Our kitchen was not functional. There’s no getting around that.
In this square boxed-in kitchen, we had ONE wall of cabinets just 11 feet long. One wall taken up by the sliding glass door that goes out to the deck, one wall that was empty but had a heat run (meaning no base cabinets could go there), and then the fourth wall held the refrigerator and a 2-foot wide by 2-foot deep pantry.
My mind starting redesigning this kitchen before we even put an offer on the house. I had several incarnations of the design and thought I’d share how the design evolved to what we ended up with.
So here’s what the kitchen start out like.
First, there was no doubt that the wall between the dining room and the kitchen had to come down. But we weren’t sure if the wall between the kitchen and living room was a loadbearing wall. So to save costs, we were looking at keeping the refrigerator wall and simply adding an island (and dishwasher, of course).
I didn’t want to deal with the hassle/expense of moving plumbing lines so the sink would remain where it was. And the stove was in a good spot too. It was just a matter of figuring how to get the most counter space and storage space that I could out of the 11 x 11 foot kitchen.
But we really wanted more of an open concept into the living room. We have a group of teens that come over once a week and when we shove 12 bodies into the living room, it gets a bit crowded. Taking down the living room wall would help the living room feel bigger. And we could steal some kitchen space for the living room.
So the next incarnation removed the sliding glass door, replacing it with a hinged door, and moved the pantry and refrigerator to that wall. This also allowed for a larger island.
I originally tried designing a hinged door into the space with the hopes of keeping the deck in the same location and possibly save some costs on having to replace the footers for the deck (that was before we discovered how bad the deck footers were). But I didn’t like that the flow of traffic to get outside would be right through my work area.
So I moved the door, thinking we would simply extend the deck to the new door location.
But I needed more storage. Split-entry ranches are not known for their storage space, and ours, in particular, seems to be lacking in that department.
We finally decided not to try to design around our dilapidated deck. Instead we would tear down the deck and rebuild it with the door in the dining room. This opened up a lot more wall space for cabinets. We also decided to make the kitchen island larger with the thought that I could have cabinets on one side and seating on the other. (The island evolved a bit more after that, but I’ll share that in another post.) We figured when we have people over, they could sit at the island, but still be very much engaged with the people in the living room.
So here’s what we ended up with.
And here’s my rough drawing of what those boxes mean:
Notice that the upper cabinets will go all the way to the top of the ceiling. I want to take out that soffit and utilize every last bit of storage space.
We triple the amount of counter space in this kitchen so there is room to put the toaster oven on the counter and still be able to use a cutting board (not originally possible).
Plus there’s that island.