Need your vote!!

bottlecrusherJanuary 5, 2014

After receiving some of your suggestions to change our U-shape kitchen into a L shape by eliminating one wall of cabinets, we came up with another design layout. Layout 1 is the very open U-shape and layout 2 eliminates a wall and adds a small island. I see advantages and disadvantages to both and I need some help to decide. Which would you pick?? Please vote...and tell me WHY if you have time!! Thank you!

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teachertile

I would go with the island. BECAUSE I have the U shaped kitchen. It's nearly the same besides I have a door going to a mud room between the frig an the corner. I do have cabinets right next to my frig though too. Anyway, for me the counter on the left side of my range is sort of wasted space. Don't get me wrong, I love all 54 sq ft of my counters, but I don't do much prep there. Pretty much only when baking and I get my mixer out. I do all my meal prep on the right side of my range. If I redesigned it I would go with an island and less perimeter counter.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 11:14PM
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mdln

Island!

Read a remodel survey and kitchen island was in the top 5 most desired kitchen features.

Nice to have a central location to work at.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 1:35AM
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jdez

I vote for the one with the island.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 2:09AM
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fishymom

I would go for the island! In every home we visit, the island is where people hang out and it is great for food prep, especially if you have helpers. I wish I could add an island to our kitchen remodel!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:41AM
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Cindy103d

While I like islands in general, in your case my vote is for the U-shape. Your island is in the middle of the walk-way between the fridge and sink. Unless you have strictly a 1-cook kitchen, you're going to either be in the way of someone at the stove or will be walking around the island to get to the sink. You only have 36" of walk-way on one side of the island - how much space between the point and the edge of the closet pantry? And, if people are standing around the island, you're really going to feel like they're in the way. Basically, I don't think you have the right space for an island.

I like your layout in the U-shape; however, if possible, I'd move the sink further down towards the sliding door so you have a really nice long run of countertop for prep.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:58AM
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ControlfreakECS

Personally, I don't think you get an island big enough to make it worthwhile. Plus, I'd want more space to the left of my range then the island plan gives you. So, I'd stick with the U.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:01AM
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sena01

I'd prefer the U. It's an open and good sized U, not too tight or too wide. The island would make the space needlessly more cramped imo.

Just noticed your upper corner cabs. I don't have any, but most prefer easy reach ones instead of the diagonal cabs.

This post was edited by sena01 on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 7:44

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:37AM
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Kitten1313

I like the island. Seems like there is enough room for a go-around.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:42AM
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lenzai

I vote for the U since that gives you two good stretches of prep space. In my family husband and I often cook together and use the range together so we'd prefer that. The U also puts the MW next to the fridge which is ideal for reheating leftovers, defrosting. Again this is from personal cooking experience not from a design standpoint. I think you can be happy with the island if you like islands, cook more with just one person in the kitchen and really want a sink closer to the range.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:55AM
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lyfia

The island one as the prep sink on it makes your work triangle so much smaller. Less steps to do everything and you are out of the walking area where other people will need to get to things such as dishes and the fridge. They don't enroach on the cooking space. It also has enough space so another cook can be in the kitchen.

I have a similar U, but with stove and sink swapped. I think mine is narrower though and I hate facing cabinets prepping and have my back against everybody and also there are lots of steps to get to things and always seems somebody is in the way. I have less counter space than you do in the plan though.

This post was edited by lyfia on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 14:54

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:17PM
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LottaWisdom

I see pros and cons for both. I'm an avid baker and my island is the best part of my kitchen. I can have everything I'm working with out on the island and the other countertops remain uncluttered or messy from overspilled flour and sugar. The house prior to current did not have an island and I had every inch of counters pace filled with ingredients, mixing equipment, and pans. I find that I tend to work on the end of the island closest to the sink because I am forever washing my hands or using a wet dish cloth to wipe down countertops. If hubby is in the kitchen for whatever the reason may be, I'm usually standing right in the area he's trying to access (sink, under counter trash can, dishwasher, etc.). So in cases like these, I think the open w/no island is more functional. I LOVE the look of my island within the kitchen especially when the kitchen is not in use and how it adds to the feel of our open concept design on the lower level.

If you choose to go with no island, you can always purchase an island on wheels and get the same function as a built-in. Maybe not as big and not with a prep sink.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 1:37PM
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LottaWisdom

I see pros and cons for both. I'm an avid baker and my island is the best part of my kitchen. I can have everything I'm working with out on the island and the other countertops remain uncluttered or messy from overspilled flour and sugar. The house prior to current did not have an island and I had every inch of counters pace filled with ingredients, mixing equipment, and pans. I find that I tend to work on the end of the island closest to the sink because I am forever washing my hands or using a wet dish cloth to wipe down countertops. If hubby is in the kitchen for whatever the reason may be, I'm usually standing right in the area he's trying to access (sink, under counter trash can, dishwasher, etc.). So in cases like these, I think the open w/no island is more functional. I LOVE the look of my island within the kitchen especially when the kitchen is not in use and how it adds to the feel of our open concept design on the lower level.

If you choose to go with no island, you can always purchase an island on wheels and get the same function as a built-in. Maybe not as big and not with a prep sink.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 1:39PM
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a2gemini

I vote for an island on wheels - I did that and it is great - I can move it wherever I need it. Mine is a Boos.
I really wanted an island but just not enough space to pull it off.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 4:26PM
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elphaba_gw

I am 67 and I am thrilled that we will have an island in the new kitchen. I've tightened up aisles a little just to eliminate walking. The ushape layout you have posted makes me cringe looking at it with all the wallking.

