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Finalizing Layout - L+Island or Peninsula Take 2

12 years ago

I've been contemplating layouts and trying to absorb information while my partner works on tearing into walls to fix insulation and electrical and convert us from forced air to hydronic heat. I still have some time before the wall comes down between the LR/entry and kitchen, but it's probably time to try to commit to a layout and start deciding about appliances, cabinet companies and finishes so things can get ordered and I'm not holding him up later.

It seems this is turning into a largely DYI effort, after all the work we did ourselves this Summer while the exterior work was being done. I had this naive fantasy that hiring out meant you didn't have to do anything... ;)

I've fortunate in that my partner is in the trades, but that also means he is employed and really only able to work on this on the weekends. Our stove is already gone, as the gas line had to move with the conversion with the heating system. I was quite taken with the speed of change at the time and eager to get rid of stuff, so I rather cheerfully yelled "Off with it's head, it's outta here!" and have been craving casseroles ever since. lol

To recap, I'm in a tiny house that we have decided to update and keep so we can have a second tiny house (I prefer the word cottage) in a warm climate someday. I've included the house floor plan here:

The DR is to the left of the kitchen. The den has french doors - to the left of the entry/front door. Our TV will be there. There's a 2-sided fireplace on the wall between the den and the DR - we installed that when we moved in.

This summer we put in a sliding glass door in the DR and all new windows. In the kitchen, there is a 120" long, 18" high backsplash window. That is driving the layout there and will be a big element of our new kitchen (and entry and 'living room', which will really become more of a greeting room/entry).

I'm trying to do 2 things here:

1 - Pick a layout (L+Island versus Peninsula)

2 - Finalize layout so I can start getting quotes and decide on cabinet companies

If that's too much to do in one thread, let me know. I tried to take care of #1 in an earlier thread and the consensus was peninsula, but then MissyV showed up with an existing peninsula and the same island question. She happened upon Greta's kitchen with an island, which we both love. And now I am spinning again...

Okay, so I'm not sure of the best way to do this, so I guess I'll just present what I have for options. (Note that this silly program won't let me remove counter backsplash for the DW unit so there's this weird block of black there)


Inspiration Picture (Our aisle would be significantly wider than what is shown here, and we'd have an overhang on the back for seating that the software doesn't allow me to put in):

My Attempts at Layout:

I am iffy about this kind of range vent, but I put it in with this rendition to try to make the kitchen less top heavy.

Here's the basic dimensions/cabinets for this one, hand drawn and not to scale. The lowers and uppers don't match perfectly on the exterior wall in this version - I was trying to get the sink further from the fridge and center the sink more. The peninsula version has uppers/lowers that line up.


Inspiration Picture (Greta, thanks to MissyV):

My attempts at layout:

Stove on Interior Wall -

Stove on Exterior Wall (This is where our sink/DW is currently)

Side View Showing Island (2 drawer bins all the way across, allowing for 24" microwave drawer in center):

Drawing of Dimensions/Cabinets (Not to scale):

Again, there would be 15" of overhang to allow for seating. The program just won't show it.

As you can see, I can't really figure out a way to allow for more than 2 chairs with this island, unless I take away another cabinet and put overhang in one of the walkways so someone could sit facing the interior wall.

I really wanted tall pantry units for the remodel. Not possible with tearing down the walls and putting in that backsplash window, though. So...the compromise point was to put in a banquette with 2 tall pantries in the DR area. Sort of like this:

The thinking is that this will be used for kitchen appliances and holiday dishes and such on one side - and food pantry on the other. I'll have a small table and chairs in there, either round as is shown here or long and narrow. I might try to create dual-function in that room and have it double as a study/computer area.

So, let's see if I can summarize questions:

1 - Do you recommend the peninsula or L+island for me and why?

2 - Do you prefer stove or sink on exterior wall and why?

3 - Do you have layout recommendations/overhauls?

4 - The plans call for garbage pullouts next to the sink opposite DW, but I am considering using the corner cabinet for a 3-bin garbage/recycling center instead.

5 - Do you think the banquette/pantries work? Will they help the kitchen/house function better and look more integrated or will they lock my little space into unhelpful commmitments of valuable space?

6 - Glass uppers versus solid uppers - Keep going back and forth on which way to go on the 2 large uppers that will be on the exterior wall flanking stove or sink. If we go IKEA I'll probably just buy both kinds of doors and switch them around as they are rather inexpensive. Or, I'll need to commit. They will be for glasses and plates.

7 - I think we are committed to going with a CD fridge to minimize how much the fridge creeps into the aisle. I don't want it blocking the backsplash window from the DR, either, though it will a bit. And the sliding glass door is kinda right there...

8 - Is there a way to make a bigger island there? How big do these aisles/walkways really need to be? How do you feel about such a small island? Any recommendations there?

I can't figure out how to include a link to the prior post, but I will add that as soon as I figure out how. There was a very strong consensus last time, but that was before I found Greta and the island looked different, even though it was preliminary.

I'm just going to conclude with owning that I am ignorant and in unchartered territory here. This is my first kitchen, and might well be my last. We definitely have a budget, and this house is what it is, but I am invested in it being all it can be within reason and reality. I'm open to all input and would prefer blunt feedback to the proverbial biting of the tongue. I really need help. I mean, really need it. LOL

And finally, a huge thanks to all of you who have been there to help and be good company in this journey already - and to all of you who chime in to help in the future.

Here is a link that might be useful: Earlier Thread L+Island versus Peninsula

Comments (41)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I really like the island because it doesn't feel so cramped. Sometimes a peninsula can work, but I don't think this is one of them. It feels very tight around the range and the island gives you much more room there.

    The sink on the outside wall (I'd add the window, as in your inspiration picture) and not have the glass backsplash. The hood looks better on the other wall, IMHO and I'd keep solid uppers, but I like the glass upper, to the right of the range.

    I love the banquette, between the pantries. I've seen that before (I think on Divine Design) and it's a great look. We were going to do that in my mom's kitchen, but she ended up moving the dining space to another area.

