DIY kitchen design advice, esp island & seating combo

Kit Kat London
2 years ago

This is my 1st post on houzz, although I refer to it a lot but I’m after some advice on our planned kitchen extension. We are knocking our long thin kitchen and long thin garage together to make a better sized space (~6m x 7m). There is not much wall space because we are adding orangery-style doors, windows, roof lantern at one end, and there are 3 internal doors, plus a pair of external doors at the other end - we want to keep these, as we have no side access to our garden.

We’ve received completely uninspiring layouts from the kitchen designers we’ve spoken to so far, so are now trying ourselves. The attached Mark Wilkinson kitchen has the kind of brasserie look I’m after, with the antiqued mirror and nice symmetry. I’ve attached my attempt at adapting this look for our kitchen.

My husband loves cooking and we like to entertain - a couple of times a year it’s about 30 people for a sit-down meal (normally a much smaller number), or we host a kids’ party, or evening drinks, so we want our kitchen to be flexible. In this plan the left of the kitchen has non-movable units, but we could push things on the other side around as needed.

I’m fairly happy with the actual unit layout, but welcome any input. I’m aware that we have a working ‘line’ rather than triangle, but this is still much better than our current (inherited) kitchen, and my husband is a spectacularly messy cook, so a sink or hob on the island unit would be a definite no, even if the seating wasn’t right next to it!

  1. Food storage: fridge freezer and food cupboards at one end of the unit run, furthest from the heat/light.
  2. Prep: long island unit counter, prep stuff in drawers underneath
  3. Cook: range oven and microwave in the middle, away from any cross-traffic; plenty of counter space either side of oven with cookware drawers underneath
  4. Clean: sink, cleaning materials and dishwasher at far end, next to crockery and serveware cupboards. Bin may go in that end of the island unit, or may stay freestanding.
  5. Entertain: bar area with soft and alcoholic drinks, cups and glasses on opposite side of the kitchen, solving my husband’s pet peeve of people intruding on his cooking zone while making themselves drinks.

I am less sure about these things:

  1. Island format: the kitchen designers we spoke to all automatically included an island/stools and separate dining table in their designs, although I think it’s a bit tight. I’d wanted a banquette seat anyway, so combining things to have one really spacious central area seems sensible to me. Also, although they look good, we’ve barely ever used the stools at our current island unit in 6 years, but am I missing something, as EVERY kitchen seems to have them?
  2. Island dimensions: I currently have the island at 60cm x 270cm. I kept it this narrow so the right-hand edge of it aligns along the ceiling joist that will be visible from knocking the rooms together, and also so it doesn’t block visual or actual access to the French doors. The length is to provide additional storage and serving space, also to suit room proportions and table (140cm when not extended, 200cm half extended, 250cm fully extended). On its own, this would look too long and skinny, but I think it would get balanced out by the banquette, table and chairs? I’ve not seen any similar photos though. Also unsure how long to make the actual banquette.
  3. Roof lantern: I don’t feel I’m making best use of the roof lantern (although none of the kitchen designers did either…). It’s too narrow to have the table lengthways underneath it, and that would also block the doors and view of the garden. So other than some comfy seating on one side, there’s just a big space in front of it. I know this is also a common problem with bi-folds. Is there any trick I’m missing here? There will be low level plants all the way around the outside of the kitchen, except where the actual doors are, so maybe it won’t look too bare?

Thanks in advance!

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