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Mar 30, 2010 01:33 PM

I don't want to face a wall when I cook....

So, I am in the VERY preliminary stages of designing my new kitchen ( haven't even signed the contract yet for the house) however there is **one** thing I know for sure: I want my stovetop in the center of my kitchen with a hood on top. Set in an island. I have given a perfunctory look into La Cornue and Garland Blue Star ranges and am wondering if they can be set up in this fashion.

Are there any cons to not having the stovetop against a wall?

Frankly I am not even sure that I am articulating this properly. I hope someone out there "gets" what I mean....

Many Thanks,

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  1. The placement of the stove would, I think, be dictated on where the vent is place/how easily it can get to the outside. I think a stove against a wall has a little safer in terms of small children (if I'm standing at the stove, I don't have to worry about them being able to get to the open flame as I am blocking it) but of course, that's my perspective and admittedly a minor issue. On the other hand, in a house full of adults, an island stove is certainly more convenient.

    If you are stuck with a wall stove, they have lovely mosaics in tile, stone, and marble that might make the "view" more pleasing.

    1. Since you're building a new house (at least it sounds like that), it should be easier than remodeling. I'm not a builder but have heard a few things. Building codes will vary, of course. A friend wanted a gas cooktop in a freestanding island but, because the house was built on a slab, code didn't allow for a gas line to be run through concrete. She would have had to have a column to bring the line in from above. She didn't want that look so put the cooktop against a wall. Also the vent hood has to be vented to the outside but that shoudn't be a problem. We had a downdraft vent in a cooktop and I liked it quite well but some people don't. My setup has the range against a wall but I don't mind that at all. When I'm cooking, I'm focused on that and a "view" doesn't matter. My sink, however, is at a window cause that doesn't need as much paying attention to :) Good luck. You're quite smart to be considering this at this point.

      2 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        I am firmly in the sink-facing-the-window camp.

        1. re: pikawicca

          Me too. I grew up with a sink overlooking a lovely farm and big pond, with houseplants tucked into the window. We'd watch the sun set while we washed the pots. That is still a happy memory for me, ten years out of that house. Can't say that about the wall, no matter how pretty it's painted.

      2. EM and COliver are correct in that it may be an issue for safety and also building codes. I do know friends that have their cooking counter in the middle of an island of their kitchen. It was a custom home but perhaps this may come as an option of where you are purchasing.

        That said - I think of the mess cooking causes - grease spattered everywhere - perhaps that's not an issue w/ an industrial grade vent - I dunno - I don't have one.

        I WOULD like to have a 'view' when I'm cooking however, most of the time, I either have tunes on or I'm talking to someone altho to the side of me or behind me. Really hate talking to someone behind my back - Ha!

        There's definitely a benefit to having a cooking station central. My current situation leaves a very short counter to one side (maybe 34") and a very long counter to the other side. And yes, it's a blank wall in front of me, which I'll look at and think "Sheesh! Someone really needs to clean that wall!" No, I don't have decorative tile, mosaic or a plasma TV back there.

        1. you might consider that prep work is generally the most time-consuming. time spent at the cooktop is, for me at least, not extended and constant. having the prep area (and sink) overlooking your living area (or whatever) is definitely a plus, but I wouldn't put a cooktop there, especially at the expense of island space (for prep, guests, etc). nobody wants to get splattered by your sauce as you're stirring it. :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: tommy

            I completely agree with this. if you only have room for a regular/squarish island, I would consider making it a prep area rather than a stove. I have a 3 ft or 4ft by 3ft or so island (yes I am bad at measurements). We designed our kitchen from the studs up (in an older house) so we had size constraints; the room is squarish as well. The island is all work surface, with room for two stool on the opposite side. If on the other hand you have a long galley kitchen, then you could put in a long counter/island. It my island was bigger, I would want a prep sink. I love a big work area, so I would have to more than double the island to get a stove in there.

            You know the way you cook best, it's just something to think about.

            1. re: tommy

              i'm in this line of thought myself... prep work is where i spend the most amount of my time and would like to not stare at a wall even if prep work does require some kind of concentration. cooking is messy and splattery and i'm almost never there for 20 minutes straight, unlike prep work. i stir something, i prod something, i leave it be until it's ready.

              i have a long island/counter/dining table and do my prep and plating on one end and guests sit at the other. the stove is at the prep/plating end so if i want to join in the conversation while stirring/prodding/etc, i turn and do what i need with one hand and face everyone at the end of the table and talk with the other hand. works marvelously... and i can ignore all the messy pots/pans on the stove a hell of a lot easier.

            2. I got to thinking about the size of an island. Assuming a 36" cooktop and 3' of counter space on each side, that's 9'. I'd think it would have to be at least 4' deep and that would still get anyone sitting or standing on the other side quite close to the cooking. That seems like a pretty big island to me anyway. But maybe you're going to have a realy big kitchen.

              My kitchen has a peninsula and then the range is several feet away from that and perpendicular to the peninsula. So guests aren't behind me while I'm cooking.