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Kitchen Appliance Layout - New Build - Help me pick!

last year
last modified: last year

Hi all.. Trying to figure out the best layout for this space.


I will spare you my thoughts and feelings regarding which brands we're considering for everything.. would love feedback on appliance placement!


A few more notes:

  • 48" range will likely stay in place and have ovens below, rather than ovens separate
  • 30" wine column is a must have for us, and won't fit in the bar (not pictured), so will need to be in the kitchen
  • Refrigerator - We like the idea of 30" column, separate from freezer. The 36" fridge is a placeholder, not necessarily what we will have
  • Freezer - Thinking of under counter because we don't have a ton of frozen items
  • Ice machine - Don't need in freezer, will have one under counter in bar

For reference, the island is 12' x 5'



Idea 1

Visual symmetry could be very nice, and wine column close to where the bar is (which is adjacent behind and not pictured). If we put the columns on ends of the range wall, there would be 24" on either side of the range. My 30" squares are slightly under scale, they should be a little wider.



Idea 2

Free up space around the range, still have some symmetry with the columns on either side of scullery entry. Could do double oven on range wall if we decide to go that route instead.


Which one would you choose? Anything we are missing? Another obvious choice we should be considering?

Thanks in advance :)


Comments (64)

  • last year

    @cpartist it is certainly not one big roof. We have very detailed roof plans, but not included here since the original intent was discussing the kitchen :)


  • last year

    I can’t tell how big the porch is but I don’t think it will make things dark necessarily. Depends on what direction home is facing and where you live etc,

    Katie G thanked WestCoast Hopeful
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  • last year

    For the coats of guests - can you carve out 12-14" width for a closet along the wall that backs onto the sink of the bar? At the bottom of the stairs? I can see your guests coming into the house and walking straight into the family room and so stopping there to take off their coats. Do you actually want them walking through the dining room, into the bar area which isn't very wide and then straight into the kitchen.

    I often think that people take pieces of their life in isolation when planning a house. What they should do is take their plans with a pencil (not online but in real life - get them printed to proper scale) Now, wake up in the morning and take your pencil and draw your walking path, draw the walking path of the kids and DH, going to the bathroom going downstairs for breakfast, back up to change, then to the mudroom to get shoes and coats, etc, etc, etc. Weekend walking paths, evening walking paths. Now how many times have you all walked between the stove and sink and up/down the stairs and around.

    Katie G thanked blfenton
  • PRO
  • last year

    Mark, you missed bouncing off the cushions and hopping over the back of the sofa.

  • last year

    The windows/light are 25’ plus away from the kitchen. not sure how those are going to help? i think a lot of people here must just not have lived with windows in the kitchen proper and don’t know how wonderful it is??


    at any rate for questions asked i’d definitely keep more space open around the stove. If you’re going to splurge for a 48” range leave space to use it! i’d make sure that aisle is 4’ too. i’d do a 24” column freezer just for resale - imagining that is what most people would expect rather than an under counter freezer.

    Katie G thanked lharpie
  • last year

    @lharpie, I think there can be such a thing as too much sun in the kitchen.  Others may cringe at hearing this, but we have plenty of windows in our south facing kitchen and living room. However, we have had to go to extra lengths to cover all the windows - blinds on the lower windows and 11' curtains to ensure we can cover the windows up high.  We end up leaving the curtains/ blinds closed the majority of the time.

    Katie G thanked T T
  • last year

    @WestCoast Hopeful I would agree. We're in GA at ~900ft on a ridge that slopes down the back. Front of the house faces south, back of house and kitchen facing north. So the light coming in would generally be during the day on the side of the main floor with the most windows. And there isn't a ton of tree canopy outside those windows either, but there is some.

  • last year

    The kitchen lighting is of primary importance for the work zones. Windows don't consistently provide at least 450 shadow-free lumens at the counter. They're more at the ambient light level of design. Not much contribution at night or when cloudy. Other considerations are higher on the list of importance. With a good task and ambient lighting plan this kitchen location is fine.

