Please help us with our kitchen layout/ reconfiguration, very stuck!
Hello everyone, I would be extremely grateful for any help, suggestions on how to improve the layout/ configuration of our kitchen. We inherited our very dated kitchen when we moved into this house 6 years ago. We painted the units and tiles and covered the worktops in DC fix in order to make it more bearable whilst we tried to decide what to do with it... 6 years later, and we still can't decide and I am slowly losing the will to live!
What I hate most about the current layout is the lack of a full height fridge, the ugly dated small cooker, the corridor effect as you enter the kitchen (the unit there becomes a bit of dumping ground) and the narrowness of the gap between some of the worktop and the kitchen table.
One of the challenges in coming up with a better layout is that the kitchen has 3 doors ( actually four if you count the pantry door) as well as a large kitchen window. There is the door leading into the kitchen from the hall. The back door which leads to driveway and garage (and our wheelie bins). Then another door on the opposite side of the kitchen which is very handy in the summer as it leads directly on to our patio, and our garden table and chairs. This is where we get the last bit of sunlight in the evening and we eat outside as often as we can. Our kitchen faces WSW by the way.
We are probably going to take out the pantry to improve the layout. This will be a wrench as I find it so convenient. An added problem is that we currently have our washing machine and tumble dryer in our pantry (as well ironing board, mop bucket etc etc) My concern is that taking it out mainly frees up space in the middle of the kitchen and we still have to find places to put all those things.
We are wondering whether it is worth getting the chimney breast removed (the chimney is not used). Apparently this is not an easy job - a neighbour friend of ours (with the same style house) got quotes for this and decided the mess and the cost couldn't be justified. We currently have our kitchen table pushed up against the wall between the chimney breast and 'cheek' (for want of a better word). We do have a separate dining room directly behind this wall ( it is a supporting wall) and we do use it quite a lot but mainly because we have the piano in there and the kids use the table to work on - we only really eat in the dining room on special occasions. I am toying with the idea of creating a sort of serving hatch to improve the connection between the two rooms, but I don't want it to look naff! I would't want to have it completely open plan but I'm open to putting in French doors or pocket doors...but wouldn't putting in another door just complicate the layout further?
We did think about getting an extension, but as our kids are now in their twenties (two are away at uni) we don't think we could justify it - house prices in our area are generally lower than average and we are unlikely to get the equity back if (or more likely, when) we decide to downsize.
So as you can see we are a bit stuck. I will post some photos so hopefully the above will make more sense. Any advice or suggestions on how we should move forward will be gratefully received
Thanks ever so much.