August 17, 2011

kitchen Design - Lesson Eight Islands

DESIGNING YOUR OWN PRIVATE ISLAND AIN'T SO EASY

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This is the territory of a professional kitchen designer, but you should have an idea of what you want it to be and how it can best serve you. Hopefully, this will prepare you with ideas and enable you to articulate your desires and wishes to your kitchen designer instead of standing there looking like you've had a stroke or arrived on the short school bus!

KITCHEN'S COME IN ALL SIZES, AND SO DO ISLANDS!

Don't go to your kitchen designer and say "I want an island exactly like this" when you have a Pullman size kitchen and you've handed him a photo of one that's the size of a ping-pong table... you gots to edgumacate urself...

Many of the questions for the island are the same ones we've already asked ourselves regarding other components of your kitchen makeover.

  • Are you a big family with kids?
  • Does someone else cook for you? (cook, maid, etc.)
  • Do you entertain huge groups and use caterers?
  • Do you have large family dinners in other parts of the house (dining room, porch, etc.)?
  • Is there an adjacent Family Room?
  • Do you have a separate food pantry?
  • How much will you reeeaally use the stove-top?
  • Are you more formal when you eat? At a table? Served? Jeeves?
  • Are you a tidy cook or one that has food, dishes, pans and cat food strewn all over the place?
  • Are you a pastry chef?
  • Are you frantic about specs and crumbs?
  • Do you enjoy and serve red wine with a "wine group"?
  • Have a buncha unruly kids running around the house and getting into stuff all the time?
  • Do you have dinner parties where you invite friends to make a salad or help prepare the food?
  • Do you have buffet dinners?
  • Do you have pot-luck dinners and need places for everyone to remove the saran wrap from their 3-bean salads?
  • Do you have trouble keeping the crowd out of your kitchen when you entertain?
  • Do you use a lot of ice?

AN ISLAND CAN BE MANY THINGS:

  • A Barrier for the person working in the kitchen from the others that only get in the way
  • A place to feed the kids quickly or while you're still cooking you can keep an eye on them
  • It can be the separation between a casual breakfast or dining area and the cook
  • It can hide all the crap you've spilled all over the floor, the open dishwasher, etc.
  • It can be a barrier between a kitchen and a family room
  • A large island can be the perfect thing for caterers to stage food before its brought out
  • It's a wonderful buffet server when hosting large groups of frenemies
  • If the island has a separate sink and disposal you can have two people working together at the same time and not get in each others way
  • The island can be a gathering place for wine-tastings, but it must have an impervious top.
  • If you're the messy type the island can have a raised shelf around it so you cant see all the khazerai from the dining or family rooms
  • If storage isn't a problem, and you have a butlers pantry and a food pantry then the island can be a simple table type structure
  • If you cook (especially fry) often, I think stove-tops in the island are dumb, they need a stronger extractor hood and all the surrounding areas get covered in grease. And don't forget all the stuff you keep around your stove; utensils, oils, S&P and so on...do you really want all that in the middle of the room on display?
  • If you make pastry the island top can be marble and outfitted with a cooling element
  • The island can also be outfitted with refrigerator drawers and a sink to make a full salad and veggie station away from the "cooking" area
  • If crumbs and bits make you nuts, get a wood or "flamed" stone top, they hide a lot
  • An ice maker can be installed on the outside of the island so people can access it and stay out of the kitchen work area; especially good for parties and refills when seated at the table
LETS SEE WHAT WE CAN FIGURE OUT FOR YOU!
SMALL KITCHENS
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Designer: Jonathon Berger
This lilliputian island is perfect for this tiny kitchen; its size allows movement in the kitchen whilst adding more counter-top space. Made from the same cabinetry and stone so it doesn't become a "decoration" itself and clutter up the "visual space"


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Source: J. Savage Gibson
This sexy red apartment kitchen has a wooden counter-height (42") table which is used for work and eating.  The backless stools don't get in the way in this small space


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Designer: Eva Quarterman
This narrow New York townhouse kitchen has all of its appliances lined up along the wall but has additional counter-space for food preparation, buffets or use as a bar for parties. A little color here wouldn't kill anybody either...

