extends toward the bay, forgoing the small nook table and chairs.

    What is your plan for the fourth bedroom? I think that back area of the house could be improved upon. It depends how it will be used, though. If it is for elderly visitors, you might reconfigure the bathroom to be more elder friendly (it's not advised to have the toilet in front of the shower like that.)

    I'd eliminate that nook and put in an island. If you're interested in a no-nook plan let me know and I'll draw something up when I get home.



  • Hillside House
    6 years ago

    I'm not a fan of angled islands at all.. I think that they instantly make any space seem smaller, and I also think they're a bit dated.

    I think the pantry is not big enough to be of any practical use. If you need a pantry, I think you need to sacrifice the broom closet and use the whole thing for food storage.

    Having said that, I *really* think that the dinette, dining room, and kitchen are all too small. I think you're cramming three rooms into an area big enough for two. I don't see the point of having island seating (which I assume you're planning) + dinette + formal dining room... Will you really use all three?

    If it was me, I would keep the dining room and just plan on island seating. I would start by extending the kitchen up into the dinette area and straightening out the island. I'd also make it way deeper. From there I would play around with layout/placement of appliances. I would probably try for a doorway directly into the dining room, and add a wall of pull-out pantries for storage.

  • bpath
    6 years ago

    Eliminating one eating area and moving the kitchen either forward or back really would help the flow and add circulation space. Right now the kitchen blocks access to the rear foyer from people coming down the stairs, and everywhere else for that matter. And it blocks the back bedroom person from getting into the living areas. You could really have a nice open concept.

    and, FWIW, my SIL has a similar layout and they only use the DR when they have 8+ people...and only because the DR is combined with the LR and they move all the LR furniture down and expand the table.

  • funkycamper
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think this is a perfect example where architects should not design kitchens. I wish you had more than two days to get feedback and to play with design ideas. I'll say up-front that I am not one of the more creative folks here. I hope one of them will pop in because I'm sure their ideas will be better than mine. If it was my build, I'd request a longer delay, not just two days, in order to have the time to get this right.

    I don't like such separation from living/dining areas and think your dining room might be rarely used because of it. Only folks really dedicated to formal dining seem to utilize dining rooms so separated from the real living areas. I'd rather have them share more of the same space so that there is better flow when entertaining and you can better utilize that space on a daily basis. And your eating nook is too small to be much use, especially with a main thoroughfare running through it.

    Because of that, I think you should move the kitchen to the dining area. With a wall separating from the entry hall, people won't walk in and see your kitchen first, and this move allows for a more functional U-shape kitchen.

    Ignore the stuff floating to the right.

    Again, I don't think this is the best plan, just better than what you have. It's all I can come up with in my limited time right now. I'm hoping my response will simply bump you up so more folks will see your post and chime in with better ideas. Best wishes.

    ETA: Oh, lots of good advice has popped in. Cool.

  • junco East Georgia zone 8a
    6 years ago

    Read this thread:

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/3246697/new-to-kitchens-read-me-first?n=58

    Also read the recently updated thread by Marcolo about the order of kitchen functions.

    How will you use the dining room--you need to decide if you want to take the above suggestions and open the DR to the kitchen more. If you like it closed off, then I think Mama Goose's plan is a good one. The architect can tell you if the wall on the left will be enough support so that you can shorten it and look out from the sink. I would also put a pocket door on the pantry so that you won't be moving chairs out of the way to access your food. You could consider making the door from the dinette area a single one in the angled wall on the right.

    Do a mock up of how you will arrange furniture in the living room and figure out if the dinette gives you room for a big enough table.

    Don't let them rush you if you are not satisfied with the layout.


  • friedajune
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I am not one of the layout experts, so I will only address a couple of things with which I have direct experience:

    A. If your sink is 45 degrees, dishwasher should not be directly next to the sink (when door is down, doesn't allow you to stand at the sink), hence need 6-12 in of space between sink and dishwasher.

