Should I put in a corner sink?

tulips33January 9, 2014

We are getting ready to start our build tomorrow!! If it doesn't rain. I'm really starting to get worried about our kitchen layout. I originally put the sink on the back wall of the house b/c I want the window there to be able to see the kids playing outside in the backyard.
Well, now we've decided to angle the house so the play area for kids will be at the back left corner of the house so I wouldn't be able to see kids playing from my sink window.
So now I'm trying to figure out how important is it to have a window overlooking the kids play area and if it's really important would I really mind having a corner sink so that I can have a window facing the side and a window facing the back of the house to see the kids.
What do you think? What is everyone's opinion of a corner sink? Love it or hate it? Is it functional? Considering I will have another sink for prep.
Any other suggestions on layout would be welcome. I want an extremely functional kitchen that multiple people can work in.

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    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 2:11PM
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How long do you plan to live in the house? Your kids are not going to need supervision forever, so function in the kitchen should trump window placement. A corner sink does not lend itself to multiple cooks.

Is that a wall oven on the top wall? I wonder if you would be better off recessing the fridge into the pantry space, and putting the wall oven on the cooktop wall.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 2:52PM
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Could you leave the sink where it is, and just put in windows in the corner as in your photo? You would lose that corner cabinet, yes, but would also bring in more light. And, when you're chopping and cooking AND using the sink, you'll be able to see the yard. (And really, how much are you smack dab in front of your sink?)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 3:18PM
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I wouldn't put in a corner sink unless I absolutely had to....and even then I'd move. I feel claustrophobic standing at them and if I'm filling something with water and bringing it somewhere else, it's more awkward. If I'm prepping at the sink, there's more turning to grab something to rinse next or turning to get to your cutting board after rinsing. I really really really hate them. Really.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 5:41PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Corner sinks are for a small apartment with one person doing the work in them. You've got more than enough room to not have to have one and to have extra people helping you.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 5:49PM
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I'm typically more in favor of corner sinks than most. I wouldn't put one in that kitchen. Pick a wall, put in a bigger window and a camera to the yard if you feel you really need to track the kids. Run it to a tablet. Remember time prepping is 9 to 1 versus cleanup.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 7:10PM
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If you're set on sink-under-window (me, I'd go for prep-under-window), why not swap range & sink, putting the window where the range is? Or am I misunderstanding the kid-play-area location?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:52PM
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So I guess the consensus is avoid corner sinks. I thought about switching the sink and stove but then didn't know what to do with the prep sink b/c it'd be really close to the main sink. Getting rid of the prep sink isn't an option. Maybe just put in the island across from the stove?? But then on the side where our main sink is currently there is only 3.5 ft between the island and counter top so I don't know if it's a good idea to put a prep sink on that side.
The side where the stove is currently, there is over 4 ft between the island and countertop.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 8:35AM
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If you swap the range with the sink, would you still need 48" on the short side of the island? You may loose a cab and all 3 have to sit in a row, but you can gain 9-10" for the aisles if you just have a row of cabs and 15 counter overhang.

The fridge/freezer, can these be used as separate units? Will you be able to open the doors, drawers fully next to the wall? Maybe consider moving the freezer to the pantry and have a narrow pullout b/w the wall and the fridge.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 9:27AM
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I have a corner sink and so far we LOVE it :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Can you just add the corner windows, and leave everything as is?
We've had a corner sink for 28 years and love it, our kitchen is small 10'x10'-6" with really no other place for the sink. I enjoy being able to look into the rear yard, and side yard at the same time, east and south, which provides great exposure all day.

This post was edited by ctycdm on Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 11:12

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:32AM
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@ctycdm and bpathome Are you suggesting a window above the sink and then wrapped around the corner? If so I had thought about that but I was thinking it'd greatly cut down on my upper cabinets and I didn't know if that was going to be a problem for storage.
@sena01 I'm going to ask my cabinet guy about being able to open the fridge next to the wall, thanks.
Man, I'm horrible at making decisions!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:51AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Yes, check your fridge model, but many need some space to be able to open the door and pull out the internal drawers.

