what goes in your island doors and drawers?

psyoheMay 27, 2013

I need to design my island. Either I can make it 3' 9" by 8' so I only need to buy one slab....


I can make it up to 5 or 6' by 8' and buy two slabs.

I have one electric wire running to it. Can multiple wiremolds or plugmolds be used with one wire? Can a beverage fridge be added or is it too much for the one wire to handle?

I made a list of possible things that I might put in the island.

Pop-up mixer stand. Does this take up a lot of room?

Coffee pot- on Pop-up mixer stand? Do I need it?

Knife, rolling pin, measuring utensils, cutting boards, hot pads, baking ingredients, sifters, cookie cutters, biscuit cutters, raised cooling thrives in drawers.

A pull out marble dough board 30" from floor. Like those cutting boards that used to pull out. I would want a frame for it so it can be removed though.

Drawer or beverage fridge...probably too expensive.

No sink or ice maker...no water on the island.

Two plastic bins for potatoes and onions. Plastic tubs that fit inside the drawer? Removable?

Microwave? Not built in. Put on a shelf and leave doors open when using it? Or is this a bad idea?

Paper towel holder? What goes behind the one roll? More paper towels? Is it built like a drawer without a face? Does it get dusty? Is there any wasted space?

Other than a sink or ice maker, what do I need?

I want to have an expandable dining table underneath the 15" overhang side. Picture only shows a few inches of overhang. I do not want any barstools. Regular table height chairs.

Anything I missed?

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Love your insiration picture.

I think what to keep in the island will depend on where your prep area is. In my layout (with prep sink in island), I prep on island, so I keep one deep drawer for my prep items - mini chopper, can opener, prep bowls, cutting boards, collanders, etc. I have a built in microwave with a drawer underneath for tupperware / food storage. I keep bigger items with awkward sizes in my sink cabinet along with dog food.

With no sink in island, you may end up prepping on the counter by the sink. Where will your fridge be?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Peke, I had most of what I could want to cook with, so I simply decided where I would put it. I did not have the luxury of creating extra space and then trying to imagine what I might fill it with (bought some new towels for the kitchen, but that's all). There will be some nice possibilities to incorporate, but I just wanted to put in a note for keeping it slightly simple. Some extra, empty space would be a very nice option for the future, though. Lately I've been thinking how nice a good electric wok would be to have.

My island's for prep, so everything I prep with is there. Behind me at the stove counter is what I use at the stove and oven, including dishes for serving up. Very simple organizing principle. :)

As for size, my island is 39" wide, and I find that's a very nice width for working, more than I need without being ridiculous. At holidays people can work happily on both sides. I don't have kids doing their homework or anything like that on the other side, though.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 5:22PM
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My mixer lift is in a 15 in frameless cabinet. I believe that is the smallest you could go because you need some room on either side of the shelf for the mechanism arms and clearance. If you have framed cabinets I would assume 18 in is minimum, but you should check with your rep.

I might be able to tell you tomorrow if that feels adequate or not. Depends in what wall they install first!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Ditto about what to store there having to do with which zone your island is. Layout is everything in determining storage. My island is my prep zone with prep sink and runnels. It also houses my MW drawer, which is near the fridge end for non-cooks to zap something from the fridge if they need to without getting in my way, and the trash pullout on the other end near the cleanup sink or garbage tasks without cook interference.

Because I prep here, drawer storage is essential. In my narrow stack between MW and sink base, I store my knives:

Next drawer:

In the bottom drawers, I store my box grater, funnels, hand mixer, stick blender, etc.

My large prep drawer stack contains prep tools: (more than this pic shows, and please ignore the lack of drawer dividers that haven't been installed yet)

Middle drawer (much of the contents in DW):

Bottom drawer:

A mixer lift is an 18" cab that gives you little storage available for anything else in that space. There a lot of wasted air space. I considered a lift until I realized that 18" of storage was too valuable for just one item. YMMV.

As to the MW, I'm 5'8" and have used regular MWs undercounter before. Hate them. PITA to use. My MW drawer is so easy to use. No stooping or bending to reach the controls or contents. I highly recommend one. Mine was a refurbished unit from ebay at much less than retail.

