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Minimum size for kitchen diner? Wwyd?

(40 Posts)
Aethelfleda Sun 03-Jan-16 21:36:07

We have a modern house (16 years old) and it has a kitchen that is 16 years old ie getting to the end of its practical life.

My plan for this year is to redo the kitchen.
We're planning to spend on nice new appliances (range cooker!) and then get Ikea/B&Q entry level fittings around them: I need reliable function rather than top end style, I cook loads so a good cooker and dishwasher and fridge freezer would be priority rather than high end gloss and marble worktops.

The biggest issue for me is that our kitchen is 11 foot 2 by 10 foot 11 (so it's a medium size square) and we are a family of 5. There's an entry door in the inner front corner of the square and the back exit door is in the opposite outside corner with a boiler by the back door (don't want to move it!)
Our old house (sob) was far smaller overall but had had a glorious 13x18 foot kitchen diner that I miss like crazy.

We don't feel as if we have the extra cash or more importantly the garden space to do an extension (smallish garden which I value every inch of, only side access would be blocked off if we extended...)

Is it mad to consider redoing the kitchen as it is? 11 foot square should be ok for a kitchen, surely..,, but is it overoptimistic to plan a table to fit in there too? We currently have a folding table but we often end up squeezing around it, and I don't want to regret fitting it out at current size... Argh!

How big do you think a kitchen needs to be to be a kitchen-diner? Views gratefully received.

RandomMess Sun 03-Jan-16 21:44:24

I think the first step is to look at decluttering your kitchen cupboards. Install drawers instead of cupboards and hopefully free up more floor space by reducing base units. Kitchen drawers, especially wide ones, hold so much more than cupboards it's amazing! Do you really need a range cooker??? Is it 2 ovens you need or more than 4 hob rings?

Can you sketch a floor plan as I'm finding it hard to visualise the layout?

RandomMess Sun 03-Jan-16 21:47:07

Would a circular or oval table work better in the space?

Fuckitfay Sun 03-Jan-16 21:51:45

Hi OP we're family of five and have a small table with a bench in a 10 x 17 foot space. We demolished our only big cupboard / utility space to make room for a table. It's still pretty small..... We can only fit our family on it and no guests.

Can you knock through into another room or make a breakfast bar for kids to eat at and then have another room as family dining room?

Aethelfleda Sun 03-Jan-16 22:16:36

Hi, thanks guys.

We can't really knock through: the ground floor has a dining room at the front right with a hall next to it and then an integral garage at the front left (through which is the only access to garden: great for security but means we can't extend the kitchen sideways to boundary line)
The back of the house has the square shaped kitchen on the left side, immediately behind the garage (stops a metre from our boundary for the side access through the back of the garage). We do have a lovely good size lounge area at the back right of the house behind the dining room, but the wall between the lounge and kitchen is majorly loadbearing so we couldn't just knock through (and I value not having curry/kipper smells drifting all over the living room area, I'm not really into mega open plan).
Trouble is, I think due to when the house was built, that the builder wasn't into people cooking so he made the lounge enormous and the kitchen smaller. Almost tempted to swap the kitchen/lounge rooms over but we don't have budget for that and it would involve major rejugging of gas/electric supplies for things etc, and the lounge doesn't have a fire door, Not sure I can manage that...!

And yes I really, really want a range cooker as I love wok hobs and double ovens for bread baking/christmas roasts and I so miss my old one.....

This is our "long-time-may-as-well-seem-like-forever" house (subject to hubby's job) so I am trying to get it to work as best I can.
Ultimately I compromised big time on the kitchen because it's just in the right location for our needs... Am trying not to waste my life regretting it because everything else is fab, it's just the kitchen means so much to me to get right, and I've had so many friends/relatives say "great house but isn't the kitchen small" and it's annoying me tbh!
I need to work out how we can get the most out of the space and give me a space I can enjoy without feeling restrained.

I honestly wonder if perhaps I should just ditch the idea of a table in there....

Current plan involves a strip down the right hand side with worktop, range cooker halfway along the strip on the right, big and small drawers throughout on the right (and an ikea corner cupboad at the end).

Sink-and-half straight ahead under window, with dishwasher on the left under the drainer.

Left hand strip would be boiler in far corner, washing machine next to it, with tea/coffee/toast station worktop ontop of the washing machine and a cupboard above it. Then remaining left hand wall (which is currently dumping-ground-worktop) would have a double size fridge freezer and a floor-ceiling standalone or fitted pantry.

At present the table sits in the middle front area of the kitchen betwen the two worktop strips.

I'm trying to fit too much in, right?