I would definetely swap the sink and range wall. That would give you a nice prep zone in front of a window for the brief time while they are young and outside, and an even better one on the island for when the family is gathered around.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 12:24PM
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I have a corner sink in my current kitchen and love it. The windows are as the photo you posted. The one thing I did was have a custom cabinet made (by my DH) out of a standard 36" wide sink base so the sink front is actually 36" wide. The area behind sink is deep for herb garden in pots.
This gave me a 36" prep area between sink and stove. And an 8 foot uninterrupted length of counter to the right of the sink.
A friend who is a caterer had this same set up and talked me into it. It works great and many people have commented that they love it too.
It's not a designer kitchen but it is weirdly functional for multiple cooks in the kitchen and for this house it works well. Especially the 8 foot counter run.
The key is the 36" sink base. The skinny sink base with no room for two to have sink access is the usual problem with corner sinks.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Yeah, do you think that is the reason people are so opposed to corner sinks b/c they've only experienced the ones with a small sink base? B/c I was thinking about putting in a huge one that had plenty of width. I thought it would be nice to have a long counter between the fridge and sink b/c that seems to be the place we use the most (like taking sandwich stuff out of the fridge and putting it on the counter to fix) and it's always been the smallest countertop for us.
If not I think I'll do something like hollysprings suggests.
Here are 2 different layouts, which do you think would be easier to work in? I've put in appx counter top lengths.

Layout 1
no corner sink (if that is a pro, I don't know b/c I've never used one)
sink in the area with greatest width between island and sink (4.5ft), so opening dishwasher won't be in the way

~a lot of counter space on wall with stove, so would probably want to move stove down but that would space everything out more and might be less functional
~Moved prep sink to be closer to stove, however I kind of liked it on the corner near a chair so I could sit down and wash and prep vegetables.
~Not a lot of counter space between fridge and sink and this is a heavily used area for us (don't know if there is room to move sink down a bit)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 1:49PM
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Layout 2
Lots of space between fridge and sink for prepping and sandwich making
dishwasher can be on left side of sink and have plenty of room
windows out back and side of house
easy to clean behind main sink ;)

Corner sink (?)
less space on either side of the stove (is this a negative?)
prep sink not near a bar stool ;)


    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 1:54PM
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I vote for #2, but as I said, I'm partial to corner sinks and windows. I also like the additional space next to the fridge. Plus, I think the "corner oriented" view from the family and breakfast rooms, in addition to sitting at the island, will be a pleasing one.
I must add, I am NOT a designer by any means, just a guy who loves to cook and spend a lot of time in his small kitchen, so take my two cents for what it's worth :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 2:16PM
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Late to the thread, but I have a corner sink, partially dictated by the shape of the kitchen and partially by a desire to retain some original architecture from the home's era. I don't have perceive of the negatives that are associated with a corner, primarily due to having a large prep sink. My base cabinet is 42 3/4" on a side, with a large single bowl farmhouse sink. Beware, your DW placement can get tricky, however.

Whether or not you go for a corner sink, corner windows will really capture the best view for yourself and anyone on the island.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Do you have a dining room? If so, where is it, in relation to the kitchen?

I like the idea of corner windows, without the corner sink. Upper corner cabinets are not the most useful, and with the pantry, it looks like you'll have plenty of storage space.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 2:30PM
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So you guys who suggesting the corner windows without the you mean no window above the sink?? (if so does anyone have any pictures of this?) or windows all the way from the sink wrapped around the corner?
Also if I didn't care about windows and just functionality, where would be the best place for the sink and stove. Is it better to have the sink by the fridge or the stove? I'm guessing the sink, right?
If you walk down that little hallway between the pantry and mudroom you'll get to the dining room, but we wanted to have enough space in the kitchen to have a dining room sized table, that's why there is so much space in front of the stairs, between the family room and kitchen. In our last house, when we had people over we never had enough space to fit everyone around the dining room table so we always stayed in the kitchen which had a bar and breakfast nook table.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 3:47PM
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Debbi Branka

I had a corner sink in my previous house that looked into the living room, very small kitchen - loved the sink. I have a corner sink in my current (forever) house with windows. Absolutely love it! As a matter of fact, when we looked at this house, the corner sink was one of the things that said "this house is for YOU."

