Kitchen islands can provide that much needed, extra counter space your kitchen is lacking, but if you’re thinking about installing one there are some things to consider first. One of the worst outcomes would be to install the island, and then realize it isn’t at all functional or doesn’t give you the extra space you thought it would.
Here are six things to think about when looking to put this addition into your kitchen.
1. Available Space
This isn’t for your actual island, but for the room around the island. In order to accommodate typical kitchen traffic, you should allow 36 – 40 inches on all sides around the island. This means up to 4 feet between the island and your pre-existing counters. Anything smaller will find you running into the island, your other counters or even other family members as they try to navigate the same space.
Is this just an island, or are you planning for it to double as easy to use seating? If you’re hoping to put something like a breakfast bar into this island, then your space needs change. When it comes to adding a seating requirement, you need to allow at least 24 inches of space per seat so people eating do not feel cramped.
Not all islands are created equal. Along with the functionality of your island, you will need to consider whether this island fits your needs. Do you find yourself baking all the time? Do you prefer to prepare all your meals here? Wash dishes? Or just some extra counter space to put out food when you’re entertaining guests? No matter what you use your island for, make sure the island is built to suit your lifestyle.
4. Open, or Closed Shelving
Most islands provide not only countertop space, but also storage underneath. You can use this space to create extra cupboards, or you can choose options with open shelving units to put your dishware on display. This is something that will depend on your lifestyle: do you have a dog running around that might knock over some dishware and break it? If so, then maybe open shelving isn’t the option for you.
Most times an island will be custom. You can purchase ready-made options, but most islands are built to suit the needs of the homeowner. This is the time for you to think about things like built-in cutting boards, dishwashers, electrical or USB charging stations and so on. There are endless options in this area, and it’s important to consider your extras now as it will be harder to add them in later.
The materials available for your island are extensive, and the only real way to select both the base and the countertop materials is to consider your lifestyle. Do you have kids who might spill things and stain the counters? If so, opt for a material that isn’t porous and therefore won’t absorb any spills. Do you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and preparing meals? If so, materials that are easily damaged or chipped would likely be ones to stay away from.
You can also choose the finish of your shelves and cabinets and, most likely, get the colour to match your existing kitchen design.
No matter which design, material or extras you select, there are many benefits to adding a kitchen island. This will not only add extra space and function for your family but will likely catch the attention of any potential home buyer if you choose to sell your home in the future.
Trends Wood Finishing in Oakville, Ontario can design and install your kitchen islands to match the feel of your current kitchen, or as a renovation. Contact us today!