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Island Size, Design, Function??

TLV 123
13 days ago
last modified: 13 days ago

I had dreams of a huge island with back-to-back cabinets, with space between the cabinets backs to fit folding tables, and an 18" overhang for stools. Nine drawers on the sink side, cookie sheets on one end, misc drawers on the other, and still a storage cabinet under the overhang.

I have been imagining this design for months...luckily, I've been reading about islands on here and realized that I'd need a ladder to reach the center to clean! The size I was planning was 112"x78" (9.3' x 6.5')...I know, absolutely nuts!!

What’s your opinion of my kitchen design and function?

Seating on 1 or 2 sides? Pull-outs or only drawers?

Section to the island that can be moved as needed for seating?

No gas to kitchen, so will have a cooktop in island.

Already purchased: 48" workstation sink, fridge, freezer, wall oven, microwave, induction cooktop.

I can write more text but hoping the plans and exisitng kitchen pictures provide enough detail.

Wall color will stay, but trim will be neutral.

Still deciding on a cabinet color, maybe light blue/grey.

Wood floor will extend from living room into kitchen.












Comments (30)

  • sheloveslayouts
    13 days ago

    Step one: move the cooktop to the perimeter of the kitchen with proper ventilation and away from people seated at an island.


    Where do these doorways lead to? Particularly the one circled in purple.


    I can't read the dimensions. What is the length of the back wall (red), the right side wall--corner to the door (orange), the wall from the corner to the window (yellow), and the width of the window (green)?







  • TLV 123
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    There’s currently a down draft in the existing Island but we were going to install an overhead draft. I prefer looking out while cooking and I didn’t want to run gas when DH and MIL wanted to install gas and a gas range on the back perimeter. I was going to leave the the cooktop on the island so I could serve DH homemade pancakes like a diner.
    I figured people could walk out the back door to grill.
    Red line is 19.64’
    Green line for window is 5’
    Yellow window to wall is 4’
    Orange corner to door is 7.6’
    Purple door leads to a game room (was a formal dining).
    Door on the right, next to game room door, is a pantry closet.
    Door on the left is a door to the back yard.

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  • TLV 123
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    I already purchased a 36” GE Monogram Induction Cooktop. Have not purchased a vent hood yet.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    It's a generous but not huge kitchen. Your wish list a bit oversized for your space, and while your dream for the pancakes is fine? Pancakes take about two minutes. Re think the cool, cook, locations. Nothing about a fridge makes it a charming focal point. Anything over 54 inches depth on an island is a royal pain to clean, and 24 inch wide stools?? No. No. And certainly not with three inches between!!!!! That leads to a big consideration for cooking locale and definitely NOT THE BEST in any kitchen is island.

    This looks like it was done by a cabinet seller. It's more cabinet and appliance REPLACEMENT spot for spot, than a "new" kitchen with far more opportunities than demonstrated here. Get a pro KD......on the site. You can do better than this.

    The corner pantry? Dated..........square off and there are a million ways to good pantry space and storage.

    As planned? Not all that attractive, and not all that functionally enjoyable.



    TLV 123 thanked JAN MOYER
  • coray
    13 days ago

    I think your layout is fine, and cooktop location is down to your preference (though Jan makes some good points). I’m not a huge fan of expansive fridge/freezer columns, but again, it’s your preference. Two points re questions you had: we had lots of cabs with pullouts before our remodel and hated them; we now have lots of drawers, which is so much nicer. (I don’t even understand why people do the pullouts, other than cost…..you first have to open both cabinet doors, then pull out your drawers….such a pain!) Yes, your proposed island is too deep; our island is 5’ deep, so with a bit of overhang our top is 63”, I believe….just about the max for me to be able to reach the center, and I am (since shrinking a bit☹️) 5’7” tall. It seems everyone wants super large islands, but the larger they are, the more of an obstacle they can be when moving around the kitchen. We designed our new island w/o any cabinet doors where our seating is, and I’m glad…..I wouldn’t want to crawl under the overhang (after moving the stools) to get access to those cabs. For your corner cabinet check out the Magic Corner (instead of a Lazy Susan)…..I love mine. Good luck!

    TLV 123 thanked coray
  • arcy_gw
    13 days ago

    NO NO NO NO to a sink or cooktop in/on the island. #1 WRONG MOVE. No one wants to sit and eat and chat near a stove or sink!!! The wide open -WORK space is trashed with a cook top there.

