We need to order our new kitchen cabinets so that my current wall-less, ceiling-less remnant of a kitchen can be ripped out and replaced with a shiny new kitchen, with shiny new appliances that actually work.
It would be exciting if it wasn’t so damn difficult to make a decisions about something that costs so much money and can’t be changed later when you discovered you got it all wrong!
If you follow me on tiwtter you would have seen me tweeting about my kitchen dilemma over the weekend. I need to finalise our kitchen design now, and I can’t decide!
Do I go with the sink in a good spot but the fridge in a bad one…. or fridge in a good spot and sink in a bad one?
Someone… please… help!
Here are our two kitchen design options…
Kitchen Design 1
This design puts the sink under the window to the side which is where I’d prefer it, but it has the firdge in an awkward spot kind of in no mans lands.
Kitchen Design 2
This design streamlines the whole kitchen which I like, and the fridge is in a good spot, but the sink has to go in our ‘island’ (which is not technically an island since there is walls at each end) bench, which I am not sure about.
Some other things to note about our kitchen…
We will have no over head cabinets, but some open shelves.
But don’t worry about lack of storage because we have a walk in pantry this is much bigger than shown on my drawings above. The pantry will include a bench with power points for appliances like the food processor and bread machine, as well as loads of storage space for food etc.
The door to the pantry limits what we can do along that wall. In design 1 it is a sliding door, in design two it is a regular swinging door.
Our ‘island’ bench is HUGE… over 2.5 metres long and wide as well, so I am not super worried about lack of bench space.
I like the uncluttered look of design 2 but I am not sure about the placement of the sink.
If it’s in my main bench that over looks our dining table, will it look terrible to have dishes on a dish rack?
Will it look funny to have the sink at one end of the bench rather than in the middle like I’ve seen in all the photos and houses I’ve looked at?
If the sink is in the main bench does it need to be one of the ones that sits under the bench top? Are they easy to clean?
I love where the sink is in design 1, but I wonder if it is all a little cluttered?
Will it look funny to have the fridge in that position, especially when looking in from the dining area?
Will it be a problem to have the ovens so close to the door way?
I keep flipping from one decision to the other and back again… and I need to decide… now! So, dear, sweet, lovely, clever readers… tell me what you think?
What do you love or hate about each design?
Sinks in island benches? love them or hate them?
What’s the best place to put a fridge?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Laney @ Crash Test Mummy says
For me it’s Kitchen 1 hands down. It has a better working triangle. You don’t have to cross the kitchen with hot pans from the oven to the sink. Having the fridge near the entrance is great because kids can access for snacks etc without getting under your feet. I’ve had a sink in an island and it drives me nuts. It annoys me that water spills out across the bench. I prefer a splashback and the window.
Good luck choosing!
Oh I am going through the exact same dilemma at the moment!! Kitchen design… Ahhhh!
I like design 1 best BUT you’re right about fridge placement. And I love the streamline look of design 2.
Throwing it out there… Can you do the back wall like you’ve got it in design 2, but then have a shorter bench across the right that finishes shorter than in design 1 (so you can still get into your pantry!) and have the sink on that wall still? Or is that not enough bench space either side of the sink (hard to see dimensions)?
I was having the same debate about the dishes issue and have decided to have my sink on the side rather than our non-island (too!) because of the stacked dirty dishes/drying fish rack thing.
Does your fridge fit in your pantry too?! That would solve all problems! :)
Out of these 2 designs I vote for number 1. Good luck!!
Super Sarah says
Jet lagged and exhausted but as you know we have been going through our own kitchen reno. My 2c worth is that I prefer my sink away from my bench, I know I am always going to have a stack of dirty stuff on one side and a drying rack overflowing on the other side! I will happily discuss on email if you like, just so tired now I can hardly think!
