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greengirlnyc

Need design help on small awkward kitchen design

greengirlnyc
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

Hi all, I've seen the great feedback that is given on these forums and have come to ask for help. Our current kitchen is shown in the photos. Our kitchen remodel we will begin once we have our floors redone. We will have one floor (stone laminate, white with splash of grey and brown, have not ordered them yet, that's just what we're thinking of going with). Our concern is more about the kitchen and how we can maximize the space that we have. We've looked at Ikea again and are open to suggestions and design ideas. I have played with the Ikea planner tool and have 2 ideas on here that may be terrible, please do feel free to be honest. The island in our current photos we just bought at Ikea, however, they will take a return if we do not decide to keep it. So the decisions we are trying to make are -

- go with island in new kitchen or U shape kitchen?

- go with permanent island or current one we bought, that can be moved.

- go with more top cabinets above dishwasher or leave open?

- one of my drafts doesn't show back door going to backyard, which is after the granite countertop...

- we DO need more storage, so we would like more top cabinets, but will it make room look tiny?

All of your expertise and intelligence is so appreciated! Thank you so much!

Thanks so much for your tips. I am all ears and have not committed to anything at all yet.

PS Having a hard time with adding photos, so going to save this post and add additional photos. I've lost the entire post twice as Google Chrome began to "Not Respond". Thanks!












We have not ordered any items or committed to a date for anything at all, so this is a project that is just in the initial phases. We are happy to scrap our ideas and have a totally open mind.

Thanks again from the bottom of my heart!

PS would add more pics, but internet is acting up and crashing.

Will try to add additional pics later.








Comments (30)

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    2 years ago

    We need measurements of all walls, windows, and doors, to be able to make suggestions.

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Posted the photo in initial post along with others that I am sharing as we go. I am a total amateur, so I apologize if I provided too much info or not enough info. Thanks in advance.


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  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Ideally, you'd have 48" between the island and perimeter counter, and 48" between the island and fridge door, but the minimum recommended by the NKBA is 42". You need 36" between the corner of the stub wall and the corner of the island. You don't have enough space for those clearances and an island larger than 24x48". If you use standard base cabinets, you'll need a back cover panel, and counter overhangs on each side, making the island at least 26.25" (1" overhangs plus .25" cover panel/skin) by 50". Or use a 24" base plus a 21" base for 26.25 x 47".

    Also, I the measurements for the sink wall don't seem to be correct, but I might be confused.


    If the island is turned parallel to the fridge, it could be 36 x 47" (red rectangle):

    Could you add a peninsula?


  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you so much @mama goose_gw zn6OH. Just looked at your diagram and your guess is correct that the fridge is recessed. I re-measured all and added to your excellent diagram. Didn't want to overwrite any of your diagram, so I put the measurements above. Hoping this is helpful. Thanks so much. Taking a look at option to flip the island. Would a "U" shape be an option at all - we were considering that if it was a more practical solution than a small island. The photo for that is also in my post, added it shortly after posting. Thanks again, @mama goose_gw zn6OH! So great to have your feedback!



    Also, just a few quick questions to learn more about the options.

    "You need 36" between the corner of the stub wall and the corner of the island. You don't have enough space for those clearances and an island larger than 24x48". "

    - This current island is mobile, we do have it at 34" but it can be moved. Currently, the rooms being separated by different flooring give it more of a "limiting" feeling, but we can move island further out (36-37"). Does the same 24x48 recommendation apply?


    "If you use standard base cabinets, you'll need a back cover panel, and counter overhangs on each side, making the island at least 26.25" (1" overhangs plus .25" cover panel/skin) by 50". Or use a 24" base plus a 21" base for 26.25 x 47"."

    - would the overhang include space for seating? We have one draft with 3 chairs near island.


    Thanks so much.

    Lucy

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    We considered a peninsula, but think it would be practical on the other side, but we can be completely wrong- this was our draft with that idea. Peninsula wouldn't be okay after the refrigerator as there is a door to basement right after that small wall that refrigerator is up against. We were thinking peninsula could go right after dishwasher, eliminating 30" cabinet and making that space a peninsula. We would like to consider stools for sitting even if just 2 or 3 whether it's for island or peninsula. Thanks! :)


    In black and white diagram below, we left out back door. Window along left side wall leads to a door. Providing pic to show that below. Thanks again.




