How I Designed Our Kitchen To Function

A few steps closer in starting our renovations – we have finalized the kitchen floor plan, layout, hired a contractor and officially started our renovations! While we play the hurry up and wait game to get to demo day where I think the renovations will officially feel real, I’m busy putting together my design plan. The more time the better to make all of the decisions from outlet locations to backsplash materials to appliances.

Our current kitchen’s charm has officially lost its luster. If the one-shelf dishwasher and blue tape that has been up for months weren’t enough, the animal that snuck into our stove downdraft sure was. We have had it, and I could not be more excited to rip this kitchen out.

Here is where we are starting with our existing floorplan. Our current kitchen is actually a pretty good size for an old house but the cabinets and appliances are showing some wear and tear and need to be updated. Aside from that, you’ll notice that there is no bathroom or powder room on the first floor, so we only have one bathroom in the entire house.

Initially I had wanted to salvage what we could of the kitchen cabinets and just add a fresh coat of paint and new hardware – but after said friend was rummaging around under there that was a no-go for me. In truth the cabinets could use some serious love as you can see from the wear and tear under the sink. The cabinets have to come out.

This is the view to the left of the dishwasher and on the other side of our U-shaped kitchen. The layout is awkward with the cabinet going all the way back behind the fridge and the fridge jutting out. The exposed black hinges and hardware is also pretty overwhelming.

On the other side of this kitchen wall is our dining room which is my favorite room in the house. The plan will be to knock down that wall in between the kitchen and the dining room to open up the space.

A new bathroom will be added to the first floor where the current kitchen is and an addition will be added behind our screened-in porch to make the kitchen. To create more living space in the house the left over space from the kitchen and dining room will become our new family room. A small space off the family room will bump out onto our deck to fit our dining room table. Here’s a look at the new floorplan.

Taking a piece of the screened in porch and opening up the wall in the dining room gives us an 11’x13’ space for the kitchen. The plan is keeping a very similar layout to the one I shared a few months back but by taking a piece of the porch we get another two feet for more storage making the layout a U-shape instead of a L-shape.

My goal with the new plan is to improve the functionality of the kitchen and update the look to match our home and style. When thinking about the functionality, I read a lot of the work triangle that suggests the layout for the stove, fridge and sink should be in a triangle shape for ease. Our work triangle isn’t perfect because you’re supposed to keep anything from obstructing this path, but this was the layout that worked the best for us with the other elements we had to consider. I wanted the sink to be under a window that faced the south side for the best light and the stove to be on an outside wall for ease of venting – no more downdraft boxes.

For better functionality, I also wanted to think about where the three key work stations would be. The recommendation is to have three separate place for prep, cooking and cleaning. As you might guess, the cleaning station is around the sink and dishwasher but it should be in a place where there won’t be appliances on the countertop. Our cooking station will be next to the stove with 24″ on each side and the prep will be on the island so it’s in between the sink and the fridge and close to the cooking station.

The last thing key thing we’re doing for functionality, which is really a nice to have is splitting up the cooktop and oven. We’ll have a cooktop with big drawers under it for pots and pans and a stacked microwave oven combo to the right of the stove. This might be what I am most excited about because I just didn’t think we would have the space for this and we didn’t in our last plan. When we visited the Ferguson showroom one thing that surprised me was how low you have to go to get into the new popular ovens like Wolf and Viking. With the microwave/oven combo as a standalone this will also free up more key storage space in the island.

More to come on the elevations and kitchen plans!