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7'x33" kitchen island?

Posted by nco_nj (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 13:12

i'm in the beginning phase of designing my kitchen (am employing an architect, KD, etc) but am concerned b/c my kitchen is 13' wide and we can't change the width - we are expanding the length to 16.' My island will run the length and with cabinets/appliances on both sides of my island that will leave only 3' of space on either side. I'm considering a more narrow island BUT do not want it to look strange and too thin. What do you think about 39" b/n my stove and island and 36" b/n a counterdepth refrig and island? this would allow me to have a 7' x33" island? thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

Mock it up with boxes. Remember that the only "counter depth" part of the fridge is the actual box. The door and the handles still stick out 6" or more past your countertop, taking that aisle to 30" at that point. Which is probably the MOST accessed space in the entire kitchen. If you placed the fridge at the end, and shortened your island up to not interfere with the fridge clearance, and it wasn't a traffic path through the kitchen, then you could do 36" between the range and island and have the 39" be on the other side. With no seating, it would just barely work.

A bigger concern in your verbal description though is the part where the fridge is on the other side of the barrier island, and you'd have to travel around it to be able to access it. That's another push towards maybe making the island much shorter than your current plans have it being in order to facilitate the traffic patterns. Or, a peninsula instead on an island might prove to be more functional.

You'd have to post an actual layout for better feedback on the choices though.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I agree that it depends on the function first. I've seen islands that were 7 feet long and only 26" wide (conventional base cabinet with a bit of overhang on each side for counter), and I didn't think it looked odd.--But it functioned appropriately for the kitchen.

The massive almost square island is a relatively recent design statement (last couple decades). That is what we are usually presented with visually, but I don't think that there is a perfect proportion that must be met that trumps whether it works or not in your layout.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I'm only addressing the visuals, not the function - LWO already did an excellent job of voicing concerns about appliance placement, barrier islands and aisle widths. Anyhoo, here are pics of long, narrow kitchens with long, narrow islands (range from 25" to 27" wide). I think they look good because they are proportional to the room.


The above island is 27" wide and 6' long to give you an idea what you'd have if you shortened the island as LWO suggests you might need to do.

If you posted your proposed lay-out, we could give you additional feedback and suggestions and perhaps come up with an idea you hadn't considered.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

The key element with the longest islands shown is that, generally, the kitchen proper is contained all within the boundaries of one perimeter and the island itself, and the other perimeter contains storage or secondary functions.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I noticed that, too, palimpsest, and meant to point it out but forgot so thanks for doing so.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I don't understand the love of islands, wouldn't people rather have lots of open space instead of turning their kitchens into walkways?


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

It seems to almost turn a big kitchen into a galley of sorts.

If you could fit your appliances/sink into one wall/the island and make the island 30"...32 with overhangs, could the other side be shallow pantry/storage... say 12 or 15 inches deep? That would expand your walkways around the island to about 43" with a killer amount of storage/pantry.

a floorplan would be good, though.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I agree with deedles. That is almost exactly what we are doing in our kitchen for other reasons. With a 6'9" ceiling we have no upper cabinets, plus thin kitchen, we are turning one wall into a "wall" of cabinets with no counter. They will be custom built so some will have doors, some open shelves for my many (hubby says too many) cookbooks, a built in wine rack, all of our dishes, pots, pans (the special ones not the every day ones), and just about all our food will go on these shelves and in these cabinets. This leaves us room for a larger island with more work space

As far as isles go though, I don't really think 36" is too thin. I do think you need plenty of room in front of the fridge, mine will be no where near my isles, but my isles themselves will be 35". (I know, not to code, but we are not selling, this is complete DIY so who is going to complain).

krycek1984- I can't answer for everyone and maybe it is the fact I grew up on the east coast, in very small kitchens, and in old city houses in general so my style of cooking revolves around everything being right there, but I don't want to be walking across a kitchen from one prep space to another. If you have a 12' wide kitchen and your counters are only on the perimeter, than either you have counters on the other side of the kitchen you don't use or you are carrying food from one side of your kitchen to the other to cook it. Or in my case where I can, I would be carrying hot packed jars by tonges across a 8' span (hoping not to drop them) and doing this a dozen or so times per batch as my only real prep space would be on the other side of the kitchen. Again, it depends on how you use our kitchen and what style of cooking you are used to.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

