Last week I shared that we are putting plans in motion to renovate our kitchen. I planned on sharing our final layout last week, but as it turns out this is a lot harder than I thought. We have decided to gut the whole kitchen and knock out the wall between it and our dining room for a more open floor plan and casual eating space. Our current kitchen has a lot of natural light and is actually a pretty good size giving us great space to work with but some challenges with layout if we want to keep the windows and doorways in place. We also have a different height ceiling in the kitchen than in our dining room because of our plumbing upstairs, so we’ve been working through solves for that too.
Here is our current now in case you missed it last week.
And the current layout…
In addition to our kitchen redesign, we are also solving for adding another bathroom in the house on the first floor since we only have one bathroom and it’s on the second floor. A family friend and architect helped us with a rough sketch of a budget friendly option. The sketch added a full bathroom and closet where the current kitchen is and knocked down the wall between the rest of the kitchen and the dining room to open up the space. The benefit here was that the new bathroom would be directly under the bathroom upstairs keeping plumbing costs down and had easy access to the hall. In the process we also got to add a hallway closet for storage. The downside was our kitchen got a lot smaller.
We love to cook and entertain so after thinking through this layout for a few weeks we went back to the drawing board to figure out how to add the bathroom but keep the kitchen’s size. We went through a few options that were the total opposite of “budget friendly” and knocked them off of the potential list. We explored putting the bathroom in our current study so we could keep the space of the kitchen. Turns out you only need 5 ft of width for a full bath, which would still make our study still nearly 10ft x 10ft. The bathroom addition would still be close to the existing plumbing hopefully keeping costs down.
Taking a page from the rough sketch, one of the options we are thinking about is the same kitchen layout, but without the bathroom. This would give us a work triangle that’s recommended for a good work flow in the kitchen. The idea is that the sink, stove and fridge are the key appliances that are used when cooking so having them in a triangle layout without the traffic patterns going through it is efficiency and easy. This is really the least invasive option because we get to keep our sink and dishwasher in the same space and switching the stove and fridge.
The next option we are playing with opens up the space more, but requires some slight structural changes to create symmetry. The structural changes would be focused around existing windows/doors like closing up one of our windows for the stove and converting a door into a window. The dining room table would need to be pushed towards the wall and the chandelier hook up moved in order to open up walk space. The positive with this design is the kitchen space is larger so we could have a stove and a separate standalone oven/microwave, but the island breaks up the work triangle.
The last option we are looking at is probably the most intense as far as renovation goes. In this option it helps to see the full downstairs layout. You can see here where we are talking about adding a bath in the study and a closet so we can consider this a bedroom. The first thing that makes this design different is knocking through the wall the currently separates the hall/stairwell from the kitchen. This would become an encased door way allowing for a good flow through the downstairs floor plan with easy access to the bathroom from the kitchen versus having to walk a full loop.
The window and doorways in the kitchen could still stay intact, but knocking through the doorway to the rest of the house reduces the cabinet space pretty significantly. The plan would be to keep lower and upper cabinets anywhere possible and potentially take a portion out of the close with a door opening into the kitchen for a shallow pantry. The dishwasher and trash would be covered with cabinets within the island and the fridge would be in an encased cabinet so it’s not an eye sore from the eating area. The work triangle here is really great with just the right distance between the three big players and a traffic flow that would circle outside by the bar stools. What I love about this layout is that it allows for great spaces for guests to congregate in while you’re in the kitchen but not so great with storage.
To solve the different ceiling heights we are playing with the idea of mixing a tray ceiling with recession lighting like this through the whole room.