Back before Chip and Joanna were tearing down walls to get the perfect open concept homes, American kitchens were a space typically hidden in the back of a home. In the past, these areas were designated as an unclean space filled with loud clanging, dirty dishes, and smelly food prep. But with the innovation of dishwashers, coffee pots, and the cooking of the beloved Julia Child, the kitchen became a cleaner space used for entertainment as well as typical food and dish prep. Enter: the kitchen island.
Today new construction homes and many remodel plans come locked and loaded with a kitchen island. If you are going through the design and build process or looking to remodel your dream kitchen, here are some things to consider when it comes to kitchen islands.
Make the space work for you
Be a little selfish when designing your kitchen. For instance, If you’re planning on using your home for events and gatherings, skip putting the sink right in the island and make the entire counter space an area for serving, sitting, and dipping into a picture-perfect charcuterie board.
On the other hand, if you have (or will soon have) school-aged children or teenagers roaming around your home, one great use for your kitchen island is a space perfect for homework and after-school snacks with barstools and an overhanging countertop.
If you are a self-proclaimed foodie and want to make all of those dishes you see on tv, consider creating an extra long island with a prep sink in your kitchen island. And enjoy all that extra counter space for chopping and dicing.
If you have only a little bit of room to work with, consider a peninsula instead of a full island (if it works for Michigan it can work for your kitchen). By creating a long arm of counter space that juts out, you’re getting a similar function of an island without all of the real estate needed.
Don’t let the island blend in
One design style we often see is the single-tone kitchen. Whether it’s white or dark colors, some homeowners can get caught with flat and one-dimensional colors in their kitchen space. If you love an all-white kitchen, take a moment to consider adding some warm wood tones or a pop of color that will add dimension to the room. White on white on white with some gray is going to leave your kitchen feeling clean, but not cozy or warm.
Utilize as much of the space as possible
Kitchen islands take up a lot of space, but that doesn’t mean they have to be dead space. Fit as many cabinets and drawers as you can into your space.
Pro tip: One of our favorite sneaky cabinets are the small pull-out cabinets that can fill spaces that can occur between cabinets and drawers. These are perfect for utensils, spices, foil, and other small kitchen items.
Our Kitchen and Bath Design Center experts are here and ready to help you design the best use of cabinet space for your kitchen. Ready to schedule an appointment? Fill out the form on this page to get started!