Kitchen Island Primer

These days, open kitchen designs are all the rage. It seems like every home improvement or real estate show has to have at least one mention of the phrase “open concept.” Part of the beauty of an open concept kitchen is the ability to install a kitchen island which not only looks great, but adds extra functionality to your space. In this quick blog post, we are going to learn about the different types of kitchen islands and what design options are available to you.

If you are conducting a simple kitchen renovation or a complete kitchen remodel, the addition of a kitchen island really adds pizzazz to what is, arguably, the most used and important space in your home. Whether it is used for the day to day routine of eating and drinking or for big family gatherings and holidays, the kitchen is the most trafficked area of your house.

Depending upon the layout and size of your kitchen, you may find yourself lacking in certain areas. Maybe you do not have enough counter or storage space. Or maybe you would like an area where you and a couple of friends can sit around and sip wine while discussing the day’s events. The right kitchen island can solve both of these issues – and many others.

Types of Kitchen Islands

There are many types of kitchen islands, each with their own purpose. Below we will look at a few of the many types you can add to your kitchen.

Butcher Block Islands

As the name implies, butcher block islands are ideal for food preparation. Often featuring a counter made of “butcher block” material, this style of island is great for adding additional counter space and easily hides the scratches chopping vegetables can add to a countertop.

Cooktop Islands

A more expensive option for your kitchen island is the cooktop version. Complete with stovetop burners, this island is a dream for chefs – especially those that entertain company frequently and like to be a part of the crowd. Instead of having your back to your guests, you can face outward, giving you the option to join in conversations and interact with your friends.

Storage Islands

If you need more storage and counter space in your kitchen, a storage island is a great way to add it. There are many options for built-in storage your island can have, including drawers, open shelves (handy for storing cookbooks), cabinets and even wine racks.

Custom Islands

Of course, you can add many different features to your island if you go the custom-island route. Maybe you want to add a sink or mini-refrigerator. How about a wine cooler? If you are a baker, including a short table to your island can make for an ideal space to work with dough and other baking goods.

Countertop options include stainless steel, butcher block (as discussed above), and stone – just to name a few. In addition, kitchen islands come in a variety of shapes as well. If you want to have your island in the middle of all the action, consider a “center island.” If you want to add countertop or extra dining space, maybe an L-shaped or peninsular island is what you are looking for. T-shaped islands, with an attached table, are also great for adding seating space.

At the end of the day, your island should serve to add beauty and function to your kitchen. Weigh your options and space carefully, keeping your budget and accessibility in mind. If your kitchen is too small, you can also consider the addition of a rolling island, which you can roll in and out of your kitchen as needed.