mrraphael23

Need help with open plan kitchen design

mrraphael23
6 years ago
Hi everyone. We are hoping you can help us decide on the layout of our kitchen. We have an 11 month old daughter and plan on having one or two more kids in the next couple of years so the layout has to accommodate that reality. We are trying to fit a kitchen, dining and play area into the one space. We have a separate formal lounge area in another part of the house so this does not need to be part of the kitchen area. The main things we need help with are:
1. If we should have a hob or sink on the island
2. If we should have the island parallel to the back run or at a right angle (i.e. facing the room)
3. Where to put the dining table - in the middle of the room like in the photos or to move it to the back where the french doors are
4. Would you recommend having a TV on wall in front of a small sofa with room to play in between and would this be strange in between the kitchen and dining table.

It's worth nothing that this will be our only dining space - we're thinking of getting a table for 6 that extends.

And then any other advice you can offer two people who have driven themselves mad with changes.

Many thanks!

Comments (48)

  • jojojo123
    6 years ago
    I think the kitchen looks great but unsure how the other elements will work with regards to play space....?

    I always prefer sink in the island but that's just my personal preference!

    Good luck!
  • Richard Rumbelow
    6 years ago
    Hello Mrraphael23

    First off, I agree with jojojo123, the design looks great. I hope the following helps with your decision making.

    1. Sink or hob on island?
    Having the main sink of the island can invite clutter. Even one washed up item will appear 'on display' in the centre of the island. A small secondary sink on the island can be useful but I would avoid placing the main sink there. Also a hob in front of the window would leave you with greasy windows.

    2. Orientation of the island?
    I like your current layout as it add interest. If the island was rotated then the island chairs would be too close to the dining chairs.

    3. Dining table location
    I would leave the dining table where it is as it make sense locating it next to the food preparation area. If you add a lounge area in between the food prep and the eating area then you will always be walking though an area before eating. Also it might block the French doors. Lastly if it's an extending table, it might looks squashed in the smaller area next to the French doors.

    4. TV area
    I would opt for small a seating area by the French doors - a statement chair with a side table and a table lamp on one side and floor lamp on the other side. Two square chairs facing each other would also look good and if there were occasional tables this would make the area more functional.

    I hope this doesn't cause you any decision making sleepless nights but have you thought about not having units above the counter? Removing the cupboards over the sink area would create a really open feel to the design.

    Lastly, what lighting are you planning above the dining table?

    Hope this helps.
    Richard Rumbelow
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  • boundsgreener
    6 years ago
    Hi. I think it looks lovely so far. How about moving that free-standing cupboard over to the nook nearer the french doors, freeing up that space and using what would otherwise be dead space, and then have built in seating at the far end of the dining area all along that back wall to the cabinets. It can be nice and comfy (a couch alternative!), uses the space well and then your dining area won't take up as much room on a day to day basis. If you have the banquette and move the cabinet, there'll be plenty of room for a play area and a couple of chairs. You could have a TV where the free-standing cabinet is at the moment and then you'll be able to see it from nearly the whole room.

    You might want to consider switching the ovens with the pantry. I know it looks pretty and balanced right now, but I'm not sure you'll be able to get to the fridge if someone is doing things in the oven and for energy efficiency the general rule is not to have an oven near a fridge because the fridge has to work harder to stay cold, even if it is all well insulated. I hope that helps.
  • PRO
    LWK London Kitchens
    6 years ago
    Hi mrraphael23,

    Looks like your kitchen plan is shaping up to be a lovely design.
    When it comes to deciding on a sink or hob on the island it is usually a personal preference. With our experience we find that parents with young children and seating at the island, they tend to prefer the sink on the island. The reason behind this is because (especially with a gas hob) it reduces the risk of a child getting too close to the hob and burning themselves when sitting at the island.
    I like the orientation of the island but looking at the plan the table looks too close to the island, so if possibly I would move the table further away from the island. Don't forget when there is people sitting at the table the chairs won't be tucked under like they are now and you will need enough spaces for a person to walk behind comfortably.
    I agree with Richard Rumbelowwhen it comes to the seating area & the tv just be aware of spacing if the table moves a little further away from the island.