    Also, the corner shelves in your first picture are nice, but I'm guessing you need the storage space, for the cabinet. What if you put shelves or glass at the top of the pantry units? It would make a nice display space and lighten up that area just a little bit. Hope that helps :)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The last layout that has the dimensions cut off on the bottom. The current kitchen has a 44" walkway with 113 3/16 wall, for a total of 157 3/16 inches on the LR side. So, that's what we have to work with for total space on that side. The other side is a tad longer as it extends to 165.5" from the wall to the slider (159" are accounted for in plan, which leaves a bit to box out the fridge, leave a gap to slider and perhaps put some heat or electrical switches over there).

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    Comments (16)
    Kathy, I lived with a tight banquette in a 5 foot space for ten years. If I am reading your banquette plan correctly, that is about what you will have (looks like 74" windows goes over peninsula, so I assume banquette area is at least a foot smaller than 74". My banquette was a cheap, temporary solution that served its purpose but was never comfortable. I had a 12" bench mounted to the right most wall for the kids. Then I had a 24" wide wall mounted table from ikea, mounted where you have the window wall. I used two chairs and it would not have fit if I had a peninsula. In your layout, I don't think the corner sink is beneficial. Why not put it under the window? My friend with a similar layout did the cabinetry as you show in your island plan with a small table against the bottom wall (wall where you have the fridge in banquette plan). If it were my house, I'd seriously consider the plan by Greendesign. Everyone seems to want open floor plans these days and one comfortable eating area is so much better than 1.25 eating areas. Take a look at littlefishes layout. She incorporated DR into kitchen. A table that is casual 355 days a year can be dressed up for the 10 formal uses a year with tablecloths, candles, etc. I'd recommend Sara Susanka's books. They helped me a lot. Good luck.
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    @colorfast - Yep, a happy dilemma - or at least an important one! Upon reflection, it is sort of interesting that once we decided to take down the wall, I had never even once considered my current U layout. Until I happened upon your thread and some others which might have actually been linked from yours. Maybe that was because it seemed so obvious I had to have an island these days? I'm not sure but accomodating 2 decent-sized walkways is about 90" in any kitchen is a lot of my total space. There are only 2 ways to make the island bigger that I can see, though please chime in if I am missing other options: 1 - Eliminate the L and put the stove or sink on the island, which minimizes bare counter space again but would allow me to extend the island to the right about 30 inches 2 - Keep the L but deepen the island so the seating part extends past the beam (my concern with that is that the island extends out of the kitchen in a way that might seem unbalanced?). I have earlier snapshots of both options, for what it is worth. Galley/island kitchen: L with big island: Overhead: It seems to me that Aliris' comment gets to the 'feel' of an island. There's just something freeing about open space. Given my partner's spontaneous comment, perhaps that appeals as much to adults as kids. I can see my cats playing stalking games with the island as well - hopefully not while we are trying to dump pasta water. As I've said, though, I've never lived with an island or open concept so this is all just my imagination and I'm sure my kitchen is going to feel a whole lot more open with the wall down and backsplash window than it does now and I can be happy with that if that's the way I need to go. Palimpsest's comment resonates with me, though, too. I am probably dating myself but I was raised in a world where children were taught manners, that they were not the center of the universe no matter how cute or clever, to not interrupt when adults were talking and were told to go away (outside) and FIND something to do. I think a lot of that was good for kids (and schools, society and adult relationships), especially given the normal/healthy narcissism of childhood thinking patterns. I've been rather flabbergasted to watch my peers parent so differently than how we were raised, though I'm sure there are exceptions. It's a pretty fascinating cultural process to analyze each generation's parenting and what it produces for society, good and bad. That being said, even in the best of situations, mistakes happen and taking safety considerations into kitchen design seems sensible to factor in. OP RULE: Everyone can weigh in on the parenting issue as long as they vote on my dilemma first. lol
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    Lavender Lass - Thanks for chiming in, at work no less. This cheap-o free and easy design software doesn't allow me to play with the hardware placement. The PLAN is to have long horizontal pulls across the uppers and lowers both. With small ones where they make sense. In fact, my top contender is the one shown with the green cabinets in the OP. And, yes, the doors will open the opposite directions at several key points than is shown in my renderings... To both LL and RoRO, and anyone else chiming in for that matter!, I had a big long post a while back about what to do with uppers with the backsplash window. That conversation convinced me to rethink the plan to bump up the cabinets or have glass cabinets on that wall to embrace the illusion of the backsplash window. I'm trying to make myself to not go backwards and do another circle on the issue. We'll see how that goes! We'll have somewhere between 17-20" between counter and upper cabinets and I'll go with a lower profile sink of some kind. I'm short so I don't want the uppers too high (plus we have short ceilings), but I totally get the point you are making. It's tricky to find the right answers for this BS window. For sure, whatever I do will have drawbacks and not please everyone... We put the BS window in when we were doing the outside for an energy audit program 2 years ago and had to guess at everything as we had no kitchen plans. Now I just have to make it work... Roho, thanks for the enthusiasm! I'm needing a little love right now! LOL Just to be clear, do you like the original layout or the revised options to include uppers on the range wall, minimize sink size, add more drawers, etc? Are you saying the counters stained or the sinks with the zero radius? I'm not sure I am understanding... For the fridge, I"m not sold on french doors- just the bottom freezer drawer. If I could find a 30-33" option that had the interior options we wanted in a CD, I'd go for it. Just haven't found it yet... We'll do some kind of paneling around the peninsula seating. Undecided about how that is going to end up looking, but it will look finished. We'll probably leave the wall part (bump out) drywall for now and consider various options down the road, including paneling or wallpaper or tile. We might look at something we can include into the hallway there. But, that's getting ahead of myself with finishes and materials and I have got to make myself stay on layout! LOL I'm glad to hear you liked your 12" pantries. Mine won't be in such a convenient place, but it's something! If we end up finding a place to put one of those neat ones tucked into drywall, it will probably end up much more narrow as the only place for it would be on the LR wall next to the peninsula and I don't want it interfering with the walkway/sense of feeling open. I should post some of my "during" pictures someday. It's been quite a journey so far! For pendants at the peninsula counter, all I want is something shiny to cast sparkley light. It won't work well for task lighting, so we'll have another row of can lights down the peninsula on the working side of the kitchen, I think. I just want 2-3 little mini-pendants in clear glass or crystal that won't really catch the eye much until they are on at night, acting more as accent lighting. The light I showed a pic of will be the drum pendant over the DR table area. I met with some lighting consultants this weekend, and also posted on GW's lighting forum. So, hopefully that is getting close to nailed down...
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    Comments (24)
    The problem with planning to do all your prep on the island is that it's too far away from the range plus it will entail quite a bit of zone-crossing (crossing the Cleanup Zone when moving b/w the Prep & Cooking Zones). Most people find they prep where (1) there's a water source very close by and (2) near the range, usually b/w the water source and range. Can the DR door be moved? Do you have a refrigerator picked out? Most standard-depth refrigerators are closer to 36" deep when you include the handles. Then, you must include the air space/clearance required behind it. The final depth of a standard depth refrigerator can be over 36" in many cases. I'm asking about this b/c you show a 30" deep refrigerator...the depth of most counter-depth refrigerators. Could you recess the refrigerator into the wall at least 3"? That would help. (If it's recessed into the wall but not so far as into the room behind it, you should gain 3" or so.) If you can move the DR about something like one of these? [Corner get a sink bigger than 24 or 25 inches, yes, you would need a 42" sink base. Did your DH say why he doesn't want a corner sink?]
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  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lavendarlass, thanks for chiming in. Firstly, the backsplash window is in. It's done. It was part of our very intensive exterior work this summer, done as part of an energy program in our state and prior to the kitchen getting figure out (obviously). We actually like the idea quite a lot and even if I would go a different direction today, we are locked in to it. It was a rather huge process to get the header and find a manufacturer who would make it. One of the main reasons we wanted to keep this house instead of move up was the yard so I decided we'd emphasize it with the new kitchen. Given our small space, it didn't make a lot of sense to go with huge windows on that wall and this was the alternative. It's perfect eye level when you sit at the counter or enter the front door. Plus, we like the look.

