harrymarcus

Tricky window and door situation – what do you think?

Harry Marcus
4 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

Hi All

We're currently renovating a kitchen and have a slight challenge with the door/window...

As you may be able to notice, there's no brick pillar between the window and the door, so once we take them both out we'll have a large wide top space and of course the bottom space with the door.

One idea that's come to mind is somehow installing a half door, and then having a stacking window across the top (stacks towards the right). This way when the weather permits we can stack it entirely to the right and leave the bottom door closed....

Problem is, I've never seen this before so not sure it's possible at all? has anyone else seen this before?

Cheers :)
Harry



Comments (77)

  • Mel N
    4 years ago

    I've opted to not have an island. We have a big extended family and we love to entertain. We couldn't do that on an island. We live close to the city (Syd) so space is a premium. I have a large L-shaped kitchen (including small walk-in pantry and euro laundry) and in the centre of the room a 10-seat table. I have approx 6m of benchtop, I don't have a shortage of bench space for meal prep, so have never needed to use my dining table for meal prep.

    I can see that Harry has some decisions to make, which may include some compromises. Current trends are all about islands. The only way that will work here I suspect is if the pantry/fridge backing wall comes out and the dining room is deleted. It's too narrow otherwise.

  • oklouise
    4 years ago

    what's outside the doors from the kitchen and the living room, which door do you come in carrying groceries...do you need the door from the living room and the kitchen? if not, then blocking one of the doors makes more flexible options

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  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    oklouise check out the photos he posted it shows an under cover area outside the kitchen, perhaps that's why Harry was looking to use a door with a possible stacking top so he could use this for serving between this outside area. Harry could look at Dutch Farm House doors. Agree with you getting rid of that door and enlarging the window would certainly make the interior space more flexible. Would be much easier if there was more info. Good luck next week Harry, many ideas to toss around while trying to keep within your budget. This link for Dutch Farm House doors.

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=dutch+farmhouse+doors&client=firefox-b&biw=1366&bih=696&tbm=isch&imgil=S9mAag_trbho5M%253A%253Brue35dLXmUxTmM%253Bhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.pinterest.com%25252Fexplore%25252Fdutch-door%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=S9mAag_trbho5M%253A%252Crue35dLXmUxTmM%252C_&usg=__mHQkbpy-c_qq9WQTyvyREogNa20%3D&ved=0ahUKEwigmKiUuanRAhUBpJQKHbuRD9oQyjcILA&ei=xmptWKCdOYHI0gS7o77QDQ#imgrc=bWtztJXfc4b5hM%3A


  • oklouise
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago


    even if you decide to change the door to a wide window or install a sliding door or retain the hinged door i suggest the whole space functions better with parallel kitchen benches (with or without benches across the current window) rather than 5m of kitchen wall and island because the island restricts the space too much while the parallel benches allows for the sink bench to be at least 750mm deep allowing space for some stools and space for an extendable dining table.

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Galley kitchens are great, Harry mentioned trying to limit costs so if that's the case i would suggest losing the window and retaining a door to the under cover out door area. Install a narrow Pantry ( 400mm) in front of the other window, place the fridge and perhaps broom cupboard in the existing alcove to avoid the cost of demolishing it. Then to save costs use existing plumbing and cook top connections by running cupboards on the other long parallel wall which would include sink, dishwasher, cooktop and oven. Over Bench cupboards with range hood and microwave shelf. Continue the lower bench cupboards 450? deep across the current dining area to form a side board, could even include a space for 1-2 stools or just more storage. Harry has a young family so it's important to think about having somewhere that the kids can safely use computers, over seen by parents.

  • oklouise
    4 years ago

    Harry, is this the same townhouse that you were renovating for sale or will you live in it yourselves?

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Well that would be a game changer, it does look like a two story townhouse.


  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

    Hi everyone,

    Harry's wife here taking over as he's been a bit busy being overseas for work.

    Really appreciate all your feedback, comments and suggestions in helping us navigate this dilemma.

    It is indeed a two story town house in which we're planning to live. We don't have a family yet, however we are planning on having one. The outdoor area will indeed be the BBQ area.

    Would love to put in a kitchen island with a lower dining table just like in the pictures oskuee provided, however I've done some measurements and as Mel N suspects, I think it would compromise the flow of the kitchen rather than assist. Clearance between the bench and the island on both sides would be 800mm with a 600bench. I fear it would be to congested and bench to small. Besides, i think it would interrupt the flow of the door to the courtyard and potentially an entry.