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Source: Unknown
This owners of this charming cottage kitchen in an old house kept the old cabinets, installed a new floor and found this funky table to use as a super cool island. I love the accessories too.


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Designer: Eric Cohler
This small kitchen doesn't project a traditional kitchen feeling;  it has a contemporary rural thang goin' on.
The salad sink on the island is great, the plumbing is hidden inside the chunky table legs - brilliant!


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Source: Achados de Decoracao
This seaside cottage uses a rolling table with a marble top; it has extra storage below and provides extra counter-top space which is also a breakfast bar. Low budge and lovin' it!


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Source:  Belgian Pearls
From the dining table of this small Swedish cottage, you can't see any of the workings or appliances of the kitchen as all are hidden behind the strategically placed island with the urn of flowers on it


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Designer: Nancy Braithwaite
The kitchen of this weekend home has most of the appliances hidden behind the bypass doors; the island contains two sinks, two dishwashers and the trash bins;  a cantilevered counter at the end for eating close to the window is nice too.  This is great for entertaining on weekends, all the mess is behind the doors and you can serve from the large island


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Source: Gracious Kitchen Designs
This island is placed adjacent to the outside wall of sliding glass doors and contains most of the kitchen appliances and workspace. The counter to the right is the built-in dining table.  Hopefully, they have a larder and a china closet...   I'm totally diggin' that mirror-reflecto range hood!


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Source: Unknown
This is just plain overcrowded....and that range-top on the teensy-weensie island...whaddup wit dat?
Where do you put your "stuff" when preparing food?  I'm sure things fall off of that island top all the time.

NARROW KITCHENS

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Designer: Jean-Louis Deniot
LOVE this small island and the cantilevered top which seats three for a quick meal or coffee with a friend


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Source: Unknown
This kitchen would be ordinarily too narrow for an island, but this long narrow table with the matching stone top looks perfectly normal. I love it ON the carpet too, looks cozy.


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Source: Unknown
This American style kitchen looks great! Very cool in the all white finishes and wood floors. The narrow island with the sculpted radius ends looks perfect in the space. HOWEVER, it's a total road block from the stove to the sink...duh.

NORMAL ISLANDS

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Source: Traditional Home
This island looks great in the contrasting natural hickory wood. It's practical with the sink opposite the stove and the counter height seating...HOWEVER, the drawers will not allow the person to sit at a comfortable level and get their knees under the counter...duh


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Designer: deCesare Design Group
This is a great island for wine tastings or everyone sitting around chatting with the cook; it's intimate and seats five comfortably


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Source: Unknown
This amazing huge-ass island is actually most of the work area for this kitchen. The storage it offers is awesome and I personally love that it's in the same cabinetry too....you just cant beat white...


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Source: Euro Cucina
This glam-o-licious island is far from "normal"
You KNOW at first glance it's French.  Philippe Starck clearly influenced that island fabricated of stainless and wood, and it rocks!


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Designer: Jackye Lanham
This beautiful "old world" style kitchen has a totally utilitarian island; it provides storage in drawers and open shelves. It also contains refrigerator drawers.


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Kim Kardashian's kitchen
I think this definitely looks like a California kitchen, the wide open windows over the sink, the fireplace, use of materials, etc.   It's a nice calm kitchen...NOT what I expect from that Kardashian ho.  I doubt those bar stools will hold that tuchas of hers too...  Again, I think the stove-top on the island is stupid, but whatever...    The radius edge front where the bar stools are is a  nice touch as it allows the people seated there to see each other as opposed to being lined up in a row


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Designer: Paul Corrie
This nice, basic island works perfectly; beautiful teak wood top, sink, etc.    Three stools are perfect as I believe that when there's four people you should move to the dining table.   I'm just sayin'........


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Source: Unknown
Love this plain island, the stone top and dark wood sides are very chic and work beautifully with the floors and the all-white cabinetry. The island should be no closer to the other base cabinets than an absolute minimum of 36" (in an apartment!).  The standard minimum is 48" you don't want the island too far away either.


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Source: Unknown
This island gives me dry heaves; not only is this kitchen pushing the "cutesy button" too hard, but WTF is that calico curtain doing down there under the island? And why isn't it big enough to go all the way across? Did they throw it in the dryer?   It just screams "cheap"

TWO OR MORE ISLANDS...

