Kitchen islands are extremely versatile and useful components of any kitchen. An island makes it much easier to prepare meals, keep the kitchen organized and enjoy the company of family and friends while doing so. Whether you desire to add extra prep space, a gathering area, additional storage or simply another element of style to your kitchen, a kitchen island can be an ideal solution.
Consider these 5 tips to ensure your new kitchen island is both beautiful and functional.
#1: Know the Purpose
Before anything else, think about what purpose you want your kitchen island to serve. Of course, you want a design that fits with your kitchen’s style, but it’s essential to choose an island that suits your specific cooking, storage and entertaining needs.
Do you want to use your kitchen island as a place where your family gathers for breakfast? Could you use additional storage space? Will you be using it as a buffet table when you have guests over? Do you plan to prep food on it? Do you need a portable island to save space? Your answers to these questions will significantly influence the design you ultimately choose.
#2: Choose the Right Countertop
While you’ll want the countertop for your kitchen island to blend in with the style of the rest of your kitchen, don’t stop there. The countertop, just as with the entire kitchen island, should be chosen with its intended use in mind.
Are you an avid baker who plans to use your island for rolling out dough frequently? Then you may want to go with a baking-friendly granite countertop. If you’ll be doing a ton of food preparation and need a durable surface, a butcher block countertop would be ideal.
#3: Use Smart Storage
Kitchen islands are the perfect way to add storage space to a kitchen in a way that helps you be more organized and provides easy access your most used items. As with countertops, the shelving units and cabinets you go with for your kitchen island should be determined by your needs.
Do you have several cookbooks you use often? Choose an island with a shelf to keep them on display and within easy reach. If your kitchen has limited cabinet space, an island with cabinets will provide the additional storage space you need for pots, pans, appliances or dinnerware.
#4: Install Proper Lighting
Lighting will make all the difference in how easy it is to use your kitchen island. Pendant style lighting is a common choice, as they are both aesthetically pleasing over an island and provide functional lighting.
If you want to have the option for softer lighting to create a warmer atmosphere when entertaining or enjoying a meal, you can add a layer of recessed lighting.
#5: Leave Enough Space
Make sure you leave enough aisle space between your island and other work areas in your kitchen. Two good rules of thumb are that there should be enough space for: 1) every cabinet door to open without blocking another one and 2) two people to easily work around each other when preparing food together. If your kitchen is on the smaller side, a portable island that can be pushed against a wall when not in use is a good compromise.