A well-designed kitchen island can be essential in increasing the functionality and efficiency of your kitchen. According to our renovation experts, they are also known to increase the resale value of your home.
Seeing that they are beneficial and sound investments, why not consider upgrading your kitchen with a space-saving, style-defining island? Whether you’re wondering how to make a kitchen island work in a small space, or how to get the most out of storage, here’s everything you need to know about practical kitchen islands; from shape, to height, to storage.
Most kitchen islands we see are square, but that doesn’t mean that a square island is the best shape for your kitchen. Be open to considering a rectangular island, as that might just work better with the space you have available and the size and shape of your kitchen. Be open to other kitchen island ideas; you should also consider circular, oval or bean-shaped kitchen islands, so don’t hesitate when it comes to thinking outside the box for your kitchen island.
If you are worried about running into corners, then work a countertop with rounded edges into your kitchen island plans, and if you are looking to save a bit of space, a circular or oval-shaped kitchen island could be the right direction.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR FROM YOUR KITCHEN ISLAND?
There are endless kitchen island designs available; to decide on the design you should think about what you are going to use your island for the most. Since they take up extra floor space, make sure it’s practical for you and works with your kitchen.
To create extra workspace, make sure you create a kitchen island that works best in your space, allowing you to use the entire surface (choose the largest one you can fit in your kitchen space). Alternatively, you should also consider moving your cooktop range, one of the appliances that takes up a lot of counter space in your kitchen, to the island.
This could also be your sink or the dishwasher – as most people use a modern kitchen island to add more counter space. Moving the stove to your island, coupled with a kitchen island with seating, can help make meal preparation a more social affair – especially if you are one for dinner parties and you don’t like ignoring your guests – this will be perfect for you.
If you want to use it for storage, look around for kitchen island designs with the most practical storage solutions for you. Maybe you just want more cupboard and drawer space, or perhaps you need somewhere to chill and store wine? You can add drawers to store utensils and cookware in, or open shelves so you have somewhere to stow cookbooks and jars of dried goods. Basket storage creates a flexible storage space where you can keep pretty much anything without it looking messy or untidy (anything is possible with modern kitchen island designs).
You can even add suspended storage above the island, in the form of a hanging rack, so you don’t waste any of that ceiling space – this is the perfect place to hang your pots and pans and free up even more cupboard and drawer space in your kitchen. Which is great if you have a smaller kitchen and are struggling to fit in an island without moving or losing kitchen cabinets.
When it comes to adding additional seating in your kitchen, a kitchen island with seating solutions is a great option without taking up too much extra space. This way you’ll ensure that your kitchen island becomes multi-purpose, giving you storage space, counter space, and seating, which you don’t get with a kitchen table. Make sure the counter has enough overhang for people to sit comfortably and so the stools can be tucked underneath and out of sight when you make your kitchen island plans. This sort of seating area is much more casual and relaxed than a formal dining table, so it’s perfect for entertaining guests and enjoying a casual meal together.
If you are short on space, choose spindle legs for one end of your island – you can easily move your seating out of the way and the island won’t feel imposing. Don’t make the mistake of choosing an island with drawers in front of where the seating will go – you’ll end up forgetting the drawers are there and you won’t make good use of them and asking people to move so you can get something out would be a nightmare. If you need additional storage as well, have it on the opposite side of your seating or on the end.
DUAL PURPOSE SPACE
If you want your island to serve a dual purpose, or even a multi-purpose use, you should think about installing a multi-level island. Which are kitchen island designs with multiple layered counter heights. The ideal counter heights for different food preparation, seating, and washing up are all different, this way you’ll get even more use from an island with different counter heights.
For instance, if you are an avid baker, a lower counter height is better than the standard. If you have a higher counter for seating, you need less overhang, making this a good option if you are short on space.
WHERE TO BUILD IT?
If your kitchen is enclosed, it usually makes sense to situate it in the middle. That means it’s accessible from all sides, and you are less likely to knock into it when you are moving around the kitchen. If you have an open plan kitchen area, a perimeter kitchen island might work best for you, keeping your kitchen area separate from the rest of the room.
Keep in mind the size of your kitchen island, as you need to make sure you have enough space to move around it – sometimes, the space just isn’t big enough, and having to squeeze yourself around your kitchen isn’t worth it, even for perfect kitchen island designs.
SHORT ON SPACE OR BUDGET?
Most kitchens have space for an island, but not all the time. Depending on what you are doing, what your needs are, and how many people you have in your kitchen, a mobile kitchen island might suit you better. These are the perfect solution if you don’t have space in your kitchen for a permanent island, but sometimes need additional seating, storage or workspace.
Once you are done using it, it can easily be moved out of the way. They are also great if you haven’t got the budget to invest in an entire kitchen remodel (or the time, for that matter) as they are much less expensive than having a kitchen island installed.