As far as a quick background,in 2013 I was certified as a Certifield Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR) by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Looking at the pictures we have of your home and the options for comparison, these are my thoughts:
Island facing the DR:
The sink is positioned directly in front of the doorway to the dining room so when you are sitting down to a meal there, you will see all the cookware you have to wash right though the opening. In addition, the measurement from the island to what looks to be the end of the table is 30”. That measurement is without chairs pulled out for people to sit. That would make that space much smaller and inconvenient for someone to walk through. In addition the refrigerator is hinged to open to the dining room and not to the cooking area
Island facing the cooking area:
This island is the smallest and will make the cooking area feel the most compact. I cannot tell how the refrigerator is set to hinge, but if it is to open to the cooking area. There are only a few zero-clearance hinge units available and they are more expensive than standard units. Standard refrigerators like the one you have currently require a few inches of clearance to open the door a full 90°. Opening less can result in not being able to open drawers or remove them for cleaning This layout does not allow room next to your wall for that. Also in this plan, the dishwasher will open into the cooking area in front of the range. In design, we try to avoid that but based on space that may not always be possible.
There was not a floor plan to review, but from the overview this plan gives you the largest island with the sink not in direct view of the dining room. However, with the sink in the corner, the dishwasher will need to go on the left, which is not typical (especially for right-handed people). However, I am left-handed and learned to adapt, so it is not the end of the world. I might suggest a 42” knee wall on the side facing the dining room to add some “buffer” to the counter-top and what might be left there when going into the dining room to eat.
I hope this helps you with your kitchen planning! We normally use a project profile checklist to get information about your lifestyle, the number of people cooking/eating, activities performed in the kitchen besides cooking, as well as looking at the full dimensions of the surrounding rooms to get a sense of scale for the kitchen and overall space. Please forgive me if I am missing some detail in my review because of that. If you have any questions, please let us know!
Homeowner: We been doing our kitchen project research homework for the last two months. We are sorry that we didn't find DBP and get you involved up front. However, Jason's email and initial assessment was extremely impressive! We agree on much Jason said. Can you come out and meet with us to explore your design services further? THANK YOU!