    I like the idea of adding little glass cabinets on the top of the pantry units. That might be difficult or easy, depending on which cabinet company we go with. Love that idea!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    OK, I'm your partner in crime who was looking at pendants with you instead of working on my layout. Now I'm looking at your layout instead of working on my layout.

    1. Both will work, and I'm not sure one is necessarily superior to the other. I didn't read through your previous thread, but an island would give you fewer pesky corner cabinets and probably look better. A peninsula would allow you to block the kitchen off more from what I assume is the living room. Both are good options. An island is nice if you're having a party and set all the food out on it so everyone can mill around. I've had both and probably prefer the island. The Greta photo is very inspiring. I've snagged it for my files!

    2. I like the sink on the exterior wall. I would always want it closer to the dining room to make cleanup easier.

    5. The banquette picture is beautiful, but would that be a bit of a hike for the pantry items? An alternative is to place the pantry to the right of the range if you go with your last drawing. That isn't necessary counter space, and I know from experience it's easy for it to become a junk pile.

    8. That island is plenty big, so don't be tempted to skimp on aisles. I just saw a 4' x 4' island that looked great. I found it while looking at pendants so I clearly wasn't wasting my time. The island looks bigger than 4'x4' but that's the dimension I found when I was really looking for the size of the Benson pendants. Here it is:

    I just love this kitchen, don't you?

    6. If you go with IKEA, do you have a choice on type of glass? It might be nice to have something with reeded glass (I think that's what it's called). It's nice to have an option to switch if you want to. I like the idea of glass uppers on the exterior wall at least.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oho, mpagmom! I adore you being my partner in crime... and that you are procrastinating focusing on your own layout by redirecting yourself to mine. I promise, when the time comes, I'll do the same for you. It is just so much more rewarding to procrastinate and stare at eye candy with a buddy who is doing the same! ;)

    Yeah, the dilemma is a real one because both options have strengths. One recurring theme I hear in favor of the peninsula is that it provides a dividing point with the LR/entry.
    The biggest draws for me with the peninsula are:
    1. more (3) stools and seating space
    2. location of seating space in that it's parallel to the backsplash window and folks can rotate around and be part of the living room
    3. the longer counter, which would be great for a buffet or whatnot
    4. it seems to work elegantly with the header and the BS window, echoing it

    That kitchen is great. I could go with more of a square island, I think the shape would work. I like that it allows more seating. But, it really starts chipping away at the storage on the island and means seating is in the aisles, which could make them tigher yet.

    I agree with you that I need to avoid narrow walkways. I have considered reducing the overhang. I know 15" is what is recommended for counter height, but I wonder if that is a luxury in this small house and whether I should reduce it down.

    I think I prefer the sink between the fridge and stove, too.

    I didn't really consider a pantry on the end of the L, because people talk so much about counter space by the stove. I could play around with that, though. You are right that it is sort of a hike to the banquette, but really? We are just talking about a few feet, this house is so small... I could also break down and use the corner susan for frequently used foodstuff, but I'm tired of having my food in the cupboards...

    Gotta run to work! This is a constant problem, I get absorbed and time slips away from me! I'm late, I'm late! ;)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As mpagmom pointed out, the benefit of the island lay-out is one less corner cabinet. The other thing I like is that the island plan gives you more generous space for two people to work at the range. Not sure if that's a priority for you.

    I'm curious to know why you're giving yourself such generous aisles between island and sink wall and such a narrow aisle between island and den wall. My concern is that that a pinch point like you have will direct traffic *through* your kitchen not around the left side of the island.

