Many homeowners are opting to include an island in their kitchen renovation project. If your kitchen is the heart of the home, then an island is the hub of that heart where everything happens. It has an important purpose and should be designed with that in mind.
Three Main Uses For the Kitchen Island
Your island will be used for three major tasks throughout the day. Each task has its own unique needs that should be incorporated into the kitchen island design.
Meals are prepped and put together on the countertop of the island, so keep that in mind when choosing a surface material. Opt for something extremely durable and easy to keep clean. Stainless steel is great for professional-grade food prep and looks sharp in a contemporary kitchen. Any of the natural stones such as marble and granite will work and a custom poured concrete countertop is another excellent choice.
The tools that you need for food preparation and cleanup are also found in and around the kitchen island. Be sure to include plenty of deep drawers for pots, bowls and small appliances, as well as shallow organizer drawers for utensils. Make sure that placement of the island leaves plenty of clearance for your dishwasher and is well situated for movement between the sink, fridge and stove. Installing the primary or secondary sink right into the island is another great option.
Many people are including a stovetop range on their island as well, providing easy access and an open area for cooking. Be sure that the exhaust fan is installed properly for this location and have any eating areas raised to avoid harmful splattering and heat dangers.
Your countertop material comes into play with this function as well and should be completely heat resistant. Stone works exceptionally well and will provide a cool surface in contrast to the heat of cooking. Be sure that your island is wired well with the electrical safely and properly run up through the bottom of this permanent fixture. Portable kitchen islands do not have this option but can still serve as excellent staging areas during cooking.
Eating and Informal Gatherings
A breakfast bar or casual seating area to one side of your kitchen island is a definite must have. With comfortable bar stools and soft lighting this area will become a favorite spot for snacking, quick meals and even entertaining overflow. Allow for plenty of space for people to gather around your island. The action is always happening in the kitchen and a well designed island will be at the center of it all.
Your island will also become a spot where paperwork, school bags, mail and other items are left, sorted or worked on. If you don't have another area to designate for these things (like a phone desk or mini-office), include storage compartments right into the island cabinetry. Easy access drawers on the dining side of the island can be used to store miscellaneous items and open shelving works for paper storage. You can even hang small hooks for keeping purses, keys and other items handy.
Design your kitchen island to be the best it can be by taking these tasks into account. Think about your family will actually use the space. Include personalized features that will help your island to be even more functional for meal prep, cooking, eating and gathering on and around the kitchen island.
The heart of your home will be much more comfortable and flow better with a well designed island.Posted by: TrustedPros