    Katie G thanked dan1888
  • last year

    @User really appreciate you sharing these. You're a gem. We will consider these options as they weren't exactly ones we had contemplated before :)

  • last year

    I like where HU### is going with that. But, coming down the stairs to get to the garage, it’s a tight U-turn around the bar to avoid the kitchen, and I think it just won’t feel like good flow. I wonder if the hall from the left-hand door can be an “organizing spine” for the house, by moving the bar/rotating it, so the hall goes through?

  • last year

    Here's what I wanted to post yesterday but just got home. Anything in bold might be an issue and should seriously rethought.

    The best houses orient the public rooms towards the south for the best passive solar heating and cooling. (As it stands now, your kitchen will be very dark with only north light. No way around it.)

    The best houses are L, U, T, H, or I shaped.

    The best houses are only one to two rooms deep. And covered lanai, porches, garages, etc count as rooms in this case. (this is so roofs are not bloated and so most rooms can have windows on 2 walls. And sorry I don't buy your in GA comment. I'm in SW FL and the rear of my house faces south and all main rooms and bedrooms have windows on at least 2 walls. The only direction I tried to minimize windows were on the west elevations.)

    The best houses make sure kitchens have natural light, meaning windows so one doesn't have to have lighting 24/7 to use the kitchen. (And no, dining areas with windows 10' or more from the kitchen will not allow for natural light.)

    The best houses make sure all public rooms and bedrooms have windows on at least two walls.

    The best houses do not if possible put mechanical rooms, pantries or closets on outside walls

    The best houses do not have diagonal interior walls making for odd spaces.

    The best houses keep public and private spaces separate.

    The best houses do not have you walk through the work zone of the kitchen to bring laundry to the laundry room.

    The best houses do not have the mudroom go through any of the work zones of the kitchen.

    The best houses do not use the kitchen as a hallway to any other rooms.

    The best houses do not put toilets or toilet rooms up against bedroom walls or public areas.

    The best houses do not have walk in closets too small to stand inside.

    The best houses have separation, such as closets, between bedrooms and between bedrooms and public rooms.

    The best houses do not have roofs that are overly large, and dominate the exterior of the house.

    The best houses do not have stick on exterior materials only on the front façade.

    The best houses have an organizing “spine” so it’s easy to determine how to get from room to room in the house and what makes sense. Meaning they don’t have meandering circulation paths.

    I know it's hard to hear all this especially after you spent so much time hashing out your plans, but better to get it right now on paper, than to have to live with poor design.

    Katie G thanked cpartist
  • last year

    In the family room - is it possible to put the fireplace on the top wall (N) and windows along the side wall (E?) You'd get morning/early afternoon light.

    Katie G thanked blfenton
  • last year

    Addressing @bpath's suggestion to open up across the stairs:





    Katie G thanked User
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Another potential issue with such a deep porch by the kitchen/breakfast is that it also blocks the view, not just light. You'd effectively have a view into another room, not so much into the exterior, like this:



    It may end up looking busy and feeling like a cave.

    If at all possible, having the lower portion of the exterior zone against the kitchen/breakfast wall, out of sight, might be nicer as it would free up the view:



    Katie G thanked User
  • last year

    Might want to post what stage of construction you are at.

    I second the concern about resale for an undercabinet fridge - that is really hard to fix and a unusual choice. Just because you don't freeze things now, doesn't mean you won't in the future. We have 30 inch columns and our freezer is packed despite it being the biggest freezer we have ever had. When we were building, it just made sense for symmetry but we lamented that it was way too big. Now - we don't say that anymore.

    I don't understand the pocket door between mudroom and kitchen as well as the double doors to the skullery.

    The trends used in your design is very typical in my area - by licensed architects. I personally don't think it will age well. Everyone seems to be doing these massive windows at the staircase. Mostly, in my area, it is to show it off in the front of the house. At least that seems like a reason but yours doesn't even have that. Windows are a thermal break and thus have a significant ongoing cost. Putting massive ones to light an area you spend 0.1% of your time doesn't seem like a great idea.