    Leaning towards the large L shaped kitchen with sink under (window, and dishwasher on wall) extending all the way to the laundry room, leaving door and window as they are. And adding a dining table towards the laundry end of the kitchen. As Mel N suggests extending the kitchen to the laundry should provide enough bench space. Looking to also add a bench under the window on the left which used to be the door before, but again not sure if that is needed and whether it would obstruct the flow. I don't think we can get rid of the cupboard where we're the fridge goes at this point, so that might need to stay where it is as well. So not a pure L shape, not sure what shape this would be, a broken J perhaps?

    Loved the idea the idea of the wide sliding door though! Harry, can we make it happen??


  • oklouise
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Hello Sofia, good to have you join the conversation. according to the plan the width of the space across the sink is 2880mm which should be enough for a 1500mm wide sliding door and 600mm cabinets on each side ie keeping the tall cabinet or a wide counter with stools.

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Hi Sofia, Lovely to hear from you, personally I think subject to cost, oklouise last layout is a winner, totally opens up the kitchen living area making it all appear bigger and more light into the kitchen area as I suspect that it's a bit dark. You could still continue the lower bench cabinets from the fridge to the laundry wall to form a sideboard/ storage for the dinning area. We did this with a family members townhouse a bit like yours, they also used mirror splash back (in the actual kitchen area) to reflect light, yes it gets dirty but so does the very popular coloured glass splash back. They added a large framed print on the wall above. The only other thing I would consider doing in oklouise kitchen is keeping the sink on the same wall as the cooktop, This done for safety and use, the through way in the kitchen is 1500 which is great but a long way between sink and cook top, especially when cooking things like Pasta and draining the water, sinks are also good for putting hot things down on. This a photo of a kitchen we did approx 14 yrs ago (you can tell by the old TV) in a small 2 bedroom holiday Villa, the lounge was opposite the bench, this bench doubled up for use on the deck for dining or extra serving, easy to move through the sliding door. Continuing along the wall from the left of the fridge is a laundry cupboard and broom cupboard/pantry.


  • Mel N
    4 years ago

    Hi Sofia, only you know how you live and what you want in the future. If you plan to do lots of entertaining in the future, and want good flow between courtyard and kitchen/dining? Consolidating the kitchen around that proposed sliding door will create congestion (straight away I'm seeing my MIL and my husbands aunts hovering over me in that space telling me what to do ;-) !!!). But that's how we live- it's really up to you.

    Is that little wall behind the fridge load bearing? Be a real shame to have to keep it.



  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks again for all your suggestions. Unfortunately the wall behind the fridge is load bearing and it will have to stay. At this point the door and window will likely stay where they are as well. I guess we'll just need to work around this and design our kitchen around it.

    However knocking down the wall in the kitchen is already a big gain! Sharing with you some progress pictures of how it's now looking without the wall, it's easier to visualise the space now that it's gone.

    But also - we have another dilemma, the entryway / storage.

    We were initially thinking of gyprocking all the way to the beginning of the stairs, to make the storage area larger, because we don't really know how to use that space. We were trying to make the space more functional. However, a neighbour who came in today suggested we didn't do that because we would be blocking light that goes into the kitchen area. Or that if we did it we only did it halfway, so we don't block out all the light.

    Now we are inclining not to do it, because we think he's right about the light. And doing it half way, hmmm we don't know how that would look and if it's worth it. Need to make a decision quite quickly in the next day because the builder is on site and ready to do it.

    Interested to know what you would recommend :)


    Old tenant furniture

    The wall where the stove is is the wall that we got rid of. Just wanted to show you the flow of light from the stairs.

  • oklouise
    4 years ago

    Hi Sofia, the photos haven't loaded please advise HOUZZ as it been happening with several other posts

  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

    Sorry I wasn't able to post the pictures earlier - I did have a bit of trouble.

    We decided in the end not to go ahead with the gyprocking of this space. I guess we'll see how we go - how crucial is that light and how we make use of the space and and maybe do it at a later stage.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    Oh and here's the progress picture of the kitchen too.

  • oklouise
    4 years ago

    just admiring the stairs..what are your plans? if you don't like the fancy panels a metal fabricator should be able to replace those parts with square steel rods and just keep the twisted rods to retain a touch of style and maybe a classy new glass entry and new security screens to increase light to the entry

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Hi Sofia, Kitchen area is looking great, is it at all possible for you to have your builder remove that Fridge load bearing wall by50% or the lot and us a support beam incorporated into the kitchen island bench. Your stairs are just bathed in light and look lovely, a simple coat of black paint on the railing would bring this up to date at very little expense. I quite like the storage cupboard area as it is going by your photos, great place to unload coats etc, do you enter your house this way?

    It does look like you may have to replace your front door with one that has glass panels. what do the windows and entrance look like from the exterior.