    This is the perfect place for your garbage pull-out. My sink is in a corner at a 45-degree angle, and then I have the 15" garbage pullout to the right of it, then the dishwasher. Not only does this arrangement correct the issue of being "trapped" by your DW when the door is open, but it is the perfect place for garbage. But, it is not the "6-12 in of space" you mentioned. It needs 15". You will not regret this.

    As I mentioned, I have a corner sink at a 45-degree angle, and love it. If you have a big kitchen, perhaps a corner sink can be moved. But for me, it ideally uses the space, and in any future kitchen I will have, I will have a corner sink. Here is a thread about it - it's an old thread, but sums up things nicely: http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/2670202/sink-in-a-corner

    B. My husband and I don't want a raised counter on the island - just one, continuous same level island. (that's an easy fix)

    I totally agree - I cannot stand a raised counter. It's so much more useful to have one large expanse of counter. If you are worried about your dirty dishes being visible, get a deep single-bowl sink. It will hold a lot of dishes, and people would have to peer into it to see the dirty dishes. Problem solved.

    F. Was told they don't plan on venting to the outside but I really would like this.

    Come hell or high water, you MUST vent to the outside. I do not understand "they don't plan on venting..." Huh? What the ---? It's not hard. Really. I will let other experts advise you on best placement. What I can advise is that when you have the ductwork installed to vent to the outside--which, of course, you will--make sure it is 8" or 10" in diameter, with as few turns as possible. Most builders default to 6" which is inadequate. Do not let them tell you "a 6" diameter is fine". Stand your ground on this. You are not asking for anything unusual nor being difficult - an 8" duct to the outside is a fairly standard install.

    Also, this thing about "design/review/finalize kitchen layout in 2 days" is terrible. Having said that, I do not advocate dithering either, because time is money. But these are huge decisions, that you will literally have to live with for years, and also sell at some point down the road. Take the time to get a good layout, and don't try to do this in 2 days.

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    6 years ago

    I saw Gennifer's comment about the dining being too small and found your first floor layout. If your dining room is 10x10 that is not big enough. My house is 1200 square feet and I planned my dining room with minimal dimensions--9'x12'--and room for table and chairs only. That dining/kitchen wall should be moved toward the back of the house 2-4 feet if it's only 10x10 as planned


  • kbear_15
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you so much friedajune and benjesbride for your very thoughtful and helpful comments. I plan to clarify/discuss with the builder the issue of venting tomorrow. Yes, I agree. I will not make any decisions too quickly, only to regret them later.

    Benjesbride - regarding your comment moving the dining/kitchen wall back a few feet towards the back of the house - will this affect the kitchen island placement relative to the doorway to the rear foyer of the house? I would be curious/concerned about the doorway in/out of the kitchen to the rear foyer if moving the wall ...

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm in the passenger seat and it's killing me that I can play with your plan. I can't wait.

    what do you think about opening the dining room to the kitchen?

    Are you open to eliminating the nook and putting the kitchen all the way to the back exterior wall?

    is the bay window removable or does it support a second floor bay?

    if the bay window slider is eliminated, I think a better exit location is French doors directly back from the front door; you already have a natural walkeay there between the living and kitchen. Are you up for that?

    sorry to bombard you

  • Lavender Lass
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Probably more changes that you want....including switching stairs, porch and bigger garage, but this is an idea :)

    Your garage is pretty narrow, especially for larger vehicles. Just something to think about....

  • cpartist
    6 years ago

    Are you up for moving the kitchen to where the dining room is like funky suggested? Yes you'd lose your island but you'd gain a much more functional kitchen and dining space.

    Would you be willing to lose the dinette? Is it needed?

    If you moved the kitchen to where the dining room is now and lost the island, how would you feel about having a peninsula instead?

    I'm thinking if you move the kitchen to the dining space, you would have a much more function space for entertaining because the dining table could be with the long end from moving into the living room if needed. And unless you entertain all the time, a dining room is usually wasted space.

    However if you do need the dining room as a separate room, as someone else said, do you really want to walk with hot plates and drinks through your hallway into your dining room? Right now it looks very poorly planned.

