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17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Posted by gaonmymind (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 11, 12 at 15:04

Howdy Kitchen Folks! So I am moseying on over form the building a home forum. We are just breaking ground but will have to order cabinets soon. It was inspired by Ina Garten's Barn. Any who here is the layout (raw from the architect) and my wishes. Any ideas or help would be appreciated.

-I want the refrigerator to be on the side closest to the pantry.

-I have two sinks. The prep on is a 33" Kohler stages and will be closets to the fridge side of the island. I would like the other one (for cleanup and have not purchased yet) to be between 24"-33". I am trying to keep both dishwashers by the cleanup sink.

-I would like both sinks on the island but centered with the windows on the range wall.

-I would like a trash pullouts by each sink.

-The microwave mentioned is actually a Miele speedoven. I want it above counter so it will be in a tall cabinet that will leave room for an additional oven if a future owner wants one. I will only have the one in my range and the speed oven.

-I have a Fratelli 36" range and would like to do a hearth hood like Christopher Peacocks that extends past the range and has shelves to hold spices/ oils.

-All counter top appliances will be on the counters in my pantry.

-All lower cabs are drawers and there are no upper cabs.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

I would switch the fridge and microwave placements. By moving the fridge to the other end you will have a great area for prepping with the prep sink, fridge and range forming the work triangle. You can either prep on the island or on the space by the range.

Why 2 DW's? Just asking.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

You have some really nice features, Gaonmymind. You must be very excited. I agree the other end is a natural place for the refrigerator for working, and closer to the dining room, but also at that end its mass wouldn't block communication with the eating nook.

I don't think you'd regret it if you shaved some fairly significant length from each end of your island. In addition to making getting in and out less of a hike, I suspect it would make the whole area feel more free visually if it were less wide than the main doorway.

I also feel that in this case centering the cleanup sink in the main view of the kitchen would be specifically undesirable. The one main feature should own that view, obviously the cooking "hearth," plus there'll be stools adding their details to the center. Plus, if cleanup can't be invisible, it's usually sensible to place it fairly discretely and use other details to take attention away from it. Happily, doing this would also allow you to move the cleanup sink wherever it would work best for you. I'd guess "up" maybe 2-1/2 to 3 feet. Then you could also pull the prep sink "up" its end of the island to be closer to the range.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

I agree w/BFenton on switching fridge and microwave for ease in prep. Your project looks wonderful and look forward to seeing more!!!

To BFenton, two dishwashers are a god-send for large families and folks who entertain a lot. This home seems like it could be for both those scenarios.

We have two Miele dishwashers and use them both often for the same reason.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

I will also vote that two dishwashers is a great idea and we will also be putting in two dishwashers as we are a family of 6. I am not sure I would want the stools right across from the main clean-up sink and agree with rosie's point that is nice to avoid having the main sink in centre view.

Good luck with your project and all the decisions.

P.S. Clarygrace did you put in two islands like I think was in your plan? Do you like it?

Carol


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

I think where the refrigerator is in the layout right now is the better location. I'm assuming at least breakfast and lunch(if not dinner) are in the eating nook. Imagine having to get drinks, condiments, etc. for meals and having to walk back and forth thru the main cooking area. Plus, the frig would be closer to the den area, so people could get drinks/snacks instead of walking thru the kitchen. If you do decide to move the frig, I would consider refrigerator drawers or an undercounter frig for drinks so people wouldn't have to walk thru your main area. Then I would obviously put the prep sink at the upper end near the eating area.

Where are you storing your dishes/glassware? For arguments sake here, if someone wants to make a piece of toast, they will go into the main kitchen, get a plate/knife and the bread/butter out of the frig, then they will take that into the pantry to use the toaster and then walk back into the main kitchen and either sit at the island to eat or walk thru the main area to the eating nook to eat? I certainly understand not wanting counter top appliances on the counter, but it seems to me that unless there is a frig in the pantry, there could be alot of walking around to get a cup of coffee or a piece of toast. Just something to think about.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

I don't think you'd regret it if you shaved some fairly significant length from each end of your island.

I disagree. To find oneself with an island this large indicates, to me at least, that this is a design feature that was probably one of the first requirements that was spelled out to the architect rather than a design feature which developed organically from other aspects of the design. I think that if she were to shave off a couple of feet from each end of the island then she might as well go complete and redesign the entire kitchen for the effect of the long narrow island would be voided completely.

