Kitchen island questions...would like your input

lavender_lassJanuary 27, 2011

Finally, I've decided to go with a small island (no prep sink) and I'm leaning towards a butcher block top. One thing I've really wanted (and what swayed me from work table to island) are built in shelves, facing the seating area.

Here are a few inspiration pictures. While I like the island in an accent color, I'm concerned it will be too distracting. I really like this first picture, but the plate rack will be going between the range and wall oven.

So...what do you all think about the island? The color? The butcher block? Also, with the delft backsplash and creamy white cabinets, do you think this blue countertop would be too dark? It would really pick up the cobalt blue of the woodstove :)

This kitchen has the blue island, but while the tile backsplash is striking, it's a little too busy for me. I'd prefer something like this...

Here's my favorite picture, showing the dark blue countertop...and my more affordable idea to get a similar look :)

And here's the woodstove and my overall plan (with the kitchen) Thanks for looking and I look forward to your input!

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I personally like the white island.I am not a fan of the open shelves. I have had them and they are big time dust magnets.Doors on them would be wonderful cook book space.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:08PM
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I like the white island with butcher block top too. I like the look of open cabinets like your top picture, but like Chris, I wouldn't have them because of the dust, especially in the plate rack. I've always wondered how they clean inside that cabinet when you know it's bound to have a lot of dust in the corners.

I have been looking at my kitchen with a critical eye lately and was going to take some pictures to show you. It seems I have an unconscious desire for blue and white also. I never realized I have so much of it, and when I look at what I will change with the re-do, the blue and white stays.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:32PM
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I love the open shelving on the island, it really gives the island character. Just don't clutter the shelves too much, a couple of books and a serving dish will do.

I am a real stickler for countertop space. Based on the measurements in your drawing, you seem to have enough countertop space to work with. Therefore, you can concentrate more on design than function for the island top.

I love the butcher block top. It wouldn't take away from the beautiful countertops and backsplash, and will still give you that country french look you are going for.

One idea I do have for you is to consider using ceramic tile for the countertops AND backsplash, to keep that country french look. There an example of what it would look like in the link below about half way down the page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Compare Kitchen Countertops

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:41AM
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Chris and Marti- Thank you for your suggestions about using glass on the shelves and plate rack.

Marti- What blue and white do you have in your kitchen?

KD- The ceramic tiles are great for the backsplash, but they are a little uneven on a countertop...and the grout can be hard to keep clean. They are beautiful, though :)

Here's the two laminates I've been considering for the perimeter countertops. While I like the blue, I don't know if it will feel too dark, or choppy, with probably white appliances. The cream/white is very nice, too, I just think it might look too light. Both of these are available with the solid edge, so no dark line along the top! What do you all think?

I'll have a white sink, too, so maybe the creamy/white would blend in better. If I use that for the perimeter, then the blue or butcher block would be on the island.

For the faucet and hardware, I'm hoping to use an antique brass finish...something like this finish, but not necessarily this exact style...

I also have the countertops in the pantry and laundry room. I've been thinking of using cream in the pantry (another white sink) blue in the laundry room/desk area...and maybe cream, or fake marble laminate for the hall bath vanity. Any other ideas?

Thanks for your input and suggestions! :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 1:37PM
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Kitchendesigntips, if you are a professional advertising your products, that is a NO_NO on Gardenweb. I notice you just registered 1/22/11.

And Lavender, I do NOT recommend ceramic tile for the counter top. The backsplash is another matter, but I think the seams on the counter would be a big issue with cleaning. I personally like Silestone Quartz, chosen to coordinate with your color scheme of course.

And the butcherblock would be a nice island surface.
I do think you can have SOME open shelving in places that are not as visible to passersby. Between the range and the island is the area least visible, also the end which is facing the sink cabinet. I think that doors on the cabs under the island bar side should not be glass, due to folks especially kids, kicking their feet or looking for a spot to rest their boots comfortably while sitting there. I do not recall how deep the overhang is where the stools are situated. Are those going to be swivel stools with backs?
Make sure that little folks have some surface on the stool where they can rest their short legs, not swing them into the glass cab doors if that is what you use.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 1:48PM
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LL, I have that blue marbled laminate countertop in my blue and white bathroom. I like it but I do wonder sometimes if it will hurt resale. It is the balance of color I needed there with all the white, and I do like it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 6:18PM
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I like the blue laminate. The contrast with the white appliances is fine. Check out my brown counters with white. Delft blue and white is such a classic combination, I do not know how you can go wrong with it. I like the backsplash tiles you chose, too. My very first kitchen re-do was in 1986 with my Baton Rouge kitchen. We repainted the cabs gloss white and did the counter and backsplash in cobalt blue 3x3 tiles. ML is right. You do not want a tile counter!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 1:10AM
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I agree on no tile counter top - who wants more grout!

