Headbanger cabs over a peninsula?

Fori is not pleasedNovember 3, 2013

You remember those stubby cabinets they put over peninsula in the '60s? Does anyone do that anymore? I'm thinking of it. They never bothered me, probably because I can see under them just fine but can still reach the bottom shelf.

We're going to have a loooong peninsula separating the kitchen from the family room and I think it might be cool and somewhat useful. Am I completely wrong?

For some reason I can't find a good image but if you grew up in the suburbs, you might know what I mean. This is a somewhat elegant version. Most of them were not this nice, but longer. Naturally I'd want something elegant. Probably not clear though!

Midcentury Kitchen

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LoPay

I had solid laminate ones that blocked the light from the patio door. I took them down and hung a pot rack. The pot rack is going back up with the new kitchen in about the same place.

I think if they didn't block any light or view, were proportioned correctly, and look right or the space, you get away with it. The ones in the pic are all glass and look like they are a bit higher than a normal cabinet. Holly-Kay's new kitchen had pendant cabinets and they worked for her space.

I could also see an open shelf configuration to hold art work.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 12:36PM
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jellytoast

I would think that if you were short enough to see under them without stooping or bending over, you'd be okay with them, but anyone taller would likely find them annoying.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 5:54PM
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chedanemi

Had them in our old kitchen and absolutely hated them. They were old and probably lower than they should have been, but I couldn't wait to get rid of them. Those you show look nice, and if you can see under them without bending, I suppose they could be okay. Keep in mind the height of anyone else in the family though!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:08PM
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bpathome

Oh, dear, I like my stubby peninsula cabinets. Handy for emptying the dishwasher or dishing up on one side and setting the table on the other, and they help block the view from the front door to the cooking, but they're high enough to let people at the table and the cooking zone converse. Of course, they are in an unremodeled '60s suburban colonial, and I'm only 5'4".

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:11PM
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Linelle

Had one, got rid of it, along with the soffit from which it hung. It wasn't all glass and pretty like the one in the photo. It really didn't block my view as I could see under to the dining table and my main view was off to the side. But getting rid of it opened things up and made my little kitchen seem so much bigger. I don't miss it, esp. the soffit.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:12PM
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dan1888

The whole feel of the space should be 'looked' at.
You won't see those in many other places either.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:30PM
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Holly- Kay

Lopay, thank you for remembering my peninsula cabs. I do think they work and I am so happy that I did them. Like all other design aspects there is an ebb and flow as to what is in style. Mine are extremely useful as I store items that I don't often use there.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:17PM
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chesters_house_gw

I have friends who had that arrangement in one house, built in the 1970s I think, and liked it well enough to include it in a new build (both upscale), What they liked was its position between kitchens and dining rooms, so that dishes could go from the dishwasher back to their point of use. In both houses the cabs are glass on both sides.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:24PM
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Trebruchet

Sad to say, I have repeated experience banging my head on cabinets, but not at a peninsula. Every time it's been the corner of the upper at the stove.

Maybe it will knock some sense into me one day, but I wouldn't worry about it with the cabinets pictured.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 7:16AM
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suzanne_sl

Having overhead cabs over the peninsula does change the view of the kitchen. I suppose it depends on what is on the non-kitchen side of the peninsula. In our case, it was a huge improvement to get rid of the overheads. We did lose some storage space, but we 1) got rid of stuff we never used and 2) were able to add in a pantry. The pantry can be seen to the right of the sink, and was made possible by removing a stub wall in that location.

Before:

After:


Turning directly around, you see this:

I think you need to ask yourself what it would look like from both directions. Looks good? Do it. Looks cramped? Don't do it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 7:33AM
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purplepansies

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea. Depending on how it's done and the needs of the space, it can look quite nice and be very functional. I'm considering something like this, too.

Traditional Kitchen by Calabasas Interior Designers & Decorators Jill Wolff Interior Design

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:28AM
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purplepansies

Lots more photos here. Some very nice, some nice and some not-so-nice.

http://www.houzz.com/cabinets-over-peninsula

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:32AM
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lavender_lass

The height isn't an issue, you have a 50's style house...and you need the storage. Why wouldn't you do them? :)

That last photo is gorgeous! It's like having a mini-butler's pantry.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks y'all!