This is not the best picture, but the only one I could find on this computer.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:26PM
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Thanks for posting the pic, that helps. This is one of the layouts I was considering for the sink and stove. Our fridge would be where your trashcan is. I would think it would be nice to have a sink that close to the stove....their close but it still looks like you have plenty of room between them to work. Plus it doesn't look like your dishwasher gets in the way.
How far is it between your sink and stove, 3 feet?
Do you ever have problems with more than one person accessing the sink or is that never something that comes up?
If you were to add a prep sink, where exactly would you put it?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 3:15PM
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Okay, I think we have decided. We thought through how we'd use the kitchen and even ignoring window placement, I think we've come to the conclusion that the corner sink is the only way to fit everything.
Our choice was between having more counter space near the fridge or near the stove.
We decided that near the fridge would be most useful on a daily bases b/c we've always heavily used that space and it's never been big enough. (pouring cereal, making kids lunches, pulling out leftover and putting on a plate, etc).
Having more space near the stove would be nice for when we are doing major productions like canning, cooking for large crowds, making cookies for school, etc. But since those activities aren't as often we thought that's where the island would come in handy.
Plus we probably are going to need to move the fridge down to be able to open the door all the way and that would make that counter even smaller.
What do you think of this layout?
(oh, what do you think of my idea to put some cabinet doors on the wall next to the pantry so I can easily access all of my small appliances from the pantry?? :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:01PM
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Where will you put your dishes? With the microwave and window on the fridge wall, you don't have a lot of space left for plates, bowls, and glasses.

I can see the appeal to doors into the pantry, but I'm not sure you gain a whole lot. And are you showing a pocket door between kitchen and pantry/mudroom hallway, or is that just a dimension line? Obviously a pocket door would prohibit cabinet doors.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 12:54AM
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Let me toss a few ideas into the soup for you. Are you able to separate the fridge from the freezer? If so, it might be nice to put the fridge on the top run, close to the table. I don't know about you, but we're always hopping up and down during meals to get more milk, a bottle of ketchup, salad dressing and so on during meals.

A possible location for the freezer could be at the top end of your pantry, opening into the kitchen area. We don't get into our freezer quite as much as the fridge, so it might not be as necessary to have it in the main kitchen work zones.

This frees up more room for dish storage in the kitchen, and maybe you could even get the small appliances out of the pantry and into the kitchen cabinets. (Lower corner Susan, perhaps?)

Making these changes would give you more options for your windows to the yard, too. Corner windows? Sure. A window on either side of the stove with a special hood for a focal point of the kitchen? Yup, that would work, too.

You won't have to worry about room for the fridge swing if you can put it on the top run. Then the oven can go where you had the fridge and freezer unit. You'll gain countertop on the left run, too, since the oven is narrower than the fridge and freezer put together. I'm not sure where I'd choose to put the MW. A mw drawer in the island (well, that's easy for me to suggest since it's not my $$ ; )), or in the oven stack? Maybe just a MW on a shelf below the island counter? Depends on how your family uses it, really. Where would it be most convenient for you all?

If you do something like what I drew, I'd recommend a wider aisle between the sink and the island. I don't think you'll miss the few inches on the island top, but I think you would miss them dearly in the walkway, especially when the DW door is open.

