Kitchen island: to sink or not to sink?

… that is the question.
Is it better to sink but by sinking create an eyesore every time we cook?
Or is it better not to sink but then where will the dirty dishes go? :P

This is the house where the sink in question is. A mate is hoping to buy it , if he can come up with the money, although he has some serious concerns about the sink being in the kitchen island and how messy it will always look.

Do you have a similar setup ? Are his concerns warranted? Is it as inconvenient as he is thinking it will be?

Cheers :)

Ps: While you're at it, feel free to critique the layout of the house. Any other dealbreakers in there that he has overlooked?

pps: Land area is 402sqm and I believe the house area is 215sqm.


  • +4 votes

    Nice plan, the brat/s are as far away as possible.


      Yep :) I also like that there is that extra space in the garage for a workshop or a gym.


        Islands are find as long as they're large enough to provide decent storage.

        If it was my place I'd look to make it wider allowing for deeper storage cupboards all around.

        The kitchen design doesn't show much kitchen storage space.


          There's a decent sized pantry and the house ( and land) is on the smaller size. There's only so much you can fit 402 Sqm plot, unfortunately.

          • +1 vote

            @Jar Jar binks: The house is already built, yeah?

            The tiny study, and pantry placement seems oddly claustrophobic for a modern home entrance. The linen cupboard seems reminiscent of 80's style closed architecture.

            Personally, I would have placed the kitchen where the workshop / gym is currently located at (locating the pantry within the area), but it depends on priorities as they differ between families.

            Do away with the narrow width(1.6m?) study, and use the space to provide a wider double door entrance, using leftover space to enlarge the master bedroom/WIR area. Could also build hidden storage spaces along both walls of the entrance area for added storage.

            A decent kitchen, master bedroom, and open feel spaces are what sell houses these days.



              The house is already built, yeah?

              Yep. The house was built in the last 10 years.

              Thank you for the design ideas. I will forward them to him :)

  • +7 votes

    A mate is hoping to buy it

    How many of your 'friends' are buying houses? Or is it 1 very indecisive one?


      I tried to reply to your comment last night but it showed as a separate comment instead.

      I am at this weird stage in life where I have both mates who have just grown out of their "work hard; player harder" phase , have met the 'One' and are now looking to settle down and start a family; and mates who have been through a separation or divorce and are now renting after being a home-owner and hating it.

      So yeah, I have heaps of mates who are looking at buying a property. I've only ever posted about 2 of them .

  • +1 vote

    @Spack, those 2 posts were about the same house and the same mate. This one is about a fellow father-of-twins who is tired of having to move every year and whose in-laws have offered to chip in if he moves closer to them so that they can see their grandkids more often.

  • +1 vote

    My parents have a house with a layout similar to this, especially in the kitchen. Mum is neat freak and in all the years I've known her, she's never once commented on dishes making it look untidy.

    Otherwise, you have to go through the pantry to get to the garage? And that space in front of the cars is just the garage as well? Like you say might be good for a workshop/gym, but it's so big it could have been another bedroom! Good layout overall though :)


      you have to go through the pantry to get to the garage?

      Yes or the front door. There's also the possibility of adding another door to the garage and coming through the laundry.

      And that space in front of the cars is just the garage as well

      Current owner is using it to store stock for his business. It is space which could have been put to better use.

      • +1 vote

        According to GJ Gardner homes (the original designer), the storage room was meant to be a media room in the original design, with the entrance next to the laundry (and no connection to the garage)

  • +2 votes

    I'd put the fridge in the pantry and put the sinks where the fridge is.


    These posts create an eyesore, if one of your friends posted your house design on OzBargain and starting asking a bunch of questions about it you'd probably think it was a bit strange.

    • -1 vote

      Bit creepy isn't it.

    • +1 vote

      Not his house yet and he may not even buy it. I have his permission to post on ozb.Where do you think I've got the floorplan for a house that is not on the open market?
      I've found the feedback I'd received from ozb when I was personally looking for an IP last year very helpful and he knows that.

      • +1 vote

        I’m not sure why people think this is odd. All you are doing is workshopping some ideas with a larger community. Whatever the outcome it isn’t going to affect them. To me it is interesting to look at plans and wonder what the person who built it was thinking.

        • -1 vote

          Reminds me of that other time I got called "creepy" …🙄


            @Jar Jar binks: As we both know having a thick skin is pretty important to post something on Ozbargain. Fortunately there are enough, genuinely, helpful people to chat to so you can ignore the “negative nellies”; reading them the word “whatever” comes to mind. Just keep posting, although I probably don’t have to say that to you :)

  • +4 votes

    The layout is fine as is. The sink isn't an issue especially since people use dishwashers these days.

