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New Layout Idea - Double Island Kitchen

moneymm
February 10, 2019
last modified: February 10, 2019

What do you think of the layout?

would you change any sizes, spacing?


concerns: when sitting at stools and chairs at table (propably rare), main walk through will be closer to 40-48"


In between islands, do you think it needs to be 48"?, i was thinking 36" might be better.. that would allow more space elsewhere, where would you put extra space?


the only windows are 3 windows over the range wall, they dont open and they are, high up over the 7' tall cabinets, 20"x20" cabs centered between 7' and the 10' ceiling. i could add a window in the corner to the right of the main sink above the counter but i figure we would lose alot of vital wall cabs, as we dont have that many.

can the space above farm sink have wall cabs or does it need to be open atleast 36"


where would you put the secondary prep sink?


entire room is 27'x17'



Comments (51)

  • rantontoo

    Why do you want two island?

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    I think double island kitchens are tough to navigate when you're actually working in there UNLESS you know for certain there will be multiple cooks prepping at the same time. A few comments if you keep the layout as shown above:


    1. Swap the locations of the refrigerator and the pantry so the door swings for the fridge will be less impeded.

    2. Put the prep sink diagonally across from where it's located now. That way, if someone is either at the main sink or the range, you won't be bumping into each other.

    3. Extend the bench seat to the wall, but you can leave the table the same size. It will look weird if it's not wall-to-wall.


    But if it were me, I might eliminate one island and re-orient it so the long side is parallel to the sink wall.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    This layout makes no sense to me the “double “ island really is just a table with stools since you would drive yourself crazy trying to work at both. How much eating space do you really need for heavens sake. I hate booths and a 2 sided is even worse getting in and out is nothing short of irratating.That post would make me crazyI would spend the money on a steel beam. The fridge should be a s close as possible to an eating area one island just larger with a prep sink and garbage close together , I am not sure how the pantry has bearing walls everywhere. wall cabinets can be replaced with more pantry space and pullout pantries . IMO you need to get a KD to deal with this very oversized kitchen that makes no sense.What I would do is replace the island with the stools with a table and chairs then that space where you have the booth could be a wall of pantries to eliminate all the wall cabinets thenuse drawers for all the storage needs in the main part of the kitchen move the fridge to the wall where the wall ovens are and put them where you have the fridge. I love 48” walkways and you can have them so keep them. This would also allow for actual windows to see out of which IMO every kitchen needs . Anyway get a pro to help with this

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    The space as a whole is quite a bit larger than needed to perform the functions of food prep and an eating space. The duplicative functions aren’t functional.


    There’s nothing wrong with a good kitchen table instead of an island. Without the banquette. It’s more comfortable for young and old. It’s movable and less expensive. It doesn’t require electrical outlets. It’s the far better choice over a second island. The banquette is looks over function and that whole area is located awkwardly in a traffic path. Eliminate it, put in storage there, and create one good eating area. Just one.


  • cpartist

    Agree with Patricia and Cooks Kitchen

  • scottie mom

    You need a pro. You are asking all kinds of questions that just don't relate to what you're showing here. It's hard to even see what you're trying to show with this image. Graph paper and a pencil would probably be a lot better. And your math does not add up. Get a good designer who can help you focus your ideas.

  • moneymm

    yes one island is for def just for a high table/stool seating. whats wrong with that?


    2 islands vs 1 gives you the ability to hang all around the 1 seating island and not be in the cooks way at all.


    i have seen a ton of double island kitchens on houzz, everyone seems to like them. but noone does mine?



  • rantontoo

    How old were those ton of pictures? One larger island is going to function and look better than two. Sorry...but that layout looks like an obstacle course. A larger island will itself function as a barrier to the main working part of the kitchen.

  • J Williams

    I don’t get the 2 islands, would it not make more sense to double the size of one island, or make it an L? I’ve never seen a 2 island kitchen before, but I’m no pro.

  • luckyblueeye

    I would do a T-shaped island if you want to have a 2nd island for guests to hang out. This way you would have better clearances everywhere. My husband put one in during a recent kitchen remodel and the clients love it! They entertain often, so they added a long narrow sink that runs through the center of the "leg" of the T...for drinks.



  • PRO
    Main Line Kitchen Design

    If you were using a side by side refrigerator as shown in the design you could not access the freezer as the freezer door needs to open close to 180 degrees.

  • kudzu9

    There are a number of things with the layout that don't work for me, particularly that double island. Was that design done by a kitchen designer or an architect? I'm sorry if this sounds catty, but it needs re-work.

  • Kristin S

    How is hanging around the seating island different from hanging around the kitchen table. You're too far away to be social with the cook, and it's inconvenient to talk with others when you're all sitting in a straight line.

