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Kitchen island: ANGLED or RECTANGULAR?


Miss Cornelia Snook
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If you were designing your dream kitchen, would you choose an angled island, or a rectangular one?

Pro for angled--more seating room!

Pro for rectangular--less to walk around!

 

In my current kitchen, we have an angled island and it makes me crazy.  Mostly because it causes a traffic jam when one person is pondering the contents of the fridge, and another person needs to pass by. However, that placement won't be a problem in the new kitchen.

I'd appreciate hearing your opinions!

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It all depends on space and traffic flow.  We had an octagonal island in one house, which included a work area plus seating for seven.  My brother always joked that it was actually a continent and not an island.  I loved it.  It worked great in the space we had and allowed plenty of room for traffic flow.  My current kitchen has a rectangular island and it works in the space.  I like to have a minimum of 3 feet of space around it.  Most of mine has at least four feet, but there are places that are tighter.  Yep, we have traffic issues there sometimes, but I'd still do it that way for the benefit of that extra island space.  

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Based on that design without the mudroom, I vote for rectangle, too. You'd have seating in the dining room nearby, so I think the flow would win out over additional seating. I also think it would look nicer overall. Since there are really no other angles like that in the floor plan, I'd be concerned that the angled island would seem out of place.

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I'd definitely go with rectangle. 

 

If this is a custom kitchen, and you can rearrange/change w/o drastic cost increases, I'd consult with a kitchen designer and rework the whole thing. :) 

 

I'd make a rectangular island. I think the angle is goofy and will make the island less practical to work at.

 

I might add a second "prep" sink -- either on the long counter run OR move the sink/DW to the long run and put the prep sink on the island (my first choice).

 

I'd DEFINITELY rework the fridge/aisle. That aisle is WAY too narrow in front of the fridge. A standard fridge is actually going to stick out about 36" with the doors! AND, you *really* want at least 48" or MORE in front of the fridge in that aisle. As drawn, it's gonna' be a terrible jam in that spot, even with a counter depth fridge. 

 

Anyway, I'd start over and rework the whole thing. You've got good space for a nice kitchen. The design needs some work, though, IMHO.

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Ooh, StephanieZ, that's really helpful!  I'm sure we can move the island with no problem.  I will double check the clearance between the fridge and the island.  I had opted out of the veggie sink because I didn't see myself using it much.  I'll consider it!  I rather like having the sink and dishwasher in the island, facing the great room, because that is where the kids will mainly be (or sitting at the island) and I can keep an eye on them better while I do dishes.  I appreciate your design tips!

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That looks almost exactly like the kitchen we have now in the house we're currently renting.  Not related to the island, but:

 

When you have the fridge open, it blocks the pantry door.  A minor annoyance, but putting groceries away or having more than one person trying to do something in the kitchen...it comes up more than you would think.

 

ETA: and Stephanie fixed it!

Edited by EmseB
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Re: Stephanie's design--love the counter on both sides of the fridge.  These rassafrassin french doors make that important.  We did something similar and put our coffee-making station on the left side.  

 

Think about this:  put the silverware drawer and dish cabinet to the left of the sink.  That makes it an easy unload but it also puts everything right by the dinner table, which keeps traffic out of the kitchen while you are cooking and your well trained and obedient, cheerful children set the table.  

 

I didn't get the last part of that sentence done, but having the dishes in lower drawers and cabs was genius.  And do as many drawers (not cabs) as you can afford. That was the best thing about the kitchen we designed.  

 

We didn't have an eat-at island, but used the table instead.  So on the back of the island, I had room for shallow shelves, which were wonderful for keeping all my baking stuff and small appliances.  And make sure they put an outlet on each end of the island.  I hadn't thought of that, but our contractor did, and it was *wonderful* to have those outlets.  Our current house does not have this and I *still* after 4 years go to plug things in at the end of the island.  (Our current house needs more outlets period.)

 

How fun!  I loved designing our kitchen and I was so satisfied working in it.  I spent a lot of time imagining how things would work in the kitchen, and we ended up moving appliances from their previous locations.  

 

The only thing I would have done differently is something I see that you might want to think about.  Our arrangement was not identical to yours but it was similar enough that I will make the comment.  We had a formal dining room and when we used that, this wasn't an issue.  But when we sat at the kitchen table (which we usually did, even with company), every unwashed dish, everything that was not put away was in sight.  I see that you have a raised level on the living room side--good!  But you might want to think about some sort of visual concealment of dirty dishes for when you are at the table.  Or maybe not--it could be that I am completely berserk about this...but I have to say, it decreased my enjoyment of the meal because it was unattractive and it just made me want to go clean up already.  The angled island gives you a little bit more visual screening.  

 

Have fun!  I'm jealous@

 

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I love it, Stephanie!  Thank you for doing that for me!  I'll print it and bring it to our design session!!

 

I'm so glad it was helpful!! It's soooo fun, lol.

 

When I was designing my kitchen, I spent a LOT LOT LOT of time on the kitchen design forums on gardenweb which is now part of houzz. There are like a zillion REALLY good kitchen people over there. They can be bossy, and I did ignore one of their big suggestions, but overall, the brain power over there was exceptionally helpful to me . . . and I LOVE my kitchen. :) Lots of good pics, too. 