    Put the dirty stuff in the dishwasher immediately after use. If the occupants are not doing that, get better occupants.

  • +3 votes

    If the house is existing, then plumbing will be/the issue. Is there underfloor access? If not then the cost will be high for drain and water pipes. In that case you have to decide is the cost worth the feature.

    You can always get sink covers like wooden chopping boards so the sink won’t be open when not being used. But like all houses it will look .ratty no matter where it is, if people are untidy.

    If that’s the case the rest of the house will be a mess as well.

  • +1 vote

    How timely as much kitchen design discussions being had atm * sigh *

    I prefer the sink & dishwasher combo within the kitchen island - it's a practicable set-up as the kitchen island is the main meal prep area and so it's convenient that the dishes will be placed into the sink/dishwasher within the same space.

    I've seen houses that have the kitchen island as a dedicated meal prep space with the sink located behind it along a wall and it felt odd, especially if there was a cabinet above the sink/no window above the sink.

  • +4 votes

    I’m not a fan of sinks in islands.

    For me the island is best when just a bench. So much more versatility from putting your shopping on to wrapping Christmas presents. As soon as a sink is in the middle you cut down on some of this versatility.


    The green section looks suspicious. I wonder what's in it.


    OK - you asked for it!

    It's a good design overall - floorplan doesn't look compact and makes sensible use of a small block for a single level house.

    Do you know whether it was a custom build? I only ask because of the area off the garage - great for storage but with no windows, it would limit any other purpose as-is aside from a gym space, as you mentioned above.

    Having the master well away from the other 2 BRMS is good idea if the twins are not too young. If your friends are not planning on having more kids then current 3 BRMS would suffice otherwise have they considered future-proofing options such as building up? I suppose it comes down to if they are viewing it as their forever home/living close to their parents/in-laws for the long term.

    Laundry location is not ideal if they use an outside clothesline as they would have to go through the living area to get to the backyard.

    edit: meant to reply


      OK - you asked for it!


      Not sure if custom-built but if the property was mine, and I had no other use for that space, I would turn it into a 4th bedroom. It would have west-facing windows and a door opening on the hallway.Not ideal, seeing as the bedroom will be sharing a wall with the garage, the kitchen and the laundry but an extra bedroom should add value to the property.

      If your friends are not planning on having more kids

      Friend : it is just him and his kids.

      Hard to say. I started out not wanting any kids at all and look at me now, soon-to-be a father of 4…

      Laundry location is not ideal if they use an outside clothesline

      The laundry has a sliding door that opens to the outside fairly similar to this one.
      Something like this could be attached to external wall space under the bathroom window.


        I would turn it into a 4th bedroom. It would have west-facing windows

        👍 A good option and not requiring major works too, even though I dislike west-facing BRM windows however there is always ducted a/c ❄

        The laundry has a sliding door

        Ahhh … I was looking at the floorplan on my mobile & couldn't make out the sliding door so it makes more sense to position the clothesline on that side of the house.


    I always prefer stove and oven in island, sink under window In your mates case just swap stove and sink positions. That way kids or guests can sit around the island and talk while you prepare the food. Easier to keep it looking cleaner than having a sink there.

  • +1 vote

    Ah good old floor plan discussions. Personally I hate walking through a pantry to exit, going through a laundry e.g. tiled area makes more sense to me. My butlers pantry is my sacred space containing food and appliances so no way I would want a door to a garage in it.
    Having the kids rooms so separate is only good once they've left night checking age, but these rooms are really tiny for teenagers. I don't mind a sink in the bench, so long there's enough other prep space on said bench. Also more important is the dishwasher goes next to the sink and the drawers for cutlery and plates/cups is right near the dishwasher.
    That massive area in the garage is a big waste of space for me, considering the rooms aren't that big and the block is quite small. But I'm biased as I don't have a lot of crap in the garage. My husband might disagree with my reasoning!

  • +1 vote

    Sinks are nice if the island is big enough. if you have an island that is wide enough its not an issue but if it take up most of the width, the practicality is compromised. But it doesn't seem like you have enough space next to your stove.

    A few issues imo…

    The kitchen is not next to a window. If you don't have enough light coming, you'll get mould and wet spots won't go away quickly.

    You'd rather have the toilet inside the laundry and expand the room if you can…

    The size of the study is useless imo…

    You might want a door from your garage to your laundry, this is useful when you're covered with dirt, grass.

    Linen wardrobe make the living space smaller. You can probably integrate it with the laundry space, unless it's part of a load bearing wall.

    The sun is typically on the north side, so your bedrooms won't get much light but i'm guessing the boundary fence is there?

    You'll want windows for your garage for air flow without opening the garage door.

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