  • Jillius
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    1) The bathroom by the downstairs bedroom has what appears to be an 18" entrance to the shower (5' deep bathroom minus your 1 foot drop zone nook). 18" is WAY too small to get a body through. We have a couple 28" doors in my home, and I don't think smaller than that should be even considered if you intend a body to pass through it.

    2) As everyone else says, the island is an awkward shape, and it is jutting out into the main walkway from the rear foyer area to the family room. The island jut-out is forcing traffic to walk through the nook, which will be a traffic jam with the table and chairs. Probably you just won't be able to have a table and chairs there.

    3) The dining room is remote. This is more common for people who want to do formal dining. Which is fine, but at 10' x 10', you can fit only a 4' x 4' table with a 3' walkway on all sides. You can fit a 5' x 5' table if you make the walkways only 30", which will be pretty tight. Regardless, you are looking at seating 4 people. What kind of formal dining room seats only 4 people?

    4) You also don't have a truly direct route from the kitchen to the dining, which is important if you are carrying a heavy dish of something straight from the oven.

    5) The walkways in the rear foyer area should be wider. Multiple people enter the house at the same time (everybody in the same car arrives together, enters together), and they will all be navigating around each other and trying to put things away at the same time. I'd make that at least a five-foot-wide walkway or even more if you have a large family coming through together often.

    6) In general, people prefer the laundry to be near the majority of the bedrooms so you don't have to cart baskets full of clothes up and down the stairs. Is there a reason other than not being able to figure out to how to fit it in up there that you did not put your laundry on the second floor?

    7) You have narrow walkways in a large portion of this plan. This is going to make the whole house feel cramped and narrow when you are in it and moving around in it. I would suggest going over the whole plan and widening basically every walkway (through and around things and between things, including walls, furniture, bathroom fixtures -- everywhere and anywhere a person would be walking or moving around). In your master, in your master closet, in the back foyer, etc. Nothing less than 36" anywhere only one person will be at a time, and that is the bare minimum. It is still tight. In my own home (a one-bedroom condo, so it's not a large home), we've got 4'-5' walkways around all our furniture and in the bathroom, and that feels right. I have a couple 32" wide spots (two very short hallways), and they feel quite tight. And that's just for one person moving around. Anywhere 2 or more people will be moving around at the same time, you want 48" minimum, and I'd personally want 5' or 6' minimum.

    The amount of space bodies occupy does not shrink with a house. You don't want to be banging your hip, banging whatever you're carrying, dodging people, etc. every day in your own home. It is stressful and annoying not be able to move easily.

  • cpartist
    6 years ago

    Actually a 42"-48" walkway is fine but nothing smaller. 36" if you absolutely must but like Jillian said, it will feel tight

  • bpath
    6 years ago

    The rear foyer is 43".

    The stairs, can the sides be open instead of drywalled, for an open feel if not elbow room?

  • Jillius
    6 years ago

    43" is cramped when three or four people are moving around in it, having arrived home together in the same car at the same time and all need to remove and stow boots/hats/etc. at the same time.

  • Buehl
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    It's great that you're coming here before the foundation is poured - hopefully that means you can make changes if needed. Two days? You'll probably need more. As others have said, there are many issues with the Kitchen and surrounding rooms.

    I know you came here with specific questions, but...are you interested in a critique of the current design in general? If so...

    First, you have a small island with very little counterspace - this will make it difficult to prep there. It will be even worse if you have dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter.

    On the other hand, you have quite a bit of counterspace where it's useless and wasted - all that empty counter behind the island.

    Ideally, you should separate the Prep Zone from the Cleanup Zone. While this can be done by a "sink" b/w them, in this case the island is much too small and too inefficiently designed to work well.

    Why do you want the sink and Cleanup Zone in the island (along with all your dirty dishes)? Keep in mind that when the Cleanup Zone is in the island, it displays all your dirty dishes front and center for everyone to see - and a raised counter is only marginally effective at blocking the view. Someone sitting at the island will also have dirty dishes "in their face" - not really a pleasant environment to visit in - but an extra large overhang can fix that so it's minimized. I would suggest no less than 18", but 24" would be better. The deeper overhang will also address another issue with cleanup sinks in the island - splashing of visitors. (Cleaning up usually involves more "splashing" than prepping.)

