How to Maximize the Awesomeness of Your Island Kitchen

Kitchen Remodeling
Additions and Remodels
Cabinets and Countertops
By Contractors.com Team July 22, 2021

There are all kinds of kitchen layouts out there for you to try. It is mostly a matter of finding one that not only fits the allocated space but also suits your practical and stylistic needs. Luckily, island kitchens are both very practical and always in design demand. As a result, they are popular with homeowners all across the country.

There are many ways to design the style, layout, and functionality of your island kitchen. With the insight of countless professional kitchen designers and other specialists by your side, you can have the perfect island kitchen that goes beyond all your expectations.

What Is a Kitchen Island?

Kitchen IslandsThat Are Practical and Stylish

Kitchen IslandsThat Are Practical and Stylish

An island kitchen is typically more spacious than its counterparts and features a countertop in the middle of the room. This extra countertop space that is freely “floating” is what gives this layout its name, the island kitchen. The island counter itself can be designed in a variety of ways, adjusted in size according to kitchen space, and stylized to complement the rest of the kitchen.

The island kitchen is divided into two separate countertop zones, with the island entirely separate and usually in the middle of the kitchen. The other countertops can be laid out in different ways, from the U-shaped kitchen to the one wall. This mostly depends on how much room there is in the house. 

Understanding the Functions of the Island

While making additions for the sake of style is something that interior designers are often tasked with doing, the island kitchen should have a lot of utility to it. The kitchen itself can be considered a utility room if you look at it from a certain angle. Sure, many enjoy simply relaxing in the kitchen or reading a book as they sip their favorite tea. But at its core, the kitchen is there to serve, and making the island as functional as possible will only boost the rest of the kitchen’s practicality.

Additions That Can Be Made to an Island Kitchen

Additions That Can Be Made to an Island Kitchen

A washing station is a very popular use for island kitchens. Installing a tap and sink into the island will give you the extra room you need to do the washing without disturbing or taking up space that can otherwise be used for food prep and cooking. All it takes is some extra plumbing and enough waterproof sealer around the island countertop to have a fully functioning sink. The one downside to kitchen island sinks is how they may leak water and damage the flooring. But this is true of any sink and is why it is highly advised that you speak with a professional plumber before making any additions.

Another great way to make use of the extra counter space is to designate more cooking space to it. With a few extra burners, you can have your cooking done faster which is perfect for busy holiday prep or dinner parties. All the cooking island needs is an extra stovetop that is connected to the main gas system or, for more sustainability, an electric one that functions entirely on its own. 

Attractive Faucet and Sink Combinations for Your Kitchen Island

Attractive Faucet and Sink Combinations for Your Kitchen Island

One downside to having a stove in the middle of the kitchen is that it can be a greater smoke hazard than the traditional one-wall countertops. Because it is in the center of the room, if something burns, it is much harder to aerate than stoves that are closer to windows. A kitchen island hood with enough suction force can fix this. Install it above the island stove and turn it on 

A prep counter can also work perfectly for kitchens that are always busy and need a little extra space. Leaving the countertop the way it is without any additions also makes for some added functionality. You will be glad to have some extra space for doing prep work or adding finishing touches to the dishes without getting in the way of passersby. 

Kitchen Island Design Tips

Functionality is very important, but creating a wholesome aesthetic and maintaining a coherent style within the kitchen is also a very important element to consider when designing an island kitchen. 

Countertops for Your Kitchen Island

Sturdiest and Sleekest Countertops for Your Kitchen Island

Sturdiest and Sleekest Countertops for Your Kitchen Island

The countertop is one of the most important elements in any kitchen. This is where all the cooking and prep work happens. By choosing a countertop that is the perfect size and shape for your kitchen you can have greater control over the room’s functionality and style. 

As far as shapes and sizes go, it really depends on the space available as well as your taste. A curved island kitchen counter, which is a more unorthodox take on the traditionally square counter, but can work well with the rest of a kitchen’s interior design if it calls for a bit of eclectic transition.

Cabinets for a Kitchen Island with Optimal Storage

Maximizing Storage In Your Island Kitchen

Maximizing Storage In Your Island Kitchen

One could say that cabinets are the face of any kitchen and they wouldn’t be wrong. Cabinet and drawers cover a lot of surface area in most kitchens. The color and design of the cabinets play a huge role in how the kitchen’s interior looks and feels. Installing a few extra cabinets under the island table not only creates storage space but also introduces a few more opportunities for personalization and stylization. 

A rich and darker color can act as great contrast amid much lighter hues that may dominate your walls and countertops. This contrast adds just enough heterogeneity in the kitchen to keep the interior busy without being a strain on the eyes as the island cabinets accentuate the rest of the room.

Give Kitchen Lighting Due Attention

Best Lighting Fixtures to Install In Your Island Kitchen

Best Lighting Fixtures to Install In Your Island Kitchen

It is a given that island counters need to have some sort of lighting above them. This is not only done for stylistic purposes but also to have some concentrated lighting above the island counter whenever people are sitting around it and don’t need the other lights to be on. It’s also essential for accident-free prep work. As far as style is concerned: island kitchens lighting has a lot of room to get creative with.

But the lighting fixture that is by far the most popular with island kitchens is pendant lights as they hover above the counter, softly illuminating that particular area and outward. Geometric pendant lights can create a lovely dialogue in a setting with traditional materials and earthy colors. Pendant lighting with a semi-glamorous streak, hint at the memory of a chandelier, can add a balanced amount of glam to an otherwise monotone and organic kitchen look. The options are truly endless, fun to play around with, and most importantly, practical.

Kitchen Island Stools

Seating Options That Work Best In Island Kitchens

Seating Options That Work Best In Island Kitchens

Stools are a popular choice with many homeowners for kitchen islands with seating as they do not take up much space and are tall enough to reach the counter. They may not be as comfortable as dining chairs or a sofa, but they’re not supposed to be. Stools are a more practical option and are great for use as a transitional seating area — catching up with friends before dinner, reviewing your to-do list around a quick weekday breakfast, or even catching up on some emails as the bacon crisps.

Aim for kitchen island table stools to encompass form and function; simple is a good feature to look for because it’s easier for simpler designs to accommodate both style and comfort. There are fancier options out there with more complex designs and rich colors, and you should feel free to go for them if design is your priority.

How to Make Your Island Kitchen Bigger

Island kitchens by nature should be bigger than most other kitchens as they need to accommodate the star of the show in the middle of the room. If you do have an island (or intend to install one) even if you don’t have a very spacious kitchen, there are many ways to open up the room and make your small kitchen island feel bigger.

Kitchen Island Options That Maximize Space

Kitchen Island Options That Maximize Space

An overlapping countertop allows you to put the stools under the counter when no one is using them. While kitchen stools are rarely so big that they obstruct movement, they can still get in the way sometimes. An overlapping countertop that allows for chairs to be stored under it can save some much-needed space around the island counter. 

Tips and Tricks On How to Declutter the Kitchen

Tips and Tricks On How to Declutter the Kitchen

The island counter needs to be leveled with the rest of the countertops around the kitchen. This will ensure that all the countertop surfaces are lined up and consistent. A problem that some smaller kitchens have with their countertops is that they often restrict the flow of movement. By lining up the island counter with the edges of the counters that are against the walls, you can create a visual of less obstruction throughout the room. 

Choosing lighter colors for your kitchen furniture and reflective materials for its surfaces is a great way to make your kitchen look and feel bigger. With darker colors comes more contrast, and more opportunity for shadows. It also means that light will travel less. However, in a bright room light travels faster and farther, significantly affecting how you feel in your kitchen.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team