Kitchen Layout Feedback
We are looking at having a house built by a spec builder and have the chance to modify the layout of the kitchen to some degree. My wife and I love to cook and entertain. She does the day to day cooking and I do mostly the gourmet and more involved cooking. We use the wok a lot. We use the oven a lot also, but mostly to bake casseroles, prime rib and some desserts. Not a lot of delicate baking or bread making.
Our vision is to have a big island with a cooktop with enough seating for 9 to 12 people. The closest thing we can describe it is like the hibachi grill experience in a Japanese restaurant where you get to interact with your guests as you cook and prepare the food. And the food would be served and consumed fresh as you finish cooking. We also want the island to be a place for the kids to do their schoolwork as me or my wife prepare dinner. We're thinking that island would also serve as the breakfast area so we can design the island to take up the space of the breakfast room also.
The builder we are working with has a floorplan with the layout we want. However, we have to modify the kitchen configuration as follows (see attached floorplan with our modification):
1. Enlarge the island area all the way to the breakfast area
2. Move the cooktop from behind the island (along the wall) to the island
3. Add a big island vent. Since we are considering a 36" Bluestar or Capital Culinarian, probably need an 1200 cfm oversized vent (42" or 48" by 37").
4. Move the built in microwave/hood combo from above the original place for the cooktop somewhere else (not sure where yet)
So here're my questions.
1. What do you all think of the layout and the idea of having a big island where you can cook while interacting with the guests?
2. Do you all think it's a bad idea to eat up the breakfast area with the island? Is our need so unique that it will be hard for us to resell the house if we don't have the floor space for a breakfast table?
3. The clearance in the modification between the island and the dishwasher is around 38" and between the island and the refrigerator is 42". Is this going to be sufficient or would this be too crowded?
4. Is the island too big for the space that we have that it will not look balanced?
5. Ideally, I would like the cooktop to be on the "long" side, not on the end of the island (on the "short" side). But this is the only way we can make the big island fit. Will I regret this and should I look at moving the cooktop on the long side (not sure if that makes sense with layout and space of the kitchen).
Thanks for the feedback!