I threw together two models for our new kitchen recently and met with a local contractor who had been highly recommended to us.
OPTION 1 is a u-shaped layout with a long, narrow island. When I first looked at this house, I loved the idea of taking advantage of the kitchen's length with a streamlined layout that would provide some seating at a long island. In reality, the kitchen is a bit too narrow to accommodate an island any wider than 30". This layout also leaves one appliance in a location my husband and I can't tolerate down the road - the refrigerator. Even with a counter-depth model, it still makes for a crowded entry into the kitchen from the back door. It could be relocated to the top left corner (in the overhead plan shown below), but it's width would prevent us from opening up this doorway to the dining room - a necessary move since we plan to eliminate the table area from the new kitchen.
The one thing I love about this option, however, is how it divides the main circulation through the kitchen from the cooking area. It means I would never be tripping over kids and guests who were just moving through or hanging out in the space while I was preparing a meal.
OPTION 2 is very similar to what we have currently, only the peninsula has been relocated to the opposite side of the room and enlarged to provide seating. The refrigerator would also move to the opposite side of the doorway from the back door entrance, thereby allowing a bit more space at that turn into the kitchen. We'd gain some "dumping ground" countertop space to the right of the doorway for keys, mail, etc., as well as some nice shallow 12" cabinets for pantry storage. While this option doesn't clearly separate circulation through the kitchen with that of people cooking, it does provide more cabinet space and relocates the refrigerator.
In both options, we plan to widen the entrance to the formal dining room and install pocket doors in order to better connect the two spaces on a day-to-day basis. We aren't formal people and I'd like to actually use all of the space this house has to offer. The pocket doors would still allow the spaces to be closed off, however, if we should ever need to. Both options also leave the range and sink in approximately the same location. I like having them close together for transferring pasta pots full of water or draining cooked pasta without carrying a hot pot across the kitchen.
I am still not feeling 100% on either of these options. I waiver on getting rid of the eat-in kitchen, not installing a double wall oven (though I'm not sure I've ever been in a situation where I would have wanted or needed one), and not making more space for some type of mudroom situation. We've been talking about the possibility of enclosing the breezeway connecting the garage to the house, thereby creating a mudroom. If we did this, I could also open up the back door entrance and connect the mudroom to the kitchen space.
I have also been contemplating reducing the size of the window to the right of the sink. It's sill and head heights do not align with the other two windows and it's width is preventing some other potential options. The window faces a solid brick wall of the garage so we wouldn't be losing much of a view.
In any case, I definitely think some more simmer time is needed for this space. There are plenty of other rooms to think about in the meantime!