Kitchen Islands with Room to Spare

One of the most versatile elements in today’s kitchen is the island, providing the homeowner with additional food preparation areas and in kitchen dining space. Kitchen islands can help define the kitchen work area and direct traffic away from the so-called “work triangle,” so your kitchen is a nicer place to work and socialize. The shape, size and features of a kitchen island can be customized to your needs. Here are 10 things to consider when planning for your island.

  1. Make space – The footprint of the island should not be the only area to consider. A buffer of at least 36 inches of clearance around every side is needed for cabinetry doors and for people to move about. Ideally, the width of a kitchen island is about 42 inches.
  2. Place Functionality over Form – The kitchen shape does not have to dictate your island shape. Determine what you want your island to be. Express your needs and desires to your kitchen designer to ensure that the island is more than just a piece of big cabinetry.
  3. Break it up – A long counter might seem like the logical place to place stools for eating, but the “bar room” setup is not really conducive to conversation. Arrange seating around the corner of the island or a rounded end so people are face to face.
  4. Have an outlet or two – If you have and use many small appliances, consider adding extra electrical outlets in your island plan. Additional outlets should be added to the design in a way that they are as inconspicuous as possible.
  5. Consider people in your design – Include clearance for chair legs under the counter and ensure anything you need to access while seated is within reach. You can customize work areas and appliances for a taller cook or perhaps a wider cook.
  6. Choose the right materials – If you want marble countertops or even a butcher block in your kitchen, consider how the island area might be used in food preparation. Cuts from sharp knives, the damage caused by hot pots or hardened food stains can be more difficult to remove from certain materials. Be selective.
  7. Décor from other rooms – Your island can incorporate design details of your other rooms in your home, like detailed woodwork or a certain color of ceramic tile can be integrated into your kitchen island design. Newer homes can incorporate stainless steel or specialty eco-friendly materials.
  8. Preserve the view – If your kitchen has a good view, make the most of it. If you want to have a cooktop in your island, use a vacuum exhaust vent that is under the cooking surface instead of installing a range hood so sight lines will not be blocked.
  9. Hide your mess – Create a dual height counter with a bar eating area to hide your prep materials and dishes from socializing areas. This will let you spend time with your family or guests and leave the cleanup for later.

There are so many things to consider when planning your creative kitchen island design, and hiring an experienced kitchen designer in Hamilton NJ is a great option. This person can work with you in making the perfect island, complete with cabinetry and selecting the best lighting above kitchen islands. Have a few of your own ideas? Share them in our comments below.

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