Published at Tuesday, August 13th 2019, 16:12:06 PM. Kitchen Islands. By Adolphus Ludwig.
Kitchen islands are critical components in any kitchen. A multipurpose surface, they allow prep work, cooking, eating, working, and entertaining. For that reason, they’re also one of the most requested features in homes, both in purchases and renovations, but kitchen islands can vary tremendously in size and style, and aren’t right for every home.
If you’re considering a new kitchen or renovation, it’s important to think about how you envision using the island, given other factors that might be at play in the kitchen. For example, a kitchen island typically requires about 36" between the edge of the island and the edge of the countertop, so an island is unlikely to work well in a very long, narrow kitchen. If you’re planning on having multiple people working in the kitchen at once, then 42" to 48" should be your goal. This also goes for spaces around appliances like a sink, stove, or dishwasher, so if you’d like to integrate a sink into the island, you’ll want to plan accordingly.
Take advantage of being able to use the space above the island by adding suspended storage, where you can display a matching pan collection or your best stemware. You can also experiment with lighting elements, or if you’ve decided to install a stovetop with overhead venting you can use the space for the range hood.
Add another dynamic by creating variation in the height of your island. Using the island for multiple purposes, like eating and food prep, will both maximize the utility and make it feel like two totally different spaces. For example, add an appliance to one level (like a sink or stovetop) and create a breakfast bar on a higher tier.
Think about what kind of design (whether custom or prefabricated) is going to provide the most utility by asking the following questions: What will it be used for the most? What particular features will enhance the existing kitchen? What does the space need? If the room lacks cabinet space, you’ll want storage. If you don’t have a kitchen or dining room table (and even if you do), extra seating might be a priority.
In addition to creating more counter space, an island is also a way to add more storage and avoid kitchen clutter by using drawers, cupboards and shelves. This is beneficial especially if appliances take up a lot of cabinet room, or if you’re looking for a unique way to showcase certain items by using open shelving. Store dishes and pots within reach or keep less frequently used appliances out of the way. Another option is to use open shelving to display cookbooks or other items.
Nothing says the perimeter of your kitchen island has to be symmetrical. Have a little fun when it comes to the shape. Whether it's crescent shaped, wavy or completely indefinable, if it suits your taste (and fits your kitchen and your budget), go for it.