Redo for Island

kcthatsmeOctober 9, 2013

I designed this kitchen, for our build, in 2006. At that time, my husband absolutely didn't want an island. We have lived with one, since this design, and now he wants one! We are finishing electrical now so I can still make changes. I've been looking at this for so long that I just can't see past it. Please help!

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Could you post the rest of the house, so we can see where the openings go?

The first thing that jumped out at me is that you don't have a landing space near the fridge. It should go closer to the dining room (or breakfast room, if that's what we're seeing in front of the windows).

Next, your stove is about a mile from the sink (think of carrying a pot of pasta to the sink to drain).

Are you thinking of putting a sink in the island?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 3:36AM
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The two openings on the left go to the family room. The opening on the bottom goes to an office. The opening on the right goes to a hallway.

I wasn't thinking of putting a sink in the island. Doesn't mean I can't.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 3:49AM
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wow... super spread out. How do you see yourself using that vast amount of counter on the right? I'm trying to get a feel for how you use your kitchen. Do you bake/can?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:15AM
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How far along is this kitchen? IMHO the layout is not very functional.

edited to ask, can door ways be moved?

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Wed, Oct 9, 13 at 9:02

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:19AM
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remodelfla - Basically what happened was... I designed this, and we started building this, when I still had several children living at home, and an infirm mother moving in. Now, years later, that is no longer the case. But this home needs to get finished, and lived in at least two years, and then we'll see. In the meantime, I hate to waste space that can be put to good use, and I'm a minimalist. ;-) When my immediate family gets together, there are 12 of us. All in the kitchen/dining, at the same time.

debrak2008 - Rough plumbing and electrical in. Almost on insulation. For the functionality of the other rooms, I don't want to change where the doorways are placed.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 12:42PM
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Originally, I had the range/microwave in the middle of that long bank of cabinets. I was concerned though that would really create a bottleneck with that opening. I could put it back there and the fridge where they are now. That would give landing spaces, for the fridge.

This is the kitchen, years ago, that I got ideas from.

This post was edited by kcthatsme on Wed, Oct 9, 13 at 13:01

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 12:49PM
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How about this? OK, that's a ridiculously small picture, so hopefully you'll have a magnifying glass handy. Clicking on the picture might make it a tiny bit bigger. (I need to ask Greendesigns how to successfully use paint to add a picture to a post.)

Let me explain what I drew: Island down the center running bottom to top in the drawing with a sink in the middle of the island run, and counter to either side. Seating on the left side of island. On the right side of the kitchen it goes fridge at the top, counter below it, then the stove, and some more counter below that. At the bottom of the picture there is plenty of room for pantry cupboards, or if you wished, a separate baking area with wall oven, or a coffee center or bar, or a command center, or maybe even some soft seating such as a couch or built in bench with storage below. I drew some shallow shelves along the left side of the page, but you might want to leave those off and make the walkway along the seating side of the island more spacious.

This plan tightens up your work zone, saving you about a bazillion steps while prepping and cleaning up, yet gives you plenty of room for extra hands to help when company is over.

Best wishes. : )

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Sorry, double post.

This post was edited by kcthatsme on Wed, Oct 9, 13 at 16:18

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 3:36PM
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laughable - Thanks! I can't see the picture. Would you please email it to me?

This is what I've worked on today. Still a lot of steps but better maybe? I took the sink out of the peninsula, to make it function like a workspace island. That's why my husband wants one. Not to sit at but for prep purposes while looking at family. I shortened the peninsula and brought the range closer. Even with someone standing there and cooking, there will now be room to walk around them. It will be closer too, to converse with a loved one while cooking and prepping. I moved the fridge, so food has a landing place. The sink/dishwasher aren't in my favorite place but I had to put them somewhere. If I need to do dishes while someone is prepping (probably almost never), they can stand on the other side of the peninsula and I can purchase stools that push all the way in (under counter height). Backsplash height, I'll play with later. Thoughts?

This post was edited by kcthatsme on Wed, Oct 9, 13 at 17:34

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Yes, better. I would slide the stove south to be more inside the square, and add an island in the center. You could put a 2nd small sink for prep either on the island or at the end of the counter near the stove. Think about prep - stuff out of the 'frig to the sink, wash, cut & put on the stove. How many times do you do that? Your wash up area looks ok to me. And the 'frig easy to get to from the family room...How about a pantry in the lower left corner?
Do you bake? Is the scale in your print 1' ? I envy you the large space, but you will be doing a lot of walking in this kitchen!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:12PM
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nutmegc1w - Thanks for the post! I tried the stove south first. Better function but visually worse. Island... What size? Like laughable posted? I have a walk in pantry on the other side of the wall of the new range location.