    Hopefully this helps, keep us up to date on your kitchen design, we'd love to see the end result!
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    Hi - I've had a little cut and paste time with this to offer an alternative using the same cabinets and island ... I've changed the orientation of the island and mounted it on the side wall - this is so that it becomes a safer 'no go area' for cooking and hot things - rather than a fab racetrack for toddlers ! ( sorry toddlers !! But we need to keep you safe !) I moved the dining table into the French door area - and would suggest a smaller ( but extending ) table for everyday use - then expanded on high days and holidays ! This gives room for a play rug and couple of comfy chairs... If you wanted more cupboard space - then the twin cabinet I moved to the top wall could be expanded to three or even four cabinets ! ( plenty of space to store baskets of toys !)
  • choppy39
    6 years ago
    Maybe..... turn the island to face the dining table but connect and have it as a peninsular, more storage (you don't have a huge amount) and the children won't be able to use it as a speedway track whilst your cooking. I would have the island back raised too as slightly split level and then if they are sat watching you cook there is less chance of them getting splashed (simple alteration tall wall unit on legs at either side and open span in middle for seats) this would mean you can keep the sink by the window. Don't go with the curved wall cabinet but standard (expensive option and no other curves in room) if L shaped corner - peninsular option used put extendable bracket with tv on then it can be pulled out to view from peninsular or moved to view from table.
    Use the money saved from the no curve purchase and buy a chrome pull out Chefs pantry to max the space in your double larder unit.
    Proposal idea give a modern look that doesn't really lend to a Belfast (although glass extraction/table could just be pics) Possibility think how much workspace you will be losing once the drainer grooves are in.
  • choppy39
    6 years ago
    I did a plan for you but it won't load, roughly 300mm bin unit, 600 sink, d/w, 900 L shape, 800mm drawer pack, and curved unit here if you need one. Back of unit one 500mm x 900 tall unit either side with w/top across
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Thank you all so much for your comments! I really didn't expect such detail. We have decided to go for a hob on the island and take into account some safety measures for kids. I am still wondering about raising the bar area for more protection but worried it will cause an eye sore and cut off the flow - what do you think? Also I have attached the new design but with the island turned around (oneplan thank you for your skillful cut and paste job of a different design). Personally I think this new attached design is better, but my wife prefers the gully version. The reason I like the island parallel to the dining table is that it provides easy access to both the sink, fridge / freezer, whereas with the gully design the fridge is blocked by the island). Just in response to a few comments - the fridge must stay at the end to allow easy access to it from the other parts of the room. I do however agree with it not being next to the hob, so I think the pantry will have to go in the middle. I also like the idea of no wall units, but the question is this - where should the microwave go? Thanks again everyone - you have helped a great deal (even if we did not go with your ideas).
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    If you are both right handed - then keep your fridge where it is and change the handing so the hinges are on the left and the handle on the right - this way it blocks heat from oven entering the fridge and you will naturally open with left hand and use your more dexterous right for grabbing the items you want !
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Oh dear ... Just looked at the new plan again - and to be honest - you need more room between island and sink run - ideally 1m - but at the absolute very tightest least 762mm and the same the other side too ! What you have drawn is too tight !
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    OnePlan - you are absolutely right - it is too tight. So we are left with 3 options:
    1. Reduce the size of the island (any suggestions how are welcome)
    2. Keep the gully design
    3. Get rid of the island and go for a U shaped kitchen (I have attached the design of this).

    We are really stuck as we LOVE the idea of an island and how free and open it makes the kitchen, BUT our primary concern is for a practical working kitchen that works with the rest of the room.

    Please help!
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    Well if I were designing this for you - given that you really want an island and obviously want a decent sized one - I'd probably design the room right along the top (with sink window) wall and have a long Island in front of it - then position a proportional sized dining table in a spot that's left - but importantly - with enough space around the table and chairs too
  • boundsgreener
    6 years ago
    Hi. OnePlan will have more valuable help for you, but if you don't have an island, OnePlan's "U" is better, I think. The gully island can look less gully-like if you have the chairs on the dining area end (the short bit) and the hob at the other end. Also good for the kiddies.

    Personally, I like the wall units - they are only bad if they are oppressive because of a small space, but you don't have to worry about that.

