Kitchen is the busiest place in any home. It is sort of an epicenter of your home. And your kitchen revolves around a kitchen island . But kitchen islands can become a real liability if it isn’t planned properly.
Clever and creative design in terms of great storage, display and functionality is what makes up a great kitchen island . The island must be stylish and modern-looking. At the same time , you need to think through its functionality. What purpose will it serve? How will you adjust according to your needs?
Moreover, you would also want to plan for future possibilities. You should create a kitchen island that can be evolved in the future.
Kitchen Islands- How Important Are They?
Kitchen islands have climbed up the ladder in the list of prerequisites in modern day kitchen remodels. This component adds so much value and turns a busy place into a place to enjoy with family and guests.
If you have already designed or chosen a home with a kitchen island, the fun is about to begin. Those of you that are still skeptical as to whether you should have one, gaze through these fascinating benefits of having a well-planned kitchen island:
1) Extra Seating Options:
Sure kitchen island is the place for chefs. But it serves pretty well if you can pull up a few chairs to turn it into a gathering place. Family, friends and guests can enjoy long conversations or provide a helping hand with meal preparation around the kitchen island.
Kitchen islands with seating can improve the beauty and the overall functionality of the kitchen. It can act as a makeshift dining area for the kids. It allows you to have access to family or visitors when you are in a long cooking session.
Whether a kitchen island with seating arrangements will work depends on the space available. However, you can strive to manage enough room to accommodate an island with two small pairs of bar stools even in a small kitchen.
Further practical interior design considerations will determine whether you can accommodate four stools or eight. Or you can consider to place chairs instead of stools. Not to forget you can remove the chairs any time when they affect the traffic movement.
Whether the island is fixed , moving or counterfeit, it is always a major plus if you can make seating arrangement for more people.
2) Storage Options:
An island can contain additional storage cabinets. It can accommodate additional pull out shelves, drawers and even recycling bins.
Remember it is a lot of storage space that you are dealing with. The average kitchen island takes up around 18-20% of your kitchen. So, use this space wisely.
You can make the cabinetry easily accessible and organized with pull out shelving as shown below:
It is a modern trend to showcase things in islands and cabinets. If your taste and design aesthetics support such arrangements, you can display cups, plates, bottles, books and antiques in the island.
On the other hand, you can decide to keep it completely concealed.
Some cabinets may be furnished with wicker baskets instead of traditional drawers.
Your kitchen cabinet can host mini potted plants, flower verse or wine bottles.
3) Placement of Appliances:
The overall size and design of your island needs to be planned accordingly if you intend to place appliances into your kitchen island.
Appliances that aren’t used very often can be placed in the island .
Placing the kitchen sink on the island is a better option if you intend to use the island as the center of kitchen. This will make all the food preparation, cutting and cleaning actions centered around the island. The chef can have a better view on the happenings around the place from this position.
You can install a stove onto the island. This works in harmony with the activities if the sink is also placed by the side. Be sure to cater for extra space for the overhead vent and range.
4) Perfect For The Kids :
Suppose you are busy cooking , but you have to help your kids with homework. What is the solution? Just place them on the chair of the kitchen island. You can keep an eye on them. They can help you out after finishing their homework. You should place the sink, microwave and refrigerator drawer in reach of the kids. Thus they can learn to use them independently.
5) More Kitchen Amenities On Large Islands:
There are more options to add oven, stove, refrigerator drawers and extra sinks on to kitchen island. Adding a range hood over the stove, oven / grill will bring the entire kitchen into the island itself.
It can host plumbing and electrical services as well. Intelligently placed electrical outlets will make your kitchen island so much more versatile.
6) Versatility with Rolling Kitchen Island:
Rolling kitchen islands are ideal for smaller kitchens. Just roll the island into kitchen when you need extra counter space or tuck it away to another corner of the house when you need added space.
For example, when you are preparing a gigantic meal , you will need extra space to cut and prepare stuffs. The traffic increases in the kitchen space and smooth flow is required. Once the meal is completed , roll the cabinet out of the kitchen.
