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Old Nov 30th, 07, 4:41 pm   #1
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Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

Hi everyone- words don't express how happy I was to find this site. My wife and I just bought our first home, and we've been rehabbing the entire house. Our kitchen is the last room to renovate, and we're in the designing stage. We were thinking of getting cabinets and countertops through Home Depot, but after a lot of research... well, you know the rest.

Our house was built right around 1900 and the kitchen is... odd. Our biggest dilemma is that our kitchen has five doorways and a 5 foot tall window which starts 18 inches from the floor. We do have a butler's pantry which gives us a pretty decent amount of pantry space, and there is more room in the butler's pantry to add a few more cabinets.

We cook. A lot. Our main concern is that our kitchen work area maintain the coveted triangle. Beyond that, we would like a wall oven (preferably a double oven), a cook top, an island (ideally a sink island), and an under cabinet dishwasher, in that order. We also have a 30" wide top-mount refrigerator that we will be using in the kitchen.

I've attached a mock of our kitchen layout. Starting from the top, left hand corner is the passageway to the butler's pantry. Across the room from that is door #2 which leads to the bathroom (and swings out into the kitchen). Continuing clockwise, door 3 leads into the dining room. Next to it, door 4 leads to the basement (and swings away from the kitchen). Door 5 leads to the mudroom which I am planning on converting to a breakfast nook.

I know this is asking a lot, and rather vague- but what would you do? How would you lay this out? We want to do this right the first time, have a functional kitchen, and keep resale in mind. Any input would be greatly appreciated. We have the opportunity to lay the kitchen out from scratch, and I'm pretty handy and not afraid to move gas and plumbing lines.

I've also attached a design of what I have so far- I know there are a few odd placements with the island cabinets- I'm still learning.

Thanks for any input you can offer- I'm already learning so much from this site!
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Old Nov 30th, 07, 6:19 pm  
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Re: Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

Welcome to Ikeafans!

Here are some questions to start with.... What is the wall cab floating over no base about? Can you eliminate any doors or at least make them all swing away from the kitchen? Any reason why the island isn't symmetrical?

Beyond that, all of us would recommend drawers in base cabs, esp in the deep bases. I'll take a look at tweaking your design...

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Old Nov 30th, 07, 6:29 pm  
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Re: Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

One more thing--are your walls really 10 feet high?

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Old Nov 30th, 07, 7:53 pm  
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Re: Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

I started to work in this direction from your draft but suddenly realized you said you wanted to include your fridge....but didn't put it in...so I didn't have one either! Looking at your layout, I see three alternatives unless you can change the doors: lose the wall oven for the fridge (replace cooktop with range), lose big counter on other side of range (bad idea), OR--put in your pantry. How feasible is option #3? It's obviously not ideal in terms of having storage in easy reach, but might be good otherwise. And if necessary, you could sacrifice the deep drawer base in the island in favor of an under cab fridge.

Otherwise, this layout relies on your high ceilings to create extra storage. The 30" wall cabinet over the shallow pantry should be cut down to 24" high: there is a door the right size so this is a very easy mod. Similarly, a cut down wall cab belongs in the gap on the cooktop wall: there is a door to fit this too. I replaced the oven base with a dishwasher in the island. You'll need the "oven" cover panel to support the outer edge of your counter here but the planner doesn't have them so I put in a regular one to remind you. I also made the island symetrical.

Tell me more about your space and I might be able to be more useful .
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Old Dec 1st, 07, 1:03 am  
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Re: Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

I was going to suggest one of the things Beth has already done, add an extra layer of cabinets really high up. It will really suit your older home.

Many of the renovations of these kinds of kitchens that I've seen involve encorporating some of the adjacent spaces into the kitchen. Modern living doesn't suit all these separate rooms with doorways like life in the past. The butler's pantry is a likely candidate for this as is the mudroom. I assume the bathroom is needed space. Will a formal dining room get used or could it be opened up to the kitchen. It is difficult to make the kitchen the heart of the modern home, if it is closed off from everything.

Is there anyway you could see yourself combining some of these spaces?

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Old Dec 1st, 07, 1:10 am  
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Re: Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

If I understand your description correctly, the pantry and the mudroom share a common wall. Even if you have to leave that square column in place, you could take down the wall between the two rooms as well as opwn them up to the kitchen. This would us so much more to work with. But right now the traffic patterns in your kitchen are going to interfere with making it an effecient working space.

Could you add the adjacent spaces to your base plan? I'm sure with some effecient space planning, this could be a great space.

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Old Dec 1st, 07, 9:30 am  
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Re: Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

Sorry, I haven't read the entire thread deeply, just butting in with a guy's perspective.
Drawers: my gosh, yes. You can't have too many drawers.
Island: If there are no existing utilities at the island location, tearing out walls/doors might turn out to be MUCH cheaper. Just a personal thing with me, I don't like islands; too permanent, too many mechanical systems.

Consider what you want the kitchen to do: (I think you only get to pick one, maybe two if you've got lots of money or experienced assitance.)
1. It's really just a pleasant and stylish place to cook (that's ours).
2. It's going to be a place to socialize or entertain so it has to impress.
3. It is expected to add value to the home.
4. It is an expression or tangible extension of your personality and style.
5. It is expected to change everything about your existence and make your life wonderful.
6. It is NOT going to destroy your marriage during the remodel.

Make some real world and real life decisions, write a mission statement so you and your spouse (and your contractor) know what the job is all about, establish a realistic budget.

david boise ID

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Old Dec 1st, 07, 5:20 pm  
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Re: Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

Thanks everyone- some very good ideas. The fridge is/ was supposed to go under the wall cabinet with no base cabinet underneath- the lack of symmetry and odd placement is most likely due to my lack of knowledge of the program and I'm getting familiar with it.

Opening up the kitchen to the dining room is going to be problematic as it would involve removing part of a load bearing wall. We've thought about the door to the bathroom. It isn't the only door to the bathroom, but it is the main one, and patching over it would really close the house off.

Beth- yes, the walls are all 10' high. I really like your layout, but I was hoping you would not confirm what I think I already knew- we're trying to do too much with too little space. We could put the fridge in the pantry, but that isn't the most desirable solution. Although that's not a bad idea - especially w / a fridge cabinet. Thanks so much for the layout and tips!

Zeuss, yes, the mudroom and butler's pantry share a common wall, and I have to admit that's a great idea about removing the wall and opening up both to the kitchen. We had discussed opening up the mudroom to the kitchen, but it didn't dawn on us to open up both. That would be a tremendous increase to the functional space. We can't remove the square column- it's an old chimney that runs up through the second floor and roof. But we could incorporate that into the design of the room.


Thanks again- I'll let you know what we decide.

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Old Dec 1st, 07, 5:43 pm  
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Re: Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

I have one of those old chimneys too. We currently re-doing the bathroom that has it going through. It isn't very nice brick, so leaving it exposed was out. The people before had used 2x4's and firred it out and put drywall on. That made it bigger. So we glued wallboard onto it with PL400 and a few anchors. Today we just tiled it with subway tiles. It looks so much nicer and takes up so much less room. I'll post pics soon.

But even with that column there, you might be able to make a real family gathering place kind of kitchen.

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Old Dec 2nd, 07, 12:09 am  
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Re: Kitchen Design help needed- five doorways!

Interesting. I would really like to see the pics when you are able to post them. The unused chimney has been the bane of my existence for the past month.

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