ccjk. Kitchen Islands. June 05th , 2018.
Gone are the days when food preparation and cooking take place behind closed doors. These are now integrated into the experience for friends and family who can interact and help the chef who can enjoy socializing instead of being hidden away. The islands rise in popularity is a logical one. Most people naturally gravitate to the kitchen`s centerpiece. It`s typically characterized by cabinets that create storage space, and what we put away, we must retrieve.
Having considered what you want the primary function of your island to be then it is time to think about the many types and styles there are to choose from. From over-sized furniture-like pieces that accommodate the entire family in seating to islands on wheels that provide additional workspace with location flexibility, the possibilities abound. There are even two-level islands that offer a cooking zone and a gathering area all in one, with just enough separation to keep the sauces from the homework papers.
Some islands have a counter overhang which is perfect for extra kitchen dining space. Adding chairs or bar stools to a kitchen can eliminate the need for a breakfast table. A island with eating space can also make the kitchen feel more welcoming and open for guests. Extra seating in the kitchen with the help of a kitchen island allows for a more relaxed feel for guests than a formal dining room.
Ok, let`s say an island is going to work well for your design. Now let`s move on to making it the envy of the neighborhood! Here are some suggestions for adding increased utility and original personality. Think about the seating. Do you need seating? If so, how many seats. Rule of thumb is 24 inches per diner but if you have smaller bar stools or smaller diners i.e. children...then you can fudge this a little. Don`t crowd it. One level or two? One level is best for entertaining and maximizing the work space. The space can double as a serving area when not used as seating. Hint: if one level works for you and you have a sink in the island, install an air switch for the disposal. This is a small flat button that is installed in the countertop and is far better than cutting into your side panels with a switch, or worse, having to open the cabinet door to turn it on. Try very had to have one slab of stone, granite or other solid countertop material if one level island. Seams are a no-no. I repeat, no seams. If you want two levels, then that is fine, if it works. Hint: Don`t buy into the conventional idea that the 6 inches of raised bar "hides" anything. It does not. No one is fooled into thinking the kitchen...is not really a kitchen. Make the island different than the rest of the kitchen. Try different cabinetry materials or different countertops, but not both. Or, think about two islands in one with two different, yet complementary materials such as the wood and copper in above picture.
Everything and The Kitchen Island. Islands denote isolation, being cut off from others. Not so in the kitchen where the island has become the place where the family and invited guests gather. Designers are responding to demands of increased seating, a larger number of electrical outlets and more storage. By equipping kitchen islands with under-the-counter appliances and electronic controls, these areas can now function as entertainment hubs, homework centers, and charging stations.
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