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Designer: Nannette Lewis
This country style kitchen uses a "table" style island between the family room and the actual working island.  It's a perfect buffet and provides a transition between the rooms from cabinetry to furniture...smart!


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Designer: Tracery Interiors
These two matching islands are brilliant; one is all storage and the other is a dining table.
When entertaining one can be used for a bar and the other a buffet, or for staging meals before being served.   The two separate islands also keeps away the ping-pong table effect of one huge-ass island


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 Source: Traditional Home
This super elegant kitchen has two islands; one for food prep with a sink, the other a room separator and breakfast bar.  The finishes are all amazing together. This particular kitchen is large enough to visually handle the islands in mahogany. Not sure about those jerky curtains though....


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Source: Marie Claire Maison
This creative kitchen has two separate islands that roll where you need them for the circumstances of the moment....cool, right?


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Designer: Christine Sullivan
These two islands are both utilitarian: One is the visual divider with storage between the dining room and the kitchen; the other is the super-large work island which also accommodates seating facing the view.  The continuation of materials such as the cabinetry and stone tops creates a more architectural, less cluttered feeling.

TABLE STYLE ISLANDS

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Designers: Ferguson and Shamamian
A wonderful natural-wood counter-height table with drop-leaves is used for a dining table;  when the homeowners are entertaining the leaves are raised and its a perfect staging table


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Source: Belgian Pearls
This freekin' awesome kitchen has a very Shaker look, with the same color blue used everywhere, however it's in Belgium! The island has a chopping-block top which is comfortable to the touch, and it has lots of drawers for all the placemats and napkins, etc.


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Source: Elle Decor
This European country house kitchen utilizes several old tables; antiques add warmth and charm to any room


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Designer: Vincente Wolfe
This isn't a table at all, but it looks like one! Genius....


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Source: Unknown
This table-style island with the chunky legs and storage below adds a softness to this kitchen. It also holds a sink and dishwasher which are barely visible.

MULTI-LEVEL ISLANDS

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Source: Unknown
This upper counter is at bar height (42") with the work counter at the standard 36" height.   The messy work-space is hidden by the raised dining bar from the rest of the room. This is only good if you need to hide the worktop and small counter-top appliances. Otherwise it cuts down your usable workspace and is too high for buffet use


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Source: Unknown
This raised bar-height "surround" makes no sense at all as it diminishes the work area and isn't far enough away from the other counter to accommodate bar stools comfortably. If you're using bar stools where someone walks behind someone seated they need to be a MINIMUM of 48" apart. 60" or more is preferable.


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Source: Unknown
Another nicely proportioned kitchen ruined by someones dumb-ass idea...   Really??? Couldn't find a place for Momom's old dry sink? How 'bout the trash?

SOME HELPFUL NOTES TO REMEMBER
  • BAR TOP HEIGHT:  42"
  • BAR STOOL SEAT HEIGHT 30"
  • COUNTER TOP HEIGHT 36"
  • COUNTER STOOL SEAT HEIGHT 24"
  • ALLOWANCE FOR EACH BAR STOOL, 24" WIDE
  • REMEMBER IF YOU EAT AT YOUR ISLAND, MAKE THE TOP FROM A TEMPERATE MATERIAL, MARBLE IS COLD TO LEAN ON
  • INSTALL RECEPTACLES CLOSE TO THE EDGE OF THE ISLAND FOR THE OCCASIONAL USE OF SMALL APPLIANCE
  • USE A ROUNDED OR "SOFT" EDGE FOR YOUR ISLAND SO IT WON'T CUT INTO YOUR ARMS
  • A SHELF TO EAT FROM ON YOUR ISLAND SHOULD BE NO LESS THAN 14" DEEP
  • USE BRACKETS, NOT LEGS TO SUPPORT THE CANTILEVERED SHELF
  • IF YOU CAN, HAVE THE BARSTOOLS FACING A VIEW, OR AROUND A SEMICIRCLE SO CONVERSATION IS EASIER

NEXT WEEK'S MASTER CLASS
"BUILT-IN'S AND ACCESSORIES"


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You can do it, I'm here to help!
202.669.8669
jpdsodpb@aol.com

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