Help me figure out placement of my kitchen island
PiffOctober 14, 2013
About me: Single and avid homecook. New apartment (~725 sq ft), doing semi reno. (See somewhat inaccurate floor plan for more.)

I'm knocking out the wall between kitchen and dining area. (See second picture.) Kitchen is very cramped and narrow and I want to knock out the wall entirely and then put in an island.

Some folks in my building have more simply, opened up the wall and installed a counter. (See third picture.)

My goal is a free flowing space with a kitchen island I can walk around completely. However, I think the space will be too narrow for me to place the kitchen island (discussions with contractor are currently at about 3.5 by 6 ft) with the (more traditional) widest side facing the kitchen.

QUESTION: Do you think it will look weird placing the kitchen island with the narrower side of the island facing the kitchen area, so there's more space to walk around it? (Also, will be using island as dining room table).

Any opinions on my space at all are welcome and much appreciated. I am 100% new to this and I have no idea what I'm doing.
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Amy Cali
You know there is no rule that says a kitchen island must be rectangular. This could be a perfect opportunity to use a curved island.
    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Amy Cali
An attached table or incorporated banquette could work too
2 Likes    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Amy Cali
curves to inspire you....
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Scott Skinner
Nice apartment. You'll want a minimum of 40 inches between cabinets for an aisle if you'd like to be able to walk all the way around it. You may need more depending on your stove and refrigerator locations and the dimensions of them when they are open.

A 42 inch wide island would be a nice width, but anything less won't look or function well. If you incorporate a minimum 12 inch countertop overhang for legroom where stools will be used, like the third picture of the renovated unit, it will look fine without a standard, separate dining table.

Can you remove the walls between the foyer and dining room? I know there may be structural or mechanical systems in there, but you could frame around them and move your island against it or have it emerging from the top of the countertop. Just a thought. If there's HVAC in there, forget about it.

Remember, your flooring will need to be patched or replaced depending on what you do, so keep that expense in mind.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Piff
Thanks Amy!I was madly googling to figure out what curved island could work in my narrow space. I'm not sure any would fit. However, I think that attached table incorporated into the island sort of works (the first set of pictures you posted). And, honestly, it kind looks like that kitchen island (in the second photo of your first set) has the narrowest part facing the main kitchen area, which is the main thing I'm worried about anyway).
    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Amy Cali
Piff, yeah i thought the 1st one fit great. I think you can orientate the island the way you are considering and I'm all for it. I would make sure the part facing your living room looks more furniture like than kitchen-y (if that makes sense).
    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 12:59PM
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Amy Cali
the table gives the island pushing out into the living space "purpose". Could even look good dropped to table height??
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Piff
Scott - this is great advice.

Working backwards:

- Yes I am replacing the flooring throughout. I'm going to be putting in a hardwood, throughout my apartment (except the bathroom) to make the apartment feel as open as possible.

- I was thinking as I was writing up this post that just being able to remove that closet would probably solve all my problems. I'll check with my contractor to see price of that. I am doing a fair number of renovations and may want to just leave as is since I'm cost conscious. (Plus, a girl can always use a closet.)

- So as it stands, the island will be 42 inches on the narrow side and 72 inches on the long side. The plan is to have one long side of the island have the overhang for stools - and those stools will be placed so they face out the window. Will this look weird? Any drawbacks for that placement?

