Designing the Perfect Island for Your Kitchen

Islands are hitting peak popularity in kitchen design, both as a design element and as an essential part of entertaining in the home. If your kitchen is feeling a little empty without an island, perhaps now is the time to consider adding additional gathering and workspace in a kitchen island. An island is a perfect place to cook and clean while entertaining guests. Children can do their homework in a central location, allowing parents to supervise and help as needed without running from room to room.

When you are ready to design your island, there are some things to think about before diving into the construction process.

  1. What is the island’s main function?

Do you want it to be used for additional storage space, prep work for mealtime, a cooking surface? Islands often have just one side dedicated to eating and a side that is used for cooking. Consider if you want to use the island for cooking or if you want to use it for additional workspace for homework, household activities, or projects.  If you want to use it for cooking, keep in mind that some of the space of the island will be taken up by appliances such as cooktops, sinks, or dishwashers.  This leads us to the next point to consider.

  1. What kitchen appliances do you need in your island?

If you are going to add appliances to the island, you will want to consider space usage and the placement. If the main sink will be in the island, be prepared to have the dishwasher located on the island, as well. You will then need to decide if you want it to the left or the right of the sink. If you want a cooktop, you also will need to account for placing a hood or exhaust vent. You should make a list of what you really want in your island and whether you have the room for it all.

  1. Do you need storage in your island? If so, how much do you need?

This will mainly depend on how much space your kitchen already has. If you have a lot of cabinetry already, you may not need much space dedicated to storage in the island. If you want to do most meal prep work on the island, you may want to consider having storage for small kitchen gadgets, appliances, and tools as well as a small prep sink.

  1. How tall should your counter be?

You will want to determine seating height for the island. If you want to have bar stools, you will need to choose between thirty-six or forty-two inches high. The 42-inch bar stool and bar can add more flexibility, allowing the island to have 2 levels. The dining side would be higher while the prep side would be lower.  The risers could be great locations for outlets to be installed. The 36-inch bar helps define the eating space more clearly. Typically, there needs to be at least 12-in overhang to allow for seating. Fifteen to eighteen inches tends to feel more comfortable.

  1. How will the island fit into the layout of the kitchen?

The most important thing to consider here is how you will move around the kitchen and how the flow can be improved with the addition of the island. Poorly placed or planned islands could make working in the kitchen more of a chore rather than less. Design and workflow can be difficult to determine, which leads us to the last item to consider.

  1. Do you need a designer?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Because kitchen islands are the main work and gathering place in the kitchen and oftentimes in the whole home, a lot of thought is put into their design. Cabinet designers can help here, taking proportion and usage plan into account, as well as the visual aesthetics of the island.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call us or visit our website for more ideas and suggestions.

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