    Ice maker in bar would be very far from primary fridge. Do you use ice often?

    Katie G thanked David Cary
  • last year

    @David Cary we have not started construction, currently getting ready to demo. And trying to wrap up these loose ends with the kitchen design before we are so far along that it becomes a disaster to try and make changes.


    Your points all make sense, thanks so much. We're still flexible at this point so may end up with the larger freezer as you mentioned. Our builder is helping us work with the architect to pair down some of the windows because there are a lot, they are expensive, etc.

  • last year

    Addressing @bpath's suggestion to open up across the stairs:

    That will address some of the issues with flow, especially into and around the kitchen. However it will do nothing to bring light into the kitchen because the work area of the kitchen is too far from any windows and any light coming into those windows is north light which will definitely not penetrate.

  • last year

    @dan1888 sure, and i suppose you could put adequate lighting in a kitchen in a cave but it’s not where i’d be happy working. i have adequate light from windows in my kitchen that i rarely need to use any lights for cooking or eating during day time hours. this kitchen/dining looks like it will need lighting 24/7. obviously you must be right that the poster has prioritized other things higher but most people i know looking to buy a house put natural light near the top of the list. it seems like a huge shame to make a new custom build and not have this.

  • PRO
    last year

    I see many house designs posted for review that appear to be deigned for sites with ugly and foul smelling neighbors.

  • last year

    In a open floor plan the 'brightest' area should not be the kitchen. It's a work area. The living and dining spaces look more inviting socially when the kitchen end of the space receeds onto the background when not in use. And when you are in the kitchen prepping and cooking and cleaning up you need way more light to use the space properly and comfortably then you can get from windows at all times. KDs still live in the past without designing the kitchen 'space' to integrate smoothly throughout the day with the entire room it's only a part of. A 'scene' constructed lighting plan for the kitchen is needed using 4" led task, ambient and possibly accent fixtures. Windows can be an addition if there's a view. No one thinks a good lighting plan isn't mandatory.

  • last year

    Regarding light coming into a house. A well known custom builder in my area built a beautiful house in our area. Problem is the public rooms face north and the kitchen, like the OP's has no natural light. And to make it worse, the lanai off the rear of the house blocks even more light. That house was finished right before covid and sat on the market for more than a few years. Even in our very hot market here in SW Fl. Why? because the house felt dark and oppressive without good light.

  • last year

    Dan of course a good lighting plan is mandatory in a kitchen. However it is depressing to walk into a kitchen during the day with no natural light and most of us spend an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen. Even during daylight hours,

    I lived in a condo with no natural light in the kitchen as well as several rentals with no natural light. I'll take a window in a kitchen anyday over just needing artificial lighting.

  • last year

    @cpartist, do you have a link to the new house that sat in the market for a few years?   It would be helpful to see examples of a dark kitchen.

  • last year

    I do think that people have varying demands for natural light. I had a house that was otherwise very nice but had poor natural light. It was mostly from large hardwoods so at least the winter light was better. Bothered my wife much more than me (we added skylights). We did our own open houses and we did have a buyer who commented negatively on the light and stated - "I am from Florida, and we like a lot of light". That was 15 years ago and that comment still sticks with me. I made a good chunk of money on that house and sold within a month - to a single male not from Florida...

    My MIL states that good natural light in the kitchen is her number 1 house criteria.

    I went to a trendy new restaurant last weekend. Built like a cave but above ground. Not a window in sight..

    That being said and not just for my wife, I made sure that our house design had good natural light in the kitchen/eating/living area that is open and L shaped a bit like this one. It is the most important area for natural light in the entire house. Our formal dining has less - NE corner - and that is much more acceptable.

    My recommendations for OP is to do some soul searching on how important natural light is in the area you will be for the most waking hours of the day. I missed the post about orientation - it really can't be overstated how important this is. If natural light is at all important to you, then you may be embarking on a painful expensive project that winds up with a house that you never truly love.

