Desiging a multi-level island or peninsula

ontariomomJune 2, 2013

Hi everyone,

Edit: oops I meant designing a multi-level .... wish we could edit our spelling mistakes and typos in the title.

We are finalizing our kitchen layout and had planned to have one section of the peninsula rasied to allow for storage of frequently used pantry foods. We will have another pantry for overflow that will be a bit out of the main prep zone. My question is would it look better to raise both ends of the peninsula or just one end?. We do have the option of extending the length of the peninsula a bit to allow for raising on both ends. The layout below shows the peninsula raised on just the end near the curved island (see the section within dotted lines - zone M). . Should we raise it to the left of the prep sink as well for more symmetry. How is it best to make a multi-level island or peninsula look good?

We also wondered if the wall oven should be moved closer to where we will store our baking supplies (e.g. zone F) as we understand that a steam oven will get used more for dinner prep and a standard oven more for baking. n a previous GW revision it was commented that having three ovens together might be oven heavy.

BTW, we are not looking for a major overhaul of this layout at this stage as we have been there and done that throught many many revisions and feedback from GW. Thanks!

This post was edited by OntarioMom on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 18:29

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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I've seen several examples on houzz, with one taller side, including these:

Mediterranean Kitchen by

Contemporary Kitchen by Oregon City Cabinets & Cabinetry WoodWorks INC.

And one with cabinets at each end:

Traditional Kitchen by Stillwater Architects & Designers Ron Brenner Architects

This post was edited by mama_goose on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 21:14

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:11PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH
    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Thanks for posting those images! The last one especially looks like what we have drawn on paper. I am intrigued by the idea of the wood top for the elevated portion of the tall cabinet. What does everyone think about that change of counter material - good or bad?

Anyone seen an island with both ends elevated? Or should I stick with the single end elevated like Mama_goose's last posting.

Thanks in advance.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:40PM
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I love the last image posted by mama_goose. My own preferance would be all the same level, but with an island that size and enough open space around it, it's a nice addition.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:13AM
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In your case, I wouldn't want to break up that counter space with a taller element. It's already kinda cramped for functionality with the prep sink and cooking area on the island. And the other island. Too busy visually. The split island thing is already busy enough visually. If you need more pantry space, then perhaps rethinking how you are using the far wall would be in order. That should be your longer term storage for food, as it's the most difficult area to access.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 9:32AM
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Okay, one vote against putting a taller element on the end of the peninsula as it would be too distracting visually. The peninsula is hardly small at 11 feet (with last foot proposed as that taller shelf). I understood that 10 feet is the longest readily available counter top, which is another reason we put the last foot as a bumped up height.

Yes we can use the closet wall near to freezer for pantry storage of less used items. We can keep frequently used items in drawers if the raised unit on end gets scraped.

Thanks for your input, GreenDesigns.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 10:31AM
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I appreciate your vote. That last image Mama_Goose posted is my favourite too.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 10:33AM
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I agree with Green Designs, not so much because I think you are cramped (although, when you take into account how much is already going on on the island, it is certainly possible) but because it will be a barrier between the 2 islands, not just visually, but physically. I would be looking for another spot to keep frequently used pantry items.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 10:44AM
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I agree with Green and with Control on the reasons for not raising an island end. I would scrap the raised part, move your prep sink away from the corner a few inches, and move the cooktop "up" on the island about a foot. This gains you more prep space between prep sink and cooktop. The prep space looks cramped as is to me, especially with the overall size of your kitchen. Big space, but only 30" in which to do about 70% of your work.

Also, I would move the warming drawer out of your prep zone and use that for storage. I have a WD myself, and would never trade my prime prep drawers for the WD. They stick out farther than drawers. Between that and all the garbage pullouts in the prep zone, you have no storage for prep bowls, knives, etc that you will actually use in that zone. Can some of that garbage be put elsewhere? Across the aisle to the perimeter?

This might be a silly question, but why is the 2nd DW not near a sink?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Thanks for you points. A physical barrier as well as a visual barrier is food for thought.


Thanks for your help. Your comment on the second DW not on right of sink is not at all silly. We have debated the second DW location endlessly. My worry with having it to the right of the sink is it will be far from the storage cupboard that will house dishes (those are all around where we have the two DWs now). Also, I had been led to believe it is best not to cross clean-up zones with preps zones where possible (in other words DW behind main prep space is not great). I know Controlfreakecs in another post felt strongly the DWs would work best on either side of sink. If it goes on the right of the big clean-up sink it will be a bit of a journey to unload -- do you think the benefits of moving one DW is worth the unloading chore?

The WD can so move. I haven't really set the storage in the peninsula and island. Garbage in our City is a bit bulky as we have to sort it three ways. I will see to it that we have lots of convient storage on the long peninsula and if that means some garbage is bumped I will do it. I like your idea of increasing the space between prep sink and cooktop. However, that will make an 11 foot peninsula with a seam for counter material. Another idea might be to go down to a 30 inch cooktop. What do you think about this?

RE: Alternate spot for pantry items if tall shelf at end of peninsula is scraped;

I might be able to move the microwave and place pantry drawers above and below the steam oven. From what I understand the steam oven needs to be elevated (steam in face scenario if it is below counter). I can also move the regular oven to put other frequently used pantry items in its spot. Does this work better?

I appreciate everyone's comments for tweaking this plan.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 11:35AM
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