Gain Space With Cleverly Designed Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands are one of the most popular items that homeowners ask for during kitchen remodeling projects. They offer versatility in style and function, and they are some of the more trending things to do with your kitchen.  People often add them as part of an overall remodeling project. You can choose to blend the island with your granite counter tops and custom cabinetry or choose a granite island with wood or laminate surfaces.

Kitchen islands are available in different colors, sizes and styles to suit any home. Choose contemporary, country homestyle or traditional styles.   Before you start, you should check pictures on the internet to get ideas as well as check some home and garden magazines as they offer pictures and ideas to help you get started.  Use these ideas to come up with your own unique style for your kitchen island.

Adding Kitchen Islands

If you have the space in your kitchen, it is fairly easy to add an island. Look at several different islands and get the exact dimensions so you can make sure that you get the right island.  Measure your entire kitchen and get the right dimensions there too.  You will need to leave between forty two and forty eight inches of space around the entire island. You want to make sure you can open your refrigerator, oven and dishwasher easily.

If you want to get a feel for how much space an island will take up in your kitchen, you can try an experiment.  Grab a piece of furniture that is close in size and dimensions of the island that you are considering.  Next, put the piece of furniture into the kitchen and where the island will go. Keep it there for about a week or so to help you decide if you can live with it. If it’s too large, look for a model with smaller dimensions. Experiment with a few different sizes to find the one works for you and your family.

There are no rules governing the height of a kitchen island. It’s a matter of preference and function.  Obviously, you do not want to make it too high because then it won’t be useful to you.  But you will need to decide what the area will be used for to determine how high to make the counter.  You can consult with your designer or kitchen contractor to give you the best advice on this.  If you will be cooking, preparing food or using a built in sink, make the height even with your other kitchen cabinets. Choose a lower height for seating with tables, or a higher counter for stool type seating.

Utilizing kitchen islands the smart way

Consider how you will use the island. Do you need more storage space? Think about your daily routine and how you do it. You have several choices for cooking, preparing food, clean up and storage of cups, dishes, etc.

  • In order to gain more storage space, islands can be built to match existing kitchen cabinets and counter tops. The island can also have cabinets and drawers installed to have even more storage space for utensils, dishes and plates
  • You can be creative by adding bookshelves to the end to creates a great place to display your cookbook collection, if you have one.  You can also add a few collectibles to the shelves for a more unique look that reflects your personality.
  • Wine lovers sometimes choose to add a wine rack in place of shelves.
  • Cooking space can be built into the top of an island, saving space above the oven. This is a great option for kitchens with a double oven.
  • Consider how you will use the top when choosing counters. A built in butcher block or cutting surface is great if you spend a lot of time preparing food. This helps you avoid cuts and nicks on the surface of your counter.
  • If you like to bake, consider marble. You can prepare and roll out your dough right on the surface without sticking.
  • An island can also be used for seating.  Adjust the height lower for table type seating or raise it higher for barstools. Allow about two feet of space for each person to increase ease and comfort while sitting.
  • Sinks and appliances, such as dishwashers can be installed instead of cabinets to increase the functionality of your island.
  • Have an electrical outlet added to one or both sides. This is great for cooking with small appliances like electric mixers or blenders.

Portable Islands

A portable kitchen island gives you an additional countertop area when necessary. These are a great alternative for smaller kitchens because it allows you to be very space efficient. You can purchase an island that is not assembled yet and you can build it yourself pretty easily.  Portables usually are on wheels, allowing you to move it back and forth to certain areas of the kitchen depending on when and how you need it.

You can purchase a moving island with a cabinet for storage space, or get one that looks like a taller table. A built in cutting board surface gives you additional space for cutting vegetables and preparing food. The most common materials used for the top are steel, tile and wood.