May 17, 2011

Kitchen Opinions

A lot got done on the house last week because my wonderful hubby had the week off. Even though he was sick for 3 of those days and could hardly work on anything (BIG bummer) dad was there for a day and a lot of visual progress was made to make us all feel better.

But now I need to make a big decision. I thought I had it made but am having second thoughts and it's not too late to change the plan. So give me your opinion. I promise not to be offended if you like the opposite of what I had planned...and you have to promise not to be offended if I don't go with your choice. :)

Here are the details:
This is the 'before' picture of our kitchen. It was brand new when we moved in. The entire back wall got soaked with water and the ceiling from the light fixture to the window was starting to fall down because of the water.

This is what the kitchen looked like a few months ago. (we're quite excited about having a door to the backyard instead of the window there)

And here is a much more recent picture....with my question to you. ONE level or TWO?
See the dashed line on the back wall? That's where the kitchen used to end! I can't even believe how much more space we have now!
I used as many of the original cabinets as I could (I think I am reusing 8 of them) and ordered more of the same cabinet style to fill in the rest (which meant 11 new cabinets).

There will be upper cabinets on that back wall (behind my dad in the picture) but my dilemma is what to do with the 'peninsula' in the front of the picture. I tried (don't laugh) to draw in the idea. Right now the dishwasher has been placed next to the sink cabinet and a wall has been built for the raised countertop (my white lines in the picture).

The original plan: a raised countertop behind the sink.
Why did I choose that?
  • We took out a 'breakfast nook' that had a small table (it was in the place I am standing in to take the above picture, if you can visualize that) - but I still want seating in the kitchen somewhere and can't fit a table anymore.
  • The countertop gives the kids a place to sit and eat or watch me cook without being in my way
  • To give some design definition to the room with a contrasting dark wood countertop (while the rest is all white)
  • And here's a real peek into my hide dirty dishes that are around the sink so you can't see them from the front door or dining room
BUT - once the wall studs were in place for the raised looked too tall for some reason. Maybe I'm just second guessing myself since a couple kitchen designers and an architect that were in the space a long time ago told me not to do the peninsula at all. I completely ignored their advice and designed the entire kitchen myself...with the peninsula! I LOVE it so far...but am wondering if I should make the entire peninsula one level instead of two levels.

Here's a rough sketch of the original plan...with the raised portion in the back of the sink as well as a picture of what this looks like in a kitchen.

Here's a rough sketch of the alternate idea which is more like a big table with a sink in it. (and a picture of what that looks like in a real kitchen)

What would you do? Vote on the poll at the upper right...but if you have a strong opinion please leave me a comment and tell me WHY you chose what you did.

Edit: Out of 19 votes on the poll there were 12 who thought it should be a raised bar, 6 liked one level, and 1 vote for 'other'


  1. 2 levels. I like the change of space. With one level you just get overflow from the sink area and the entire level just becomes filled with more dishes. With two levels you keep the "table" portion separate from the "prep" portion.

  2. 1 level would be nice because you would have a larger area for basically, everything. When you are serving, potlucks, etc. etc. Also it would be good because the kiddos wouldn't be able to drop the dishes onto the bottom level which may possibly produce more of a spilling problem.

    2 levels would be nice visually, and would be a little table for the kiddos. For some reason I feel like it would be more to clean...not sure why.

    Good luck with your decision!

  3. Gorgeous. You have great taste and whatever you do will look awesome! My 2 cents.....I've had a raised bar and loved it for the same reasons you have chosen it. However, in our current house, our seating area is counter height and it is MUCH better for kids to get up and down from the chairs. Since you will have little ones for many years, you may want to think about that. I currently have a peninsula and can't wait for the day I can tear it out and have a floating island. I serve 3 meals and 2 snacks per day around that thing plus all of our crafts and activities and it drives me nuts that there is only one way around it.

  4. beautiful!! and i LOVE your taste!! i love the idea of the raised counter and agreed~ it would be nice to hide the kitchen mess:) but i agree with your friend above, the higher chairs for little ones is more difficult and would make me nervous. in our home here in chicago we have a same level counter and i LOVE it for hosting purposes and mealtimes/snacks for the kids. it's also nice to have more room for makayla and hope to spread their homework out while i prepare supper. a friend of mine in Des Moines has the raised counter space, it is beautiful, but to be honest as i look back it felt high and awkward to sit at when i would be over. i found myself wanting to go and sit at the table to visit rather then over the high counter. aesthetically, i like the raised, but for practical purposes i think the same level is a little more functional:) either way you will make it beautiful. enjoy your new kitchen:)

  5. I usually prefer 2 levels if the sink is in the island and if the island is facing into the family room. It bothers me to have dishes, etc shown by the common area. However, your kitchen really doesn't open to the common areas. My last house had a 7' long island by 4' deep all one level. I LOVED IT! The kids easily got up and down from the chairs, they could watch me cook and not be in the way, they could eat lunch/snack, color, play on the other side while I prepared food and we were face to face, yet not in each other's way. When we had people over, I could serve food on one side and kids could still sit at the barstools while people went through the line on the other side. I don't think I'll ever have anything different. Does your sink have to be in the peninsula? People used to spend lots of time at their sink, but w/ dishwashers, it's not like you're standing in front of the sink most of the time. That's just my 2 cents. Sorry it's so long! (-:

  6. i like the double-level plan. but jennifer made a good point about having young kids at a tall countertop. my parents and in-laws both have double-level spots like that and we love sitting the kids up there, but it can be a little nerve-wracking. piper just fell off a high bar stool at my in-laws last weekend. :(

  7. RAISED! 2 level by far! We have those out here in AZ and I LOVE them! Wish my kichen had one! If I ever get to build my own kitchen (ha, in my DREAMS), I would have 2 level. Kids will grow up way to fast to worry about too high of chairs. Just need extra watch while littler, but you'll soon not need to be so watchful! Your kitchen looks AMAZING and I'm QUITE JEALOUS! :) For as much time as I spend in my kitchen! :) But who could be more deserving than you!? Want "finished" pics when it's complete! :)

  8. I say one level- it seems like it will be more versatile for longer- and better for serving... and my nanny family had a flat- it looked great and worked great with four kids. Easier to clean, incentive to keep dishes in dishwasher or sink- and if they ARE there- it's the KITCHEN for heaven's sake!. it will feel more open- not creating too many horizontal lines in your kitchen. also better to do coloring, paperwork etc at a flat space.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Bloglovin Facebook Pinterest Instagram Email RSS RSS