Kitchen Island Amenities

by Jane VanOsdol on July 13, 2011

These fixtures are indispensable in the normal, everyday world of the kitchen. While they are a fairly recent addition to kitchens, their popularity is well established. In fact, many homeowners wonder how they ever got along without one. What am I talking about?

Kitchen islands!

Today’s kitchen islands serve many purposes. They’re a food-prep station, a place to sit down and eat a meal, and an organizational hub in the kitchen. Over the years, designers have added more features and amenities to islands so that today you can add almost whatever you want to your island. To start with, you can either purchase a ready-made kitchen island at a store, or you can contact a local kitchen design specialist or carpenter to custom design one for you. Most likely, your budget and time will help determine which choice you make.

If you’re planning on adding an island or revamping one you already have for your kitchen remodeling project, let’s consider some possibilities for your island.

Kitchen Island Features

Your kitchen island could contain any of the following features.

  • Appliances
  • Cupboards
  • Drawers
  • Open shelving
  • Working surface
  • Seating

It’s amazing that your kitchen island can contain extra appliances suited just to your needs. If you love to cook, you may want to add another cooktop to your kitchen by putting one in the island. If you’re a wine connoisseur, you might enjoy a wine refrigerator in your kitchen island. Some families can’t beat the function of adding a dishwasher drawer to the island. Maybe you want to get the microwave off the kitchen counter by adding it to the kitchen island. Perhaps you’d like an extra sink and decide to add a small bar sink. Determine what your family’s needs are and go from there.

If your kitchen is short on cupboard space, then you may want your island to be filled with storage in the form of cupboards and drawers. Again, you can customize these to your heart’s content. You can add shallow or deep drawers and cupboards to hold everything from dishes to spices to pans to cookbooks. Special spice inserts are popular with homeowners, because it puts the spices close to the action, where they’re needed.

Perhaps you prefer the clean, simple lines of an open kitchen island with no drawers or cabinets. You can still add hanging organizers like towel racks, spice racks and a rolling pin rack to make this a functional space. Line the bottom shelf of the open island with several wicker baskets to store some of your food staples likes beans and rice or cereal.

Don’t forget to consider what type of a working surface you want for your island. Do you want a traditional butcher-block top, or would your rather go with a polished granite or marble? If budget is a consideration, consider tile, vinyl or laminate.

Finally, decide if you want to have an overhang on your island so that you can create a breakfast bar/snack area with seating for eating or for the kids to do their homework while you’re cooking.

Islands have become a workhorse of the kitchen. Decide how one can best serve your next home improvement project and design or purchase an island with the amenities that will make your work and play in the kitchen a snap.

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