How wide to make a kitchen island
October 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I'm beginning to plan my kitchen remodel. The house is a 1973 ranch style. I want the remodel to suit my needs (working with fabrics, quilting in groups, the occasional sit down dinner party of 6-8, and less often a holiday parties for larger groups where people are mingling thru from living room to kitchen to patio. I want the kitchen to appeal to future home buyers as I'll probably move on in 5-7 years.

The room is about 20x22 ft, with an L shape kitchen in one corner, and room for my dining table diametrically opposite. The dining room table is 10 ft at its longest (quilt and sit down dinner parties), can be collapsed to 5 ft for 'mingling-flow thru' parties.

The current island is about 50 x 30 inches and sits at an angle (see current floor plan 1 sq = 1 ft). My designer is suggesting an island 87 inches long by 45 inches wide (countertop dimension, underlying cabinetry is 84x42) which is great for storage, but I'm worried it is too wide and will interfere with the flow at dinner parties as the island would be only about 40-42 inches from the dining room table - if a person is sitting there, then the between island and person walk space is about 30-33 inches.

Because I do work with fabric (quilting, dressmaking), and crafts and the island is a PERFECT height for cutting fabric, my friend is encouraging me to go with the designers width of 45. I did a mock up by adding some boxes to my current island and the length is great; just not sure about the width. I do plan to have a microwave drawer on the kitchen side of the island, but the surface is to be one solid unbroken space.

I would like some opinions, especially if you too use your kitchen for fabric crafts.
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42" is the minimum clearance you should have inside the kitchen; you should have more than that between the kitchen and, essentially, the dining room. I would be looking for a few more inches, but you show the island 48" from the other kitchen elements, and so you could pick up 6" by readjusting down to 42.

The placement of the refrigerator is a clearance problem here; when you open the doors, you will be dodging the island, and it will be a nuisance.

For these reasons, I would likely rotate this island 90 degrees.

The island needs to have more functionality than just a big work surface; I am surprised at your designer's concept. Consider placing one of the following there: kitchen sink, cooktop. second prep sink, additional dishwasher. Use the island to take the place of some or all of your upper cabinets for a more modern and open look.
October 6, 2013 at 11:23am   
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William Roy Designer Kitchens
To answer the clearance between island and table I would have to know if there's an eating bar at the island. If not you can work with 33". A large rectangle island would be fabulous compared to the off set boxes in your drawing. As much as you craft you will likely use this room way more for a kitchen / family room / kitchen. If you've selected an experiecned kitchen designer (a high percentage of custom cabinet builders are not "designer") you will want to trust them.
October 6, 2013 at 11:32am   
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Mahmood Al_Turani
supposing u don't have seating on your island, so 4 feets are good, it's the space that allow someone to sit on the dining while another passing behind him which personally I prefer, 33" is possible but if someone is siting on dining the way will be blocked which I don't prefer.
I agree with sstarr93 , only 3 feets between fridge and island is not enough u need minimum 4 feets. so consider redesigning the island. as per one of the above suggestions.
October 6, 2013 at 11:57am   
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I do not need seating at the island; I live alone and don't cook much -- the table is very close and a better choice for breakfast/lunch/or dinner and most of it has garden view.. But I am considering a roll out book case on the end of the island near the garage and that could double as a eat-here spot for the occasions when I have a house guest.

As to the large unbroken surface, don't blame the desiger -- that was MY demand -- I did not want any sink, cooktop or whatever to break up the surface. I DO want to have one level surface across the full extent ....currently I use a fabric cutting board on my table when I have more than 2 yards to work with-- there is nothing that can compare with 6-7 ft of unbroken level surface when fussing with yards of fabric or queen size quit tops. I just need to make sure it doesn't look like a whale in the middle of the room and some styling should take car of that.

I guess I don't understand how a more square island would work. Yes, it would not interfere with the fully extended dining room table as much, but it would stick into the walkway from the patio door into the middle of the room. which seems like more of an issue.

That floor plan is in Excel with 1 cell = 12 inches; the fridge is really 33 in depth (french door with bottom freezer door) and the island is physically mocked up at 42 inches right now -- so I do (and will keep) good clearance from fridge to island.
October 6, 2013 at 1:58pm   
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