    I am in NC at 500 ft so not that far off from you but obviously a little colder. Similar cloud cover and humidity levels I expect. Our side yard is our backyard since it is South facing. Most of the windows are to the south. A south facing lot is very tough to do this. We have one on the next block that is 5 years old or so. Planted a lot of vegetation at the street and a gate at the front walkway between brick pillars so that the front of the house could be windowed and retain privacy. I have never been in the house so the layout may still have a dark kitchen but at least it is an illustration of the techique.


    Katie G thanked David Cary
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Lighting for this layout is primary. Check out DMF fixtures in this video at 19:00. Excellent Mechanicals on a Budget - YouTube 1000 color adjustable lumens at the fixture for the budget H series. Fully serviceable after install.

    Again, this is a design mindset that hasn't matured to look at the space as an entirety. The large great room space has plenty of natural light. Having the kitchen end blend in with a lower illumination level when not in use retains priority for the view and outdoor orientation of the common living space. You flick a switch as you move into the kitchen for use. The same as many other areas of your home. Like a bathroom or walk-in closet or the list goes on. None of these are depressing in use. You turn on the light as you enter. Not mentally challenging. And the working nature of the kitchen demands better lighting than any other area. No windows and no amount of natural light consistently supplies adequate illumination. Think of any other work situation. Strong illumination is the first requirement. The lights are on dimmers for 'scene' illumination to show off the beauty and sometimes dramatic artwork of the kitchen when possible, even when not in use. Good dimmed task and ambient lighting does that. Leds are so efficient a base level of timed illumination could be the norm.

    Katie G thanked dan1888
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    @dan1888 this is helpful context. Thanks for sharing that link as well - I will give it a watch.


    @David Cary the natural light in kitchen topic is interesting because I haven't ever noticed it in any home or apartment I've lived in, which is almost 15 places throughout my life. Majority of which were my adult life because I lived in the same house while growing up. Maybe I was lucky, and took for granted the design of the many spaces I have resided in. I'll be sure to address the light more specifically with our team though. We've discussed it and hadn't had many concerns. For example, the window well for light into one of the basement rooms which they insisted on when I asked did we really need it. I know we need it to be able to consider the room a bedroom, but we have plenty of bedrooms and a guest room already. Anyway, as of now we've been focusing on kitchen appliances, windows, etc. items that may have the longest lead times.

    The picture you shared resonated with me, and thought I'd share the images below in case anyone is interested. We're planning for natural unpainted brick. Exploring the options of front yard similar to the landscape you shared - maybe no gate and lower hedges or some other landscaping for privacy.








  • PRO
    last year

    I like HU's suggestion of flipping the locations of the back porch with the grill deck. It will help bring more light into the house and creates a direct entry into the covered area from the house.

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    @Mark Bischak, Architect I like HUs suggestion as well to help with the light. We're definitely looking at the pros and cons of it. I believe our architect showed us another house where they did something similar.

    In our current design there would be direct entry into the covered area from the house. It isn't noted in the image shared which makes it look like just windows there. We're still discussing sliding, folding, swinging door options along that window area that would match with the windows. Would be from same window company.

  • PRO
    last year

    What part of the country will the house be located in?

  • last year

    @cpartist, do you have a link to the new house that sat in the market for a few years? It would be helpful to see examples of a dark kitchen.

    I will try to find it but not sure the company posts all of their houses.

  • last year

    @Mark Bischak, Architect cpartist didn't believe me, not sure why, but I mentioned we're in GA at ~900ft on a ridge that slopes down the back. Speficially Atlanta. Lot is 100' W 270' L. Front of the house faces south, back of house and kitchen facing north. There isn't a ton of tree canopy on immediate sides of house, but there is some. Much more as you go deeper into the back of the lot.

  • last year

    I believe you're in GA. What I don't buy is that because you're in GA that you shouldn't have a light and bright house. Sorry if I worded my comment poorly.

