Monday, February 13, 2006

Island Design Review

I had some last minute major changes to the kitchen island design. Here is the first design of how it sat in the kitchen.

With that design the base is 20-inches wide and 5-feet long. With the cantilevered counter the top it would be 36-inches wide. This always kind of gnawed at me because with the 20-inch wide base the design seems unstable. Even with it secured to the floor with screws I can see this maybe coming loose and tipping over after a few years. It would be a natural habit to put your weight on the counter as you sit down and stand up. Also, if I do a concrete top this thing will definitely be top-heavy. And let’s not forget this is earthquake country.

The main reason for having the stools on that side was because the TV is in the eHutch. It’s not like I’m in there watching TV a lot, but I do turn it on while I’m cooking, and in the mornings over coffee to catch a little news. It seemed logical that if you were going to put the stools anywhere they should be in a position that you would have a clear view of the one thing you are actually going to be staring at in the room. It’s not like I’m going to sit and contemplate my existence while staring at the stove. Or who knows, maybe I will. Regardless, when sitting at the kitchen island, if the TV is on it will be the focal point and I should have a clear view of it.

That was the logic behind putting the stools on that side but it just won’t work. Not only because of the 20-inch base problem but also because of traffic flow. That side of the kitchen where the Frankenstein Hutch is located is the main walking lane in the kitchen. All of the light switches and doors are on that side of the kitchen. With the stools there, when someone is sitting at the island that space could be reduce to nearly 24-inches. I can’t shift it any further towards the eHutch without it both looking cramped and maybe even preventing the doors from opening. There is only so much room to work with.

Instead, here’s what I’ve come up with.

As you can see I’ve moved the stools to the side of the island towards the cabinets I built. This now gives me a 40-inch unimpeded walking lane on one side and 34-inches on the other. The sink will be positioned in a way that you will use it from the stove side. So there will be no reason for a body to be planted in either one of those lanes going passed the island. TV viewing is not as good from the top of the island as it was on the side but it is still doable, and really, people won’t be sitting there watching hour long shows or anything.

The most important thing I’ve gained here is the better sized base. The base will now be a solid 3-feet wide and 4-feet long. The 16-inch cantilevered counter will be added to the 4-foot long dimension giving me a total length of 5-feet 4-inches. This still leaves more than 4-feet at either end, and it won’t tip over no matter how top-heavy it is.

The one draw back to this is the width of the counter where people will sit. At only 36-inches wide it is kind of narrow for 2 people to sit there for any length time comfortably. Two children could sit there and eat lunch fine, but two adults would be cramped I think. But, hey, that’s why there is a dining room, right? When all is said and done it will most likely be a few more inches wider. I can make the base 36-inches wide and then hang the counter an inch and a half over each side. That won’t really affect traffic flow and will bring the counter space to 39-inches. Also, the counter is mostly open underneath so a stool can be shifted to one side slightly and it should be fine. I think. I hope.

I made a small mock-up of it with boxes and electrical tape and so far I think this will work. Before I can start construction I need to get 46 pieces of bevel-board out of the attic and (ugh!) strip the paint off. That is easily a weeks worth of work so there is still time to change things.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Great new plan! Perfecto!