Kitchen Islands is A Must Have
Kitchen islands are more common than ever before, as kitchens are continually growing and giving homeowners a restaurant-style kitchen right in their home. Islands make a great workspace, eating space, or decorative addition to any kitchen. For small kitchens, a simple raised table can be transformed into an island for more room to prep food and store things on a shelf underneath. In larger kitchens, many islands are added counter space and some even have appliances built into them.
Islands with Sinks
Kitchen islands with sinks are a valuable home addition. They make working with two in the kitchen twice as easy, as each can have a place to work. Some people choose to put their only kitchen faucet on an island, others choose to have the main sink in the counter and have a small, prep sink installed on an island. Prep sinks are perfect for washing up fruits and vegetables, throwing cut pieces, and grabbing water for measuring cups. Adding another sink in an island is good for kitchens that have more counter space, as smaller kitchens tend to use the island primarily for cutting or working space.
Islands That Move
Portable islands are usually constructed of a steel or wood frame with a matching top. Movable islands are simply free standing, or some have locking wheels. These are handy if ever you host an outdoor party or have to do a large project in another room; the island can be moved for as long as it is needed. If you are concerned about it matching your existing kitchen, though there is an extensive selection available, you can have them custom made to match.
Islands With Appliances
For kitchens being built with an island in the original plans, the island is a great place to house a dishwasher, sink, or stovetop. Some appliances will be hard to add later because of the need for water, as with the sink or dishwasher. Stoves and ovens put in an island are convenient but need to follow standards as they would in any other area of the kitchen, concerning proper ventilation. Your range will need a down draft vent system or range hood, depending on your preferences. Also consider the space around the island, making sure there is enough room to open your dishwasher or oven and still stand behind it without running into other kitchen cabinets.
Outdoor Kitchen Stations
Related to islands are outdoor kitchen stations. They are an added convenient workspace to do grilling, barbequing, or other food prep. A grill can be built into an “island” along with a sink and minifridge, making almost a full kitchen accessible while you are cooking outside. If you already have a standing grill a portable, weather-resistant island placed outside makes a workspace, cutting space, or buffet table to take the entire dining experience outside.
Island Design Ideas
Several shapes are available for islands, and U, G, and L-shapes are some of the most common. The area should match the overall size of a kitchen, and the workflow should also be considered. In large kitchens, it is essential to leave enough space for clearance on all sides of the island.
Installing the cabinets at different heights is another contemporary idea. Contemporary breakfast bars are usually a level higher and can include seating areas.
Appliance installation is optional, but most design ideas include a stove and range top inside the island. This allows plenty of room for cooking, and storing pots and pans overhead optimizes efficiency while cooking.
Countertops are another part of the island, and there are several choices for this as well. Corian, granite and natural stone are great choices and offer a number of benefits. These materials have a dense chemical makeup, and this prevents germs and bacteria from getting inside the surface.
Corian is an artificial material that comes in a range of colors and sizes. It can be customized to fit any particular island, and professional installation is available.
Granite is another great choice for a countertop. The color choices are variable, and the best thing about granite is that no two pieces are alike. The material is derived from a mined mineral, and different chemical compositions lend color to the finished surface.
Granite has been a mainstay of the construction industry for centuries and is one of the most common countertop surfaces.
Stainless steel is a great option for cabinets and countertops. The material is easy to keep clean and has a modern ambiance to it. Steel countertops are ultra-efficient and resist all types of bacteria and germs.
Professional installation is available, and custom or stock products can be used to create a unique island. Stainless steel appliances are also readily available, and they add to the style of an island that is finished with the material.
Remodeling a kitchen is a great way to rejuvenate a home. Any project adds value to a property and is a viable method to make homes more appealing. Homeowners have a variety of choices for a home improvement project, and adding a kitchen island is one way to make kitchens more functional.
Materials come in a range of styles and colors, and there is something that can fit in with any home’s décor. Stone, metal, and wood can be used alone or in conjunction to create a custom island.
Perfect Kitchen Island
Kitchen islands can be custom made to fit any kitchen and serve any purpose. After considering the functions you want your island to serve, you can decide the style, what it is made of, and the shape.
Seating And Eating
If your main purpose for the island is a seating and eating area, it will be beneficial for the height to be as tall as your countertops, taller than a normal table. This way you can place bars stools to sit on under the ledge without taking up as much other space as kitchen chairs usually do. A multi-level island will separate the eating area from a food prep or serving area. A common small kitchen island size, 2-3′ deep and 4-6′ long, seats only 2-3 people comfortably. An island for sitting and eating will likely need to be larger than a “landing spot” island.
Food Prep And Cooking
A little extra space to do food prep goes a long way. The island does not have to be very big if there are no amenities on it. If there is a stovetop or sink, your size will have to increase to have room for workspace as well. Some elements you may want to include in the design are a cutting board, drawers for knives, utensils, or other small cookware, a small ring or rung to hang a dishtowel, and an electrical outlet close by for mixers, blenders, or crock pots.
Storage – Cabinets and Trash
Islands also add much-needed space for kitchen storage. The larger the island the more room there is for drawers, cabinets, and counter space. The top at least six inches can be drawer space, with the lower portion available for cabinets or shelves. To hide clutter, a trash can, or mismatched kitchen items, cabinets are wonderful storage options. For a more decorative look, open shelves under the top give room for storage or display, such as vases, cookbooks, or glasses.
If you are concerned about a newly built island matching an older kitchen, you can have one custom designed to match your existing countertops and cabinets. You can always change the cabinet hardware on a pre-made island to match your permanent cabinetry – an island does not have to be an exact match to still look great and provide functionality.
As you can see, a kitchen island can be custom made to serve any purpose you need. Some will be big, others small, some will be full of appliances, while others are basically an added table or throw space for extra room. Make your kitchen island a focal point in your kitchen and a convenient kitchen center you can’t live imagine working without.
Another good reason behind having an island in your kitchen is to have a barrier between the kitchen and the rest of your home. Many of us have a kitchen with an eating area where there is no wall separating the kitchen and the rest of the home. In this case, a kitchen island can be used as the barrier between them. This same kitchen island can also be used as a regular table where everyone can sit and relax. Your kids can do their homework over there while you are preparing the dinner. In this case, while a kitchen island can be a barrier between the rooms, it can keep people close while you are working in the kitchen.
Our articles on this topic:
- Kitchen Island Ideas
- Kitchen Island Furniture
- Islands for Small Kitchen
- How to Choose a Kitchen Island
- Kitchen Islands – Functions and Styles