    My parents have two islands, and I can tell you that the second one gets used only as a buffet when we have big family meals. No prep happens on it, the sink on it rarely gets used, and it's just another thing in the cooking space. There are easier ways to get buffet space, or seating space, if those are your goal.

  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    The entire design is terrible. Not just the terrible idea of a useless double island. You need a Pro.

  • jpp221
    How many different spots does one need to sit and hang out? And, this generously sized kitchen ends with a crammed booth shoe-horned in at its end. If you need to seat 8 or 10, design seating for. 8 of 10, not two cramped separate seating areas for 4 or 6. Leave that for Chik-fil-et.
  • moneymm

    i get it, every pro on here wants to tell me to go hire a pro. well i dont want to do that. i would rather tips here and there and come up with a solution without a hired pro.

  • kudzu9

    It's not just the pros that are saying that. I get that you came on here for tips...it's just that some of the tips are to change the design.

  • moneymm

    we have a kitchen table and a island with stools in our current kitchen, we use the table for alltogether meals, and the island with stools when one or two eating.


    I dont see how they both wouldnt be utilized.


    as far as the 2 islands. i never saw them until they kept popping up in houzz photos. I am looking to do something different, obviously i can stick an island in there and be done with it, but I really want something with ideal looks & functionality.


    We really want an eat in table height kitchen along with and island with stools. so maybe the above layout is decent, and just turn the island into 1. make the kitchen table bigger, centered on the wall, and most people are saying remove the booth and just put chairs... maybe.

  • moneymm

    kudzu9 , i am fine with "change the design", thats what i posted it for. i was just hoping for more of, move this here, change this, this works, this doesnt, i like this, hate that, make this bigger,, etc.

  • Kristin S

    You've actually gotten quite a bit of advice here beyond just hire a professional.

    Go to a single island and flip it 90 degrees. It can be a longer island then. Swap the sink and the range so that the range is along the long side of the island. This would also let you have a big full-height windows over the sink. Move the refrigerator to where you currently have the wall ovens. You are short on space for uppers and full height cabinets, so I would also consider a microwave drawer and a wall oven under the counter in the island in place of the wall oven and microwave. Ditch the banquet. Personally I'd forego a kitchen table altogether, given that you'll have island seating as well as the kitchen open to the dining room right there. If a third seating area is important, go with a table with actual chairs. If it isn't, consider how else you might better use that space. Full height pantry cabinets? A tea/coffee/beverages/snack bar area?

    moneymm thanked Kristin S
  • mainenell
    What about the T or L shape island with table height seating at the seated portion? Very comfortable to sit it and visit with the cook. The cook could even be doing comfortably seated prep work like peeling potatoes or the apples for pie.
  • moneymm

    yes and i appreciate the advice beyond that.

  • moneymm

    i also love the waterfall island look, but dont know if doing that on a massive single island works. as far as looks, these look different, functional and very nice IMO.


  • kudzu9

    I know you've been thinking about this for a while, but please step back and allow yourself to consider alternatives. My opinion is that you might find a single, large island would be more functional and pleasing in the long run. It doesn't just have to be a big rectangle; it could be complex and multi-functional. One of the suggestions above was for a T-shaped island, which might be a good place to start from if you are willing to take a second look. A more sophisticated single island would also allow you to do away with that booth that is off to the side, which struck me as oddly placed, unnecessary, and not all that inviting. I'd then use that space for something more useful which you seem to be lacking, which is sufficient pantry space. My kitchen is quite a bit smaller than yours but has more pantry than your plan shows...and I wish I had more.

  • Mrs Pete

    No to double islands. I've never seen one that I like -- not online, not in person. The two islands creates a "Pacman kitchen" with lots of little aisles and the need to turn corners often.

    Instead, make ONE big island running the other direction ... it's a simpler design, which is almost always the right choice ... it gives you roughly the same space, but you're avoiding the "between space" that will be frustrating to navigate, and it allows you more space around the whole thing:

    where would you put the secondary prep sink?

    In someone else's kitchen. Seriously, if you're considering a second sink, ask yourself if the kitchen's main work area is too big, too spread out ... or if it could be better designed.

    In between islands, do you think it needs to be 48"?, i was thinking 36" might be better.. that would allow more space elsewhere, where would you put extra space?

    Personal opinion: 48" is too much, 36" is too little. You should go down to Lowes with your tape measure, measure the distances in their sample kitchens (hint: it'll be 38-42"), and decide what you think is "just right".

  • moneymm

    mainenell i have seen the T shaped lower seating table... it, im sure it functions fantastically for what we want, just hate the look when not done right. different counter materials, doesnt flow nicely.

  • mcguirks

    I think you should try a T shape with the open walls toward the dining room. Make the area with the banquette a full height pantry wall or a snack/tea/coffee/wine bar area.

