nickyla

Help! Which kitchen design should I choose?

Nicole A
3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

Hi all, we are about to do an extension, which will house the new kitchen. Here is the floorplan to give you the context of the kitchen location (I've drawn in kitchen option 2 to get you started).



Option 1: fairly large island; cupboard-style pantry with bifolds will have stone benchtop inside to house appliances, with open-fronted drawers below, shelves above. Full-height window to the right of pantry. Microwave in island bench, so only room for under-sink pull-out bin/recycling.

Note: pantry needs to be on right side of fridge to allow fridge doors space to open fully.

Option 2: peninsula rather than island and what I'm calling a step-in pantry: only 600mm of standing room, but no door so should be comfortable to stand in. A lot of bench space for appliances, with open shelves above and below. Window splashback in pantry for added light. Microwave moves in here, under the bench, so room in island for drawer bin/recycling. Peninsula and cooktop benchtop a little smaller than in option 1.

Possible disadvantage: Wall to create step-in pantry has the effect of making the kitchen seem a little smaller? (see the floorplan to see what I mean)

Option 3: All tall cabinets are moved to back wall. Spacious cupboard-style pantry with bifolds, stone benchtop for appliances etc as in option 1 (but quite a bit wider). Cooktop benchtop shifts under the window (I didn't continue the benchtop between the fridge and the cooktop as it would restrict the space around the cooktop too much, so that gap may look a little strange? (most kitchens with this design have a door there into a butler's pantry). Island length reduced a little more again, and cooktop benchtop also reduced about 800mm in length c/w option 1.

Advantage: view out the window from cooktop; wall oven and microwave rather than under-bench.

Would love to get everyone's input, as I have agonised over this decision for weeks!

kitchen option 1.JPG
kitchen option 2.jpg
kitchen option 3.jpg

Comments (164)

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    From experience our last house had the double wall oven and fridge side by side and was no problem.

    Fridges are normally deeper than oven cabinets and project out into the space more than the other cabinets but these days are often built out to the same depth.

    Our fridge had it's own panels with overhead cabinet to the width required by the manufacturer. Both spaces had space allowed for heat from ovens and fridge to rise.

    So the extra panels the same size width as the cabinets were made of gave extra heat buffer sideways

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    One of the points made by article was the influence heat transfer btwn appliances (in close proximity) can have on energy usage which impacts running costs.

    Nicole A thanked annb1997
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  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    Certainly manufacturing of particular appliances is so much better than ever before and brands and models vary in how well insulated they are and how well they perform, but it may be worthwhile checking while still in planning stages of kitchen when consideration for energy efficiency and running costs can be more easily be broached.

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    That could happen I guess but if you follow the manufacturers installation instructions for both appliances. Nicoles fridge asks for a specified space both sides and knowing that heat rises a good space of 20-30cms across the back at the top of th cabinet should cover this. Hard to test monitor this situation. You could have an extraction fan into the ceiling at the rear of the appliance if you were concerned. I hope Nicole has planned some Solar power with her new extension, this only helps during the day unless you have batteries to store your extra power.

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    I wonder what the energy ratings are for Nicoles Fridge and Oven?

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Would you believe I only just woke up! Too many late nights thinking about all of this (plus was really hot here in Melbourne overnight! (Lucky I work from home so can work in my pjs!).

    Sirius, would you also believe my husband has had the cheek to weigh in on the design?! :) He is VERY keen on keeping the dining room slider at 4m so it spans the full width of the dining room, the end lining up with the start of the island. That does leave only room for the 1450 slider for the kitchen. He even got hold of MY tape measure to measure a door of 725 to make his point that it was wide enough. I was pushing for reducing the dining slider (a triple) to 3213 and making the kitchen slider 2170, to give 5 panes of glass across the back that are equal width.

    Also, he is saying he likes the look of the oven on the left (who knew he had so many opinions about this!) - that it give an overall balanced look with something tall on left and tall on right to frame the cooktop.

    And THIRDLY (!) he did not like the lengthening of the pantry as he felt that little bit of wall sticking into living room would look odd.

    I guess that decision on length of the pantry can be delayed until the whole space is opened out and we can see what it looks like. But I was very happy with the little pantry when I first taped it out, so I think for now I will stick with that. I think bc of its size should just have open shelving under to keep access as straightforward as possible.

