How should we design our new kitchen?

BC
January 12, 2019
last modified: January 17, 2019

Hi everyone,

Our 20 years old timber kitchen has reached its expiry date and we are thinking of whether we should integrate the laundry facilities into the new kitchen and get rid of the current laundry.

The attached drawing shows the layouts of the current laundry and kitchen. The laundry area is 1050 mm x 2250 mm, has a sliding door open to the kitchen. The kitchen area is roughly 3250 mm x 2450 mm which connects to the dining area.

We have been thinking to remove the wall between the laundry and kitchen and have the entire area for our new kitchen. This will allow a U-shaped kitchen, a more open kitchen and dining area. We are hoping the new kitchen will give us lots of storage space and no more bending down to get to the rear corner of the cupboard.

We are not sure whether this is practical and cost effective, in particular the current laundry has floor tiles but the connecting kitchen has timber flooring.

Any advice, suggestions in design would be greatly appreciated.



Comments (64)

  • siriuskey

    Another with the laundry cupboard opening into the living which will give you another wall in the kitchen


    BC thanked siriuskey
  • oklouise

    my reason for having the washer and dryer under the benchtop next to the fridge is because the counter can be deeper to suit the depth of the fridge, the washer and dryer with air space all around (70cm deep counter instead of 60cm and allow for optional low doors to hide the washer and dryer (with space behind for plumbing) or tall doors to hide the washer and dryer with counter and deeper wall shelves or cabinets above and there's still 90cms for a fridge...with the stove in the old laundry and the sink against the outside wall there's space for generous counters all around, about 6.5m of wall cabinets, two base corner cabinets, two drawer cabinets, double sink cabinets and dw.....a stove and cooktop along the outside wall doesn't allow space for the island and without the island there's no counter for serving plates of food, clearing the table, placing new bags of groceries pending distribution, less storage, less drawers and no place for a stool.....removing the wall between the laundry and kitchen will need careful refinishing to match the walls and ceilings so no better opportunity to remove the old floor tiles and attempt to patch the timber floors

    BC thanked oklouise
  • BC

    I prefer the first plan as this will keep my current living area as it is. Since the laundry/kitchen area is not very big, which makes the design more challenging.


    Measurements of the first plan:

    the southern wall where the fridge and washer/dryer are 2450 mm

    the western wall where the pantry including the tea/coffee corner is 2350 mm

    the northern wall where the sink, cooktop are 3600 mm (before cut into the dining area)


  • BC

    Hi oklouise,


    After hearing siriuskey and your clarification, I agree that the washer and dryer are best placed next to the fridge.


    Your design by placing the cooktop and sink on different walls will definitely give me more preparation space but siriuskey's design having pantries along the western wall will give me more storage.


    If we stick to your design but stack up the washer and dryer and have a pantry in the free up space, do you think this will work? This will still give me plenty of bench space - the whole walls where the cooktop and sink are.


    I agree with you of all the benefits of having an island but without will give me a more open kitchen/dining area. Wish I have a bigger house and can have everything : )

  • siriuskey

    you will most likely find timber flooring under the fiber cement that the tiles were laid on this was done to stabilize the tiles so thats a win but if removing walls you will most likely need to patch the floor and refinish., sorry I missed the measurements on your first post.,

    BC thanked siriuskey
  • BC

    Hi Siriuskey,


    In this case, could you please advise how the floor can be done. Someone suggested that to leave the tiles as they are but I just think this will look funny.

  • siriuskey

    Are the floors on different levels

  • oklouise

    sometimes more space is just as difficult but stacking the washer and dryer would allow for a deep pantry but lose the counter and the wall cabinets...for ease of access the pantry is better above waits height or in tall shallow cabinets or in deep wall cabinets and the bonus with wall cabinets is that you have a counter for using appliances (a mw, mixer, food processor etc that can be left in place because you have plenty of counter space elsewhere... wall cabinets above the washer dryer for cans, dry goods etc..and wall cabinets above the stove for plates, casseroles and baking dishes, corner base cabinets for big appliances, waster bin and rarely used items, under the sink for saucepans, bowl of spuds and cleaning products, drawers for cutlery, plastic bags and rolls, cutlery, tea towels etc wall cabinets above the sink for crockery, cups, glasses, tea and coffee supplies, cookbooks an display, deep cabinet above the fridge could hide a laundry basket and iron and next to the fridge for an ironing board and broom...my wall cabinets all have two shelves instead of standard one so there's more storage area within easy reach and i also have wall cabinets with vertical dividers for storing baking dishes, cooling trays, muffin tins etc but once you feel comfortable with a basic layout you can fine tune each space to suit what you want to store in the location that will feel most convenient for you

    BC thanked oklouise
  • BC

    Same level, see attached photo.


