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Island in My Kitchen
Stephanie Wilder
December 29, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We are beginning a remodel. I want to add an island b/c the corner b/w the range and the sink crowds quickly. I need more prep surface and cabinet space and I hate the constant trekking back and forth b/w the counter and the pantry. A contractor said my space is big enough for an island, but can I make it big enough to double as a dinner table for a family of four? I'm not sure where to place it, what shape it should be (rectangular or something else). My kitchen is basically 10' x 10' with the bay window adding a 7' x 17" bump out and the pantry nook adding a (roughly) 4' x 4' bump (see photos). What size and shape island can I fit in my kitchen?
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lulamarie
Use your dining room table as a pretend island and move it around your kitchen to see what feels best. You should have 42"-48"between the countertop and the island. You also need to be able to open the oven and the dishwasher without a problem. A kitchen cart/island may suffice for your current needs. But play around with your table and see what you think. Feel free to post photos of your attempts.

The Milano Portable Kitchen Island with Optional Stools

The Randall Stationary Kitchen Island with Optional Stools

KitchenLab
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 7:54PM
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standinginline
I think you could technically make the island + dining for four fit in your space...but my feeling is that it will look overwhelming compared to how much space the other cabinets and counters take-up. If the kitchen (counters and cabinets) were larger/longer and spanning a larger area, I think your space would be able to handle a larger unit like what you are imagining. So my opinion, stick with a smaller sized island or bar for casual seating.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 8:04PM
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Dytecture
One option would be to have a L-shaped island where it is basically a rectangular island with a dining table attached at one end.


1 Like   December 29, 2012 at 8:20PM
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Just Jon Home Remodeling, Design and Build
If in your remodel you get a over the range microwave that will free up counter space. Then I would move the window to family room and sink and dishwasher to left so dishwasher is first at end then sink next...this will make the corner workspace larger. Also order a 45 degree angle lower base cabinet for the corner and have the counter in the corner cut on that same angle too and suddenly that corner workspace will be huge and very useful...trust me...I have done it before and it works great.
You may not even need an island then.
Now, I'm not a fan of an island as it will hamper your traffic pattern to the pantry but if you decide on one for added storage I'm thinking rectangular and long with stools and overhang on side facing window and prep area and cabinets on side facing sink. Absolutely no less than 32 inches between island and anything permanent around it. Better to keep it at 36 inches minimum.
1 Like   December 29, 2012 at 9:24PM
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Just Jon Home Remodeling, Design and Build
In looking at the photos again...you may need an irregular shaped island to come up with something that will seat 4 in the space...don't be afraid to explore curves or odd shapes on one or more sides.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 9:29PM
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lulamarie
As you mentioned Just Jon, I'm worried an island will become a quick annoyance as well considering the tight space. I also agree that putting the microwave above the stove is a major plus. Maybe move the coffee maker to that space as well to free up space to left of stove. Are you suggesting that the homeowner switch the sink and dishwasher location essentially?
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Just Jon Home Remodeling, Design and Build
No lulamarie...let me clarify...the dishwasher gets put all the way to the right eliminating the base cabinet there under the microwave currently...this will allow the sink and window to be moved down to the right as well and make the entire corner counter between stove and sink bigger. I agree on moving coffee maker for sure.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 9:46PM
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Just Jon Home Remodeling, Design and Build
I just realized lulamarie that I said left when I meant right on my first post regarding moving the dishwasher. Hope this clears up confusion.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Just Jon Home Remodeling, Design and Build
With this new layout you can also put dishes to dry on smaller counter to right of sink over dishwasher as it will be only about 27 inches.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Just Jon Home Remodeling, Design and Build
With this new layout you can also put dishes to dry on smaller counter to right of sink over dishwasher as it will be only about 27 inches.
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 9:53PM
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ocram16
I think it would be better if you had a peninsula
0 Likes   December 29, 2012 at 10:11PM
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lulamarie
If this is your forever home, I think Just Jon makes an excellent suggestion. But if you'll be moving in the next 5 years or so, I wouldn't worry with it honestly. I don't think you're going to be able to solve not trekking over to the pantry with your kitchen. Even adding the kitchen cart/mini island won't really help with storage, just a little added prep space. The sink is the most popular spot in the kitchen which explains why it's crowed in that corner. Also, even though it's a good suggestion, moving the microwave over the stove will probably cause you to lose those 2 cabinets above, which doesn't really help unless you don't use those cabinets.

