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Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

Posted by swfr (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 10:51

I'm going to keep saying it-- your input has been SO HELPFUL. I feel like I'm really getting new great ideas with things I wouldn't ever consider.

And to show that I am listening I have reconsidered the prep sink. :) Lol.

So now my latest and greatest is attached for everyone to study and help me realize my newest mistakes. Your thoughtfulness and honesty is appreciated.

Here's what I see is good:
--cleaning zone is very close to the eating area (for clearing dishes) and dish storage (for unloading dw)
--trash/compost is centrally located for scraping dishes and for prep work
--standing there doing dishes I will be able to keep an eye on the family room (with little kids that's a good idea) and also enjoy the mountain views which will be out the back right windows of our house
--the prep and cooking zone (including the fabulous new prep sink) are well situated together and will also allow me to hang out with guests at the island when entertaining (or when the kids are there doing homework in a few years)

I'm really excited about the layout. And a little nervous that someone is going to point out a fatal flaw! :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

One question: is 10'4" x 6'4" too big for an island???

I just mapped it out on my current kitchen floor and it seems crazy. But does it fit the space?


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

Just curious about your prep sink decision. You said on the other thread that you knew 2 people who had them and that made you decide NOT to have one. What was it about your experience with those kitchens that lead you not to initially want a prep sink?

Personally I don't have one and am not sure I would ever want one.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

I just feel like the space could be used for other things. And I have never had one and don't know that I need one. But with a kitchen this size in our new home, I have come to understand that I would have the space and as my kids get older (and they both are showing signs of wanting to be my sous chefs) I am open to the idea that it might be useful. Plus, I want to make sure that I am including what should be there for a house of this caliber for resale.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

I thought it might help answer the kitchen island size question if you saw the layout of the whole first floor so you have more context of the scale.

You'll see our floorplan here and hopefully someone can tell me that this island isn't too big.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

For the island size, can you reach the entire surface of the island to wipe it? Mock it up to see.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

I'm 5'4" with average length arms. I just stood at the end of my peninsula to see how far I could reasonably reach, as if I were doing the standard wipe down. It's 36", barefoot. So, for me, 6 ft. would be manageable, but the additional 4" would mean wearing heels (never happen), standing on something, or a partial layout on the counter. That's okay once in a blue moon, but it would get annoying every day. If your kids are helping out, they're not going to reach the center either without climbing on the counter.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

I have a prep sink that was recently added during my remodel and love it. It is close to the fridge though and down at the opposite end of a long island from the cleanup sink.

The best advice I received was to ensure the prep sink was an adequate size to be useful. Some people with "prep" sinks actually have bar sinks that are not useful for real work. Mine is 22" and can hold a turkey or a watermelon for washing.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

I think the island is too big. Hard to reach it all and wasted space inside. But I'm far from an expert here.

I think what's driving the size is the cleanup area, which still sacrifices space on one side of the sink.

What about putting cleanup on the long side opposite the prep space? Put the sink between the DW and dish storage. Then make the island between 4-5 ft wide.

Not sure what you need for seating, but you could do a bowed edge on the right and probably seat 3, depending on width, angle, etc. or a more circle shape and maybe get 4, or leave the two seats as is and maybe put two small tuck-away stools under a slightly smaller overhang on the other short side if they wouldn't be used frequently.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

How deep is your planned overhang?

It looks like there is some wasted interior space and I'm wondering if it can be tightened up by making the overhang a little narrower. Is the overhang planned for actual meal-eating or just for snack-time.

Re: the prep sinks in the other kitchens you have been in - if they are not well planned and not planned with prepping in mind they will be wasted.

I have one and it was planned with prepping in mind and I use it all the time. The clean-up sink is used for clean-up and baking (I'm a really messy baker and have to be right by the DW for throwing everything in after using).

A friend of mine has a prep sink which is not within the work triangle and it is wasted which she acknowledges. She uses it for cutting flowers and that's it.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

Blfenton, helpful comment-- it helped me see where I could get rid of the outside angle at the top of the island and lose those few inches of wasted space. Thanks!


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

Two things....I like that you moved the DW close to wear you will be putting away the dishes...but I see traffic jams here...person 1 at the sink, person 2 trying to make coffee or get to the fridge, etc.

Secondly....don't get a prep sink on one end when you have the regular sink on the other end...seems redundant.

Hoping the real KD' s on here will respond...I don't think you're there yet...sorry.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

This is one is much better than your first and somewhat better than your subsequent layouts. I have some comments...


Prep Sink...The prep sink location is fine - it's positioned right where it needs to be for prepping. The cleanup sink is definitely not going to be useful for prepping - there's no real workspace around it...which brings up my biggest issue with this layout....


Cleanup Zone & Sink...The cleanup sink has no landing space on the right side and I can see both major splashing on the floor and dishes falling off onto the floor on that side. I think you will find it very frustrating to (1) not be able to use both sides of the sink for dirty dishes and/or a second Prep Zone and (2) have the constant cleanup needed when water splashes all over your floor - especially if it's wood...you don't want water standing on it for very long!

You should have at least 12" of emergency landing space on the right of the cleanup sink, 18" would be better. However, I would not want to have so little space around it in general...but, YMMV. [NKBA says: "Include at least a 24” wide landing area to one side of the sink and at least an 18” wide landing area on the other side."]

Also be aware that you will be sharing space in the corner of the island with both the Cleanup and Prep Zones - so you may have to deal with dirty dishes encroaching on your Prep Zone.