    TLV 123 thanked arcy_gw
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    13 days ago

    IMO sinks in islands are sometimes the best place for them . We have 2 sinks back to back in ours since I run a catering biz from home and when just the 2 of us one cooks one preps. I never like a cooking appliance on an island so that needs to be moved and if you do not have gas then that can be mover anytwhere. BTW a sink with a window is not IMO a must.IMO folding tables can be stored in a clset or the garage and if they are needed so often then you need to address more seating somewhere. I can't read the measurements so a floor plan with nothing in it done to scale with the measurements of the appliances already bought . Sow windows doorawya, where those doorways lead anfd if the plumbing can't be moved show where it is .

  • TLV 123
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    I agree island should be closer to 60” W. I’m still deciding length.
    I don’t have to have 4 stools on the island. Though, I already purchased 8 - 24” matching stools for kitchen and game room. I love them. How much space is recommended between stools? Have seating on two sides of an island?

    The corner/angle pantry is behind corner stairs, so that would be a challenge to redesign.

    I agree that drawers are better/more efficient than roll-out trays. I was meaning that I had originally wanted the 9”-11” pull-outs that are cabinet height, on the island, for oils. But will probably go with all drawers. Not sure what those are called.

    I agree that I need a KD. I thought I was getting a KD. She is wonderful but more of a contractor and brought her cabinet maker. So they are just designing what I’m suggesting. I previously hired KD, or so I thought, and she also just sketched what I talked about. Both were recommended from friends who had their kitchens/baths remodeled and I liked.

    The already purchased fridge/freezer, combined are 68”. I love both.

    I’m happy with existing layout, except island. But agree that the fridge/freezer is not best focal point. The construction cost is much more than I expected (not surprised) so I don’t know if I’ll be able to do a complete remodel.

  • sheloveslayouts
    13 days ago

    If you want to serve up pancakes like a diner, get a big electric skillet and plug it in on the island. You can make a boatload of pancakes all at once. Everyone can east together and you don't have to babysit the cooktop. Unless the only thing you cook is pancakes, I cannot imagine this the best possible layout.

  • cpartist
    13 days ago

    We spend about 10% of our time actually cooking at the cooktop and about 70% of our time prepping BEFORE cooking which is why so many people like having a prep sink on their island. So they can prep and talk to their guests/family while doing the majority of the kitchen work.

    Meaning, listen to those above who are telling you the layout is not great. Rethink it and find a KD.

  • Laurel C
    13 days ago

    I'd consider rethinking an island any deeper than about 48". When gardening, that's about the extent of what's comfortable to reach to the center of from either side.

  • Iri
    13 days ago

    ...I could serve DH homemade pancakes like a diner.

    That made me cry a little bit.



    Anyway, you currently have an island cooktop. It works for you. You like it. That should be reason enough. Leave it there! You can certainly prep on and around an induction cooktop--many people find it advantageous to chop onions under a hood. But you should think about having seating so close to a cooking surface. When you shrink down your island to a manageable size, you're putting diners close to potential spatter. Might be fine. Just something to think about as this isn't something you already have and know.


    Do you have any plans for the breakfast nook?

  • sheloveslayouts
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    I draw as quick as possible with divided attention, so I probably missed a lot of things. I wanted to get the fridge freezer on the dining room wall and see how things might fit if you moved the doorway to the other side -- a better use of space with full access to the corner to the right of the sink if it can work. Prep sink in island or gigantic sink and dishwasher in island are also options, though I personally hat the idea of having to walk around the corner of the island to get from fridge to sink...





  • mcarroll16
    13 days ago

    Your design is so very much kitchen, and yet your house doesn't seem designed to feed many people. No dining space at all except for the island. Are you regularly setting up those folding tables for large parties? Or maybe cooking large batches for a soup kitchen? I know you've already purchased appliances, but you could resell them. You seem to be on track to creating a kitchen out of proportion with comfortable everyday living in your actual house.

  • TLV 123
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Wonderful feedback. Really appreciate your time.

    Got it on the size. I thought only the island was too big....

    Redid dimensions for when I look for a KD.

    Just curious. My house is apx 3010 SF, kitchen is apx 320 SF. What proportion should kitchen be to house? And island to kitchen? And appliances to kitchen/walls?

    I used to cook alot; now rarely - and mostly veggies. My MIL comes over often and loves to cook. She is about 5'...can reach/stretch about 2.5' over counter. We do not have children. When we have people over, we are either in the backyard/pool, or game room. We use folding tables. Usually 10-20 ppl at a time, 1-2 times a month. Once in a while 5-7 ppl. But DH and I eat upstairs mostly in our offices while working or theatre room.

    We never eat in the breakfast window area.

    I would really like to demo these two existing islands and make a template island. Maybe same for wall cabinets and appliances...or is that a crazy idea?

    Thank you all. I've looked for a KD in DFW. Several say Design/Contractor. That's the type I have gone with 3 times and they were basically contractors. So, I will continue to look specifically for a KD here. Am I allowed to ask for recommendations in DFW? Bought houe in 2019 and expected to remodel.


