Monday, November 28, 2011

Kitchen Layout

Steve and I have been problem solving just how we will relocate our original dining room built-in to make room for new stairs to, well, upstairs, and then layout the kitchen.  You can see in the previous post that we have been problem solving this little conundrum since way back before last February. 

Right now, you enter the basement stairs right in the middle of the kitchen-this is no good because it basically destroys any change of putting cabinets on one wall.  We only have Ben's play kitchen and a microwave cart on that wall.

Fun for Ben but not ideal in any way.  The stairs to the attic area are way in the back of the house.  We plan to have those be where the dining room built-in currently is; then we will have the basement stairs (they eat up all the space on that wall) go where the stairs to the attic are in the back of the house.  But where does the built-in go?  It goes on the wall to the left of the door to enter the kitchen like this drawing shows below from back in February.

My only worries about this is that the left side of the dining room will look really heavy with the buffet that we had built also there.  I am just hoping that a brand new set of stained oak stairs with nice stained fir trim all around will help it all balance out.  What do you think?  Hopefully the window on the left side of the dining room will help as well.

We have played and played and played around with the kitchen layout.  I really really really wanted to put a skinny row of cabinets about 12-15" deep all along the wall where Ben's play kitchen and the current stairs to the basement were.  There would be lower cabinets and then a not deep counter (perfect to add more counter space) with tons for storage above, all the way to the ceiling.  It would look awesome and totally allow more space to exit the back door. 
However, the more we played around with the layout, we realized that there is no way we could make all the appliances fit with that arrangement.  We needed to find a way to fit at least one appliance on that wall.  We need to account for our current appliances (fridge (36") and range (new one will be 30") as well as a dishwasher.  We will gain the funny pop out area -it was a chimney for our oil burning furnace that is no longer- behind the current range-with the remodel.

But we will have to bump into the kitchen about 8" (just on the wall where the range currently is) to account for moving the dining room built-in to the new wall.  Does this make any sense?
the tape marks where the wall will bump out to
Enter new kitchen plan.  We used the Ikea kitchen planner because it is free (and I am Mrs. Frugal) and it really allows you to pretty easily move around walls and put in standard cabinets as well as custom sized cabinets.  Also gives appliance options.  We don't plan to use Ikea cabinets but are thankful they provide this free planning tool to all.  Now this plan is not by any means an end point but it IS a starting point and at least has the old gears rolling.

So there you have it.  New layout. Sloppy and surely a rough draft. Pretty self-explanatory.  No extra money to move a gas line because we still need to run one.  We currently just have a T in the new line that was put in that is capped off so we can run it wherever.   We will actually move the kitchen door entrance to the left about 15" to allot for the new layout.  This will hopefully not cost a lot of extra money being that the wall will pretty much already be hacked apart with moving the built-in and putting in stairs.
You can see that we plan to put the range on the wall where the basement stairs and Ben's play kitchen currently lie (and where I was dead set on having my skinny cabinets).  Putting the range on this wall was Steve's idea at first and of course I immediately gave a thumb's down (or got all pouty and mad) because I thought I was giving up all hope of my skinny cabinets.
But alas, there is hope. I decided I should try and be an adult and take in the option (we have yet to figure out another arrangement that would work).  Then as I thought about it and the need to still try and find a place for my skinny cabinets, what about the wall that the back door is on?
This wall might just even be better.  It allows several great things:
1.) I get skinny cabinets!  woot! woot!
2.) when looking into the kitchen (like the view above), I will get to gaze at the skinny cabinets instead of an ugly fridge or (probably dirty) range.  We would have put the range on that wall but currently code mandates at least 18" of counter space on either side of a range. And the wall is not long enough to accommodate a 30" range and 36" more of counter space.  Makes sense.  Especially when it is by a door and you have kids (or tend to trip a lot) **UPDATE** apparently there is no code in Portland (at least that we can find) that makes you have counter-space on each side of the range but it seems like a smart choice if possible
3.) It also frees up some space so there will be a bigger opening between cabinets to get to the back door (and also the area that will have the basement stairs)

Anyways, we are getting excited about it and, as seen in a previous post, I am starting to research appliances (kinda fun) and contractors (not so fun).  So if you know of a good contractor to do stairs and move a precious built-in, send them our way.  Also looking for a great kitchen cabinet maker.  Not decided on custom or big box store yet but we would like as nice as we can get and reasonable in cost-a lot to ask for but I know we will find someone great.  I also pine for flush cabinet doors and, as far as I know, that pretty much only comes custom.


  1. Great tips and congratulations; I've been looking for inspiration for my old kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ambitious undertaking. Are you guys doing to do the work yourselves?

  3. We think that we are going to hire someone to install-not usually our way of doing things. I guess it will all depend on the bids we get back and how kitchen poor we are. Steve is just a little worried about dealing with the un-square-ness of an old house when installing kitchen cabinets where squareness is key. We will surely act as the general contractor/over-see-er