    The only thing I disagree with OnePlan about (a first!) is the fridge hinge/handle thing. Opening a fridge against a wall drives me insane. How many times have you opened a fridge to have a look in, see what's there, put things on a counter, get both hands full of stuff? What is in a fridge shouldn't be a secret. But maybe all of that is because I'm ambidextrous :)
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    Lol ! That made me giggle ! Yeah - personally I try not to have fridges next to ovens - but to be fair - it's more an old school thing - when I started in this business back in '85 the appliances weren't as good as they are now - and it was a no no to put the two together ! And yes I get what you are saying about it being by the wall - anyway - I've doodled a quick sketch - it's been a long day - so sorry it's messy ! But I'm shattered ! Something to mull over ! Night night all ! I'm off !!!
  • boundsgreener
    6 years ago
    I don't know what Mr Raphael thinks, but I think this is fabulous. AND in this case the fridge hinge SHOULD be on the left :)
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Well everyone, here we are with what we hope is nearing the end of our long journey to the perfect kitchen. This latest design takes into account all the feedback provided from everyone in this thread, especially OnePlan! Before we pull the trigger, I would be more than grateful for a last look. I am sure there is something in the plan that doesn't work, but I just can't put my finger on it. Thank you again!
  • Victoria
    6 years ago
    Where will you put things down when you are getting them in and out if the fridge?
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    Because the wall is longer on the left of window than the right - if I were you I'd put the oven housing in between the pantry cupboards and have the DW next to the FF where the oven was . Then you'd have worktop near your oven ( as in the island ) and worktop next to FF too !
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    OnePlan - thanks for your response. I think the drawing of the window is my fault - the window should have been centred in this drawing (it is currently 900 in from the right), but we can move it to wherever we like. That is why I put the two tall units on each side, they were equidistant from the centre of the window, but that was only for symmetry purposes (more important for some than others).
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    its great that you can move the window anywhere - but truly you should really line it up with upstairs windows - or at the very least consider the placement from outside as well as inside ! by the way - where's the TV going in your latest plan ?
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    that is the $64,000 question!
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    Lol !! If you add an AEP87/117P tapered end to the island , if it's 1200 deep , or a smaller one if it's less deep, then you can mount a TV on the end of the island !
    mrraphael23 thanked OnePlan
  • PRO
    Coppice Guild
    6 years ago
    Not wanting to muddy the waters at this late stage, but is it an option to put the entry door where the start of the L shaped sofa is? This would free up the recess where you originally had all the tall units (which I liked) and get rid of the L shape sofa (which I think is the part you cannot put your finger on). A big comfy sofa could then go where the current door is, and you could put smart toy storage in that tall recess near the dining table. Just a thought!
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Coppice - great idea, and yes this would be possible, however we would still be left with the issue of where does the TV go.
    OnePlan - excuse my lack of knowledge, but what is AEP87/117P tapered end? I searched the internet for that phrase but only found "Eosinophilic Pneumonias - Clinical Microbiology Reviews" :-)
  • PRO
    Coppice Guild
    6 years ago
    Simply put all the tall cupboards back together in the large recess and free up the space to the left of the kitchen window. A tv on a wall bracket that could twist and tilt to any angle could work best if you want a long run of work surface. Glad it was feasible. Julie
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Coppice, I don' think that would work because the distance between the TV and the sofa would be 5m. Also we might sometimes want to turn the dining table round to account for more guests and a sofa would block that from happening. I have spent much time looking at this plan, and I see two possibilities for the TV as the sofa is now:
    1. OnePlan's idea - I have found this... http://www.homedit.com/tv-swivel-concepts-practical-perfect-modern-homes/kitchen-tv-counter-top/
    2. A twist on Coppice's idea - have the TV on a cantilever bracket (so viewable from all the kitchen), but on the wall where the sofa ends. This is 700 deep so much of the TV would be against the wall, and the bit that jutted out would only be small.

    On another note, no one told me that kitchen planning could send you mad. I think I am halfway there :-)
  • boundsgreener
    6 years ago
    One more query about the new plan to drive you completely bonkers: have you lost much cupboard space? I think you've only lost a tiny bit of counterspace from your original plan but you've lost all the overhead cupboards, right? Definitely have something built into that nook near the dining table - I'd do a floor to ceiling built in with room for toys (as Coppice said) at the bottom, and then the rest dedicated to platters/fancy wine glasses/things you use for the dining table when you have guests but not day to day.
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    Hi - the code I gave you is for a piece of mereway furniture that should be on the cad system ! Kitchen design can be difficult. But I do love a challenge - hence I'm still in the business almost 30 years after starting !
  • dibsl
    6 years ago
    Hi just read this thread and curious to know what design you went for in the end ?
  • bridgendrd
    6 years ago
    Me too! Your kitchen is similar to an extension we are in the process of buliding & so are a lot of the issues you had.
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    Me three !!! (Just because I'm awfully nosey though !!! Tee hee !! )
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    It's been a while since I posted on this discussion, but I have one last question I am hoping all the experts (and not) can help with. The kitchen (through a few building amendments) means the hob now will have to move slightly towards being in line with the sink. We have tested it and since we have 1100mmm of space between the island and back run then it is possible to have someone at the sink and at the ob at the same time without interfering with each other, however I would prefer the hob to not be directly infront of the sink (actually it is slightly to the side). If I move the hob (which I can) then it means the hob will no longer be in the middle of the worktop, which bothers me a little. My choice is therefore between the following:
    1. Have the hob centred in the island worktop, and be to the side of the sink (so you dont stand back to back when at sink and hob)
    2. Have the hob off centre to the island worktop and have the sink and hob diagonally perpendicular to each other (i.e. not back to back when stood at both).