Cressandra Sun 03-Jan-16 22:56:04

It might well be worth getting b&q or someone to do the kitchen design for you and see what they reckon, or mock up a small table in your current space. Have you got a camping table, or could you balance a board on the ironing board or something? Add dining chairs too.

Ours is 14' something by 9'0 with an awkward door in the middle of the long side, and we have built in bench seating with a small table in the corner. It's a compromise, but it's a massive improvement on not having a kitchen table. You do need space round the table so you can open the cupboards properly, though drawers might improve things a good bit. The fridge and dishwasher need plenty of space in front, they need to be free of stray chairs or they are unusable. You might want to consider stools/freestanding benches rather than chairs too. A table style that doesn't have legs in the corners also helps, people can slip in and out without pulling chairs out so far.

fabulousathome Mon 04-Jan-16 00:43:58

Can you use some of all of the garage to enlarge the kitchen space? You said they were one behind the other. Do you use the garage?

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Mon 04-Jan-16 04:31:48

Our kitchen used to be slightly bigger than this ( 14 ft x 11 ft) although with 3 doors into it, not two. We had units on all walls. We did think about getting rid of s run of units snd putting a small table in, but felt it wasn't worth the loss of cupboard space when we still wouldn't have a table that everyone could essily sit round (and thrre are only 4 of us). When we mapped it out, the space needed round the table for chaits meant that the table and chairs would be in the way of everything.

Sorry, but I don't think what you want is possible in the space you've got.

grubbyslippers Mon 04-Jan-16 05:33:51

Have a look at the ikea website, they have a planner so you can see where and how the furniture/units would go and take it from there- good luck smile

namechangedtoday15 Mon 04-Jan-16 11:07:57

Could you knock through to the lounge (cost of removing the wall and inserting a steel wouldn't be massive (£2-3k plus the decorating etc) to create a lovely open plan kitchen / dining living space and then use your current dining room as the lounge? Or as someone else has suggested, "borrow" some space from your garage.

Before we did work on our house, the kitchen was 13.5 ft by 10 ft. We are also a family of 5. We had a small table (90cm x 90cm) pushed up against one wall, with stools that stacked underneath it, and we crammed around the 3 sides when we eat. It was awful. Hated it. Wouldn't have made any difference whatsoever if we'd have had the best kitchen units / appliances in the world, I'd still have hated it. There wasn't enough room, it was anti-social and whenever we had visitors, they'd all be in another room whilst I was in the kitchen. It doesn't work with modern family life (do you cart everything from the kitchen at the back of the house to the dining room at the front every time you eat?)

So my view (sorry) is that you're wasting your money. It will always be a compromise. For me, your money would be better spent somehow trying to re-jig the layout to create more space and only once that is done, think about investing in a new kitchen / appliances.

Aethelfleda Mon 04-Jan-16 19:48:23

Hmm. Think I'm going to experiment with a smaller, round table, and a hard evaluation of the cupboard requirements (though as I said, do have a lot of cooking things/equipment that all get pretty regular use). I think I need to get it set up so that the kitchen is a place to cook with option to eat quickly, but I don't want to spend the whole time shoehorning myself round an overlarge table, or banish sitting space entirely. Think the kids would fall off/fight on a bench!

Aethelfleda Mon 04-Jan-16 19:50:45

And alas, fabulous, there is a downstairs loo in between garage and kitchen. Briefly considered sacrificing it to make a walk-in-larder, but with 5 of us that downstairs loo is a lifesaver!! (Plus the garage also has multiple uses so don't want to make it any smaller)

Aethelfleda Mon 04-Jan-16 20:00:08

Namechanged, I totally hear you, but I'm trying to ignore the knockthrough idea... Part of it is that our house has a good sized 5 bedrooms and I think reducing the downstairs to only two rooms plus hall feels too few, kind of unbalanced in terms of not enough receptions... I'm concious that down the line it makes the house less sellable with a smaller kitchen, but that's so far away I don't want to factor that in too much. Plus I Love the space and calm in the lounge (when it's tidy!) and don't want the visual clutter/noise of washing machine/appliences if it's all one big lump... Argh.

This is totally a First World Problem thread: I love our house generally..... It's just a question of finding the best space-saving solution and I guess my resistance to all your (helpful) suggestions of building modifications is telling me that my heart isn't going down the route of extension/knockthrough....

RandomMess Mon 04-Jan-16 20:07:32

Can the washing machine go in the garage?

Also instead of a huge double fridge freezer have 2 standard ones, keep one in the garage!

Those are things I would sacrifice to have a table in the kitchen...