    If you scooted the island 6" closer to the sink wall - that would give you 45" between island and DW and 40" between island and fridge - you'd end up with 34" between island and den wall. That's still tight. If you scooted the island and shrunk it by 5" (55" long island), you'd have a 39" aisle, definitely better, IMO. If you shrunk it by another 3" (52" long island), you'd have a 42" aisle. You have 192" of counter with a 60" island - that's a lot. You can go with slighter smaller island without a huge hit on counter space. A 52" island would net you 184" of counter with some nice sized chunks of uninterrupted counter to boot.

    As for seating, even at 60", the island is only suitable for 2 seats along the long side. If you scoot the island and shorten it to 52" as I suggest, you could add a 3rd seat on the short side, facing the range. Just make sure you still have enough aisle here between island and banquette table. I think NKBA recommends 54" or 60" aisles with back to back seating (can't find this info on their website anymore, dang it so I'm going by memory, dangerous!).

    I also prefer your sink on the back wall. It provides the logical progression - fridge, sink, range - plus I'd rather clean water spots off the backsplash window than oil and food splatters any day. ;-)

    Oh, the other thing I'd be tempted to do is shift the DW and sink towards the fridge. That gives you more space between sink and range and the chance to swap out two smallish cabs for one 30" cab. You could move the trash pull-out to the island. Perhaps not as convenient but you are planning on quite a number of smallish cabinets so 2 less is a good thing, IMO. Now if you already know exactly what's going where and that is what determined your cab plan, then never mind me. ;-)

    Love the banquette/pantry cab idea! If you use that to store items used in that area, it would work perfectly. If you use it for pantry goods, then mpagmom's idea is worth considering.

    mpagmom, I love that inspiration photo you just posted! That's a very nicely laid out kitchen.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm just popping in quick before leaving and will post more later.

    Lisa, thanks for chiming in. I was hoping you'd find this thread, along with other layout gurus.

    My other concern about creating a pantry at the end of the L is that it would take away the only spot I really have for the 36" 3 drawer cabinet for pots and pans.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I love the backsplash window! At least it looks pretty great in your renderings, and the pantry/banquette idea seems like a smart solution.

    Surprisingly, I like both plans. I'm not usually a fan of peninsula plans, but this one isn't typical. How many workers do you have in your kitchen at once? When you entertain, do guests come into the work area? The island offers much better traffic flow, but if you can keep people out of the kitchen so that just one or 2 are in there at once, the peninsula plan could be cozy and efficient.

    I prefer the sink on the window wall. One reason is it seems to work better for flow of dishes to and from the dining area, and keeps the stove more out of the way/protected at the end. It may be just because it looks more like what's expected, so is more comfortable, visually, for me.

    I may have to take back some of what I said, because I'm noticing inconsistency in the sizes on the floor plans. It would REALLY help if the layout drawings were done to scale... When using the graph paper, make each square equal a specific distance and use that scale throughout.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I also love your backsplash window. It's great. I also really like the synergy of the peninsula with it, which gives great power to that element, visually as well as practically. Plus, all the reasons you listed yourself. It's nice and seems very close to a perfect design.

    I didn't see your list of benefits to the island design, which at least has circular traffic flow going for it; you'd never mop yourself into a corner there... :)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It took me some studying to make sense of the plans, too, rhome. Drawings done to scale are a big help but hopefully (fingers crossed) I figured it out correctly.

    Steph2000, I wanted to elaborate a bit more about the one or two cook scenario for the peninsula plan. You have about 13" of counter on each side of the range. If Cook 1 is stirring a sauce on the range and Cook 2 needs to put something in the oven, Cook 1 has to step back quite a ways in order for Cook 2 to open the oven door and slide the item in. With the island plan, Cook 1 could simply step to one side and continue to stir the sauce. As rhome said, which plan is best for you will depend on how you use your kitchen.

    Yes, giving up the bank of 36" drawers would be tough. If you do and put a pantry cab there, I'd switch out the 9" pull-out and the 36" bank of drawers for a 24" bank of drawers and a 24" pantry pull-out. That preserves counter next to the range and the tall cab flanking the end of your kitchen might also help give you a bit more sense of separation from the entry area.

    You could put a 31" bank of drawers and an 18" trash pull-out in the island (52" island). Not 36" but still a good size.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's another banquette, between cabinets. Maybe just a shelf on the top? Thought I'd show this to you :)
    {{gwi:1962330}}From Kitchen plans

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sheesh, yes, I can add, contrary to the above illustration. 36" + 9" = 45" not 48". So the pantry cab would need to be smaller or the bank of drawers would need to be smaller if you opted to put a pantry cab to the right of your range.

    A 4 x 4 island isn't really large enough for 4, not if you provide the recommended 24" width per person. The 2 people on the inside corner would be sharing the same counter and knee space.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I didn't know if you were planning the banquette/pantry for the wall opposite the french door or the wall adjacent to the french door. If it's the wall opposite the french door, then that isn't a hike at all. My pantry is in my breakfast area now and the only food I keep in there is my vast array of breakfast cereals (I have 4 kids). I keep most of my food in the corner cabinets between my range and refrigerator and it's very handy because that's my main workspace.

    You are lucky in that you have two very good choices, and you really can't go wrong with either one. Looking at your drawings above, the peninsula option looks nicer to me. The seating isn't crowded, it has a nice big walkway, and it has pleasing symmetry. Just think of the way you like to cook and entertain, and hopefully one will jump out at you as superior. BTW, I have a peninsula now that I'm not fond of, but that's becaused it is raised. If it were all one level I might even love it.

    Now I really have to work on a little kitchenette that will go in my basement.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Stephanie! So glad to see you finally posted on here, been keeping an eye out for you :) I love that window in your kitchen, how neat! What a great way to let light in but not have it shining right in your eyes since it's lower. Ours is blinding at certain times of the day.

