Help with new kitchen layout!

May 4, 2019
last modified: May 4, 2019

We are going to open up the kitchen so it is open plan with dining and living areas. This will mean removing two walls - one between the kitchen and dining, and the other between the kitchen and living room. I’d really appreciate any help!! It’s the first time we’ve done this sort of thing. I’ll try and be as concise as I can but it’s a bit complicated! ...

I should note to start that the dining and living areas have a pitched ceiling which reaches its highest height along the fireplace wall. The kitchen ceiling is flat and will remain flat and will drop down from the pitched ceiling. For structural reasons the kitchen ceiling must remain at its current 2.4m height. Because we will be removing walls, there will also need to be a post located at the edge of the bench which isn’t ideal but it would cost an absolute fortune without it due to the additional structural work that would be involved.

Now the question how to redesign the kitchen. Removing these walls will mean we have to move the fridge somewhere else and it becomes a Tetris puzzle we are struggling to make fit. Removing the walls also means we will lose the tall cupboard opposite the fridge.

Pic 1 is the current layout of the kitchen.

Pic 2 is the original house plan. The kitchen had changed since then to the current (pic 1) design but I am including this to give an idea of where it all fits in the house.

Pic 3 is the idea we are considering...

The idea is to put the fridge where the pantry currently is, accessed by the wider walkway and have a pantry about 40cm deep x 900cm wide with double fold doors accessed by the walkway leading to the laundry (next to the other tall cupboard opposite the current wall oven. As a side note, we thought this existing tall cupboard could become an appliance cupboard with a roller door or second pantry). I’ve put a very rough sketch in as the third picture to give an idea what I mean.

- Would this be too much in a relatively narrow walkway? (ie pantry, appliance cupboard, hobs and oven). There would be bench space opposite the new pantry between the jobs and sink of about 80 cm so that may help. We also thought using a roller door and double fold doors would help. But is it all just too tight?

- Is it a problem that the fridge is around the corner from the hobs and under bench oven? (I’ve read there should be no obstructions or tall cabinets between the three sides of the kitchen triangle).

Any thoughts on the suggested new plan or alternative ideas would be greatly appreciated!


Pic 1- Current Kitchen Layout

Pic 2- Original House Floorplan. Current kitchen is different to original plans.

Pic 3- Rough idea of what we are thinking for new kitchen.


Comments (37)

  • siriuskey

    Because of the load bearing wall rather than the cost of a post ans extra work I would retain 2 parts of the wall, you could have a pocket door if you wanted to hide the sink when you have visitors.

    I would be working to have the walkway in the kitchen to laundry at 1m and instead of doors on pantry just lovely open shelves, no one but you will see them, great easy access to things on the shelf.

    The Island is 900 deep with 30cm to sit up to, great place for your large drawers

    HU-573861794 thanked siriuskey
  • HU-573861794

    Dear Siriuskey,

    First off I must say how absolutely blown away and appreciative I am by the effort you have gone to in your response - even plans and a 3D picture to help me! I am quite lost for words at your thoughtfulness and generosity of your effort and time.

    At the present time we have a large servery which I didn't actually mark on my original diagram. I think we love the idea of it being totally open, but yes it will be an expense. I am going to think about your idea of retaining those two walls.

    That is an interesting idea you have about the open shelving and certainly would save a few dollars on cabinetry. Currently the laundry walkway is 90cm. Are you able to explain a bit more on how I can get that extra 10cm to make it 1m. Are you thinking to take it from the pantries? Or would the 10cm be gained in part by not having doors?

    And could I be cheeky and ask if you are able on your program to select a view from the cornerof the lounge between the two couches, and additional views from the two furthermost (from the kitchen) corners of the dining table, and send them to me? I would love to see how the kitchen would look from those angles!

    Again, I am ever so grateful for your thoughtful reply.

    Best wishes,


  • siriuskey

    You are very kind, it's lovely to be able to help, even with such an old program, ie: furniture style. Very happy to do more angles for you as it really does help.

    I was hoping to be able to reduce the depth of the open shelves and using uniformed containers etc to keep things in organized chaos!. keeping the door, It would be great to be able to fit a sliding door/ even an external one on the laundry side.

