Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Island Design: Round 1

After letting ideas percolate for a few days I’ve come up with the first of what I’m sure will be many designs for the kitchen island. There are 2 elements that must be in every design. There must be a sink and there must be a place to sit. Originally I wanted to avoid stools but this design incorporates them. I think the look of stools is too modern for the kitchen but in order to have the most available work space it seems the way to go.

If I don’t do stools then there will be a working level (38-inches) and a sitting level (28-inches). It would break up the counter space and leave a lot of it (the sitting level) under utilized. Below are two pictures. The first one shows the kitchen where the proposed Island will go and the second is the Island itself.

Not To Scale

The 8-inch feet and the raised panel door I’ve already sourced at a salvage place in town. The corbels or brackets that will support the over-hanging counter have not been found, and the 3 drawers will need to be made. I’ve never made drawers before, but how hard can they be (famous last words). The kitchen has 12-drawers in it already so I really don’t need more. What would be good is 3 matching raised paneled doors and just make it all cabinet space underneath. I’m keeping my eyes peeled. The body will be salvage bead board which I already have.

The 8-inch feet I found are nice wooden sort of “Bun Feet” I guess you’d call them. I like the look but there is always the issue of having to clean under this thing, which I don’t want to have to do. There will also be plumbing and electrical coming from underneath so that will need to be hidden. I’m thinking a box under it that would be recessed in about 4-inches. This would hide everything and create a toe-kick. The feet would only be decorative. The other option is to take it all the way down to the floor. If it sits on the floor, of course, there is no toe-kick.

The other issue is the width. As you can see, the space between the Frankenstein Hutch and the eHutch is about 9-feet. I’m thinking I need at least 3-feet in front of each or it will seem crowded. That leaves about 3-feet for the Island. I estimated I need at least 16-inches for the over-hand to be able to sit at it. That leaves 20-inches for the main body. It seems narrow. There is also the issue of a sink. The thought on the sink is that it will be a small sink, like a bar sink. The size of the sink rough-in will really determine the width of the body. So I guess sourcing a sink should be the first priority.

There is room to play with these measurements. The doors on the eHutch are only 21-inches wide and the path in front of it is a secondary walking space in the kitchen. The path in front of the Frankenstein Hutch is the main walking space in the kitchen. I could move it closer to the eHutch and widen the base to 24 or even 26-inches and it should be fine. That is approaching standard cabinet depth.

End Round 1


ben said...

When we were considering an island, I found it helpful to place a box or table about the size of the island in the proposed location for about a week or two. That way we could "feel" how bad the idea was in our tiny kitchen.

Greg said...

That is a great idea! I did the same thing with the kitchen cabinets I built. Another time I just used electrical tape on the floor.

Suzanne said...

Looking good Greg, but I would have the sides of the island extend to the floor. It will be much easier to keep clean. From experience, I also know 8" is enough space for a pesky cat to wedge him/herself in there and make a hairball or other undesireable deposit. The toekick will be a wall against which a mountain of dust bunnies and hair tumbleweeds nest, and the bun feet, although looking great, will make it even harder to get under there. (Sorry - end of year dirtpit depression. Damn cats! I need a maid!)

Kristin said...

I'll say that 3 feet of walking space *sounds* like plenty, but I agree with the suggestion of putting something there to give you a true idea of the space. Think about two people trying to pass each other. (this comes from someone who had a looooong galley kitchen and was always having to squeeze by people)

Greg said...

Yes, I think building a full-scale mock-up might be smart. I've already had some minor revisions in my head. Lower the feet is already part of the new design. We'll see where this goes. Thanks for the input. I was flipping through a kitchen magazine this morning. Some of the islands in those kitchens really dominate all the space. I’m trying to avoid that.

Alison said...

My grandparents always had stools in their kitchen. They were VERY old, painted things. They had a large farmhouse with a grand kitchen. The stools fit right in, along with the rocking chair in front of the large cook stove.