    With all that tree canopy, the covered porch and most importantly, your public rooms facing north, the house will be dark. No way around it.

    Katie G thanked cpartist
  • last year

    Also I'm no expert but it looks like that roof will be a possible future leak nightmare. I'll let others confirm or tell me I'm wrong. :)

  • last year

    @cpartist got it, understood. My hope is, given our team has worked on countless houses together over decades in this area, that they wouldn't leave us with a dim lit and disappointing home they wouldn't be proud of. Fingers crossed.. I'll be sure to circle back here once we have been there for a bit. This thread has been SO unexpectedly insightful. You are awesome.

  • last year

    I'm wondering if there would be a way to rethink the house so it's more of an L shape with the main public rooms facing the front and south?

    BTW: I know it's time and expense but it may be the best thing you do. I was already in permitting and we were not truly happy with the plans. We pulled the house out of permitting, reoriented the house from an E/W orientation to a N/S one, changed around how some of the spaces inside were designed, etc and sent them into permitting again. I'm so glad we did as our house truly works well now. The only thing I'd change now is my linen and broom closets with my washer and dryer closet, but it's not a big deal in the scheme of things.

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    @cpartist There may be a way.. It's been a while, but I believe we didn't go that route because then they would both be facing the street. High activity areas that we don't necessarily want everyone seeing right into. Front of house is at the line of required setback (50') due to the lot shape. The architect probably had other reasons why that I can't remember. We had looked at master on main initially as well as some other main floor layouts and ended where we are now. I could at least ask and see what they say about the pros and cons of the public rooms facing front and south.

    Glad you were able to scrap the plan and get an outcome you love. We hope to end up the same :)

  • last year

    This front south facing facade doesn't have overhang protection from the summer sun. That will heat the interior up during the summer. It isn't designed to consider that except by placing the living areas away from that baking sun. It's meant to look like an older period design. You're not going to get the architect to put your important rooms on the south side. It would be uncomfortable unless you use your other house on Nantucket for the summer.

    Katie G thanked dan1888
  • last year

    It may or may not Dan, because in summer the sun is higher in the sky. It will however heat up the house in winter when the sun is lower. Best to check out how the sun changes throughout the year in your area.

  • last year

    A blind person can see the front south facing side pictured by the OP has zero sun protection. At least for the ground floor. There's no working out the sun angle when you have nothing to block it. This house design is from a time when sun angle wasn't included in the brief. And the climate was largely cloudy and cooler than Atlanta.

  • last year

    Certainly the front could have overhang added and windows changed I would think - it isn't set in stone. And the windows are going to heat the house up some anyway. Doesn't matter what is in those rooms, the same amount of a/c is going to be used to cool the house.

    Truly, with modern windows and a/c, it isn't like rooms with south facing windows are going to bake. West facing windows are more challenging. But yes, large south facing windows without overhang are going to cause an a/c load. But a properly designed a/c system can handle it pretty easily. West becomes more of problem because it is really bad for several hours as opposed to a moderate load throughout the day. Even East can be an issue because it heats up the house early before the rest of the house needs a/c.

    OP, I commend you on your stamina and open mindedness. I hinted at the gender issue with this before and most architects are men. At some point, with large windows and high ceilings, someone who isn't well versed and in tune with sun will feel like a room is bright even with north facing windows. And it won't be terrible of course. As I look at the elevation, the architects are trying to bring light to the public areas. But you would do better with lower ceilings, less windows, if the rooms were just on the south.

    Looking back on the elevations, it looks like the dining room will be 2 stories? That would bring light into the kitchen if it was more open. But it also is going to be a bit of a challenge temperature wise (and I am contradicting myself a bit ... but 2 stories). Easy enough to a/c but I am thinking about warm during shoulder seasons - while the public areas are somewhat cool. When we have warm Feb days like this entire month, that south glass will get a lot of heat. So a/c will run and your north facing rooms may be a bit cold. Not as much of an issue in the summer when the sun is higher.