Hope your build goes well! : )

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:53AM
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Yeah, I pointed out that there isn't a lot of places for dishes to my husband but he didn't want to have the microwave in the island and have to bend over to use it. I hate the thought of spending $800 on one of those microwave drawers, we don't have the best luck with appliances and I hate to spend so much to have them break, but I think we are going to have to put the microwave in the island. Do you think it would be a problem putting it beside the trash pullout? If we put it there do you think it would solve our dishes problem?
@laughable I've thought of putting the fridge and freezer where you suggest but haven't been able to bring myself to do it b/c when you walk into the house and down the hall the fridge would be the first thing you see. You'd probably be able to see it a few feet from the front door.
It's be nice if we could do a panel fridge but don't those cost a lot more?

That's NOT a sliding door into the hallway to the mudroom :)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:23PM
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tulips33 - I like your corner sink in your last plan on Jan 11th. I have always been a fan of corner sinks as long as they have a nice wide front like you are doing. It reminds me of the efficiency and proximity of a small galley kitchen, but you are not limited to the small galley which does not work for multiple people. With that plan, it looks like you have the most counter space too.

It seems to work well to have an additional sink for another to use whether your sink is in a corner or not. For your prep sink in your island, the current location work work well if you are intending on lengthening it to the red lines of the island extension. If you had it on the very edge, it would be less efficient. Also with your notes in red about adding space to a 4.5 foot aisle clearance, you would have plenty of space.

I also REALLY like your idea of having a cabinet door access to the side of your pantry through the wall, for your small appliance access. That would be very practical. You could keep things in there to use or take out and use elsewhere. You could have your countertop on that surface so it will be easy to use and easy to clean if you like instead of just an inside wooden cabinet. You could have cabinet doors that either have 180 degree hinges to lay flat against the wall, a pair of doors that pull out and push in to hide away or an appliance door that raises up and slides back in.

You know, you could even put your microwave above that thru the pantry wall too! You could have the same set up with the counter underneath for a landing space and still have room for your other appliances. You could even include some drawers for snacks or even an under counter fridge (regular type or drawer(s) type) if you might need that for ingredients for snacks, sandwiches, juice or coffee?? Although your fridge is right there and seems to be a good location for access. Clearance might be tight there but something for you to consider.

I think you are well on your way to a great kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 4:18AM
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One other thing you might consider is adding a sink in the mudroom to wash hands when everybody first comes in. You may have counters or lockers there instead but think about where you want people to do that. Really important during this flu season and good habits in general. Or will one of the kitchen sinks be ok for that? Just a thought.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 4:27AM
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I only ever used a corner sink once, in a rental property for a long weekend vacation. I did not like it, tbh. Especially the expanse of counter directly behind it that I could not reach easily. But, I have limited experience and I don't really see getting passionate about arguing with someone that has on and likes it.

I AM a parent. A stay at home parent to my children for almost 13 yrs. now. And I can honestly say, I don't ever recall lingering over my kitchen sink with the intent of watching them outside. So this argument in having it dictate kitchen design always baffles me. Granted, we went through a period where we moved frequently during their younger years, so I never exactly got used to only one way of doing things. But at the same time, it gave me multiple layouts to see what I preferred. By far, the best situation for watching kids play outside on the occasions I didn't want to be there myself, was when I had a nice place to sit in front of a large window or french door that looked over the area they played. That's my $.02.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 7:33AM
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Hey, thanks for those points to think about. I hadn't thought about the microwave in that pantry wall, I'll have to give that some thought.
I also hadn't thought about having a good place to sit and see the kids playing. We were going to have that in the living room but since we angled the house, I'm not sure we will now. In our last house, the kids seemed to always want to go outside when I needed to be in the kitchen so I was constantly checking them out of the window.
and thanks @indallas for all those suggestions for the pantry doors, I hadn't even thought about all those things to make it even more function.
I just realized last night that our first house had a corner sink and I didn't even realize it, so it must have not bothered me!! It was a wide sink base with 2 cabinet doors so that is probably why it didn't seem restrictive.
Man I thought we had a big kitchen but it's feeling pretty small right now trying to get all the things in there!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 8:45AM
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