    Have you made any decisions? I really don't have an opinion, or at least not an unbiased opinion since we are detaching our peninsula to make it an island. I feel like our kitchen looks "boxed in" but I will say it functions beautifully! Easy to work in, easy to move around in, etc, which is what gives me my second thoughts on changing it....all for "looks"

    Good luck!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa - I'll play with your suggestions for layout and post some things up as the workweek dies down. As for your confusion about where I placed the island, it reflects my own confusion about where islands should be placed and how big an island I can afford. The program I'm working with isn't very exact with measurements, either. There's a ruler, but it is proving difficult to ensure things are just so. I'm confused, though, as to how narrowing the aisle between the DW and island is going to give me more of an aisle between the den and island? Are you looking atg the rendition that has the DW on the interior wall instead of the stove?

    Yeah, one of the things I am not crazy about with the island is the 2 seats instead of 3 thing. And, I just worry the island starts to look funny with so little cabinetry... I like the 3 bin looking cabinets (2 drawers) because it gives that furniture look.

    If you think -this- island is big, should have seen the first one! ;) (I had a 24", 30" and 18" and my walkways were 2 1/2 feet! How sad I was when I realized I was going to have to cut, cut, cut)

    Hm...I'm pretty iffy about having garbage on the island instead of at the sink. I did think about putting it in the corner cabinet between the sink and stove, but that assumed the sink was close. I'll have to chew on that. I constantly need garbage access at the sink.

    I'm also giving great consideration to the food storage issue. I'll entertain putting a pantry on the end of the L, or using a corner susan for food. What I envision, though, is coming in with groceries to the table and putting them right into the pantry and fridge - which are on each side of the table. For food preparation, it just means walking past the sliders to get what I need, basically. The spices/oils/etc will be near the stove, though I know people don't like that in terms of freshness/exposure to heat. It's just how we cook and I like the idea of spice pullouts at the stove.

    The aisles and island size are a huge deal to me - and a big factor as to whether I really can go that direction. The idea of a 3rd seat on the stove end appeals to me, because I just think 2 seats is not really very functional and doesn't allow for even 1 visitor. I'm concerned, though, about putting seating on one of the walk-through aisles. Do I -really- have space for that and wouldn't I need to lose yet another cabinet to do it? Isn't it true that you are supposed to have at least 48" aisle space between cabinets that open up on each side?

    Rhome - I'm so glad to hear positives about the backsplash window! LOL Every time I post this, people seem to gloss over the part that I just put this in and suggest full height windows. We really do like this, though I get what people are saying and if we had done the kitchen design first we might have gone another way, I don't know. But, the sliders are offering a ton of view/light and we like how the BS window looks from the outside as well as inside. Here's a pic of our recently re-sided exterior, just for fun:

    We are not big cooks and outside of holidays, only one of us is at the stove at a time. Where we jam up in the current kitchen is if one is at the sink and the other at the stove. Often this comes down to needing access to the garbage,silverware drawers, microwave or dishwasher. I think the plans accomodate those jams pretty well?

    We haven't had guests around much for a good while, both because of the state of the house and my recent decade-long illness. (Those things are tied together, no doubt) We do live very far away from our families, though my partner's dad is here and comes for meals occasionally. One of the things that I am hoping comes out of our remodel is doing more entertaining. I do not forsee people needing to help cook or whatnot, though. I would very much like it, though, if they would take a seat and hang out.

    I agree with you about the sink on exterior wall. I was just replicating Greta's plan to explore that option. It -would- make plumbing easier if the DW/sink remained on the interior wall but my partner will do the work, so it's all good either way.

    Yeah, sorry about the dimensions not being right on the hand-drawings. I'm a graph paper newbie and it was not coming together well for me. I figured people could at least see the dimensions and based on what I've seen happen with others' layouts, I thought maybe someone would draw something up for me. I'll try to find time to draw to scale.

    Rosie - thanks for chiming in here! I agree with you that the peninsula plan does a lot of good things. I guess the pros of the island would be a) looking like Greta *LOL* b) getting rid of the 2nd corner cabinet c) the openess. The idea of coming out of the bathroom or bedroom and zipping right into the kitchen does have appeal. I'm just not sure I see myself sitting at the island like I would the peninsula for some reason? And my island keeps shrinking... ;)

    Lavender_lass - Thanks a lot for the banquette inspiration. I'm collecting a file of banquettes to love. The open shelves are great, but I'm probably going to have to make this really function and I'm trying to simplify cleaning/dusting needs a bit and moving away from the clutter. I am leaning to having small boxes on top that are glass cabinets to display a few things on top of the closed pantries for storage. But, that will likely depend on which cabinet company we go with. Won't be an option with IKEA, most likely.

    mpagmom - The pantry/banquette is planned for the DR wall, which is to the left of the kitchen. I call it a DR, but it's really breakfast room sized. ;) There's a pic of it on the other thread I linked. The tricky part is going to be integrating it with the fireplace on the other wall.... And yes, I'm waiting for that lightbulb moment!

    MissyV - I wish you would chime in with why you are switching out of the peninsula to add an island. Your project seems veeerrry relevant to my dilemma. I don't want to regret this and be taking on your project 3 years from now - especially because the flooring we are going to have to use is likely not going to be able to go under the cabinets and we are going to use the same thing throughout all of the public space.

    I thought I had grappled with this and become content with the peninsula the first time around. There is a lot to recommend it for my small space. However, after seeing Greta's lovely kitchen, I am right back in the ambivalence about which way to go. Many of you note that I am choosing between 2 good options and that's true. And, that's not the worst problem in the world. Gads, some clarity would be nice, though.

    I've actually considered just tearing out the wall, doing the plumbing/etc and putting in the bulk of the L temporarily before deciding on island versus peninsula. If I plan right, I might be able to make it so that the cabinets are not wasted no matter which way I go. It's so difficult to visualize things with that wall in the way and one thing my decorating has taught me is that I am not good spatially. It will just make the project take that much longer. At the least, though, I don't have to commit prior to the wall coming down, I don't think. I'll have to talk to my partner about that timeline.

    Looking forward to more input. Again, blunt is better than none. ;)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Because I do better with visuals....



    I didn't draw everything in, just fridge and stove (the rectangle on the interior wall) with either island or peninsula with aisles. Placement is by approximations only but I did my best to line things up as I thought they would based on your drawings above. Hopefully this will help you see what I was talking about above.