    Elevator? At some point with some of the money in this design, you should consider it. It would be expected with a 3 story house of this caliper in my area. 11 ft ceilings mean a lot of steps to your bedroom with an injury.

    Katie G thanked David Cary
  • last year
    last modified: last year

    @Katie G, if you wanted better Southern/Eastern exposure while keeping privacy, I wonder if making the house U-shaped could work:



    Some of these windows could maybe be higher up to provide light without offering a view onto a wall.

  • last year

    If you're going to need a lot of ac a coiled loop ground source heat pump could help. The above video I posted has info on a good HVAC system with separate dehumidifiers

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    @David Cary appreciate the observations. Whether male or female, we're just trying to make sure this isn't all a waste of time and big $. It's too bad people don't trust professionals more 🤷🏻‍♀️ . The kitchen is 11' ceiling, the upstairs has 4 beds including the master, as well as a laundry room and decent size play room. We've debated an elevator, unfortunately might not make it in due to budget, but I agree it would be a wonderful thing to have.

    @User that's a nice concept, haven't seen a U-shape like that before. Have seen some other U-shape ones around here but typically where the garages are on the front right and/or left that you would turn into. Great food for thought. I think my architect and rest of team will suspect I've been getting input from some other sources at this point, so will have to navigate accordingly 😎

  • last year

    HU, that, including moving the stairs, would certainly impact the upstairs!

  • last year

    For sure! Just an idea ;)

  • last year

    It's too bad people don't trust professionals more 🤷🏻‍♀️ .

    Depends on the professionals. I can tell you that the professionals on this forum helped me because my so called professionals (GC and draftsman) were definitely far from professional. In fact my whole saga is spelled out somewhere on these forums.

    The kitchen is 11' ceiling,

    I wouldn't go higher than 10' unless you don't mind cabinets not going to the ceiling. I hate having cabinets that don't go to the ceiling because eventually dust and grease will wind up on top no matter how good you clean and how good your ventilation for the kitchen is.

    We've debated an elevator, unfortunately might not make it in due to budget, but I agree it would be a wonderful thing to have.

    It will add $20-30k to your build.

    My house is a U shaped house.

  • last year

    Maybe a good point about trusting professionals. I do think house building is a bit different but I really have no good argument on that.

    In general, the architects are catering to the market. Who becomes successful in residential construction is one who pays attention to the market at time of sale. Architect designed houses are not generally average houses. So they tend to not worry about budget and focus a good amount on bling. Doesn't mean they can't do other things also but the market they are selling to isn't that sophisticated.

    Think plastic surgeon rather than general surgeon.

    I live near mostly architect designed houses. I live a mile from a large architectural school. I meet financially successful and other architects/professors. Commercially successful generally means focused on bling - even if a very high brow bling. I had to push mine to put overhangs on my southern windows. He wanted a double door from primary bed to bath - bling to show off the freestanding tub - doesn't matter if it is less practical from sound and switch placement perspective.

    Bling in 2023 around me isn't focused on natural light. It could be as it is generally appreciated even on first exposure. But mostly it is dramatic windows (that have privacy/glare issues) - often on staircase, large islands/ranges, tall ceilings, fancy chimneys, expensive roofs, heavy trim (not as heavy as it used to be) and sculleries (often with hidden doors). There is one on my street that is a really slow build that had an Atlanta architect's sign on it for many months - so our markets are probably similar. It has 3 french doors on the front but is competely asymmetrical - not sure how I feel about that.....


  • last year

    We've debated an elevator, unfortunately might not make it in due to budget, but I agree it would be a wonderful thing to have.


    I haven't read the whole thread but this caught my eye. For many houses we've set up the house FOR an elevator but with no elevator initially. This is not going to cost you a dime right now (ok, well maybe minimal costs). Set up roughly 5'x5' closets over each other with a knock out floor. For starters you have some great storage space and down the road you're set up for an elevator in the event it's needed.

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