    In addition to the functional issues, islands of that shape are expensive to build and, often, cause issues with traffic.

    Some statistics to consider:

    * 70% or more work/time spent in the Kitchen is spent prepping (Prep Zone)

    * 20% or less is spent cleaning up (Cleanup Zone)

    * 10% is spent cooking - watching your food cook/checking on it (Cooking Zone)

    So, if you want to spend the most time at the island as opposed to the perimeter, then you want your Prep Zone to be in the island. If your island was bigger, you could probably fit both the Prep & Cleanup Zones in it - but not as it stands.

    So - please think about moving the Cleanup Zone off the island and onto the perimeter - and then straightening out the island and adding a prep sink.

    As others have asked - do you really need three types of seating - with two of them so close together??

    ++++++++++++

    What are some other things to think about?

    Since groceries generally come in from the garage/family entrance, you ideally want your pantry and refrigerator as close to that entrance as possible.

    The refrigerator should be located so that it's accessible from outside the kitchen as well as inside and, preferably, near the main dining area (probably the Dinette, in your case.)

    The range and Cooking Zone should be the most protected area from traffic through the Kitchen.

    Please check out the following Kitchen Design FAQs. They will help you understand the comments you are receiving from everyone.

    Please keep in mind that everyone here is trying to help, not criticize maliciously. Some of us can be blunt, but no one is out to deliberately insult or hurt anyone. When your kitchen and house are done, we want you to have a kitchen and house that functions wonderfully well and looks nice overall - but the process may take time and will most likely entail comments that many times you probably won't want to hear (e.g., when a layout is dysfunctional.) We strongly recommend you keep an open mind and keep listening to what others have to say. In the end, you don't have to take any advice given here. It is your kitchen and house and you are the one who will make the final decisions and live with the results.

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Here's my first try. It may have many flaws, but lets get this party going. Two days motivates!!

    I made the dining room bigger. Removed the bay to create a U with an overhang on the living room side.

    I rearranged the rear foyer area so the entryway from foyer to kitchen could be as far down as possible. You can't read my notations, but I personally hate having to close two doors to use a toilet. Instead of putting a pocket door on the bathroom, I suggest you frame in a doorway with pocket door to kind of create a small hallway so the bedroom and bathroom can become a suite when the pocket door is closed/locked. Also, with the pocket door there to muffle noise, I would probably forgo the cumbersome bifold doors and just hang a curtain.

    the square to the top right, behind the toilet is your bench and I suggest that the whole wall common with the kitchen could have coat hooks if that's the kind of climate you're in. Otherwise, you could make the bench area a closet and just use a single stool for taking shoes on/off.

    Not sure that makes sense. Here ya go...

  • kbear_15
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Sorry for the delay and I cannot say thank you enough to everyone for all the great comments, advice, opinions, etc. Keep them coming, please!

    Just to help answer some of the questions posted thus far...

    1. No, our house is not 3000 sqft. The entire house (1st and 2nd floor) combined is just under 2100sqft. Our sqft to work with and budget are very limited, so unfortunately, we do not have the luxury to make things as big as we want. We have to work within our means. Excavation is supposed to start this week. We are supposed to meet with the cabinet people this week, so none have been ordered yet.

    Additionally, the lot is pie/wedged shape (narrow in the front of the house, wider towards the back), so we are very confined. Due to easements/restrictions, we cannot move sideways or forwards/backwards regarding sqft.

    2. I want laundry downstairs. No room for upstairs.

    3. I do not like the idea of having the kitchen in the front of the house (where the dining room currently is), irregardless if a wall separates it from the entry foyer. What is most important to me is an open concept between the kitchen and great room. Moving the kitchen to the front of the house is not an option. Additionally, I do like the idea of having a more "formal" dining room, rather than a common eating area shared with the great room.