Island...I would get rid of that angle - it's going to more of a hassle than it's worth, it's robbing you of needed work/landing space next to your sink, and, if you are going to have a stone counter, it will drive the cost of fabrication up by quite a bit. Anytime you have unusual angles, it costs you!

Can you make the island longer? (Not deeper b/c I think it may already be too deep if you don't have long arms). I'm asking b/c I think you need to either increase the overhang on the right side or add another cab b/w the overhang and the prep sink. If there is less than 18" b/w the prep sink and the seat on the right, there is a high probability of splashing the person sitting there while using the sink. I would not move the sink to the left...you do not want to reduce your prep space (especially if the Cleanup Zone does encroach on the Prep Zone).


Refrigerator...You will either need 12" or so of filler (or cabinet) no deeper than the refrigerator carcass/box b/w the wall and the refrigerator or you will need to pull the refrigerator out so the doors completely clear the wall on the one side and the cabinets & counters on the other side. The doors must stick out past all walls, cabinets, and counters adjacent to the refrigerator if you want to be able to open the doors fully - both for pulling out bins for general access and for cleaning. You don't want to have to pull the refrigerator out every time you need to clean it.


I had the same question that someone else had in your previous thread (thread #2 of 3) regarding the placement of the refrigerator in the layout I did for you. With deeper cabinets & counters, the refrigerator will appear to be a counter-depth refrigerator without having to make do with recessing, etc. Recessing a refrigerator into a wall or another room is a last resort when you can't do anything else to make it look counter-depth - not a first choice. Most people do not have the room for deeper counters like you do, that's why they have to resort to recessing into walls, etc. In addition, you are locking yourself into a location that you may find doesn't work in the long run...it's going to force the traffic from the FR and, probably, the Nook to go through your Cooking and Prep Zones b/c it's the shortest route regardless of whether someone is working there. Human nature is such that we take the shortest route b/w two points - even if we have to dodge someone working at the range or island or dodge someone trying to cross the aisle with a large pot of boiling water!

(See this thread for the layout I'm talking about: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0721231913742.html)


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

Buehl, I have just cleared my sketch completely (down to the walls) and I'm going to try to see what I can do with a fresh look, taking into account what you have said here and on other posts. You are incredibly generous to offer your expertise like this. I'm even going so far as to wonder whether the pantry entry should be at a different point in that wall. Hmm. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels!
I want to try to do the fridge on the wall that you recommend, but I am worried that if I make my cabinets deeper it will make those doorways on the left (to the dining) and right (even with a wall that opens up right there towards the laundry/powderroom hall) seem weird? How do I deal with that?

A million thanks.

Here are the empty dimensions for anyone who wants to tackle it with a fresh eye:


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

You're looking at things too dissected into parts and pieces. You need to look at the plan of the home as a whole. The dimensions of the walls as shown don't create a workable space. That means that you need to change the overall plan, not just move things around within the unchanging exterior walls. In a new build, you shouldn't be making so many compromises. Why build at all if that's the case? Why not just buy something that isn't ideal and save the extra premium that building costs over buying existing? You;d end up spending less money and having less disappointment.

Post the whole home's floorplan and the constraints of the lot that you are dealing with.

Also, this would be better dealt with on the Building a Home forum. Only after you get the organic whole designed better should you be narrowing down the kitchen plan. Overall, at this stage, you only need to know the functions that you expect the kitchen to perform, and for how many cooks and helpers. Then you design the kitchen around those needs. You're going about the whole design process for a home in reverse and trying to make something work that doesn't rather than designing something that works for you from the beginning and then using that as the seed that grows the rest of the home around it.

This is where using an architect can be more cost effective and you end up with a much better product. Trying to adapt some one else's prior created plan to your family, and your local ordinances, and your lot with it's orientation is a lot of adaptations that need more work than starting fresh with an experienced professional to do something for you.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

Here's what I'm talking about. This fixes these issues.

1. Your garage is on the wrong side of the house.
2. An outside corner with the chance for windows from two directions is devoted to a pantry.
3. No downstairs bath.
4. Three awkward spaces to eat at all close together.
5. No flow from the formal to the casual.

In this, you enter the home and have a gracious hallway leading to a pretty sightline---a semi-formal dining table that can serve for everyday eating, but expand with leaves to host for entertaining. A couple of wing walls and a cased opening give it a separate identity from the family room and the kitchen, while remaining open to both.

The study now has room for a full bath and closet, which lets it serve a dual purpose as a guest room, or a downstairs bedroom if you break your leg and can't manage stairs. The laundry and pantry both grow to manage the storage functions of the kitchen, which now has no uppers and light from all directions since it now occupies the corner space that lets that happen. You also have casual seating around the island that can serve you for snacks or socializing. Yet the semi-casual-semi-formal dining area is right there.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

I am no expert, but I agree with GreenDesigns about the garage. When I look at house plans, I first think about carrying groceries to the kitchen from the garage, and in the OP's plan, it's a long path.

GD's suggestions make for more useable space all around.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

I also agree that GDs design is much better. The pantry was taking up prime space and letting to a cut up kitchen.


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

GD- Love that view of the dining room :)


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RE: Okay, you win! I included a prep sink

I appreciate everyone really pushing me to see what I can do. It can feel overwhelming to keep hearing that I'm not doing things right, but I have tried to keep an open mind and do what you are saying. So I have reworked the floor plan as much as I feel like I can and I would be interested in getting your input. I'll put the link here for you to follow where I currently am in the process.

Here is a link that might be useful: New thread with my new plans


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