Need More Workspace? Try a Kitchen Island

by J on July 5, 2010

Do you often find yourself wishing you had more workspace in your kitchen? If your mixing bowls, measuring cups, cutting board, ingredients and pots and pans are crowding your counters and cramping your style, you may want to consider installing an island in your kitchen.

Kitchen islands have been around for a long time, and today’s modern islands have oodles of options to please the chef in every house. One of the first things you must determine when installing an island is the size of it.  Look at the space where you are installing the island and then look at the area around it. You need to have a clearance of ideally three feet on all sides of the island to allow you to navigate around it.  Don’t forget to open your dishwasher door to make sure you have enough space to avoid hitting the island.

Now you need to decide on the width, length and height of the island.  When considering the height, think about whether you want the island the same dimensions as your countertops or a different height. One of your options is to install a tall island that doubles as bar-type seating with stools or high-backed chairs.

After you have the size configured, decide if your island will be a rollaway style or if it will be stationary. If it is important to you to be able to move the island off to the side and out of the way, then choose a rollaway. If you envision your island as a permanent fixture in your kitchen, then go that route. You can also choose to have a kitchen remodeling expert custom design and build an island for you, or you can purchase a pre-built model.

Now comes the fun part. You get to decide what options you want your island to have, and with today’s modern technology, you have plenty of exciting things to choose from. First of all, what type of surface do you want? If you’re planning on doing lots of chopping and cutting ala Julia Child, then take a look at the butcher-block tops. Perhaps you love the look of stone; you’d be wise to look at granite.

After you have the top decided, consider what features you want in the rest of the island. Think about what you currently have in your kitchen, and what you would like to have or need more of. All of the following things are possibilities.

  • Sink
  • Cook top
  • Warming drawer
  • Small refrigerator
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Storage drawers or cabinets

A bit confused about all the options? Contact your local home improvement professional if you need help designing, building or installing your island.  You’ll soon wonder how you ever got along in the kitchen without it!

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