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Need help and input on kitchen floorplan/remodel

Liz
4 years ago

Hi, all - longtime reader/lurker here looking for help with a house renovation.

We're getting started with a house remodel and I need some help and input on the kitchen. We're planning on opening up the kitchen to the living room and dining room. This is what our current living area and kitchen looks like. You can see the walls to be removed. Note that the wall directly above the "landing" isn't being removed, but cut down to a half wall so that the dining room will partially open to the back landing.

We're planning on closing the current doorway from the kitchen directly to the bathrooms, and cutting back the wall that juts into our entryway.

This is what our designer has come up with so far...

My feelings is that there is room for the island to shift "up" into the living room. Also I'm concerned about the lack of counter space around the cook top so I think the pantry should be narrowed to 24" to gain 6" of counter space between the ovens and the cook top.

The area between my sink and stove as it exists now is always cluttered and hard to use a prep space because it's always cluttered with dirty dishes and people try to come get a drink or a plate from the cabinets above me. I'd really like an island with a prep sink so that I'd have a dedicated space away form the main sink and dishwasher.

Please provide me with any and all feedback on the kitchen that you think I need to think about. Many thanks!


Comments (22)

  • Liz
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Thanks for the response, cpartist. to tell you the truth, i don't know why the fridge is shown that deep because we've chosen a counter depth fridge (24 13/16" deep according to the spec sheet)... I think our designer got that wrong. I think the 40" shown at the oven is correct counter-to-counter?

  • dan1888
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Things are tight.

    Counter depth is usually 26"+ when you include the handle and refrigerator door. I'd consider a range to get the counter lost to the wall ovens. I'd reduce the width of your sink to 24" for better counter space. Often KDs give you a bigger than needed single so they don't have to redesign the cabinet face layout. 24 inches is a large sink. A Miele induction slide-in has plumbed steam. It isn't as capable as Miele's dedicated steam combi oven. A pantry that wide and deep is not that usable. A 12"pull-out to the left of the frig would be an alternative. I don't see a problem with lengthening the island towards the living room without adding any more seating. For your layout I'd get some boxes and do a full size layout to make everything work. Remember countertop overhang. I'd delete the cabs in the dining area and the corner on the end of the sink run.

    Liz thanked dan1888
  • Liz
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    @dan1888 - thanks for your response!

    I currently have a 30 inch split bowl sink and it's really not usable. I just assumed that a single bowl 30" sink would be the best replacement... 24" seems small. I don't think I've seen one though so I'll have to take a look. I just assumed 30" was standard. What do you mean about re-designing the cabinet face layout?

    I'm really set on having a wall oven because I'm tall. I looked at the miele slide in and I couldn't believe how low to the ground the oven door is. I remember seeing promotional pictures for it and it showed a man kneeling in front of it to look at his turkey! All that to say, I'm pretty stuck on a raised wall oven with a steam oven.

    I like the idea of a 12" pull-out pantry to the left of the fridge, and maybe another 12" between the fridge and the ovens?

    I wish I could eliminate the cabinets in the corner on the end of the sink run, but those cabinets go above the ceiling of the stairs to the basement, so the floor isn't flat and it slopes upward under/behind those cabinets, if that makes sense. They're kind of "fake" cabinets.

    Thanks again!

  • emilyam819
    4 years ago

    I also don’t like the wall oven between the fridge and cooktop. Ditto to removing the cabinet that turns the corner by the cleanup sink. And I would avoid the upper angled cabinets. They are bulky and look weird if wall cabinets aren’t attached to them on both sides. Use easy reach corner cabs or just run regular cabs into the adjacent wall.

    Liz thanked emilyam819
  • emilyam819
    4 years ago

    We posted at the same time. Now I understand the corner by the sink.

    One more thing- move the prep sink more toward the middle of the island. Doesn’t have to be exactly in the middle, but you want space to set things down coming from the fridge on one side, wash in sink, chop etc on other side.

    Liz thanked emilyam819
  • Liz
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    thanks, emily - I think you're right about moving the prep sink closer to the middle to leave room on the other side.

    So, should i try moving the wall ovens directly next to the fridge? and a narrow 12" pull-out pantry next to the ovens? or keep a 12" pullout between the ovens and fridge and put another on the other side of the fridge? either way I think I'll try and make the 2 lower cabinets on either side of the cooktop 18" each, and put the fridge out the 3" extra into the living area.


  • emilyam819
    4 years ago

    Yes, it looks like you have room to move the fridge toward the living space.

    Liz thanked emilyam819
  • cpartist
    4 years ago

    I think our designer got that wrong. I think the 40" shown at the oven is correct counter-to-counter?