The way I look at this kitchen is like this - someone who has a spectacular Northern vista on their property is going to design the house to take advantage of the vista. To tell that homeowner that the main windows should be facing south and the North wall should have hardly any windows is going to be advice that they regret following.

I suspect it would make the whole area feel more free visually if it were less wide than the main doorway.

Gain more visual freedom, lose the visual effect produced by the island. Depends on what you want.

The trick here is to preserve the visual effect of the island and ADD to it in some fashion.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Wow! Thanks for all the feedback!

In my notes I mentioned switching the fridge and speed oven/microwave...so that will definitely be done. There is an additional microwave in the pantry.

I dream of 2 dishwashers now just because I cook a lot and it would just be convenient for me.

I planned to make a breakfast station in the butler's pantry for the coffee and toaster. So I hope that will solve that issue. I am somewhat frenetic about clear counter tops. A bowl of fruit and flowers is my threshold...lol.

AlexHouse...you hit the nail on the head! It was a priority feature for this island to be in the house. The architect did a great job accommodating it...he is soooo awesome! To lighten up the base of the island it will have feet like furniture on the perimeter and also about a foot of open bookshelf space on each end with large legs.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Oh and about the sinks I mentioned centering each at the windows...so they will not dominate. The hood will be the focal point.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

I can understand the reasoning behind orienting the kitchen toward the view but IMO that long of an island would make me feel hemmed in.

Especially since you want two sinks on the island, have you considered dividing the islands into two separate ones each with it's own sink & DW. This allow for maybe two 7' x 4' islands with a 3' pathway.

Also so guests that are sitting at the island, I think it would be nice if you had seating at least on one end and possibly the other two for a total of 8 seats at this massive area. The two on the sides would be able to converse with the person prepping and also have views to the side. The way it is now those at the island would have the great view to their back.

Though you indicated some of what you wanted you didn't explain why. It's not that I'm asking you to justify your decisions. It's just things we thought we wanted ultimately didn't hold a candle in the end. We changed the sink and range around and it made a huge difference in the design and function.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Aloha2009 - You have some great points. So let me explain a bit.

My thinking behind the island came when I visited Ina Garten's Barn in Rockefeller Plaza. It was the kitchen of the year. I fell in love with it. It is a replica of her real kitchen.

I wasn't sure why I loved it until I heard her explain it. In her opinion a galley was the best type of setup for cooking. She talks about it in the video below. She also entertains a lot and loves being barricaded on the other side. It keep guests from meandering in her space. Tyler Florence talks about the same thing. I also like a HUGE expanse of counter space, as I like to spread way out. The continuity of one large island is perfection for how I cook.

I also hate upper cabinets...but I realize that they work beautifully for others. Hence why I have eliminated them. I prefer a huge pantry to store things. So I can see it all in front of me.

For the stools I plan for them to be in the middle and the two sinks will flank the sides. I think I need to post a plan of my ideas instead of writing them. That may help visualize what I am talking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUFc3O1y_Hc

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen of the year video


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

but IMO that long of an island would make me feel hemmed in.

This is an enlightening back and forth. Aloha 2009 feels "hemmed in" and Ina Garten and gaonmymind both seek out the welcome feeling of "loves being barricaded."

You're both identifying the same feeling but you're each assigning a different value to the feeling.

I can relate - down deep I like the feeling of a G-Kitchen where I'm enclosed on all sides by the tools I use while simultaneously not being quite as comfortable in some of the wide spacious kitchens I see here and on Houzz (too agoraphobic) and with kitchens bisected with an Island (too claustrophobic). Having a counter 20 feet away is too far, having a counter 4 feet away is too close, having a counter 8 feet away is just right. I could work well in all 3 variations of kitchen, but I find that I prefer the G-Kitchen. So I can understand how someone might like the barricaded feeling, the visual signals of having the equipment on a straight, uninterrupted path.

gaonmymind,

I see the same problem as described by malhgold regarding fridge placement and how the fridge will be used. As already noted, perhaps a beverage fridge might be in order.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Hi Ga! My only question is about the breakfast area. I can understand you wanting clean countertops, but will you be drinking the coffee and eating the breakfast in the dining room? If not, you may be encouraging traffic through your work area, to bring those items back to the breakfast nook. Just thought I'd ask :)


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Touche Lavender! Something to think about. Never came to mind. See...this is why I am addicted to GW.