  • BC

    Thank you oklouise, you have given me more assurance how my new kitchen should be. Much appreciated.

  • oklouise

    there will be a gap in the floor tiles where the wall comes out and by removing the tiles you should be able to patch the whole floor...is the base under the tiles a concrete slab or thick "fibro'?...always achieve a better result by removing the old and starting fresh and here's two more versions of your kitchen to consider




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  • dreamer
    My suggestion for the floor, would be,to make the floor all the same type in the new kitchen and dining room. Stopping at entry into living room. This will make the area come together as one. Whether you choose tiles or new wooden flooring.
    Please also check that the cement fibre sheeting is not asbestos, before removing.
    Also, may I suggest, to raise the height of your washer and dryer. Build cabinets above and below for storage. This makes it much easier for everyday use.
    BC thanked dreamer
  • BC

    Hi siriuskey and oklouise,


    The current laundry and kitchen floors are on the same level as photo posted earlier. I remember that years ago when we replaced the timber flooring, we have removed the old timber floor including the laundry area and laid the fiber cement sheet on top of the joists before laying floor tiles. There is no timber floor below the fiber cement sheet,

  • oklouise

    then that is an excellent floor to replace the fiber cement with timber flooring with a piece at right angles where the wall is removed and the two sections join ...unless you want to replace the whole floor the patch will be a memory of what was but should be the same height and size as the original timber and the varnish on the new floor will eventually darken and blend the two floor sections together

    BC thanked oklouise
  • BC

    Hi dreamer,


    Our current living, dining and kitchen are all open area having the same brushbox timber flooring.
    The timber floor was only laid years ago and we have no intention to replace it. We will need to find more brushbox to patch up the current laundry area to match with existing floor. I think this will be a lot easier than replacing the whole dining and new kitchen area.


    Thank you for your suggestions.


  • dreamer
    Good to know you can match the existing flooring. This would be the best option, therefore keeping it uniform throughout. All the best.
    BC thanked dreamer
  • siriuskey

    What lovely floors, without seeing I'am guessing that when the tiles and underlay are taken up the concrete slab will be level so you would need to match same thickness timber with kitchen

    BC thanked siriuskey
  • siriuskey

    And another thought is to keep the laundry with washing machine & dryer stacked in the same position behind doors (don't take any notice of my drawing opening in, it's meant to open out.

    I would like to see the wall on the window side removed so that the kitchen bench runs along that whole wall and keeping the sink in the same position (saving money) running along to the cook top and then fridge. The wall in the laundry would then become pantry shelving.

    I would love to see a lovely long bench /island with lots of pot/ plate drawers if you removed the wall opening up the kitchen and make the dining look more spacious

    As I mentioned your floors are lovely so with any gaps think parquetry when filling any gaps, that's what they would do in Europe. and looks beautiful


    BC thanked siriuskey
  • kbodman14
    I would extend the kitchen cupboards along the right hand side to use in as the dining room for platters, good china and glasses etc. have a continuous bench, and if adventurous has a slotted window and shelves about, could be open. This would give integrity to the whole area
    BC thanked kbodman14
  • dreamer
    This photo I have found on houzz, is very close to oklouise plans from today. Looks great.
    BC thanked dreamer
  • dreamer
    Or this photo. Helps you choose the wine for dinner, whilst doing the washing. In Australia we do not tend to combine the laundry with kitchen. But, looking at photos on houzz there are great ideas that would suit if the situation is needed.
    BC thanked dreamer
  • BC

    Hi dreamer,


    Agreed, that was the reason why we have separate laundry and kitchen. I still haven't made up my mind whether I should keep them separate and where they are and just have a new kitchen installed.

  • BC

    Hi siriuskey,


    My concerns of your suggestion are:

    1. these walls are structural walls and cannot be removed (see attached).
    2. the sink running along the cooktop and fridge will be very cramped (total 3600 mm including the depth of the narrow pantry) and there will not be any preparation space.