    And it's still too small for the aisle. 42" is minimum for a one butt kitchen. If you have kids or a spouse helping in the kitchen you really should have 48"

  • Liz
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thanks, cpartist. When you said above that 36" is the absolute minimum, would the 40" then be ok? I read the kitchen FAQs and saw the 42" minimum, but does everyone really have that amount?

    There are only 3 of us in the house and I'm the only one cooking anything.. usually help only comes in to clean up behind me.

  • rmsaustin
    4 years ago

    How deep is the seating overhang on the island? If the picture is to scale, it appears that the overhang is less than half the depth of what are 24" cabinets? You really want 15" or more for the overhang for comfortable (knees not banging into the back of the island cabinets) seating. In addition if someone is sitting at the first chair (closest to the stairs, there will be a real pinch point between the chair, the stairs and the dining area.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    You could use the existing opening to the hall to recess the fridge a few inches if necessary. If you can shift a seat to the short end of the island on the LR side, then you could possibly move the island out a couple more inches, to make the 42" minimum and relieve the pinch point at the stairs. You might check into shortening the half wall by the stairs by a couple of inches, too, and add those inches to the seating overhang.

    I put uppers and base cabinets beside to ovens, to provide landing space, but if you make the island longer, and move the sink down, you could use that end of the island as landing space and have a full-height pantry--either full-depth or shallower, 15-18".

  • rhay
    4 years ago

    Not sure if the steam oven you are planning to use has a drain or not or requires a water line. Make sure that there is room for these in the cabinets in that area. We are installing one and had to make room for a vent, water shutoff and drain hose. I gave up on the drawer underneath and went with a regular cabinet with a cut out and access panel.

  • cpartist
    4 years ago

    Honestly I absolutely wouldn't go less than the 42" for the work zones.

    And as someone else mentioned, if you're doing counter height seating, you don't want less than 15" of counter. We have less than that now in our rental and it's just bad. We can't sit there for more than a short time or else we wind up with backaches. We can't eat comfortably because we have to either sit too far from the edge of the counter so our knees don't hit the cabinet or we have to turn our legs partly to one side.

    My new island has a generous 17" counter space for seating. I can't wait.

  • kazmom
    4 years ago

    Personally I don’t think I would like a 12” pantry unless I had more pantry space somewhere else. Our current pantry is 18” and it is tight (4 people in the house). It isn’t that there isn’t enough overall space, it is that there isn’t enough space in the couple pullouts most comfortable to use (chest level and next one down). I don’t want to store frequently used items on the bottom pullout. We also can’t fit all our cans on one pullout without stacking, which is a pain. We are going with a large pantry cabinet in our remodel (33”) because we are losing a built in pantry and need more room. I know some feel it is too big, we will see after we start using it if we find it hard to “find” stuff in the middle. It was a trade off between this and the space you lose in doing 2 pantry’s (cabinet sides, etc). I definitely wouldn’t go smaller than 24” if given the choice. 24” would easily be doable given out 18” pantry experience.

  • dan1888
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    24" sink is actually bigger than you'll need to wash everything used in a kitchen. Think about how you've been doing with 2 much smaller bowls up til now. Bigger things can be cleaned in a utility sink in the laundry area or in a bathtub. . . . .Redoing the cabinet face layout involves dealing with a single door or 2 smaller width doors on 24" or so sink base cabinet. And how that blends in with the other door sizes in the kitchen. If you're doing all drawer lowers it's easier. In some layouts(but not yours) you can deepen the counter to 28 or 30" and use a 21" front to back sink. In that case you can go to a 18" width sink for even more free counter space. You'll turn something the other way to wash it. Measure or look at your sheet pans and roasting pans to see what size sink space you really need. . . . . .The Miele induction range comes with 2 ball bearing shelves to make things convenient. The steam injection options and manual controls are pretty comprehensive. Your space is tight. I'd choose the usability gains from more counter space.

  • salex
    4 years ago

    I would move the wall ovens into the bottom left corner - so that if you're standing at the sink, the ovens are to the right. I agree with whoever said they don't like the wall ovens where they currently are. The corner is more out of the prep zone.

    Also, I recently switched from a 33" split sink to a 30" single basin for cleanup and LOVE it. It is wider than I need - 24" would have been fine - but the 30" lets me stack dirty dishes in one side and still use the rest of the sink. If you're used to <15" per basin, I bet you'll love it even at 24".

  • backyardfeast
    4 years ago

    mamagoose's tweak also took out the small cabinet that turns the corner by the dishwasher. This is an important change. Have you thought about where you would put dishes in your current layout? We usually want them close to the dishwasher, but in that design you won't be able to reach any cabinets on the left when the dishwasher was open. This was a mistake we almost made! :)

    IME, it was well worth taping out options in my current kitchen, or at least walking around with a measuring tape to try to feel things out. How much space do you need to stand in front of an open oven door?

