How to make your kitchen island your paradise island for your kitchen remodel

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A central island in the kitchen is a very popular feature these days, with over 70% of those looking to purchase houses desiring a kitchen island and even considering it a must-have feature in a kitchen. Islands can add extra shelf, cabinet and dining space, and can be an excellent place for entertaining guests. However, you will want to make sure that the kitchen island you design is in line with your needs and desires and there are many options from which to choose.

Kitchen Island: Function over Form

While you certainly want your kitchen island to be attractive, it is even more important to have one that works for your needs, from a functional standpoint. Ask yourself important basic questions such as “are you right handed?” This will help you determine how to place appliances. Further, different islands have different purposes. Will yours be for prep work, entertaining, cooking, or cleaning? Some kitchen islands will require more room based on their function. In addition, certain features of an island can cost significantly more. For example, multi-level islands and islands with pull-out drawers cost a lot more than single-level islands with open shelves.

You might also consider a peninsula rather than an island. Peninsulas jut out from the wall and this makes it much easier to run plumbing, gas, and electricity, which can also be quite a bit cheaper than traditional kitchen islands.

Kitchen Island: What Appliances Do You Need?

This is a major decision, as it will affect the cost of your island. For example, if you want to run plumbing for a sink, or gas or electric for a stove, oven, or other appliances, this will be significantly more expensive than a kitchen island that is designed solely for entertaining, or for prep work. Free-standing appliances such as a microwave that sits on the countertop can be less expensive than built-in ones like an overhead microwave, as well.

Kitchen Island: How Much Space Will You Need?

Know not just the dimensions of your kitchen island, but how much space you will need around it. Make sure that you have 36-42 inches of clearance all around the island for easy maneuverability in your kitchen, and even more if you want to have room for more than one person to pass at the same time. Make sure that you have enough room around the kitchen island for seating. Each seat takes up a full two feet of space. If your kitchen is smaller, you might want to consider a rolling island which you can pull out and put away when you’re not using it.

Kitchen Island: Surface Material

This may seem a small concern, but the choice of countertop material can be very important since the island is going to be the centerpiece of your room and the first thing people notice when they walk into your kitchen. While you can save money with less expensive perimeter counters, you don’t want to skimp on the surface material for your kitchen island. Consider mixing and matching countertop materials for a high impact look.

And be sure to research Kitchen Remodeling Costs: Get a Return on your Investment if you are planning a kitchen remodeling project as you consider various kitchen island designs and styles.

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