  • rebunky
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Hey, I think I have your same bamboo cabinets in my little kitchen! We got them off the shelf at Lowe’s. We could not afford the more expensive semi-custom cabinet line at the time that we installed in my other home (Schuler brand White icing color). Plus where I live we dont have IKEA Or I would have definitely considered them.

    Honestly, I’m pretty surprised that I’m just as happy with the off the shelf cabinets. They have soft close, dovetail, and seem pretty solid. I have never seen IKEA cabs so maybe they are much nicer.

    I am sure they are probably the “Cheap Chinese Crappola” as the famous and dearly missed Sophie would say. So I cannot believe I am recommending them, (what sacrilege!) but since you already have them in your kitchen and they look in good shape, personally I would try and work with them.

    I will say I definitely prefer the wood now to my expensive white cabs because they have held up way better as far as wear and tear. I’m not constantly having to worry about them or clean them daily. We’re talking it was a constant battle with my white kitchen!

    Don’t get me wrong, a white kitchen was my total dream kitchen. It is beautiful, but if you aren’t ready for the work involved to care for them like me, it was a total Debbie downer. Of course, if your family is pristine it may not be an issue. It could just be the brand, but for some reason the dirt does not easily come off my white painted cabinets with a damp cloth and mild dish soap as recommended. I have many stains that won’t budge, especially near the pulls, tops of drawers, and drips from food or oils. If I use the scrubby side of a sponge (lightly) or even slightly harsher cleaning methods, it takes the paint finish right off. Ask me how I know. It stressed me out! I was getting mad at my husband way too much for getting his grimly paw prints on my precious white cabinets. It was heading for war! Haha!

    One thing I don’t like about the bamboo cabs though is that there are limited choices and sizes to work with off the shelf. We were able to special order a matching vanity for our bathroom and I think a deeper cab for over the fridge. I’m not sure what else you can special order.

    Of course if you don’t like the wood, the style, etc, and are set on a white kitchen, well then I have just rambled on for no reason. I just thought I’d throw out my opinion on the option of keeping the bamboo and seeing if you can add more cabinets and/or rearrange the layout. Fwiw, here is my tiny kitchen. We did add a small rolling cart recently that we keep next to the side of the couch and bring over as needed for more counter space. it makes sort of a small U shaped kitchen as the cart height is the same as the countertops.



  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    2 years ago

    Your kitchen layout is pretty good as it is. Since it is really a very nice and open kitchen, I would definitely go with wall cabinets on both sides of the window. With a 95"h ceiling, you could do either 36" or 39"h with crown mold to the ceiling. Either one would increase your storage space considerably. Think about staying just a few inches away from the window on each side to give the window some breathing space. A pendant in front of the window over the sink could look great too. The drawer base to the right of the range could be wider. There is no reason for the counter to extend past the cabinet next to the refrigerator(pet peeve of mine). Make sure you utilize the corner with a corner base. If you are going to go with white cabinets, I would consider using white appliances. That way, you don't get that ugly black side on the refrigerator and, bonus, they are usually less expensive. As to the island - I would keep the Ikea island. You can try it in both directions to see which feels better. Mama goose is right about clearances, but I think that because the kitchen is very open it will work. It will only comfortably sit 2 though.

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @rebunky thanks so much for sharing your kitchen (so adorable!) and yes our cabinets do look SO much alike! Ours were from Ikea and they were and still are very durable. They have been great and we are considering Ikea again for that reason, they are good cabinets for sure. Would you be so kind to send another pic- showing what follows after the refrigerator? I haven't had my fridge in a cabinet in the past, but I am considering it as the storage space that you see behind the fridge in my photos is so far back that I don't think we open that cabinet more than twice every 4 years! And the top of our fridge is always an eyesore with chips, bowls and junk. So i'd love to solve those 2 problems with a cabinet that would have storage right above the fridge as well. But wondering if it would make the entire kitchen look off as the fridge cabinet would be SO far in front of other cabinets... hmmmm.


    @Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc thanks so much for your tips! I do agree - the "ugly black side" of the fridge is such an eyesore, especially because ours is currrently filled with magnets, etc- but to have high glossy cabinets (possibly) and then suddenly a black stove and black/stainless steel fridge.. not sure... but your idea of white is a good one. Thanks so much.