    To add to this fun, found out this morning we have a hot water leak in our slab. The 2003 yr old tank is upstairs.


  • mcarroll16
    13 days ago

    Make sure you've enabled messages in your Houzz settings. I think people are reluctant to name specific designers or contractors on the forum. But they will send you names in a private message, if they know someone.



    TLV 123 thanked mcarroll16
  • sheloveslayouts
    13 days ago

    I'm glad you posted the image again. That's very clear. I updated my drawing. You can get a 42 inch cased opening between kitchen and dining/game room with the fridge + freezer on that wall, which is nice compared to the existing 32.





  • latifolia
    13 days ago

    How long do you plan to be in this house? Can your games room be easily staged as a dining room?


    It sounds like you, your husband and MIL eat on three stools at the kitchen island. If anyone else comes over you set up folding tables. It works for you, and that's great!


    Most people don't live like that. In larger homes, people may have an island, a breakfast area and a dining room (as your home did). Some people just have a kitchen table.


    When it comes time to sell, buyers will be looking for a place to sit and eat dinner. Your MIL, who is very short, may find it tougher over time to sit on a stool vs. a dining chair. All things to consider when investing so much in your kitchen!

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    13 days ago

    I'm trying to understand 68 inches of cooling for someone who rarely cooks, usually mostly veggies : )

    You don't build a kitchen for your MIL.

    CLARIFY........reality from fantasy. Nice to have, from I really need.

    You just need to put more time more thought into the entire project and get a team together if your plans include more than the kitchen

    Contractors aren't designers. Look at the whole, and the kitchen within that whole. Consider an architect, ID//KD team......if your plans are extensive. It's money? Yes. Mistakes and regrets are that too. Size and good design are not synonymous. They must coexist in harmony,

  • PRO
    Ouroboros Design
    12 days ago

    No table height dining area just devalued your home by the 100K it would take to undo most of what you are planning.

  • anj_p
    12 days ago

    Well, if you have a formal dining room that can be turned back into a formal dining room when you go to sell, then you're not losing dining space. I guess if YOU don't need, use, or want it, then you can get rid of the breakfast area. There is still space in your house for normal dining.

    Regarding the cooktop on the island. What you have NOW is NOT apples to apples to what you are planning. A cooktop on an island with no seating and a separate bar for seating is NOT the same as an island with seating and a cooktop. Island cooktops are rarely great but at least your current layout doesn't put people's faces a short distance from splatter. I would get that cooktop off the island at all costs.

  • TLV 123
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Thank you all for comments.
    When looking for a KD, what are some specific questions/comments that I need to ask?

  • TLV 123
    Original Author
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    (Do I start a new post or continue with this original? I did look for posting guidelines - please share if you have any.)

    Took the advice some of you offered and I talked to KDs from here, a nice wide range of ideas and fees. Will continue to work with one. I got quite different responses from each one when I asked the same questions - so would like your opinion.

    The current layout has been fine for me…I really haven’t been bothered by much of it, except the island cooktop has been a pain, so I will not have the cooktop in the island!

    Have been planning cabinets to the ceiling (9’).

    I like the window, but the sink doesn’t have to be at the window.


    What is one of the best layouts if I do not want to move or remove the window, move the door to the game room (was formal dining for previous owner), change the pantry shape, or move any columns?

    What would be a nice size island?

    Breakfast table size?

    Could I have all the appliances on the perimeter and no appliances on the island?

    Possible to have the sink or cooktop in the corner/angled?


    Appliances that I have already purchased because I was just planning to install them all in same existing places.

    33” Frigidaire Fridge and separate 33” Frigidaire Freezer, counter depth…it’s a set. I go to the fridge and freezer several times a day. Often, I don’t use the pantry for a few days a week. I know these are large…what about covering the doors? I know these are huge – I love them.

    48” workstation sink - yes, I know it’s huge. Couldn’t it be considered part of my counter space? I could possibly exchange it for a smaller size…but I’d prefer it use it - I love how it looks.

    30” wall microwave and oven set

    36” induction cooktop. I now know No cooktop in the island!


    (Is there a best size page and font for posting images here?)




  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Do not begin a new post! No need! Your words.............

    "except the island cook top has been a pain,"

    But you set out to plan one yet again......why?"

    "I like the window, but the sink doesn’t have to be at the window. "

    Fine! But you've selected 4 feet of sink ! ( "I love how it looks" ) I've never understood the need to commit to or have a sink company provide, that which you can do for yourself at a fraction of the price via Bed Bath Beyond. No to a corner locale!