  • Liz
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Hi, all – thank you for all the feedback and apologies for taking a few days to get back to you.

    To address the comments made since I last checked in:

    The overhang on the island is currently 12”. I agree that the seating near the stairs will be a pinch point going to the dining room, even though it gives us more room than we have now (without someone seated there).

    I really like your idea of adding/shifting another seat to the end of the island, mama goose. And shifting the island towards the living room. Thank you so much for doing up the layout like you did. I’m not sure if we can shorten the half wall by the stairs, as it might make the top stair awkward with entrance from two sides? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that? Unfortuantely I can’t move the cabinet-corner next to the stairs, or put the ovens there (to the right of the dishwasher when you look at it) because of the stairs to the basement (floor isn't flat and it slopes upward under/behind those cabinets).

    Even though our fridge is shallow, I’m going to see about recessing it in the wall – thanks for that tip, mama goose!

    Strob06 – thank you for your input about the pantry! I appreciate hearing about your experience. We currently have two 18” cabinets, but they each only have two pullouts in the bottom, and the rest is fixed shelves. To be honest, we don’t use them to capacity because things just get lost in them! If they were pullouts top to bottom, they’d be so much more usable. We also have a second pantry/linen closet in the hall, where bigger or less-used items go as well.

    Oh, I forget who mentioned it but we aren’t using corner angled cabinets (those are showing incorrectly in the plan views) but instead we’re putting in open shelving (as shown in the elevations).

    Thanks for the explanation on the cabinet face layout, dan1888 - I haven’t had a chance to check out sinks yet, but I think I’ll take my biggest sheet pan and see how a 24” would work. We do have a utility sink in the basement, but I’d hate to get down on my knees and use my bathtub to do my big pans! I am really stuck on getting away from a range and moving to wall ovens to save my back. I was back at the appliance store today and checking out the miele induction range really solidified my desire for wall ovens – it is just SO low to the ground!

    Salex – I’m going to check out the 24” sinks, because you’re right that I’ve been using such a small one to date that 24 will seem huge!

    Backyardfeast – you’re right about us having an issue with dishes in proximity to the dishwasher. Our dishes are currently in the uppers to the right of the range (about where the cooktop will be) and it’s not the most convenient, but it’s not awful. But we really can’t do any better (or any worse) because there isn’t anywhere else to put the dishwasher.

    Thank you again to everyone for their feedback – I’m going to get some changes made and come back for some more advice and feedback (probably MUCH more) once it’s revised.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Since the slope of the stairs prevents you from having drawers in the fake base cabinets (I missed that fact in your explanation to Dan), you might consider putting the trash/rec cabinet next to the prep sink, and putting a drawer stack on the end facing the sink/DW. You can also store dishes and flatware in the drawer stack to the left of the clean-up sink. I'd suggest keeping frequently-used dishes on the open shelves to the right, but how will you reach the shelves (or an upper cabinet) when the DW door is open for unloading, except for the very end of the open shelves?

    GW discussions--dishes in drawers

    Images--dishes in drawers

  • Liz
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thank you all again for your input. I'm back with some updated plans and elevations and would appreciate any additional comments you may have. Here is the revised floorplan for the kitchen.

    Here are the 3D renderings. A few things to note:

    the crown will not be extending over the open shelving at the end of the runs. It will return to the wall along the side of the cabinet and the three shelves will be spaced differently (not starting at the bottom of the cabinet, not ending at the top of the cabinet, but spaced evenly next to it, if that makes sense?)

    And here are the elevations:

    A few more comments:

    • the double garbage and the drawer unit in the island will be switched so that the drawer is on end (left) of the island
    • the lower drawers in the corner next to the dishwasher will be "false" b/c of the angled ceiling over the stairs behind them
    • I'm contemplating switching the pantry with the fridge, so that the fridge isn't on the end run. any thoughts on that?
    • I do prefer the ovens next to the cooktop.
    • I'm not sure I'm sold on the corner drawer idea, but I don't like the idea of a dead corner. Any other options?

    Thank you in advance for any and all advice you can provide! Oh, and please let me know if you think I should start a new thread instead of updating this one. Thanks!

  • nancyjwb
    4 years ago

    It looks to me like a peninsula would be better here. Some spaces just aren’t suited to an island and this is one. It looks really cramped and lacking counter space.

    What about a peninsula between the kitchen and the living room? Maybe some of the people here who are good at layouts could try something like that for you.

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