Width for island that seats 4

athensmomof3May 13, 2011

What length should an island be to seat 4? Is 2 feet a person enough? I would prefer not to seat people on the ends.

I have an L shaped kitchen with an island in the middle so it would be possible if necessary, but I would like to avoid it!

We aren't big people - husband is tall but thin - but I do have 3 boys who will be over 6' in no time!


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generally 24" per person is comfortable, but with big guys, try it out at a table to see if its enough elbow room. counter seating can sometimes get away with a little less because you have the extra vertical space for legs.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 9:40PM
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2' should really be fine.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 9:50PM
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Just out of curiousity - who doesn't get to sit at the island?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:05PM
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Me :) I am mainly thinking of weekday breakfasts. I could do three seats for the boys but they like to eat with their dad in the morning, and dad likes to watch espn while he eats breakfast. I am the one fixing and cleaning up and usually eat after everyone is on their way :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 9:53AM
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The tv is one of the reasons for this discussion, FYI. I will have a small flatscreen in the corner of the kitchen for me to watch while I cook and clean up (have one now and love it!). There will be no tv viewable from the breakfast room (it is essentially in the kitchen but on the opposite side).

I did see an island where they put doors on the end with a flat screen in it. . . I thought that was overkill since we generally don't watch tv during any other meals but breakfast but maybe I should consider it and stick with a smaller island! Our island as drawn is 7' and I think we have plenty of room to go to 8' though.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 9:57AM
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Islands with the sides finished will need to be larger than islands with open sides to accomodate the same number of people. Open sides allows for the knees to slightly cradle the corner. I have opted to have the open sides because I was limited by the size of the kitchen and I made the island as large as I could. My island is 891/2 inches. All 4 of us sit at the island daily and we are quite okay. I am glad that the sides are open.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 4:53PM
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24" per seat is good.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 7:56PM
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Mine is 108" it is seats my 4 children. The extra space is nice when they are all doing homework and like you my boys will be heading towards the 6ft range soon.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:02PM
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24" is OK if you have the full 15" overhang and everybody gets along well. You'll need more space if you have less overhang (because folks sit sideways) or are raising football players. I personnaly prefer 30" as I'm not small of stature, and i don't like to be crowded.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:07PM
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As most others have said, the recommendations (by NKBA) are as follows:

  • Counter-height seating (36" high):

    • 24" linear space per person

    • Minimum 15" seating overhang...if you are a tall family, though, I recommend 18".

    • We have 15" and it's OK for me at 5'10" and my DD at 5'11" (although she did say it would have been nicer if there a couple more inches). However for my 6'5" DH and 6'6" (and still growing) DS, it's too little. They rarely sit at the counter b/c of that. They only recently told me that it was too shallow! I thought it was fine... :-(

Bar-height (42" high):

  • 24" linear space per person

  • Minimum 12" seating overhang....again, I would go deeper if I were you

Table-height (30" high):

  • 30" linear space per person

  • Minimum 19" seating overhang

  • [Note: These are the recently revised recommendations for table-height seating!]

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:14PM
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