    If you add 3 seats to the island, yes, you do lose some cabinetry. You'd have room for a 36" bank of drawers in the island and that would be it. That makes the island 52.5" long and 40.5" wide.

    Oh, I added a curve to the peninsula island to make it easier for the people on the ends to talk with each other. That's not necessary for island seating since it's already set up more like table seating.

    I also drew in the banquette for grins. It will likely extend farther into that space than it appears in my drawing. If you do a 24" deep bench with a 42 x 60" oval table that hangs over the bench by 4", it would extend into the space by 62". That gives you 54" between the edge of the table and an imaginary line drawn parallel to the side of the fridge.

    Looking at both plans, one thing that strikes me is that people seated at the banquette may not feel like a part of a group seated at the banquette since there is quite a bit of distance between the two spaces. That's not a bad thing or a good thing, it's just a thing.

    I like your backsplash window, too! I thought I had said so but I guess I only voiced it in my mind and you're not a mind reader. ;-)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Steph- Thanks to Lisa's visual...I want to change my vote! I think the peninsula will work much better. I thought the dining area was on the other side of the peninsula, not open to the kitchen.

    I also think the peninsula works MUCH better with your backsplash/window. The peninsula mimics the shape of the window, much better than the island would. I like the curve Lisa added, but even straight, I think it's the one to go with. Hope that helps :)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    if it helps at all, our kitchen measures 66 inches across from one long side of the u shape (what would be your sink run) to the other side (the peninsula side), and lisa is showing it as 54 inches in your potential layout should you choose peninsula/u shaped kitchen. our walkway is 71 inches from the end of the peninsula to the wall on the opposite side of our sink run (the short end of the u...which is your stove run) Are you following so far?! and again, she is showing you will have 54 inches there as well for a walkway. but our peninsula is rather long, like 114 inches long. we could seat 5 people at that length. i am not saying lisa's layouts are a bad idea or anything of the sort, i honestly have no opinion on that and have no expertise in layouts. as you know, i am counting on her to layout my own kitchen! so i trust her input. i am simply giving you comparison measurements in case you have seen our kitchen. it would help you maybe visualize what you will have if you go peninsula route. i always think its hard to get an idea of space/size when looking at pics, hence wanting to talk to greta about her measurements. greta, where or where are you?!!

    my reasons (since you asked) for wanting to change the layout is because i cannot be content. just kidding, or atleast i hope i am. i think hubby is starting to think that! really, my thinking is the peninsula seems to really divide off the kitchen from the family room, which is directly on the other side of the peninsula. literally...when it was my grandparents house, their couch butted up against the peninsula wall and my kids just climbed the couch onto the counter top! so i am hoping it will open up the flow and add a tiny bit of space to our family room. maybe i will regret it...i hope not, but fear i will because you never really know until its actually installed.

    good luck stephanie! you will get the help you need here.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It seems to me that the only reason to have an island is to open up a traffic pattern, and I can't think of a great reason for wanting traffic to go between the island and the range.

    Unless you have your heart set on an island, the peninsula is the better way to go.

    Is it possible to rip out the wall and put up cardboard boxes to visual the space better?

  • 12 years ago
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    thats a good point mpagmom, my layout is different than stephanie's, i don't have a stove there at the end of that run, layout if exact same as the greta kitchen picture above, where as steph's is flip flopped a bit. i don't have an opinion on which layout, but i love the dining there at the other side of the kitchen space!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    To collective groans, perhaps, I'm back! After a brief hiatus for illness + pouting time, I've gone back to the drawing board yet again.

    Firstly, yes, mpagmom, one of the things my partner (who is doing all of the work) have been talking about is that we could rip down the wall and then see where we are at. He's even offered to make things out of plywood to our dimensions so we can really experiment with the choices here. (This could turn into the thread/saga that never goes away. lol) That will be a while, given he is still working on the electrical and heating systems, which is fairly intensive given we are totally updating the wiring, adding new outlets and converting from forced air to hydronic heat. I had originally hoped to be finalizing layout and material choices and have it all ordered and ready to go before he moved to the wall. However, after the wall comes down he will have to work on the plumbing and floors, so I don't imagine it will hurt too terribly bad to postpone ordering cabinets until that point. Just will mean that much longer with a totally gutted kitchen, as opposed to the gradually-more-decrepit-rangeless-kitchen we are working with right now.

    Missy - I was going to pull up your earlier thread to compare measurements, because in your original island post it seemed that I actually had more length than you. However, I'm too dizzy and I've come to believe that it isn't that your or Greta's kitchens are larger in and of themselves so much as it is that you have more surrounding space around the sides of it to allow for these walkways. Maybe I'm dead wrong on that, though... I'm proving again how spatially impaired I am.

    Thanks for the vote and the revote, Lavender-lass. What more could a girl hope for than people who are willing to vote on her dilemma? I totally get what you are saying on the peninsula, though to get 15" of overhang, and share those views, but it does seem the aisle will be 'cozy', doesn't it?

    I played with some island plans which incorporate Lisa's feedback. Just to see, but also because I guess I'm just not at a place yet to totally give up on the idea.

    1. I switched the DW and sink after hearing someone recently say on GW that it is better for right-handed folks. It also seemed in keeping with Lisa's advice to move the sink over closer to the fridge. Our DW is currently to our right and it works naturally for me. However, it puts the DW between the stove and the sink, so I'm interested to see what people have to say about that...

    2. I put in larger cabinets, as suggested, but it meant I lost my spice/vitamin pull-outs as well as the garbage pull out. I definitely would like trash by the sink, but I'm not closed to turning the corner unit between the sink and range into a garbage/recycling center. I also haven't ruled out replacing the large cabinet between the fridge and the sink with 2 smaller ones, one that would have garbage. Maybe I can figure out a way to have garbage under the sink, even?