Alexhouse - I am considering a beverage fridge or drawers. But they are soooo expensive. If I don't go over on the build I will add them. We are just starting so I have a fear of all the unknown.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Been looking at your layout and thinking about some of the changes I made to my kitchen and how well it works. If it were me, I'd keep the fridge where it is (near the eating nook) and I'd slide the clean up sink all the down the island closer to the pantry. Then I'd put the prep sink at the other end of the island closer to the eating nook. I'd also move the microwave to the other end of the kitchen closer to the fridge as most of the food going into the microwave comes from the fridge.

The way your layout works now, it seems to encourage traffic through the main work area as others come in and out for a glass of water or a quick microwave meal or snack. Moving the cleanup sink down also means it isn't directly across from the range. I could see that area getting congested. I think making those changes would reduce the traffic through your work space and allow the range to be a beautiful focal point with a large are across from it for prep.

One of the best things about my new kitchen is the the fridge, microwave and prep sink form their own work triangle which is outside my main work area. My family rarely walks thru my work space while I'm cooking and I love it. They can get drinks and snacks easily without getting in the way.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Could you move the fridge to the other end and have an undercounter/beverage fridge by the nook? And...could you move the microwave to the island as an undercounter version?

If so, then you could have an appliance garage or armoire style storage above the beverage fridge. This would hopefully be enough room for the coffee pot and toaster, which would hide them, when not in use.

The butler's pantry is a great place for a small bar sink and maybe an espresso machine, if you have a lot of money left over from the build :)

Quick sketch...

From Cottage house plans


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

A bit late but my .02

I would leave the fridge but move the microwave closer to the nook as betting this will be used for snacks etc. Maybe a drawer on the island.

I am concerned about the nook size. Length is 10 feet and subtract 3-4 feet for the benches(total as each bench will need 18-24 inches depending on back vs no back) and then add enough space to climb into the benches,,,

I may be missing something but the area seems small.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

The placement of the cleanup sink makes no sense relative to the range. Despite the vast length of that island, this layout puts cleanup and DW loading/unloading butt-to-butt with the cooking zone. It also gives you minimal clear prep are, since it truncates countertop space while also forcing you to prep over a dishwasher.

Is this kitchen for cooks or for looks? If the former, a 17' island is going to be a major regret. This is one kitchen where two islands makes more sense for function, and also would allow seated diners to talk to each other rather than pretending they're audience members on Iron Chef.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Gaonmymind,

I would second (third) the idea to consider splitting the long island into 2 islands. I also like the suggestion to arrange the stools on two sides of one island as described by Aloha so conversation between those seated is facilitated.

If you do not split the island, I do think your plan (as described in the notes of your original post) to move the clean-up sink to line up with the top window is a a very good idea so you will not be back to back if one person is at the range the other person is cleaning up.

In the end only you will know what you prefer, and if it is one big island then go for it. However, it was surprising to me how many times I changed my kitchen plan after I thought I was sure. In fact, I still am tweaking the plan, and making changes that at first I resisted making. Keep playing with the design so you are absolutely sure before cabinets are ordered.

Carol


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Thanks for the input! Especially those who read the notes then made suggestions. Seems like those aren't paid as much attention to as a pic.

And the Big Island or Kitchen Stadium (I like that nickname) will be staying. I have dreamed of this island for 2 years! So that is literally set in stone...lol. Ok...I am corny. I started the house design with a pic of it. Thanks for all the suggestions. I was hoping for more of what Lavender did. With help of the placement of things.

Especially the dishwashers around the cleaning sink, trash pull outs...ect. I will tweak some more base on the layout suggestions.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Your kitchen will be lovely. That island sounds massive on paper, but don't let the naysayers here make you regret your decision. It's obvious this is a design you really appreciated the look of, so I'm going to try to help offer suggestions within those parameters...

I think some people are missing that you want something above the counter on both ends of the range counter. I'm guessing this is part of the visual impact of the space? It would look nice to have something complete each end, especially without uppers.

Am I understanding you correctly that all plates/glasses/silverware will be in the pantry?

I agree on moving the fridge to where you have the micro. It makes sense to have the fridge near the pantry and a sink. A lot of tasks require using all three.... (since you will have the plates/silverware in the pantry, even better!) For the sandwich/snack/leftovers meal prep, that space looks convenient. You definitely need a little micro in the pantry, as you planned. If you keep your coffee pot there, do you mind getting water from the island or do you need another sink in the pantry?

