We’ve all seen those idyllic photos of kitchens with massive islands. They are beautiful, functional, and one of the most desired aspects of kitchen remodels. It’s easy to see why! Kitchen islands have multifunction design aspects that can add storage space, useable counter space, and more seating or entertaining areas. Not to mention the fun design elements of countertops, fun island colors, and show-stopping pendant lighting. But how do you achieve that perfectly designed kitchen island that suits the space and is functional? Well, here we will go over the important considerations you should think about while planning your ideal kitchen island.
How Will You Use It?
It might be easy to get caught up in how the island looks, and though that’s an important aspect, it isn’t the main factor. How you will be using the kitchen island will dictate its design more than almost anything else. Will you use it for meal prep? Are you going to let the kids do school work on it? Do you do a lot of DIY projects that could use a wide flat surface? Do you host a lot of parties where you could lay out appetizers and drinks on the island for easy access? These are little things you’ll want to talk about with your designer to ensure your island can accommodate all the activities you want to use it for.
How Big Should It Be?
It’s important to note that we did not say, “how big can it be.” How much space you can and should take up with a kitchen island is often not the same. To avoid oversized islands that get in the way, you’ll want to think about how big the island should be. This will depend on the size of your kitchen and how you intend to use the island. Don’t take up precious walking space to have a bigger island. You’ll regret it when you’re constantly bumping your hips or stubbing your toe on the island as you try to navigate through the kitchen.
What Appliances Do You Want?
Not all kitchen islands have a cooktop, but figuring out what you want to be included in your island will be essential to its design. What appliances you include will also depend on how much space you have. If you want a cooktop, then you are sacrificing workspace, but you might be okay with that if it’s how you intend to use the island. You’ll also want to think about smaller kitchen appliances as well. For example, when you break out your KitchenAid mixer, would you like to have enough space on the island to put it there?
Consider Hidden Outlets
Speaking of small kitchen appliances, with all that extra space on your island, it would be a shame if you couldn’t use your mixer, blender, air fryer, or any other appliance you love. That’s why it’s crucial to consider outlets. There are many innovative options now that can be hidden into the island, so they don’t become an eyesore. Outlets are not only important for mixing cookie dough, but you might want to charge your tablet while you watch your favorite show as you cook dinner.
Should There Be Seating?
This question will be easy if you don’t have the space; however, if you have enough room, you might want to think about adding a ledge to the island design so you can add high-top seating to your kitchen island. This is an excellent way to open the space up to visitors and kids who might want to hang out with you while you’re cooking dinner.
How Will it Be Lit?
If you’re going to be working on science projects or icing those cookies on your kitchen island, you’ll want plenty of light, so you’re not straining your eyes. So how will you light up the island? The most popular way is with decorative pendant lights. These hang from the ceiling and get closer to the surface of the island than recessed ceiling lights. However, you could have both and be sure you have all the lighting to need to complete any task.
Bold Color for Island Cabinets?
You can have your kitchen island cabinets match your other cabinets, or you can decide to follow the latest trend and choose a new bold color to make your kitchen island pop! Or you can go for a stained wood look while your perimeter cabinets are painted. Either way, it’s something you’ll want to consider as you finish up your kitchen island design decisions.
What’s the Ideal Countertop?
As you design your kitchen island, you’ll have to think about what type of countertop you want it to have. You, of course, can use the same material on your island that you have throughout your kitchen, but mixing and matching is a fun new trend we see in kitchen island designs. Just remember that the island is likely to receive more wear and tear than other countertop spaces. This means it’s more susceptible to staining or chipping. So if you have marble as your perimeter countertop, maybe consider similar-looking quartz. Or you could embrace the mess and go for a wooden top that will elegantly stain, dent, and tarnish with age.
A kitchen island is an exciting element to a kitchen remodel, and you won’t want to mess it up by missing out on critical factors that can make or break its design. So go through this list with your designer to ensure that you’ll end up with the kitchen island of your dreams!