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More on the kitchen – architectural and layout points

February 3, 2010

The layout of the kitchen area is presently as appears from this drawing:

There’s nothing to do with the existing furniture anyway (except use it maybe in the cellar to store stuff), but the working area is currently at the back of the house, so next to the garden, and the space behind it seems to have been used for eating (though there is also a separate dining area in the living/dining space).

We thought to reverse this arrangement, for a number of reasons. First, the space behind is bigger. Secondly, it has two contiguous walls which gives many more options for the work surface. One of the things that drives me the most nuts is the lack of workspace in our current kitchen. Thirdly, it’s nicer to sit next to the garden when eating and anyway you need a lot of artificial lighting in a kitchen. And fourthly, the space free in the back part from the window is well under the 60cm minimum you need for cabinets and utilities. So that choice seems self-evident.

There is a large pantry cupboard in the current eating area. It’s nice to have one, but we think we are better off turning it into a WC, as otherwise there is no WC on the ground floor, except outside (yes, there is plumbing 😉 well, sort of, but that’s another story). We will therefore create a passage, as there is on the floor above, and partition this space into two. The passage will make room for a 35cm deep cupboard on the right as you approach the WC, which can be used for shoes. On the other side of the new partition we will put 120cm of high cupboards, in which the microwave and oven will go. And old-fashioned combi oven/hob doesn’t seem to us an interesting choice – we don’t use the oven as much as previous generations would have done and it takes like this too much space. A 60 liter or so inbuilt oven is fine. I am not quite sure if it needs ventilation but that can go via the WC to outside if it does.

We also want to create more light and open the perspective on the garden by putting in a double glass door instead of the door/window combination that there is presently.

This drawing gives you the general idea:

kitchen 03-02-10

This is the kitchen window as it is currently, not a pretty sight… (all that wood panelling that reminds you of a sauna is going too):

Kitchen area, view towards garden

And here is the view from the garden:

Given these main orientations, I tried out one of those simple kitchen modelling programs done in Flash which they have on the sites of some kitchen manufacturers. The Eggo one didn’t work well on my configuration to render 3d, but the Krefel one (which is the same software) did better. So here are some views. Don’t take the wall color too seriously, or the oven under the hob, there just was no other element in the furniture library!

Kitchen right wall

Kitchen left wall

Kitchen left wall

Kitchen front wall

Kitchen front wall

Kitchen above

Kitchen above

The ceiling here is at 272, so we’ll put in 10 or 12 cm of false ceiling, and in there will go spots, over the worktop and in the center. I believe the right spacing is about 60cm between them (if they are 12V 50W clear spots), unless anyone knows better.

There’s space for the fridge in the breakfast part so we’ll go for one of those nice standalone ones – and freezer and washing  machine can go in the separate laundry which is next door. Anyway, the fridge is frequently sollicited when having breakfast – so that seems to us its obvious place.

I dare say an expert will have lots of observations on this layout, so we’ll be doing the rounds. And let’s see what it costs! (hopefully not too much though, as the kitchen is only a little over 10m2 after putting in the new partition). As for me, I am wondering the following:

  • This design cuts the worktop into several pieces, though I find the corner solution for the sink an elegant one. I am not sure if we should try to bring these “pieces” of worktop together. Anyway, some corners of worktop will surely be occupied permanently by toasters, juicers and the like – in that sense, it seems good to keep a space right next to the breakfast area which can serve this purpose, and to put the hob more central against the wall as it is in the picture (but not the drawing). We’ll also be demolishing a chimney shaft to get this to work.
  • I am wondering whether the high cupboards, which might also simply be too many cupboards, will feel oppressive overhanging the work surface when working. I guess they should be put high enough, and maybe we need some lighting under them in addition to the ceiling lighting? I did think of doing the high cupboards only on one wall, but then it looks strange, so in the end I drew them on both walls.

Ok, that was a long enough post! What do you think of our solutions to the architectural and layout challenges? Do you have any other or better ideas?

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