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Possible New Layout for the Ground Floor

by Chad Ludeman on February 12, 2008 · 4 comments

in Design,floorplan,kitchen

In our last design meeting we decided to shorten the footprint of the house from 42′ to 36′ and to remove the half bath on the ground floor. This has caused us to rethink our floorplans a bit. I have been struggling with the kitchen and ground floor layout over the past few days. Below is what I have sketched as my ideal layout so far (click to see full size in flickr).

New Groundfloor 2-12-08

As you can see the core is all but gone as we decided to go ahead and move the mechanicals to the 2nd floor to allow for an open floorplan. Whenever we put the kitchen along one wall it just seemed too plain in a large room with a concrete floor. ISA has wanted to divide the large space into two from the beginning and I think this accomplishes that while still maintaining flexibility.

I took an example layout from ISA with a peninsula and an island breaking up the space and made it into just one peninsula by moving the fridge, oven and microwave over under the stairs. This allows us to keep the peninsula extremely minimal with only a sink and an electric cooktop. The countertop was expanded past the normal 26″ to 42″ to allow for more counter space and a nice spot to sit and eat. Since we will be using inexpensive cabinets, I think this extra counter space makes the kitchen look a bit more unique and modern.

The layout remains flexible as you can put a dining table on either side of the peninsula. There is also room beneath the kitchen to add a Stainless kitchen work table for added counter space and storage. Free standing shelving could be added also to add more storage or pantry space for the avid chef. Last but not least, we maintain a very large area in the front of the house for a living room. I think this is very important in such a small home to allow maximum space for entertaining, relaxing or setting up our ever expanding A/V centers…

Below is my inspiration for this kitchen layout from Boffi. We won’t be able to duplicate this sleek table, but I think we can get a similar effect by leaving off the bottom drawer of cabinets to increase the space between the floor and bottom of the cabinets. This will require a small dishwasher (pricey drawer unit?) and a separate electric cooktop. The budget will tell if we can afford this.

Boffi Table System Kitchen
Boffi Table System Kitchen - Side View

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nic Darling February 12, 2008 at 10:50 pm

The danger one consistently runs into when designing something affordable is looking . . . well, “affordable”. This is not to say that the materials have to appear expensive, but rather that design should create something greater than the sum of its parts. There is sort of a general rehab/cheap apartment look that is easy to slip into, and I admire the fact that you are trying to avoid it. The kitchen you are drawing inspiration from definitely has shape and space ideas that can be accomplished without the high cost features in the original design. Appearance-wise, I can see it looking very cool.

That said, utility is still key. As a food lover and chef wannabe, the kitchen is always the most important room in the house for me. I enjoy the social aspects of cooking (as well as the end result) and like a kitchen that caters to interaction with others during the cooking process. In your design, the placement of the stove top definitely appeals in this sense.

At first glance storage seems adequate (though I am not sure I have a complete grasp of the size of the storage area) and the placement of the oven and fridge don’t seem to offer any problems. In fact, I like the fact that they are somewhat “out of the way”. This also leaves plenty of room to hang my fancy pots and pans, freeing up storage space for less attractive kitchen essentials.

There are two possible concerns that come to mind after this brief glance. The first is counter space, of which I can never seem to have enough. This concern is, however, somewhat mollified by your “work table” suggestion and by the depth of the existing counter top. I just couldn’t have anyone in there trying to wash dishes while I’m cooking. The second is venting, as in, where does the smoke go when I accidentally or purposefully (mmmm . . . blackened catfish) burn the crap out of something?

On the whole, I really like the design. I have a little trouble visualizing size from measurements though, so if you could insert a scale drawing of me (6 feet tall, about 180, bearded) I could give you some more definite feedback.

2 Rob February 12, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Chad,

I love the Boffi look, however I think that function will outweigh asthetics with the limited amount of space that you have. The openess under the counter certianly is attractive however I am fairly certain someone who does any amount of cooking would rather have the storage and counter space. I think the portable work table is a great idea for your kitchen setup however I would put cabinets underneath the island. You could go with a very contemorary look flat full overlay cabinet doors of exposed MDF maybe?? Better yet make it an agriboard product and it will help with your LEED points, must be formaldehyde free though.

In general I really like the open plan as it makes the space feel much bigger that it is.

3 chad February 12, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback. To be clear I did not mean to imply that we would be trying to copy the Boffi Table System as is. I would include at least 2 drawers below countertops for storage. Preferably these would be very large drawers to hold a lot of stuff while reducing the cost. There would ultimately be about 16″ – 20″ of empty space between the floor and the bottom of the cabinets, rather than them coming all the way to the floor. This will keep an open feel and let more light from the South penetrate farther into the space…

Nic, I will see what I can do about drawing a likeness of your bearded and pudgy self in a future layout.

4 Libitina February 29, 2008 at 4:30 am

I think that having the peninsula as sink/counter/storage space, you could duplicate the look and feel. You’d loose some sociability by moving the stove to the wall (as in the LT collection), but you’d fix your practicality issues (have the peninsula not come from the hook up part). And the design is open enough that the person cooking wouldn’t be blocked from the living room – especially not with such an open counter.

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