Kitchen Islands with Seating
Kitchen is one of the most popular and busy rooms in every house. Several well placed chairs/stools can make the kitchen island a cool place to hand out with friends and family.
You need to ask yourself the following questions while choosing seating arrangements for kitchen. How many people I need to accommodate? What will be the color and type of the materials used? How can you ensure the best comfort for people who are seating ? What should be the typical leg and elbow space?
Once you have factored in all these, it is time to get to work and find the kitchen island chairs you need.
The best interior designers around the world follow some general island seating design considerations. The seats should be consistent with the height of the countertop and at least 12 inch of clear knee space should be kept.
Standard bar stools fit underneath 42 to 44 inch high bar-type kitchen island.
Counter stools work pretty well with 36-inch high standard island tops.
Typical chairs will tuck beneath 30-inch high kitchen islands.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends providing the sitters with the following elbow space to maneuver with :
Free space recommended
30 inch high kitchen island
Width: 30 in , Depth: 19 in
36 inch high kitchen island
Width: 24 in , Depth: 15 in
42 inch high kitchen island
Width: 22 in , Depth: 12 in
A small kitchen island can have few large cushy chairs.
If the island is large enough, it can accommodate large wooden chairs.
Even simple chairs can match rather spectacularly with kitchen islands with extended table, as shown below:
And plastic stools can match pretty well with a minimalist contemporary design.
Stylish decorated bar stools can make a stunning seating area for kitchen island.
Shining high end kitchen stools against mirrored island.
What about these red bar stools?
Kitchen Island Tables:
The modern kitchen islands are more and more used as a gathering spot for friends and family. These days , many kitchen islands have evolved into kitchen tables to cater for dining-style seating .
A new generation of kitchen island tables have started to appear in the kitchens. These are more like tables with extended legs. Some of them might include lower cabinets or shelves. Many of them dissolve the storage space to make more leg space.
A well placed overhead chandelier, spot lighting, hanging antique lighting and ornate centerpiece will enhance the mood of the area. A place tailor-made for entertainment.
But don’t forget that the island is a workstation for the kitchen . You need to protect the kitchen island table with mats and cutting boards.
An L-shaped kitchen island when combined with a small table can make way to a cozy restaurant-like seating.
The island top can be extended into a sleek table with seating.
A kitchen island can be turned into a dining table for the guests.
Long rectangular kitchen island table- half portion is used for storage .
A kitchen table with a shelf on one side that stores book and wine bottles.
Kitchen table that is perpendicular to the kitchen island .
The combination of the kitchen table and chair is quite contrasting . This makes it pop even more.
A small square kitchen table for six.
Asymmetrical kitchen table that matches splendidly with the surrounding wooden cabinets.
Kitchen Island Carts:
Kitchen island carts or rolling kitchen islands are mainly used in smaller kitchens. If the kitchen is not large enough to accommodate a fixed cabinet, you can choose an island that can be rolled.
It is an extremely useful piece of furniture. When you are hosting a large party , you almost always feel the shortage of working area in the kitchen. The most viable solution is to have a kitchen island cart. Roll the cart into the kitchen when required. Once the work is over, just set the cart aside . As easy as it gets!
Kitchen cart can be a small simple furniture that you can keep on the middle or move.
I-shaped rolling island with fancy bar stools.
A rolling kitchen cabinet that acts as both storage and counter. It can be rolled into any room or placed neatly in a kitchen corner.
A small wooden I-shaped open kitchen island cart with drawers.
Sleek black kitchen island cart with storage cabinets.
A wooden multi-functional rolling island with lots of storage cabinets and drawers.
An L-shaped kitchen island cart with wooden countertop.
A splendid green kitchen island cart with extended countertop.
A grand rolling kitchen island which serves as a moving bar.
A cherry wood kitchen island cart with great storage space.
A handy rolling island with large extended countertop.
Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas :
Well organized lighting can often make the difference between a good and a splendid kitchen. Lighting can make the kitchen island glow and turn the working area into a gorgeous place.
The most common mistake people make is to try to light the entire kitchen with one light placed at the center. That is the worst possible idea to light a kitchen. Because inadequate lighting can affect the working area on the kitchen island.
