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lea_dinell

Oddly shaped kitchen - enough space between cabinet walls?

Lea Dinell
3 years ago

I have a rather oddly shaped kitchen - part galley, part square. I am putting in floor to ceiling cabinets (shown as uppers and lowers in the section featuring the microwave - this will be changed to floor to ceiling) opposite the stove. This would leave just 39 inches between the two sides of the galley part of the kitchen, until it opens up (past a doorway) into the sink/ fridge/ breakfast nook square. Is 39 inches enough? Or should the floor to ceiling cupboards be made skinnier?


The section in question (original plan below - needs to be revised) will ideally house a pots and pans drawer, a microwave (inside, sitting on a shelf), space for hiding away large appliances, and perhaps some glass doors in the middle for wine glasses.


Any feedback would be hugely appreciated!







Comments (40)

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    You can do to two feet wide tall cabinets at the end and two 15 inches in the center

  • Bev
    3 years ago

    I had a galley kitchen in my last house for 27 years and I had more room to move around than 39" ( I had a least 4 feet or more)! IMO, 39" would seem a little claustrophobic and too confining to move around easily.

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  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    3 years ago

    No. You need nothing but 12” deep cabinets on one of those walls to make it even close to working.

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago

    I’m only answering on the elevation pic op has provided isn’t it what his question is about.

  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thanks everyone, useful perspectives.

    To clarify, the new unit will be 21 inches deep floor to ceiling (deep enough for a pots/ pans drawer?), then a 39 inch corridor, then 24 inch lowers/ standard uppers.

    The oven and then the microwave sitting on a shelf inside the new unit are the only things with doors that open in that corridor.

    In terms of structuring the new unit, I'm thinking something like 3 columns: 24 in/ 30 in (pots and pans drawers/ microwave/ etc)/ 24 in.

  • latifolia
    3 years ago

    They’re saying 39” is not enough, and I tend to agree. It will feel like a cave, never mind that no one can walk by when the oven is open. Maybe you should rethink your storage. My aunt had a kitchen with a wall of 12”-deep cabinets. That was used for dishes, glasses (as you say), and even food. They are easy to access and you don’t need pullouts. You could also include a shelf for cookbooks.

    Who is making your cabinets? In my experience, different depths are a very custom item, and could be expensive. Obviously not an issue if your husband or someone is building them.

  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Sorry folks, I re-measured and discovered 3 inches more. I can add it to the corridor or the new unit, so either the corridor goes up to 42 inches, or the cabinets go up to 24 inches. Sounds like I need the corridor to expand?

    The cabinets are being custom made by a cabinet-maker... don't have the skill set for that sort of thing unfortunately.

    @Claire Larece - thanks for the example. I guess I was asking both a) is the corridor big enough and b) thoughts on how to structure the new unit/ is it big enough for pots and pans at 21 inches deep. It can be as wide or narrow as needed. The depth is the issue.

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    do you have the elevation of which the stove is??? Do you have the elevation of each section of the kitchen so I can see more better

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    If the stove is in the time out corner there, you need an entirely different layout. That does not work at all.

  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I'm hoping these help. So the entire kitchen will be new, and will be on the existing footprint of the kitchen. Unfortunately, this cannot be changed. The standalone floor-to-ceiling cabinets opposite the stove is the only piece that our current kitchen does not have. This is the only thing that can be changed - i.e., it can be made narrower or wider, to allow the galley corridor to be narrower or wider as needed. So this was originally planned as the pots and pans storage with a depth of 21 inches, leaving the corridor at 42 inches...

    Pic 1: The stove opposite the floor-ceiling storage

    Pic 2: This is the L right angle that joins the stack of drawers on the left on the stove. The base cabinet will be a garbage pull-out.

    Pic 3: Part of the kitchen square, incorporating fridge/ sink/ dishwasher.

    Pic 4: Built-in banquette

    pic1

    pic2
    pic3
    pic4

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Can you have your kitchen designer place the stove on the L side where you have just cabinets near sink

  • latifolia
    3 years ago

    Will that fridge open bang up against the left hand wall?

  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Claire - can't move the stove... just put in a professional vent hood and run to the roof in there last year :)

    @latifolia - we're about to decide on a fridge today and have exactly the same concern. But the old fridge opened this way, and it was fine. The door opening the other way is also an option, but may get a bit annoying I'm thinking, when you're carrying something and the door has to open towards you.

  • latifolia
    3 years ago

    Every fridge is different. Be very careful, because sometimes the door doesn’t open far enough to get the shelves out. Freezer drawers might work, too.

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago

    How about adding a prep sink where the stove is

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago

    Do you have 4 inch backsplash

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    3 years ago

    Moving the stove is the ONLY way to approach this remodel. Sunk costs do not matter. That layout is completely dysfunctional as shown.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    3 years ago

    An actual floor plan of the space insted of these weird elevations would be helpful. 32” is good a little more in front of the fridge and stove are always better All the lower cabinets should be drawers there is no way to have cabinets where you have to to your knees to find stuff

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Wouldn’t you rather have picture 4 as a nook. You should also have the cabinets in pic 1 and 2 connect as a return countertop so you would have more of a work area

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago

    This is an old sketch I did in Sketchup 3 years ago but excuse the sort of sloppiness of it.

