Here's the floor plan for our kitchen renovation. The opening between the living room and kitchen/dining area will be almost double in width (compared to current) to let in a lot more natural light as well as provide for a much more open feeling between the rooms. (click for larger image)
Here's my rationale for the locations of the various items:
- The cooktop is angled out and faces the living and dining rooms to allow the cook to be able to converse with the folks in those rooms (or at least keep an eye on them, in the case of children) while cooking. Our current layout has the cook facing the far wall, staring at a dark blank spot. This new location is more open, and makes the cook more a part of the surrounding area rather than separated from it.
- The trash is located where it will have easy access both from the sink and from the kitchen table. This will make the cleanup flow a bit smoother. Currently our trash bin is on the wall near the living room, opposite from the sink. This doesn't work well as you have to carry sink scraps over across the floor, or dirty (scraped clean) dishes across the kitchen from the trash. This new location puts both in a better flow. Currently the refrigerator is located where the trash is shown, and the sink is over further towards the corner.
- The refrigerator now lives against the far wall. This will require separate plumbing, but it removes the enormous view block that currently exists between the sink and the dining room. The new layout will have a much more open view, shedding more natural light onto the cleanup and preparation area.
- The window above the sink has been greatly enlarged. While I don't currently have the exact dimensions I will use, I know I want a larger window with a better view of the outside. Not only will this provide more natural light, but it will also help to open up the kitchen to our house's best asset: the woods out back. Of course, there is a screened-in deck between the kitchen and those woods, but the impact of this change will still be significant.
The work triangle was, of course, considered and mapped out. While the current one still isn't perfect (counter space is always lacking), it is much nicer than the current layout, and makes good use of the space we have available. The uniformity of the same bamboo flooring material throughout the kitchen, dining room, living room, hall etc. will also help make the area seem more like one larger friendlier space instead of several separate rooms.
And here's the appliance list.
We originally considered counter-depth refrigerators. I like the flush look, but not necessarily the style of some of those units. Finally Melissa had a great idea: why not get the fridge I really want, and just make the cabinets and counter on either side deeper so the fridge doesn't look so "bumped out". Of course, you need to account for door clearance, but that's a great idea, and I incorporated it into the plan. Since I'm building all the cherry Arts and Crafts-style cabinets myself, this was a no-brainer. We have the fridge on order this week, so I can take exact measurements on it before I finalize the plan.
For reference, here's the kitchen as it stands today:
Trust me, it looked far worse before we removed the wallpaper :-) And it's not usually that messy and disorganized. Also, the tile looks more white in normal room light. Flash photography does some really odd things sometimes, especially when automatically sensing the white Kilz walls as the white balance calibration source.
We painted the living room and hall with a fern green color (name is actually "tawny green") last night. It looks great. Our new mission-style dining room table arrives this week, as does the new couch and recliner. I'm really looking forward to seeing this all put together.