My husband is the main cook so I definitely want him to be happy in this kitchen The scale is 1'. Yes, a lot of walking... Good thing I don't mind exercise! ;-)

Thank you so much for all of the comments, so far. They were really helpful! Other changes?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:58PM
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Your kitchen is very large and I think you might want to tighten up the work triangle and keep your sink, range and fridge a little closer to each other. My last house had a layout similar to this plan. I did not have a walk in pantry. The bottom of room as drawn were two 4 foot wide, but 16 inches deep reach in pantry closet with doors. I forgot to put your doorway in the picture. If you put your fridge on the wall on the right, you can recess it into the pantry.
I liked the sink on the peninsula because I could always talk to visitors at the table or bar. I liked the stove on the left wall- it was out of the traffic area. The fridge was lower on the wall on the right in my home, but I think the pantry door there would be handy access from your kitchen.
I had a small trash pullout on the right side of the island facing the dishwasher and two pull out drawers next to the trashcan(it held most of my pots and pans.)
My very wide utensil drawer was on the island also and very handy when unloading the dishwasher.
The dishes were stored in cabinets next to the fridge -handy for transport to the table and again for unloading the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 9:57PM
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Karenseb posted what I was thinking.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:18AM
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Alrighty, let's try this. I just emailed you a copy of my picture, but I think it's still too small. So, here are some screen shots.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:50AM
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And one more, since the picture filled more than what would fit on my screen in one photo.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:52AM
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Karenseb and debrak2008 - Thanks for the posts!

laughable - Thanks for the screenshots!

I will play around with both layouts. Thanks for taking the time to help me! I sincerely appreciate it!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Here are a couple versions of laughable's.

Thoughts? Maybe I'll try just wall cabinets on the shelf side also... I'm not really a lot-of-open-shelves kind of gal.

This post was edited by kcthatsme on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 16:14

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 2:48PM
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This is one more set, based off of laughable's picture. Of the last three I've posted, I like this version the best.

Thanks again, for all of the help!!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:38AM
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Wow, that looks really nice in 3D! What does your DH think of it?

I'm no expert on stones, but from what I understand, it can be difficult to get long slabs of granite, so if that is what you might want for the island, it will probably need to be seamed because of the length.

I'm not sure about the shallow depth counter area along the wall. Do you have plans for what it would be used for? It might be better to keep that area wide open.

Here's hoping you'll get some more feedback. : )

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 9:44PM
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laughable - Of all the new ones I tried, the only one that DH liked was the last one (with the shallow depth counter). I like it a lot also. For lack of a better word, it feels more sophisticated, somehow. Ultimately, he likes the original one better. I think he is just so used to it now. He says it is up to me though.

As far as keeping it open, I have that pictured above and it just looks bare to me. Like we ran out of money to finish the kitchen. ;-) I'm really not a fan of a lot of open shelving and I tried it with putting a beautiful painting or some such but that really wanted to grab the whole focus of the kitchen.

I know I wouldn't be able to use that shallow counter for function but all of that cabinetry would get used. Taking those cabinets all the way up made the visual looked cramped, to me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do a plan for me and your comments!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Hi again. : ) I was trying to remember a wall pantry unit picture from another GW kitchen, and lo and behold it showed up in a different thread today. (!) This is sort of what I had in mind for the wall where you played around with a few different options. I like the look of the narrow countertop too, but I know if that existed where our family lived, it would be a clutter magnet (blush). Maybe some well-placed decorations, candles, etc. could help minimize it collecting stray items.

I can understand someone getting used to a design that has been planned for a while. However, I would really strongly encourage you and your dh to sit down and mentally go through prepping and cleaning up a meal or even a few different cooking related tasks together in your prospective plans. Then also, think them through with a houseful of family and guests. I think your original plan might be quite challenging to work with, even though it looks very nice on the screen. All of the usable elements are spread far from each other, creating a lot of unnecessary steps. Add in a few extra people, and it could be anything from mildly obnoxious to downright dangerous to work in(boiling water needing to be drained from a pot, carried through traffic to the sink comes to mind.)

It's really nice to have the sink, stove, and fridge, and prep space all near each other. Pivot, grab what you need, pivot set something in the sink, smile at the person across the counter instead of tripping over them in the walkway, etc.

If you can find a copy, there is an interesting book called Kitchen Design with Cooking in Mind written by a chef turned kitchen planner who deals extensively with making the most efficient use of space. The kitchens may look outdated in the book, but the ideas of how he designs the spaces are not. The NKBA guidelines are quite helpful as well.

Ultimately, it's up to the two of you and what you think is best for your home, though. : ) Thanks for giving me an opportunity to play around with the plan.

I wish you the best and look forward to hopefully seeing your finished kitchen on here someday. : )

Here is a link that might be useful: Check out the shallow pantry wall

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 4:28PM
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laughable - Thanks for the shallow pantry idea! That is definitely interesting! I'll play around with it...


    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 8:59PM
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Here is how it looks...

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:26AM
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Something somewhat similar to your original layout. My dimensions aren't exact, so not sure if the range and fridge can go to the FR wall or how long the island could be. Seats can be on the island or peninsula, if you have space in the dining area. I think you have enough space to have the MW at a separate spot and use a hood.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 5:10PM
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