Kitchen islands have been a huge trend for years, and for good reasons: not only are they a natural gathering place and essentially the focal point of the home, but they’re also extremely practical as they can be tailored to suit all your family’s needs.
The most important thing to consider when designing an island is the flow of traffic in your kitchen. Easy access around the island is key. That means making sure things like stoves, fridges, cupboards and drawers can be opened and closed easily without creating too much of a ‘jam’. A kitchen is a busy place: people preparing food and moving around, and it’s also a natural meeting point for guests, so an island should never be an obstacle or get in the way. It should actually do the opposite and create an area to settle.
There are countless ways to customize a kitchen island. The best way to decide which features to include in your island is to assess what your kitchen really needs. If you enjoy having family and friends over for meals, the island can be a great place to add a small wine and beer fridge. For those who love to cook, there are chopping boards that pull out like drawers, waste stations for easy and orderly disposal of rubbish, recycling and compost, and rolling drawers to hold bulky small countertop gadgets. Families also like to use islands as secondary dining areas — a bar ledge and taller chairs can create a cozy space for quick breakfasts and after-school snacks.
In order for your island to really serve its purpose, you should keep it well organized. Not only can you work with a professional organizer to add functionality to all of your drawers and closets, but there are also many incredible products to help you in your organizational efforts: bins, baskets, jars, dividers, toppers, labels, and more. If you are undergoing a kitchen renovation or moving into a new home, the construction phase is the best time to install some of these.
Lighting is the final step in creating a great kitchen island. The lighting you choose plays such a crucial role in the overall picture of the island. Integrated pot lights in the kitchen can be installed on a dimmer so you can create any mood you want, whether bright and energetic or subdued and cozy. Overhead lighting is always a must, especially if you’re performing specific tasks like chopping or cooking – you can have one larger light or two to three small to medium sized lights.
Choose a lighting material that will be used elsewhere in the room – metallic fixtures can look great when matched to the hardware and finishes of the kitchen. You can also go the extra mile and add some lighting under your countertops or in the cabinets – these can be especially useful at night and when you’re looking for specific cooking utensils and tools.
An island is useful in many ways. They create a centerpiece for the kitchen and can tie the overall look of the room together. They allow people to gather around them. And they can address a variety of organizational needs depending on the design. Take the time to plan your kitchen island properly and it will quickly become the focal point of the home.