 

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitchbath 

 

FYI, the extra deep cabinets (30") and uppers (15") truly do hugely improve your storage space. Not sure how that works, lol, but it makes a BIG difference, so if there isn't a big cost increase, go for deeper cabinets where you can. Next to the fridge is an ideal spot for deeper cabinets since the fridge sticks out SO much by design . . . The deeper cabinets make the fridge look more built in.

 

Have fun!! Don't be scared to try lots of ideas. You can make a huge impact on your kitchen with a few days of effort and thought. Most builder kitchen designs are idiotic, IMHO.

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I would consider moving the dishwasher to the other side of the sink in Stephanie's plan. The spot above the dishwasher will become the main working space because of its proximity to the fridge and sink. A trash can might be better there. Also moving the dishwasher to the other side will make it easier to work at the stove if someone is doing dishes and the dishwasher is open. It does ruin the plan of putting the dishes next to the fridge though. I would put the dishes and utensils across from the dishwasher so it is easy to unload and near the eating area.

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I'd definitely go with rectangle. 

 

If this is a custom kitchen, and you can rearrange/change w/o drastic cost increases, I'd consult with a kitchen designer and rework the whole thing. :)

 

I'd make a rectangular island. I think the angle is goofy and will make the island less practical to work at.

 

I might add a second "prep" sink -- either on the long counter run OR move the sink/DW to the long run and put the prep sink on the island (my first choice).

 

I'd DEFINITELY rework the fridge/aisle. That aisle is WAY too narrow in front of the fridge. A standard fridge is actually going to stick out about 36" with the doors! AND, you *really* want at least 48" or MORE in front of the fridge in that aisle. As drawn, it's gonna' be a terrible jam in that spot, even with a counter depth fridge. 

 

Anyway, I'd start over and rework the whole thing. You've got good space for a nice kitchen. The design needs some work, though, IMHO.

 

As long as we're reworking the kitchen... :D

 

The sink and dishwasher in the island is very popular, but I don't know how practical it really is. When you unload the dishwasher, how far do you have to go to put things away? ITA with Stephanie: sink and dishwasher on the long counter, drop-in stove on the island. Dishwasher on the same side of the sink as the fridge.

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I would consider moving the dishwasher to the other side of the sink in Stephanie's plan. The spot above the dishwasher will become the main working space because of its proximity to the fridge and sink. A trash can might be better there. Also moving the dishwasher to the other side will make it easier to work at the stove if someone is doing dishes and the dishwasher is open. It does ruin the plan of putting the dishes next to the fridge though. I would put the dishes and utensils across from the dishwasher so it is easy to unload and near the eating area.

 

Brilliant!

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given your layout -

I would do rectangular with the upper end in-line with the cabinets to the left.

 

I might even mover it over to the left a bit and make it deeper.   you can still do more base cabinets on the eat-in-side for item storage that aren't used as often.

yes, I know you have a pantry - my experience there is no such thing as enough kitchen storage.

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We have angled and I would love a rectangular! Maybe in the next house.

 

I know you didn't ask about this, but are you planning a mudroom area in your garage? We have a 2 car garage and it opens right into our kitchen. One of the few things I would change about this house is to have a mudroom between the garage door and my kitchen to put stuff in (shoes, backpacks, etc).

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Okay, here is my input about sink placement. (I vote for rectangular island, by the way). I really dislike having a sink in the island. Because when I am entertaining, I use my island for the food. But I also always have dirty dishes when I am entertaining. Last minute things to clear away before we eat, plus the dirty things people bring to the sink after eating. I do not want those dirty dishes near the platters of food, so I don't want the sink there in the island.

 

I prefer to have an island with nothing on top, but if I need to have something, I would choose the cook top.

 

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Snip... "but if I need to have something, I would choose the cook top.

This.

 

Because the cooktop holds the mulled wine.

 

I super agree with this.

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I agree with cook top on the island if you are putting anything there,   I have a friend who made a box-something that fit over the cooktop if she wasn't using it when she was using the island for serving - so she didn't lose that space for food.

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Congratulations on your new home!

 

You have enough space. I would add a wider, 6 burner stove and certainly a wider refrigerator. I would leave the stove where it is so you can add a pot filler against that back wall. Also, you want your sink facing your guests so you can chat. Where is the double oven and microwave going? I vote angled and rectangular. Both would be fine in that large space.

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We did a rectangular island and it seats four.  Ours is the size of a slab of granite.  I love it.  We had an angled island in last kitchen and it drove me crazy.  We were always blocked in our out and bumping into each other.  Our kitchen now has room to go by the open dishwasher or refrigerator.   We have a family of seven and I wanted a kitchen where we could all be there together getting dinner on the table.

 

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One more idea if you really need to expand seating and storage space since you have so much room. Think about adding an "L" counter coming off that counter that ends at the mud room area. Put 3 bar stools on the other side of that facing the kitchen. Then, turn your rectangular island sideways so it fits better in the space. You could angle a double oven, microwave combination against the corner where your pantry is. If you put a cabinet finish over the panty door, it will look just like an extension of the cabinets, but a secret walk in pantry will be hidden there. You could also then have space for double sinks, one against a wall looking out a window and one on the island for helpers chopping.

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Personally, I would nut out a cook top in the island. It is too easy for Little and big hands to get burned. We use our massive island for baking. I love having my full double sink in my island. My island is a continent, though. I would also suggest leaving the top flat- not raised. It's more practical for counter top space

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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