    Would you guys think that a U shape is possible with my layout? The U shape is in one of the Ikea Planning drafts that I came up with in my initial post.. it just doesn't look great as I am still trying to figure out how to work the planning program correctly. :)


    THanks so much!! Keep it coming. :)

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I have a quick question - if we put in an induction stove, is a vent above the stove a requirement if we do NOT put in a microwave (with vent underneath)?

    - what alternatives can be put above an induction stove in lieu of a microwave?


    thanks so much

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    2 years ago

    The measurements across the back wall add up to 168.75" or 169" total, depending on which of your measurements i use. 35+54+35.25+44.5=168.75


    If you could have a mobile worktable/island built, with seating on two sides, I think you could combine all the minimum measurements and comfortable seating. Also, if it's mobile you aren't required to add an electrical outlet. I think 18" drawers would be convenient, but you'd need to make sure they weren't overloaded to the tipping point when open.



  • rebunky
    2 years ago

    Next to fridge is a wall, then my front door, and then a closet for my stacked w/d. My fridge is a compact size so it is counter-depth. The fridge cab I think is 15” deep but we pulled it forward to be useable so it has a gap behind. Don’t you hate those cabs above the fridge that are so far back they’re useless!

    I will have to ask my husband but I believe the cabinet is attached to the wall side and the other side has a piece of plywood that supports under the cab from the floor on the countertop side. Then he put a piece of finished cabinet skin (forget what it’s called) to cover it. It looked weird to me when he did it, and honestly I hated it at first. But he made a little shelf and I actually used it a lot. I tuck my coffee stuff there under the shelf. I even put stuff on the little ledge space where that crown molding is.

    Here a picture but not sure if it helps. If want more info, I can ask dh later. You have much more space to work with so I’m sure you can make it look more professional. My whole house is not quite 500sq. ft., so we had to get creative. :)))) Mamagoose‘s idea sounds great!



  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @mama goose_gw zn6OH thanks so much for the continued feedback. I love your idea of having seating on 2 sides.

    Just wanted to clarify so that I am definitely understanding your insight:

    - If the island is turned parallel to the fridge, it could be 36 x 47" (red rectangle)

    In your latest comment, we are going with a 36 x 47 island, consisting of:

    one base cabinet 30" wide and 18" deep

    granite overhang for the remainder of the island.


    - How many would be able to sit? Only 1 person on each side?


    Thanks again!


    @rebunky - thank you so much. The pics are great - and wow your husband is very creative. I love the fact that he didn't waste any space and yes, that little nook for coffee mugs or something else (keys, wallet) could be so useful! I think the thing that pulls me toward ikea is their unique ability to use up every single space in a room!


    Appreciate everyone's feedback so very much.

    Lucy

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    2 years ago

    How many would be able to sit? Only 1 person on each side?

    Correct--one person on each side. Normally, since each seat needs 24" elbow room, you could squeeze two seats on the longer side, but you have the stub wall which would make it too tight for traffic behind the second seat.



  • Design Girl
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Comment on your floor - Can you run the hardwood into the kitchen? That is always a good way to go as it unifies a space making it appear larger. Mamagoose always has great kitchen layouts.

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    hi all. using the Houzz app and seeing messages in different order now. u apologize if I left out the detail of my floor being redone where we will have one new floor in a light stone across all 3 rooms. entire first floor will have same stone tile. laminate but appears to be an 18z24 whitish tile with grey and brown splash. will repost pic shortly.

    would it be ok tobmake island a bit larger if this is the case since we will not have the ugly lip on the floor?

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    floor will be all same flooring.

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I'm trying to understand how come my current ikea island (30x50) seats 2 on one side with a reasonable amount of elbow space and the design calls for less seating. is it because I have it turned the other way ? thanks.

  • Design Girl
    2 years ago

    24 inches per person for seating, so 5o inches is ok for 2 - My gut is that you don't have the recommended clearance between the island and the refrigerator. Minimum is supposed to be 42 inches.

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Hello @Design Girl, Thank you so much for the feedback.. you're right, it's not 42" between fridge and island - our homes are pretty small in Queens, NY.. We are also considering the peninsula for this reason, so that we do have an open floor still, while still having more counterspace. Thoughts on the peninsula design? will repost it here along with @mama goose_gw zn6OH excellent sketch with the most accurate measurements thus far. (her diagram does have island, however, my draft below shows where we'd place a peninsula).