RE: the eating nook being away from these activities... I wouldn't mind in my home. My dining room is that distance away, as is my living room. The part that is annoying (to me) is walking back and forth across a kitchen to gather the supplies to prep/snack. Once it's all on a plate and ready to go, it's easy to walk to the eating destination.

Keep in mind that the further away your dishwashers are from the pantry (if that is where everything will be,) the more difficult it is to unload them. I would probably move the cleanup sink/DWs to the end of the island near the butler's pantry to minimize that. (Maybe even consider a little rolling cart to put everything on and then wheeling to the pantry to help?)

Do you have a door on the pantry?


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Ga- What do you think of the beverage fridge (with coffee pot and toaster above) by the nook and the big fridge by the pantry?

As for the microwave/speed oven...if you're doing that mainly for resale...I wouldn't. You'll be in this house for a long time and by then, they'll be some new high-tech gizmo that everyone will want in their kitchen :)


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

AlexHouse, thanks for the discussion. I WAS reacting strictly from my own lack of desire to walk so far to get "in" and "out" and seeing the long barrier effect only from my own viewpoint as a negative visually and functionally.

GA, your island will be a wonderfully strong bold line, and I love how it will be raised and lightened. When something is worth it to me aesthetically, whatever functional tradeoff it might incur is made happily. And you do get a ton of work room. BTW, I have no uppers either, only windows, and would have nothing on my counter if not for DH's toaster, which sort of wandered from where I'd intended to it out of the view line.

Speaking of toasters, with the opportunities that wonderful expanse offers, how about carefully planning to place a lot of the "above-counter" items not in the pantry but simply below counter in the places they will be needed? Point of use principle. Similarly breakfast and snack fridge at the nook end to store what's consumed there at that end could be planned for and added later.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

I loved Ina's kitchen too, so I can't wait to see your finished kitchen! And I'm dong a 10' island with no upper cabs so we have similar taste :-)

Here are my thoughts at first glance:
- Ditto what Marcolo said about the range being butt to butt with cleanup, so moving the sink would be good.
- It might just be me, but I feel like a 48" range (nix the speed oven) would have more visual balance with the island size.
- Where will your dishes and silverware be stored? I know you said in drawers, but where will those drawers be? In the pantry?
- Do you envision using the two DWs daily? Or one more when you're entertaining? We're doing two as well, but are putting the second one in our pantry and are going to use that as the "hide the mess" spot when we entertain.
- Can you post your whole first floor? I searched for it but the references to it have been removed from your photobucket acct.
- The current island seating looks like it might be hard to get in and out of because of the cabinet sides on the two end stools. Especially if two people are sitting in the middle seats.
- I'd consider doing L-shaped seating and increase the seating amount to 6 or even 8. You said you have two kids but may have another one. I'd want to have a seat for at least everyone in the family, and ideally be able to accommodate each child having one friend over and all of them being able to sit at the island.
- If you did do the L shaped seating, you could do cabs back to back on the other end and have more storage in one area.

I drew your island at half inch scale so you can see what the L-shaped seating would give you and how much space you'll still have. You could also do backless chairs, like Ina, so they're hidden underneath when not in use.
Since your den and nook is at that end, I imagine people will gravitate towards that end when you're entertaining.

Photobucket


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

It's funny how perception is colored by experience. I have a galley kitchen. When I looked at your layout, I didn't see a 17' island - I saw a galley kitchen with a short wall (just the island) on one side.

What kind of doors will be on the fridge? I ask because I'm curious about how the door opening relates to the landing area next to it.

I also think the fridge should stay between the eating area and the cooking area, then switch the prep sink with the clean up area. This will allow you to unload the DW's closer to the pantry, as lolauren says, and keep people out of your way while you're cooking and they're walking to the fridge to get something like a drink to have with dinner.

Another question is about how you use your kitchen. In my house, it's OK (actually, there was no choice) to have the DW right across from the cooktop, because there is no time when there is a person trying to cook while a different person is loading the DW. Marcolo's point about the cooking and cleaning zones being butt-to-butt is well taken, but it doesn't matter as much if yours is likely to be the only butt. Is it likely that cooking and cleaning up would be going on simultaneously? Whether it is or not, moving the whole sink and 2 DW part to the pantry end of the island would give you a bigger usable counter in the middle, very convenient for prep as well as plating. You could also use that long run of counter to set up buffets that would be accessible from the other side.