    Another option will be keep the laundry and kitchen where they are but remove the wall between the laundry and kitchen and replace with a double sliding doors open to the kitchen. This will allow easy access to storage in laundry and also no need to worry about patching up the floor. See my sketch.




  • BC

    Hi kbodman14,


    I agree that having a continuous bench extended to the dining area will provide me lots of storage. However, this may not be feasible in our small dining area which is only 3000 mm x 3250 mm.

  • oklouise

    i think there may be some wishful thinking with the available spaces and faced with the same dilemma i realised that rather than more storage i needed to have much less stuff to store and your new kitchen has plenty of room for everything without taking space away from the dining room and here's a poor 3d view of one variation of the new kitchen seen from the dining area



    BC thanked oklouise
  • Jason Treanor

    Hi BC, Here is my input. I hope you find a solution.







    BC thanked Jason Treanor
  • Jason Treanor

    By the way, here is a sample of the pantry cupboards. In my opinion deep pantry's aren't practical, whereas shallow shelving allows you to see everything. You can incorporate doors, open shelves, draws or glass doors into the pantry cabinetry. The example below has bi-fold doors so they don't get in the way.


    BC thanked Jason Treanor
  • siriuskey

    Love all the ideas you are getting..

    Is the only window in the laundry ? if so by opening up the wall and adding a support post would give a lot of needed light in your very enclosed kitchen, you could also consider a Banquette style dining to give more space.


    This plan suggests closing off the laundry to the kitchen and opening it into the bathroom giving storage for towels and linen.



    BC thanked siriuskey
  • Chelsea C

    Hi there,

    Just an idea if you're concerned about concealing your laundry works. Take out the wall, get your cabinet maker/ joiner to install a cabinet on the back wall along with a pocket door system.

    Not sure if you can view GIF's on here, so I've also attached some still screenshots of the GIF. Basically when your laundry is done/ you want to keep it hidden from visitors, simply close the doors, blends in perfectly with the kitchen. When you're up to your knees in laundry (hopefully not very often) the doors open and slide back beside the cabinet so well out of the way. Depending on were you get them from they come in varying heights etc.

    I just thought it was a really practical & cool idea for concealing laundry and also for when laundry space is limited.

    LMK if your interested, I could probably direct you to a supplier depending on your location.

    BC thanked Chelsea C
  • BC

    Hi everyone,


    Thank you so much for all your valuable input, ideas, plans, visualised layouts and photos. All these have helped me enormously in designing my kitchen and given me better understanding of how things look like in reality. In the last few days, I have learnt so much from you all and realised that some of my wishful thinking are simply not practical.


    Before these forums, I always wanted to have pantries built in my new kitchens but now I realise that they may not work in the space I have. oklouise is right, her plan has provided plenty of storage and I just needed to have much less stuff to store rather than insist to have pantries.


    My kitchen has a 1500 x 1500 mm skylight and open to the dining area with wrap around floor to ceiling 8 foot windows so the whole area is very bright and airy. I think oklouise's plan will work beautifully for the area. I need to decide where is the best place for the sink - along the current laundry wall or the external wall. Can anyone please advise the pros and cons of those locations.


  • siriuskey

    Hi BC, I just wanted to add another comment showing two possible sink positions, if you used the laundry sink plumbing for your kitchen sink it will save money, a sink with a drain if you aren't planning on stone benches would work well with hot things coming off the cook top. You could swap the DW with the sink.

    Keeping the Washer Dryer stacked in the same position will also save money and won't be seen.

    By removing part and retaining part of the load beaing wall will allow for a large 2500 x 900 bench that could be made up of draws, no bending into cupboards, this floor plan also doesn't have any of those nasty corner cupboards. I missed your comments about the skylight and large windows only noting that the kitchen had a coffered ceiling and needed to be worked into the space. Any load bearing walls would need to be checked by a builder. good luck