Thank you for all of this input, I have so much work ahead of me! I am going to get a floor plan uploaded. Does anyone have suggestions for a site that I can use to create a simple layout?
The primary purpose of my island is for eating as we will not have a kitchen table. Secondary purpose is for add'l cabinet space with shelves vs roll outs. My kitchen width is 13' and I can't expand it - i can take down the wall to the hallway but i'm trying to avoid that. I'm pushing my kitchen out so it will be 16' and could make it another foot longer (with add'l construction/expense) but I don't know if it's necessary.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

nco_nj: If you plan to have eating at the island, you unfortunately really need more than 3 feet, at least ideally, if you have functions on the other wall. 33" is also pretty narrow to have eating on one side -- you will need 12" of knee space on one side. It was not mentioned, but you can also make the opposite wall shallower, say 14 to 18" deep, and gain back 5 to 9 inches.

I used Sweet Home 3D to do downloads and simple 3D perspectives. It is free to download. Others may have other suggestions; some cabinet manufacturers like IKEA and Merillat have online tools.

My space was 147" to 148" wide, with walls boxed in by a staircase and driveway. With an even narrower space, I chose to just put an island with one wall of cabinets. This is proving to work out well -- I had a square space before and was constantly hiking across it, with cross-traffic getting in the way.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sweet Home 3D


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I also have a 13' wide kitchen, and chose to turn it into a modified galley. Most of the business of the kitchen is in an L and the long island, with nothing except seating on the far side of the island. It functions very well for us. Putting kitchen function on the far side of the island would cause it to become a barrier island. This floorplan isn't exactly representative of our kitchen, but it gives you and idea of the flow.

newkitchenlayout photo Hyatt_A5-0KitchenPlan_8.jpg


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

Graph paper and pencil work well for layouts. If you need to eat at this island, then you need to nix the cabinets on the other wall entirely.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

bump


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I can speak to the 36" aisle at the fridge...

In my kitchen I have a counter depth french door fridge with the island across from it. I have 39" between the cabinetry on each side, but as others have noted that isn't the "clear" space. I just went and measured, and the distance between the edge of the island's countertop and the refrig's protruding handles is 33 3/4". Since I have a french door fridge, I feel like this is "just" do-able. It does feel tight sometimes, certainly no one can pass through if another person is opening the door to the fridge, they'd need to go around the island. If it were a single-door fridge, it would be much worse. And if it were 3" narrower, it would still be technically functional, but not ideal.

That said, every kitchen is a compromise, unless you're building new with an unlimited budget!!! So it may be trade-off you need to make. But if you're still in the early planning stages, by all means upload a plan. The creative minds here on GW can probably help come up with a great solution :)


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I have a drawing that i'm going to attempt to upload. I made some modifications based on suggestions I received. However I really don't have any way around a "barrier island."


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

staceyneil, I am considering a similar layout and am weighing the french door v. single door refrigerator alternatives. We currently have a single door in a similar clearance space to what our new kitchen willl have (no way around it)
I am leaning toward keeping the single door model (just replacing it with one that has freezer on bottom). My reasoning is that with a french door, the user is standing in front of it (blocking the aisle), while with a single door, the user can stand somewhat to the side.
Does that make any sense?


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I need to get more graph paper but in the meantime here is a very amateur layout design. We are gutting entire kitchen so doorway location/size can be altered as well as window placement. I prefer to keep my 4 ft window b/c I don't get a lot of light. I really need the 2 door openings since one is to the hallway/near basement door and the other allows an opening right into FR. Currently I have an attached garage but can't access it direct from house so we'd like to add door entry b/n kitchen and garage.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

staceyneil
I know this is off topic, but what kind of cabinets are those?
Thanks


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

Here's a suggestion for starters (only conceptual, since no time for details like countertop overhangs (room for knees!)): move the dr door next to and perpendicular to the garage entry; put 6' or so of counter/pantry and a CD fridge on the south wall; remove the 12" deep pantry on the west wall; truncate the length of the island by 2'-3', and deepen it by about 6" (though you'll still need shallow island cabs to accommodate those knees). Clear as mud? ;)

PS My arrangement puts the fridge too far from the sink, so a prep sink in the island would be key.

This post was edited by fouramblues on Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 19:13


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I was told that a 3ft wide island would accommodate a standard 2 ft cabinet and that 12" was enough overhang for knees. Is this not the case?? I'm reviewing your suggestions Fouramblues - thank you!!


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

Actually, about 18" is about right for leg room, but it depends on the seat height. Maybe one of our CKDs will chime in? (So a standard depth island cab WOULD work with my suggestion, sorry for the misinfo.)

