For hordes of homeowners, a kitchen design remains incomplete without a stylish and strategically-built island, adorning its center. Similar to the old-fashioned hearth, islands have become an icon of the stylish modern kitchen in the 21st century, and the trend is here to stay! Kitchen islands are fast becoming a rage, and for a good number of reasons. Being accessible from all sides of the kitchen, an island is ideal to accomplish multifarious kitchen tasks. Most importantly, islands are unlike any other component in your home as their distinctive style makes them the focal point of your kitchen. Creativity coupled with some foresight can help you create an appealing and functional island for your kitchen as well.
A well-contrived island offers a spot for everyone to congregate while separating those who are cleaning or cooking simultaneously.
Duo Dickson, celebrated architect with over 30 years of professional practice, recently wrote in his online publication This Old House Magazine, “A well-contrived island offers a spot for everyone to congregate whilst separating those who are cleaning or cooking simultaneously.”
When you plan an island for your kitchen, considering certain key points is imperative for achieving the best results.
2.Ideas for the Best Kitchen Islands
For a utilitarian kitchen island, it is crucial to plan in advance, depending on the size and shape of your kitchen, and your expectations from the island. Some useful ideas that can help you with your kitchen island are as follows:
1. Function comes first – It is important to understand that islands are primarily built for a functional purpose. There is a plenitude of utility tasks that islands perform, and you should leverage on each to create the most serviceable design. Kitchen islands with standard height and width along with chairs or stools can make perfect spaces for casual dining. You can also build one with soft contoured edges that are comfortable to lean on.
2. Cooking is important too - The kitchen island can is also used for cooking purposes, and hence, you should ensure a heat-resistant countertop and a minimum of 18 inches of space on either side. It can be integrated with a downdraft fan or an overhead vent, with a raised area that can be utilized for dining. If you are planning to use the island for food preparation, make sure that it has outlets for small appliances, with the cooktop and refrigerator close by. Butcher block counters or a prep sink can further make fantastic additions. And if you want to utilize it for cleanup, incorporate storage for dish soap and towels, with clearance for a dishwasher door and pull-out garbage structure next to the sink. Extra height can hide the dirty dishes from being seen.
3. Storage, size, and placement – Kitchen islands consume space; a minimum of 2 by 4 feet. In addition, ample clearance space is required around it to move and function. So if your kitchen is not even 12 feet long and 8 feet wide, it is probably not a wise move to make. Islands should be best utilized for storage needs, displaying the more sophisticated items in the ‘public’ side, and more functional utilities on the ‘working’ side.
4. Lighting and ventilation – Recessed lighting, which is easier to hang in standard height ceilings, are preferable for islands. If the distance from the ceiling is more than 6 feet, fixtures and bulbs that project the light downwards are ideal choices. For island ventilation, downdraft fans or overhead vents are perfect.
5. Get the height right – For a host of purposes such as informal dining, hiding dirty dishes, and protecting non-cooks in the kitchen from splatters and splashes, dual-height islands are excellent. You can complement it with chairs or bar stools.
6. Kitchen island style – To cut off the public side from the kitchen area, utilize the island as an interior wall, extending the area by 4-6 inches and covering it with same material as the walls. When it comes to ingenuity, any piece of furniture such as an old filing cabinet, console, a stainless steel table, or an antique dresser can be easily converted into a kitchen island.
Kitchen islands not only enhance the beauty of the kitchen but the traffic flow and storage space as well. You can further use your imagination to testify that a stunning kitchen island doesn’t have to be expensive either!