Kitchen Plan: Layout

We’re starting to get more serious about kitchen plans over here. I’ve been tweaking these since last August when I saw the house for the first time (even though we didn’t buy it until December), so it has been a target of obsession for a while. But to be honest, the basic layout hasn’t changed much since then — there’s kind of only so many ways it can go.

To revisit, here is the old floor plan where the now-kitchen was the dining room. The “kitchen” in this house was just a collection of appliances and random cabinets in an oddly-shaped room. Following that is our new floor plan where we switched the kitchen and dining room — and opened up the walls in-between.

And now for the zoom-in of all the nitty gritty:

Sorry, you’ll have to re-orient yourself a bit — 180 degrees, in fact. For whatever reason, I draw the overall floor plan one way and the kitchen floor plan another. Maybe because, as I designed it and as I sit here typing now, I am viewing the kitchen from the dining room table. Anyway… Step one was planning out where all of the appliances/fixtures will sit, which had to be decided very early in the renovation so that plumbing and electrical could be set in the correct places. In my order of logic:

  • Sink — centered under the window, of course. This is a classic choice, even if I am just looking at my neighbor’s asbestos siding.
  • Dishwasher — to either side of the sink for easy rinse-and-load. In this case, it landed on the right (on the left, the dishwasher and oven doors would overlap when open).
  • Refrigerator — since a refrigerator sticks out farther than kitchen cabinets (30″+ as opposed to 24″), it has to be at the end of a run of cabinets. This kitchen will be L-shaped, so there’s really only two options. It ended up in the upper-right corner there, because 1) there’s space to open the doors and 2) it buts up against a wall that will disguise one side of it.
    • Minutia note about depths: I am actually bumping out this whole cabinet wall (the counters will be 27-28″ deep) so that the sink and faucet will fit in front of the window ledge — which means the fridge will only stick out a couple more inches here. Win.
    • Another note: I don’t believe in counter-depth refrigerators. For us.
  • Stove — so if all the above is on one wall of the kitchen, then the stove must be on the other. “Work triangle” and all. Ideally/initially, I would place the stove right in the middle of the wall for symmetry, but two other important components of the kitchen are here to interrupt: island and pantry placement.
  • Island — this was a whole conundrum on its own. Naturally, it would float in the middle of the kitchen, right? But however I placed it, there just was not enough clearance all the way around for working and sitting and all the chilling/congestion I know inevitably happens around an island when you have guests. So we attached it on the brick wall, et voilà, peninsula. I will continue to call it an island though.
  • Pantry — this is just some tall cabinets to hide various things, food and dishes etc. Since we do not plan to have any (significant) upper cabinet or shelf storage, these tall cabinets are essential.
  • Back to stove placement — basically, it ended where the door could be opened easily without bumping into the island work space. And moving it over towards the corner opened up some real estate for an extra wide pantry cabinet.

We’ve been living with this layout for a while now — and it works! Just like the original kitchen, ours is also just a collection of appliances and random shelving right now. I’m going to show you just so you can enjoy some schadenfreude. Dirty dishes and all. You’re welcome.

Some other notes about the final layout:

  • Pull-out trash cans and recycling will live in the island. Since the island is the main prep-space in the kitchen, having garbage right there is super convenient (it worked for us in our last kitchen).
  • This time around, we’re gonna have actual stools at the kitchen island! You can see from my drawing that there is 15″ of overhang in the island for that purpose.
  • The tall pantry cabinets will be slightly more shallow than the lower cabinets (15″ deep). If they were the regular 24″, then the side wall of the pantry would look/feel somewhat oppressive from the dining room. Plus, shallow shelves will allow us to see what’s in there.
  • Microwave and toaster will be hidden in the pantry cabinet.
  • Lights — I guess this needs addressing. There was a chandelier centered and hung low over the dining room table.

There have been so many changes in this space that it’s almost comical to compare. When the kitchen is done, I will do a angle-by-angle before and after series. But anyway, back to lights in the kitchen.

  • Lights — the only lights in this kitchen will be three wall sconces above the sink and two pendants over the island (and light over the stove from the hood vent). We just have temporary fixtures now, but the amount of light has been sufficient. Plus, when I get around to picking the permanent light fixtures, they will add some character to the room (which recessed can lights never could).

Layout has been set. Cabinet choice to come. Lots of other design decisions too.

3 thoughts on “Kitchen Plan: Layout

  1. Not exactly clear, but interesting to know, was that chandelier in your previous dining room? Your current kitchen, in other words? Also, do you plan to use that chandelier somewhere else in your house in the future, and if yes, where?

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    • That chandelier was in the previous dining room, but removed it. I would have used it elsewhere, but unfortunately it got destroyed on the work site. The lighting in the kitchen will be two pendants over the island and three sconces over the sink wall.

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