Is 2' by 3' island base too small?

wamotApril 28, 2014

We want to put a smaller island inside a U shape design, we want to give at least 42'' cabinet to cabinet space around the island, so the compromise is that we have to do a smaller island.....

We will try to fit a 2' by 4' island without any seating , basically the base will be two 24'' drawer bases. However, in case we can not do 2' by 4', would a 2' by 3' island be too small and impractical? Or 2â by 4' is already too small for an island, so we are better off with a mobile cart or butcher's block?

Never lived with a kitchen with island, and dreaming to have one......Thank you.

This post was edited by wamot on Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 23:26

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Or we should really consider a mobile cart? I see some very impressive ones, as the one in the attached photo with limestone top, and I believe it is cheaper than custom built drawer base + granite.......

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:38PM
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Welcome Wamot!

Regarding your question - it depends on your overall layout.

Will the island be a barrier b/w critical zones/appliances?

Is this a one-person kitchen? If you will end up with 39" aisles - measuring from counter edge-to-counter edge (or appliance handle) [that's how you measure ailses], you will only have room for one person working in the kitchen at a time. (That means no one else prepping or cooking, cleaning up, or loading/unloading the DW, etc. while you're prepping/cooking/cleaning up - unless you have widely separated work zones.)

I suspect you will be better off with a portable island/cart - but - you need to have someplace to "park" it so it's not in the way when not in use.

I suggest you post your layout here so we can give you better advice - right now, anyone who answers will be guessing since we don't have enough information to give you a useful answer.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 1:02AM
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I hope it is alright to be frank here, for a moment. I understand the dream. Until now I had never had an island, either. But, frankly, an island that size is just an annoying younger cousin if you already have plenty of workspace, particularly if you are not going to have seating there ( which I totally understand you don't really have room for.)

I have an island now, base 24x48, 36x48 with the top. I would ditch it in a heartbeat if I had the footprint it takes to creat an efficient kitchen.

Just my two cents, to be taken at face value. :0)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:51AM
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That is one beautiful cart. I would also look at Boos carts. The wheels and bearings are awesome!
I also did not have space for an island.
I did buy a BOOS cart on wheels and love it!!
I made sure I had a footprint to store the cart first.
I probably have enough counter but is extremely helpful when baking also for my pancake breakfasts.
I never understood the allure of an Island freedom not to head butt cabinets Is wonderful.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:17AM
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Thank you all for helping me out....


Here is my other post about the L or U shape design. lisa_a did several design for me. I think we are going to go with the one in the following pic. I think we can fit in a 2' by 4' island in her design.

I won't be putting any appliance under the island the counter, the island will be a prep space, and maybe the place to put a fruit bowl or vase..........

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:57AM
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To be honest, I think and island or cart would do nothing for you but get in your way with this plan. I read the other thread, I think if you want an island, you should go with Lisa's "plan C."

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:23AM
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I don't see what the small island gets you in way of prep since you have plenty of 24" deep counter space. You have a water source in the peninsula and you'll naturally gravitate to that spot to prep.

A deep counter is great for rolling doughs however. I have seen the advice of making the entire perimeter counter a few inches deeper, and it looks like you could do that IF you want to spend the extra money for a cabinet line that allows that option.

Can you add a 12" trash pullout to your peninsula? That would give you a little more prep counter on your peninsula. I added one between the sink and DW and have a 47" long counter to prep on. Or you could put a trash in the corner to make that corner roomier. I used a 28" sink base to allow for the 13" trash cabinet.

This post was edited by may_flowers on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 21:47

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:04AM
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I had one in my old loft kitchen. Loved it. It was 2.5 x 5ft. A bit large for the space but being often did just that. I even moved it to the end of the counter run for a while as a peninsula. Out of the way for larger gatherings. Fine in the center if just the two of us. During a dreary winter month i moved it out of the kitchen and under a window for some projects. (starting seeds for the garden, etc.)

It really depends on your extra available space. I've moved since and it is now a work bench and potting table in the garage.

Not really a yes/no issue. It depends on your 'wants' and if it does not work out, did you initially design your space to accommodate it from the get-go, soon to be disappointed? Being on locking castors, and not permanent, does give flexibility.
Could it be pushed under the window as a buffet table? Or used for another purpose if it does not work out?

My MIL has one that is small. I can't stand it. I often do all the cooking during holiday visits and it is just too small to be useful as i am prepping for 8-10. I just push it against one of the counters out of the way. She lives alone and i'm sure it works for one and only one in the kitchen.

-i'm not familiar with all your decision process. just a thought....

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:18AM
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Thank you for all the inputs......

Just to make myself clear, we are going to try to put a 2' by 4' island, is 2' by 4' still considered as too small and useless?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:44AM
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2' x 4' would be okay, but that lovely large island with the limestone would be my first choice! You don't need 42" on all sides of the island, if you can move it.

As long as you can comfortably work around it, if you need a little more space you can slide it over or possibly rotate it 90 degrees for holidays/parties, when you have more helpers in the kitchen :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 2:40PM
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OH! And for whatever it's worth, I have 42" between stove and island but 36" between sink and island and it works out alright. If it extended past my fridge it would be a little squeezy, but as it is it is the perfect dimension for my space. I would not want less than 42" between island and stove, though. The "sit" side of my island backs to the open dining room, and to the left as I face out is a 3' hallway.

This is basically my layout now, the bottom boundary is a wall/doorway to LR

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 3:23PM
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I posted two new plans, variations of the U lay-out but with an island and banquette, for you on your other thread, wamot.

I think you have room for a 27" x 44" island with the modifications I made. I kept aisles at 42". Yes, you can go with narrower aisles but since you will have loads of storage and counter space elsewhere - it's really a generously sized kitchen - I don't think you need to squeeze your aisles to gain an island that's only slighter larger.

btw, limestone isn't the most durable of surfaces for a kitchen. It's lovely but it won't hold up nearly as well as granite or quartz.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:49PM
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