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help/critique kitchen design

Feline Fit
2 months ago

We are a family of 3 embarking on a renovation of our existing galley kitchen, looking or input and critiques of our options. Goals: more counter space, open kitchen more onto existing breakfast room, and maintain separate dining room (non negotiable - that wall must largely stay). We are working within the existing footprint only.

Appliances: 36in true counter depth French door fridge, 36in induction cooktop, 27 in double wall ovens, 30-36 in sink, dishwasher, microwave, 40”+ vent for cooktop

I’ve attached three drawings: current layout which is not enough counter space as we often have two adults prepping simultaneously, and two potential ideas. Structural walls that can’t be moved are marked in blue. We are not interested in moving existing powder room (plumbing connects to upstairs bathrooms so this would be a major undertaking).

Proposed layout 1 (from architect):
Pros: lots more counter space and room for multiple people to prep at once (#1 request), open onto breakfast room - wall with cooktop would not have any uppers (#2 request), preserves separate dining room (#3 request), built in bar area in dining room, extra storage in breakfast room, dining room is no longer passageway because of separate hallway (front door is primary entrance), built-in bar in dining room, pocket doors on dining room side of pantry to close everything off, visually open (no uppers on cooktop wall)
Cons: expensive due to structural work and relocating hvac, fridge is a hike to cooktop, lots of encroachment into breakfast room making that space feel a bit narrow, smallish dining room

Proposed layout 2 (Buehl inspired):
Pros: inspired by buehl’s great kitchen except without the second short leg of the U, more counter space than current plan, somewhat less expensive and less encroachment into breakfast room, slightly bigger dining room than proposal 1 (about 1ft), peninsula to interact with kiddo when cooking
Cons: 6ft aisle and fridge still feels like a bit of a hike, dining room as passageway from front door (primary entrance), not as much additional counter space as plan 1, still smallish dining room because of built ins to hide exhaust vent, still pretty expensive due to structural work in breakfast room

We have technically agreed to the architects design (#1) but we have not ordered cabinets or broken ground so it is not too late to change and I am having some second thoughts for the reasons noted above. We’ve learned so much from this community and would so appreciate your input as we weigh these ideas and anything else you might come up with!

(Note: I had previously posted something with my architect’s designs but then realized they are copyrighted so tried to delete it. Hopefully my sketches with measurements will suffice.)

Thank you all!

Proposal 1:
Proposal 2:

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