    Not sure how much to "compromise" on the other 2 issues!

    Sirius, whole internal length of kitchen/dining is 6920. Outside length (on deck) is 6770 (due to bricked walls at each end).

    Fireplace location is midpoint of living room width currently (4140) and will be about 1438 wide

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    I really only got interested in researching it after reading Nicole's post where she mentioned heat transfer. It also got me thinking about the extra fridge and chest freezers operating in our own uninsulated garage, which gets uncomfortably warm during long weeks of 30+. To digress a bit further, my husband looked into battery storage prior to our solar installation and determined he would wait to see how the new Tesla performs and whether it's feasible to proceed, but we may well be into our dotage by then. Anyway, it's an interesting topic.

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    Gotta love 'em! Very funny Nicole.

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Annb, that was really useful info. If my husband gets his way on oven location, won't be an issue!

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    This finally from LG

    the absolute
    minimum clearance space an LG fridge requires (if in a vented cavity) is:

    * 2cm both sides
    * 5cm from the back wall
    * 4cm on the top

    We have the same second fridge setup as you annb, Solar power is so much more affordable now along with Telsa batteries. One of our neighbours added extra panels and batteris approx 12 mths ago and he is now living off his own power .

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    Yes, I was just thinking the same thing.

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    god love him, "Let the games begin"

    "I was pushing for reducing the dining slider (a triple) to 3213 and
    making the kitchen slider 2170, to give 5 panes of glass across the back
    that are equal width."

    vote for the 5 panes of equal width

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    That. great news, siriuskey. Thank you. Does he also have a generator, do you know? That's another thing we are thinking about doing.

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Maybe if I make a great show of conceding on the oven location and pantry length I can insist on the 5 equal panes

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    While having oven on left does indeed give a 'balanced' look if you only look at the back wall aspect. There is also considerable visual merit in the having the splashback sweeping left across the wall to where it meets up with the expanse of glass doors. It is edgy and accentuates that feeling of spaciousness. I suppose it also might depend upon what splashback material you are both considering.

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    In the two alternate arrangement, will the entire kitchen/dining space have the same amount of natural light, and is this also big on your list of must haves?

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    Would the pantry end wall sticking out be mitigated by the built-in cabinetry oklouise suggested for the other side of the wall? That addition of useful storage feature tied the rooms together very well.

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    annb you asked about a generator, no need for one with the battery storage. Our friends own a small Motel bought a generator from Aldi for approx $400 to cover power outages which are frequent in their area to keep phones fridges etc backed, said it's great.

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    I think with the fire place midway on that wall it would be better not to project anything big and bulky on the corner, is the fire timber fuelled?

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    "Fridge is 912 wide, and needs 20mm each side for airflow. Have to allow
    30mm on any side of cabinet that butts up to a wall, so I've allowed
    that on the left end."

    I'am copying what you have posted to save me repeating. I'am guessing that you plan to build the fridge in with kitchen cabinet panels both sides which are approx 20mm wide so you would need to add this to your other allowance it also looks better to do this.

    Nicole A thanked siriuskey
  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Annb I agree that sweeping toward glassed wall would look good. Natural light a definite priority, but should be heaps either way with all the windows.

    Perhaps I can further lean on oklouise's good nature to ask for a 3D pic of oven on left so we can compare?

    Would need a "filler" of 200w on left to allow for oven 'elbow room' - wasted space I know; alternative is a full height cabinet of 350w, but that reduces cooktop bench from 2700 to 2550, which is starting to get back into the more ordinary rather than spacious length I'm hankering after. There will be so much more storage space in this kitchen than I have now, I don't think I'll miss 200mm.

    Siriuskey, agreed probably best to not have cabinetry to right of pantry if I do go for the extended version. Could just put a small piece of furniture there. Or concede to my hubbie and just not extend the pantry. My feeling is the latter (again Ok, maybe you could show that? You should work on commission!)


  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    addit: fireplace will be gas

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    My new plan with narrow broom cabinet and then wall oven. so 920 for that space. then 900 pot draws 900 pot draws with 900 cooktop and again 900 pot draws toatl working benchtop 2700.

    I have allowed 1000 for the fridge which would include the 2 panels of 19 - 20 mm either side of fridge to build it in, your cabinet maker will understand, this should also allow the amount of space required either side of the fridge for ventilation.