    If you were able to afford it I would have loved to see the current kitchen door and window changed to a sliding door, this would give the kitchen area some much needed light. What a lot of work and decisions to be made while at the time keeping an eye on the budget. If you have a good builder that should give you a lot of support. What style of kitchen cupboards are you planning on? cheers

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago



  • Mel N
    4 years ago

    Hi Sofia, it's looking great! I'd be focussing on getting as much light in as possible. As siriuskey suggested- (frosted?) glass front door and glass slider in the kitchen (it looks standard height so not too $$). I'm guessing there is a support column running down that little fridge nib wall area? It is probably near impossible to get rid of entirely without major structure work and intervention from a structural engineer ($$$$).....but siriuskey is right, your builder might be able to reduce its size, I can see how it would improve flow and light penetration. The column itself would likely be a large steel post.

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago




  • siriuskey
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    our old kitchen and the new still a work in progress








  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

    Sirius - I love what you've done to your kitchen! Looks amazing. Great work!

    Thanks again for your ideas oklouise and siriuskey. In regards to the fridge wall and the windows, we can't really move them as it would be very costly. And the entry doors and windows are strata and they are planning to change them within the next year, so we'll just have to wait for that.

    And yes, that is the door where we would be entering, thinking of putting something for coats or a small narrow table might be a good idea :)

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    agree that the space next to the stairs could a perfect place to unload things, coats,keys etc on entering your house, perhaps as per photos on a smaller scale.

    Very Pleased you like our kitchen, the previous owners had a love of Suede Effect paint, blue in the kitchen (blue knobs, tiles, blind and hanging light!) and pink on our now black wall.

    Can appreciate having to keep within your budget, it's a shame you can't afford to remove the fridge wall as it would greatly improve space and light. Our kitchen cabinets came from Bunnings Kaboodle range, affordable and easy to install, our island believe it or not is not attached to the floor so can be moved or re configured.

    The power for the oven, cooktop and power points at the end of the bench all come across from the pantry and pops up through one floor tile, we tiled the whole area before installing the kitchen.

    Because we like you needed to reduce costs we did the benchtops with plywood from Mr Plywood Newcastle, Colin waited for a new delivery to pick the beautiful piece we used, our island bench is 2.7 x 1.2 so it would have been very expensive in other material, from memory the ply wood was approx $450 delivered This did the sink area, island and the Entry side table which John made tressele legs for, these were Bunnings fence pailings. The plywood needs to be coated with a two pack to harden the surface. (If you like thicker benchtops, Plywood can be cut into strips turned on side and laminated together)

    Kaboodle has a free online tool where you can you play around with a possible kitchen layout. good luck

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    not sure where you are at with the kitchen, but really hoping you went
    with Mel N and are going to run the kitchen the full length up to the
    laundry wall and have a pantry against that wall and then adding an
    island, nice simple lines. Are you putting a small kitchen desk/office
    under the window next to the fridge, would be great to sit up on a stool
    looking out the window and pondering what to cook while searching the
    internet

  • Sofia C
    4 years ago

    Hi again :)

    We opted for no island, given the space was too tight. But we are extending the kitchen all the way to the laundry wall. Opted for the pantry on the same wall as the rest of the kitchen. We want to put a small dining table in the kitchen, so adding the pantry on the laundry wall would not allow us to put a table in.

    For the window next to the fridge, that is a very good question that we were pondering on today. A few options I would appreciate getting your opinion on:

    1. Adding a 600 bench with some drawers and the pull out bins.

    The depth of the wall is almost the 600mm so when you're standing on the bench you might be obstructing the passage to the bbq area.

    The other concern I have is not having the bin a bit far from the sink/dishwasher, not on the same bench. Not sure if this would be a functional an issue.

    And lastly it will not be flush with the fridge, so visually might not be too nice??

    2. Adding a half depth bench.

    This will avoid obstructing the passage.

    But will also reduce bench and storage space. Will this still be functional?

    Not sure if it will be functional either as bench or storage.

    3. Adding a kitchen desk / breakfast bar for 2

    I had always wanted a kitchen desk or a spot to put ipad etc to follow recipes, but for some reason had given up on it. Thanks Siriuskey for bringing it back into our radar!

    Could also serve as extra bench space and breakfast bar.

    If we get a stand alone table this could serve as moveable island if needed. I think i'm inclining towards this #3 option. Seems very versatile :).



  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Like the idea of the bench desk, rubbish bin under sink with easy access to outside area where large bins can be stored.

    I'am still hoping that you are running the cupboards along the wall and not having a corner cabinet for the sink, just thinking that in the future when you come into some money it will be easy to change the door/window for a bigger door.

