For most homeowners, the perfect kitchen includes an island that will serve as a hub for kitchen prep work and casual dining. Integrating the perfect island into your home is therefore one of the most exciting things to plan for.
Here are the three most common types of kitchen islands and how they can be built into your home:
In many homes, there is an extra space that separates the kitchen from a dining area or formal dining area. That space often makes the perfect place to put an island that is attached to an adjacent wall to provide you with more space for benches and wardrobe. Known as a peninsula or bar, the main factors that go into planning the installation in an existing kitchen include matching the length measurements with your cabinetry choices. Of course if you are replacing all of your kitchen cabinets at the same time, you can typically request custom sizes at the cabinet manufacturer that fit your specifications. The measurement is not so great if you are working with stone or granite as a countertop because many slabs can be cut to fit your needs. If your peninsula ends up having enough space, incorporating a grill with induction fans near the center of the countertop is a popular idea as it brings cooking closer to your family or friends as they wait to eat.
Current peninsula trends:
- Tile or granite countertops.
- A really good cabinet.
- White as a color theme.
A true island allows you to be more flexible when locating it in your kitchen as it does not need to be attached to a wall. Many islands utilize stone countertops because they are used extensively for food preparation. Cooktops are also a frequent choice to incorporate as they bring a cooking show atmosphere to your own kitchen. When cooktops are incorporated, a popular idea is to include overhead cabinetry that allows kitchen utensils or wine glasses to be hung over the island so they are instantly available.
Current island trends:
- They incorporate outlets for frequently used appliances.
- Addition of seats on three sides.
- Use chairs instead of stools.
- Hiding kitchen eyesores such as a trash can or recycle bin.
For homeowners with small kitchens, the island is one alternative that can still function as a kitchen prep area, storage space, and conversation counter during parties. Islands are typically built by selecting one or more small cabinets and placing them together in a geometric configuration that saves floor space. One recently created island had two 16-inch square countertops set at an angle to each other with a custom countertop attachment over the gap. The net result was a square figure eight that allowed 4 or 5 people to gather around it and share wine and hors d’oeuvres when parties were held.
Current island trends:
- We create fun and functional geometric shapes.
- Using pre-built cabinets. Cabinets taken from canceled kitchen orders can often be purchased for 10 percent of the original price.
- Maximize standing space for socializing.
- Ready-made drink carts or small islands can be purchased from big box stores like Ikea and refurbished or painted to match your kitchen decor.
All of these different kitchen island ideas can really improve the look and usability of your space. We love that you don’t have to have a custom designer come in to create some of these looks and you can easily do these kitchen improvements on your own. So get creative and have fun with your kitchen redesign, then be sure to let us know what you come up with!
Written by Jane Blanchard. Jane is a home design geek and blogger. She writes for Modernize.