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Layout: Island or peninsula?

Posted by nosoccermom (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 26, 12 at 10:46

I'm in the beginning stages of a kitchen remodel. Mainly two adults use the kitchen. My current kitchen looks exactly like rhome 410's suggestion --- only with a peninsula on the side where the breakfast area is. The width of the kitchen from sink/window side to opposite fridge side is 13'3".
In our case, the door opening (no closing door) between pantry and range leads to the dining room.
We're considering replacing the peninsula with an island, but never having had an island, I'm not really sure what the pros and cons would be. So, we basically have three options.
Please give me your advice:
1. Island: Opening up the kitchen but potentially creating a barrier between sink and fridge?
2. Extend the run along the window/sink wall and have a counter, foregoing the breakfast area.
3. Basically keeping the current layout, i.e. peninsula. The only difference would be to have a range hood and put a microwave next to the fridge.

current kitchen
Photobucket

Here is a link that might be useful: island


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

I'd vote for an island, even a skinny one, if you can get a small prep sink onto it. Otherwise, the island will serve as the landing spot for the fridge, but then you'll still have to step across to the sink to wash the veggies or chickeny hands. And what will end up happening is the space between the sink and range will become the main prep spot after stuff has gotten washed rather than stepping and dripping it back across the aisle again.


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

I say Island, definitely. Has made my narrow kitchen a gathering spot, for sure.


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

What do you see as the advantage of an island? I've never had one, so haven't really missed one.
And how big a deal is it to move a water line for a prep sink to the middle of the room?


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

Well, my fridge is on the opposite wall, so I'm worried that the island would be more like a road block, unless it could be moved more towards the breakfast area.

Photobucket

Same size as my kitchen but with cooktop in island
Photobucket


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

I can't see beyond the peninsula in your pic, is it a plain wall that you can move your fridge to? We did that and left that one whole side free of any cabinets or appliances. Really do love the kitchen layout now. The peninsula bothered me because it literally cuts a kitchen in half, and people could get trapped in there with too many guests in the way. Now the kitchen feels so spacious, with a more free traffic flow. We can also fit four people very easily around the island, whereas before we could only get two at peninsula. Also (off topic) when we redid our sink, we went with the deep farm style (one big sink vs. two) and it is far superior to the two-sink system. Our island base is a more narrow 21" base (the kind you buy for a vanity cabinet) instead of 24" wide. Saves a little space. And one last thought: our island is moveable! Nothing is bolted down and we just put the felt pads underneath and can slide it anywhere. The granite makes it so heavy and sturdy. We love it.


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

If you look at the last picture in my previous post, you see the opposite wall. This kitchen is identical in size and wall, door, window layout. Right now we have a pantry closet, the fridge (where neighbors have the oven), and a desk. That wall is 11 feet and then opens to the adjoining family room. The larger picture of my previous post is pretty much how my layout would be with sink at window, range to the right of door, fridge on wall opposite sink, and breakfast area.

Also, because the breakfast area is right there, I don't think we want anybody sitting at the island or peninsula.

And, yes, I originally switched the double sink to a single bowl sink to the consternation of the builder.


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

If you look at the last picture in my previous post, you see the opposite wall. This kitchen is identical in size and wall, door, window layout. Right now we have a pantry closet, the fridge (where neighbors have the oven), and a desk. That wall is 11 feet and then opens to the adjoining family room. The larger picture of my previous post is pretty much how my layout would be with sink at window, range to the right of door, fridge on wall opposite sink, and breakfast area.

Also, because the breakfast area is right there, I don't think we want anybody sitting at the island or peninsula.

And, yes, I originally switched the double sink to a single bowl sink to the consternation of the builder.


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

I'm in the same boat. I have almost the exact same layout (you may have seen my post--rhome showed her island drawing as a possible solution). I agree with you that the fridge to sink will be a difficult transition. I also don't think the island is large enough (long enough) for a prep sink. If you put a prep sink in, it takes away a big portion of your prep area. I just don't think there's much prep area in the corner between the range and the sink. I tend to use the peninsula for most prep work, so I don't want to give it up for a prep sink.

Your photos look like you have a bit more width in the kitchen for an island than I do. I saw an island in a neighbor's house and it just looks too narrow (looks like it was squeezed in). I don't want it to look like it was a compromise.

My current distance from front of fridge (not including handles) to sink front is 7'4". It just seems too tight to squeeze in an island. I'm probably going to stay with the peninsula even though I'd love to switch to an island. I don't have the option to move my fridge to the other side, since I have a window across that wall in the breakfast area.

I will look forward to seeing what your solution is! If the photos you have shown are all the same exact size as your kitchen, I think you do have enough room to work with for switching to an island, you just have to decide whether you like the traffic pattern between sink, stove and fridge.


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

Bonniesva, how wide is the granite surface on your island? Can you give your aisle widths from cabinet to cabinet and counter to counter? I would have thought that your kitchen was not wide enough for an island but it looks great!


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

I have 8'9" between sink and front of fridge (or 9'8" if I switched to a counter depth fridge.)


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

NRosoccermom,

My before kitchen looks like a mirror image of yours. It is also 13'4" wide.

