What would be your perfect island style, if you were to choose from many opportunities? No, I am not bragging about faraway and exotic holiday destinations like Capri or Bali, but another attractive free-standing set up that can be found in your household: the kitchen island.
According to the case study by the National Association of Home Builders, approximately 73% of homeowners would love to have an island in their kitchens, and 46% of them perceive this stand-alone unit as a must-have. Since it is evident that installing a kitchen island is a first-class investment, I summed up a handful of practical ideas to use for inspiration.
The most significant factor when choosing the right island is estimating the purpose of its establishing. Careful and meticulous planning plays an important role here. Give some thoughts to the primary need of this free-standing setting. In addition to act as a visual anchor in the kitchen, the island should increase the room’s functionality and efficiency. Above all, the kitchen island serves several purposes. Think how you are going to use the workspace for your daily food preparation and cooking activities. For example, if you like entertaining friends and family regularly, your primary desire would be a majestic island with an outstanding option to wine and dine comfortably. Being a dedicated chef makes you insist on a serious work surface, allowing for applying lots of hi-tech appliances. Islands for family households, on the other hand, require slightly different approach. But for beautiful appearance, they must be functional and child-friendly. These 12 family-friendly kitchen islands have covered all important issues. From creating more seating opportunities to adding generous workspace, I have carefully selected some different kitchen islands that will help you to make the right purchase. Decide on one, which you are particularly fond of, or combine several styles to create a dream kitchen island that will suit best your needs.
Popular Kitchen Island Ideas:
- maximise the space,
- more work zone surface,
- add storage units,
- additional seating,
- new appliances,
- dining option,
- create some levels,
- longstanding materials,
- children’s’ zone
- home office corner,
- selection of vibrant colours and patterns,
- use the space above;
The biggest source of frustration for any homeowner is lacking enough room to allow free traffic. Once you decide on the island with a set of spacious drawers and free surface for preparing and cooking dishes, you will overcome the greatest obstacle. Creating a family-orientated stand-alone unit is the basic essential that solves the lack of room. Make sure there is more than enough ample space around the kitchen island so family members and friends can hang out without knocking things down.
You can enhance the value of having more workspace by creating a beautiful island with a large counter. Increasing the surface influences the quality of everyday kitchen activities. Not only dedicated home chefs will thrive on this idea but also you can serve meals around the countertop. The style and design of the surface would make a wonderful accent on the room’s interior. Choosing contrasting colour or pattern for the island’s countertop will complement existing cabinetry and decor. For example, if your kitchen is designed in rustical style, try delicate blue or soft pink for the island, to make a statement furniture floating in the space.
Additional drawers, cupboards, cubby-holes and multiple shelves help to diminish kitchen clutter that is prone to appear during average meal preparation. Generous counters and more storage space will benefit your kitchen appearance enormously. Implementing more storage to an island unit will also influence showcasing items we are especially proud of having. If you are keen on cooking and have a selection of world-known cookbooks, open shelving is a great way to do it. Simple kitchen decor items can also find their place on the display. Pots and pans that are used less frequently can be stored in closed cupboards not to get in the way and obstruct the view. The same situation happens with small domestic electrical appliances that certainly do not need to stand on the counter. Of course, they must be within reach but not necessarily functioning as an obstacle when not in use.
Extra Seating Plan
Not all of us have a Home Bar or an Entertaining Room for casual hangouts with friends. Whether your home or apartment lacks enough space, or you are only dreaming of creating a bar seating option, adding extra room to the kitchen island is a brilliant idea. Investing in stylish bar stools will boost the functionality of the island setting and create a common spot for family members and friends to gather around. The cook will also have the possibility to chat with invited newcomers and will not have to rush from the kitchen to the guest room.