  • oklouise

    the outside wall is long enough to have a sink and dishwasher with space for a corner cabinet and two sets of drawers with the old laundry wall being a perfect size for an upright stove (with airspace), corner cabinet and another set of drawers, the sink and dishwasher doesn't fit so well against the old laundry wall unless you have a single sink (NB theres' no laundry sink)..with the stove on the old laundry wall the stove and the sink/dw are towards the centre of the spaces, the cabinets are all good standard sizes and there are generous counters on all sides (with or without a free standing kitchen trolley) having the washer and dryer on the floor under a deep counter creates an out of site space with the option to have open wall shelves/pantry and appliance counters with tall doors to enclose the whole space or have the short or no doors hiding the washer and dryer and open counter with wall cabinets for pantry storage but, make sure the space for the wash/dry and the counter are at least 65-70cms deep to allow for plumbing and air space around the appliances and, depending on the width of the fridge, there's enough space for a tall narrow tall cabinet for broom, mop, ironing board and iron...my suggestions are based on the size of the space and standard sizes of sink and appliances and any small savings from not moving plumbing compared to the inconvenience of only one sink and being squashed into the corner to load and unload the dishwasher.....think about how you will clear the table and load the dishwasher, serve food, sort groceries, make a quick cuppa or a full meal and consider comfort and convenience first and then the kitchen will always look and feel good to use...this plan shows the potential small extra space available against the outside wall compared to the loss of sink dishwasher space


    BC thanked oklouise
  • siriuskey

    The 3d plan shows the flow much better to understand the space there's plenty of space for the fridge, cook top, sink and dish washer on the long wall, I have swapped the sink and DW as I suggested in my previous post, it really depends on it you are right or left handed, you also have the option of the sink and DW in the island bench plumbing is available from the washing machine position in the laundry for this. Be mindful of the distance between the cook top bench and the other bench,

    The open plan kitchen that I have drawn is family friendly and suitable for a growing family, being open makes the kitchen dining living much larger and makes great access via the french doors to the alfresco serving from the kitchen island bench. Extra storage could be had as previously suggested by adding narrow 300 deep cabinets along the wall next to the fridge in the dining area




    BC thanked siriuskey
  • BC

    Refer to oklouise plan, can anyone please give me some advice what I can do to make the appliances (fridge, washer and dryer) and 'broom/ironing board cabinet' not sticking out too much beyond the 600mm wall. The depth of the fridge is 709mm, washer is 750mm including allowance for plumbing and dryer is 450mm.


    I will also swap the location of the cooktop and sink in the plan so that I can have a 900 mm wide cooktop and double sink.





  • dreamer
    If the wall is 600 and washer is 750mm then I'm afraid there is no avoiding the extra cabinetry depth. However, this is only 150mm and should not be a negative. Just ensure that the cabinets a built to the correct depth to cover appliances. Use it as a positive for more bench space. My concern would be getting the water supply to washing machine in the less evasive way as possible. Eg: not having to pull up your floorboards.
    BC thanked dreamer
  • dreamer
    Because the washing machine is unusually deep, have you thought about investing in a new front loader washing machine. With plumbing mine only comes out 600mm. Usually they are the same size as the dryer.
    BC thanked dreamer
  • dreamer
    Obviously, unless you have a 11kg machine. Mine is a 7.5kg washer. Best of luck.
    BC thanked dreamer
  • siriuskey

    The following by a Sydney company, you could do this in the current laundry starting with the washer and dryer on the left and running across to the window with shallower cupboards to work with the window and sink, not sure how deep it is between the wall and window.

    The tall units could also be stopped short of the return wall units running back along the window wall They had to use support posts in another part of the kitchen to allow that to be opened up

    Willoughby · More Info


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  • BC

    Hi dreamer,

    I re-measured my front loading washing machine, the depth is only 550mm without plumbing. How much depth should I allow for plumbing? If 600mm is adequate (incl. thickness of the cabinet door), then the cabinets will line up with the wall although my fridge (709mm depth) will be still 100mm out.

  • oklouise

    bc you're concerned about the depth of the fridge but it's quite normal for the fridge to be deeper than the standard 60cm deep counter and cabinets and your old plans have this in your existing kitchen and is the reason i suggested the washer and dryer next to the fridge to allow the deep appliances to be side by side with a tall broom cabinet ...you also mentioned that you want a 90cm wide cooktop but do you mean a stove with an included oven because that means you will lose some drawers and counter and if you want a wall oven then the only option will be to stack the washer and dryer and lose the counter next to the fridge....please confirm which size stove, cooktop, fridge, dw and sink you want as the plans need to be redesigned but I also suggest that it's time for your plumber, electrician and kitchen cabinet maker to do an on site inspections so they can confirm what's possible

    BC thanked oklouise
  • siriuskey

    I think it would be a mistake to lose the benchtop next to the fridge you will need this for putting things down onto when using it remembering that the space between the fridge and the window bench is approx 1400

    It would be simple to build the nib wall out that extra 100-150, you could use timber too work with the floor

