Need help with kitchen layout!

23 Replies

Hello everyone!

I'm in a bit over my head! About 2 years ago I purchased the ugly 600 square foot house next door to my parents. I hasn't been lived in for 30+ years. The problem I'm having currently is figuring out the best layout for the kitchen. The house is very small, so I need to make use of the space In the most efficet way possible. The house is currently gutted and im on my 4th revision to the layout. I've also taken out a load bering wall in order to give the home and open concept.

I need help with a few things:

The biggest problem it's where to put the refrigerator.

what size window should I put behind the sink?

Should I do a raised bar or counter height seating?

Do I need room for the light switch by the door?

should I take the cabinets to the ceiling? Or do shorter ones?

Thats a good layout, I think. Fridge is in a good place. Yes, have cabinets to the ceiling in a small place. There does need to be room for a light switch. WIndow size is fine. Raised bar is nice in a small kitchen, because it gives more counter and cabinet space. Add a corner cabinet above the bar; it adds a little more cabinet space and looks nice (especially with a glass insert).

Thank you Blake! I've have to talk to the guy at Lowe's and see if they have the corner cabinet your talking about!

From my research white seems to be the best choice because it's "timeless" any thoughts?

try  rtacabinetstore I don't always buy from there but there software is pretty good if you don't have a cad program.

But design looks good.  As long as you have your power triangle in the kitchen you will be fine!

Thanks Josh! I'll check them out. I've tried to do some of my own layouts using the program that is on lowes website but, it kept crashing. 

In regards to the power triangle: I've mocked up the kitchen using old doors and tape lol the power triangle is there and I think it will be a very efficient layout.

I guess I'm just a bit nervous Because this is my first rehab.

Your layout looks fine, that's what's nice about a small space....not many options. The raised counter with stools is good and can hide kitchen clutter but in a small space a wider counter without the raised portion can be a selling point. Make that window come as close to the backsplash as possible....I try to get the window stool to finish directly on top of the backsplash and I've even modified the height of the backsplash to accomplish that detail. If the home is older the ceiling may have some variation in height. This can cause some installation issues when running the wall cabinets to the ceiling. The wall cabinets must be plumb and level and if the ceiling varies it's best to hold the wall cabinets down just an inch or two and then finish tight to the ceiling with a small crown molding. Find the lowest point and work from there.     Good Luck!

in a smaller space, I would definitely go with a counter height bar and not raised. Layout looks good. I like cream colored cabinets. Almost white, but still a warm color. 

we use "counter depth" refrigerators in small kitchen rehabs. Actually install them so buyers can see that it works indianapolis the space. 

@Brandon Barnic Great layout!  I love to blast out walls and open up the kitchen.  Raise up the top on the transition into the bar with a short wall and give it a good bar stool height.

Looks great!  

I like where the fridge is and like the idea of a counter depth fridge in this small kitchen.  I'd say tall cabinets would be better- more storage is always appreciated.  Yes, you need room for the light switch by the door and I think counter height seating is the way to go, keeps it open!


don't buy the cabs from lowes. You will pay 3-4x as much as I pay for cabinets of lesser quality. I did this kitchen with cabs, counters and appliances for $6400 plus my labor. These are plywood construction cabinets with maple fronts. They have soft close doors/drawers and the drawers are full extension. And yes, the granite is full thickness (1-1/4"). I buy from lilyanncabinets and get a discount. I can get you setup with a discount if you are interested and they will send you cabinet door samples for free. 

I pushed a full size fridge back through a wall slightly into the mud room to make it counter depth & it made a big difference to the clearance between the fridge & island. I hate fridges that stick out into the walk space.

The 'light switch' for a small one we did was not well placed so I installed an LED ceiling light with a built in motion detector & they love it. However I was able to wire a new work light above the sink. I also put a small window 23x32 above the sink & its more than adequate.

@Brandon Barnic White fridge? I would stick with what sells in your area on that street. Now, almost everyone has stainless steel. For high end, slate looks really good now. Totally agree on cabinet depth fridge. Cabinets should be a nice colored wood (dark sells well) and counters should compliment the wood by being lighter.

Originally posted by @Royce Jarrendt :

The wall cabinets must be plumb and level and if the ceiling varies it's best to hold the wall cabinets down just an inch or two and then finish tight to the ceiling with a small crown molding. Find the lowest point and work from there.     Good Luck!

 I had not considered this being a problem! Thanks for bringing that to my attention.  I'll certainly keep that bit of advice in mind!

Originally posted by @Pat L. :

I pushed a full size fridge back through a wall slightly into the mud room to make it counter depth & it made a big difference to the clearance between the fridge & island. I hate fridges that stick out into the walk space.

I wish I considered doing something like this before I built the new wall between the bathroom and kitchen.  Too late now though! 

Thanks everyone! During my next revision I'll have my kitchen designer stick a counter depth fridge in there! I think it's a great idea!

When it comes to Layouts function is important. The 3 point triangle needs to be kept in mind- and from the picture looks to be in good order (fridge sink stove). I would maybe offer some other suggestions if i could see an actual pic of the place and a sketch with dimensions on it. I hope you laminated a beam to replace that load bearing wall!

That lay out looks good. What I did on my first few kitchen revamps was take a prop of some kind chalk or cardboard and draw physically on the floor my layout or tape it off to see how the flow is -- if there's enough walking room and etc. 


@Gabriel Mabry I made sure to have the 3 point triangle. I have a print out that has all measurement of the walls. I could upload a pic of it if ya wanted. As for the beam, I had to do a 2 ply lvl!

As for laying it out:

Right now there are doors sitting on stools where all the counters will be going. I also have construction paper taped together to represent the stove, fridge, sink, and dishwasher! definitely helped out a ton to see everything mocked up in real life. 

The only thing that I can add to the great advice above would be to consider a casement window. It is nice to be able to crank it open when desired.

@Scott weaner I thinking about doing a small bay window. I'm sure they make a casement bay window combo! I'll keep that advice in mind! 

You probably will have a hard time finding a bay window small enough.

Sp whaat did you end  up doing with the kitchen?  Can you show us a picture?

All these ideas were very good but I don't know if cost is a factor because cabinets going to the ceiling are much more expensive then having shorter cabinets.  If there is a gap at the top where they meet the ceiling you only have to use molding up there.  It ooks better and covers any gaps

 A Cabinet deep refrigerator instead of a regular refrigerator is much more (very much more) expensive then a regular size refrigerator.  Is this for a flip or for a rental?  Won't Home Depot help you with the design free?

I think a white kitchen is great and there will be no problem with white appliances to match it.

Do you have any updated pictures?

I would go with taller cabinets like 30" or maybe 36" if they if.  Otherwise float the cabinets or go with a soffit.  Making them flush will be problematic due to construction tolerances. 

As for color, im not a fan of white but personal choice.  This will depend on what you do for kitchen appliances.  White doesn't seem to look as good as black or stainless. I like the darker woods which forces you to black or stainless appliances.  Stainless looks fine with white cabinets.

Window looks fine. 30" wide window is good as it will work with your sink size.  Window sill should be 6" above counter. Standard backsplash is 4".

Remember your work triangle is like 21' or 25' between sink, frig, counter work area.

Nice use of sketchup!

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