I grew up in a house with about 8 feet of those. The doors were the problem--if left open they'd hit my mother right over the eyes. I was (am) shorter so I uh...probably left them open. They swung right over me.

We'll have the family room on the other side so I thought it might be nice to have extra differentiation between the rooms while still being open. I love the idea of cabinets accessible to both the kitchen and eating areas but that's not gonna be the case for us--the table will be at the other end. We might not the natural lighting available to pull it off though. (We just aren't tidy enough for glass, especially with what would be going on the top shelves.)

Love all the examples--Holly, yours is perfect for showing that these things don't have to be icky and retro like Suzanne's before. Now, I am willing to be a little bit retro sixties, but not too far!

I will entertain the possibility and when I get an actual floorplan and a ceiling drawn up, we'll see!
Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:41AM
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pricklypearcactus

It certainly changes the look/feel of a kitchen having cabinets vs not having cabinets over a peninsula. I really like the picture purplepansies shared because I think having a cabinet on the end that runs to the counter helps the overhanging cabinets feel supported (visually). Instead of having something looming overhead that feels like it might fall down, it feels as though you're looking through a cozy pass-through. I also like the glass cabinets better than solid. Though I think solid cabinets can be done tastefully when they aren't full height and have the backs finished with panels.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 11:01AM
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lavender_lass

Fori- I just found this picture...is this your style?

From [Farmhouse plans](https://picasaweb.google.com/113704953485102437421/FarmhousePlans?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCNqkm8ynzeeRFQ&feat=embedwebsite)
    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 12:40PM
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suska6184

When we took ours down, the room instantly looked huge. Yes, it provided lots of storage, but I must have found places for everything because I have plenty of storage now and got rid of very little. Actually had that in 2 houses and I don't miss it at all.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 1:06PM
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lazy_gardens

Have them and HATE them, but can't figure out how to do away with them. We really need the storage.

If I could figure out where to put some cabinets that are less obtrusive, I'd do it in a flash.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Having lived with some, I loathe them. I think if you're going to put cabinets over a peninsula, you might as well and go ahead and put a wall there to anchor them with. They are always in your face. OK, maybe not in your face, but certainly in mine!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 3:17PM
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GauchoGordo1993

I'm 6'2" and these always interfere with my line of site, and I always end up ducking to see through or converse with folks on the other side. Site obstructions like this (large, low pendants also fall in this category) are certainly among the most annoying things for me. So I agree with Holly - if you really need an upper cabinet there, then better to just put in a wall.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 3:50PM
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cevamal

There are lots of 80s houses in our neighborhood with cabinets similar to suzannesl's before. I can't stand them BUT I'm tall so for me it completely blocks the view into the next room. I have to stoop to see beyond a foot on the other side of the counter.

If you love it, the height isn't an issue for anyone else in the family, and you're not concerned about resale (if I bought a house with them I'd consider that something to be fixed) then go for it!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks guys. :)

So you'd rip these out?:

LLass, I do like that but why are the counters so thick? I just see wasted storage! There could be taller drawers! Haha! I will never not have small kitchen brain.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 12:26PM
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GauchoGordo1993

No, I'd just lower them so that anybody over 5'10" could see over them and anybody under 5'10" could just stand on their tippy toes or a small stool if they wanted to see over ;)

Beautiful home BTW. Is it an Eichler or just Eichler inspired? That's my favorite domestic architectural style.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Fori is not pleased

Just some random internet house I'm not attributing properly. Definitely Eichlerish, but it looks too big!

Here is a link that might be useful: Web page whence photo swiped

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 3:36PM
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GauchoGordo1993

I see. Beautiful architecture, but the furniture looks completely out of place. Would look so much better with MCM furnishings.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 3:42PM
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greendesigns_gw

For cabinets like that, I'd repurpose them elsewhere. Like as a console for a TV. Add some cool hairpin legs or stainless legs and you'd be good to go. And enjoy the much more open feel!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 3:43PM
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Fori is not pleased

Just to be clear, that's not my house. My house is uncool.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Linelle

fori, yes, they have to go. I'm not the biggest fan of Eichler or Eichler-esque. :)

purplepansies, while that is beautiful, it would still annoy me. Doesn't it look like you could just break off a piece of that kitchen and eat it, while toasting the just-married couple?

suska, you and me both. My wee 10x10 kitchen got a huge apparent size boost when they came down. The old cabs are now out in the garage, hung high on a wall and the same stuff is inside. I have enough room (just) in my kitchen without them.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 3:48PM
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GauchoGordo1993

> Doesn't it look like you could just break off a piece of that kitchen and eat it, while toasting the just-married couple?

