Whether you are using it for cooking, socializing or hosting an event, your kitchen is one of the most frequented rooms in your home. Kitchen islands are a highly versatile and useful design element that can improve the functionality of your kitchen. A properly planned and designed kitchen island can improve the efficiency of your kitchen while also adding a flare of style, and elegance. If you’re considering adding an island to your kitchen, or you’re designing the kitchen for your new home, here’s what you need to consider to create the island you’ve always wanted.
Determine your island’s function
It is important to take a “big picture” approach to your island plan by determining what the overall purpose of your island will be. Will it be primarily for storage? Maybe it will be used to house appliances. It might even be strictly to provide additional seating and another gathering space. Sometimes, it can even be a combination of these different functions. Understanding the function of your island will help guide the vision for size, placement and aesthetics.
Your island will dictate the flow and traffic pattern of your kitchen. It will drastically change the feel, look and function of your kitchen. Before you start building, make sure you have a clear understanding of exactly what you want your new kitchen island to do for you.
The size and shape of your island is a large determining factor in the overall feel of your kitchen. A small island has the tendency of making the rest of your kitchen look quite large. However, it also leads to in impractical island space. On the other hand, a large island can provide a lot of additional countertop space, seating, or storage; but it can also make the rest of the kitchen feel very small and somewhat claustrophobic.
The key is to design an island that is proportionate to the rest of your kitchen. A space that can flow easily with the perimeter of your kitchen will not only provide you with the added space you desire; it will also be a beautiful element that will compliment and complete your kitchen.
Your kitchen needs to be a functional space where every element flows seamlessly from one to the next. This includes the flow from your kitchen’s perimeter countertops and cabinets to your centrally located island. The aisle space in your kitchen is one of the most important parts of your kitchen’s functionality and efficiency. Too little aisle space will make you feel crammed into your kitchen. It might even make it challenging to open cabinet or appliance doors.
Design experts recommend at least 36 inches between your countertops and island, with 42 inches being the ideal distance. In cases where additional seating is going to be added on one side, you will likely want one aisle to be wider than the other to account for chair space. Make sure you don’t leave too much space though! Too much aisle space leads to greater inefficiency as you will have to move further between your island and other countertops.
Lighting is a key element of any kitchen. Bright, vibrant lighting makes working in the kitchen easier and it can help bring out beautiful aspects of design and colour of the island.
The options for lighting above the island are endless. You could use anything from pot lights to a gorgeous hanging light fixture that stands out from the rest of the kitchen. Island lighting is a great opportunity to add your own personal style to the kitchen while also bringing added attention and interest to the island.
A well put together island acts as the centrepiece of your kitchen and while it may be beautiful and eye-catching, it is still important to put its functionality over aesthetics.