Stranded on the Island

ppbennAugust 15, 2012

I'm new to this. Have only done a couple posts and have such difficulty with pictures. However... I need a lifeboat!

DH wants the island BIG - as big as it can be.

If we do that we can still get 42-54" around all sides, but it ends up 7'X6' I think too big.

- three chairs facing the sink and view windows. AND ability to put stools under on sides cuz everyone congregates at the island.

- 36" drawer bases on stove, range, and sink sides.

- no sink in island

- really would hate to have two level island but would like to have wood top at chair end and stone elsewhere.

So Please any suggestions you have would be welcome.

Should I make the island smaller to make wider aisles?

I already have 54-60" between sink and island.

OK how do I flip the Picture!>>>

can I add another pic?

This is my attempt to mock up an island. It's 7 wide by 6 deep. View is to three windows.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How do we get several pictures in one post? I used to know how I think... that was before I tried to design a kitchen...back when I stayed on the building forum.
Heres the quick layout I did up at the house yesterday. I think its upside down -shoot me.
Really it seems huge doesnt It?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Honestly why is this so difficult for me!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your island is big, but I don't know that you have plenty of room on the sides for stools...without interfering with your range and fridge.

I would make the island 7' wide (with no side stools) and maybe 4' deep...with plenty of room for the three stools facing the sink. This would keep the stools (even when people are seated on them) within the kitchen area. Just my two cents :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it's a barrier island. You have to maneuver around the island to get from the stove to the fridge and fridge to sink. Plus the wide aisles and it feels like you might need roller skates.

Can you incorporate peninsulas instead of an island?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Out of curiosity, do you have someone who can reach the middle to wipe it down? Or do you have to climb up on a stool and crawl to the middle?

>>as big as it can beWhy? Is he doing the cooking and cleaning?
Is he the one who will be concerned with traffic flow and space?

Sorry to generalize, but this sounds like a man and his TV.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My issue with the size of your island is getting from the range to the fridge - especially if you have stools there and people sitting in those stools. you have a long way to go around that continent (I mean island).

Stools and people take at least another 2' of space and more when getting in/out of the stools. I would scoot the island closer to the sink by about 12" (no stools there). No matter what no stools go between the range and the island and you can't have them between the island and fridge because then you can't open the fridge doors.

This doesn't solve the problem of the island being in the way of the fridge for prepping and cooking.

Bigger isn't always better if it doesn't function well.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Alex House

If you install 30" depth cabinets instead of 24" depth then you can knock off 1' of island dimension from the two vertical walls of the U shape.

If you put the edge of the island so that it sits on the border of the room, in line with the cabinets and you knock a foot off, then instead of having to go AROUND the island to get from range to fridge you walk ALONGSIDE the island thus minimizing the barrier effect.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think 6' wide is too wide. How will you reach the middle to clean it?

You can mix stone and wood on the same level. Lots of examples here, but if you look for alabamamommy's kitchen (see link) she did a stone with a wood cutting board. So, same thing, but different. Hers isn't exactly even, but it can be done and I just can't remember off the top of my head anyone else's to look at.

Try to think of your zones, where will you prep and what kitchen things are involved in that? For me, it's the fridge and freezer to get the food, prep on the island where there is a sink with cutting boards and knives. Then cooking: where and what is involved in your kitchen? In mine, we have the range right across from the prep area, the ovens are nearby but not in the way and the same for the steamer and speed oven. And cleanup, from where to where? Our cleanup sink is on our window wall, the dirty dishes comes from the prep area as well as the kitchen table in the eating area. It has a nice flow to it.

The experts will chime in and help you here. I'm no expert, but my kitchen is working out!

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

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What is going on in the corners on the side of the main sink wall? Are those corner pantries? I think a a 7' X 5' Island with seating on the side facing the main kitchen sink would be the perfect size.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you can't wipe down the middle of that island without climbing onto it ... it's too big.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you all for the speedy help. Here's another sketch to help clarify.
Yes my husband does cook and clean, he's pretty cute too so a keeper for sure!
No stools all the way around and just "sometimes" on the sides when overnight guests congregate while DH whips up omeletes for all. Usually everything from the fridge gets thrown on the peninsula I have now, to assemble before moving to the range. So thinking that will happen on the island.
How big are these slabs of soapstone - sure would hate to have a seam, so that would better for keeping it smaller. I am leaning for the 7x5..
Really want to keep at least 60" between sink and island. If it is 5 foot deep I would have 66+ between.
The overall roon is 19'8"wide X 20'feet drywall to drywall if that helps.
You all are so great at helping to make the best kitchens possible.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Alexhouse I will re work the cabinets of the island. If it possible maybe fridge drawers??
Bee I LOVE alabamamommy's kitchen! Her inspiration Pics are some of mine and her kitchen is an inspiration also.It was one of the first kitchens I ran across when I found GW.
I found a deal on a walnut countertop 85" X 25" so thought that might be something to work in.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 5:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Alex House