    I thought that you could store cookbooks above the fridge and a couple of beautiful bowls.

    HU-573861794 thanked siriuskey
  • oklouise

    my suggestion would be to partially remove walls only up to door height to retain the separation between the different ceilings with a nib wall near the fridge and appropriate support post at the corner .. round painted steel post? ..an island bench set back 150cm from the sink and space on the other side for stools and/or extra storage ...a small pantry in the corner and fridge between sink and external door

    HU-573861794 thanked oklouise
  • HU-573861794

    Hi Siriuskey,

    Thankyou - and I know exactly what you mean by organised chaos!. And thankyou so very much for agreeing to send me more angles! It is amazing to see it 'come to life' so to speak!

  • HU-573861794

    Hi Oklouise,

    I am amazed that my little post has been not only noticed, but that you too have gone to so much effort in thinking of a whole different approach for my kitchen! ... and drawing plans!!! I am so so grateful for the thought and time you've put into this. That is a pretty neat idea having the bench on the other side there, and I do like that it opens up the space so the stove sink and fridge are in a line... and a bigger pantry (presumably walk in?). Do you think in this design it would be better to have the post as a stand alone post and set the bench back as you have to make the 1.5m walkway and therefore the bar seating doesn't encroach so much into the space beside the fireplace... or do you think it is better better to have a wider bench so the post can be set within the bench itself and appears to come out of the corner of the bench to the ceiling. That would give a deeper bench which could be quite striking, but then there is less space on the fireplace side. Though as I'm typing this I am thinking the additional depth to the bench could mean the bar seats could be tucked right under there so only takes up space when there are people sitting there?

  • oklouise

    in modest sized rooms the island sould be no more than 1 m deep allowing for 60cm deep cabinets on the kitchen side and 40cm deep knee space and extra floor s[ace on the living room side and a good carpenter may be able to add the post set back from the corner at the end of the island... something like this although the old CAD program misses the trim around the overhanging ceiling and colours are a bit strange...

  • siriuskey

    Wow Oklouise love your rendering work, I will need to find time to learn this.

    The following is an update of my previous post, showing a support post which should be smaller and square.

    The fridge now faces into the kitchen and has a desk backing onto it, the fridge could be stepped back further to allow more space between the sink and it. I have also allowed a wider fridge space as I think it should be a minimum of 1m.

  • oklouise

    siriuskey i think the more neutral colours in your 3D make it easier to see the detail and now there are several excellent options to consider including a colourful rendersing of your latest idea with the two different ceilings

  • siriuskey

    Hi Marion. are you able to tell us what height the ceiling is above the fireplace, thank you

  • HU-573861794

    Wow!! Thanks so much to you both!

    Siriuskey - Oh yes I like the support post being a smaller. I like that it keeps the open feel. I think for the same reason of wanting to keep it all as open as possible I think I prefer to have the fridge facing the island bench without the desk nook as in your original plan. These 3D diagrams are amazing!

    oklouise - that looks great. I am warming to the the idea of the bench there as although I do think it takes away somse sense of spaciousness when sitting in the lounge, it would be more practical in terms of clearing the table and also carting food and dishes to and from the dining table and the outside entertaining area. That walk in pantry is an interesting solution- easily accessible, hidden away, walk in. I wonder if the space is wide enough - what do you think?

    I've also measured up the ceiling heights. The fireplace wall is 400 high, and it slopes down to the opposite wall which is 240 - so it is a reasonably steep angle.

    I am going to try and get a program too where I can play around with ideas - where did you guys get your programs? Do you recall how much they cost?

  • oklouise

    the little pantry is about 80cm wide and 1200 deep and i would have 45 cm deep shelves at the back and narrow shelves built inside the new wall frame which would fit most cans, bottles and packets on a shlef about 120mm deep

    Kitchen 2016 · More Info

    and my program is called 3D Home Architect version 4 , i bought it about 15 years ago for $5 but it's no longer accessible on line...siriuskey may be able to advise where she found hers

  • siriuskey

    Many thanks for the render Oklouise, I have just noticed it.

    In the meantime I have changed a couple of things.

    The fridge has been moved back to allow 1200 between sink and it, and there's now200 deep bookshelves facing the fireplace.