    Adding a couple of pictures of tables on lockable wheels with nice comfortable stools which can also be used at the bench (not like the white ones in the picture, legs splay too much)

    Wells Street Kitchen · More Info


    Wells Street Kitchen · More Info

    Southeast Portland Kitchen Remodel · More Info

    Southeast Portland Kitchen Remodel · More Info

    Good luck

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago



    You can make a kitchen/dining table bench height which is best to work
    off just add some comfortable stools along one side and each end with a
    couple extra at computer desk.

  • Mel N
    4 years ago

    Hi Sofia,

    Gosh your builder is moving!, looks like a painstaking reno with double brick. I can't help but start spending your $$ when I look at that back door/window. I'm guessing this is a 60's-70's townhouse. The position of that door/window is a bugger....you know that though, so I'm not helping!.

    To answer your questions in order with just my thoughts.

    1. You want your bin as close to your sink/DW as possible. Opposite bench would just be annoying, a hazard to walk into walking through the door.

    2. I would opt for no half-depth bench/storage. It will cost you +++ due to custom made cabinetry. I doubt the outlay will then give you the benefit of awesome storage/bench space. Maybe some open shelves?

    3. I'm not sure about this either. You sitting there might obstruct the walk way behind.

    Like siriuskey suggested, I'd be inclined to leave it a blank space for now to wait for your strata to change the door/window combo to a slider. You could then make it a wider, roomier opening. I'm trying to remember but I think you said it would be a 1500 slider, that's still only a 750 opening. It can be a bit of a visual trick using big openings, as is high ceilings...to make a room appear bigger than it is.

  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Hi Sofia & Mel, hopefully the door window space can be left as a blank space for now, with that in mind I would proceed with the desk as when you finally get a sliding door the fixed panel can be on the desk side of the room, if doing stacker doors stack them to the exterior of the room, in the meantime build the desk with space under for stools, lovely spot to sit with laptop. Big job

  • Sofia C
    4 years ago
    Hi Mel and Sirius,
    Thanks for your suggestions, we've decided to leave that space blank for now and see how we go once we start using the space, with the idea of putting a desk/ breakfast table later on.
    So many decisions to be made in renovations, thanks so much for your guidance in this process. :)
  • Mel N
    4 years ago

    Yes, I hear you! It's called 'decision-fatigue'......I'm getting to the end of a big reno myself and dealing with my own decision-fatigue. Helping others make their decisions is sooo much more interesting than my own!! If anyone can tell me why that is, I'm listening! I suspect procrastination.

  • KK1000
    4 years ago
    @MelN. I know what you are saying. its easier to advise someone becouse we don't have to live with the consequences of wrong decision, we just give opinion. when it comes to making decisions in my place I take ages. Last 3 years I have been getting quotes for new window dressing and still I am not closer to a decision. I feel for all the people out there renovating, its costly in more than one way and in the end hopefully they are happy with the results.
  • siriuskey
    4 years ago

    Sofia, I'am sure that you will love the end result of every moment you have spent on this sometimes over whelming project and you like most will always find things that you would change, hindsight is wonderful. try to relax and enjoy your soon to be wonderful new kitchen. Before & after shots will show this. And guess what this won't be the last home you renovate.

    Harry Marcus thanked siriuskey
  • Harry Marcus
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    hi guys.... just a quick snapshot of the final product, we'll take some better snaps and share soon :)
  • Mel N
    3 years ago

    Wow you guys must be thrilled! What a fabulous result, congratulations!

    Harry Marcus thanked Mel N
  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    Looks brilliant, what a change, you must be really chuffed, great job.

    Harry Marcus thanked siriuskey
  • JE C
    3 years ago
    Great outcome!
  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    How lovely and bright, filled with sunshine, well done.

  • Mel N
    3 years ago

    Wow!! What a transformation! Congratulations.

  • debanger3
    2 years ago
    W
  • Kevin Anders
    7 months ago

    Wowwww what a transformation! Congrats

  • Harry Marcus
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi All,

    As we're now on the market professional photos have been taken which I suspect some of you may be interested in seeing (particularly siriuskey!).

  • siriuskey
    last month

    It all looks excellent and with Water views!!, such a big job and now while selling you are trying to decide what to do with your new home, I think a bit of Sit on your hands time would be a good idea before rushing into anything major

  • siriuskey
    last month

    Meant to add that I love your floor and want to ask what you used

  • Harry Marcus
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi Siriuskey,

    They are timber looking tiles - we absolutely love them. We are considering the same for the new place but potentially herringbone/parquetry arrangement.

    Much more expensive vs. laminate but easier to clean and no concern in relation to water...