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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kitchen Design - L Shape Bench Vs Island Bench

Since our first quote for the new kitchen layout I've now had a second quote from the company who made our bathroom vanity.
We knew we wanted to get a kitchen quote from them as we love our bathroom cabinet and they have a great range of bench tops at a good price. The driving force was visiting a friend's place on the weekend who had their kitchen designed by these guys and it looked amazing, so we went and got a quote from them this week.
The planning was a bit more interactive than the first quote, the designer came to our house and took photos and measurements and threw out some suggestions while we were there. Then we drove back to his office (only 5 minutes away) and he put the measurements into the computer and played around with the cupboards and appliances bringing the kitchen to life in 3d on the screen.

The 1st design is PRACTICAL - More storage cupboards/drawers, an extra appliance cupboard and bigger pantry.

This 2nd design is PRETTY - It has less storage but a more open feel. It will also require us bricking in some of the kitchen window. The pantry is smaller and there is no appliance cupboard. The plus to this design is there is room next to the cook top to prepare and cook which is lacking in the first design.

This has totally thrown me the different designs and what is the best decision to make. To be practical and have storage for all my kitchenware or to be pretty so when it comes to resale in a few years time the kitchen will look more appealing and appear bigger. The Domestic Goddess voice inside me is screaming storage all the way ... I may not need so many different types of kitchenware but I have them and they need to fit somewhere!

The biggest difference that I'm battling with between them is the 1st design has an L Shape Bench which we have now Vs the 2nd design has an Island Bench which I've never had before ....

L shape bench
What I love about the L shape bench is it can fit 2-3 friends to sit up there and have a glass of wine and chat while I prepare and cook dinner on the bench in front of them. I love to sit there and flip through cook books or the laptop and watch Mr P cook.

The downside to the L shape is there is dead space in the corner which you can't really use the cupboards or the bench top because you need to lean over which just isn't practical for say the coffee machine, it would probably just be space for a fruit bowl or decor.


Island Bench
The good thing about an island bench is it would create a more open feel as you could walk around the kitchen from both sides of the bench. It would also create an extra cupboard in what would otherwise be dead space in the L shape and you could use the bench top easier for the coffee machine or the like as you could stand in front of it, instead of having to lean over.

The downside to the island bench is that it will seat probably only 2 people and there won't really be room for them to sit comfortably and me prepare food in front of them too.

Decisions, decisions, this kitchen planning really is full on but I want to take my time and think about the design before I sign on the dotted line!

What are your thoughts on L Shape Vs Island Benches?
Which do you find more practical?

[Images via Pinterest 1 and 2]

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  1. We have a u/l shaped kitchen and there are some pretty cool things you can add to your cupboards into the corners to make them very usable spaces. I love my corner cupboard for my appliances.

    Thanks for linking up with #TUST

    Annaleis - Blogs and PR Team Member

  2. I'm all for the island bench and would definitely err on the side of pretty. I find that I can work around the storage issues. Minimal living is important to me, but only you know what's right for you and your lifestyle. I like the island bench because in the house we're designing we have a lot of space and we have the luxury of being able to make all the decisions. It's such an exciting process though :)

  3. Please go with the L Shape bench!!! While the other one looks awesome, practicality wise it's not so great. But then again I have hree small children and need the space! I have to say I wish I was building again - I'd do things SO different. Emily
    Visiting via Blogs and PR

  4. Oooh one of those heart and head decisions!!! I love them both! Good luck with this one - I'm sure your kitchen is going to look fabulous with whatever you decide xxx

  5. I love renovations and renovations shows! It took us a year to renovate our garage into a playroom/study (not to mention the year it took the council to agree)..... think we will sell the house and rebuild elsewhere rather than renovate!

    #ttut :)

  6. I think both designs are beautiful! It's so awesome that you guys get to remake your home piece by piece :]
    Right now, in my new no-storage-for-almost-anything kitchen, I'd be screaming for more storage space. We've had to buy a pantry for food storage because the apartment didn't include a pantry in its design and there's not enough space in the kitchen cabinets for food and dishes, even though I don't own that many superfluous pieces. Now, if you know you can fit all your pieces and food items in the island-design, then go for it, but, if there are any doubts, always opt for more storage. If we were buying right now, I'd choose a kitchen with storage over something super pretty.
    Best of luck! I know whatever you choose will be fabulous!

  7. I love the island, I am fortunate to have one that is 4metres long, so we also have lots of storage. Weigh up how important storage is for you, I know there are great corner inserts which makes the corner cupboard easier to use. Whichever you do I know it will be beautiful. xxx Rae

  8. Thanks so much for your advice everyone I really appreciate it ... Im leaning towards the Island Bench now :) Thanks again!


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