Category Archives: Kitchen Islands

The Functionality of Kitchen Islands

If you ask homeowners what one item they would like to add in their kitchen, you might discover that the answer is most likely a kitchen island. These stationary units are a unique centerpiece in the kitchen and they help you to get things done with ease within the space. Kitchen islands are on top of the kitchen renovation wish list by many homeowners; however getting the design right to transform your kitchen into a dream takes thoughtful planning and proper execution. When the improvement is done to perfection, you will add beauty, functionality and added value to your home. Because the kitchen is the focal point of you home, kitchen renovations typically recoup 75-100 percent of their investment upon selling the home.

A kitchen with an island in the center

Kitchen islands have become pretty standard in kitchen design these days and one of every two new homes has one built in the kitchen. The kitchen island offers additional room to spread out and provides efficiency because of the added workspace. For kitchen islands that have some extra features like a stovetop as part of the design, the workplace becomes even more functional with everything you need for cooking at your fingertips. Unfortunately, not all kitchens have these purposeful stations; however, if you are considering adding one to your home, it’s worth a look at the advantages that kitchen islands can have on the impact of your kitchen.

Space:

The available space that you have in your new kitchen will determine the shape and size of the island.  If you happen to have a very spacious kitchen you have the luxury of few constraints, but if your kitchen is on the smaller size, the amount of clearance necessary for an island is crucial. For smaller kitchens, the ideal clearance of 42 to 48 inches is required so that traffic flowing through the kitchen is not hampered and moves seamlessly. If you are adding an island to an existing kitchen as opposed to a new home design, you will want to review how traffic is already flowing through the kitchen and how a new island might affect its dynamics.

Purpose:

There are many different reasons why homeowners have kitchen islands and you will want to consider what purpose your kitchen island will serve. For some homeowners, a cooktop is incorporated into the design because this is where food prep and cooking will occur. Others might prefer installing a sink and dishwasher into the design because the island is intended to be the designated cleanup area. Still other homeowners may want it for a more multipurpose use, such as a high chair eating area, additional countertop space, more outlets, a built-in wine rack or additional storage space underneath. If you choose to complement your kitchen island with extra seating, you will ensure that everyone has an added place to sit in the kitchen and always made to feel at home when you invite people over. Kitchens.com has a great selection of ideas for the more common types of kitchen islands and their uses.

Versatility:

Since kitchen islands are so versatile, you have a nearly endless selection of options that offer you the opportunity to narrow down your choices of features by considering your needs and wants. You can get what you will use and avoid the things that you’ll mostly likely not use. Take for example, the type of material that makes up your island’s countertop.  This will depend entirely on whether the island is intended for food preparation or you want the island as an eye- catching centerpiece in the kitchen. You can go from laminate which is cost effective and easy to clean to something more substantial like granite for its beauty and durability.  Maybe you need a bit or portability in which case you many want to consider a rolling kitchen island instead a permanent station. You get flexibility with a rolling island, but you may be limited to the features that can be part of a stationary unit, like a sink, cooktop or dishwater.
When designing your kitchen island, you will also want to think about the type of lighting in this space that will enhance the island. There are a variety of different types of lighting styles available, such as task lighting that is suspended over the island. All of these considerations depend entirely on your circumstances and what you are trying to achieve in your kitchen.

Regardless what your situation is in the kitchen, there is likely some kind of kitchen island that is just perfect for you and your family.