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kitchen layout help - preliminary layout for discussion

Good evening everyone, it's my first time posting for kitchen layout advice! I've been perusing the forums and appreciating all that you do here! I found your "how to ask for layout help" guide and have filled it out below.

A little background on us - my husband and I have lived in our small 1935 bungalow for 12 years now. We love our home but our existing kitchen is very tiny. I cook a lot and although our kitchen has been incredibly efficient and workable for the size that it is, I'm beyond ready to have a kitchen that reflects my personal style and has more room to cook and entertain. We are looking at an additional/remodel to achieve these goals.

More background - I work as a commercial healthcare designer with access to drafting software so I have been playing around with lots of different plan reiterations. While I can sketch away to my heart's content, I don't know much at all about residential and/or kitchen design - I just have my own experience in my tiny kitchen to go off of. So I feel like my knowledge base is very limited in regards to the design possibilities of what we can do here! After exploring a lot of different layouts (including having a laundry room on the back west wall), I've narrowed down to this layout so far. My sketches include the original kitchen design and the proposed area of the addition just so you can have some context of where we're coming from and where we're wanting to go. We don't want to go out any further than 6' due to backyard restraints.

Floor plan notes:

  • Option 1: I really like the general kitchen layout, aisle widths, and countertop lengths in this design. The only thing I'm concerned about is the distance between the cooktop and refrigerator. It's a bit long at 14'.
  • Option 2: This gets the refrigerator in the accepted kitchen triangle distance range. But everything feels so much tighter in this layout to me, especially the countertops (prep and cleaning zones) around the sink.


  • My goals: update our kitchen style to my tastes, more countertop space, more storage, island seating, glass wall cabinets to display nice things including my collection of Staub/LC cookware, main level laundry, more room to entertain.
  • Family composition: myself and my husband. No kids. 2 cats and a very senior dog.
  • Number of cooks: I'm the primary cook. My husband assists at times. I cook almost every day excluding the occasional meal out so this kitchen needs to be very functional.
  • How will our kitchen be used? Daily for cooking/cleaning. Occasionally on weekends for entertaining small parties of 4-6 close friends. Rarely for a bigger party. Our style is informal (at least currently - do you see our tiny original space?! ha!) I definitely see the new kitchen being a "hang out" space as that's where everyone currently gravitates to now when we host, even with it being tiny.
  • How will dining room be used? We use our Dining Room infrequently (and sit on the sofa too often). I would like to start using our DR more often for nightly meals. Unsure if that's more of a design issue or a lifestyle issue.
  • Would you like to open up the kitchen to adjacent areas? I prefer to keep our existing opening between the kitchen/dining and living areas. I like having some separation between spaces and the existing wall space is important as we use it and have nowhere else to put it as our house is small.
  • What's under the kitchen? There is a basement under the existing kitchen/dining. The addition will be built over a crawlspace.

Where am I flexible?
-- The exterior door location is flexible pending final layout. The new stairs going to a future attic bedroom/bathroom behind this door cannot be relocated.
-- I am showing new windows on the west wall. I located the windows here because they look out into our backyard. The south wall has a view to our neighbor's house which should not be prioritized. Windows can be located anywhere in the new walls but the west wall is the logical place to put them. Note: I love sunlight coming through windows so natural daylight is important to me.
-- The sink does not have to be centered under the window. But I would like a view of the exterior on the west wall.

-- Honestly, the entire kitchen/laundry area is a blank slate except for the location of the new stairs.

If one can be fit...

  • Baking center: I do not bake sweets a lot. I do roast a lot of veggies and bake casseroles, pizzas, and such. We have a countertop Breville toaster oven that I use almost daily. I'll use our full-size oven if something doesn't fit in the Breville.
  • Beverage center: I am thinking we could have our coffee maker and tea kettle on the countertop next to where I'm showing a wall oven and prep sink. I wouldn't mind fitting in a wine refrigerator somewhere (perhaps in the run of cabinets across from the dining table?)
  • Snack center: we do not need a snack center.
  • Other stuff: I wouldn't mind having a little open shelving somewhere for knick-knacks/recipe books/cute stuff. I'd like to minimize the amount of this though as I see it as a cleaning issue and haven't bought off on the open shelves everywhere that I'm seeing on Instagram and such. I'm also contemplating some kind of wall-mounted enclume rack on the east side of the cooktop to hang my enameled cast iron skillets.


  • Cooktop: We currently have a 30" slide-in Samsung induction range. I love it. I spend a lot of time cooking on this stove. I think I would like to upgrade to a 36" induction - one that I can place my pots and pans anywhere and not be limited to the traditional "circle" configuration. I am very open in regards to how this unit is configured (with or without oven).
  • Oven: My oven is currently built into my range. I'm open to suggestions in regards to wall oven or range. We do not need a double oven.
  • Warming Drawer: Again, I'm open. I currently have such limited storage that I use mine that's built into my range as a storage drawer right now. A warming drawer might be nice but not an absolute need?
  • MW: Again, I'm open. Ours is currently located above the range which I don't mind in the existing kitchen but in my new kitchen I'd prefer to have a regular hood. I was thinking it might be logical to have it adjacent to the fridge in an oven/micro tall cabinet combo but am open to suggestions.
  • DW: We have a standard Bosch with three slide-outs that I absolutely love and would like to move with us.
  • Refrigerator: We currently have a standard-depth French Door which I really like. I like the idea of the counter-depth ones but I don't think they will give us enough storage. For example, ours is completely full at the moment with holiday cooking storage needs.
  • True ventilation hood: a lot of recipes that I cook involve searing meat; my current hood is junk so I end up with grime building up on top of my fridge and anything else sitting out within proximity to the range. I need a good hood but not exactly sure what you mean by "true ventilation".
  • Other? I have a professional size Kitchenaid mixer that I need to fit in somewhere. It currently sits out on the corner countertop in my existing kitchen.
  • Sizes of desired appliances: I think I could really use the increased size of a 36" cooktop. A 36" refrigerator should suit our needs ok; I'm afraid of increased costs for going any wider and we don't really need the extra space except for on rare occasions like holiday cooking.


  • I tend to purchase groceries as I need them so only keep a small stock of items on hand. I would be open to a tall pantry cabinet but unsure where it would be logical to locate it with our constrained footprint. I am thinking I could have shelving in the new laundry room for pantry items. Spices and other constant-use items could be stored out in cabinets in the main kitchen.


***** Very Important *****

Is there anything you:

  • Cannot live without #1? I really love the idea of the island with seating as a central gathering point of our kitchen. I have contemplated a peninsula design but it feels so constrained to me. I like the openness of an island and being able to circulate around the kitchen space.
  • Cannot live without #2? I really want custom-color painted cabinets. I've just started looking around and would appreciate recommendations. Crestwood is local to me and I plan to inquire with them.
  • Definitely do not want? Unsure.
  • Would like if you can find a way? I wouldn't mind having the dining table located more out of the circulation path but with our tight space I'm not sure if we can achieve this. We currently live with a lot tighter footprint than this so it's not a dealbreaker by any means - it'll still be a major improvement on status quo!
  • Exterior Door Note: I plugged in a 36" exterior door because our existing door is 32". When we moved in, this opening was too small to bring our french door refrigerator in through and we had to remove the fridge doors to do so. We don't want to have to do that again. The new back door exits out onto a concrete walkway that links to our detached garage with patio seating in between.

Answering all these questions makes it a novel! :) If you've made it this far, I really appreciate your time. Looking forward to hearing your ideas! Thank you!

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