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A "sinking feeling" OR Where to put my kitchen sink

NickJanuary 26, 2013
So my wife and I are trying to nail down floor plans for our dream house. At least one of the things we seem to keep coming back around to is the kitchen sink (and kitchen placement in general)

One of us belives that the kitchen should go near the back of the house with the sink under a bank of windows with the dining room at the opposite end. (Option A).

The other thinks the kitchen should go toward the front of the house with the sink in the island with the dining room table along the back bank of windows. (Option B).

So my question is - what experiences have you had with an island only kitchen sink? Pros/Cons - anything you wish you knew before you got one?

Check out the floorplans and vote!
Option A - Sink goes at the back of the house under the windows
Option B - Sink goes at the front of the house in the island
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The Virtual Designer- Kitchens & Bathrooms
Hello there- I have accidently voted for a kitchen with the sink at the back under the windows...I really didn't mean to. I can see immediately that a range hood would look fantastic placed between those two windows at the back....a real eye catcher as you enter that area. Have you had anyone draw up any particular design options for you as yet?
    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 8:48PM
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The Virtual Designer- Kitchens & Bathrooms
I forgot to mention that I have just finished a new extension to my house with an island sink and like it very much. I find I can sit at the island and prepare vegetables etc at the sink without having to turn my back on conversations going on around me. Actually, now that I have the sink this way, if I ever do another kitchen for myself, I think I'd find it hard going back to washing up at a window that doesn't have any particular views to look out on. At night, you would just face a blind pulled down over the window.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Thanks for your input!

I had really envisioned the stove would go somewhere along the right side wall with the back stairs on the other side. Initially I had thought it would align with a fireplace between the windows in the great room but the stairs got in my way. I liked the idea of "open concept" between the 2 spaces but I'm kind of afraid of one huge undefined space as well.

If it goes in the front I was thinking like a wide galley kitchen with the sink across from the stove in the island.
    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:09PM
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I like the layout of the house very much - and what a fun decision to make!

You know that your kitchen will always be open to dining area. And one of kitchen or dining will be open to great room.

So, do you want kitchen to have direct access to great room: can see TV while working, looking out sink window can see kids playing in back yard, talk to people in both great room and dining room.
kitchen in area B, dining room is in area A: less noise travelling to TV viewing area while someone else cooking/cleaning; beacuse sink will be in island, you will still have view to outside (although maybe not good enough to watch younger children).

Looking at your floor plan, I don't see a front hall closet (but you've got a great mudroom entrance area!) If the kitchen is in area B, you could have a cabinetry closet that flows into kitchen cabinetry.

What is the privacy from house to street and to other back yard neighbours like? On a Sunday morning when you want to lounge in pj's with a coffee and the crossword and the sunshing through open windows, where are you sitting and who can see you from outside? Does this bother you? And will plants/trees/hedges/fences that are small now grow to fix this problem soon enough?

lots to think about - have fun!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Option A for sure.
    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:49PM
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The Virtual Designer- Kitchens & Bathrooms
Hi Nick- Just had a peek at your ideasbook you have created for your kitchen which gives me a better idea of the look you are wanting to achieve. It's going to look gorgeous either way but don't forget you can have 2 sinks in two different locations in a kitchen so large. Especially if you have a long walk from the primary/main sink and the stove top or a coffee espresso machine. Good luck with your project.
    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 10:02PM
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Sink in island. I built a house years ago and put one in the island. Last minute we decided to make it the primary sink not the "bar/vegetable" washing sink. What a great decision that was! Our island and kitchen in general was THE hub and I miss it to this day. I currently have a bar sink in an island in the farmhouse I am in now. While it is nice to have it is too small and I wish for my big farm apron sink so I can rinse noodles, chop and prep and clean up all while chatting away with my family and friends. We all use the bar sink in the island way more than the one under the windows looking out over the back yard, while the view is nice the face to face conversations are way better. Plus we have windows looking through he great room any way so it is a win win. Please consider having 2 sinks, it is really nice. I drink tea and when someone is cooking I can still wash my hands and fill my tea pot without slowing down the "chef". Either way congratulations on your new home!
    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 10:55PM
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I have just made a similar choice and kept the island free and clear with the sink on the wall. I do think this is a personal preference but my reasons were...

1. Didn't want the dirty dishes or clean dishes cluttering the island in the middle of an open plan space - depends if you are a let them drain or wipe them straight away person
2. Island sink means large clean platters will not be able to lean on any wall in a draining rack
3. Wanted the island to be used for breakfast bar, serving space etc and keeping sink away is better for that
4. Wanted enough seating space to enable our family of 4 to eat here
5. Wanted to make a statement with the island which will be a different stone top and coloured cupboards to the rest of the kitchen

Hope this helps, I really think consideration of how you want to use an island will help you make a choice

Good luck
    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 11:07PM
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Most of food prep takes place near the sink, and by having natural daylight nearby it would provide a more pleasant working area, thus the lights don't need to be turned on as often.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 6:34AM
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We will be building in a rural area away from the road without any close neighbors - so privacy really isn't a big concern. Many of the issues j9rob points out match our concerns with a island sink. Particularly dishes cluttering the island area but also a want for a large uninterupted area.

Like rawketgrl mentions I had wanted the island to be the "HUB". A view from the kitchen to the great room would be nice to keep an eye on the kids. We may also consider change the stairs to an L bend to open up the space at the back of the house for a more open concept. But I feel like a "dining room" in the front of the house nearly dooms it to never being used.

Interesting points of view about looking out the window with your back to the activity versus face to face with the island. I hadn't thought about the the latter and it seems an interesting plus for the island sink.
    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 7:54AM
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Blinds Direct Canada
When you doing dishes its really nice to have the natural light coming in .
    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 4:27PM
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Based on popular opinion (at least from vote count) here is what I've come up with. I'm thinking something must be done to open up the area from the kitchen to great room... Most likely an L-Bend stair
    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:27PM
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I go for the back simply because of the dish strainer. Sorry I don't have a perfect kitchen where there is magically no dish strainer. I just don't want my drying dishes front and center.
    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:40PM
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hi Nick - you're plans look beautiful! I like the island and kitchen at that end with casual seating at the island and then dining area at the front. Get a dining table that is comfortably sized for everyday (so that you'll use it!) but that expands for more guests when the need arises.

Just one more thing to consider. How many steps from sink to range/cooktop? With dripping vegetables or pot full of boiling pasta to drain you need to have close proximity cooktop to sink. So that has me suggesting sink in the island, or at least a good sized prep sink.

So to fine tune:
Perhaps turn table 90 degrees (parallel to front windows), move the cabinetry (desk?) that's on the staircase wall closer to dining table, it could be combo desk/ china display.

That gives you room to deepen the island (towards stairs)in front of prep sink; no stools directly across from sink. Now there's lots of room at sink without splashing school work! Maybe you don't need to widen the island - just put a cabinet in front of prep sink, same depth as counter overhang on that side.

Use you the island for casual eating, family meals together at the table! (ok, lecture over!)

Have fun in your beautiful new house!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:31AM
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Kathy - all great ideas... Here's another look. Also since I was floor plan B (my wife was A... I lose again!!! ) I might work it up just for fun ;)

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions! Much appreciated!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:33PM
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