Need Ideas on Kitchen Design / Layout
I recently discovered this website, and have seen many of you provide great help to those of us with design issues.
DH and I are designing what will be a second home for a while, then our retirement home. We love our architect, and the modern design he's creating for us. But I'm a bit stuck on the kitchen; I can't seem to love any of the variations so far. The picture is the latest proposal (previously the kitchen wasn't quite as wide, and the island was "vertical," rather than horizontal, with the cooktop on the narrow cabinet wall). The open area in the middle of the plan runs the length of the house, with the bedroom area to the left and the living area to the right of the small bar area.
Background: we love to cook, and are often cooking at the same time. DH uses the stove and the (outdoor) grill; I use stove and oven. We don't socialize a huge amount, and are trying to keep the house size smallish, with efficiently-used space. We want a separate eating nook; we use our current such area a lot, for eating, reading and various projects. We rarely use the bar area in our current kitchen, really when chatting with the chef(s). I would like to include a separate small prep sink, if possible.
We've already discussed with the architect the appliances all clumped in the corner. Probably the narrow cabinet wall will be deepened, by making the pantry and laundry room a little smaller and maybe the island a bit smaller too, so the wall ovens can go over there. And maybe rather than a wall of cabinets (considering we'll have the cabinets in the island and a large pantry), have a counter in the middle of that cabinet wall as well. Other than the island, we don't seem to have a lot of counter space, and the island work space is on the opposite side (not so practical?). We know we'll want our espresso machine (used daily) on a counter, and maybe one other appliance. Oh, we're bad with plants, so we'll probably have something else in the middle of the wide island.
I would love any comments or feedback, including on the general usefulness of the space. And like I said, we don't need to have the final design now, but we need good bones in place before moving toward construction plans. Thanks in advance for the help.