I meant to increase the depth of the cabinets along the walls, but now that I've reread your OP I see that you're already using 36" deep cabinets alongside the walls. I was assuming 24". Never mind. :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You must ignore the posts about walking around the Island to get to different appliances. We did not build in an Island, and everything is sooooo handy, one step to the fridge, turn left and your at the Speed oven, another step and your at the oven and the induction cooktop, a step or 2 and you're at the wine fridge, one step left and your at the sink and dishwasher-----sounds like "heaven"????? Well, cause of that and the exercize I missed "Dodging around" a big island, (Sorry about that)!!!! I gained 10 pounds and if you saw my other post, My Doctor "Ordered me" to watch that Fit & Fitness program and "Follow Along"!!!!!

So DON"T make the same mistake I did, get as big an Island as you can, "It's The Trend"! (or is that "tread" ((mill)) )? Besides I like "Dodges" even if yours are only in the kitchen!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ppbenn, if you are putting stone slab (granite,marble, etc) on the overhung part of the island, you may want some advice on supporting it. 24" seems to be a huge overhang, unless you are adding rails and legs (not just the steel pieces you show).

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the chair that backs up to the range area is way too close. Mark that out on the ground...... with a chair at a table..... that doesn't leave very much room for a guest to avoid flying grease or a cook with a hot wok backing up...

Same goes for the chair that backs up to the fridge. Is it 48" to the counter? That means it is likely less to the fridge since it sticks out inches. It isn't enough room for someone to be sitting in that chair and someone opening the fridge.... I just measured using my french door fridge (doors eat up about 15" space open.) Well, it is enough room to squeeze in... but it's not comfortable. Again, map it out and see if you can live with it.....

As for your big island,.... it could be nice....but I think somewhere between 4' and 5' depth, the space in the center gets wasted. We have 51" deep, and it has been perfect. I can reach everything to clean (I'm 5'5".) I also love the amount of space there is to put things down... if there was more space, it would be hard to reach whatever was on it. Also, we have a 18" overhang (supported) and we are also really happy with this. It's a very comfortable overhang and we certainly don't need anything larger. (I guess if you have a tall family, you might.)

Something else to consider.... I am not sure stone pieces come in sizes that big? Certainly the length is good, but our particular piece was almost maxed out at our depth. Others might be better able to comment on that.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gary I have that kitchen now! And with a peninsula thats 34"X60". Thats where this 15# came from!! Really that is one of the reasons why we have had the knee jerk reaction and tried the giant island. Everyone tries cramming-standing around that little peninsula even when the dining table with all the food is 5 steps away. I've even had guests bring serving dishes of food back over to the peninsula and gravitate there! Whats up with that?
attofarad and lolauren I agree about the overhang I have not decided on legs or not, probably will have them.
The side chairs are ONLY for the rare times when the kitchen is crammed with people who cant find the dining table. I dont know whats up with the people I know.
Maybe this new house will be different. It's bigger and hopefully will flow better than what we have now.
Good points about the overhang. I was thinking of wood for the overhang if we do 24".
We just got back from shrinking the mock island to 7X4.5
that still gives me 36"side cabs and 18"overhang.
Now DH thinks it should be closer to the sink.
I like it farther away. Its 6 feet now

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just a thought : ) With that large space you could make it amazing. The corner pantries seem to add odd angles to your space. What is the floor plan of the adjacent spaces to your kitchen? I do agree with DH if that is your floor plan I would have it max 48 inches from the sink.

I found this kitchen on houzz

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We've really had no problems with the kitchen, it's size or the peninsula, but you are right, everyone seems to congregate around the peninsula. Since it's a curved area, there is plenty of room and when we have guest, there are usually half a dozen of them hanging around in the kitchen.
We made the overhang of the peninsula plenty deep to accommodate 3 or 4 stools, but in the 6 years we have had the kitchen , we just have never needed them. It does help that the kitchen adjoins the family room, so folks can hang out in either area.

I had originally planned to bump out the kitchen about 8 feet, as the 2nd story of our house over hangs the kitchen by that amount, so no roofing etc etc needed for bumpout,but after living with our new kitchen for 6 years now, It's "Just right" for us and our guests.
"Different Strokes for Different Folks"!

