Kitchen Layout Breakdown

I am excited to share with you how we are going to reconfigure the kitchen layout to better maximize space, storage, and efficiency. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but we are making some small changes that I hope will create some more storage and counter space and add up to a more organized kitchen.

To orient you, here’s a bird’s eye view of the first floor of the house so you can see where the kitchen is in relation to the rest of the floor.

First Floor Layout

Each of the appliances shown above are generally going to stay in the same place. We are moving the dishwasher over so that it’s right next to the sink and the sink is shifting just a bit so that the faucet will be centered on the window above it, but those are the only changes to the appliance layout.

The new layout adds some additional cabinets and counter space.  As you can see from this picture there is a tall pantry cabinet to the left of the range.

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In the new layout, the tall pantry cabinet will be replaced with a slanted upper and lower cabinet with a small triangle-shaped countertop. We are also adding an over-the-range microwave which will actually vent outside instead of simply recirculating, which is what our current hood does. I am so excited about this! The upper cabinets to the right of the range are just a standard 33″ cabinet. Here is a rendering of what that wall will look like.

Range View

Here is a what the sink wall currently looks like. Sorry the photo is so dark, the lighting in this room is tough to wrangle! We are going to try to salvage the gingerbread detail around the window and re-install it once the new cabinets are in. I have no idea if we will be able to do that or not, so stay tuned for that drama!

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As I mentioned above, the dishwasher will slide over and sit right next to the sink and the sink will slide to the right a little bit so that we can center the faucet on the window. This will also allow us to add a 18″ wastebasket pullout cabinet to the left of the sink. Yay, no more visible trash can! The upper cabinets on both sides of the sink are blind corner cabinets, which means that they don’t have angled shelves or a lazy susan layout, they simply go straight back towards the other wall. This is the same layout that my left upper cabinet on this wall has now, it’s not the most ideal cabinet configuration in my opinion, but the length of this wall combined with the size and placement of the window didn’t lend themselves well to the other upper cabinet options that this cabinet company offered, so we are going with blind corner uppers on both corners of the sink wall.

Sink View

And instead of a large, two-bowl sink, I am going to go with one smaller bowl. Currently the width of both bowls is a combined 29″ and the new sink will be 21″ but I think it will be more functional for me as the width of the individual bowls on my current sink are only 14″ so many of my pots and pans can’t be set easily in the sink, which is a major pet peeve of mine. Since I have such limited cabinet and counter space in a 10 x 10′ kitchen, I think a medium size single bowl sink that will fit with in a 30″ sink cabinet is the best choice.

Sink selection for Bilger

Swinging around to the sun room wall, here’s where things start to get exciting. As you can see in the photo below, and as you may remember from the mini-kitchen makeover of April 2013, there are a couple of narrow shelves that Mark and I installed for extra storage. These are going to be removed and we plan to eventually replace them, but we are going to tackle that part ourselves after the main job is done.

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What we are going to add to this wall is a 16″ deep lower cabinet and countertop.  We couldn’t add a full depth (24″) lower cabinet because it wouldn’t fit with the dishwasher, which we obviously didn’t want to give up, but we liked the idea of having the additional countertop space. This does mean we are losing a little bit of storage space in the corner of the sink wall, but I think we are gaining that back with the storage we will now have on this wall.

Sun Room View

And last but not least we have the fridge wall. This wall currently has no original cabinets or countertops. I don’t know what was originally on this wall, but it wasn’t the fridge. Originally, the refrigerator was were the range is now, which is explains why the outlet is so high on that wall. The original range/cooktop was on the sun room (formerly the back yard) wall.  You can tell because there is a patch in the brick where it used to vent outside. This wall may never have had cabinets and might have housed a small table or a desk. Either way, this wall currently houses some cheap IKEA upper cabinets, a shelve for the microwave that Mark and I made, and a portable IKEA kitchen cart.

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Obviously this wall is going to receive the biggest transformation because the cabinets are finally going to match the rest of the kitchen and will properly frame out the fridge. To accomplish this, we’re moving the fridge over about 5″ and adding full depth cabinets above. To the right of the fridge we’re including a 24″ wide tall pantry cabinet with both shelves and drawers. In order to not overly close off the entrance to the kitchen from the living/dining room, the depth of this cabinet will only 18″ deep, but I think it will provide a wealth of really usable storage for pantry items, linens, etc.

Fridge View

So that’s the wall-by-wall layout of the new kitchen. Here’s the bird’s eye rendering with dimensions in case that’s helpful to see as well.

Bird's Eye

Before I end this post, I would like to share a few last thoughts about the layout and the idea that renovating a space means you can get exactly what you want. First, although our options were limited given space restrictions, we did consider a couple of other layout options and ultimately decided that this one met our goals the best. It provides alot more counter space and a little bit more storage. However, we did not get everything we wanted. We had to go with those blind corner cabinets which are not as user-friendly as the lazy susan options, but work better for our space. Over-the-range microwaves aren’t my cup of tea, but it made the most sense for this kitchen both visually and function-wise, so we went with one. There’s also a little bit of “dead space” next to both the fridge and dishwasher, which were trade-offs for other features.

So in the end I am very happy with the new layout, but it didn’t come without some compromise. I wouldn’t say that I am getting my dream kitchen, but as I mentioned here, that’s not really the point. What I do think is dreamy is that this kitchen should add value to the house as a whole, as well as be more functional and better looking.

In my next post, which I hope to have up next weekend, I will share with you what cabinets, countertops, appliances, fixtures, etc. we chose along with more information on the storage solutions we are incorporating. We are ordering the cabinets first thing tomorrow morning and should have a delivery date by the end of the week, so I hope to also be able to also share the timeline for this project as well. We’ll see!

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