Tips for Designing a Useful Kitchen Island

An island can be a real boon to your kitchen tasks. A well-designed kitchen island can provide space for food preparation and dining as well as additional storage. However, and island takes up a lot of space in your kitchen, so it's essential you design one that is worth that space. Plan for a kitchen island that complements your daily routines as well as your kitchen décor.

Brainstorm Kitchen Needs

One family's kitchen routine can be very different from another. Take some time to go over your daily kitchen routines and see what's missing. For instance, perhaps you feel cramped while preparing food or wish there was a place for guests to sit. Think also about less common activities, such as baking or pizza making. You can plan for a corner of your island to be dedicated to specialized tasks.

Consider Seating

A common use for kitchen islands is dining. If you design the space for seating, your island can even double as a casual office or homework station. Your options for seating include a table-style island, a tabletop extension or breakfast bar seating. You can also choose between a single-level or bi-level design, meaning the dining area is elevated above the work space. Additionally, Better Homes and Gardens recommends leaving at least 42 inches all around the island to facilitate traffic flow. For breakfast bar overhangs, the site also recommends extending the countertop 12 to 19 inches.

Include a Lot of Storage

No matter what else you want your kitchen island to do, you'll want it to accommodate a lot of storage. Here's where you should brainstorm again to think what you want to store in the island. For instance, if you want to store small, little-used appliances, you'll need deep drawers. Perhaps you want to accommodate a specific task, like baking, so you need specialized storage for those utensils. Another option is displaying pretty crockery. You can have a plate shelf or simple shelf built into an exterior wall of the island.

Match the Island to Your Décor

Because the island takes up so much physical space, it also takes up a lot of visual space. It will need to match your kitchen décor. For example, granite countertops provide a beautiful, durable work surface. So, if you have granite countertops in the rest of the kitchen, it's ideal to install them for your island as well. However, the granite doesn't have to match the rest—you can choose contrasting colors for visual interest. You can follow this technique with the color of the island itself by painting it a trim color.

Design a beautiful island that facilitates your kitchen tasks.