Breakfast bar or counter height (behind sink)?

julia42April 15, 2014

We're doing a complete renovation of our kitchen, and I'm trying to decide what to do with the peninsula area that includes our kitchen sink. It's one of the few things about our current kitchen that I find awkward, but we haven't been able to come up with a solution.

The pony wall and cabinets come out at an angle, which I don't really like. However, it creates one side of an octagonal dinette space, so I think the angle has to stay. If we straightened it our, the dining area would really be too tight, especially since it opens up to the laundry room and back door (high traffic area).

So I'm thinking about taking the current bar height pony wall down to counter height instead. I think this would open up the space and make that angled cabinet feel less in-the-way as you pass by, and it would also keep my husband from piling his paperwork and books there (since he wouldn't want them to get wet from the sink) :). I'd also be able to pass dishes from the kitchen to the dining room more easily.

The drawbacks would be 1) no wall to hide dirty dishes around the sink that haven't been washed yet. 2) We'll have a pull-down faucet with a sprayer and we have 3 little boys... Might be tempting to spray each other at the table... 3) We would no longer have that space to set things down as we walk in the door (but, like I said, that has its advantages, too).

Am I missing anything? Any suggestions? What would you do?

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Fori is not pleased

I think the angle is cute and that pointy bit would leave its mark on me! I would consider putting the sink elsewhere, in spite of the nice view. Can you do that or are you constrained by plumbing and stuff?

I bet you can do better by moving everything (and keeping the angled peninsula, and maybe making it all one height). Got a sketch with measurements?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:21AM
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one level with handsome edges and rounded but designed corners to your counter material..keep the angle and make it a focal point. But switch the dishwasher and sink placement....nudge the wall cabs up a few inches and with good task lighting you will appreciate the sink there..Think single bowl, deeper sink .

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:41AM
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Here's a floorplan sketch I did with dimensions.

Yes, one way or another, concussion corner has to go. Even if we keep the breakfast bar height, the edge will be cut back and the granite top will be rounded for sure. Plus, right now, there is only 27" between that corner and the wall at the stair, so appliances have trouble getting in and out of the room (fridge doors have to come off).

I'm not sure I want to move plumbing around a whole lot. We're already a bit over budget. My husband and I did try moving it down the wall under the cabinets and switching it with the DW, but it really seems odd to me when I draw it out. I don't know...

Let me know what you think.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:45AM
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Here are two elevation sketches, with it either way. I feel like that corner is tight for a sink, but maybe it's just because I'm not used to it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:08AM
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Other Elevation

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:09AM
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So now I'm kind of warming up to the idea. I spent some time standing in that corner considering doing dishes there and seems okay after all. I widened the opening in the uppers and didn't lift it as high, and it seems like it works well. Looks clean.

I don't know how much will be involved in switching the sink and dw, though. Need to talk with my contractor about it...

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:59AM
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I went from a raised bar to one level and it does feel very open. I would not keep the angle with three growing boys. I would straighten out the peninsula with just enough room for a sink base, DW, and possibly a trash pullout if it will give you a wider walkway. Eliminate the extra drawer/door cab that you show in both layouts. You have plenty of upper dish storage on the sink run if you keep the DW in the corner. You have lots of cabinet space between the fridge and stove, so you shouldn't miss one peninsula cab. You have room for a pullout pantry to the right of the fridge too.

Oh, and the answer to Drawback #2 is called "time-out". ;)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 12:40PM
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I think I would also do away with the angle and extend the peninsula just far enough to house the sink (and trash if there is enough room without closing it off too much). It looks like the item on the left in the first picture is a piece of furniture? If so, I'd probably move it out of the kitchen. I'm a big fan of one-level islands and peninsulas. I'd rather look at a little clutter/mess than close off the room that way (we had a bi-level island and a bi-level peninsula in our previous home and ripped out both)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 12:50PM
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I also like the idea of straightening out the sink run, but shorter. The angle is wasted space that yo won't miss.

If you put the DW on the end, then the sink, you get DW out of the prep zone. What's in the room next to the dinette? If you moved the sink toward the range wall, could you cut a "window" in that wall? Looks like you'd be able to see outside from there.

Do you have an elevation of the range wall? Your overhead layout shows something on the walls on each side, but also upper cabinets. And I notice diagonal upper corner cabinets. I had two of those in my old kitchen, and hated them. Unless you put in lazy susans, they end up being big black holes. I replaced mine with easy-reach uppers, and I love them. What do you plan for the lower corners?

How high are your ceilings? How high do you plan to take the cabinets?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Fori is not pleased

Swapping sink and DW is cheap and easy. Don't think about that. And depending on your foundation (mainly, is it or isn't it a slab), even moving those things halfway across the house may not be a big deal--if it gets you a better layout, it's worth going cheap on something else that can be upgraded later.

The angle sort of mirrors the window angle, but you only have it on the one side so flattening it out wouldn't hurt.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Fori, we're on a slab.

My contractor said we could look into it, but there might be concern about not having enough rise for the drain pipes... ? I don't know anything about plumbing. He seemed hesitant, but then again, he's not a plumber. I've tried googling, and it sounds much more complicated to move a sink (even the 3' we're looking at here) than you make it sound... But again, I know nothing about plumbing.

Sjhockeyfan and Annkh, I can't tell you how many times I've tries to figure out a way to straighten that arm out. It just doesn't really work. Either it gets too short to accommodate a sink and DW with appropriate landing space for dishes, or it ends up poking into the dinette area too much.

Mayflowers, we already have a walk-in pantry.

I currently have the slanted uppers in corners, but I actually like them. They hold an awful lot of stuff. But I have been considering doing away with them because I think it will look cleaner. I go back and forth.

I really don't think cutting a new window or moving the sink to the other side of the kitchen are in the budget. Also, I like it on the wall it's on - it works well for me.

One way or another, I think I'm leaning towards taking out the breakfast bar.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:14PM
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Julia, for a minute there I thought we lived in the same subdivision, your cabinet layout is nearly identical to my old one. We not only took out our pony wall but extended the cabinet to the left and added shallow cabinets behind the sink (there is a family room to the left of the kitchen). We ended up with a much larger countertop and love how it turned out. We were going to move the dishwasher to the left of the sink but realized no one could walk into the kitchen with the door down. Straightening out the angle was not a good option for us.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 1:30AM
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View from family room if you are interested.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 1:40AM
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Meek95, thank you thank you thank you for posting those photos! That's exactly what I needed to see! I wouldn't be able to extend the length like you did (which I think looks beautiful, by the way), but I think your picture confirms for me that dropping the breakfast bar would be the way to go.

So funny to see another kitchen the same shape as mine...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 8:01AM
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