    3. We lost the microwave drawer as the island shrunk, so I'm wondering about where that could go in these plans. Seems like it would have to either go in lower cabinet next to the fridge or in the pantry. (Do you run into venting issues with a microwave in a closed cabinet like that?) Looks like a 24" model is necessary either way, probably? Or, of course, I could do what small-kitchen-budget-minded people should do and put it over the range.... Thoughts?

    4. And finally! I added a pantry on the end of the L, opposite the fridge. I guess that would also allow for the option of skipping the banquette/pantries. Curious what people's thoughts are on this pantry.

    As always, remember the program won't allow me to put counter overhang in the plans, so imagine 15 inches of counter extending to the left and back of the island, where the chairs are located.

    Without further adiou...and a reminder that blunt feedback is preferred over no feedback at all:

    Original plan - only added Lisa's island dimensions

    Smaller island plus pantry, etc:

    Side View:

    Top Down:

    2D Top View:

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ack, double-posted the same pic. Not sure how relevant it is, but the final pic is supposed to look like this:

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    bumping once

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Steph2000! Hope you're feeling a lot better. I haven't been on in days (in-laws in town) and I haven't answered this because I don't know the answers! I'll take a stab at it:

    1. I like the DW better to the left of the sink. That keeps your area between the sink and range as a prep space - one person could be prepping there while the other is loading/unloading the DW. Also, from the FR it is hidden by the island.

    2. I've seen lots of pull-out garbage under the sink pictures on here, so that is definitely an option. I gather you have to plan the sink and plumbing well to pull it off.

    3. I've fought with the OTR MW idea myself and am going against it. You just don't get good ventilation and that's a priority for me in the new kitchen. I'm going to put mine on a 24"W shelf in the island, I hope. You may be able to incorporate it into the pantry space. I've seen that done.

    4. I like the look better w/o the pantry, but I like the function way better with the pantry.

    Sorry if I'm not that helpful. I think the peninsula works better, but I feel like you really want that island, and you have to go with your gut (unless someone passionately argues against it and nobody has). Your house is going to be so beautiful when it's done. Hang in there!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    One thing strikes me looking at the space from above. An island kitchen puts the kitchen, including counter seating, within the footprint of the kitchen (inside the beam). A peninsula kitchen puts the counter seating outside the space (outside the beam), overlapping the hallway and living room areas.

    You stated that one thing you liked about the peninsula plan is that it gave a clear definition of space between kitchen and living room. Will that be the case if the kitchen seems to overflow into the hallway/living room area? Or will that blur the lines more? Does that make sense?

    I think either plan works well so I think it comes down to which suits your needs and fits the look you're going for best.

    As for the pantry, I'm with mpagmom on this. Well, maybe. I go back and forth on which look I prefer - with pantry or not. Either way, I think I'd lose the glass cabs around the range and go with solid doors on each side. I think it gives a better balance to the space. Plus you won't have to worry about making what you store inside look pretty. Let the range hood be the star on that wall.

    Do you really need 3 seats at the island? I know you wrote that this was so that you two could sit with 1 guest at the island but couldn't you and company also sit at the banquette? Or maybe I don't understand how you will use counter seating. Anyhoo, if you go with 2 seats, you can
    fit a MW in the island.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sorry I've not been back to the thread. Promise, my head has still been churning (or spinnng around in Exorist fashion) with the valuable information and help. Struggling with illness and real life stuff has been giving me mandatory perspective breaks.

    mpagmom - Your vote is registered for a peninsula, though you do get to change your mind. LOL (Only fair, given I am likely to do so a zillion times before the trigger is pulled here) I totally get what you are saying about the DW working better in the plans to the left of the sink. I'm just not sure how that functions for us... It is so slick to have it to the right and don't think I've ever had it any other way. Hm... Yeah, and I agree on the pantry. At least the L allows that option, I guess.

    Lisa - Oh, the dilemma of glass doors versus solid is one that just refuses to go away! In any plan I make, I find myself trying it both ways. Thanks for weighing in on that, though. There will likely be more coming on it later...and my latest inspiration picture didn't help (hurt).

    My vision for the peninsula is that it would be inside the beam. Meaning the counter would end where the beam begins or a little before. Where the kitchen bleeds into the hall/walkway into the hall, there would be no seating - just a cabinet tucked away for cell phone chargers and mail. When the seats are not used, they would tuck under the beam. Does that work or no?

    The rest of the area is hard to explain but there's really nothing happening on that side of the "LR" (I hate to even call it that, it's so small). I'll likely end up with a pair of chairs with a table at the front windows. At most, there'd be 4 chairs surrounding an ottoman out in the middle of the room, but I don't think I have room for it and it creates flow issues. My vision is for it to be sort of an entry room/greeting room - more formal than the den with the TV and easy to keep clean because my partner will find no reason to be there without the TV. ;) So, that's a long way of saying that I'm not sure that taking some of that space would be a bad thing (minus the walkways). As long as there was a way for it to look right and function right, which I am unsure of.

    Worst comes to worst, I can do 2 seats or I can figure out somewhere else for the microwave.

    Given everything is still on the table and I found yet another inspiration picture... I spent some time today experimenting with more options.

    Here's the inspiration:

    Now, obviously that kitchen is way, way bigger than mine. However, I liked the chunky island and overall look enough that I went back to revisit the idea of sink on the island and going with a galley/half galley kitchen.

    I'll start with just some basic layouts, to get preliminary reactions if anyone is still willing to shoot ideas around with me...

    Chunky Island:

    Side View:

    And, of course, that led to reconsidering a galley kitchen and just getting away from those darn corners altogether:

    Galley Kitchen:

    Side View:

    The peninsula cabinets for the galley kitchen go (from the wall) DW, sink, 18" pullout for trash, 24" 2 drawer cabinet for a microwave. I left a big walkway. I think the silverware drawer is still MIA. But it just doesn't make a lot of sense to get into specifics unless these plans even seem viable. I'm on the fence about them, myself, but I'm on the fence about everything at this point.