YES! Well said.

I know it's not PC, but whenever I see a picture like that I wonder - does a man live in that house, and if so, does he ever set foot in the kitchen?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Fori is not pleased

Okay, some say if you need cabinets there, stick in a wall.

So why is a wall better than dangling cabinets without a wall? Just curious--it's functionally the same so what's the difference? Can't tall people pretend there is a wall there? :P

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 4:01PM
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sjhockeyfan325

It's not just tall people that hate them. I'm short and hate them - I hate the way they look and I hate that they divide up space poorly and I hate that I have to duck to really see through (really) --- seriously, if the bottom of those upper cabinets is at 18" above the counters, that means 54" from the floor. So who wouldn't have to duck to see through?

A wall doesn't make you expect to be able to see through - you know you can't LOL

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 4:05PM
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GauchoGordo1993

Because the absence of a wall encourages people to bad things (assume uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time). Same reason we put fences in the middle of roads to discourage jay walking.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 4:09PM
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purplepansies

OMG, you all make me laugh! But I still have no issue with over-the-peninsula cabinets if done right. They do need to be higher than standard, and I do think the glass on both sides is needed. But I happen to like that they separate the spaces a bit and provide storage, but still let through light. While I don't like to be shut away alone in the kitchen, I'm also not a fan of the big open spaces many of you have. Each to their own, like everything else!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 4:36PM
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Fori is not pleased

I like PPansies' girly passthrough! It would be really wrong for my house, but I wouldn't even bother asking if it was okay to install something like that if it weren't. Stylistically it's so different than the 60s-70s peninsula cabinets I wouldn't even put it in the same category.

So, peninsula cabinet haters, is 6 feet off the floor okay? (Or 5'10"?) Or is it still icky? I'm thinking of it as a style element. Sort of how soffits can be used to define a room that isn't defined by walls. This is a 15-16' peninsula with a casual family room on the other side. (This is to be an addition, with kitchen, family room, and casual eating--at a table, of course--crammed into a really awkward ~900 sq. ft. space.)

Maybe I'm just having trouble truly embracing an open concept here. Nah. I can handle it! The rest of the house will have doors everywhere!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 5:22PM
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GauchoGordo1993

15' peninsula? I'm struggling to imagine such a thing. Do you have a picture?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 5:30PM
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Linelle

Fifteen feet?!!! There should be a stile for going over it rather than having to walk around it.

The wedding cake pass-through, while not something I could ever have, is still very very pretty. I would gush over it if I saw it in real life. My cats would LOVE the pass-through.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 6:22PM
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lavender_lass

That is a long peninsula...so why do you have to have it all open? Maybe a bigger version of something like this? With smaller uppers in between regular ones...

From [TV kitchens](https://picasaweb.google.com/113704953485102437421/TVKitchens?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite)

Or just treat the middle of he peninsula like a window and do something like this...

From TV kitchens

Of course this could be done in a rustic/manly version, too...just couldn't find pictures of it :)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 7:01PM
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debrak2008

Just wanted to say, cool house! Is that cork flooring?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Fori is not pleased

Those are too nice, LLass and NSMom. Now I'm hung up on that blue counter. (Not even a blue person!) I think we might skip the overhead cabinets. If nothing else, it might be dark. No windows in this kitchen

Is a long peninsula that weird? It'll be most of the kitchen--I only have one actual wall to work with. The peninsula won't be between the kitchen and any room that (should) involve food.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 12:16AM
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GauchoGordo1993

15' peninsula seems too long to me, yes. I'd be inclined to make it an island with walkways on the ends or two peninsulas with a walkway in the middle. Tough to make a recommendation without more detailed layout info though.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 12:22PM
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