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Little Features that Make for Great Kitchen Islands

The kitchen island: It’s not just another pretty countertop atop a few extra cabinets. It’s a multitasker, a chameleon, and in some cases, a work of art. It can serve as storage place, work station, eating area, and social hub. That’s why it’s become the modern-day must-have in kitchen design.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a big kitchen in order to accommodate an island. Kitchen islands come pre-made in all shapes in sizes, and even small ones can add important functionality to your space. Islands can also be created from other pieces of furniture, so you’re really not locked into a handful of standard sizes. (All it takes is a quick look on Pinterest to see how an old antique dresser or console table repurposed as an island can be a beautiful thing.)

If you’re thinking about adding or changing an island in your kitchen, here are a few off-the-beaten-path but really helpful features to consider incorporating:

Unconventional materials for the base. You could stick with the same wood that’s used throughout the rest of your kitchen, but you definitely don’t have to. How about brick, stacked stone, or concrete? Particularly if you have an open floor plan in which the island rides the dividing line between the kitchen and other rooms, the island’s base can be used to help tie together their different designs, like so:

Kitchen Island
Stacked stone smooths transition to living area

Multi-surface countertops. Your island isn’t a one-trick pony. Maybe it needs more than one kind of countertop surface—one type for the rough and tumble of kitchen work, and another type for dining. Done professionally, it doesn’t look strange. On the contrary, it adds texture and visual interest to the room.

Multi-Surface Countertops for the Kitchen
One surface for eating, another for cooking

 

Make a Place for U. If you have the room for it, a U-shaped island is really helpful for smoothing out traffic flow in the kitchen. Having physical space carved out for the person doing hands-on cooking work at the island means said cook doesn’t have to fight with kitchen traffic. A happy chef equals better eating!

Kitchen Islands made for you
Goodbye, traffic jams

 

Want to get really crazy? Check out the island fun you can have with the Microsoft Home Kitchen. Text and pictures—think recipes, for example—can be beamed directly onto the counter-top using projection displays. Sound over-the-top? This could easily become a standard feature in the average kitchen of the future, if you just think for a minute about the example of the microwave oven. That undoubtedly sounded wildly futuristic once upon a time, too.

Countertop Displays in your kitchen
WOW! Put your recipes on your kitchen countertop!

4 thoughts on “Little Features that Make for Great Kitchen Islands

  1. We have to agree with you that kitchen islands are multi-purpose and almost an essential in modern society. With everyone’s schedule so ttigt, it is an eating on the go area, a xooking and washing area and a great area to gather and more. The idea of mixing materials that may not be standard or common is a great thought and really can add to the design and warmrh of the space. Big ceramic tile also makes a beautiful and unique surface that also is nearly indestructible. Great post on the topic people readinf throufh will find a ron of food ideas to incorporate into their own kitxhen plans 🙂

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