BTW, when I said truncate the island length by 2'-3', that's just the south side. Without the refrige on the west wall you might be able to add 6" to the north side of the island. It's hard to tell, though, since your drawing is rather broad-brushed. It would be really helpful to have detailed measurements for all cabs, aisle clearances, etc.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

Re: the overhang depth

perhaps one of the pros will chime in, but the 12" is the generally the minimum and it will be cramped on a 36" high counter (and people will end up kicking the cabinet face). 15" is a good target, and 18" may be better for tall families. The downside is that at 18" or so and beyond the overhang support system gets a bit more complicated.

The NKBA recommends 12" with a 42" of high counter and 15" with a 36" high counter.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

One thing to really consider about clearance space is dogs. We have three dogs so 36" wouldn't cut it-the dogs would always be trying to squeeze around us and we would trip over them...would just be less than optimal. Humans know to wait to pass till the fridge closes...dogs do not lol.

We are remodeling our house to open it up and clear space so maybe that's why I don't understand islands. For people with dogs though, they should definitely be a part of the equation concerning open space!! They are like packs of sharks :). Mix in the cats and oh boy!!!


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

12 is ok, just ok really, for sitting kind of slightly angled at the counter for short periods of time.

I have done a couple of counters like this because it was all the room that was available. I generally don't find it comfortable for sitting and eating real meal in the polite kind of way. And I am very short. My clients tend to sit there for short periods of time and eat a snack and use their laptops, but not really sit there and eat a meal...it's not cut out for that.

You really need the 15" for that, if you are average sized, and even that isn't like sitting at a table.

Is the only function of the island seating?

I think more successful islands contain one of the kitchen functions.

The drawing really needs to be done to scale, though because it's hard to tell what's really going on.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I will draw my layout on graph paper and resubmit. Palimpset: The primary function is for seating since we won't have a kitchen table but we'll also have roll out drawers for all of my pots and bakeware. Are you suggesting the island have a sink or cooktop?


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

nco_nj-you can print graph paper if you don't have any handy. I've run through reams of it myself. Just google free graph paper and a ton of sites will pop up. HTH.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

If you need this to be your primary eating spot, then island seating won't do it. It's too uncomfortable for that. You need an actual table. Which means NOT combining room functions here. You need a room devoted to eating, and a room devoted to food production. Opening up rooms isn't automatically the default solution to everything.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

Yes, this might be a situation where more of a shallow U shape arrangement + kitchen table would be better. Once you have a drawing to scale, I think you will get more specific ideas on how to accomplish what you need.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

The problem with trying to have a mixed-purpose area is that the compromises seldom fulfil either purpose well. Like those boat/car/ combos, they have to make so many compromises they neither cruise well nor drive well.

With a 13x16 kitchen .... That's HUGE compared to my current kitchen.

I'd try a banquette and table at one end or in one corner, just for eating, and then optimize the rest of the area for the best cooking layout.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I changed my layout based on the suggestions in this thread. I have designed a 7ft island that is 39"w to incorporate a 15" overhang. It will be a counter height island and and have 2 sets of 3' rollout drawers. Did I miss anything? Are there still major flaws with the flow? Thank you everyone for so much insight.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I changed my layout based on the suggestions in this thread. I have designed a 7ft island that is 39"w to incorporate a 15" overhang. It will be a counter height island and and have 2 sets of 3' rollout drawers. Did I miss anything? Are there still major flaws with the flow? Thank you everyone for so much insight.
Each SQ = 6"


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

nco, it's great that you put it on graph paper - it makes it so much easier to see what's going on.

With this new layout, your doorway and corner clearances aren't realistic. Coming in from the garage door, you have less than 1' 10" between the counter on the east wall and the rightmost pantry on the south wall. Same problem with that pantry and the island. And the FR entry is effectively only 3' and very awkward.

You'll need move some doorways and shorten the island if you want an island.

Is this actually your only eating area? If so, I'll echo previous concerns about that! Sorry to sound so negative, but you'll get there!


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

As others have mentioned, 15" of clear leg/knee space is the minimum recommended seating overhang for counter-height seating. That means 15" after you account for finished end panels on the back of the cabinets. If you have standard depth cabinets on ones side of the island plus seating, then the minimum depth of the island is 40.5" for semi-comfortable seating. Here's the math:

1.5" counter overhang + 24" deep cabinets + 1" thick finished end panel + 15" overhang = 40.5"

If you do not install finished end panels on the back of the island cabinets, then you save about 1", so a 39.5" deep island would work - with the appropriate aisle behind the seats (more on that later).