Though Function over Form is often stressed here and rightly so, I don't think one can ignore that an Island seems to make the room less like a laboratory and more like another living room, especially nice if you have an open floor plan. Others may think the island is more like a laboratory but not me. Especially since our island will be a different/darker color cabinet than other cabinets in the room - another tidbit that I like because it makes room more like a living room.
So if you want to consider some aging issues that might turn up in the not so far future and also the esthetics of the island, that is what I would choose. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:22PM
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bottlecrusher

Thank you for all the input. This is very helpful, although I'm not sure it's making the decision any easier!!

Cindy103d, I thought 36" was a big enough isle on that side since it is separating the island from wall and not more cabinets. I don't want to be cramped, though. Does anyone know if 36" will be adequate? I could make it a 30" drawer instead of 36" and then make the isle 42" instead.

Also, we are definitely a multi- cook or multi-helper kitchen in this family of 7. I thought the island would help this aspect, but it seems some disagree. I like the look of the island, but my primary goal is function. The island isn't big enough for much seating but I thought it would keep a barrier between the work area and "social area". Does this information effect anyone's vote?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:39AM
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may_flowers

I'm not a KD, but sounds like you're only looking for opinions, so here's some things to consider.

The island lay-out:

Is your fridge only 24" deep? My CD is 34" to the handles.

Have you accounted for counter overhang, which will affect your aisle widths?

How wide is the prep sink? People who have them say they need to be as big as possible to be useful.

The island gives you one deep prep area, which the other plan lacks, but is it big enough to spread out your ingredients and prep tools, especially if you get a bigger sink? You have 36" of counter space with the small sink.

You should add a trash cabinet in the island, which cuts into your one big drawer. I don't think any of the perimeter drawers are wide enough to be useful.

The U lay-out:

Why isn't your range centered? In a U, the bottom of the U is the focal point, so symmetry is important.

The diagonal uppers in your primary prep space between sink and stove could feel a little "in your face". I'd do the easy reach cabinets.

Is the U too wide? You have 105" inside the U, once you subtract counter overhang. My U is 87" wide, only 18" shorter than yours. My stove wall is a one-person zone. Here's a photo of my kitchen with a 30" stove. I think you can see that 18 more inches would not make my kitchen too wide. Pic is somewhat elongated. The legs of the U are 92" long.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 11:05AM
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bottlecrusher

Thank you for the input may_flowers. You asked excellent questions and the picture of your kitchen (beautiful by the way) is very helpful in visualizing our kitchen.

The reason I did not center the range on the U-shape kitchen is because I needed a large drawer to store pots and pans. I prefer the symmetrical look, but just didn't have any other options for pots and pans. The island gave me a large drawer so I was able to center the range on that layout. I will have to do some research on prep-sink size and re-look that. Also, I hadn't considered easy-reach cabinets in the corner. I am assuming that is what you have in the corner...could you provide a picture?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:35PM
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may_flowers

Jakuval discussed the two options for corners in a recent thread, which I'll link. There's the easy reach, which hinges the door in the corner, and a blind corner. I have a blind corner. I chose that approach because it allowed me full cabinets on both sides of the corner and helped make the width of all my uppers within a few inches of each other.

I sketched out your U on graph paper, and I think you should try centering the range. If you used a different corner than the Super Susans, you'd have drawers ~32" wide (corner cabs need a 3" filler for hardware clearance). Check out the LeMans and Hafele Magic Corners that pull out from a side door. You should have room next to your trash for an access door, and the other corner is just a drawer base, so no conflicts there. With the range centered, your 45" uppers divide nicely into three doors of ~ 15" on both sides of the range.

With a blind corner upper, you'd get a 34" cab to the left of the sink vs. the 27" you now show (I accounted for a 2"corner filler). That 34" splits into two 17" doors. To the right of the sink, you could have 51" of cabinet instead of the pantry. (I assume you're keeping the closet pantry.) That cabinet divides into 3 17" upper cabinet doors. I brought the cabs in a few inches from the window.

I didn't figure the drawer sizes for keeping the Susans while centering the range. However, if you use a drawer base to the right of the DW, you'd have a 33", perfect for pots and pans. Pots and pans don't need to start out near the range. How often do you take a pot out and put it directly on the stove? Normally you fill it with water, so it's next to the sink now. What do you do after you cook? You put the pot in the sink or in the DW. So it goes back into the drawer on the sink wall now.

I also like the idea that your view from the front door will be of a nice drawer bank, counter, and upper cabinets instead of a pantry. You could put all glass in the uppers on the window wall, and also in the cab to the left of the sink if you use a blind corner.

Hope this all makes sense. I'm not a night person and I'm coming down with a cold! Draw it on your graph paper and see how it looks.

Here is a link that might be useful: blind corner discussion

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:23PM
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berryjam

I vote for the island because of the extra sink. However, I'd want a bit more space btwn the fridge and range. You have a lot of counter btwn the range and cleanup sink that you can spare some to the left of the range. I'd also go for a larger prep sink and maybe it's a bit awkward, but perhaps all the cutting and prepping can be done on the side by the clean up sink. (May work out that way anyways with all those extra helpers) Also if you enlarge your prep sink cabinet, instead of having your 36" drawers facing the range, make a long cabinet (I think you have about 48" to play with) facing your cleanup sink.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:25PM
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may_flowers

Just remembered reading earlier today in a post that 48" is the recommended aisle width for more than one person.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:51PM
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