Good luck with yours!!!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why would you want the island 6' away from the sink? I'm curious to your reasoning. It seems like there would be a lot of wasted, open floor space on the sink side. Also, it makes your island less functional as a prep space since it's so far from the sink...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

rtwilliams - thats a really good picture you added and I like the island guesstimating the size at 8 X 4 with 48" between range to island and fridge to island. What do you guys think?

I have one of the same size corner pantries now and love it so much chose to add into this kitchen- wonderful storage in arms reach. I know thats something that many here would ditch first but they are staying. Next person can remodel them out ;) Now the only decision there is door swing.

AlexHOuse mentioned moving island to walk ALONGSIDE instead of around island from range to fridge; this makes sence to me and it does seem more open now. I really wanted decent walk room around open dishwasher door so really like 60"best. But that gets to walking more around island.

I will have to go back and play with the mock up island more today.
When I went up yesterday the siding guys were rained out and all were in the house standing around the "island" funny- no kitchen yet but still ...
thanks so much for the suggestions. It really helps me clarify

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ppbenn -

The attached photo shows a 55.5" aisle between cabinets with DW door fully open. There is still enough room for me to fully open the cabinet facing it (with a few inches to spare.)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Try walking through meal prep ... how many times will you have to walk around the island to get to the refrigerator to get things that get cooked on the range?

That's a 10-yard round trip.

I'd move the pantries to the other end of the run, so it is outside the appliance triangle, and make the island a shallower barrier protecting the chef's domain from the chatters. The aisles could be narrower because no appliances and working chefs have to be considered, just the sitters.

You would still have the frig/MW snack center, but without a small continent for the cook to have to walk around.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a similar kitchen size and layout, though we are also in the planning stages so I don't have any photos to share! :)

I started out with my fridge across the room from my stove the way your diagram shows, and everyone on GW made me see the light and move it closer to the range. There are still some twinges that pull me back towards putting the fridge where you have it, but there are just too many trips going back and forth while you are cooking and it helps to have it zoned together. What if your full sized fridge were to move to where your smaller fridge is shown in the diagram? This would make your island less of a barrier.

As for the island, I would put seating on two sides, facing the window, and facing the range, and I would get rid of the single stool near the range. Imagine how in the way that person would be in your example of your husband cooking omelets! :)

Finally, I also have trouble picturing how the pantries placed in the locations you have them will look, however if you are sure they will work for you - go for it! One suggestion, don't install standard doors, put in doors and sides that match your cabinetry so that it all flows together.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In case it helps, here is how I thought out zones in my kitchen.

The one change in the plan that isn't shown here is that the island is going to be a bit deeper, and little more narrow, with room for three stools facing the window and three facing the stove. The idea was that we wanted more prep space near the stove on either side of our prep sink.



We are also going to do a "hidden" pantry door so that it blends in with the cabinets, something like one of the below pictures (the last is a similar cabinet in a corner I thought may help you).

Traditional Kitchen design by Atlanta Kitchen And Bath Teri Turan

Traditional Kitchen design by Atlanta Kitchen And Bath Teri Turan

Eclectic Kitchen design by Other Metros Design-build Farinelli Construction Inc

Eclectic Kitchen design by Other Metros Design-build Farinelli Construction Inc

"Hidden" corner pantry.

Traditional Kitchen design by Minneapolis General Contractor REFINED LLC

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the pantries, FWIW!

How about if you slide the fridge to the other side of the MW, next to the pantry? Then you would have more of a straight shot along the Island to the stove, and less congestion from guests to deal with.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

lolauren Thanks for the pic of your great kitchen! That really helps to visualize inches turned into actual space. I was fearful of how much space is left with the DW door open.
You all are so helpful- I appreciate it.
We do have very similar kitchenplans laura12. And the pics you posted are in my ideabook on houzz!
I'm afraid my perimeter wont change much and have the recess for the fridge where it is and want it closer to the speed oven.
I guess I am planning on the island being the main prep landing spot as I drag things out of the fridge. Plus I want it closer to the dining room.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ppbenn, it appears great minds think alike!!

i would really consider removing the one stool near the stove top, that is the one that will be in the way, you can leave more space if you just have seating on two sides.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh those side stools--- they arent really there. Only the several times a year when we have out of town guests and they all have to park in the kitchen. I just put them in to see if it could be done in a pinch.
really only planning for the three or four if I can go to a 7 foot wide island

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know what you mean, but when your husband is cooking that extra stool would have more use on the side opposite the oven.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I didn't see this mentioned above, so here goes.

