Usable space in 18" deep cabinet vs. 21" deep cabinet?
We are in the midst of completely remodeling our kitchen, and hubby is building the cabinets himself. (He built a new bank of cabinets in our last home to match the existing cabinetry, and did a great job, but this is the first time doing the entire kitchen!) Have been lurking here for a while (can't believe I never knew of this place before!).
Attached is the basic layout. The position of cooktop, ovens, refrigerator is already set. Now I'm trying to finalize the surrounding cabinets as well as decide on the island size and placement. Initially I'd planned for a 2 1/2 foot by 8 foot island, (33"x99" countertop including 1.5" overhang on three sides and a 21" cabinet underneath with a 10" overhang for stools).
I know this is not the recommended overhang, but hubby (who is 6') and I tried out a counter-height overhang of 10 inches recently and found it to be sufficient. In fact, I think we could go down to 9"...it would be tight for him, but still doable. Our main purpose of the seating is to have a place for the kids to sit and do homework or have a quick snack and chat with me while I'm working in the kitchen. It will not ever be a main eating area.
Anyways, that would give us 40" clearance on both sides of the island. Again, I know this is less than recommended, and I've read a lot of the posts debating this topic. I'm torn on this matter. We measured out the original 40" and it definitely felt too cramped on the side where the stools will go (which is also a main pathway from powder room, garage, and family room).
I'm petite and I think I could easily get by with 38" on the side with the sink and oven (the oven is the only part that gives me pause since that limits the amount of space I have to stand in front of it with door open. But I had hubby measure the space I take up while reaching into an oven LOL and I think 38" would work.) That would give me 42" on the other side, which is a main walkway. I still think a little more would be ideal, but I think we could do 42".
So if you've read all that, thanks! That brings me to my question... do I go with 21" deep cabinets in the island with a 10" seating overhang? Or do I drop it down to 18" deep cabinets. That could give me a 45" walkway on the main path and 38" for my working area in front of sink. Is an 18" cabinet (my plan is for it to be all drawers, which obviously will reduce the usable space, but not by as much as pull-out shelves I'd think) even be worth it?? How much actual usable space will that give me? I know that I could simplify this by just eliminating the seating entirely, but I very much need (want) a spot for the kids to be in the kitchen while I'm cooking.
I appreciate any feedback!