  • Kristin S

    I agree that's a beautiful kitchen, and the second island isn't detracting from the functionality. That said, it's not adding anything either, and a very large kitchen is made very small by its use of so much of the space. There are very minimal cabinets and very minimal prep space, given that practically speaking no one is going to haul things over to the second island just to prep on a routine basis. So you're left with the fairly small areas by the sink and range as the only prep space.

  • live_wire_oak

    The original kitchen works far better than this hot mess.

  • moneymm



    better? enough room between frige and sink? where would you put secondary sink?

  • J Williams

    maybe you don’t need another one (sink)

  • Kristin S

    we have a kitchen table and a island with stools in our current kitchen, we use the table for alltogether meals, and the island with stools when one or two eating. I dont see how they both wouldnt be utilized.

    They might both be utilized, but you have limited wall space, particularly for full height cabinets. Consider that while you might like the idea of a third eating space, the space might be better allocated to something else, like more full-height cabinets.

    I really want something with ideal looks & functionality.

    as far as the 2 islands. i never saw them until they kept popping up in houzz photos.

    I am looking to do something different

    Ideal looks and functionality is a good goal. Seeing something pop up on Houzz a lot is a sign it's trendy, not a sign of good functionality. And different is overrated, and not essential to looks or functionality. There is often a very good reason that the different thing isn't done.

    moneymm thanked Kristin S
  • MaryMargaret Sambas

    The best decision that I ever made was working with my Kitchen Designer. It worked so well that we're planning the Master Bath now.


    I don't think you understand how expensive these changes will be. You can't afford to spend all that money and have regrets! I don't know what you do for a living. I'm an accountant. My husband is a mechanic. No one can learn enough in a short period of time to do complicated company books or to rebuild a car engine. That's what we do all day, every day. I wouldn't try to do my husband's job. Nor he mine. And neither one of us would try to DIY a project like yours either.


    Know your limitations.

  • live_wire_oak

    That is still a hot mess. That banquette is not a good idea. Neither is the continent.

  • rantontoo

    What are the aisle widths around your last design post...looks narrow between seating and wall? The space you show for the table with seating is not realistic...in reality, it is going to be in front of the doorway.

  • live_wire_oak

    The original is still better. Just turn the tiny little island in the middle and create a peninsula. Problems solved. Without a 150K remodel.



  • artistsharonva

    A KD designer is a good investment.


    At least take your floorplan to some local cabinet stores & get 2-3 quotes for cabinets. They usually offer 3D layouts for a small fee. Plus, you can shop around for pricing & look at cabinets before ordering. i save a lot of $ buying local. i save over 30% average compared to big box stores on wood cabinets.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia

    I'm an interior designer and have been for over 40 years. I have a very good eye and my sense of spatial relationships is outstanding (lots of testing in school when I was a child!). But when I redid my kitchen nearly 3 years ago, I hired a kitchen designer. I know all about choosing finishes - colors/hardware etc - but nothing about actually which size cabinets should go where. That's why I hired a kitchen designer.

    I was lucky that my designer was willing to work with me and listened to my wants/needs. I had a HUGE amount of input into this kitchen , but he knew what size cabinets to order and I would not have known this at all. It's just not where my training/experience is.

    Don't get your knickers in a twist just because we don't like your design or think that 2 islands is a great idea. Personally, I never use Houzz for design inspiration - it is often filled with "trophy" houses/kitchens - you name it - that don't live well at all. A kitchen is as personal to the one cooking as a wallet or handbag. How we cook and what equipment we use/need are all different. As an elderly woman, I'm not well enough to do much cooking anymore, but I'm also not ready to downsize to 3 skillets and one saucepan. Every now and then, I need something I have kept. I use my angel food cake pan 3 times a year, but one cannot make an angel food cake without one. Occasionally, I need multiple mixing bowls. When I make cornbread (albeit from a dolled-up Jiffy box mix), I need my cast iron skillet. I still use my huge Le Creuset casserole a few times yearly. And it all must have a place.

    When my kitchen designer (30+ years experience) came out to my house, I suggested that he look in every single drawer in my existing kitchen in order to know what he needed to find space for in the new one; he'd never done this before but says he now always does and it's eyeopening.

    The pros on GW are not trying to be hired. Nor are we protecting our "guild". We just know that sometimes require a pro and a kitchen is a BIG one that does.

  • moneymm

    thanks Anglophilia,


    My knickers arent in a bunch b/c someone didnt like the design or think that 2 islands is a bad idea. I am likely going to hire a kitchen designer of some sort. I am just having fun trying to lay this out on my own and see what works and what doesnt. I like the construction criticism.



    i mean look at this comment...


