How do I make sure of leg room under a curved island?

laughablemomentsJanuary 30, 2013

Because of space constraints, I don't think we can do a rectangular island. But, I really, really want to have some seating on the back side, so I'd like to put a curve on it to make it work, roughly as shown below. How do we make sure each person gets enough leg room? I know standard would be 15", but that's on the "straight". What about slices of pie? How many pie slices will fit comfortably (i.e. How may bar stools will fit?)

Thanks for any help you can offer!

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I think you're going to be hard pressed to get enough space for those two outside seats to be comfortable. The curve is pretty sharp. You need to soften the curve in order to make more space for the two on the outside. Why don't you make the space between the island and the perimeter cabinets 42" instead of 48". 42" is pretty standard and I think most people are happy with that distance.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:30AM
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Yes, go with 42".

I have a curved island and the outer seats have 12". It's fine since they are seated with an angle toward the curve.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:15AM
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Looking over your plan again. Three sinks? Large family? If so, I'd go with a 36 inch stove and center it between those windows, then lose the 24" upper.

Why did you move the MW under the counter?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:21AM
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Well, I just saw your other thread answering these questions, so nevermind. :-)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:25AM
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You could go with 42" for the aisle width. What is the measurement between what looks like posts between the island and the old green cupboard. Is that 36"? If you change to 42" between the perimeter and the island I would widen this, or maybe you can't.

Regardless, if you go with 42" that should give you more leg room.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:31AM
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It looks like island is 7' wide. Ours is 6' wide and while I can fit 3 barstools along our curved front (which is about 7" taller at the front), typically I only keep 2 there. I think you could fit 3 possibly 4. It will depend very much on the size of your bar stool. We have 18"-21" of leg room, barstools are 14" wide.

I think lexmomof3's idea is excellent. I just measured and I have 40" between cooktop and island countertop edge and this is quite comfortable for multiple cooks/people in the area.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:35AM
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We added a small 8" overhang on the end of our peninsula. That gives us the option to pull one of the bar stools around to the end. It is not ideal, but it is "do-able" at this depth. The long side has 15" overhang. If ours had a curved counter on the 8" end and the person was sitting at an angle to the back of the cabinet, it would make it more do-able. My mom has the same kind of thing on the end of her peninsula but with a little less overhang - she has about 5-6" and says she wishes it was a bit deeper because it is really not very comfortable when someone has to sit there. Children require less knee space. But, they do grow up eventually !!

It looks like your overhang is 18" at the deepest point ? If you straighten out the two sides a little bit before it started into a more gentle curve, it would give you more knee room under the overhang. Like the middle one that you drew but erased. I see you have 3 stools drawn there. You need 24" wide space for each person to have elbow room. Probably a little less width is needed along a curve because the elbows have more space along a curve. You may possible find you will be able to fit 4 stools there when you are done.

I am concerned about the table you have drawn in. It looks like the spacing is very tight for the table and the bar seating. Are you planing a table 7.5 ft long ? If you could make that 7' instead, it would give you a little more space between the bar and the table. As you have it drawn, it does not look like anyone would be able to pass between the bar seating and the table seating when you had diners there. You need 36" from a table edge to "slide past" behind a seated diner then add to that the space you need for the person sitting at the bar.

If the third sink was not necessary, or if you could swap the sinks so the smaller sink was at the island, you could have your island cabinets be less deep than 24". Even making them 22" deep would give some much needed inches to the kitchen.

Agree with comments suggesting the space between the range and the island be changed to 42". That is counter edge to counter edge.

Also, you could slide your island toward the fridges a little bit. The main passageway in the kitchen will be on the other end of the island but that is where you have the narrowest passages in your kitchen. Plus the person sitting down there will sit out further from the counter than normal because he does not have much knee space. Is that a post shown there ? At the least, you could move the island so it is next to the post and not "straddling" the post. My 30" wide fridges are 39" away from the peninsula end. What are the dimensions of your fridges ? If they are 33" wide you could move the island down about 4-6".

Make sure you have room on the sides of the fridges to open them fully. You normally need space to the front-side of each of them. As drawn, the fridge door will be banging into the microwave. Also, the cubby hole for them should be slightly larger than the dimensions of the fridge. Check the mfgs specifications for how much room you need for ventilation.

The microwave most likely will not take up the full width of the 30" space you have allotted for it. Plan for what you could store on one end of the microwave so it doesn't look like it is lost in a big hole.

Lastly, you have a 39" cabinet between the range and the 21" sink. If those are drawers, the max width my cabinet manufacturer would do is 36" wide for drawers.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Thank you all for chiming in! I appreciate your helpfulness sooo much. : )

Oldbat2be, your kitchen amazes me. Each time I see it, it takes me a minute to realize I'm not looking at a magazine spread. It was very helpful to see your island size and stool spacing.