When you have a corner, you can't have stools on both sides of the corner using an allowance of 2 feet per person. The people's bodies - particularly knees will run into each other under the counter. The minimum suggested depth to allow for knees is 15". So, if someone sits on the short sides of the island, the seating on the long side needs to be 30" shorter than the side is long.

I'm not sure you'll be able to have a seating position at all in front of the ref. I know you're planning a space three feet deep, but you can't really enclose the sides of a ref past the rear of the doors. Most refrigerator doors open in front of the side of the refrigerator (take a look at your current ref).

So generally, the refrigerator enclosure ends up being around 30" deep and the doors and handles add about 6" to that depth. If you build an enclosure 36" deep, the ref will still need to be placed so its doors can actually open.

In a 48" cabinet to cabinet aisle, the math is aisle minus counter overhangs, minus 6" for ref doors, minus 24" for a seated person should turn out to be - first of all, bigger than the clearance required to open the doors but also allow for a person standing there operating the doors.

So, 48" - 3" - 6" - 24" is 15" available to stand in front of ref and open the doors. It just doesn't seem likely that this is going to work out well for you.

I also agree with the other that the stool on the range side is likely to have a version of the same problem.

Personally, I'd flip the sink and range walls (windows and all). That would make cleanup more accessible to the dining room and the deck while making the range more protected. For me, its more accessible because it can be used while the rest of the kitchen is also in use without passing through the active prep-cook area. The beverage center wouldn't necessarily need to have a sink at all with the cleanup sink so close. The person operating the range gets the benefit of the longer counter side and doesn't have to contend with stools. I would be very tempted to put a prep sink on the island or beside the range.

If that odd depth at the ref wall is coming from you, I would narrow that run to 30 inches deep instead and explore adding perhaps 3 of those inches to the island width. I would look at whether a bow in the counter would work better for seating and could keep the islander's chairs out of the way.

Good luck with your project whatever you choose. Doing the plan is one of the "worst parts."

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 4:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also think your 66" aisle, with no seating or cut through walkway is too big. My aisle with sink and DW is 44" to the island (CT to CT) and it is fine. I stand to the side of the DW door (I've always stood this way), not in front of the door, and it works great. There is enough room for people to get by.

Love your corner pantry, but do you really need 2?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good Morning
I'm heading back up to the house to play with the kitchen island a little more today.
My questions are focusing on the island aisle space and the SIDE stools are really not part of the equation as I've said above.
I know I put them in the drawing but that was just to see if it could be done in a pinch. When the house is full of people the 6 times a year I actually may have 6-7 overnight guests. This would NOT be a day to day thing.
I would like to have 4 stools along the 7 foot end which gives me my dilemma. If I do 7 foot wide island I have
48" countertop to countertop on the range side. An extra stool here would not be in front of the range but in front of the cabinet to the side of the range.
on the fridge side I have 42" countertop to fridge handle.
My perimeter is set and will not change as the venting for sinks and plumbing is in so no sinks in the island.
Thanks so much for All the very thoughtful responces. It is wonderful that everyone chimes in and gives real thought to each others issues.
Toward a more perfect kitchen!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not certain what your question is - are you asking if 42" and 48" is enough aisle space? I think as long as you are measuring from the fridge door handles to the overhang on the counter, and from the counter to counter this will be fine.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok today I changed my island to 7ft wide x 4.5ft deep
This gives me 45" on both side aisles and 60" on sink end.
This seems to help with the walk-around vs along-side that end of the island.
And takes the chairs out of the walk through from the deck
To the dining room
This seems about right as I look at it in the room



    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 7:11PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Why is a backsplash so hard to choose?
Got the counters in place my Taj Mahal...
Odd Shaped Kitchen Remodel
I cross posted this in the Design Dilemma forum, but...
Largest flushmount sink for 36" cabinest
Can anyone point me to the largest flushmount sink...
Kitchen design assistance - Small kitchen
I have a 12x13 foot kitchen with way too many entry...
How big of a range do you need for 13+ feet of wall?
We are narrowing down our kitchen design bit by bit,...
Sponsored Products
Cambridge Harbor Gray Paint Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Sample
CliqStudios Cabinets
Midtown Polished Nickel Circular 11" Wide Foyer Chandelier
Lamps Plus
6 Lights Modern Style Island Light with Crystal Fittings
Possini Encircled Crystal 6" Wide Halogen Mini Pendant
Euro Style Lighting
Silhouette 36 Polished Nickel Four-Light Island Pendant with Mirror/Frost Glass
Black Drum Shade Audrey Crystal Spray Console Lamp
Lamps Plus
Cylindrical Frosted Glass Pendant Chandelier
Euro Style Lighting
Reims 2-light Aruba Teak Island Light
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™