Double Island Kitchen

yokattaJune 27, 2009

We are in the process of doing house plans and are considering a double island (two parallel islands) kitchen. However we have never talked with anyone who has had one. If anyone has one or has worked in one please comment on your thoughts ie what you like and what you hate. Thanks and I look forward to your comments.

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Check out Momto4Kids' Kitchen in the Finished Kitchens Blog (FKB)...

Here is a link that might be useful: FKB: Momto4Kids Kitchen

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 2:26AM
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We considered two islands, but in the end ended up with one. Pros - easier to walk around and serve to the breakfast table, not blocked by one massive island. Can divide the islands into different functions, ie stools and eating vs. prep sink/baking area. Having the two islands filled up the empty side of the room - better balance. Easier to find granite that will fit the island with no seam.

Cons - you lose continuous counter space which can be great for serving buffet style. Also the two islands can be more expensive, since you have to finish off two additional sides. Another consideration in my case is that we have an open floor plan and other runs of cabinetry and countertops just across the room from the main part of the kitchen. I was concerned that with two islands it might end up seeming a bit too busy in my case.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 7:26PM
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cdecker has two islands that are perpendicular.

Here is a link that might be useful: cdecker's kitchen

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 7:45PM
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Thanks for the info. Eastcoastmom I find it interesting that you noted a pro is it is easier to walk around. My designer says just about everyone he has done they later regret it. He claims it's too much walking around ie not as convenient to serve on the bar. He did mention those that entertain alow have liked it. Any other thoughts??

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 11:20PM
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I have seen a couple here that look very functional...Momto4Kids' and someone who is still building their kitchen, whose name I can't remember at the moment. Not everyone liked that latter plan, but I happened to be a big fan. I've also seen someone try to fit 2 islands into a plan that looked like it would cause great traffic problems and be too crowded. It really depends on the plan...How you plan to use each island, and how they relate to the other elements. It probably is an idea that works in very few spaces, but yours could be one of them. Can you post your proposed layout?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:38AM
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In the spirit of the original question, I am curious to know this: I have always been intrigued by two island kitchens. The ones posted on the FKB look great.

I am really curious to know exactly how folks divide their chores between two islands? Are they able to accomplish things that they could not do well with just one?

I would appreciate the multi-island owners share their experiences and perspective.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 1:55AM
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Hi Yokatta, here's my experience... We are still in the process of building, but the islands are set up and we JUST got the stainless countertops on them -- YAY!! The two islands are each approx. 42 wide x 70 long (one island got a bit shorter/fatter because of function, but they look similar-ish at first glance)

Here's our experience so far... we love them! Keep in mind that there aren't even dishes in the cabinets yet, but we started using the kitchen for food as soon as the water was hooked up. (its a weird blend of building materials and incoming grocery items on top of the counters right now...yuck!!)

Anyway, i love being able to walk between the islands. We have 40" between them and its very comfortable. Despite all our construction, 50 of our friends invaded to see fireworks on the 4th. On one island i put some desserts to grab as people headed down to the river, the other island (with the drink fridge) had plates, etc. It worked well, even though it wasn't thought out ahead of time , it was just where everything landed.

Like i said, not a ton of experience with them yet, but just moving around the kitchen doing construction was MUCH easier with two islands than with one large one!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 11:00AM
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We are in the process of designing our home right now and it will have 2 very large islands. The one closest to the kitchen will have a prep sink and be my work island. The other will act sort of as a break between the great room and the kitchen and hold drink refrig, be our eating, homework spot and work for serving buffets.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 11:45AM
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I suppose this might be too obvious, but in case it isn't, I'll mention it: in Momto4kids's kitchen, and the others I've seen with two islands, the aisle between is in just the right place to limit trekking, often right behind the sink.

I was once in a very large, lovely house a large, beautiful U shaped kitchen with a center island. The cooking was on one leg, the sink on closed end of the U, and the refrigeration across the aisle on the wall facing the U. The island was solid. No prep sink or anything else. And about the size of a king sized bed. Boy, oh boy, could this have used an aisle right through the middle of that island!!! The only way to work in that kitchen was to go around and around and around.

Some 2 island kitchens have a work island and an eating island, where the latter is more of a free floating peninsula that divides the rooms (sounds like what Gayl's might be). I've seen a two island kitchen which had a prep island near the stove, and a plating/serving island in the fridge/sink area, that seemed to work pretty well. But I've also seen a kitchen that had two long islands parallel in the center, with walls with counters also parallel, and workstations on all. This might work if they have four cooks and want them to each have their own workbench and aisle, but in terms of traffic flow it was a disaster.

My point? Make sure you put the aisle where it'll improve flow and make it easier to use the kitchen! :-)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:11PM
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I was recently at a party in a beautiful home that had two parallel islands. It really worked to keep everyone out of the cooking area while still being part of the action.

I loved that kitchen. If you entertain a lot and can arrange it so it improves flow as plllog recommends, it really works.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:58PM
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bethandkevin - do you by any chance have any pics of the stainless counters on your island?


    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 1:58PM
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Hi malhgold, I'm attaching some pics of the islands per your request. Ignore all the junk & construction stuff in the background!

Here is a link that might be useful: double islands w stainless

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 11:20AM
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thanks so much! it looks great. i'm considering stainless counters on my perimeter, but have wondered how it would be on my island. do you have a different countertop on the rest of your counters?

any chance you can quote me your $/sq. ft. also, where are you located?

thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 2:52PM
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One perimeter section (the main sink area) is also stainless. The remainder of the perimeter is still a bit up in the air! For right now we're using 3/4 plywood covered with the black wood flooring (a bit non-conventional, but i have leftover flooring and i'm over budget). Someday i hope to replace it with either carrera marble or soapstone.

I'm in the midwest (outside chicago) and I went to my local welding shop for this. The counters are 16 gauge and we purchased 3 10" sheets of material. With labor and materials it was 23.50 a square foot (which I realize is a great price!!. Because he was doing it so cheaply, we agreed that i would do a little bit of the fine sanding (with a 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper). You might be able to see a little bit of darkness around the corners where it was welded... it really doesn't look bad the way he delivered it, but i'll sand some more to get it just right.

hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 3:39PM
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