    I spent anywhere from 1-3 hours in the kitchen daily between cooking/near the stove, prepping, and washing dishes by the sink. I want to see the great room and converse with whomever is in there. Having said that, I don't like any plans with spending majority of time staring/looking at the staircase, either regular staircase or stairs down to the basement.

    4. I was told if we move the kitchen to the back of the house (where dinette is), we lose the bay window slider set up, period. We would then have a single door accessing the backyard (probably located across from the front door).

    5. On the original plan as is, I was anticipating switching the fridge and 15'' cabinet to avoid having the fridge in the corner/directly across the island, though this point may be mute eventually. Additionally, if we were to keep the current set up (3 eating areas), I envisioned at most a small cafe table sitting 2-4 people at most. Again, possibly a mute point.

    6. I do agree, we probably do not need 3 separate eating areas. I would want the dining room as one and the breakfast bar/eating area for another. (and eliminate dinette eating area). If this is the case, probably best to have access to the dining room from the kitchen.

    7. benjesbride - love your idea. I'm very visual - so extremely helpful to see something drawn up. Few things based on your first drawing:

    - I lost my broom closet (on the original plan, was the closet across from garage door). I don't really have any other place in the house to put my broom/mop/vacuum.

    - I lost my drop zone/command center (on the original plan, was the niche in the wall, directly behind the shower, 3 ft wide, 1 ft deep). I need something like this - place to put my purse down, hang keys, place the mail, etc. The shower in the bathroom is only 4 feet, not 5.

    - If there were no doors for the laundry closet, I worry noise would be higher for the guest bedroom. We did inquire about increased insulation in this area.

    - Helping the bathroom configuration, I planed to not have shower doors, but rather a wide curved rod with curtains for the shower.

    Based on all the above - I am open to getting rid of the dinette, having the kitchen in the back of the house, making the dining room bigger, and opening the kitchen to the dining room, lose the bay window sliders (and have only one single door to the back, can't do french doors for various reasons); would put a window in the middle of the kitchen (where the sliders used to be);

    Do you think there's anyway to keep the current configuration of the rear foyer and do the above? (by flipping the utility tub/garage door, moving entrance from rear foyer to kitchen lower, like on the first drawing you posted)? Unless we can think of a way to get a broom closet and drop zone area. Also, what if I can't afford cabinet pantry? Anyway to make a pantry out of drywall and a door? I was really hoping to have a spice rack on the back of my pantry door (I own 60 spices - I cook all my meals from scratch).

    Thanks!

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    6 years ago

    I was happy to read your feedback. I'll try a few changes to the back foyer. Is your only concern for the kitchen area regarding pantry space? If you omit the bay window will that free up money in the budget for cabinetry?


  • bpath
    6 years ago

    Could there be an L, with the short end on the back wall and the long end a peninsula, and the left wall is the pantry and broom closet? I'd move the rear foyer door down a bit, to keep traffic out of the kitchen.

  • kbear_15
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    main concern with kitchen is pantry space - would prefer to have real pantry than kitchen cabinet space. If i omit the bay window, it does not free up money in the budget. benjesbride - can you include dimensions in your drawings? (dimension for dining room, kitchen); anyway to have kitchen in back + island instead of peninsula or this probably does not make sense). Your drawing is growing on me quite a bit.

    bpathome - having trouble picturing your suggestion. can you draw it out?

    Thank you!

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    6 years ago

    Do you have a closet under the stairs off of the entry hallway?

  • Jillius
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Since the house cannot get bigger, I would suggest attempting to put in less stuff. Do a few things well, rather than a lot of things badly.

    So in the service of excising rooms:

    1) Is this downstairs bedroom meant to a be a guest room? If so, can it be combination guest bedroom/study?

    2) Or, alternatively, could the dining room be a combination dining room/study?

    3) Of the three rooms -- study, downstairs bedroom, and formal dining -- which will be in constant use and which will only be occasionally used?

    4) The garage door could open into the front foyer and mudroom storage added to the front foyer. That would eliminate the need for a back foyer.

