The Kitchen Island – The All-Purpose Space
Whatever the shape, color or style the kitchen island is the focal point of today’s kitchen. Here are some kitchen island ideas to consider as part of your remodeling project.
The kitchen island is so many things to so many people. A custom kitchen island is more than just extra work space-it’s much more. Breakfast or snack bar, cleanup center, cooking station, food prep center, beverage center, bake center; you name it, the kitchen island can handle it. Kitchen islands improve efficiency in the kitchen and when entertaining they can do double duty as a buffet table or even a wet bar. Sometimes an island serves as a very useful room divider in an open kitchen/family space.
Will an island fit in my kitchen?
All but the smallest of kitchens can be outfitted with a kitchen island. Small kitchens can enhance efficiency with a small movable island with wheels. It can add workspace near the sink for preparing food prep, and then simply move it to the range or cook-top to cook. Keep in mind, however, that if the island is too small it may seldom be used.
Kitchen islands can be used with most kitchen shapes particularly L-shaped or U-shaped. If wide enough, a kitchen island can greatly improve function of a galley kitchen (two walls facing each other.) Islands can work well in square kitchens as well.
A kitchen island can make or break the traffic pattern in a kitchen. A properly designed custom kitchen island can shorten the distance between work stations, but if not planned well, they can also increase the distance between work stations. Often, if the space is large enough, two kitchen islands can work better than just one large one. Two islands can improve traffic flow and provide extra work space right where needed.
In the beginning, kitchen islands were usually square or rectangular. But today, we may see a custom kitchen island in many shapes such as T-shaped, L-shaped, U-shaped, even Z-shaped, as well as, oval, round, and octagon.
What are my island options?
Islands can be as beautiful as fine furniture with turned legs and/or feet, carving, moldings’, corbels, brackets, and gracefully curved countertops with elegant edging. They can contain lighted display space for a prized china, crystal or teapot collection or shelves for cookbooks perhaps with bead board backing.
Since appliances such as refrigeration, ovens, dishwashers, warming drawers, even microwaves can be sequestered in drawers, behind doors or wood panels that match your cabinetry, we never have to give up beauty for function.
Specialized countertop uses
A custom kitchen island typically serves more than one function and can have more than one countertop surface. Maybe butcher block in one area for food prep, and solid surface or granite for the cooking or eating area for easy cleanup. Many people who like to bake appreciate the idea of having a piece of marble set into their kitchen island countertop for rolling out cookie dough or pie crusts.
Above the island
Pots and pans can be stored in a deep drawer under the island cook-top or if your cookware is just too nice to hide hang it over the island on a pot hanger. These hangers are very attractive and many styles are available. Some have island lighting built right in.
Who says islands can’t have cabinets above? Two-way cabinets, possibly with glass doors and a plate rack between keeps breakfast dishes, glasses and cups handy is a very popular idea for a custom kitchen island. A built-in microwave, refrigerator drawers for juice, milk and fruit, cabinets below for cereal, toaster, and other breakfast essentials and counter stools get them fed and off to school and work. These are some of the popular custom kitchen island ideas you may want to consider during your planning process.