    "You do not have design talent. You just don't. You don't understand spatial relationships or circulation space. Or anything to do with kitchen design theory. Every idea that you have presented is really bad. Not just "needs tweaks" Bad as in completely unworkable. Every alteration moves to a worse idea. "


    lol.


    we are talking about a kitchen design, its not rocket science, nor life and death. also i am not starting from scratch. money is a factor and i trying not to gut the entire kitchen, i am not trying to knock down bearing walls and bring in structural engineers and architects and get permits, i want to move some wooden boxes around a kitchen so they function alittle better and look better.


    i am trying to learn about this and see if i can come up with a good workable layout.




  • artistsharonva

    Kitchens are more complicated than they seem. Here's some amateur mistakes to avoid while figuring your layout.


    upper cabinets too close to stove=

    fire hazard





  • Pam A

    Yes, some of these comments are pretty OTT mean/ unhelpful. I had a banquette in my old kitchen and it was the most popular place to sit by all guests. I mean, who doesn't love a booth in a restaurant?


    I do like the idea of the expansive island 90 degrees to the original two islands. I think two islands will feel ... choppy, but a single long island will be an awesome work surface. Previously, my kitchen had a 3x8 island and it was GREAT when baking or prepping anything in bulk. Pretty awesome on regular cooking nights, too.


    I don't see a good place for a banquette here, unfortunately. I had to lose mine, too (it was sacrificed to fit a mudroom into the space). However if you ever need one, I think Ballard Designs has a nice selection. I am trying to see if one can fit in my dining room after my reno is over.


    It is a good idea to work with a kitchen designer BUT remember that every home is different. I liked my KD but wound up parting ways (they also sold cabinets and my budget could not support the lines they sold). Even though it didn't work out, the money and time we spent working up several designs was worth it ($1500, not inexpensive but totally valuable to see what we COULD do with the space). In the end I went with a local cabinet maker for a TON less money and cabinets arrive next week.


    Good luck, I hope you keep doodling and looking at alternatives. Also, check out open houses near you to see what feels good to you (especially fun in higher end towns with smaller homes, more money can stretch a small space).

    moneymm thanked Pam A
  • suzyq53

    I would take out the banquet out and put a large pantry in that dark corner instead. Then where the second island is I would put a large counter high table and chairs.


  • suzyq53

    Maybe a table like this for dining instead of banquet and second island?



  • Mrs Pete

    i have seen the T shaped lower seating table... it, im sure it functions fantastically for what we want, just hate the look when not done right.

    Agree. I dislike the look.

    I agree that's a beautiful kitchen, and the second island isn't detracting from the functionality. That said, it's not adding anything either, and a very large kitchen is made very small by its use of so much of the space.

    Disagree ... I think it IS decreasing functionality. What it's taking away is negative space /empty space /walking space /space that provides a rest for your eyes.

    The original kitchen works far better than this hot mess.

    Did we see the original?

    Ideal looks and functionality is a good goal. Seeing something pop up on Houzz a lot is a sign it's trendy, not a sign of good functionality.

    Good point.

    When my kitchen designer (30+ years experience) came out to my house, I suggested that he look in every single drawer ...

    Survey what you actually have /actually need to store ... a good exercise. I surveyed everything in my kitchen and was pleased to see that I've planned a new kitchen that seems "just right", but when I surveyed everything in my closet, I found that I actually don't need as much closet as I was planning. Knowing is good.

    Maybe a table like this for dining instead of banquet and second island?

    We've several times rented a beach house with that type of table in an L-shaped kitchen. I love that beach house, but I hate that kitchen. Why?

    - I have to reach over the backs of the chairs to use the table as workspace (okay, that could be fixed with lower stools instead of chairs).

    - Because the table isn't ideal workspace, I end up walking from one end of the L to the other to find a spot to work.

    - I can't use the table as workspace AND set places for a meal. (This beach house has only the one eating area.)

  • suzyq53

    I was suggesting the table in addition to a working island.

  • ci_lantro

    Floor to ceiling pantry/ cabinetry/ upright freezer or coffee bar where the booth is. One long island turned 90 degrees to current planned islands. Seating at the island. Don't need any more seating because the dining room is proximate.

  • moneymm

    Dining room is setup for formal, not for everyday use. My wife won’t go for that from the rug, to the table to the setup of it. its for looks and the 1 or 2 times a year for holidays.

    I need low seating bc I have bad back and can’t sit on high stools for too long or often.

    We need a kitchen solution with low table seating . We have both an island with stools and a kitchen table in our current kitchen half the size so I’m sure it’s doable somehow.

  • moneymm

    " The entire design is terrible. Not just the terrible idea of a useless double island. You need a Pro. "


    I am pretty positive the several million dollar kitchens with 2 islands seen in houzz photos used kitchen designers.


    Every "pro" is gonna come up with different designs and ideas and have different tastes.



  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Consider a island with table height extension like this. Much more functional and much better than other options. You have room I believe.
  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner

    I would flip the appliances and sink if this plan includes placing the range in front of windows. I would place the sink in front of the windows and place the range on the solid wall I have also enlarged the booth and seating nook.


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