    "Frigidaire Fridge 33 and separate 33” Frigidaire Freezer, counter depth…it’s a set. I go to the fridge and freezer several times a day. Often, I don’t use the pantry for a few days a week. I know these are large…what about covering the doors? I know these are huge – I love them."

    How often you GO to either has nothing to do with capacity. That's a location issue. Unless a family of nine kids? It's rare to need that much "at hand" freeze capacity. Even when folks do require that much? For a lot less money, and more storage, that person will often elect to have a good old fashioned chest freezer, conveniently parked in a basement. You can't eat it all at the same time. There's no covering a fridge unless you buy "panel ready" .....( addressed below)

    "30” wall microwave and oven set"

    Meaning one chassis? Big. Fat. No. Why?

    Because an oven will outlast a microwave by a decade or two. You CAN install separate appliances in a vertical bank........just don't do a "set". Why have to toss an oven because the darn microwave died?!

    My opinion? Sell the 68 cool combo. I'd go so far as to say trade up to Sub Zero - with 48 inch combo, or....a 36/18 column package, MAX. Stainless is fine.

    I'd return the combo oven/micro to place of purchase. For a separate functions. Don't buy or build in an almost guaranteed future problem. The combos are lower in price for a REASON; not long term beneficial in any way. Or since MIL loves to cook ? Trade the cook top for a RANGE...buy one oven and a micro.

    I don't want to sound contradictory - kitchen design is in fact, appliance driven. But..............

    space and cook/eat habits must be simultaneously considered. You don't buy more than you really need or will fit well, and you don't buy for looks! That's true in any kitchen, of any size. Yours is not as large as you believed it to be. Just know that a NYC restaurant kitchen might serve hundreds per day from the same size space. In the end, every single kitchen is available feet and inches, for every function IN that kitchen. Store, prep, cook, dine/gather, and clean. In all that? There is almost always a budget consideration.

    All I just stated are the reasons to get a pro, versus the cabinet seller: )

    With no structural changes to any opening/window door/pantry?

    Reality is below.....

    Or you show us the entire first floor to scale along with this game room......because folks need to consume what MIL shall create. Somewhere. You must decide where and HOW.



  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    10 days ago

    Many excellenet points have been made...


    To answer a few questions with my opinions. No angled anything. Screams 1990 builder tract home, and there is so much wasted space. Inside corners waste space generally, but putting something on and angle wastes so much more,



    Lafayette · More Info

    I have the same fridge freezer combo and love them, the huge icemaker is amazing. But we cook and make ahead a lot so ours get used... My kitchen is probably larger at 12*19 with an adjacent large pantry...


    Ideal island size? Depends on what it is doing. For me I never design an island deeper than 48", 8-10' long seems good for most homes. I always skip the cabinets under the overhang, they just get kicked and the storage access is so awkward. I prefer a deeper overhang, at least 18"


    I do love your original concept for folding table storage though, very clever. Seems like there has to be a spot in the house that doesn't risk damage to new cabinets and appliances...

  • coray
    10 days ago

    I like Jan’s ideas and plan, she does have some good points. However: I do think the island could be a touch larger, and trading up to the Sub Zero as suggested will double the cost for fridge/ freezer….at a minimum. You might have room for a 48” sink and like the looks of it, but it truly is a ton of real estate to devote to washing dishes and veggies! Ours is 36”, double bowls, and plenty big for what it needs to do….Our last kitchen had an angled bay window (the house actually had 3), which I always found difficult to work around. If you don’t need a bunch of chairs you could possibly scoot the table a bit closer to the window. Good luck!

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Inches don't lie. Kitchens are clearances. You have to back up a chair, pass by and open fridge doors, dishwasher doors. The island, if you plan to sit at a table and dine? Can't be a "touch bigger" .Sorry.

    Show the ENTIRE first floor. : ) accurately and to scale.

  • coray
    10 days ago

    Well the thing is, the OP says they don’t even sit at the breakfast table, ever, at least not for meals (they eat at desk or theater room); therefore, if she wants a larger island, she could reduce the size of the table/chairs….those were my thoughts. Question, though: when the OP said her kitchen was 320 sf, I wonder if that includes the breakfast area? If so, while in the same room, that greatly reduces the ACTUAL kitchen size to allow space for nook and walking….I’m guessing by 100sf, easily. At any rate, since the OP doesn’t cook (other than some veggies), doesn’t have children (if I remember correctly), she doesn’t even need to worry about designing a smart, working kitchen, or a “right” kitchen…..only if she’s worried about resale, at some point down the road. If she’s not, she can design purely by looks and what she likes. (I can’t remember what she said about resale, value etc.)

  • TLV 123
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    Hi Jan - the microwave and oven are two separate units.
    I’m still reading the other comments and I just told my contractor that I am going to work with a designer to get a final designer before purchasing anything else.