Peninsula: yay or nay? and a banquette question

IslandgardenMay 23, 2013

Thanks for some great advice already. I asked too many questions the first time so this is an attempt to make decisions one by one.

Kitchen is roughly 18'6" x 11'10" which needs to accommodate both the working kitchen and an eating area.

There is a separate butler's pantry that will continue to have a full sized sink and the dishwasher and provide plate and cutlery storage. Fridge also lives there.

Many many designs later we have the following floorplan. By the way, all sorts of attempts by KDs at stuffing an island in were (to my mind) a bad idea--tiny skinny island that blocked paths. I am completely fine with no island.

Two cooks--sometimes one, sometimes someone assists (making salad whilst other person mans the stove...or the microwave).

And I am completely sold on the bumpout with the big deep windowseat/banquette that will overlook the garden and be part of the eating area.

1. Pensinsula or no peninsula? I like the extra counter space but maybe it crowds the eating area. Originally it had a 12" overhang for possible stools but I think it makes more sense to lose the stools and make the center of the U more useful if we have a peninsula

2. Eating alcove--in the peninsula plan we have almost 9 feet across so could do chairs on each side (a little cozy but we have tried it out and it actually works well) OR a banquette on one or both sides? If L shaped banquette everything will be off center. If banquette on 3 sides--claustrophobia ensues, no?

Feel free to proffer any other advice. I was about to say that planning is cheap, but in our case (on architect #3) it hasn't been. The first two insisted that I needed a massive addition to the house despite our clear budget constraints.

Many thanks to all!

ps--Option 2 will be posted next--cannot figure out how to attach 2 files

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is option 2. Without the peninsula

by the way--1880s house so not aiming to be very modern. Nice old comfortable kitchen is the goal.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

what's on the wall? between fridge/coat closet area and seating old wall ? with some rectangular strucure attached-can't read the word. If you backed up the fridge to face out toward the bigger kitchen then run the counter that is 5-1-[left side of U] another foot or more,that's what I'd do and forget the peninsula. Depends on what that rectangle is...if that's a wall or old wall being opened up-what exactly is happening there?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Herbflavor--good catch! that is the immovable chimney

I realize many people want a fridge in easy access to the rest of the work place. Personally, I do not because I like it outside the main run of the kitchen and having lived with it in this location for a wee bit over a decade, I love it. I find that when I cook I start with the refrigerator to see what ingredients I might want, but after that I am done with it. And I have always found them to be great monolithic structures that look awful, no matter how expensive. So for me, tucking it into that little alcove is perfect. No doubt if we ever sell the house someone can move it to the spot where we currently have a piano, but that would be an easy switch that would not need to affect the rest of the kitchen layout. Or who knows they might redo the whole thing. I have decided not to worry about the next owners but maximize our use and enjoyment of the space!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robo (z6a)

I vote option 2. I like peninsulas when they make a kitchen into a "C" shape but in this case you are going to a fourth run of counter and it looks too crowded for my taste. Unless you really like feeling like you are in a kitchen 'cockpit' with limited access. In this case the peninsula feels like it would really block traffic and you would always be maneuvering around it to get to the dining room table. You've got a fairly respectable amount of counter and storage there, especially with the pantry so I wouldn't be dying, personally, to squeeze in a few more feet.

I like your banquette!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

robotropolis--since no good deed goes unpunished, I have a few follow up questions for you (and anyone else who cares to chime in)

1. The open plan (sans peninsula) seems nicer and less constrained. Glad to know you think there is enough storage and countertop as this was precisely my concern. And of course there are long threads aobut how much people like the enclosed cockpit type kitchen. So...
Would you consider making the counters deeper in that case? 27" or even 30"? we have friends who swear by their 30" counters. I think it depends on the space and I know that getting 30" cabinets below may not be cost effective

2. the banquette will be in a 3 x 9 foot bumpout that will have windows from the banquette seat all the way up to near the ceiling on all three sides (woo hoo!). Since it is so deep I will not have a backrest since it would block the view and the light and is so deep that it will not be used to lean back. It needs to be nappable, sprawl with book-able. Anyway, what are your thoughts on the dimension of the eating alcove and bumpout?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like it with out the peninsula.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robo (z6a)

1. Not sure Kathy! Sorry! It seems to me that 30" counters on all sides would really shrink your U, bringing your stove too close to your sink. But someone else would know a lot better than I do.

