island sizes-a seat for EVERYONE?

heidiaJuly 14, 2013

Help me flush this out...when you all designed your kitchen, did you include a seat at the island for ALL the members in the house? Here is my dilema...we have 6 kids now, and 2 adults. I am just not sure I want an island that big. Our kitchen can support it, but it still feels so big...but I wonder if I will regret not having a seat there for everyone, during breakfast m-f, for example, but we eat at the table mostly now. I just don't know....what did you all do?

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Please don't stop eating at your table! And don't arrange your kitchen to make it possible. Because if you do, then the pull towardsthe table will weaken.

Why trade the family-reinforcing luxury of being all at table with each other for the dubious experience of eating lunch counter-style like in a mall food court?

There's nothing wrong with having a seat or two (or three) in the kitchen but it should be for the convenience of quick meals, or keeping the cook company or the intimacy of hanging out with a family member or two, where confidences can flow easily. If you've got enought seats for the whole gang, then it will feel emtpy and forlorn when it's just your tween who suddenly wants to share something really important with you while you are chopping the carrots for stew.

Many people recall with great fondness the world-righting sense of structure that eating all meals at the family dining table gave them. Not to mention the opportunity to teach (and teach and teach and teach and ...!) table manners and dining room poise and conversational confidence.

An island with leg room for 8, and space for cooking chores as well, would wind up as big a pool table.



    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 7:55PM
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That would be a really big island! I agree 100% with liriodendron...

Our Island is 9' x 50" which is a pretty big size (although I know there are larger ones out there!) and we can comfortably sit 5 people and 6 if needed. We have seating on 2 sides.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 10:51PM
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Our kitchen plan is to have 2 islands, set together like a "T" where the short part of the T is the higher island with the sink, and the long part of the T is a fixed table, set at table height. We will be able to seat 6 (family of 5) and will use it for all of our meals. It will be our only kitchen table (we also have a dining room table, which will then be used just for more formal events).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:15PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Make the table close enough to use for everyday eating and still be able to be close to the kitchen. And make the island functional enough to get all 8 of you to work on a project together around it. You'll have the best of both worlds.

Besides, an island that can seat 8 has passed island dimension, and possibly even sub-continent size. It's a full blown continent, be it surrounded by water/aisles. It's Australia.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:16PM
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We are a family of 5. We have only 2 seats at the island. They are for the lone eater out of sync with the rest, or the social support for the chef. We eat at a table.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 2:22AM
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I have four children, and have had four stools for a few years, but I don't think all four were ever occupied at the same time. The new island will have seats for four (on two sides)
I have an idea for you, though: consider a bench or two, instead of stools, while you have little ones. More flexible seating and enough room for all.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 6:42AM
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Thank you all for your insights-the table will be close to the kitchen(and large enough to seat us all, of course!) :) The kitchen does opens up to the dining area. :) I think I will stick to my plans and keep island a reasonable size. :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Lone dissenter here. We planned for 5 seats on the island but can manage more. Not perfect, but it's fine when we need to seat more. Last night I used my 5 wonderfully comfortable stools plus an old wooden one from the attic. I actually wish we'd purchased more stools for the island (we have 5).

During our renovation, we replaced the formal dining room with a large open kitchen area / bfast table. When we have company, and I'm cooking, we're at the island.

One of my key requirements as we planned was seating for 5 on the island. My two plus the three neighbor kids, sitting there while I dispense treats and food. They're not all there as often as I'd like ... I think everyone DOES deserve a place at the island.

Best of luck, oldbat2be

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 11:14PM
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I am with oldbat2be. Everyone always congregates at the island and if at all possible, you should try and make sure everyone has a seat. If not, make sure at least all of your kids do.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 6:43AM
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Its not just your kids but think of when there friends come over. My DDs friends all hang out at the island. We planned for 4 seats (number in our house) but bought an extra stool. We also have another old stool in basement when there are 6 people at the island and we have used it.

If you take care in your islands layout it can be a great conversation place. My teenagers seem to feel much more comfortable at the island for important talks.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:11AM
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I saw a kitchen in a magazine some months ago...they had a big island (seated about four) and a large banquette against the back wall of the kitchen. I don't think it had any window above it, but it was for the kids...and had a big table for them to eat, use laptops, hang out with friends, etc.

I believe the island was for helping the cook prep, having a cup of coffee, one or two kid visiting with mom, etc. The table was really the 'kid space' and it easily seated six people. I don't know if they had room for chairs on all side of the table, but if you could seat even more.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 3:36PM
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