  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Claire Larece: Pretty as that is, we can't do a nook as we end up with a table that's too small for us. Yes, we have the backsplash room. Won't use a prep sink though. The cabinets in Pic 1 and 2 do actually connect. Not the greatest diagrams, I know.

    @Patricia Colwell Consulting: Interesting observation about doing all drawers for the lowers. Was thinking of doing this for the new unit, but hadn't considered it for the other lowers too.

    @latifola - yup, ended up getting a fridge with freezer drawer.

    @Sophie Wheeler and others: I do appreciate everyone's feedback about the layout. I hear what you're saying and fully understand that the kitchen isn't functional as is for most people. However it works perfectly well for us as is, and we don't want to change a thing. As noted above, the main thing that I'm looking for advice on is the "corridor" space. And it sounds like there is consensus that 12 inch cabinets is what's recommended, even with the aisle widened to 42 inches? Thanks!

  • latifolia
    3 years ago

    We have a galley kitchen. Just measured and the aisle is 44”, countertop to countertop. Remember, your countertop projects beyond the cabinet, so effectively you lose 2” there.

    Lea Dinell thanked latifolia
  • claire_larece
    3 years ago

    You can do 18” of depth for the base cabinets

    Lea Dinell thanked claire_larece
  • claire_larece
    3 years ago

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago

    Lea Dinell thanked claire_larece
  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Very useful, thanks Claire Larece and latifolia. Countertops aren't a consideration as we're just doing a wall of cabinets. If I do it as 18 inch cabinets, do you think I would be able to use it for pots and pans storage, by just having lots of pots and pans drawers to compensate for not doing the standard 24 inch depth? (This would give me a 45 inch aisle)

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago

    The reason why I showed you this is since you want to to do the 21” depth drawers you can that will allow you 3 feet and 3 inches of space which, it shows you minimum walk through space is 36” besides you can get the deep drawers for your pots and pans.

  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Claire Larece - would you go ahead and do 21" deep drawers and a 42" aisle or 18" drawers and a 45" aisle? Because it sounds like as much as I'd like to do 21" drawers, the space may look better with a wider aisle, from other people's comments? Essentially does aesthetics trump functionality, or does the few inches short not make much of a difference to the aisle?

  • RL F
    3 years ago
    We have a galley kitchen and there are 49" between the counters. It feels pretty narrow. Given the choice I would use the shallower cabinets.
    Lea Dinell thanked RL F
  • claire_larece
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Lea Dinell, it was just to show you. I would do the 18” depth by 24 wide at each end like that you will have 42” of passage

  • Lyndee Lee
    3 years ago
    If you are doing drawers in the base cabinet, I would go for the wider aisle as you will be standing in that space while you pull out the drawer. You may wish to talk to your cabinet maker about how to maximize the usable space as some configurations eat up quite a bit of space with hardware. Also be clear whether you are getting a full size drawer or a shorter drawer box with a taller front panel.

    I admit that I am not a convert to the all drawers setup. I like my blind corner pan cupboard with 30 inches of opening then another 15 inches of recessed space. Plenty of space for what I use regularly and extra room for the odd items used only once or twice a year.
    Lea Dinell thanked Lyndee Lee
  • suezbell
    3 years ago


    Measure the deepest thing you anticipating putting in the floor to ceiling "pantry" cabinets. Consider putting those cabinets against the short wall (stand alone wall), with the refrigerator across from it.

    Measure the depth of your current overhead cabinets; measure the depth of hour bathroom vanity. With those sizes in mind, which number is the least depth you need to store what you plan to put in these cabinets?

    Don't build either a cabinet or a wall beside a refrigerator that would impede fully opening the refrigerator doors to remove the veggie drawers.

    Focus on having the cabinets in larger part of the kitchen be the ones with the countertop space and overhead cabinets.

    You don't show any countertop along that one wall (with a pass through window?) Could that wall be opened up or at least a foot deep cabinet built into the wall beneath that window/pass thru -- (potentially giving you a "bar" there)?

    Lea Dinell thanked suezbell
  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @suezbell: No countertops along that one wall (that's a window to the outside, not a pass through) as it will become a breakfast nook... so there will be a table facing the long built-in bench, and two chairs opposite... leaving space for the fridge to open. Tested the veggie drawers etc in the store, looks like it will behave like the old fridge and come out. Great point about the bathroom vanity...

    So I measured my largest pans as well as other appliances like the instant pot, deep fryer, etc (as the new unit will also need to store these) and after reading all your feedback I'm thinking I should do 18" cabinets opposite the stove. This allows for a 45" aisle. At the moment, my regular pots and pans fit into two 21" (inner depth) x 30" (outer length) drawers. So I'm hoping they might all fit if I turn the entire bottom section of the new unit into storage for pots/ pans/ appliances. Something like 3 sections (24"/ 30"/ 24") of double pots and pans drawers.

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    But I thought you weren’t going to put a nook there. You got it 24/30/24

    Lea Dinell thanked claire_larece
  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Claire Larece - sorry, I thought you meant an L-shaped nook (which would mean smaller table) - but a nook as in one bench facing chairs, yes. Not sure if that's technically called a nook?

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Yup it’s called a nook... or you can do a 30/18/30

  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Oh, okay, I have a nook! :D

  • Lea Dinell
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thanks everyone, this was very helpful!

  • claire_larece
    3 years ago

    You’re Welcome