How do you like your peninsula or island bi-level counter height

nehomeJune 4, 2013

One of the reasons that I really want an island is to be able to use wood as the counter material. However, my kitchen is narrow and I just may not be able to do an island that includes seating so I am rethinking the peninsula layout. I am considering a raised "bar" section so I can use a wood material. What is an appropriate depth for the raised counter to allow for eating? Is your lower counter a 25" depth? Do you like this split height?

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The conventional wisdom is that the depth depends on the seating height (you need less knee room when you are sitting taller.) We have a peninsula with a 13" overhang where we've had most of our meals for 25 years (counter height), but I've read many times that is not "enough." I don't know if we just don't "belly up" to the edge, or what, but it's plenty.

(We considered doing a bi-level bar to hide kitchen messes better, but concluded that it just compromises both the countertop function and the dining function by splitting them up.)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:23PM
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Hi - We have both an 8 x 34 island - 10" knee room... and a dual height peninsula with 12" knee room... we have 3 boys ranging from 6'1 to 6'5" - and the knee room is seems adequate. I like having both an island and a peninsula! I like the split height for eating.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:36PM
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We cut down the wall in our house to use as an "island". It is bi-level the lower counter is 25" and the upper is about 16" with 10 inches being overhang. It definitely allows enough room for eating but not enough to keep "family style" plates of food in front of you for serving. Just make sure you don't mind sitting on tall stools, some people find them uncomfortable and it would be an expensive change to make if you end up not liking the height.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 10:04PM
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We did something similar. We have a two level ''peninsula'' with the higher level, which is on the dining room side, in wood, and the lower counter level, kitchen side, is the same as our other counters which is soapstone. The top level is 19.5 '' with the over hang at ~13.5'', and the lower level is also only ~19.5''. The higher level is plenty of room for eating, but as our table is also right there, we pretty much use that area for our laptops.
From kitchen side (right hand side of photo):

From dining room side:

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 11:17PM
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I posted this in another forum but does not look active since 2011.. so here it is again.

I'm just finishing my remodel. I put in two Islands. One is "counter" height with the sink in it with an overhang for seating. The second one is all "Bar height" with seating on one side with the overhang-the other side has a beverage center and three bar height cabinets. Can't sit on that side with chairs (cuz of cabinets) but great to lean on with food and a bar. I did not want two levels on the Bar island since: 1) everyone has it,,,and I wanted a different look and 2) one can never really entertain on the small level without drinks and snacks falling off. I really want this to be a "bar". Now that it is done, the Bar looks massive since all one level at bar height. I hope I don't regret this ..we are not moved in yet but hope i find this great to entertain? I will post pics if interested.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:29AM
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yes, Terri-- pix would be worth a few thousand words!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:35AM
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We have very much what you are describing, a wood bar at bar height with granite on the rest of the counters. Our peninsula is open to the eating area/family room around a corner. I admit, this is one area that was about form over function. I liked the way it highlights the open corner and separates the family room from the kitchen. Plus it is in my primary prep and cooking area (range adjacent) and I was afraid I'd feel like I was cooking in the family room without it. It also hides my little prep sink. The 25" counter depth does not seem too small to me, but I have lots of room to spread out side to side.

We've never been a family to eat at an island or peninsula, and we don't use it that way now. In fact, we still haven't gotten any stools and I'm not entirely sure we will because people seem to enjoy just leaning against it or we use it to set up buffet style - whether it is a large family meal, or just snacks/hors d'oeuvres for visitors.

From kitchen side:

From family room side

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:26AM
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