Here are before photos:
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

And
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The length of your sink/ fridge wall looks longer than mine, and where you have a pantry cab, I had a pantry closet.

We agonized over island vs. peninsula. When we had first moved into this house, this kitchen appeared huge. However, after several years it became apparent to me that working around the peninsula was driving me crazy. Serving, clearing, even sitting in the chairs was agonizing to me. My husband, who has never served or cleared a table in his life, had no problem with it.

Finally, we had brought in a custom cab maker for an estimate and he said...you want an island in here.

Here's the after:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

If I stand with my back against the sink, I can walk directly past the island to the fridge. It's not a big island and has no prep sin - with granite it's 29x62.5. End of island to stove handle is 34.5, but there's plenty of room because that's to the handle, not the front of the stove. From sink bumpout to island is 32, again plenty of room.

One critical point is that I have feet on my island, with a recessed toe kick. Makes it feel roomier, too.

Helene


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

Thank you so much for posting these pictures. Do you have a breakfast area where you had the peninsula before? has that made it less cramped? Also, in what ways does the flow work better for you? (PS. I have the same blue and white ceramic pot, pistachios from Costco?)


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

First of all from what I've learned on here, you really have to figure out how you use the kitchen.

That being said, rhome410 is a genius and you should probably do whatever she says. Usually the look of a small island like in Blubird's would drive me batty (I have one in my kitchen but my setup is pretty different than yours). The small island with your setup I think would be a huge improvement.

I use my little island for my baking center and almost all of my prep. I have no prep sink because the sink is right behind me (and I'd rather have the counter space). So that is my first piece of advice to mock up the island with a prep sink and kind of go through some of your favorite recipes to see if it would be in the way.

The other thing I would suggest is like you said in an above post is to make sure you have a clear aisle to the fridge from your prep area. That is really what drives me crazy about mine. I feel like I'm constantly walking around the island.

So I think to really figure it out do a mock up, and then you'll know for sure.

Good luck!


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

Yes, I have a breakfast area that was barely 90" wide with the peninsula. I just posted in another thread where someone was proposing a similar layout to my former kitchen. It was very tight. I have a rounded rectangular table with 6 wheeled chairs. It was always impossible to get into the area if everyone was sitting around the table. Even if there were only 4 chairs present it was difficult. Everyone constantly bumped into the walls and the back of the peninsula. And I needed to be on roller skates to go back and forth around the peninsula.

With the island, there are now 2 ways to get to the table and others can more freely get up to get something or serve themselves buffet style. It has made a huge difference in the usability of the kitchen. I moved the end of the island about 2 inches further back from where the peninsula had ended so we have even more room.

Here's a quick pix of the room now between the end of the island and table.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

It's a whole different kitchen and even my husband, who was resistant, without reason IMHO :-), agrees it was the best thing to do.

Helene


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

You are all making me rethink the island idea. The problem for me is I'd need to move the wall between my kitchen and dining room about 4" toward the dining room. I don't think it would really impact the dining room, but would make ALL the difference in the kitchen being wide enough for an island. Sigh--how much does that add to the cost???


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

My current breakfast area is 102 inches wide with the peninsula. Assuming that the island would not block the path from sink to fridge, and that I want a path of about 40" on both sides, i.e. between sink and island and fridge and island, the island could be about 62"x33".


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

That sounds like a great size for an island! I think you have plenty of room.


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

OK, so I just came across the most recent article on kitchen planning on Houzz, where they say that if you have two opposite work areas, to make the path at least 4 feet. That, of course, would make my island a sliver of 15 inches wide.
My question is assuming that someone is prepping at the sink, aren't they on collision course with the person at the island? If the other person stood at the island at the fridge side, would they block access to the fridge and the path from door to breakfast area?


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

Looking at blubird's, the aisle between sink and island is wide enough that you wouldn't have two people working back to back which is what the Houzz article refers to. Honestly 48" would be too wide for most people as a working aisle; it is good for a travel aisle, where people are walking past seated diners at a counter. You could do 38" between the sink and island and 42" between the fridge and the island (and keep your 33" island measurement) since that looks to be a "travel aisle". If you google for "narrow aisles" you will see many examples on this stie with similar or smaller measurements that work well for their owners.


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

Here's an early schematic, lots of details changed but location of appliances is essentially the same. The island's right side moved leftward to become smaller (these are 6" grids)

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

You can see that I have a direct path from sink to fridge. We ended up not putting the micro in its own cab, as the island would have been a barrier, so we put back our OTR micro.

Even though my sink/island aisle is fairly narrow according to "standards" , two people can actually prep back to back fairly comfortably. It doesn't happen all that often but it's doable.

I also want to mention that the island functions as a great landing spot for fridge/freezer items.

Helene


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

Thank you so much for sharing this. It's so hard to visualize how this would work in real life, so your info really helps. I would want the microwave in a cabinet because I'd like a proper exhaust hood. i wonder if that could still go next to the fridge or maybe in the island. Perhaps I should put a table or big box in my kitchen where the island would be.


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RE: Layout: Island or peninsula?

I did a mockup with cardboard boxes. Although the peninsula was in the way, it was very helpful to show clearances between sink wall and island, range, and fridge wall.

Helene


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