At this time of year, many people are spending even more time in the kitchen than normal: baking special treats, preparing holiday meals and socializing with family and friends. All of this activity in the kitchen can make you realize the importance of having extra space and purpose built storage to meet all of your food preparation, dining and entertaining needs. The kitchen island has become a key component of meeting these requirements in today’s kitchen design, particularly as open-plan kitchens have increased in popularity.
It seems that almost any kitchen remodel these days includes a kitchen island, as it is an easy way to add specialized storage, food preparation and seating, as well as a great place to let your style shine by adding little details to complement your kitchen design. Your individual requirements may be determined by the space available, the size of your household or how often you entertain, as well as your personal interests.
There are many unique ways to incorporate your own interests into your island:
- If you are a wine lover, why not incorporate an under-counter wine refrigerator and a wine rack to display and store your collection.
- Seating at your new island can be designed to suit family breakfast time, entertaining friends or homework with the kids.
- If your household includes furry family members, a specialized pet station can be incorporated for water and food bowls.
- Many islands also include display space or shelves for your cookbooks or special kitchenware.
One of the many practical benefits of including an island in your kitchen design is extra cooking and food preparation space, but this means so much more than just extra counter space. A kitchen island can include an extra sink, oven, specialized steam oven, built in microwave, or just about anything else you can think of that would make your life in the kitchen more enjoyable. In Personal Touch, the designers at Lang's incorporated both a built in steam oven and a wine refrigerator, as picture here:
The island can also become a kitchen design focal point by making a statement with your choice of materials, colors and kitchen hardware. Many kitchen remodeling projects now include an island in a contrasting color to the rest of the kitchen cabinets, either by using a contrasting shade of cabinet stain or even by painting the island a bold accent color. The countertop could also incorporate a contrasting color or material, for example by installing a butcher block countertop and turning your island into one large workspace.
Finish it off with a good lighting design suited to the way you use your island. Food preparation requires excellent illumination and pendant lights are a popular way to ensure that the island has focused lighting that covers the full length of the island. A dimmer switch can be added easily to ensure you can change the atmosphere in your kitchen from food preparation to entertaining friends. Your professional kitchen designer can help you turn your new island into a paradise in the midst of your busy kitchen.