I love option 1. I don’t think the fridge looks out of place at all. I think it’s nice and uncluttered to have a big bench top. when clutter else where is driving you batty, there is nothing more satisfying that having one big bench space that you can clear, and wipe down. Plus it will be super handy for making pasta and all that stuff.
What’s not to love about a sink over the window, plus I’d want a sliding door on the pantry, I think a swing door will be an inconvenience. Again, slide it out of the way and you’ve got a bigger space to see everything in your pantry.
How bloody exciting. can’t wait to see what you decide on.
Kyrstie @ A Fresh Legacy says
Hi Kate, I prefer design 1. It would annoy me to have that beautiful big bench broken up by a sink. If your food prep will occur on the bench then it will be handy having the fridge where it is located in the plan. Can’t wait to see the finished pics. Are you more confused by everyone’s answers now ?!?!?
Hi lovely lady,
Love your ideas. I think number 1 will work better as the three main items are in a triangle and should make everything easier to move between. I wrote this article on kitchens, if you scroll down to the layout bit I try to explain the logic a bit better.
Good luck and I look forward to seeing it all come together x
I prefer Plan 1 … :)
Last Christmas Day, a traditional smorgasbord-style lunch was laid out on my daughter’s long island bench with a sink … a real (& smelly) eye-sore! I can tell you! Have always hated the sinks in the island benches.
I, too am having an upcoming kitchen reno very soon … will be having the one sink/one dish-draintray in the same, usual place under the window… due to its small kitchen size.
Good luck in selecting the right one especially for you and that you won’t regret it! :)
Kitchen no. 1 for me. Sinks in islands are a big NO personally! For all the reasons mentioned by others above. I have a similar layout and I love it. (I have a huge window over my sink looking out to our decking and pool which is great for keeping an eye on the kids – I am spoilt!) I love keeping the island clear, and it is so wonderful for entertaining/kids’ meals/cooking/baking. If the only problem is the fridge, I would get it built and plumbed (if you have a water dispensing fridge – if not, highly recommended as the kids love it – our kids drink so much water now) into that spot with cupboards above and enclosure all around it. (If there is room) It means you have a little corner next to the fridge where the island hits it to have a bread box or kettle/toaster area, and the fridge will look like it belongs there. Just a thought! Good luck.
In #1, is the sink close enough to the dishwasher? Or will you be carrying dripping wet dishes across the floor? Hard to tell from scale, but you would want it pretty close. It’s possible that once the dishwasher is open, it’s right there at your feet at the sink.
Also in #1, the fridge is right next to the bench which is so handy when you’re taking 100 things out of the fridge for dinner or putting away groceries. Also, I think it’s a good spot for the fridge because in #2, depending on which way it opens, you might not be able to fully open it next to the wall.
I vote for design #1! (How clever are you putting together these sketches?!)
Not even close. Has to be 1. The layout is just so much better with your work triangle. #2 is going to be all awkward in my opinion.
Hmm, I was going to say no 2 first as it looks more streamlined but I really think 1 is the way to go now after reading all the comments! It’s better having your sink near the cooktop etc & my problem would be that there would always be dishes on the sink which would be annoying on the bench top. Over near the window it won’t matter. Really looking forward to seeing what you decide!
tahlia - the parenting files says
My gosh.. what a decision… i certainly do not want to be in your position. I would not have the sinks on the island bench. If you want that area for entertaining purposes then I would leave it clean. However it may annoy you having to go backward and forward to the sink if that is where you are going to prepare meals etc. So maybe you could add a small sink on the island and cover it with a board for this preparation purpose.
Otherwise leave it clean and go for design 1 in my opinion
I would definitely go with Design 1 so you don’t have the sink in the island. I have lived in a house with a sink to the side (not in the island) and currently live in a house with a sink in the island and it drives me insane (lucky I am renting!). It always feels messy and cluttered. It is so much nicer having a big blank bench space for preparation and serving of food.
Can you out the double oven under bench on the island and out the fridge where you have the oven? Personally I like the sink under the window and leave the island bench clear.