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Post-flood surprise kitchen remodel for family of 5, planning help ple

5 years ago

We weren’t planning to remodel our kitchen this year, but several months ago we had a dishwasher flood. We will be having the wood flooring replaced and the cabinets replaced.

Since living with a torn-up kitchen, we have realized how inefficient our old layout was. It was a U-shape and did not lend itself to having more than one cook in the kitchen. The cabinets in the corners were very difficult to access. The main thing we liked about the layout was seating for our three children at the breakfast bar.

Kitchen mission statement:

Our kitchen is a tidy, clean, and fresh. It is a welcoming space where we gather to cook, eat, do homework or projects, and spend time together.

Family composition:

Two adults and three children 13, 11, 8.

One family member has celiac disease. This kitchen uses gluten products but not loose flour. There is a toaster that is gluten only, and gluten bread is available.

We would like to accommodate multiple cooks/cleanup crew.

We are high use kitchen users. Both husband and wife enjoy cooking. We probably eat one meal out a week as a family, 1-2 work lunches out per week for adults, and the rest of the meals are made at home. We also do big batch cooking, e.g., roasting vegetables or protein ahead of time and eating during the week.

We would like our kitchen to be a place where people can pull up a chair to sit and chat, or help (or do homework). After the dishwasher flood, we found ourselves replacing our breakfast bar with a folding table and chairs -- it is that important to us and used frequently.

We entertain informally (other families) and frequently host another kid or two for a playdate/dinner/sleepover.

We have a separate dining room and use it every night for dinner. It is not an overly formal space, but it has a big table with plenty of room (seats 8 and expands to 10). It’s a nice place to reconnect at the end of the day without distractions. We also use the table frequently to play games.

We don’t have a plan to make structural changes.

Dream list would include: an area for lunches/snacks to be packed that would be not in the way of the main cooking zone. A possible “gluten zone” for bread and toaster to live in (one family member has Celiac disease).

Previous layout:

We had a U shaped kitchen which felt very inefficient. Hard to use corner cabinets, hard for more than one person to work in the kitchen.

We are considering:

- Changing from a 30” range to a 36” range, due to the amount of cooking we do. It seems like it may be excessive, but we also realize that it may be the kind of thing that you appreciate more after you have it.

- Ventilation hood (for whatever range we get)

- Changing pantry to appliance closet, including microwave.

- We will keep our fridge (full-size, not counter depth) and dishwasher

- Reducing the number of (or eliminating entirely) upper cabinets that were along the walls that have the refrigerator and dishwasher


Our current pantry is a closet that is narrow but deep and it is difficult to reach items. We would like to convert this to a closet to store small appliances such as Instant Pot, Kitchen Aid Mixer, blender, etc. We would like to add an outlet for the microwave. (Other appliances would be removed before using.) We would like to plan a pull-out pantry that could be used to store food.


We would like an island with sink, dishwasher, and seating for 3-5.

We are unsure as to whether we can find room for a small table in addition to the island. Ideally this would seat 5.

If we put more seating at the island we do not feel like we need a table in this room.

If there isn’t another table, I like the idea of a couple of chairs that would be comfortable for adults to sit in and have coffee if kids are hosting friends for a movie/videogames in the front room.


There is an area next to the pantry that we would like to have upper/lower cabinets and a countertop. I would like to have a cabinet that would keep our printer tucked away. I could see this as a possible area for toaster/coffeemaker or could imagine it as an area where we have lunch making supplies (and maybe kids’ snacks) for packing that would be away from the stove/sink/dishwasher.

Other considerations:

The side of the kitchen with the appliances has no windows. The other side of the room is ALL windows (they start about a foot from the ground). There are also two skylights and a high/sloped ceiling on this side of the room (beginning at the exterior side wall and extending to the doorway that leads to the dining room). There is such a big contrast between the bright/natural light on one side of the room and the lack thereof on the other. We want to plan lighting solutions to help address this.

The ceiling on the appliance side of the kitchen is 9 feet.

The kitchen is at the back of the house with a door out to a back deck, french doors out to a covered side porch, a pass-through to the dining room, and an opening to the hallway.


Drawer storage for dishes and pans

Improve lighting in kitchen

Seating for 3-5 at island

Space for multiple cooks to work

Optimizing island, specifically the sink/dishwasher placement

Planning an efficient use of the “space with potential”

Here is the kitchen layout.

GAS, HW/CW/DRAIN, and E(lectric) are marked and each square represents 6".

And the kitchen in the context of the house

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