I am selling the farm. I am looking at Midcentury modern. My current kitchen is huge and I want a galley kitchen. Thoughts on floor plans?

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Rachel February 21, 2016
If i may offer a suggestion, Megan Padilla, Sr. Designer at Aiden Design.


One of the best in the business!
ChefJune February 18, 2016
I have a 7 x 14 galley kitchen that is very efficient. In fact, I can fit 3 students plus me in there for a hands-on cooking class. My stove is directly across from the sink and there are counters on either side of both. The fridge is to the right of the stove. At the end of the kitchen is a 5-foot butcher block table that provides extra counter space as well as a place to eat. My cookware hangs from a pot rack that runs 4 feet down the center of the ceiling, above the stove area. Really handy! Feel free to ask any questions.
aargersi February 16, 2016
Wait - you're selling the farm? Really?
thirschfeld February 17, 2016
Yeah, I know, I can't believe it. Strange isn't it. Another adventure and a new chapter.
Summer O. February 16, 2016
Tom - If I may offer you some free architectural lighting design advice: If you are able to use recessed lighting (but it applies even if you can't and must use surface mounted fixtures since many midcentury homes the ceiling is the roof) the downlights should be placed 12" from the face of the cabinets, centered on the cabinet breaks. Most cabinets are 12" deep and the countertops are 24" deep so this puts the light where you need it. Under cabinet lights should mount as far from the back wall as you can, concealed with a lip of course, this allows for the light to spread out over the whole counter surface. And if going LED go with the highest color rendering index you can afford. And if you can't do dedicated LED a less expensive alternative would be a low voltage can with a retrofit lamp, but only use the SORAA MR16 lamps, most people can't tell the difference between them and halogen. Also, be sure to get a warm Kelvin temperature - if it were my house, I'd use 3000K. That's my nickel's worth. Good luck!
thirschfeld February 17, 2016
The posisioning info about the lights- that's great stuff. I wouldn't have thought about that but so true. Being a photographer I am always looking for warmth and I get exactly what you are saying.
Sam1148 February 15, 2016
Rent a copy of Disney's "The Parent Trap" do that. (g).
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thirschfeld February 17, 2016
I am guessing you mean the original not the remake. That is a very cool kitchen but a little bigger then I want. Nevertheless I am always looking for new ideas.
Melusine February 14, 2016
My two cents: Keep the area above and on either side of the cooktop open -- as convenient as it is to have the microwave over the cooktop, it gets in the way when scooping pasta, soup, etc, out of a tall pan, and cupboards on either side make it awkward to get taller tongs, spoons and such out of the utensil holders underneath them. I would also have room on both sides of the sink for drainboards. OH! And make sure an open dishwasher door doesn't prevent you from getting to the cupboards where the dishes go.
LeBec F. February 14, 2016
that last one is brilliant! ditto for anything that makes you srep back- microwave, frig,oven.....