    5) Upstairs, do you need the "open foyer" area? That upstairs hallway in general is a little more wasteful of space than it has to be.

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    6 years ago

    Here's an explanation of my assumed dimensions. I worked from the idea that the kitchen/dining wall would be a continuation of the stair wall (red line.) In case you need to keep a header at the end of the hall, I drew a wall at the pink line. I eliminated the wall you had in the white line area. I am not skilled at reading drawings like this; they're rather mind-bending for me. I ended up with a kitchen area 10'x16'11".

    You don't have to have tall cabinets, I just thought it would be nice to put a counter on the dining room side of the fridge as a landing space. In the drawing below, I eliminated that landing. You have almost three feet on the hall side of the fridge if you wanted to build in a pantry.


    View from Living Room:


    Toward Dining Room wall:


  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    6 years ago

    Regarding the back foyer/bathroom/laundry/drop zone I can't get it to all fit without taking space from the bedroom or changing the laundry to stackables.

    As I believe Jillius mentioned upthread, the way the shower is drawn in your original plan doesn't leave enough entry space (it only has approx 18" into the shower. I can't access my NKBA guide right now, but I know for certain that's not enough width.

    We spent over one year designing the total renovation our little house. We had to fire one architect after the first 6 weeks. Looking at your plan and not knowing anything about all the hard work that has gone into it so far, I think your whole house plan could really benefit from some more tweaking. I'd probably start with eliminating that vaulted, open foyer and wide upper foyer so you can gain some square footage for better closets, a better kids bath and an upstairs laundry.

  • benjesbride_misses_sophie
    6 years ago

    This floor plan is very similar to yours and they have created space for a laundry closet upstairs. Here's a link in case it sparks some more ideas for you:


    http://www.houseplans.com/plan/2070-square-feet-4-bedrooms-3-bathroom-traditional-house-plans-2-garage-16840

  • sena01
    6 years ago

    Here's an idea with some dimensions. But I'm no expert, so I'm not sure if these are doable or not.

  • kbear_15
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yes, we plan to have a closet/utilize the space under the stairs leading up to the 2nd floor (this closet accessible via the study). No closet under the stairs that lead down into the basement currently. Can you fit a closet in this one? Only concern is this is the only real wall in the great room.

    Unfortunately we need all 3 spaces - formal dining (now serving as main eating area), study, and guest bedroom. I don't want books/computers/laptops/electronics in the dining room. I play the cello - need separate music space/area, so I'm combining music area (place store music books, cello, music stand) with a small desk/books located in the study. Both in-laws live out of state (as do most siblings) and for various reasons, we've had family stay with us for extended periods of time (i.e. months), so don't want to go into guest bedroom to access my computer, electronics, pay bills, etc.

    Live in northeast OH, so mudroom area/place for coats is essential.

    benjesbride - That floor plan you sent is almost identical to ours! Only difference is the right side of the house continues to come forward, ours doesn't - ours has to recede due to lot restrictions.

    If it helps, here's the topo (house on the pie shaped lot)


  • kbear_15
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Trying to think outside the box and get creative...(and trying to be realistic and work within our means. Iron board on back of front entry coat closet door. Vacuum in front coat closet. Cleaning supplies under kitchen sink. Small, very narrow end cabinet in kitchen for broom, mops (flat items) . if there is any remaining cleaning items, garage.

    Cabinet next to fridge acts double duty ...counter for placing items from fridge and that unit acts as our drop zone. Only question remains what size should this be to allow pantry along same wall, next to fridge.

  • practigal
    6 years ago

    You don't have to have closets under stairs you can have pullout bookcases or drawers which might give better storage.

  • practigal
    6 years ago

    kbear_15 thanked practigal
  • kbear_15
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    practigal - wow, those look absolutely awesome. I'm sure those aren't cheap. Any idea on the cost for something like that? I'm assuming it's got to be custom made?

    My "closet" under the stairs idea - I was thinking more drywall shelves (no actual door) though the drawers would be more useful;

    Any other recommendations/options for a limited budget but still using the full space?