U shape kitchen with small island...how small should I go...?

wamotApril 29, 2014

Hi, all,

Many thanks to all the good people here, I steered away from a L shape kitchen, and revisited the idea of U shape kitchen. Especially for expert like lisa_a, who pointed out the island in the L shape kitchen would be blocking the main aisle......

Here is the new design: a shallow U shape kitchen with a small island......we just dream to have a kitchen with island....

Fridge, range and sink will be on the three runs of the U shape; Island counter is 45'' by 27'', we put a drawer base and a pull-out waste basket under the island.

On the sink run, we will have a 12'' overhang for three stool seating. These is a window with seats which looks out to backyard.

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The peninsula counter to fireplace hearth is 39'';

Peninsula/island to wall is 44'';

Perimeter counter to island is 40.5'';

Total length of peninsula is around 99'';

The base cabinets(from peninsula): 24'' dishwasher, 36'' sink base, 45'' blind cabinet, 36'' door base with roll-out-tray, 30'' range, 36'' door base with roll-out-tray, 33'' by 36'' easy-reach corner base, 21'' drawer base;

The island base: 15'' pull-out-waste-basket, 24'' drawer base;

The wall cabinets(from peninsula): angled open shelving, 36'' wall cabinet, 36'' wall cabinet, 30'' wall cabinet(for range hood), 36'' wall cabinet, 9'' wall cabinet(for medicine), 33'' corner wall cabinet, 33'' wall cabinet, 37'' above fridge wall cabinet;

In the mudroom, two 36'' full height pantries, one pantry with roll-out-tray;

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:10PM
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The range run of the U shape, most doors are 18'', and it has symmetry I like. The open shelving end wall cabinet gives it a smooth ending.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:12PM
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The range run to island aisle is right behind the sink, so it gives more space when working around the sink.

The island is not ideal, but 27'' by 45'' is still workable. The pull-out waste basket is a compromise, it is not as close to the sink I would like, I need to turn around to reach it.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:16PM
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It seems 27'' by 45''(actually 24'' by 42'' for base) is the largest we can go for the island, without compromising too much on the aisle space. We are dreaming to put an orchid on the island counter...........

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:19PM
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This will be the dining table we put. It is a simple reclaimed teak table with benches.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:04PM
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If you are putting your sink in the peninsula - especially a main/cleanup sink - then I strongly recommend an 18" overhang - but no less than 15". A 12" overhang will not allow someone to sit there when anything is going on at the sink - prepping, cleaning up, etc.

If you don't have enough room in the DR, then consider either eliminating the seating (especially b/c it's right next to the DR table) or moving the peninsula into the kitchen 6" or so more than it is now. Even without a sink, you should have at least 15" of clear knee/leg space.

To accommodate a 15" overhang, your peninsula should be 41.5" deep (1.5" overhang + 24" deep cabinet + 1" decorative door or finished panel on the back of the cabinets + 15" overhang).

For an 18" overhang, it should be 44.5" deep.

You want a deep enough overhang to:

(1) Minimize splashing - you should have at least 18" from the faucet stem to the edge of the seating overhang

(2) Keep dirty dishes out of the faces of those sitting at the counter. This is one of the disadvantages of sinks in islands and peninsulas - especially when the island or peninsula is not deep enough...dirty dishes are "in the face" of anyone sitting at the counter.

(3) Allow comfortable seating - where you don't have to straddle the cabinets, sit sideways, or lean far over to reach the counter.

If you're trying to "save space", be aware that people take up the same amount of space even if you skimp on overhang - they just have to sit farther away from the counter and lean farther in...unless, of course, they're sitting sideways - which means you need more than 24" of linear space per seat - or if they're straddling the cabinets - which again means more than 24" of linear space per seat. Oh, and speaking from real-life experience - sitting sideways and twisting around to face the counter is very uncomfortable for more than a couple of minutes. Ditto for straddling cabinets.

If everyone in your family is very short and has short legs (and will always be very short), then 12" might work for leg space - but it does not fix the splashing issue.

I can't imagine doing anything in a 12" space with water right there. I certainly would not want to do homework, crafts, read, eat, etc. unless the sink were empty and I didn't need any real space for what I was doing.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:08PM
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It's a little confusing that you keep starting new threads on basically the same topic - your kitchen's lay-out. So I'm adding the link to your previous thread so that others can see the whole discussion, the various plans and the photos you've provided.

I'm not crazy about the long span between fridge and sink in this plan. As I wrote on the other thread, I think you need a water source between fridge and range to make this kitchen function better.

My other concern with this plan is that you really crowd your table area, especially if you don't do a banquette. What are the table's dimensions? Is this your only dining area?

Here is a link that might be useful: L Shape Kitchen with Island: Where do I put the sink?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:15PM
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You keep saying that you dream of an island in your kitchen so I'm puzzled why you're settling on a plan that gives you the smallest island of all and because it is small, it's not as functional as the other plans' islands.

Buehl brought up a good point at some point in this conversation. With a table so close by, do you really need counter seating? I can understand wanting seating nearby but you have a window seat - many here would kill to have a window seat in their kitchen - and I don't think you are taking full advantage of that asset in your kitchen.

So how about this?

I turned your table (really lovely, btw) 90 degrees from the way you show it, giving you ample room around it plus this configuration makes it line up better with the existing fireplace - another plus you should take advantage of.

The kitchen portion is the same lay-out as in Plan C, one that you said you liked. The difference is that I added a small extension to the window seat, giving it a slightly more generous seat (judging by your pic, it's at least 12", could be more). People can sit here and visit with you while you prep at your island, looking out to the backyard. The aisle measures 38" but from the back of the bench to the island, it's likely close to 54" so I figure - hope - that's sufficient aisle room.

IMO, this plan or a similar lay-out is much more functional than the U lay-out with island. You have a water source next to your prep area, plus that water source isn't nearly 11' away from the fridge, plus you have a clean-up sink, plus you have an island that is long enough to be useful. The only thing this plan doesn't offer is counter seating but given all the other things it provides, I think it's more than a good trade off. But this isn't my kitchen, it's yours. I just hope that you can get beyond the "I'm dreaming of an island in my kitchen" and think about how useful that island will be and how well the rest of the kitchen space functions.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 4:05AM
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Personally, I would want the stools! It gives you a place for 'helpers' to assist you and a cozy place to sit and talk, have coffee, etc.

Is this you only dining table? I thought it was, but I wasn't sure. I love the fireplace and if it were me, I'd play that up with a bit of French country flair. Nothing over the top...just a few 'unfitted' pieces. You have the wonderful window seat, maybe a plate rack by the peninsula and a small hutch by the table?

Seeing your new plan...I don't like the island. It does block your flow in the space. I would lose the island, keep the stools and make this a lovely, warm, space for your family and friends :)

From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Sophie Wheeler

As it's come under question, which one of these actually ended up being the final?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 1:15PM
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