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Sadie in France's Kitchen Dilemma - Part 2

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Sadie in France is the YouTube channel of Sadie Petherick and chronicles her adventures renovating an apartment in an 18th Century former convent.

After discussions back and forth by email, Sadie informed me that after some investigation, my thought to access the bathroom/utility room through the staircase hall would be almost impossible because an interior chimney breast separates the spaces.

While it is possible to remove a chimney, it is costly and must only be done by a qualified professional as it may be a structural member. Its arbitrary removal could result in a disastrous building collapse.

Sadie's measurements and designations.

The floor plan with dimensions that Sadie had drawn, clearly identified the spaces that she considered the locations for the kitchen, dining room and lounge (living room).


Option 1 shows the new kitchen located in the central area of the main floor plan.

Immediately, I noticed a few issues that made Option 1 less desirable.

Potentially, the main issue with this plan would be the main entrance door which would enter directly into the kitchen. For many people, this is an unfamiliar layout and therefore a less interesting solution.

In addition, the best location for the refrigerator in this layout is directly across from the entrance door, making it even less ideal.

To some extent, I have resolved this issue by proposing the refrigerator within a cabinet so that its commanding appearance is lessened.

In this plan, the former kitchen area becomes dining, and to that end I show a banquette-style seating area. Its L-shaped design would easily fit under the low windows.

What works well in the Option 1 plan is the work-triangle.

One portion would be angled around the corner of the space, creating a buffet cabinet or butler’s pantry in the new dining area.

Option 1 view to the banquette seating area.

However, I knew Option 1 would be controversial and, frankly, too different from what I think Sadie was anticipating.

I have been working with residential clients long enough to know that, unless I am absolutely convinced that is the best and definitive solution, it is simply not worth the effort of trying to change a client’s mind.

Option 1 view to the lounge.

With that said, the best layout will be the one that offers Sadie a practical and attractive kitchen within the area that she has designated as the “Kitchen”.

Option 2 had to consider several challenges and limitations, and each had an important effect on the next.

The first challenge is to create a transitional space through the room, and the way to do that is to assure a metre (three feet) wide “corridor to keep human traffic jams to a minimum.

The second great challenge throughout the main floor are the high, beautiful “French door” windows that open into the space.

Designing any permanent counters in front of them will limit or completely obstruct their operation which would make them unavailable as a source of fresh air and make cleaning them very difficult.

I began the design of Option 2 by leaving a one-metre clear swath, allowing full operation of the windows.

The door to the utility/bathroom is located close to the exterior wall, making it a part of that swath.

Option 2 view from the work island.

From there, I decided upon a “U”-shaped layout with the work triangle centred around a sink facing into the dining room, the range with microwave/fan to its right and the refrigerator and shallow pantry to the left.

Because there was ample space to do so, I added a work island that has enough space for a couple of stools.

Option 2 view from main entry door.

At this point I felt that I was very close to a near-ideal solution (keep in mind that the floor plans developed to date have been drawn with a lot of guesswork as I had yet to receive the final measurements).

So, in Option 3, I tweaked the plan, switching the sink cabinet peninsula to the opposite side of the room that makes a more desirable “L”-shaped layout, and which creates a single foot path from one end of the overall space to the other.

One substantial advantage to this layout is in the ability to include a full-size dishwasher within this relatively limited amount of space.

The other potential piece of this solution is the addition of a mobile counter space which can be moved wherever it is needed.

In truth, I am unsure whether this piece would be necessary given the ample amount of counterspace.

In all options, I have shown t

he wall cabinets extending to the ceiling. This choice, too, is completely optional.

Although I prefer the look and clean lines of full-height cabinets, they are difficult to access and are usually designated as a catch-all.

The following four images illustrate what I believe is the definitive solution ... until I receive the final dimensions which may change everything.

Stay tuned for Part 3. #Sadie-in-France

View from the main entrance

View towards mobile counter and island

View from the utility/bathroom door.

View from the central dining area.

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