2. I just looked up the guidelines for dining areas and it says "In a seating area where no traffic passes behind a seated diner allow 32" of clearance from the counter/table edge to any wall or other obstruction behind the seating area.
a. If traffic passes behind the seated diner, allow at least 36" to edge past.
b. If traffic passes behind the seated diner, allow at least 44" to walk past."

In your case, you will have people edging past your diners to sit on the banquette. So in your place, I might plan for at least 36" of clearance from table to each wall, which means using a narrow table, for example something like the Ingo table from IKEA at 30" wide (not saying that exact table but that width). My sister has it and it is definitely narrow but definitely usable.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

I like option#2, without peninsula, especially in an older home. And I love window seats and banquettes! Even though you have the backrest issue worked out, here's a thread that addresses the question. Scroll down for a2gemini's window seat. It's the first thread that I could find with her creative solution to the window/backrest dilemma.

I made counters deeper on one side of my kitchen (with standard cabs pulled forward), so I am a fan. Even if one uses standard cabinets, the extra counter space is worth it, IMO. Mine are 28.5" beside the fridge, because I have cabinets that rest on the counter--so wanted as much landing space as possible in front of them. I would have done 30" counters, if I didn't have an island (which I love, and had to have, even though it left me with ap. 36" aisles.)

How wide is your table? You'll want enough room on the bench to comfortably slide in from either side. I have a couple of small window seats that can be used for dining--I measured a straight-back dining chair for height/depth dimensions.

I love the kitchens in older homes--the 'work-arounds' are worth it to preserve the character and charm. :)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mama_goose --not sure I found the right thread--but I did a search for that poster and window seats and saw a charming window seat with loose throw pillows. Is that the one you meant?

My table is going to be donated since I will need a table that has a central pedestal or a trestle its dimensions remain flexible. We used our current table and pushed it first within 3 feel of the wall and for us it was very roomy since no one is going to necessarily walk behind the chairs. We even tried 2 feet and it worked for us. A bit cosy but not a huge problem.

I should have mentioned that 75% of the time there are 3 of us and on occasion we are 4 or 6 for breakfast. Beyond that we would probably be in the dining room anyway.

I have thought about another banquette on the door side but then the table will be off center and I think the asymmetry would be jarring (problem hanging a ceiling light, and just the issue of the table not lining up with the three highly symmetrical windows in the bumpout).


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have nothing to add as far as layout, but wanted to add that I am also a certified fridge hater and would have happily moved mine to the pantry if DH would have let me.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

For some reason links will show in preview then not make the jump. So, we will do this the hard way. Copy and paste in the url:

Here is a link that might be useful: checking to see if this link option works

This post was edited by mama_goose on Thu, May 23, 13 at 13:23

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also like option #2, but I would angle that corner on the bottom right cabinet run with an angled cabinet to ease the clearance a tad more.

Your home sounds lovely and cozy with the FP banquette and bumpout.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mrsmortarmixer --you totally made me laugh! yes--I am a fridge hater. And Sub Zero does nothing at all for me. DH has been trying to get the fridge out of that alcove for about 10 years. I pretended to consider all options and have made vague promises about it maybe moving in the future...but it moves Over My Dead Cold Body!

Maybe I am just a luddite--I have my laundry in the basement. The basement! everyone has tried to coerce me into losing my wonderful coat closet and putting the laundry if I want to hear it, or see piles of laundry. The basement it is!

The rationale is always that one saves steps. Don't know about you but the last thing I need is less exercise.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Holly- Kay

Lol Island! You had me laughing with that comment about exercise!

I am a peninsula lover! I have one in my current layout and I am doing a peninsula in my new kitchen. It is wonderful to have all that undisturbed counter space and it makes an excellent place for serving buffet style. It keeps the food in the kitchen area and we can all head to the dining room with our food after filling our plates.

