Does your kitchen need a little extra oomph? Add extra work space and decorative interest to your kitchen by installing an island. The kitchen island can be as simple as a console or as elaborate as a custom built-in cooking center. Details such as marble or wood countertops, brass fixtures, and even inset ranges, are making islands architectural beauties in the kitchen.
A kitchen island can be designed in any style, to either blend with your existing kitchen or contrast with the space. Traditional, contemporary, or country, whatever your style, an island can be designed to suit it.
Kitchens are getting bigger and designers are using industrial appliances, state-of-the-art cabinets and countertop materials, to create islands that are a statement in the kitchen and the perfect place for family and friends to gather. If you're thinking of incorporating a kitchen island in your home, first, think about how you want to use it. Will you need a combination of extra counter space and storage?
Will you need an extra sink, refrigerator, or cooktop? How about electrical outlets?
The simplest and most common kitchen island has a single surface, but a multi-level island can incorporate both food preparation and areas for guests to eat. If you live in a small space, a longer, narrow island might be the right fit. The island is also the place for additional accessories that you need to reach at a moment’s notice, so think about places to install a wine rack, sink, drawers, and other amenities that can come in handy when you’re cooking.
Be sure to build an island with plenty of room to work in the kitchen. The area of movement between the sink, stove, and refrigerator is called the work "triangle". When thinking about installing a kitchen island, try not to interrupt this efficient movement from appliance to work center. The walkway between island and stationary cabinets should be about 36 to 42" wide. If the kitchen island will be located near a plain wall, 36" is sufficient clearance.
But 42" or more are required if the kitchen island stands near a stove, refrigerator, or dishwasher to allow for safety and ease of use. You want to be sure that you can easily open and close doors of appliances without hitting the new island.