I like the idea of sliding the island to the right, so that the post is next to it rather than integrated. I think we can extend the edge a bit toward the fridges, too.

Upon your suggestions, I tried pulling our current island toward the stove this morning so that we could feel a 42" aisle. It was a no go. Our household needs a bit of extra room with all these bodies floating around. : ) I think we'll stick with the NKBA recommendation of 48". It was nice to be able to give it a try ahead of the real deal.

By sliding the island to the right, that gives us enough room for a 12" overhang on the far edges, and a more graceful arc across the middle. YIPPEEEE!

Thanks for the other comments, too Angela. I'm working through those with my design.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 3:49PM
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Assuming that top is one piece, don't forget that you will need something underneath to hold up that slab. And you will also need extra fastening for the cabinets to the floor. (Gravity won't do it.)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:32PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

If it helps, my island is 96" wide and the overhang at the end is 7" and in the middle is 17" and we are able to comfortably sit 4 around the curve.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:12PM
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Thanks laughable, what a nice thing to hear. How many people would you like to fit at the island? Being able to seat 5 was a major priority; my two plus the three neighbor kids who are always over. Identifying that, may help you figure out the layout. Definitely following with interest!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:05PM
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Weedmeister, I've got an old thread bookmarked on how to support the top with sturdy strips of metal, and the island will definitely be secured to the floor. Thanks for the reminders. : )

Anniedeighnough, thanks for posting your island (I actually have your kitchen filed away for reference.) Do you really have enough leg room for everyone? That would be beneficial for us to be able to go shallower so that there's more table space. And I've got to ask, does your screen name rhyme with Any Day Now? Is that a play on words?

How many people would I *like to fit at the island? Well...7 would be really cool, but not realistic. 3 would be ok, 4 would be great. 5 would be over the top. : ) The bigger issue really is to make sure there is enough seating space at the table, since this is our favorite room in which to eat. So, island seating must be balanced with table seating.

Awww, thanks for watching the progression, Oldbat2be.

My main island seating goals are twofold
1. To give a nice interactive perch for my littler ones that are a safety hazard on the working side.
2. To give a good spot for my older children to hang out and share their hearts so that we can stay connected.

Thanks for all of your help, each one of you!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:15PM
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laughable, you'll fit 3 comfortably and 4 very very tightly as everyone's said. The chokepoint is the seat by the sink run. I agree with everyone else that 42" range/island aisle would give you some much needed room at the chokepoint.

I did read what you said about trying it above, but just wanted to add one thought which is if you just tried it briefly it would naturally feel tight because it's not what you're used to. If your current island is moveable I really think it would be a worthwhile experiment to try it at 42" for a full week and reevaluate at the end of that time.

I say that from experience, but the other way around. Pre-reno my aisle width was 36" which was perfect for me. I was totally used to working in it, but when we reno'd we put a range opposite a dishwasher drawer and I wanted to be able to open both fully so in the reno we budged our island back 6". Well when I first started working there post-reno it felt like bizarro world, a canyon-distance away, and I was rather regretting the change. Of course after a while it became quite natural and now I laugh to think that I was ever even remotely ruing the change. All that to say it might (?) be the same for you but in reverse. Just a thought ... feel free to ignore if you like. :-)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:43PM
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Thanks for chiming in, Taggie. Isn't it funny that 6" could feel so cavernous or tight depending on what we had previously?! : )

I'm giving the 42" a second, extended try per your suggestion. I *do like how easy it is to reach for the island drawers and transfer from counter to counter with the 42" space between them.

Is your oven 42" from the island, too? DH is concerned we could have a hard time getting things in and out of the oven, and that it will make it difficult to see in the oven to check baking progress. (Our oven is almost on the floor b/c of it being a double oven under cooktop model.)

Time will tell how it is for working in with all 9 of us in and out of the space. We'll see how it goes. : )

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:24AM
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It looks like you have also played with extending the footprint of the island 6" or so and reducing the curve. That could help a lot. Yikes, 9 in the kitchen regularly. That's quite the crowd to feed!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:54AM
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It doesn't have to be 42" or 48", it can be anything in between. Every inch counts.

I just measured how much space I need to stand in to oven our oven (free standing range, not a double). I can see why you DH would be concerned. You need to get the measurement of the big door when its open to determine how much space you will need in front of the range.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:20AM
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Yes, it can be a lot of people milling around the kitchen, and then there are guests to factor in, too. : ) It wouldn't be unusual for us to have 15-30+ people over for meals sometimes.

True enough, DH suggested we split the difference, and do 45" on the stove side, and give the other three inches to the table side. Hmmmmmmm

My oven door sticks out 20 3/4" and is pretty much against the floor when open, since it's a Maytag Gemini double oven freestanding range.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:03AM
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