Kitchen Layout Help--Island

mommytotyNovember 25, 2013

Hello! Hoping to get some feedback on a question I am struggling with in my kitchen layout. We have already started construction on the house (framing almost complete) and are in the process of designing the cabinetry/layout of the kitchen.

The current layout has an island that is 6.5' x 5' (the drawing shows 6.5' x 6', but I have decided to reduce it to 5' because the slabs for the quartz I am using only go up to 5'). We have to shift the island about 6 inches to the right from what his shown here (towards the window) to accomodate the large fridge doors of the all fridge/all freezer units we have chosen.

My concern with this is that it doesn't leave much space for the eating nook. We would have to use a long and really narrow table (about 2' deep) with no seating on the outside to leave about 3' for walking by on that side of the island.

So, one idea I have is to just do a straight window seat in that alcove (without the two corners that wrap around) that doesn't get used for eating but that is just a place to sit and relax with a book/cup of tea to enjoy the view (water/mountains). I would also then extend the island toward the window from 6.5' long to 7' or 7.5' and would have seating for two on that side of the island as well as seating for 3 or 4 on the front of the island.

Thoughts on this? In essence, would you prefer to have a smaller island with seating only in the front and an eating nook with a narrow table OR would you prefer to have a larger island with seating wrapped around one side and no eating nook?

Thanks for your input!

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It might be a bit late at this point, but what about baying out that window? It might give you enough room for a kitchen table.

While island seating can be nice, many people (myself included) like having the room to put a kitchen table. Sitting around an island for family meals seems less intimate.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 12:53PM
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A 2' wide table is much too narrow for more than snacking and coffee, IMO. The dining room is right next to the kitchen; how many seating areas do you really need? Do you plan to, or are you open to eating all your meals in the DR? If so, then a window seat (perhaps with a small cafe type table, depending on clearances) and an island with seating would be the best fit for you.

Based on the limited measurements on your drawing, I estimate that the current diagonal clearance between top right corner of the island and the inside corner of the bump-out is about 48". Keeping with the decent aisle clearances you have elsewhere in your kitchen, you could increase the island's length by 6" but I wouldn't expand it more than that or you'll create a pinch point in your kitchen.

How about an island shaped like this?

It's pie-shaped, 7' long on the straight sides. I realized after I drew the curve and added seats (an approx of how many seats you could have) it's a bit too generous. It's a very long reach from counter edge to the center, which would make it a PITA to wipe down the counters. Figure out how far a reach you can do comfortably and make sure you can reach all parts of the island to clean the counter.

Here are some images to give you an idea what that would look like:

Rustic Kitchen by Louisville Kitchen & Bath Designers Kitchens by Wedgewood

Contemporary Kitchen by Healdsburg Interior Designers & Decorators Saint Dizier Design

Modern Kitchen by Denver Interior Designers & Decorators Duet Design Group

Traditional Kitchen by Chanhassen Design-Build Firms Knight Construction Design : Chanhassen, Minnesota

I made the window seat more generous so that you can add cushions at the back as well as sit with your feet up on the bench. How high are your ceilings? If they are only 8' high, that puts your windows about 2' up from the floor, which means that the sill won't be much above the bench cushion. Can you change the windows? If so, opt for 4'6" windows so that there is a bit more wall behind the bench. Most people won't want to lean back against a window, even if there are cushions.

For instance, this window seat, IMO, is more inviting

Transitional Kitchen by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Su Casa Designs

than this one

Traditional Family Room by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Michelle Jamieson Interiors / New England Style

It also means that people can lean back against the cushions without window shades getting in the way:

Eclectic Living Room by Silver Spring Interior Designers & Decorators Designing Solutions

Ditto for leaning back if an open window. Leaning against a screen is never a good idea.

Now if you intend to use the window seat as a temporary perch, sitting as one would on a picnic bench, then none of the above matters. really.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 2:41PM
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Thank you, gpraceman. I think it is too late to do a bay window and I am not sure it could even be done. One thing I didn't mention is that this is a one story with a basement, so the main level where the kitchen is is really "upstairs" and the bump out is a cantilever.

Last night I got this drawing from my KD of what the kitchen would look like with an expanded island and just a window seat in the bump out. I actually like it quite a bit. I know what you mean about island eating being less intimate. The only reason I am even considering it is because we can sit 2 and 2 (we are a family of 4) and still face each other somewhat rather than lined up all in a row. We also have an informal dining area in the great room that is open to the kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 2:42PM
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lisa--Wow, thank you for your very helpful post!! I hadn't even considered a pie shape island. Definitely something to consider! The cielings are 9' so I think we are ok with the window height for the bench, but I will need to measure to be sure. I agree that having a backrest is much more inviting than leaning against a window! Here is my inspiration pic for the window seat as revised:

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 2:55PM
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We have a pie-shaped island and love it. 5ft x 5 ft, then rounded on one side.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pie shaped island

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 9:41AM
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