    BC thanked siriuskey
  • legendaryflame
    I hate not having benchtop near a fridge. Benchtop near fridges is a necessity in my opinion.
    BC thanked legendaryflame
  • dreamer
    Sorry, Siriusky, but where does it say that bench top next to fridge would be lost? I thought that was the point of having washer/dryer next to fridge, so there is bench space. As per latest plan posted.
    BC thanked dreamer
  • oklouise

    another plan with a 90cm cooktop over two 60 cm wide drawers, a stacked wall oven and microwave at the 60cm end wall, 'fridge space and deep tall cabinet for stacked washer and dryer with space for broom and ironing board but no sink, cabinet over the top of the 'fridge matching the depth of the wall oven and 60 cm wall and you will see that the fridge space is deeper than the wall oven and the laundry cabinet is deeper than the fridge space but you need an island to salvage the lost counter space and the dishwasher fits better under the island with a 1500 x 900 counter with knee space or shelves underneath and teh width of the fridge and laundry space can be based on the width of the fridge but my plan show an 800 wide fridge space to allow for the ironing board and broom in the laundry cupboard



    BC thanked oklouise
  • dreamer
    Hi BC, I agree with oklouise, it's time to get the tradesman in and ascertain exactly what is feasible. I would make the bench top 700 deep. There would still be enough space in the middle of kitchen. I measured my 7.5kg washer. With plumbing and allowing for doors, 700 would be good.
    BC thanked dreamer
  • oklouise

    a view of the new plan showing the laundry cupboard wall oven and 90cm cooktop with island


  • BC

    Hi all, thanks for your input. I will have a 90cm wide gas cooktop and a separate under bench 60cm electric oven which can be placed under the cooktop or push it right next to the small wall. The fridge is 80cm (w) 71cm (d) and 60cm or narrower dishwasher. The sink will be either double or one and 2/3 bowls. I don't plan to have the island so that to give me a more open plan kitchen and dining area. My aim is to have a streamline, easy to maintain, practical and ergonomic kitchen.


    The whole house has 3m high ceilings and the kitchen has bulkhead ceiling to 2.4m. The cabinets in the new kitchen will be full height to the ceiling same as what we have now. This is easier to maintain, no more dusting although hard to get to the top shelves.


    I have briefly discussed this with a tradesman and he suggested to make the laundry and kitchen into one area..


    My project will involve: replacing the tile flooring in current laundry to timber to match the kitchen/dining, patching up the ceiling after the laundry/kitchen walls are removed, cabinets making, joinery, plumbing, electrical, etc.


    Do I need a builder to manage all these? Is it possible to manage the project myself and get tradesman to do the work for me? We have worked alongside with the architect in the last renovation of our house and got some ideas of what need to be done first or ......



  • siriuskey

    Hi Dreamer, refer to OK discussion about stacking the washer dryer,

    " if you want a wall oven then the only option will be to stack the washer and dryer and lose the counter next to the fridge..."

  • siriuskey

    Hi BC, I thought to throw a few more ideas at you before getting trades in as OK suggested, you might find something in all suggestions that appeal to.

    I personally don't think it a good idea to have a combined laundry kitchen in a house, it's something that you relate to apartment living, that's why I have previously suggested that you might consider opening the laundry from the bathroom, which then gives you another wall in the kitchen space.

    The kitchen is small and I was going to suggest the you have a 900 glass cook top that can be used for extra bench top.

    This new floor plan keeps the laundry where it is with staked washer and dryer and sink which can be used for cleaning large pots.

    I have drawn a galley kitchen with the cook top/oven on one side with the fridge sink and DW on the other, for prep and cleaning up.

    I have also added a sideboard.bar/desk facing into the living room, these cupboards backing up to the kitchen cook top on the other side could be used for the load bearing wall.

    Where I have marked the wall oven would be bench top as you have now mentioned not wanting that, the microwave can be mounted in the wall cupboard next to the cooktop where the wall oven was marked.




    The wall units could go to the ceiling or have a bulk head above them

    I have drawn the kitchen as a galley as the distance between bench's is too wide, 1200 is as wide as you need

  • siriuskey

    To save the cost of removing any walls and reducing the distance between bench's you coul ask your builder kitchen installer to look at something like this, depending on wall sizes either side of the current door into the laundry. The pantry on the RH could perhaps be the fridge or a wall oven.