    I have added a bifold servery window above the sink for alfresco serving and chatting while working in the kitchen, plus the island facing the dining is excellent for using as a side board to self serve when using the dining table

  • gin 72
    Is it possible to put in a walk in butlers pantry in the space before the laundry?
  • gin 72
    The idea of removing a wall to make it more open plan living is a great idea. Try not to add blocking walls, a post is a great idea it will still look open.
    HU-573861794 thanked gin 72
  • siriuskey

    I thought it would be helpful for you to be able to visualize how the ceilings would work witth walls removed and the 2400 ceiling height is kept in the kitchen.

    You will have an end view from the dining of approx 800 from the 2400 ceiling up, and a side view from the living of a sloping rectangular panel (Gyprock ) can you show a photo looking across the living room towards the kitchen showing the ceiling in the living room.

    HU-573861794 thanked siriuskey
  • HU-573861794

    So sorry for the delay in my reply, I have been flat out at work. Thank you gin72 for that photo. I really like the way the post has been finished - t makes it quite attractive. I have been scratching my head on how to make it look good. And I like the in in your photo. Siriuskey, thank you very much for the side on view there. Is your program able to show a 3D view of that by any chance? Thanks again!!

  • siriuskey

    It would take me ages to do that, this is just a 2d idea of how the ceilings would look, if you dropped the dining ceiling to 2.4 like the kitchen then the slope would be all the way across the living room from L to R. Oklouise might like to do this, I only have a couple of years experience with this program she has around 15yrs cheers

  • oklouise

    this image shows an impression of the sloping ceiling and existing wall around the kitchen with wide doorways on two sides to open up the space (not a removed wall which is much more complex) but a good builder would be able to move the supporting structure back from the corner to make the space more open like in my previous 3d image on 5/5 with the island on the dining room side

  • HU-573861794

    Hello to you all!

    Ok Louise thank you for this - the celiling looks to be a more gentle slope than my actual ceiling. The raked ceiling goes from 240cm up to 400 by the time it gets to the fireplace wall. Is this what is in your program? The kitchen ceiling will be 240.

    I have been playing around with trying to find a design program but seems they take a long time to learn how to use! You guys are amazing at being able to do these!!

    Ok louise could i trouble you to send me some more images? ... Would you mind sending me a couple of 3D imagines for:

    (1)The original design with counter going to dining room, as in an earlier one you sent, but without the study desk part? I’m thinking I prefer the open look. And perhaps if you can make the kitchen to laundry walkway 90cm and then 100cm and send a few pics from various angles? (2)And then also for your alternate suggestion of the counter to the lounge room could you send me a a couple of additional angles?

    Only if it’s not not going to be too much hassle, otherwise I will persevere with learning this program and trying to do it.

    The other thing i am thinking through the pros and cons of each option (counter to lounge or counter to dining) I’m keen to hear both of your views on how important some of my considerations are in your opinions...

    On one hand I like the layout of the idea where the counter goes to the lounge because

    -things don’t seem so tight, it feels more natural,

    -plus don’t have to walk around the bench over carpeted area to carry things around the bench to the dining table and outside.

    -And the kitchen laundry walkway can be 100cm.

    The down side for me is that:

    -I like the look of a very spacious room and having the counter oriented that way feels like it might close the room a bit -—

    - kitchen is more visible from dining, and

    - I think the pantry might just be a little bit too tight with the narrow shelves along the wall.

    On the other hand if the layout is the one where the counter goes to dining then I have the opposite pros and cons

    - stove oven and pantry all in the walkway between kitchen and laundry- bit is that really a problem? and hiw important is it that that walkway is 100cm rather than 90? Is 90 going to be really too tight do you think?

    - have to cross carpet to get from kitchen to dining, but could pass things across bench

    - I think the whole room will look more spacious with the bench oriented toward the dining.

    I’d love to hear your opinions on these pros and cons.