and I'd want glass on bookshelves but ML is right about little ones... I won't have them because I know they'd be covered with dog hair! ugh!

I think that first blue BS was too busy also - like the 2nd one.

if it's table vs island w/shelves, why not have a table/island combo? with shelves on the end? how about plexiglass?

good catch ML!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 3:00PM
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I like the white cabinets with the blue laminate... It isn't like putting in granite that is "forever". I like the open shelves....I want that in my future kitchen to put my collection of white pitchers.

Good luck pulling this house are undertaking a huge task returning that farm house into your new plans...but you can make it happen, if anyone can.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 10:27PM
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I'm glad many of you like the blue laminate and second backsplash. I think they'll look wonderful together and add a little more personality to all the white. The light yellow on the beadboard, is really pretty, behind the plate racks, too.

Phoggie- Are you going to have an accent color, behind your white pitchers? What colors do you want to use in your kitchen? And, thanks for the kind words :)

As for the open shelves, I really like the way they make everything so accessible, and give the kitchen a more vintage look IMHO. I would love to have a plate rack, bookcase, maybe some pegs for mugs and display above the upper cabinets. They're ALL dust catchers, but they do add a lot of charm. I have some of those now...and while they get dusted a lot, they're my favorite parts of the kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 2:01PM
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Lavender....I am not sure what color I will use....have to build it first :-)....but I am thinking I will paint the back of the cabinet the same color as the kitchen, with white shelving.

I love your blue and charming!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 6:34PM
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"You pays your money and you takes your choice." That is the way I feel about keeping things clean. I'd much rather do some dusting than polishing glass. I never seem to get rid of the streaks.

I can wipe off shelves, repainting them is easier with no glass to mask to get a neat edge. I can always put the dusty glasses and dishes into a partially full dish washer if that becomes a problem.

I too will have before I'm done, an open plate rack. I have several styles saved to copy.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 8:10PM
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ML- Where are you planning to put your plate rack? By the sink or the stove...or somewhere else?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 10:20PM
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Lavender, the HOUZZ blog is featuring a photo gallery of the NEW KITCHEN ISLAND TABLE, and I submit the link below.
You'll enjoy looking at it, I bet.

Were you the one who got me addicted to HOUZZ? I see their albums every day, and have my own idea books there. If you do not subscribe, I suggest that it would be a good way to organize YOUR ideabooks.

Here is a link that might be useful: The NEW kitchen island/table

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 10:47AM
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LL, what software are you using to make your floor plans?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:44AM
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ML- I don't think that was me, but it is a nice island/tables!

Marti- Isn't that beautiful? It's Summerfield's software and I don't think anyone knows what it is...and I know many of us have asked. Since I wouldn't know the first thing about using it anyway, I'm just thrilled Summerfield has been gracious enough to draw up the plans for me! :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 2:33PM
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LL, I am thinking of two spots, on either side of the kitchen sink. That plate rack spot could be turned to FACE the sink at either end of the cabinet run. I'm not sure if there will be TWO such racks. Perhaps an open long upper shelf for serving dishes can go on the range side of the kitchen.
I think of my new kitchen as being a galley style, with a few wiggles to it. And a little more width between the two sides, so I can keep my skinny rolling island and move it around as I please. Two of the wheels lock, so it will be steady. The only other island I've had was a butcher block microwave cart on wheels too. I kept it in the center of the U-shaped kitchen at MoccasinLanding, with a small potrack above it--a pot rack that was attached to a boat pulley and tied off to the wall with a boat cleat, so I could raise and lower it as need-be.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:23PM
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I have butcher block on my small island and love it. I think it really helps warm up a kitchen and its very economical. I don't cut on it though. I always use a cutting board with it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 11:24PM
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