I’m after some advice on how to increase the bench space, storage and functionality of a small kitchen and also open the space up a bit. Key requirements are the ability to fit an oven and a dishwasher (currently there is no oven) I would also love an island bench that doubles as a seating space however given the small footprint this may not be possible.
The floorplan is currently not well utilised with three areas incorporating dining, meals and family being large and the kitchen space being very small.
Some ideas at this stage are to remove the wall between the dining room and kitchen and extend the existing bench out (maintaining the U shape). We are on a fairly limited budget unfortunately so cannot afford to relocate plumbing or water. The dishwasher is currently located under the hotplates and there is no room under the sink to relocate it. We would update the sink to one bowl to fit it in.
The other idea was to remove the bench facing the meals and turn it around (extending it into the meals area). Would appreciate any comments and thoughts.
Do you mean turn the bench so it's one long bench from the sink? Wouldn't that cover those doors? It also doesn't add any storage space unless you get rid of the doors and put in overhead cupboards.
For more storage, could you add a suspended cabinet over the bench (if it stays where it is). That might add enough storage space that you could put an oven under that bench. You could put a wider benchtop on it so it overhangs in the meals area, and you could sit at it on bar stools.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @jenandcas. It's amazing that you've joined us, and many thanks for your question about kitchen layout.
I suspect you're looking for suggestions because there are limited options to consider on a budget because of the floor plan. I'd say you're closer to needing a renovation rather than a re-model to achieve what you're suggesting. Could you give us a ballpark on what your budget for this project is? That will give our members a better idea of what they could suggest. It might be irrelevant, but could you fill us in on the no oven situation and dishwasher under the cooktop? That seems a little unusual.
After trying quite a few layouts, I find that window will be an issue as extending out will obstruct it. An island could work, but having enough room to walk around it will make that awkward unless you put it right out into the meals area. This won't work well with the over in it. After much deliberation, my only real solution is to remove the dishwasher, install the oven where it should be and use the other wall in the kitchen for the bench extension. I'm not sure if that is a window pictured on that wall, but we could work around it. I'll include a rendering below of what I've come up with. It might not be what you're looking for, but it adds a tonne of space, and I feel it would be more functional than any other layout I can come up with.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for the rendering @MitchellMc It really helps to be able to visualise the space. I hadn't considered having the bench extend from the other wall. It does add a lot more bench space. That is a window on the wall between the dining and the kitchen, hence we were considering getting rid of it entirely and opening the kitchen space up to the dining room. With the new layout you've suggested we could get the dishwasher next to the sink. We're not sure why the dishwasher is in the oven spot. Apparently the previous owners never used an oven and given there was no room under the sink in the current layout they decided to put it under the hot plates. It is very unusual.
I wouldn't mind using all of the meals space as kitchen to increase the space available, as there is both the dining area and family area for a table, just not sure how awkward it would make the kitchen.
@pstq No, I meant extending the existing free bench area out to the dining wall window (and removing that wall/window). Agree the bifold doors make it impossible to extend out the other way. Unless it was an island and again not sure if that would be awkward to work around.
Have attached another photo of the window. The cabinet sitting below it with all the coffee gear is just a temporary cabinet. The sliding door to the left the post is also removable but the post is structural so would need to remain in some form.
It's great that you've received fantastic suggestions from @MitchellMc and @pstq. I can see what you mean when you say that the kitchen space is not well utilized. I've drawn up some suggestions on how to layout your kitchen. I suggest moving the fridge and pantry to the opposite wall where the windows are. Close off those sets of windows so that you can get full use of the wall. Remove the small dining table and we will go with your suggestion of an island doubling as a dining table as well.
I've placed two versions of the island. One with one side seating and the other is with back to back seating. There is a third option where you can have an uneven level of the benchtop. Please let me know if you wish to see that layout as well. Please have a look at the drawings and tell us what you think. If you wish to see the kitchen in another configuration or colour please let me know.
Sorry for the late reply. That gives another perspective. I like the island bench options you've suggested. We trialled covering the windows we have currently (where you have the fridge positioned) however it blocks too much light from the dining room so we will need to leave them as windows or as an open cut out. I know this limits our wall space however we would be happy to just get some additional bench space. Is it possible to see the configuration with the fridge and a smaller pull out pantry where they are currently situated and a bench extending underneath the window?
I've thought about that issue where light is blocked off from your current window. I suggest putting in another sun tunnel in your dining room to compensate for closing off the windows. However, if it is not possible then we will have to lay the kitchen out as is. Below are the updated drawings for your kitchen as you requested. Please have a good look and tell me what you think. If you wish to see it in another configuration, please let me know.
If you need more advice or information, please let us know.