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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

20 inches too small for portion of kitchen island?

nelsons2012January 30, 2013
I've attached our current design. Kitchen designer thinks 20 inches across for the one end of island is best design. I worry it is just too skinny and won't look right. Should I sacrifice less aisle space by the refrigerator (designer said could go down 2-3 inches, but not his top recommendation) I order to get wider island? Thanks!
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20" is gonna look too skinny IMO. I would cut the island length down, and move it down a bit towards your dining area and not include seating at the end.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:01AM
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I'd flip it to meet the beam.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:08AM
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Tarey Cullen
open up the center area and move island/counter to beam turned 90 degrees with counter stools on dining rm side. Is that a sliding gl door to patio ? do you need access from kit to outdoors for cooking and entertaining? what is the area to right of column ?
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:43AM
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Yes, that is outside where grill will be. Right of the column is family room with fireplace etc. we are trying not to shut down that walkway by putting island off of beam to keep open floor pan for flow ideally
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Tarey Cullen
20" is too small. I often suggest to homeowners who are struggling with vision, is to take a cardboard box and "construct that shape (L x H x w )and cover it with cloth so you get a sense of what it will be. consider an L-shape peninsula from the left side so the walkway is open to the Ref.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:58AM
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I would turn the fridge 90 degree and place it on the upper wall so it becomes a L-shaped kitchen in order to allow enough depth for the island.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Dytecture.....great idea. Talked to our designer. Looks like it may work, only challenge is fridge will be on short leg versus long leg, which I believe is the standard for L-shaped kitchen? Will see a new design tomorrow, but looks like this may solve our problem!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Good to know :) please keep us posted !
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:04PM
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If you have an armoire style fridge you can get away with less clearance for the doors... just a thought.
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:23PM
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We have kitchen aid French door.....what is armoire style??
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Kerstin Dieterich Designs
Looks tight. Tape it of on the floor and see how you feel. 42" minimum...
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:48PM
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I've seen it called both -- I think it's the same. Freezer on bottom, two side-by-side doors on top -- like an armoire. Needs less clearance for opening the doors. I have a fairly large island -- 65"x68" with a cooktop on one side, prep sink on the adjacent side and seating on the other two sides. I have 37" clearance between the island and the cabinets against the walls (measuring from counter edge to counter edge since it sticks out farther than the cabinets). The only place it gets tight sometimes is when one person is at the cooktop and someone else decides to load the dishwasher, but it doesn't happen often and was worth losing an inch or two to be able to have a larger island. My designer told me it wouldn't work. Said my island was too big and that I had "too many cabinets"... huh??? NEVER too many cabinets! :) It works just fine!
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Loved Dytecture's idea to put fridge on wall, but unfortunately even with French door the right door won't open all the way. The kitchen designer says it will open enough to get into bins, but we don't want to limit that functionality. So back to th original deign posted above, thanks for all the helpful comments
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:54AM
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I'm assuming that's only if the fridge is against the wall. Check the documentation to see how much space is needed on the right to open the door all the way and place a pantry or can pullout to the right of it. Should work fine.
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Urbana ~ Designer Ellen Crystal
take your island & connect to the post 90 to current drawing, make it wider & more generous. It will be a great buffet area & eat up bar for your dining area & really define the kitchen.. then gives plenty of walking space. The main L is fine for overall prep. Also, look very carefully at your fridge model. The depth of doors & overall fridge will make it virtually impossible to access the corner base unit. The doors may hang up on the side of fridge & you'll never get in there. I'd also consider the fridge on the end of long L closer to dining. Try & find a flush model (counter depth) or fully integrated. Then do a smaller pantry or uppers & lowers to right of your sink, perhaps some to the counter level.
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Think about what you're planning to use the island for.

If it's just for staging, 20" is plenty - enough for a roasting pan, hot dishes, etc - for this, you can get away with 14" - 16". If it's for chopping, prepping, etc, then 20" is still OK - think about your regular kitchen cabinets - the counter tops are 24" deep, and you don't really work on the back 4"! I've prepped 3-course meals on 20" islands - sure, it would have been easier if they'd been larger, but it's not that much of a challenge, really.

If you want to sit at it decoratively while sipping your chardonnay while your SO makes the meal at the same spot, then 20" might be a bit tight.

(I don't mean to be impertinent, but is your designer a competent experienced cook as well as working on kitchen design? Many aren't, so are more concerned about the look than the utility and function of your kitchen - particularly men, for some reason - just a thought).

You don't have to do the island right away, either - Ikea sells a good variety of islands, counter-height trolleys, etc, that you can find cheap on Craigslist et al - you can pick up one of them and try it out for size before you go the whole hog and get a fitted 20" island.

Having said all that........you do need to allow a min 42" between worktops, and 48" is MUCH nicer.

So, I suspect in your kitchen, given the dimensions if I'm reading them correctly, you don't really have enough room for an island, certainly if you're planning on opening the fridge (even so-called"counter-depth" fridges stick out more than the counters, by a good 4" on the whole, and tend to cost a lot more).

I don't know what your budget is, but given your space, would you consider under-counter fridges (the drawer-types)? Then, going clock-wise from the bottom left corner, I'd have two 24" under-counter fridges, then a sink, on that long wall, then across the top I'd centre my oven, then where the fridge is now, I'd have a couple of pull-out 18" pantry cupboards. This will give you more counter space, and put the sink in the middle of the work area. And just have a small island where you're showing the sitting part of your island, maybe 36" square, vs such a long one.
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:42AM
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