    My old version 3d showing how much wall space would be taken up by sliders using the measurements you provide, lots of lovely light and openness. x






    Nicole A thanked siriuskey
  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Yet again blown away by the time and effort you would take for a complete stranger (hopefully no longer a stranger, seeing how you know all sorts of things about me like I go to work in my pjs and measure the width of people! Hmmm ... strange, but not a stranger?!)

    So seeing as we are friends, I will ask that you show the bigger slider on the dining room side with 3 panels (it will be a stacker), and shift it to the left to allow about 500 in between to support the beams above. With this image I hope to persuade my husband to go with the even width panels instead of the really big and the really little sliders!

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    That looks really good siriuskey!

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    Hi there you gave a measurement of 3213 for the width of the dining room doors is this correct that would mean 3 x panels,of equal size and with one being fixed we have stacker doors a little bit wider. You only get 1 third of the opening, if you had narrower panels say 4 looks a bit busy looking through them and then you end up with the stacked depth of 4 doors which means wider track, you might be better with bifold which doesn't have the same problem. Bigger panel doors are also heavier and end up wearing quicker, easy to replace roller if you know how but needs two people.

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    Looking at the two versions, this one certainly does appeal. There's a lot to be said for symmetry.

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    Hi Nicole my old CD version 3 won't allow a 3 panel slider in that size!! But agree all 5 panels should be the same, I have moved the dining slider across to give a space between the two lots of sliders for the load bearing wall, I have also manged to change the way they open back from. With the wide dining room sliders just get him to imagine that 2 two doors of equal size will pull back across the fixed panel of the same size, so one third will be fixed. x



  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Fab Sirius, thanks!

    Yes, 3213 3-panel slider: 1 fixed, 2 opening, so opening would be two-thirds. That means with the kitchen slider of 2170, all panels are 1071-1085 (ie the same width to the eye).

    The alternative hubby wants is 3-panel slider of 4023 and the little slider of 1450. That way the end of the big slider lines up with the bench (or pretty close)

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    1450 is too narrow, it's an external door which are normally around 900, the space between both sets of doors doesn't need to be very big just needs space for support beam. x

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Any idea what that minimum width might be? I've been trying to get an answer from draftie, but he has been a bit vague - I think he mentioned 320 at one stage - does that sound right?

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    I should think it would depend on the load, do you have a builder and engineer for the build, I would ask them to confirm to be safe

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Yes, have engineer finalising plan now - I just have to send through final request on widths of sliders. I'm pretty sure I'm going to talk hubby into the 5 equal panels!

  • oklouise
    3 years ago

    a contribution from a co-resident and financial contributor has to be seriously considered (but he needs his own tape measure) and i have to agree that the oven and a tall cabinet on the left (which doesn't need the 200 void...the cabinet can be as wide as the whole available space and the door can be narrower..no need to waste any space) balanced with the fridge on either side of the cooktop with three 800mm wide drawers/cabinets, the walkway from cooktop to sink has been reduced to 1100 and the outside wall of the pantry is now flush with the living room and you can add freestanding furniture...BUT the narrow sliding door is not acceptable as the opening has to be at least 850mm wide and it's also structurally better to distribute weight evenly with a minimum standard 1800 wide sliding door for the kitchen and consider wide stackers for the dining area and you will have minimum 700mm nib walls at either side of the back wall (ie one end for the kitchen cabinets and the other end near the door into the hallway) ...talk to the engineer, builder and/or window manufacturers who will confirm the legal, safety and price savings by distributing the weight of the opening evenly...if something is legal you don;t need to consider variations 'cause there aren't any....in the meatime another fabulous colour scheme with the artwork on the outside wall of the pantry and a toaster on the counter in the pantry



    btw the widths shown means the width including the side panels and any necessary air gaps...we don't need to make allowances as the cabinet maker will measure up the whole space and build the cabinets to suit

    Nicole A thanked oklouise
  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Brilliant Ok! Just wait til hubby gets home, there will be a veritable onslaught of evidence (pictures included) for my way with sliders, and I shall graciously concede to 'his' way with oven on left (even permitting the occasional use of my tape measure) [fortunately my preference too :) ].

    I shall report back, but I think we have our kitchen!!

    A+++ to all contributors!