Will the trash pull out for the cleanup sink be in the undersink cab?


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

gaonmymind, you are getting great advice and I'm sure your kitchen will turn out wonderful. Am I missing something...where is your dining room?

The best thing I see on this thread is a reminder that we all see things differently. Just as greendesigns and alexhouse noted. I think we all need a reminder of this sometimes (me included!).


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

I have been in several houses with islands this big. Visually, this is dramatic and wonderful. Functionally, this is great for entertaining.

You have to change the perspective that this is an island. Even though this is built as an island, in reality this functions as a galley kitchen with an open side with a walk around. Everything happens between two long sides.

Visually, you need two tall cabinets on the range wall and the island flat as you have drawn. The rest is placement...

I agree with all that you need more separation between the sinks. How you order that depends on how you will use it.

This is one of those things where you may not know how you will use the space until you build it. You may eat all your breakfast on the island or you may never eat any meals on the island. I know many families that have island seating AND breastfast seating and the island gets used for snacks and quick meals (cereal and toast)only, not the usual breaskfast meals (cooked hot meals). Personally, I would like the diners on the island if I was making eggs (crepes, waffles etc) to order, which is our big breaskfast meals.

Functionally, make the kitchen as if you are designing a galley.

Additionally, you will find the walk too long for everyday dish storage in the pantry. You only need 1 row of drawers to store all of your everyday dishes if done right. I store everything I need for every day meals (about 10 to 12 setting) flatware, plates, bowls, some serving plates in 1 row of drawer about 36 inches wide.

Good luck


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Except it's not a galley. It's an island. A galley doesn't have unreachable 4' counters with lemons rolling off the back and people leaving dirty plates on the far side.

In any case, traffic flow is going to be the big bugbear here. A narrow galley is optimal if there is no door at the far end. If a galley is wider and serves as a hallway, it works better if a prep sink and the range are both on the same side to avoid boiling a child's head. In both cases it is best to make the sink and fridge easily accessible without entering the true workspace.

In this island, the central sink should be the prep sink to ease some of the traffic collisions that will inevitable occur. It would take extra engineering but perhaps both DWs could face the bottom of the island, with the cleanup sink just above and trash beyond that for double use with the prep area.

It would also make more sense to put the micro near the fridge because most things that go into a micro come out of the fridge or freezer. To balance that 57" wall of tall, a hutch could be built at the bottom of the island to accommodate glasses and dishes.


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Thanks everyone for the feedback! I will go over it all tonight and hopefully post a new plan incorporating some of the ideas I like.

Stay tuned...


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

Hi GAonmymind - I was looking for someone else with plans for an open galley type kitchen. Looks like your kitchen layout is very similar to my current plans (except we only have room for a 10 foot island.) What I'm really missing is the huge pantry and butler's pantry that you have - I love that!

You had commented on my post in the building forum and I was wondering your thoughts on my kitchen layout. Seems like most people think it's too small. We will have a 17' run of cabinets along one wall, a 10' x 5' island with cabinets on all sides, and a 7'x 5' walk-in pantry. I'm hoping to push the pantry out to 7' x 8', depending on the cost. We will also have an 11 foot run of cabinets in the dining room with a beverage fridge, wet bar sink, etc.

Do you think this is too small? The kitchen is my biggest concern since nearly everyone thinks it's too small for the house. We are doing a contemporary home and I do like the idea of not being surrounded by cabinets on 3 sides.

I'm hoping to get some advice from other people with similar kitchen layouts. Thanks so much!


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RE: 17' Island! - Yes, I am crazy - Layout Help Please

gaonmymind - I think it will be a wonderful kitchen, but distance wise some things are bothering me.

I would want beverages/condiments near the everyday eating areas as well as the clean-up sink and Dishwashers near that. I'd also like to see a 3 base drawer near the eating area for the everyday dishes such as plates, glasses, and silverware. It would just be too much running around to get and unload this from the pantry at all time. Same thing for cereals and other breakfast items. I'd want those nearby. Being that the kitchen is so large that is a long walk to the pantry.

Also I like the stools in the middle there. Allows people/kids to sit there doing/talking while you do either prep or clean-up. However how about considering doing a little bit of a curve out in that area to allow a bit more of a conversation vs. sitting all on a line. Not sure how much space you have to walk behind though. I think a fairly gentle curve would help so might not take much space.

I would also make sure the prep sink is not too far away so you can stand and cut stuff and easily reach the stove and sink.


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