As it is with most design questions the answer is…….it depends.
A kitchen island is one of the most requested features in kitchen remodeling projects, and for good reason. Whether you want one for cooking, entertaining, or a place for the kids to do their homework, their versatility is endless. But for those of us with smaller kitchens, it might seem like a feature that’s out of reach, or better put, out of space. Good news is, that isn’t always the case.
Let’s start with a few guidelines or parameters to consider when planning your island. First, think about how an island will impact the traffic flow and/or patterns in your space. Islands are often people magnets, and you’ll find your guest drawn to them like moths to a light. This can be good and bad as they can subtly direct your guest to where you want them, and keep them out of your working area, but an ill thought out location could put everyone right in your way.
Next, consider the functionality of the island. Will it provide seating, extra countertop space for serving or food prep? Will you have an appliance like a cooktop in it or maybe even a sink? Also, consider the storage you may gain from cabinetry under the island countertop. What will you store there? Or will it just be open space? This options will influence the size of the island and could be a determining factor as to whether or not the one you would like will fit.
It’s easy to get stuck in the thought that an island is a rectangular piece with maybe a little curve on the back. Certainly, this is the most common shape, but don’t feel locked into this singular idea. There are many configuration options to consider to accommodate many sizes and shapes of kitchens. Varying the depth, height, and width of an island can also play a major factor in where it will fit and function well. Maximizing the use of space in your kitchen is where great Kitchen Designers shine.
Cart islands are becoming more and more popular as the Chic Farmhouse style rises in popularity. These rolling and moving islands are perfect for small kitchens that need to utilize every inch of space available. Roll the island out of the way when guests come over and roll it back out when prepping for dinner. You can even roll it right up to the range or oven to transfer all your chopped goodies! Rolling islands can also provide some great storage, just be cautious of the weight and be sure you have very good quilty wheels that will roll freely and won’t mar your floor. Like typical mounted islands rolling islands are available in an array of styles, shapes, and sizes, so there’s sure to be one to fit your kitchen and taste.
Yep, there’s even a possible answer for you! A longer and narrow island can fit perfectly in your galley kitchen and provide extra work space for two cooks in a normally one cook sized kitchen. One person can man the cooktop, and the other can chop away at the island. Take a look on Houzz for some great examples, and don’t forget to save them to your Ideabook!
Admit it, even you heard that in Ronald Reagan’s voice. Fortunately, taking walls out of your home is much easier than getting Mr. Gorbachev to take down the Berlin wall. And if all other options fail, this may be just the fix to get some more space for an island and open up your floorplan at the same time. While removing walls is commonplace for professional contractors, make sure you consult with one before attempting this yourself. Having the second floor suddenly become the first floor would not be a good thing.
This may seem obvious, but if you want an island in your smaller kitchen, it’s likely going to mean a smaller island, but don’t let this deter you. Even a smaller island can be an extremely useful and beautiful addition to your kitchen.
Our goal with these pieces is to help you get the information you need to make educated choices for your home and family. If you’ve found this helpful, or have questions or requests for other topics, please leave them below and we’ll make sure you get the answers you need.
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