Do you use a lot of paper towels? Could you use less to be better for the earth? I also thought a paper towel holder in the cabs was a cute idea, but I don't use paper towels for very much other than draining greasy foods or spot cleaning a major mess on the wood floor. We use cloth towels for hand drying and the occasional drying of a hand-washed item. In the end, I determined that the storage space a built-in roll of towels used wasn't worth wasting. I keep mine on a countertop stand under the sink and only pull out when needed.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Do you access your doors, drawers only from one side, or multiple sides of the island? We plan to access from multiple sides that offers flexibility.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 8:29PM
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I never had to ask what I would store in the island, it was one part of the kitchen that was fairly non-negotiable. It needed to house the blender, for breakfast smoothies. It needed to store knives and cutting boards for prep, as well as everything lunchbox related. It needed to store my baking supplies, which pre-reno were in too many steps away in the walk-in pantry. I wanted my boys to sit at the island and eat breakfast and talk to me while I made breakfast and lunchboxes and prepped dinner before we all head out for the day.
It worked.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 8:53PM
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I think I'm very typical:

I'm planning that my island drawers will hold all my prep stuff . . . plus silverware. I expect I can have three 24" drawers and three 30" drawers plus the pop-up for the mixer. I'm definitely using a pop-up for my mixer. I use it all the time, and although it's "expensive" in terms of space, it's something I know I'll be happy about later. As for the drawers, two for silverware . . . one for sharp knives . . . the lower drawers for all the oddball prep stuff I have: Immersion blender, nut chopper, lemon squeezer, and more.

I'm planning that the trash'll be hidden under and overhang on the far side of the island, and I do want barstools.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 10:06PM
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It is strange but I have always washed everything, then turned around to chop things on my island. I think it may be because I have always had upper cabinets near the sink and my sinks have always been under windows. Maybe chopping near the uppers bugged me.

Dilly, I got the idea for a table under the counter ledge, then I had to find a picture. This was as close as I could find. It is basically a space saving reason. I want a table with many extensions. Then with extensions in we can pull the table away from the island. The island becomes a buffet.

I forgot to list a warming drawer and dog food. Would it be really gross to have the dry dog food in the same cabinet as the potatoes and onions?

Rosie, that is a great idea. Now to decide whether to leave a couple of shelves empty or drawers. Shelves might be better. When we bought this house it had a built in 4' x 8' table. We got used to having it. It was lower than an island though. For some reason they did not put any storage underneath it. Just a big rectangle.

Williamsem, your remodel is going so quickly. What is the height of your stand with your mixer on it? Does it take up the entire height of the cabinet? Do I really need one? I would love to one day get an appliance that does everything. I have a small mixer, a stand mixer, mini choppers, mini blender, blender, and several different sizes of food processors. They all have different purposes. Way too many appliances!

Breezy, Can you fit everything in the MW drawer? Same size as regular microwave? I have always worried about built in microwaves. Are all MW drawers the same size? Is that a tiny colander or are your glass bowls huge? LOL. I like the small glass bowls for putting up salad fixings, etc. I will add prep bowls to my list. I have always kept microwaves on the counter for the same reason. I hate bending down or reaching up high for hot food. Just asking to spill something hot. I use paper towels for raw meat spills and draining fried things. We have a motley collection of mismatched towels. I even have old fabric diaper ..never used as diapers...for polishing and drying and major spills on the hardwood floors.

AZ- my last kitchen had a 3x7' island. I had 2 sets of drawers on both ends. But in the middle I had doors that went all the way through to the other side....so 3ft deep. I opened one door to give light to the other side.
Even though there will be a table there, I will still have doors on both sides.

Local, it sounds like I have not forgotten anything.

Mrs. Pete, oddball stuff is what I will have there too.

Ok, I am not sure about the microwave drawer or warming drawer. I think I really don't need the mixer stand either.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 12:05AM
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I don't think it's gross to store dog food in the same cabinet as onions and potatoes. I keep my dog food in a coved plastic container and it does not have any effect on other items stored In Same cabinet.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 8:40AM
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Yay, I would keep it covered too.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:21AM
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In answer to your questions:

Yes, I can fit everything in my 24" MW drawer that I have with any other MW. The interior space is about 8" tall and about 17" wide. The 30" wide drawer had the same interior measurements with just more face frame showing on the exterior to fill up those extra 6". The MW drawers only come in 24" and 30". All of them are made by Sharp, but other brands "re-badge" them and then charge more. I purchased mine as a refurbished unit from eBay, saving hundreds of dollars.