  • siriuskey

    Tailored Interior · More Info

    Tailored Interior · More Info

    HU-573861794 thanked siriuskey
  • oklouise

    with limited space there will always have to be compromises and without stealing space off the bedroom there's only enough room for the 90 cm wide "hallway" in front of the wall oven but the space widens in front of the pantry and sink...i prefer the opening to the kitchen on the dining room side as it forces the walking path from entry to kitchen through the middle of the rooms rather than making one walkway to the kitchen and another walkway to the dining area, crowding the dining area and limiting available floor for furniture near the fireplaces and along the island ...the desired open feeling will be created by the extra daylight and colour choices but my 3D images have horrible colours to help distinguish the different surfaces

    HU-573861794 thanked oklouise
  • HU-573861794

    Thank you both so much. Siriusky fot the photo inspirations and oklouse ithkse are of pints about the layout that you make. Those are good points about the layout that you make. Thank you also for the additional photo/renders. Any chance you still have the other layout with the kitchen counter island on the dining room side that you might be able to send? (From a few angles?) (Without the study nook). Apologies for the strange grammar and punctuation and spelling. For some reason it won’t let me edit my text!

  • HU-573861794

    Oklouise, I have popped a render you have previously posted below based on Siriuskey’s suggested plan. Would you possibly be able to (if It’s not too much hassle) remove the bookshelf (putting the fridge in the position I originally proposed) and take a couple of screenshots from a few other angles? I would be most grateful! Eg looking from the dining table into the kitchen, and if possible looking from the laundry/wall oven diagonally out toward the lounge area? Only if it isn’t going to be too much hassle for you.

  • oklouise

    adding the fridge as originally described

    my preferred option is simple doorways between kitchen and other areas...

  • siriuskey

    I feel it would be wrong to move the fridge back to it's original position, it closes the kitchen in and reduces the length of the Island, it's also more convenient to have the fridge opposite the sink. I have left the shelves/cabinet on the living room side, they can be as deep or shallow as you like, just used as a filler to the back of the fridge as it could end up being too wide from it to the sink.

    The existing pantry could be maintained as open shelves 200 deep to open up the walk through space to the laundry to 1m.

  • siriuskey

    I also must say that I imagined that the dining ceiling was sloped like the living room, but it now appears that I was wrong, again. I would consider keeping both the dining and kitchen ceilings @ 2400 with the living room ceiling sloping from 2400 to 4m. Left to Right

  • siriuskey

    This will give you an idea of what it would look like with both dining and kitchen ceilings 2400,

    the living room ceiling would slope from 2400 to 4m Left to Right so the bulkhead would not be square but angled up

  • HU-573861794

    Hi to you both. Siriuskey your original impression that the ceiling slopes up throughout the dining and living room is correct. The whole lot is on a slope. It’s jist the kitchen part that is flat.

    Also, sorry I think I must not have explained myself very well about the fridge. I meant could we put it in the spot I had in mind in the original idea. I’ll post a picture of what I mean below. Sorry to you both for the confusion!!

  • siriuskey

    what size is the fridge depth and width

  • HU-573861794

    Oklouise, would you still have this earlier plan saved in your program? If you do, would you mind sending me the renders from those different viewpoints?

  • siriuskey

    Depending on the width and depth of the fridge you could possibly build the fridge in between two sets of open shelves, the only problem I have with this fridge position is the width between the bench tops and the fridge. Fridge width should be at least 1m and I have allowed 200 deep open shelves

  • oklouise

    the views are not as important as the space available so you need to be more accurate with the dimensions...the space shown for your fridge is deeper and wider than necessary unless you need a giant fridge and the space shown for the pantry could use some wasted space next to the fridge but imo the 90 cm walkway in front of the stove is too long and narrow for comfort and safety

  • siriuskey

    The min space between the sink and opposite wall cabinets must be min 1m hence reducing the wall cabinet depth to 200 which is great open storage with great access, this won't be seen from living or dining. as already mentioned the fridge size and installation requirements are critical to the layout, newer fridges take up less space. Need to re check room sizes for best result

  • siriuskey

    I still feel that having the fridge opposite the sink is the better position, ie: narrow pantry shelving next to it and a nib wall between the kitchen and the fireplace which defines the space with open shelves facing the living and backing onto a good sized fridge space, width and depth.

    Function and Form are equally important

  • Leanne Wilford

    Rather than a post at the end of a bench we incorporated this feature. Could also add shelves or glass and lights etc. We preferred this to a single post.