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Kitchen Islands : What You Need to Know


Kitchen Islands : What You Need to Know

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the island is the heart of the kitchen. This free-standing space is typically the place where you slice, dice, and gather while making meals. It’s also a source of some much-needed storage space and something nearly 80 percent of homebuyers consider essential. So, it only stands to reason that you’ll want to choose a kitchen island that works well in one of the most frequently visited spots in most homes. Here’s what you need to know when picking a kitchen island.

Go with the Traffic Flow

Make sure there’s enough room for everyone to get around your island and work comfortably in your kitchen. This means leaving about 36 to 48 inches of space around all sides of your island.

Create an Informal Dining Area

There’s no reason you can’t place some chairs around an island and create a dining spot. Just leave a clearance of about 12 inches between the chair and counter to provide sufficient legroom and a width of about 24 inches per person.

Choose an Island that Meets Your Needs

Do you want something with extra counter space so you can bake and prepare daily meals? Is your main priority extra storage? Think about what you like to do most in the kitchen or what matters most to you when choosing your kitchen island. Only go with built-in mechanics and other features if it’s something you actually need and you want to stay within your budget.

Consider Durability with Countertop Materials

Pay attention to the material you select for your island’s countertop. According to Consumer Reports, the best countertops for busy kitchen areas are ones made of quartz, granite, limestone, marble, or laminate. Recycled glass and butcher block can be equally durable.

Opt for Different Shapes

If a rectangle-shaped island won’t fit in your kitchen, oval and T-shaped islands can be just as functional and appealing. Also, there’s no rule that says an island has to be in the center of your kitchen. If it’s going to be mainly for food prep, for instance, it would make more sense to have it near your appliances.

Embrace Openness

A popular trend in kitchen design these days is to create open, inviting spaces. Extend this concept to your island and use an open shelf display so you can easily see and access your accessories. This is also a good way to display your fancy glassware and dishes.

Illusion of Grandeur

Extend the visible part of your island about 5-6 inches above the nearby countertop and opt for materials that match your interior walls. The result is an island that almost disappears from view, which will make your kitchen appear larger.

Ideally, you want to choose an island after you’ve made other decisions about your kitchen’s design and layout, especially if you’re making other improvements. If you’re adding an island to an existing kitchen that’s not going to be completely remodeled, consider things like your color scheme, textures, and overall decor and layout when choosing an island. Ultimately, you want a kitchen island that’s going to be a natural fit and a welcome addition to your space.

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