Make it easier
If both you and your more beautiful half have a knack for cooking, think carefully about instaling additional appliances in the kitchen island, like second sink or extra cooktop. That way you can spread the workflow throughout the room, so you will not be getting in each other way. Be aware though that incorporating such appliances can be a bit tricky due to plumbing system for the sink and ventilation for the cooktop. The most common type of installation found in the kitchen islands is running downward. Overhead venting is also possible but is a bit pricey. Tread carefully on in-cabinet pipes so nothing is protruding outside.
Make an upper level
To maximise the functionality and utility purpose of the island, you can add an extra high level of the countertop. A variation in the height is not only pleasant to the eye but also gives a vibrant dynamic to the room. A right kitchen island should serve multiple purposes. You can create a visually attractive setting, by dimensionally implementing two or three entirely different spaces. That way you will benefit a prep zone on one side with an appliance (sink or stove) nook on another side.
Not many of us are blessed with a regular meal spot. Investing in a free-standing setup will open up a bunch of new possibilities for many homeowners tight on extra space. Transforming a kitchen island into a dining zone, both casual, for breakfast snacking, or more formal, dinner area will enhance the room’s layout. Families with teenagers should have a casual dining spot where youngsters can gather and chat amiably with siblings and parents. There are endless options on the market with a folded up counters that offer a chance of overhanging sides when not in use. It is also an ideal solution for sliding the stools beneath the table to let free flow of traffic.
An average kitchen carries a heavy burden of everyday wear and tear. Most of the home’s action and activities take place in the kitchen. Therefore, meticulous selection of materials is a wise idea. Well-chosen materials should sustain years of uncontrolled scratches, spills, dents, chips and cracks. Heat-resistance is also a major factor when opting for a durable material. Make a list of advantages and disadvantages of each material that you consider buying. A good option is a Natural Stone Countertop which gives long years of trouble free use, and is moisture, stain and scorching temperatures resistant. What is more, if you are trend-conscious, natural stone comes in a large selection of dizzying colours and patterns, so you can choose a style and design that complements best you kitchen’s decor. Solid Surfacing Counters are another smart option for a kitchen island. Not only inexpensive but also ensuring easy clean and low maintenance during long years of use.
Have a Teenage Chef at Home?
Nowadays children have a knack for cooking and want to be our side chefs, helping out during meal preparation. Give some thought on lowering a part of a countertop to allow your kid to make blueberry muffins on his own. That simple trick will give you a chance to keep an eye on your little one, but on the other hand, giving him a chance of developing his cooking skills. One section lower than the rest with a matching chair at the right height and your kid will be in seventh heaven, mixing, whisking, stirring and pouring whatever he wants.
Home Office Nook
All of us dream of having an allocated area only for ourselves. Sometimes only for paying bills, checking receipts or simply writing an e-mail or two. You can create a new and inviting workspace unit on one side of your kitchen island. An ergonomically design chair with an adequate height of the counter will give you a dazzling opportunity of having a home office, without the need of renovating or remodelling half of the room.
First and foremost your kitchen should ooze with warmth and enthusiasm. By picking rich and vibrant colours and patterns for your kitchen island, you will guarantee an inviting atmosphere to your cooking zone. Make a statement colour out of your counters, and implement similar decor to your cabinets and walls. A genius option is to prevent and eliminate potential hazardous situations, especially if you are a family with toddlers. Therefore, curvaceous surface with rounded corners seems like a brilliant idea. That way none of your tots will get a bruise on his forehead, and you do not need to watch him all the time.
Suspended storage, cupboards or open shelving mounted to the ceiling is a fantastic option to use the space above the kitchen island. If you have a collection of fragile china, you can showcase it on the shelf above, not worrying about breaking or chipping it. There is also a place above the cooktop for a range hood, with a ventilation system out of the way. If you like rearranging decor items, install decorative ceiling lamps, to complement existing kitchen’s design.
There are many things to consider when planning your island, as it is one of the most versatile items in today’s kitchen. It acts as meal preparation area, work corner and dining space. By choosing a proper kitchen island, customised to your needs, you will make your kitchen an excellent place for work, relaxation and socialising.