In terms of renovations for a townhouse, be careful not to over-renovate as you won't recuperate your costs (unless every home being sold has high-end goods). In this kitchen, I'd replace the hood over the stove, add new countertops and new hardware, new faucet and definitely lighting. A built-in banquette seat for the window with fresh curtain panels or blinds would be a great feature for the space.
0 Likes   December 30, 2012 at 7:58AM
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Stephanie Wilder
Thank you all for the comments. Your suggestions sound exactly like the debate my husband and I have been having over this, especially the part about whether an island will overwhelm the space or become a regrettable obstacle in the way of the pantry. I like all of your suggestions, but I still waiver about how far to go. I don't want this to be our forever home, but the economy has more to say about that than me. The built-in banquette seat was also a consideration. I thought it might provide a little storage for little-used small appliances and serve-ware and make more room in my cabinets. We've been replacing the appliances over the summer and haven't gotten to the hood yet...still debating the hood vs. built-in microwave. We're also debating whether to reface the cabinets or replace them. What we have is structurally sound, and I cringe at the thought of demolishing perfectly good (if ugly) cabinets for aesthetic reasons. Watching home improvement TV, I get the impression that refacing cabinets is only cheaper than installing new ones if the refacing is done DIY. Is that true? What's a ballpark expense for replacing vs. refacing? Thanks for any advice!
0 Likes   December 30, 2012 at 12:09PM
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lulamarie
I would definitely keep your cabinets. You can paint them yourself. It will take planning, preparation, elbow grease and persistence, but you can do it. If you can leave your kids with grandparents for one weekend, ask a few friends to come over to help, you could do it in a weekend. Wait until the weather is warmer (paint fumes).
http://myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/how-to-paint-oak-cabinets/ http://www.itallstartedwithpaint.com/painting-builder-grade-oak-cabinets/ http://www.housetweaking.com/2010/01/21/we-painted-the-kitchen-cabinets-white/

I would also talk to a painting professional at a mom and pop store in your town...talk to someone who really knows what they're talking about...not the teenager at a big box store. You want to make absolutely sure that the paint you select won't chip, etc. But with painting supplies, renting an electric sander...you can do this under $400 easy. New cabinets with installation cost thousands.

Because you have black appliances, do not paint your cabinets black. White would appeal to the most number of folks.
0 Likes   December 30, 2012 at 3:17PM
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Grace Reed
Stephanie, I feel your frustration! These are my thoughts. I'm afraid they will run counter to some of the suggestions you've received. 1. An island is out if the question in a 10' x 10' kitchen. Trust you're gut. 2. Painting or refacing are great options if the problem is cosmetic. In your case, the kitchen needs to function differently. For that reason, I think the cabinets need to be replaced. And, don't feel bad. They can be donated to Habitat for Humanity. A kitchen designer can help you pack a lot of storage into the space you have. For example, if the soffit/ bulkhead is only cosmetic, it could be torn out and higher wall cabinets could be added. The cabinet over the refrigerator could be 24" (vs. 12") deep. And, invest in drawers vs. cabinets with rollout trays. Your tallest things can go in the pantry. There are affordable kitchens available. Also, be sure to check out Innermost frameless cabinets at www.innermostcabinets.com and here on Houzz. I have them and love them! The additional storage is amazing! 3. A banquette is a great idea for lots of reasons including re-sale value. Love it. 4. Increase the depth of the pantry if possible. And, maximize the space that's there. Good luck!
0 Likes   December 30, 2012 at 8:56PM
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Grace Reed
Stephanie, the benefit of putting a microwave over the range is obvious. However, a lot of designers, etc. feel they are unsafe, inaccessible and almost useless at venting. Personally, I feel strongly about the safety issue. Truly, they are a hazard. I just talked with a woman who had something in her pocket that turned a gas burner on when she reached up. Fortunately, she wasn't hurt. Like I said, my opinions are not in the majority!
0 Likes   December 30, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Grace Reed
Sorry, me again. Yes, the cost of re-facing is equal to replacing unless it's a DIY. Someday you'll want to sell and and not replacing will be a deterrent. You might as well enjoy the new kitchen until then. I also think moving the DW and sink to the right is a great idea.
0 Likes   December 30, 2012 at 9:20PM
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