The white colander in the drawer is small. I use it for rinsing and draining small fruits like berries and grapes. The glass bowls aren't freakishly large, but are large.

I have a warming drawer also. It's placed in the Zone of Doom--under my double oven stack. I could certainly get by without it, but enjoy using it for keeping food warm and moist/crisp (vent keeps moisture in or not), proofing dough, warming plates, etc.

Good luck on your decisions!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 2:51AM
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Peke, I'm intrigued by the 3' deep section with doors on both ends because you like it so much you intend to copy it, and I'd love to know why. I'm guessing it's not only because you could run around the island to open another door for more light. :) Is it for greater flexibility in storage? Access to middle from both sides? Just no reason for a center divider?

Regarding the mixer, my island has 12" deep cabinets on the off side, and my KichenAid fits tidily sideways on one of those shelves and is easier to access than if it presented a narrow end to me. (Like not having the luxury of extra space, I also didn't have room to consider a lift unit.)

Regarding pet food, it's not monitored as well as our human food supply (!), and is significantly more likely to be infected with pathogens. The CDC actually recommends washing our hands every time we handle pet food; I may not do that all the time, but I do hold my breath when dishing out to avoid inhaling its dust. Plus, potatoes and onions have moisture, and cabinets holding them are, of course, prone to mold growth; I've had to disinfect mine when they've looked clean but contents were spoiling faster than they used to. So it seems wise to keep pet food out of a microbe-friendly environment. We leave ours in the bag, as both the manufacturer and CDC recommend, and store the bag in a pull-out garbage can unit, but that's still near food--which is advised against, as is even washing pet dishes in the kitchen sink, especially if there are small children around.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Breezy, I NEED that colander. LOL

Rosie, there is never enough light in lower cabinets. LOL
I could put really large items there or baskets of things that I wanted to group together. The one shelf was adjustable or removable in case I wanted to put a beverage fridge or ??? in there. Dividers limit you so i didn't use them. No wasted space like when you are using drawers.

Re: pet food. I knew there was a good reason, but I didn't know what it was. I didn't even think about the moisture. So I guess potatoes in the cabinet drawer is a bad idea. I never have a place for them except a walk in pantry. I don't have one in my new kitchen.

I love baking when I have time. I have been thinking about a warming drawer, a beverage fridge, and microwave drawer.

Microwave drawer-or built in microwave. I worry about them going out and not being able to find the same size for the hole in cabinet.

Warming drawer- will use it for proofing, warming, moist/dry would be nice. My AR hybrid wall oven only goes down to 200 degrees.

Is there anything out there that combines both a warming drawer and a microwave?

Beverage fridge or drawer- we don't keep cans or bottles unless we have a party, but it would be nice for produce. I just don't think I really need it. Most don't keep canned drinks or bottles that cold anyway.

I need your opinions. My brain is tired. Whole house remodel, looking for principal or superintendent job, planning for my daughter's outdoor wedding at my house. DD thought it would be so much easier if it was at my house. (easier? Landscaping, remodeling, building pergola for ceremony...)

Job search hasn't been happening at all. I may regret that.....Peke

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:15AM
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That "dividers limit you so I didn't use them" makes such perfect sense. Flexibility's good anyway, and I'm going to remember this one, thanks.

People do store potatoes and onions in drawers all the time, though. Some do some special things to increase air circulation (skip the basket thing!), but what's always worked best for me wherever they are is to keep using them up.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Oh, just noticed the "principal" (the principal is your pal) part. Anyone who can handle that can handle anything, which probably explains your daughter's confidence in you. LOVE the "easier" part, though. LOL!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Oh I just found some appliances (used) from a December remodel near me. They are selling the whole set for $500.00. Normally I wouldn't buy used, but they have two Thermador warming drawers and an unknown brand beverage center. I bet the warming drawers were seldom used. He said all appliances worked when they removed them in December of 2012.

48" Thermador range, 48" S. S. Ventahood, 36" subzero refrigerator model 501, 2- 24" Thermador warming drawers, 24" Maytag wall oven, 24" kitchen aid dishwasher panel ready, 24" kitchen aid dishwasher, and 24" beverage fridge.

I would be really taking a chance on them. If the warming drawers work, I think it would be worth it.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 12:28AM
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