August 11, 2010
newly remodeled kitchens. You know what I'm talking about: Those sleek, clean, ridiculously functional kitchens with acres of granite countertops, and shiny, stainless-steel appliances. But despite the novelty of modern-day luxuries, such as refrigerated drawers, and built-in espresso machines, the kitchens the two of us love best all have one thing in common: an island that serves as a central gathering spot.
Having an island—and being awesome—are the two things we're insisting upon for our new kitchen. And according to the sketch (above) that our son recently drew up, it had better be professional grade to boot. Apparently, he wants to have his own "kitchen stadium," in which he can become a true Iron Chef!
Since this kitchen is going to be the hub of the house, we want the island to be the hub of the kitchen. Careful thought is going into the design, so it turns out to be the dream kitchen Allison and I truly desire. Whereas most people have photos of their families pinned up at work, my office is a montage of pictures of kitchens and appliances. People say I need help!
Let's take a lap around one of the early designs (above), shall we? See how the cooktop is located on the island? The thought was that Allison and I could interact with people seated around the island while we prepared dinner. The problem with this plan was that the cooktop drastically reduced the usable workspace on the island, making it hard to find room for a prep area, or even a cutting board. And what about ventillation? Having a big, old vent hood in the middle of the kitchen would be pretty awkward—and obstruct our views.
And so, in the end, we decided to vote the cooktop off the island. Instead, we're placing it in a more traditional location, along a wall. Now the island will serve as an expansive prep area, which is where we'll spend most of our cooking time anyway. Allison and I will also be able to face the people we're cooking for. In short, our island will be the ultimate gathering spot for our family, and our friends.
(14) CommentsComment on this Blog
Good decision to move the cooktop! What is it about a great, expansive island? We'll be renovating our kitchen in the next year and it's #1 on my list, too. Can't wait to see how yours turns out! (Also love the seating along the side...)
No MAN is an ISLAND???? Sheesh, don't go overboard with all the gee-gaws and doo-dads in the kitchen, the kids will be using it too! I think the ULTIMATE overkill are those refrigerated drawers that pull out, what a waste of space. Anyway, good to see that your planning panned out and will you being doing a PC based computer generated views of the kitchen as TOH did in the past? Might try that. BTW the Living room webcam is fuzzy so sharp up focus..Can't wait for the SEASON PREMIRE!!!
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Kitchen floor plan looks good. Appreciate your including the latest floor plans in your blog. Much easier to decipher than the originals. Very glad to see the kitchen window in. I've wondered about security...this must be a great neighborhood.
I agree with you Raveen and Allison I think getting rid of the cooktop in the island was a good idea. I understand how you wouldn't like the ventilation overhead and downdraft systems are no better as they rarely pull in enough smoke. You are also right in saying that you will have more space to put things on the counter top. However I do have one suggestion when you buy your seating for the island look for bar stools with backs to them. I have never had an island in a kitchen but did have tall counter space and bar stools without backs and learned very early that that was a mistake in our kitchen. Since you really have no pantry space with a traditonal closet I think having cabinets under the island is your best route instead of all of the fancy things you could have in that island. I certainly agree keeping it simple is the best. I also personally like quartz countertops since they are manmade and easy to maintain without worrying about hot things damaging them. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished house and I am glad the windows are finally going in.
I am afraid you might regret the location of the cooktop in relation to the refrigerator - might the cooktop be better located opposite the sink at the short end of the island - that way you still have a lot of island left and a much shorter trip to the fridge from the cooktop.... Good luck with everything!
I was looking at your other concerns - you can use a downdraft system rather than a hood - also consider making the wall you currently have the cooktop on a wall of 12" deep cabinets - that way you can make the island 12 inches wider to accomodate the cooktop on the short end per my previous note.
Jim -- I appreciate your concerns fully! We realize that we have given ourselves quite the large work triangle with our design... not necessarily the most efficient by some standards. However, we have learned throughout this process that there are always trade-offs to be made when designing the kitchen. In our case, we are a two-cook family, so we are frequently both working in the kitchen at the same time (often times with a young 'helper' or two as well!) Thus one of our biggest concerns was to eliminate the potential for bottlenecks in the kitchen, where everyone is in each other's way. We think spreading things out the way we have will work well for our family, and how we cook and live in the kitchen. The trade-off is that we have a bit of a distance to walk between the stove and the fridge, but we think it was a trade-off worth making.
Allison I just had a thought about your kitchen while looking again at your floor plan. Your work triangle might be better served if you moved your refrigerator closer to your dining area on that wall and having your cabinets on the other wall. It would certainly make things a bit easier and I think would save you time in preparing food. As for you eating there all of the time at the island I doubt very much that that will happen as even the most comfortable bar stools are not very comfortable over time. I do see what Jim was saying and certainly see your point too and was thinking that maybe you are having some second thoughts due to how you phrased your reply to Jim. Anyway those are my other thoughts and I certainly wish you and your family good luck.
That will be one beautiful kitchen! I have a question about the backyard: do the steps go right down to the river?
I love your kitchen. You are right this is dream kitchen of any one. Thanks for lovely kitchen.
Good Decision which you've taken for your family. I like your kitchen's island idea. I am impressed of it. Thanks for posting this and sharing with us.