    Thanks again. :)

    .



  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    My concern with peninsula plan is that it will feel too tight coming in from the back door - especially if there are people seated there. Since you already have an island, try placing it where you would have the peninsula and see how it feels. I actually think that turning the island will give you that peninsula feel and extra counter space without committing to a peninsula. You could also leave the island in its present position and move it further away from the sink area. I agree with Design Girl - design guidelines are guidelines - sometimes we have to cheat a little to make a room work for us. Only you know what feels uncomfortable.

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc, I took your suggestion, moved the island into where the peninsula would be and - you are RIGHT. It won't feel comfortable. I felt claustrophobic for a bit too. So used to having that open and having easy access to the backyard! :( Not going with peninsula for sure. @mama goose_gw zn6OH thank you for your "turned island" idea, that will be a better layout than either of mine for sure. @Design Girl thank you as well! BTW I am going back and forth between cabinets and am leaning toward Ikea... they have so many options and customization, that it gives more flexibility.

  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    2 years ago

    Good Luck! Keep us posted.

    greengirlnyc thanked Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
  • rebunky
    2 years ago

    Good call on no peninsula. Mocking up layouts with physical objects helps so much. Yes definitely keep us posted!

    greengirlnyc thanked rebunky
  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I always try to cite the NKBA guidelines, because they are standard for a functional kitchen, and it's better to know all the rules, before we start to bend them. ;)

    In my own kitchen, on two sides I have narrower aisles than recommended, but it works OK for my layout. My DW opens into a long aisle, not against the island, and the island overlaps the fridge and range by 50% each, so there is step-back space in front of each appliance. Behind the seating I have base cabinets and uppers, providing more space at shoulder height than vertical elements would. My DW is in the prep space between the sink and range, but due to an entry on the other side of the sink, that couldn't be changed.

    One of the advantages to an island is a second egress--if someone is blocking a path on one side, another person can go around. For instance, if two people are sitting at your island on the long side, anyone entering from the back door can cut through the work aisles, rather than try to squeeze by the second seat. Of course, then you have someone cutting through the work zones, but that might not happen often, if ever.

    greengirlnyc thanked mama goose_gw zn6OH
  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    update. we took down the 17" wall near window. this will allow us to have more space and less limitation on that side of the wall. We haven't selected cabinets yet, so we can still make changes to the design such as island. We did start to remove the backplash as well. here are some pics.

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    @mama goose_gw zn6OH - i just saw your comment regarding your kitchen and why the importance of citing the NKBA guidelines and you are completely right about knowing the standards for a functional kitchen and from there, once you know all the rules, it's okay to start to bend them. I would love to see a couple of pics of your kitchen! :)


    We have the island in place as it is in the photos, but I would love to do what you suggested for sure, especially because going forward, we will not have the different floors, but one clean floor across all rooms, same exact tile.


    Question about basement door (next to fridge) - if island is turned where seats are facing stove and fridge, is there a rule regarding passage of person who exits basement or comes from backyard door (on left side of photo, where the black garbage bags are)?


    Thanks again for your valuable feedback! SO SO MUCH THANKS!

  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    For the tiles, we went with a 12x24 porcelain tile (we picked it today, business owner will order us a box so that we can lay 5-10 tiles out to see how we like it, his recommendation).


    Question regarding floor. My current "laminate wood" floors lay vertical when one enters the home, so they see the laminate wood planks vertically. I have been doing research on layout to make a room appear larger and am reading that the 12x24 tiles should be set going horizontal across the room where one enters. I love that idea and think that we will go that route. Is that on point with design style recommendations? if it's easier to view the photos on google photos, here they are in this album.


    Thanks again.

  • Design Girl
    2 years ago

    FWIW I always lay tile so when entering the room, the 24 inches would go from left to right (or horizontal). Wood can be tricky as it depends on which way the floor joists run that determines the direction. Mine actually change as one section of my home have joists running front to back, and another has them running side to side.

    greengirlnyc thanked Design Girl
  • greengirlnyc
    Original Author
    2 years ago







    This is the image I came across online and couldn't make heads or tails of which to use to my advantage so that space between my sink and corner is larger... thanks! :)