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QueenSashy February 12, 2016
Tom, my advice would be to spend some time recording your movements, what you do and how you do it, in your current kitchen. What you love and what stands in your way. It will give you an idea about your personal workflow and how to best space the key elements (sink, work surfaces, stove etc.) to support it. We are all very different and operate differently. For example, I like to wash my hands a lot -- whatever I do, I wash my hands after it (by the way, it does not mean I am on OCD). As a result I placed the sink in the center of my sort-of-galley kitchen, so that no matter what I do it is really close by. I cook a lot and like to do several things in parallel. So I have several work surfaces. I am not recommending you do this, but figure out your work-flow and your patterns, spend a couple of days, or a week thinking about it, and I think you will not regret it. It also helps with designing drawers, cabinets, and figuring out what you want to put and where. Also, I worked with designers, and my five cents is that most likely they are not as good chefs and kitchen personas as you are -- so they will really, really help you only if you are able to conceptualize what you need. And good luck, there is nothing as exciting as making your very own new kitchen!
Exbruxelles February 14, 2016
I would second the caveat on kitchen designers, although I think the trick is in finding one who a) really listens and b) really understands kitchens. The first two I tried were, if not completely incompetence, clearly not cooks. The third was excellent and came up with ideas and solutions that I wouldn't have thought of myself. In retrospect, I wouldn't try to design a kitchen myself, but I'm a much more educated design consumer after having been through this experience --which is, as Her Highness suggests, really exciting, especially when it's done.
thirschfeld February 17, 2016
I have to scale down my movements. My kitchen now is very big and I am really looking forward to a smallish kitchen. I don't want tiny but I think I like the idea of a galley. I am sort of thinking open kitchen, sort of.
ChefJune February 18, 2016
I know only one REALLY excellent professional kitchen designer, Nancy Stern of Elements of Kitchen and Bath in New Jersey. She is both a cooking teacher and cookbook author, so brings that sensibility to kitchen design. I'm not a kitchen designer, but I did my own, and pretty sure you can, too.
amysarah February 12, 2016
Re renovating a midcentury house (I've done a couple) - a good thing to keep in mind, particularly with a kitchen reno, is that they're typically built on slab, making relocating plumbing, HVAC, etc. a bit more involved. Not impossible, but definitely a budget factor, and can effect what makes sense re layout. Having an architect or contractor take a look is a very good idea before getting too far.
thirschfeld February 17, 2016
We have two very good architects at our disposal. It hadn't occured to me yet about the slab but that is very true.
Sauertea February 12, 2016
I hope you will share the eventual design. I think a galley kitchen would be great. I agree with the comments from le bec fin. I am trying to figure out these same issues.
thirschfeld February 17, 2016
It will probably be a while before I know exactly what is going to be done. We have to sell our current house.
LeBec F. February 12, 2016
tom, hope this is a good move for you; can be very exciting! some thoughts:
--open counter to l and r of sink and stovetop and refrig.
--prep counter opposite stovetop with enough distance between the two for prep person and passing-through person simultaneously in the space.cook should be able to prep, turn around and put on stovetop.
--prep counter to have open shelving for bowls under it
-- two sinks with small space in between, no more than 3 steps from the stovetop.
--compost bin close to stovetop
--spices drawer next to stovetop or under prep counter
--open storage bins of oils ,vinegars etc. under prep counter
thirschfeld February 17, 2016
It is a new chapter for sure. Those are all great points. I am looking forward to a smaller space.
Nancy February 19, 2016
LBF - I mostly like your suggestions, but wonder about the spices next to stovetop. I worry about heat degradation when spices are close to heat source.
Tom -
I would plan for spices any other convenient place, just not near heat (stove, oven, refrigerator heat exhaust). Also some (like peppers, seeds) need fridge or freezer storage...so include some space for them.
I find the 2nd most impt thing in spice storage is being able to SEE what you have, both to prevent over-buying and to spark usage ideas.
I treat mine as mise en place, whether when letting baking ingredients come to room temp, or when making a savory dish.
Hope this helps.
702551 February 12, 2016
The only concrete suggestion I have is to put the sink directly opposite the stove. That reduces the distance between two primary work areas.

Assuming you aren't going to do a complete demo, much of the floorplan will be guided by existing walls/windows/entryways, etc. There are applications that allow you to design your kitchen: you plug the dimensions and start adding things.

Of course, you can hire a professional designer to help you out. They will take measurements, talk with you about your interests, needs, wishes, and budget, none of which you mention here.

Also not mentioned is the number of people in the household. I live in a 1 BD condo, so my galley kitchen is very small, but efficient for 1-2 people. Depending on the size of your household, you may want a second sink, maybe just a bar-sized one.

Again, these are details to be fleshed out based on the physical dimensions of the space in question, plus your specific situation, needs, desires, and budget.

Good luck.
thirschfeld February 17, 2016
I am not unhappy with out current kitchen. We designed it when we built the house. I always keep in mind the work space triangle. I am not used to a galley kitchen. Basically we don't know what the space will be like yet. Either way we are going to remodel what ever we buy. It's going to be fun.
702551 February 18, 2016
Well, since you going to remodel regardless, then the sky (or more likely your budget) is the limit.

You've gotten plenty of advice already, much of it focused on the way you operate. I'm guessing you are an experienced cook and longtime homeowner, so you should already have a good idea of what works given your interests, behaviour, etc.

I'm a very visual person, so firing up some 3D interior design program would be very helpful in visualizing the future space.

I know a lot of people here at Food52 would simply use words to describe interior design (often they don't even bother to post pictures when they have some sort of kitchen design conundrum), but the fact remains that city planning departments require detailed blueprints, so you might as well get used to understanding a visual representation.

A good suggestion for this project mentioned elsewhere is to choose an interior designer/architect who is a cook, but I suggest you stick to your instincts about major decisions on locating appliances and workspaces.

Good luck.
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