We love to say the kitchen is the heart of the home. Where do people tend to gather in the kitchen? The island! It’s where the action is happening, where meals are prepared and shared, conversations happen, and homework help is dispensed over after-school snacks. The kitchen island can be a beautiful focal point of your kitchen, but how do we design such an important part of your home? Here are a few things to consider:
A kitchen island can provide great seating. Consider the island’s height. How many people do you need to seat? Make sure you plan for enough space between bar stools to make them feel comfortable. Seating layout can also vary. A common option is to place all seating on just one side of the island so everyone is facing the person preparing the meal. Another great idea is to create a conversation area by adding seating on the sides of the island as well.
A kitchen island can provide a great deal of additional storage. If you are maximizing the storage space, you may want to avoid putting appliances or sinks in your island since they will eat into that space. You can get as creative as you want with the layout of cabinets, drawers, spice cabinets, pull-out trash cans, and more. You may consider putting additional cabinets on the back side of the island to store less frequently used items like serving platters, crockpots, or holiday dishes.
Make sure to plan for outlets in the kitchen island. They can be placed on the sides for small appliances or incorporated into a cabinet to charge electronics away from kitchen workspace. One could be added near the seating area to power a laptop of someone working at the bar. Consider matching outlet covers to the island color for a more seamless look.
A kitchen island is a workspace that will require focused task-oriented lighting. For this reason, pendant lights are a great option. They also provide a great design opportunity! There are a lot of pendant lights out there. Finding the right ones to match your kitchen will create a cohesive look.
The kitchen island is a great place to get those creative juices flowing! You may consider painting the island a different color than the rest of the kitchen cabinets. Other ideas for making this space unique would be using a different style of cabinet door or using a different countertop from what is going to be used throughout the rest of the kitchen.
We all want a beautiful kitchen, but let’s not forget to make it work for us! Be mindful of durability when selecting a countertop. It will likely sustain abuse from pots, pans, knives, and spills. Always consider how you plan to use your island. A person who loves to cook will have different expectations from an island than someone who prefers take-out but loves a beautiful space. Make it work for you! If you are tired of running to the laundry room to get bottles of wine out for guests,a built-in wine refrigerator may be just what you need. If you are looking for a place to showcase your cookbook collection, you may want to build bookshelves into the end of your kitchen island for easier access while cooking.
If you would like more information on building a more functional, beautiful kitchen island like the one we created in the above photo, we would love to help! Give us a call and we can chat about making your island work for you!