I know everyone has different needs and this may not be a consideration at all for you but I love how easy it makes serving during the holidays and family dinners.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 2:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mama_goose: thank you SO MUCH for that link! I have searched and searched for this but could not come up with the right set of words to bring this up. I too want to be able to see out into the garden and not stare at a wall with high-ish windows. I actually talked to a contractor about options (I was thinking of having subtle brackets that could hold a back piece that we could slide in to form a back rest) but this would be even better, especially as I only need it at the two ends where someone might want to lean back and read. The window seat (window bed?) is so deep that no one will be able to lean back if facing the table. I am also going to use tempered glass to cut down on the number of people leaning backwards and ending up in the emergency room. Brilliant...maybe I will even have the fold down bit under the seat cushion so it is not visible most of the time. Good to know that problem has an elegant solution.

holly-kay: this takes me right back to why we had that peninsula in the drawings. And why I am on the fence. I wish I could try each out for a week. When cooking for dinner parties and holidays the whole kitchen ends up covered in pots, pans, roasting trays and goodness knows what else and I thought we could use the extra counter to serve from. Then I got feedback that I had created a one person kitchen (when the distance from sink counter to the peninsula was drawn to be 4'6") I ditched the overhang, made the peninsula narrower (2 feet wide) in order to get more room inside the kitchen. The span is now about 5'6" in between sink and peninsula.

Do you think the peninsula is too narrow? I have visions of Julia Child sliding things over that toppled to the floor? original plan was 3 feet wide but probably don't have the room for that

And what do you think about the width needed so that two or more people can be in the kitchen without bumping into one another or having to scootch by sideways?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 2:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

Happy to help! (I should be cleaning house in anticipation of a grad party this week-end, so I'm procrastinating.)

The two split levels that I grew up in had peninsulas--back in the 'groovy' 60s we called them snack bars. ;)

Agreed, holly-kay, they are great for entertaining, especially if there is no room for an island. I arranged my kitchen to have a baking counter, which serves as a buffet, connecting the LR to the DR. Everyone files through cafeteria-style, but it works for us.

Islandgarden, if ever you need more temporary serving space, a 4' folding table could be placed where the peninsula was drawn. I have several of the 6' version--they are inexpensive, and easily stored in a closet.

And let me toss a crazy idea out here: The 4' folding tables are ap. 24" wide x 4" thick, when folded. If you make your counters 30" deep, but use a standard 24" deep cabinet on the end, you could have a recess left to store a folding table, in otherwise wasted space. Or, since the window seat will be 2'9" deep, plan to store it there.

Here is a link that might be useful: one source

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 3:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the second cook's contribution is limited to salad making only, I guess each of you can function on different sides of the sink, so peninsula would not create a great obstacle. I also think that not much will change for the two seats next to the banquette whether you have the peninsula or not. Since there would occasionally be 6 people eating there, maybe your decision to have the peninsula or not should be based on your storage needs.

And I confess, I liked the peninsula-:))

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mama_goose--the idea about using 3 inches of space behind the cabinets and/or under the banquette is genius. I have custom table pads for the dining room that have never found a storage spot and as you mention it could store a folding table. But now that I saw the room you designed for your grandchildren with swings and windowseats I am not at all surprised by your creativity. You must be the Coolest Grandmother Ever.

sena01--second cook (that would be me) does sometimes rise to the occasion and actually do more than a salad but I did not want to create the misimpression that I am Julia Child whilst DH is putting the finishing touches on a dessert masterpiece. I am hoping that our storage needs change--right now about half the footprint of the "kitchen" part of the space is a big walk in pantry that has deep shelves far from each other. It is one big black hole and it leads DH to go wild at Costco with predictable results. It must go...and not be replaced with anything nearly so fatal to my mental health. Like a small area for essential pantry items. This is also why I will never have a double wide fridge--that is where condiments go to die.

I am going to have to whip my measuring tape out in every kitchen I encounter and try to envisage the space. Wish one could try a kitchen on ahead of time like an article of clothing. Maybe we need to get some boxes out and play house?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:22PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Can you please take a look at my layout?
I'm currently getting quotes for cabinets and want...
Found a granite Pergaminho, is this the same as Delicatus or Alaskan ?
I've been searching for a durable island countertop...
Laminate seams around sink... Is this acceptable?
Hello everyone! I love reading these forums but have...
Summer Owen
Quartz Countertop Color
We are going with quartz countertop for our kitchen...
Unusual granite
I have searched for other pictures of this granite....
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™