For numerous people who are moving into a new home or redesigning an old one, a kitchen island is on the list of “wants.” But what is it about this piece of furniture that makes it so desirable for so many people and their lifestyles? Read on to learn the answer—you may just identify with one of the reasons you need a kitchen island.
What Is a Kitchen Island?
First off, what is a kitchen island anyways? A kitchen island is essentially a floating countertop, usually located in the center of a kitchen apart from the other counters. These islands can contain built-in cabinets and drawers, like your other counters, or have an overhang where extra stools or chairs can be placed. A kitchen island can either be built-in to your home or freestanding.
Benefits of a Kitchen Island
In recent years, kitchen islands have seen an increase in popularity. This is due in part to the many benefits that they have to offer. Some of the best kitchen island benefits are explained below.
Extra Storage Space
If you’re constantly struggling to find enough storage space in your kitchen, a kitchen island might just be the perfect solution for you. Kitchen islands provide plenty of extra storage space, both on their surfaces and inside of them. Small kitchen appliances, like toasters or mixers, can be stored on kitchen islands, or you can add a decorative touch like a bowl of fruit. Many kitchen islands come with built-in cabinets, drawers, and shelves, which act as an extension of the cabinetry you already have. If desired, certain appliances like microwaves and sinks can be built into an island, freeing up more cabinet and counter space in the rest of your kitchen.
More Counter Space
One of the best arguments for adding an island to your kitchen is the additional counter space it will provide. If you’re a person who loves to cook but always feels cramped preparing food in your small amount of counter space, the addition of an island will do wonders for you. When guests come over or you are serving a meal, an island gives you a convenient, out-of-the-way place to set out the food. You may not yet realize how helpful the extra counter space will be—but rest assured, you’ll be constantly finding good uses for it.
Do you find yourself short of seating every time you have company over for a meal? Or are you always looking for more table space in your home? When paired with a nice set of barstools, a kitchen island can solve both these problems by providing extra seating. With its additional counter space, an island also offers a place for members of the household to eat, study, or relax throughout the day, all without getting in the way of someone prepping food in the kitchen.
Enhances Appearance of the Kitchen
A well-chosen kitchen island can really enhance the look of your kitchen. As a large piece of furniture in the center of the room, a kitchen island becomes a focal point when added to the kitchen setup; the eye will be immediately drawn to it, and people will gather around that island in the kitchen. If you have an open floor plan, adding an island is a good way to break up that open space, dividing your kitchen from the living room and other rooms in your home. Plus, kitchen islands come in a variety of styles and materials, meaning you can always find an island in a style that suits your kitchen perfectly.
What To Consider When Choosing a Kitchen Island
Have any of these reasons you need a kitchen island convinced you to add one to your home? If so, you’ll need to consider a few important details to help you decide what kind of kitchen island is best for you and your home.
Size is one of the most important elements to consider when choosing a kitchen island. How big is your kitchen, and how much extra space do you need from an island? Be sure to leave enough extra space around the island so that you can still maneuver through your kitchen and open all your drawers and door without incident. An island will only be an inconvenience if you run into it every time you walk through the room or accidentally slam the oven door against it every time you open it.
Before buying an island, ask yourself what the main purpose of getting the island is. Are you looking for more cooking space, extra seating, or a convenient place to store your dishes? The intended use of the island will dictate what style your island will be and what functions it should have.
If you’d like your island to provide extra seating, be sure to choose a style that is designed to accommodate at least a few stools. Many kitchen island styles feature overhangs on at least one of their sides that are the perfect spot to place a few barstools. When purchasing stools to go with your island, remember to measure both pieces of furniture to ensure that someone sitting on the island will have enough leg room.
Open vs. Closed
One choice you’ll have to make in terms of style is whether you’d prefer an open or closed-style kitchen island. If you like the look of open shelving and want to display the items in your kitchen with a minimalist style, an open kitchen island is a good choice for you. If you want more cabinets and prefer to keep your storage spaces out of sight, a closed island may be a better option. Both are attractive choices, but choose the option that fits better with your needs, kitchen décor, and lifestyle.
Part of choosing the style of your island is choosing the material of which it is made. There are many great options, and a few of the most popular are listed below.
If you’re a fan of classic, country, or vintage style, a solid wood kitchen island would be a good fit for your kitchen. Wood furniture is available in many wood types, shades, and tones and can be painted if desired, so a wood island will look right at home in any kitchen setup.
Because of its durability and sleek appearance, various types of stone are a popular choice for countertops. Some of the most popular options include granite, marble, and soapstone. Stone countertops are easy to clean and come in many colors and patterns.
Ceramic is another great option for a kitchen island. Ceramic tile countertops differ in appearance from most other types of countertops, so choosing this option will give your kitchen island a bit of color and personality. It’s often much cheaper than other types of countertops and is a great option if you’re a fan of DIY home projects.
A kitchen island is a useful and beautiful addition to any home. If your home is lacking a kitchen island and you’ve decided to purchase one, keep in mind that it is almost always more expensive to have one installed than to purchase a freestanding island. If a freestanding island is the best option for you, check out our collection of wooden kitchen islands. Perhaps one of them will soon find a new home in the center of your kitchen.