  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I had to laugh when I saw the chunky island option because I drew almost the exact same layout for myself (based on an equally stunning inspiration pic) and tried to convince myself it was enough storage space. Alas, it was not. So I made the island a little smaller and went to an L-shape with an island.

    Thank you for letting me change my vote, because I'm kind of loving the galley. I think it makes perfect sense and looks adorable from all angles!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    mpagmon - Do you really love the galley? Do you think I lose too much counter space by getting rid of that L? How about the sink, how do you feel about it on the peninsula?

    I'm in love with that chunky island.... every inspiration picture I come across, I swear is my favorite. But, you do lose cabinetry. That is such a stitch that we both went there. Talk me down if you can! LOL

    What optimism/denial I demonstrated when I titled this thread. Finalizing, indeed. I do believe I am exactly back to square one on layouts. Everything is on the table, folks, help yourself. ::

    I do hope others chime in here. I'd really love a variety of reactions or a massive consensus. Something!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Steph, what program are you using for your kitchen designs?

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If I tell you, will you comment on my dilemmas? ;)

    Just kidding...

    Lowe's Virtual Room Designer. It's pretty cool, isn't it? That HD feature is pretty realistic. It's actually almost identical to the IKEA planner, minus the HD. The only downside I can find so far is that it is limited in colors for the cabinetry options. There is no dark wood/black option. (I think the IKEA planner included the whole range of their choices as options in theirs)

    Here's the link.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Lowe's Planner

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I love the galley! It's wonderful :)

    It keeps the feel of the chunky island kitchen, but fits your space much better! It works with the window/backsplash so nicely...and I like the art on the wall. This looks like 'the one' IMHO.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks, Lavender lass. Hm...the galley does do a lot of things right. I've just never really been drawn to them, they always seemed like a waste of space when they terminate with a wall. No? I might need to do some research, because it just always seemed they were somehow examples of an old, inferior design. Hm...

    I'd love to hear people's general opinions about these kinds of galleys.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think looking at that artwork, while sitting at the dining table will be much nicer, than looking at pots and pans, on the stove. If you're a super clean cook, then it probably doesn't matter, but if you're like me...the pictures would be much better! :)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm doing searches for galley kitchens that terminate with a wall like this, and just not finding anything so far. Hm...

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I vote for galley over chunky island. I was actually surprised to see the chunky island option because you expressed concern over loss of storage with the L/island option. You lose upper cab storage with both of your recent designs (that's one of the reasons why I favor the galley option). Are you letting form get the upper hand over your desire for function? Or have you calculated that you will have enough storage?

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for the link to the Lowe's Planner. So now I will weigh in on my preference. I did not read the entire thread, so maybe my preference was already nixed, but I like the ones at the top of the thread... the L shaped perimeter with the small island in the center the best.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes, Lisa, I'm probably letting form rule in these latest renditions, yep. I just really love that chunky island inspiration pic.

    I did manage to squeeze the must-haves into both of the newer options, though it was admittedly much harder with the chunky island. Both assume that there is definitely pantry space in the DR area. There's obviously zero food storage happening here, other than the spice pullouts on each side of the stove.

    The counter-balance, though, is that the other compromise point was putting the sink/DW on the island LR side instead of keeping one long counter clear of a sink or stove like I did in my first two options. I think that might be an example of putting function over form in my small space?

    I read an article yesterday which asserted that in a small kitchen, going to a galley can be preferable over a tight U because you get away from corners. I like the symmetry that eliminating the corner allows on that exterior wall - and I was able to fit in two 36" lowers. It definitely allows more drawers, drawers, drawers. I'm just not sure I like the blank wall.

    Lisa, of the 4 options, what's your pick for the best layout for me?

    Thanks for your vote, mercymygft. Everything is still on the table and your vote is appreciated. If you pop back in, do you prefer the L+island with a pantry or not (those pics, based on lisa's suggestions) are from Oct 29 and are mid-thread). You have to imagine that there is counter jutting out where the chairs are because the program won't put in overhang.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I like them both. I think it depends on how much storage you need. If you feel you need the pantry for more storage then go for that. I think aesthetically I like it better without the pantry and with the 3 drawer with the glass cabinet over. But that pantry would give you a lot of storage and it doesn't look bad.

    I figured the island had an overhang that wasn't there by the way the stools are positioned. I had the same problem when I tried that program.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I prefer either the L with island or the galley plan because they reduce - or eliminate - corner cabs and make it easier for more than one person to be at the range. While that may not be important now, it could easily be so in the future and I think it would be nice to have a kitchen that accommodated multiple cooks.

    I'm with you on the appeal of that chunky island. Wish I had the space to add one to my kitchen, too.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes, I love the galley kitchen. I revisted all of them, because I share your love for chunky islands, but the galley just seems to function and look the best. It gives you separation between the front room and the kitchen, which I would view as a good thing.

    There is plenty of counterspace, and all of it is useful.

    I know a galley kitchen seems out-dated, but your open kitchen with a fabulous window could never seem that way.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks, mercymygft, lisa a and mpagmom, for continuing to weigh on this. I really, really appreciate the input and having some folks to dialogue with about this - as few in my 'real life' is at all interested.

    I've been busy googling galley kitchens. It really does feel out of date, though I'm keeping my mind open because I like what it does to the cabinet runs. It's rare to even find an example that terminates with a wall so far, and the ones that do tend to have a very busy, modern, multi-colored wallpaper on them. ::

    I might actually start a thread about galley kitchens with a wall and see if it can manage to inspire me. Or figure out a way to turn my LR/entry into more kitchen, filled with chunky island. lol

    I think I'm pretty much decided to hold off on ordering cabinets or finalizing a layout until the wall actually comes down and we can get a feel for how this space actually works. We'll know then if we need to have a beam where the wall is or not, too, which might make a difference.

    It will set us back timewise, but my partner will have plenty to do with getting the floors, electrical, drywall, etc ready while we wait for cabinets. What I do want is to go through all this and then regret my layout for life. I can live in a construction zone for longer if it helps guarantee against that.