If this is the only seating in the house, then I would discourage island seating as this type of seating is not the most comfortable for meals, is not conducive to personal interaction (especially if seating is like "ducks in a row"), and will definitely be a major detriment to resale (if resale is a consideration...)

In your case, you appear to have a DR. So, is it a fair assumption that the island is only going to be used for snacks, the occasional quick meal, and for visitors while you work?

Of note is that for a kitchen to have cabinets and/or appliances on both walls + an island with seating, the kitchen needs to be at least 187" (15'7") wide. More math!

25.5" perimeter cabs/counters + 42" aisle + 40.5" island + 54" aisle + 25.5" cabs/counters = 187.5" (15'7.5")

If you have an appliance like a refrigerator on one side, add another 6" if it's not a true built-in refrigerator; if it is, add another 2" to 3".

You have a 13' wide kitchen...at least 2'7" too narrow for what you want.

Reducing the 42" aisle width to 39" will gain you 3", but if you have a DW on that aisle, even 39" could be problematical - unless you're OK with no one being able to pass by when the DW is open.

Reducing the 54" aisle will really only work (1) if there's no path through the kitchen on that aisle and (2) if there are no work counters or appliances behind the seats (e.g., pantry cabinets only). If these conditions are met, you could reduce that aisle to 48". If there is nothing on the back wall at all (only wall), then you can probably get away with 44".

Be aware that skimping on overhang does not save you on aisle width. People will still take up the same amount of room - they will just have to sit back farther from the island and lean over more - not very comfortable! They might sit sideways or "straddle" the island, but again, those are very uncomfortable positions! [I speak from experience - we have friends with a 12" overhang and it is NOT comfortable to sit at their peninsula! My DH and DS never sit there b/c it's so uncomfortable for them. Even our 15" is too shallow for my DH & DS, but it's not as bad as 12". If I had it to do over, I would try for an 18" overhang.]


Another pitfall is the "barrier island" problem. If you can't avoid it, then perhaps an island is not appropriate in your kitchen. I know that islands are the "in thing" right now, but not all kitchens can support an island.


Note: While 12" of clear leg/knee space is the minimum recommended seating overhang for bar-height seating, that small a counter is not very useful if you plan to eat any meals there - there's not enough room for plates & glasses w/o the risk of knocking one or the other off the counter and down onto the lower counter. In addition, bar-height seating is very uncomfortable for older people (if not impossible for them to use) and not very safe for young children. Plus, it breaks up your workspace on the working side of the island and sometimes causes that side to have even less depth than perimeter counters/counters with no raised counters on the other side.


HTH!


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

buehl: i love math and appreciate your precise equations since my numbers were slightly off. Based on your #s I can still add the extra space to the island and and to the cabinetry (i had been using 24") I will have a 25.5" perimeter cabs/counters + 42" aisle + 40.5" island + 48" aisle behind island chairs. My kitchen may end up 16' 4" Long. Yes, I have a DR attached to my kitchen. The island will be used by my kids for most meals, snacks & by guests when I'm prepping. I know my FR entrance is awkward and I'm not sure what to do about that.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

Here's the thing: you have four entrances into your kitchen, so you're going to have to have a LOT of room for movement/circulation. If you want an island, here's what I think you have room for, provided you can move doorways at will:

 photo GWncokitwithisland016_zps6d585ea0.jpg

If you want more than 3 seats, you could omit cabinets on the south side of the island, leaving only overhang, and fit in 1 (maybe 2??) seats there. I like the seating around a corner, because it's more social.

Caveat: I'm not a layout expert, and this is just for illustration. Exact appliance placement could and probably should be different.


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RE: 7'x33" kitchen island?

I think the better strategy here would be to focus on making the dining room connected enough to serve for everyday meals as well as for special occasions. That may mean enlarging the opening between the two, and then perhaps putting in french doors to be able to also keep them separate. Just altering that one wall's doorway location would do a lot more for the kitchen than going through all of the construction alterations that would need to happen in order to make this an optimum eat in kitchen.

The only way I could even see this being an eat in kitchen would be to do a small table and banquette on the bottom wall between the hall and family room. That would still negatively impact the traffic flow through the space though, much as the OP's suggested island does. This isn't a kitchen for an island without a lot of expensive alterations that may not see any payback in anything but more utility for the current occupants. Not to minimize that gain, but there comes a point when doing changes like that that the expense does outweigh the gain. Sometimes, even moving is cheaper than completely changing all 4 walls in a kitchen!


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