The basic concept of kitchen lighting essentially includes “layered” lighting. The ceiling light comprises the top layer while the other layers may include bottom of wall cabinets, hanging lights , floor lighting and so on. Lights on all levels should have different switches.
Hanging pendant lighting is the best option to enlighten a kitchen island. Notice the cool pendant lighting on the island and the hanging artwork.
The hanging pendant lights themselves look like fascinating works of art!
Another modern kitchen island with gorgeous pendant lighting.
Soothing transparent pendant light for vintage kitchen.
How unique is the lighting in this kitchen? The clear oblong pendant lighting enhances the colors of this magnificent kitchen.
Beautifully designed mission-type pendant lighting complements the decor of the island and the kitchen.
Sometimes thinking out of the box can present you with a wonderful kitchen island lighting. These pendant lights are actually made for outer use, but they look so modern even when placed inside.
Multilevel lighting and task lighting is vital for kitchen island lighting. This kind of lighting is extremely useful in a place where you will cut, slice and read recipes.
Ambient lighting is extremely useful for kitchen islands. It creates a humanizing element into the kitchen. Ambient lighting will attract people into the kitchen . It will foster a socializing atmosphere. The guests can get into an engaging conversation while sipping on a glass of wine or eating appetizers.
How about this modern kitchen with lots of accent fixture lighting ?
A large single pendant light above the kitchen island .
These mercury glass pendants do an excellent job in lighting the kitchen island.
Look how wonderful these colorful pendant lighting are!
There is something different about blue pendant lighting that captures your imagination.
Traditional pendant lighting can make the kitchen island countertop glaze even more.
Wouldn’t that be trendy if the lighting fixture exhibits a strong design statement?
Kitchen island lighting used as a part of art!
Glittering chandeliers are not just for dining rooms. In today’s world, high end modern kitchens also host chandeliers.
Copper pendant lights over black kitchen island. .
Unique large pendant light with soft atmosphere.
Another gorgeous decorative lighting over the kitchen island.
Small Kitchen Islands in Small Kitchens:
As useful as the kitchen island may be, many people who are building a new house or planning to move to a new apartment or looking to remodel their kitchen face a difficult question.
Should I have an island because I think the kitchen is gonna be small?
Let me assure you first. No matter what the size of the kitchen is, a kitchen island is an essential and practical component of a modern kitchen. Even the smallest kitchen islands can provide some creative functionalities.
However, small kitchen space can make the task of managing an island a bit more challenging. The following creative ideas will aid you to manage a kitchen island in small kitchens of various layout and style.
The small kitchen island shown below has square cabinets with a drop-leaf panel having rounded edges. The curved side is supported by a stately pillar.
The drop leaf countertop can be added to a rectangular island to make efficient usage of available space.
Two slender kitchen island ideas that make the best use of available space.
A unique L-shaped island with a mixture of remarkable wooden grains and white synthetic countertop.
The granite countertop, red backsplash and mismatched stools try to keep the focus of the visitor away from the fact that it is a small kitchen.
A small Mediterranean kitchen island.
Small open floor kitchen having a small island.
Movable cabinet in a narrow kitchen.
Few small island islands made from re-purposed furniture.
A bar height dining table can be a perfect island for a small kitchen.
Sometimes simple butcher blocks or ledges can be used as a kitchen island.
Here are a few more small kitchen islands of different styles to get your creative juices flowing-
More Creative Kitchen Island Design Ideas:
The space above the island is a great place to store stuffs. It can be used to hang pans and pots.
A rectangular white kitchen island with hidden stools.
Low kitchen island.
Long and slender kitchen island
Several stylish multilevel kitchen islands to inspire you-
This post was intended to give you some different perspective of modern kitchen island design ideas. It’s objective was to get your creative juices flowing . I , however, realize that I just scratched the surface.
There are numerous other ways that you can build a kitchen island .
Now it is time to hear from you. How was your experience with kitchen islands? Have you tried any of the above kitchen island design ideas? Please share with us in the comments (with pictures if you want to).