- The stove, dishwasher and fridge are all on the wall of the kitchen facing into the room (facing the wall that's about to get knocked out) so I don't think there will be any issues there.
    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:04PM
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bowdavis
That is exactly what I did in my kitchen and I love it...
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Piff
Amy - Yes exactly - that attached table at the end does give the "purpose" to the non-traditional orientation I'm concerned about. Currently, the plan with the contractor is to have an overhang on one of the long sides of the island (facing out the pictured window). But maybe I can just shift all the storage to the narrow half of the island that's closest to the kitchen and then have this attached table at the other end. The view isn't particularly stellar anyway.
1 Like    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Piff
Bowdavis - I feel better seeing an example that's somewhat similar to what I plan on having in my apartment. However, you still have that beautiful fridge to balance it out, plus you have a corner kitchen, my appliances and cabinets are all on one wall. (You have a really gorgeous space btw).
    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:13PM
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bowdavis
I forgot to say I also moved the frig to the family room side of the removed wall. It really helped to extend the kitchen and integrate the two rooms together.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 1:14PM
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bowdavis
There is no reason you couldn't move your frig and put it on the wall of the closet. I f you built a stub wall, you would not see much of the frig and I think you would love it. it could also go in the opposite wall, too. Your old frig space would make a great pantry...
2 Likes    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:21PM
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Piff
Bowdavis - Great idea
    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:30PM
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Scott Skinner
"The plan is to have one long side of the island have the overhang for stools - and those stools will be placed so they face out the window. Will this look weird? Any drawbacks for that placement?"

The placement would look nice, and I think the picture that bowdavis provided is an excellent idea. The other side of the island will be a kind of dead space with the blank wall, however. You will be able to use that aisle to access the island cabinets, but that would be the only function. You could add a bookcase or some art on the wall to provide interest since your view out the window may not be great.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 1:39PM
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bowdavis
On the island side opposite the stools, you can have cabinets, microwave, and even an open space for a stool. I love being able to pull out my stool and face my friends and family using the bar stools on the other side...
My entire island is 40" by 100". And the 40" width works great...it is plenty wide enough.
2 Likes    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 2:15PM
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bowdavis
Here is another idea for your island


1 Like    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:44PM
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2oakland
P
    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Denise Marchand
I love all the open islands, but I think you may have issues with walls that cannot be moved. How far did the contractor get with determining what could come down?

You do not have room for the island to go all the way into the living area because then your apartment will be all kitchen. I love the curved island pic from Amy and the bowdavis island. Depending on the floor you are on, if you can take down everything like your neighbor, the curve would be gorgeous. The wall perpendicular to the window in the kitchen is a perfect place for a pantry, as you have limited storage for a cook.

If this were my apartment, I would reconfigure all of the closets to open the main area. You could leave the entrance closet as is to create entrance privacy.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 8:24PM
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jradnell
Does the island bench have to have anything in it i.e. Sink, stove, dishwasher. I'm asking because I've seen an island bench on lockable wheels. It seemed like an awesome idea to me because you can put it anywhere you want depending on what you are doing. You can even get creative and make it different to the kitchen and make it a feature piece of furniture.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 8:35PM
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jradnell
The fourth picture is something I have never seen before.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 14, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Piff
Hi Denise - the contractor has done most of the work in the building and he confirms the wall can indeed come down despite the floor plan. I totally agree after thinking about it that the wall should stay up to separate the living area from the kitchen area otherwise the place really would be all kitchen.
    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Piff
Jradnell - It'll have some electrical outlets that it. I'm not as interested in a rolling island. I would like to significantly increase my kitchen storage space and I also intend to use the island as the eating area.
    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Denise Marchand
That would be fantastic with those two columns out of the way. With the pantry opposite the sink you could even back another ceiling to floor pantry on the living room side. 12" deep cabinets with adjustable shelves inside can hold an enormous amount of items and visually takes up no room at all.

I have attached Sela Ward's idea of sliding doors. Note the hardware on the louvre doors. Contractors love this hardware because it is easy to install. She also installed vintage doors in front of a bar area. Nice concept facing the living area.

Your apartment is going to look amazing! Don't forget to give us updates!
    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 15, 2013 at 2:33PM
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Denise Marchand
Opps, here's the pics:
    Bookmark   Thanked by Piff    October 15, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Piff
Denise - sliding doors are such a gorgeous look - what a great way to hide extra storage! thanks!
    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Denise Marchand
My pleasure.
    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 3:14PM
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