  • oklouise
    3 years ago

    it's not YOUR way or his way, it's the only safe legal way but he was right about all the other things and nothing improves home life like a man who thinks/knows he's right..congratulations

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    I do hope that you will have tall cabinet panels both sides of the fridge so that it is built in and doesn't show the side of the fridge next to the bench. You don't need a wall between the kitchen and pantry, space wasted, the panel does this.

    I can post a photo to show you what I mean, but look at the first render showing the side of the fridge which is nearly always a different colour to the door

    I love the 3 x 900"s with 900 cook top

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Agree Sirius, need panels both side of fridge. Would love to see render of panel rather than gyprock between fridge and pantry, as my inclination was to have the gyprock demarcate the space

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    I love 3d & render as it picks up the detail that 2d misses. You aren't having a door between the kitchen and the pantry so no need for a wall, you just need another panel for the cabinets in the pantry to butt up against,( more space) this is good design to show the fridge builtin. I still think the 3 x 900 base units are the way to go.

    as for the Stacking doors we can only say that two lots of doors dining and kitchen all the same size is the best look to go for but we can't advise you on the safety and load bearing of these, this is for your chosen builder and engineer to advise as they will be held responsible, hope you are both visualizing the same things x

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    Are you still in your PJ's running around with your tape measure haha, I have vivid snap shots in my head x

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Not today. :) Managed to sleep last night now that you and Ok have solved all my design dilemmas. But would you believe I am off to my friend's place to help her measure HER kitchen, which she is about to renovate, so we can brainstorm ideas? I feel a veritable expert now under your tutelage!

    No rest for my (wicked) tape measure.

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    You must be a sucker for punishment, but you have the ideas and the tools good luck.

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Just went and check out display homes, and here is some inspiration for our living room:

    This will work really well if we go with longer pantry afterall: we could have this cute under-mantle (I made that name up - I'm referring to the long, narrow cabinetry running along below the fireplace). The extension of the wall between kitchen and living room created by lengthening the pantry will be the perfect depth (340mm) to frame this. :)

    And BTW, hubby agreed that 5 equal panels for the glass across the back (3 in stacking slider, 2 in kitchen slider) was the way to go.

    Now to build it! (if I have any energy left)

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    Pleased to see that you are going with the long low bench along the fire place wall, it will look really lovely, a extra place to put things and to sit on, good luck

  • annb1997
    3 years ago

    Really lovel inspiration pic, Nicole. All the best! : )

    Nicole A thanked annb1997
  • Jennifer Bradley
    3 years ago

    In my early twenties I designed kitchens for my mother and two aunts (Uncle built them and they worked), but when it came to designing my own - had to fit a constrained space and no possibility of extension - I chewed my lips for ages - like Nicole, I drew and measured ad infinitum, and used graph book walls, views etc. I did one extra thing - which I think worked - I listed all that I wanted to store, and tried to analyse how I liked working in the kitchen. Some things I had to settle for because of space (such as a smaller dishwasher) but most of it has worked. We have a corner pantry, which I (and the cat, husband a bit larger) can walk into, but have not put small appliances in there - they sit in a large drawer beneath the main working bench, which also works well. It all looks good to me Nicole and thinking carefully about needs and how things work in advance usually results in something you'll be happy with. Good luck!

    Nicole A thanked Jennifer Bradley
  • housestuff99
    3 years ago

    So has the kitchen been built yet?

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Hi housestuff, working on it! We're 6 weeks into our reno - up to frames for the extension (the new kitchen will overlap the new and old areas). The current kitchen is being partially demolished this week to make way for changes to the internal layout. I'll post pictures when it is all done.

  • Anne Wiggs
    3 years ago

    Hi Nicle. I've. Been following this avidly as I'm starting to think of doing some renovations myself. How is the build going?

  • Nicole A
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Hi Anne,

    kitchen install started a couple of days ago. So far it looks incredible! When I first saw it coming together it felt like I had somehow wandered into a display home!

    It is only partially installed at this stage, as the side panels for the island won't go in until the floorboards go down in a couple of weeks, so I'll post photos then. But I think my final design will work really well.

    Believe it or not, I continued to tweak the last design showing in this thread (surprising, I know!). A few months after starting this thread, when the renovation floorplan designs were finalised, I began another thread "Which kitchen design would you choose?" The design for the little pantry ended up as a galley style rather than an L-shape. I love it!!

    Photos to come!