RandomMess Mon 04-Jan-16 20:09:27

In some ways it seems that it would be to convert the garage to the kitchen as it's next to the dining room...

duckyneedsaclean Mon 04-Jan-16 20:17:06

Get a high double oven, so one on top of the other with drawers below, cupboards above.

Get a worktop mounted hob (with wok ring), again you can have drawers below.

Sacrifice worktop space; you can use the table for prep.

As mentioned above, get a normal or small sized fridge & put another in garage.

Ikea do drawers inside drawers which mean you can really use all the height and everything is accessible.

Aethelfleda Mon 04-Jan-16 23:08:49

Ooh, lots of suggestions!....
Will be playing with some online design tools I think.
The garage is hard to access from house and is seperated by the hall from everything else. So I can't just knock into that. And the washing machine HAS to be in the kitchen (no utility and we already have a dryer in the garage.) I'd go nuts without a dishwasher (but maybe could go for a smaller sized one, my SIL says hers is fab). Presently have a measly slimline f-freezer so the x large one is purely me lusting after more space for frozen and fridge stuff ! Again the hassle factor is making me want to avoid the freezer-in-garage thing.

Thanks for all the great option storage ideas... I need to accept a full size table is daft unless I extend/knock through.

Maybe either a round small table or a brek bar in the middle of the room would be a good compromise. Hmm.

RandomMess Tue 05-Jan-16 20:33:43

Why does the washing machine HAVE to be in the kitchen - the water pipes waste could be taken from the downstairs loo into the garage??? You pop the tumble dryer on top of the washing machine so it doesn't take up any more floor space...

Aethelfleda Tue 05-Jan-16 23:02:55

Hi Random, There's no access to garage from in the house (and it's more secure that way). The wall to the garage is another load-bearer so would be a pain to knock through, and I Already go out to the garage and dislike that for the dryer. Having a WM in the kitchen is easy, I guess... Though youre right it takes up space.
If I were being all American I suppose I could hive off the back of the garage to be a seperate utility room and have the washer and dryer in there and a laundry chute down from the family bathroom above it (!)... But then would lose a garage space: we have DIy stuff, camping gear and bikes in there and it's just such a useful space .....

Cressandra Tue 05-Jan-16 23:52:08

The laundry room idea would be tempting... i'm inclined to think it would be worth squeezing the garage, redesigning with really good bike racks, solid, tall shelving etc. You could get a decent chunk of camping gear in a well designed floor to ceiling cabinet, perhaps in the new laundry.

Is there really nowhere else you could relocate the downstairs loo, in a 5 bed house? Is there space you could cobble out of the hall or dining room? It doesn't have to have a window.

I know you don't want to relocate the back door, but given the other constraints it might be worth considering.

Jibberjabberjooo Wed 06-Jan-16 09:51:37

I've got two high ovens (one is an oven microwave and it's brilliant) a warming drawer and a five ring induction hob. We looked at a range cooker but you need to spend a lot to get a good one so we went for that option instead and I love it.

mrsmortis Wed 06-Jan-16 12:57:09

Do you have a 'cupboard under the stairs' would it be possible for you to get water/drainage there?

When I lived in a tiny end of terrace house one of the best things that I did was convert that cupboard into a laundry cupboard. It held a stacked washer and drier with vents through the back wall into the outside so I didn't need to use a condensing dryer. All the excess space still gave me plenty of storage and it gave me room for a freed up space in the kitchen.

LizzieMacQueen Wed 06-Jan-16 13:12:12

In your position I would investigate again the costs of moving the kitchen to the lounge then that gives you two separate living spaces which is useful if you have older children. Would you then be able to open out to the garden with patio doors?

Mrsladybirdface Wed 06-Jan-16 14:54:03

With can have narrow 37 base cabinets.... We have drawers in ours. Even saving just 20cms makes a massive difference to a room. It makes our kitchen a spacious square rather than the galley kitchen it would have been

Aethelfleda Wed 06-Jan-16 22:13:42

Ooh good idea, mrsladybird, that might be just the idea. Definitely need to play with some layouts!

I think the thing here is that I want to avoid building work. I turned our current oval table ninety degrees and put it so that we had 3 foot from the un-worktopped wall as that's apparently what makes enough space to manouvere around...
I'm going to buy/borrow a smaller, round table to try out as even if I buy one it will help me make the decision of whether to develop the kitchen or get actual real quotes for swapping kitchen and lounge.
I do loves our large lounge though...

And there honestly isn't anywhere to move the loo: I am completely allergic to non-windowed loos (too many rental properties as a student!). Everywhere in the entire house feels pretty spacious but carving out a chunk of a room would reduce that.

Thanks for all the ideas: I'll be back when I've got a layout and ideas!...

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