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Feedback on one-wall kitchen layout with large island

5 years ago

Dear Houzzers,

I would love to get any feedback you might have on a proposed layout for my new kitchen! Thank you in advance for reading and considering. I've never posted before but have learned so much from reading various threads over the last few months, as we've planned this remodel. Y'all are great!

I've tried to follow as best I can the advice I've read here about annotating things on these layouts, so hopefully it's clear enough. This is my own drawing of what our architect has come up with. We're really happy with it overall, but I welcome thoughts or suggestions for improvement -- even if you think we've made crucial mistakes. It's a remodel, so what's basically fixed at this point are:

- location of windows.

- size and location of island.

- location of fridge and pantry (the only spot they'll fit without a radical redesign)

We're planning on new plumbing and a new gas line to replace >50-year-old pipes anyway, so no constraints there.

Some things to call your attention to:

- kitchen for just the two of currently, both cooks and bakers, but want to plan for a kitchen for us and a couple of kids down the road

- no upper cabinets. We're going for open shelves across the two windows on the range wall. (I'm a clean freak and dust all the time anyway.)

- the kitchen is open to the family room off the right of the page. (There is a separate closed-off living room elsewhere in the house.)

- The main kitchen aisle is light on storage. But it flows right into the dining room at the top of the picture, which will have a large 12' built-in buffet for overflow kitchen storage -- things we use, but not all that often. There's also storage on the living room side of the island, as well as storage in the buffet that's between the island the family-room couch.

- the breakfast nook is going to have big floor to ceiling windows that overlook the back garden. We'll use this for most meals, as well as for sitting with a laptop out and getting some light work done while at home. Incorporating this seating spot for looking into the back garden was a fundamental design criterion for the project. When we host larger meals, the breakfast table gets brought up next to the dining room table for one large combined table.

So here's how we imagine functioning in this space...

The large island sink, centered on the island and on the range, would have two bowls and two faucets. The smaller bowl on the fridge side of the island would serve as a prep sink, while the larger bowl on the dining-room side of the island would serve as clean-up sink.

The part of the island between the pantry/fridge, range, and sink is the main prep zone. We'd keep a large cutting board out there full time. Two notes:

- I dirty a lot of prep bowls and tools, and I'm a clean-along-the-way type, so there's a second (18") dishwasher there in the main prep zone to catch that stuff right at the point of use and storage.

- When prepping, I'm in the habit of putting a couple of "deep sixth" hotel pans right on the counter to collect trash and trimmings, so have never felt the need for a trash can right in the prep zone.

The counter on the range wall between the fridge and the range would have a few frequently used doodads always out: electric kettle (used probably 3-4 times per day for coffee/tea), coffee and tea pots, kitchen scale, possibly food processor. We have our heart set on one of those fancy convection/steam ovens (e.g. from Miele) and imagine doing most of our day-to-day oven cooking in that. Right now we have that planned under the counter next to the fridge (easy reheating).

The dining-room half of the island would be a cleanup zone, and also a serving zone for bigger dinners eaten at the dining table, plus a landing spot for dirty dishes from those bigger dinners. The trash would be adjacent to the dishwasher in a 12" pullout cabinet.

The counter on the range wall, between the range and the dining room, would serve as a baking zone and secondary prep zone. The stand mixer would live on the counter here full time, as would a portable induction cooktop (amazing low-temperature control for chocolate, custards, creme patissiere, etc!)

We will warm up leftovers in the convection/steam oven, which leaves a microwave basically only for reheating liquids. We figure we can get away with a really basic small model and stick it just just beneath counter height, on the shelf marked "key drop" by the back door.

Whew! So here are some questions we've been pondering.

- Big one: would you center the sink on the island and range as it is now? This leaves 4' of counter to either side on the island. Or instead, would you try to bump the sink up towards the dining room and giving a larger open counter for the main prep zone? Given how large the double sink is, I worry that this would make things unbalanced. I appreciate both symmetry and maximum functionality, and find this one a difficult trade-off. I find it difficult to imagine how much it would bother me to have the sink off center, for the sake of an extra 6-12" of prep space over and above the 4'.

- Would you try to go with a smaller (say, 33-36") single-bowl sink in the island, and squeeze in an extra small prep sink? If so, where would you put that prep sink? Right by the fridge?

- Better to put the convection/steam oven next to the range?

- If we go with the big double-bowl sink, which sink? We like the look of this one, which fits in 48" base cabinet and seems to be from a company that's a favorite of Houzzers: Any other suggestions for another really wide double-bowl sink?

- How would you configure the cabinets and seating space on the island? Right now, seating on the island is designed to be OUT of the main prep zone. That leaves 4' of counter space in the prep zone on the living room side of the island. I feel like normally you'd want to put island seating here. Instead, I want to use that counter space for open storage of ingredients we use very frequently: fruit bowl, citrus, bowl of garlic/shallots/onions, bread board, etc. Then below that counter space can be more storage.

- Is the trash can located in the best spot? Is a 12" pullout enough?

- What else would you change?

Thank you for reading. I really welcome your feedback and appreciate your time!

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