    I woudl really appreciate your opinion on this!

    Thank you as always.

    Raphael
  • Victoria
    6 years ago
    I think the hob where you show it is too close to the overhang, I'm assuming, maybe incorrectly, that it will be used for stools?

    I wouldn't suggest seating anyone that close to the hob. It does ned to be centred on drawers as you have it though, maybe if you move it to nearer the (?)wine fridge end it would work.
    mrraphael23 thanked Victoria
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    HI Victoria - thanks for responding. The picture shows it how we were going to have it. Now we have centred the hob in the island so it is no longer that close to the overhang. The back of the island is boarded so you cannot see the hob not being on the drawers cannot be seen from the back of the island. My main issue is having the hob slightly infront of the sink, but 1100 space means you don't interfere with each other while working at both. I could move the hob about 15cm towards the overhang, but then it is not centred on the worktop which concerns me. Not sure which way to go.
  • PRO
    Coppice Guild
    6 years ago
    Hi Raphael, I hope all of this glorious advice has been useful - you definitely need a clear head and confidence to use a platform like this!
    As for your question: why not put the bin between the two pan drawers and centre the hob - your instincts are correct. The thickness of the hob will hopefully be within that of the worktop otherwise the fitter will have to cut away the tops of the carcasses very slightly.
    On another note I would suggest that you rethink how you are using the cup pull handles: historically these were used on drawers and not doors which leave some of them looking odd to me. I would use knobs for the doors and position them between pairs of hinges. On the drawers I tend to use 2 on each drawer over 600 wide (including the pan drawers). My only exemption to this rule is the dishwasher as you need to yank it in the same way as you would have done a heavy old drawer on wax slips.

    Im sure that most people won't notice but I'm a stickler for historical correctness I'm afraid!

    Best wishes, Julie
    mrraphael23 thanked Coppice Guild
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    6 years ago
    Re shell handles - I concur with Julie - but also know that the CAD system its drawn with isn't so clever ! It takes ages to only put Shell handles on some parts but not others !!
    With the space you have allowed I think you can put the hob where ever you find suits best - perhaps wait until the worktop is more of less in position and place the hob on top before you decide ... Victoria is right in saying away from the seating on the end ! Looks like, if the bin stays on the end, it lines up to scrape stuff in bin then load DW rather well - so I'd probably suggest keeping it there !!
    Glad it's all coming together for you ! ;-)
    mrraphael23 thanked OnePlan
  • hamptune
    6 years ago
    Hi. I am new on this site. I think it will look amazing. Hope you don't mind me asking but where is the dining room table and chairs from? I am looking for something similar. Thank you.
  • PRO
    Customised
    6 years ago

    A motorised TV bracket will bring the TV to whatever viewing angle you wish. This makes it perfect for viewing from the kitchen island when cooking or from a seating area when chilling. You can control the bracket with a remote control and put it flat to the wall when not in use. Here is one we did last week in Clapham.


  • Cakelady
    6 years ago
    I love your kitchen layout. I'm currently have an extension built for a new open plan kitchen/family room so have found your posts most useful. I too will be having my hob on the island and I think it looks best in the centre. My sink will also be directly behind the hob, but there's plenty of room so I think it will work well. Good luck with it. Please post pictures of the end result.
  • pink elephant
    5 years ago

    Hello Raphael, just wondering how this kitchen project is going? Are there any completion projects to see yet?! ;)

  • charlie_bill
    5 years ago

    Oh yes - finished project photos will spur me on in my early design stages!

  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I know it has been a while, but here are the pictures of the finished kitchen. It is everything I had hoped for and more...

  • Anna
    5 years ago
    Hi I love it. Is it British standard cupboards? We have not long installed one too. What colour have you painted it? We can't decide!
  • mrraphael23
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Yes British standard. Absolutely love the kitchen! What a bargain for an incredibly high quality kitchen. We painted the cupboards F&B purbeck stone and the island moles breath.

  • PRO
    British Standard by Plain English
    5 years ago

    Hi Raphael,

    Fantastic to see your finished project! We're so pleased that you are happy with it and we really like the contrasting paint colours of the island and main run.

    Enjoy the kitchen!

    B/S.

  • PRO
    Aflux Designs
    4 years ago

    have you ever used the bora unit - its an extractor that draws the air inside the island , but only for electrical/induction - my only worry is the hob as per the drawings seems to draw attention away from the design..

  • PRO
    Aflux Designs
    4 years ago

    also to add to the design - as the layout seems to work , is that you could use a feature stone for the island - usually you get lovely porcelain versions calacatta that could act as nice statement piece for the centre island

United Kingdom
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