My kitchen island - ideas/comments?

sochiSeptember 18, 2012

We've been using a craft table we had for the last 2+ years (see pic of this island below). It didn't really go terribly well with the rest of the kitchen, but the size was almost perfect.

Any thoughts on the designs for a new island further below? Pretty simple. Size will be 36" x 52" (current island top is 38" x 48"). I won't use the walnut on top as a cutting board. No seating. I don't need much storage but would like either utensil drawers or an open shelf on the island. Probably the drawers.

Does the design stink? Should the drawers be the same white as my white upper/pantry cabs? Or perhaps black?

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Is the pic of your kitchen and the one you are currently using? If so, what's wrong with it? I think it looks nice in there...

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:21PM
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I like the second one. Will it have a counter top on it? I remember pictures of your kitchen and it would look awesome with a ss counter top.

I like this one with a less chunky leg. Then you could still use the drawers for craft storage. Just a thought : )

Modern Kitchen design by Hawaii Interior Designer Archipelago Hawaii, refined island designs

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:25PM
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Deedles - yes, that is what I'm currently using. It has worked very well for us and I agree it looks okay, but it isn't very functional. The storage underneath is very difficult to get at (it is recessed under the top). Plus I don't like how it conceals the floor and the cabinets beyond. So I want something more open, with useful storage for kitchen utensils, etc.

rtwilliams, thanks for the picture, great kitchen. I could do a combo shelf and drawers, yes. It would 'bulk up" the view through the legs a bit more, but it might be worth it. I would do shallower drawers than those shown, just for one layer of utensils. I really don't want more SS in my kitchen, I feel that I have enough (other than perhaps a SS shelf under the island). I've got lots of walnut too of course though. I don't need any craft storage on the island, that was just a former use for the current island.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:39PM
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I like the pic rtwilliams posted (actually--I want that kitchen, that house, in HAWAII!!! oooooh ahhhhh!). Seriously, I like the idea of having both drawers, and an open shelf below. I agree with you re: tying in the white, by using it for the drawers. Continuing the white with the walnut would tie the island in with the rest of your kitchen, and add some visual interest as well IMO. I like your "leg" or the one rt posted.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:48PM
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I like them both but prefer the first (drawers). The lines are clean and it will fit well in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:55PM
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I would put the drawers also on the second one without moving the shelf-like thing down. I found that open shelves down low like rtwilliam's picture to be real dirt catchers.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 5:14PM
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I like the first one. I think just the drawers is a cleaner look, and goes well with your beautiful space. And I would also do the drawers white to tie in with the uppers/pantry.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:24PM
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bmorepanic makes a good point. Our last island (we just replaced it) had a lower shelf, and it was a major dust catcher and magnet for any pet hair, dog slobber, flying marinade, etc. It was kind of disgusting, honestly.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:36PM
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For your clean modern kitchen, may i suggest something like this?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:46PM
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bmorepanic, youngdeb, thanks for the advice re: lower shelves, I hadn't thought of that.

cawaps, leela, thanks for the vote, I'm leaning that way too.

cat_mom - I'd love that kitchen too, it is sensational.

pharaoh - yes you may!! I'd love something EXACTLY like that, but I'm afraid that you couldn't do drawers with it. Well of course you could, but would it not distract from the clean look? Also - not sure I could get a piece of walnut 36" wide. I *could* go without drawers, but then beauty is trumping function as I could really use two more utensil drawers, one on each side of the island.

Please tell me how I can pull it off??

Thanks all for the great advice.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:50PM
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I am glad you like this look.

The photo is monkey pod. I wish i had brought some back from thailand. IMO, it is the most beautiful wood in the world :)

Get two bookmatched pieces of walnut. Use butterfly keys to put them together. Leave a 1/2" gap between the two pieces for an incredibly cool look.

Now for the drawers. It would be best to not have them but I think you could pull it off with a drawer.
Here is how I would do it.
Build the drawers (lets say two) to fit the space between the legs. Make them about 3 or 4" tall. Standard full extension undermounts.
Now, ready? Use the same walnut and cut a piece to cover both drawers front. (continuous grain)
Then cut the piece to cover each drawer and leave the smallest gap between the two.
So when looking at the table you see the walnut top and a walnut APRON! no drawers. dont put any hardware on the drawer (underpull).
Cover the back side of the drawers similarly (single piece of walnut)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 12:39AM
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Thanks Pharaoh. I remember the monkey wood from our master bathroom discussion. It is gorgeous. I will discuss doing something similar with walnut with my cab maker. There definitely won't be any hardware on the drawers regardless. While cool, I think the one gap may be problematicl for a prep surface. I'd be constantly chasing my carrots and garlic!

With a book matched slab like that a high open shelf may look better than drawers. I could make handsome wooden utensil units that rest on the shelves perhaps. I will think that option through too.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Carrots tend to disappear and then reappear in strange places :)

I like the idea of a shelf. Perhaps glass to keep that open modern feel?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Mmm, that is pretty Pharaoh. All this wood candy, you know my weakness! :) Glass is a great suggestion too.

I really just need space for kitchen knives on the prep side of the island and for day to day eating utensils on the dw/clean up side of the island. A very shallow (just deep enough) single drawer centred on each side of the island might not be too obtrusive. The drawers wouldn't need to be wider or deeper than 18".

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Ok, Sochi, just take a look at Just look. Doesn't cost anything to look! And they are in Canada, too. It's just the perfect match, in my eyes, to your gorgeous kitchen. Outside the box, girl. Thinkglass, not other mfrs. of glass, unless they look like this.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 6:20PM
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westsider40 - gorgeous stuff, thanks for the tip! They are relatively close to me actually. I worry a bit that glass is not warm enough, too cool. But perhaps if I matched it with some walnut in an innovative way? hmmm.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:12PM
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Wow! That ThinkGlass site shows some awesome countertops. What do you suppose they cost? For a 36" x 52" top, it might be affordable. But only if you can tear yourself away from Pharoah's beautiful wood examples.

We have open shelving under one side of our island. The lower shelf is about 6" above the floor, the other about 21" above the floor. Bmorepanic, youngdeb are quite right about dust and dog hair. But we use the shelving for pots and pans, so it's pretty easy, for example, to run the pasta pot lid under water to get rid of the dust before using it. A bit of a pain, yes; for us it's a doable trade off for the easy access to pots and pans that would be tough to fit in drawers or shelves. Cooking is so easy when what we need is right at hand.

Last thought ... our dining table is similar to the style Pharoah is talking about. I agree with you about the gap being an issue for a prep space. An occasional item does disappear down that gap, but it's not a real concern for a table. Still Pharoah's example is so lovely that it might be worth the inconvenience.
From GardenWeb Photos

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:56PM
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kashmi - what a gorgeous table (and puppy!), thanks for sharing. I admit I'm a little more seduced by wood than glass, as much as I love the stuff on that site! The trick with the gap in a prep area might be having it thin enough that most of your food can't fall through, and wide enough that you can get crumbs, etc., out when needed.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Not to extend the discussion needlessly, but I wonder whether the 1/2" gap might actually be better. The decision probably rests with your prep style and what you have directly below the gap to catch whatever might fall through, especially if you are thinking of utensil drawers beneath.

Solids like bits of veggies or peelings probably wouldn't be much of an issue. If a sticky something leaked down and through the gap, though, it could be tough to clean a smaller gap.

Thanks for the comment about the table (and the pup). It was the first commercial project from a young woodworker. He was so proud when he delivered it that we invited him back to join us for the first dinner on the table. We've since lost touch, but I'd love to know what he is doing now.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:38AM
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