The luxury of having an island in the kitchen can bring added storage, prep space, an eating area and gives the home owner a chance to add interest to their home. Here are 3 important principles to consider when planning the most efficient island for your space.
Often, the layout of the cabinets on your perimeter walls will help decide what your island’s main purpose should be. It is a given that the island will provide extra countertop space for food preparation but it should also provide a storage solution for another specific need as well. For example, it is commonly used for storage of non-consumable items such as pots/pans and large bowls. However, if you plan to have your sink in the island, it could be beneficial to integrate the dishwasher and a garbage/recycling area to create a centralized cleaning zone.
2. Choose the Right Shape for Your Space:
Planning the shape of your island is very important to maximizing its functionality. Its shape should complement and leverage the shape and size of your space.
The island is often seen as a centerpiece in the home, especially in an open concept floor plan, and while adding angles to an island may add interest to your space, it may not get the functionality that it could from a rectangular shaped island. Angled islands will use more floor area than a rectangular shaped island and angled cabinets will limit the quantity and shape of the items you can store inside. If an angled island is desirable, first be sure that your storage needs have been met and that it will not interfere with traffic flow in the home.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and a common place for entertaining. Most islands, these days, incorporate an eating area of some kind where guests can sit, have a drink, have a snack or maybe even a full meal.
|Multi-teired - Raised Bar top|
Many islands over recent years have been designed with a raised eating bar. This is a 12-15” deep countertop raised about 6” above the main countertop at the back of the island. The advantages to this concept are that it can add interest to the island and it hides some of the mess on the main level that often results from food prep. However, going to a multi-tiered island will not give you as much functionality as an island with a single level countertop that has an extended overhang.
|Single Level Extended Overhang|
Keeping the countertop at one level and extending the depth by the same 12-15” that the raised top has, will enable the cook to prepare food on a full 3’ deep island versus the 2’ depth that the raised bar top results in. It also allows those seated at the island a little more space to maneuver and no risk of anything falling off the back edge of the countertop surface. It is also a much more convenient space to use for serving buffet style food when entertaining a large group of guests.