At this time of year, everybody loves to dine al fresco, but all year round your kitchen island is needed for food prep and storage. Today’s open plan kitchen designs mean islands are often the focal point of a combined kitchen/dining/living space. No matter how formal or casual the gathering, people always gravitate towards an island, so here are 5 tips to make yours the center of attention.
1. Customize Your Island
You can make your island unique with a bespoke cabinetry model, catering for your interests. If you’re serious about wine, then include a refrigerator and wine rack in your island. Seating around an island is important but think about who uses it as it may be designed for a homework and dinner party space. If you have a furry family member, islands can be adapted to include nooks for pets to sleep and eat. Cooks should allow storage for books, cooking and baking equipment and place a section of marble or a butcher’s block into the countertop. If your island is large enough, install an extra sink and oven, which are invaluable in a busy home.
The design experts here at Lang’s can incorporate whatever you need in your island. This kitchen remodel in Yardley has a bi-level island with a sink, seating, and space for cookbook storage.
2. Decide on a Size
Your island expresses your personal style, but also defines work zones and directs the flow of traffic through your kitchen. The size of your island depends on the size of your room. If you have a very large kitchen design, then why not go for two islands? One for the practical jobs like food prep and the other for the purely glamorous job of entertaining. Alternatively, a large bi-level or T-shaped island can offer distinct areas for food preparation, dining, beverage preparation, or anything you require. Even if all you can fit is a peninsula, you can still make this a showstopper with the right colors, textures and seating.
3. Choose the Right Seating
Unless, you’re going for an eclectic kitchen design, your island seating should be the same as your kitchen’s overall style. Even with an eclectic design, the seating should complement the island. Think about who will be sitting at your island and how best to seat them while you work in the kitchen. If kids are sitting on barstools, make sure they can get in and out easily and they’re able to be wiped clean. Often, a lower section of a bi-level island is better for children, though bar-level seating may be preferable if you regularly entertain. Your kitchen design expert can help you find the best way to incorporate all your requirements in the perfect island seating plan.
4. Plan Your Lighting
Put thought into your island’s lighting to make it the center of attention. Include strong task lighting for preparing food. Pendants can be spaced out to light up the whole island and be as dramatic as you wish. Lighting the island from underneath gives a magical, floating effect and offers softer ambient light for your kitchen design. Apps can connect to your lighting scheme to change the color and mood of your island at the touch of a button.
5. Include Storage
Storage is a huge part of any kitchen design and an island plays a key part in that. De-clutter and see what exactly you need to store and what can go in your island. This frees up kitchen cabinet and counter space and places cooking and dining essential at arm’s length. At Lang’s we custom design stylish island storage, whether closed, open or glass fronted and recommend devices such as appliance lifts for your kitchen cabinet storage, to bring heavier appliances like a stand mixer up to countertop height when needed.
The secret to an eye-catching island is to make it a focal point, yet also highly functional. To truly make it your own, inject your personal style with color, materials, shape, size, levels, lighting and storage suited to your needs. Our kitchen remodeling gallery has many examples of show-stopping islands to inspire you.Or call us today to speak to our kitchen design experts, who are waiting to advise you on the best type of island for your dream kitchen.