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Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Walker Woodworking, managing day to day operations, and marketing. Stacey has helped many clients create their dream space.

Will Kitchen Islands go out of Style?

The kitchen island is often the focal point in the kitchen and one of the most sought after features in a kitchen renovation, in fact it is one of the most versatile areas in the kitchen. Need a place to do some homework? How about family dinner or brunch? Looking for a surface where you can spread out when cooking? Some extra storage for large pots and mixers would be nice too. All of this and more can be accomplished with a kitchen island, some might even call it a mini kitchen within the kitchen. This flexible workstation can be created to reflect any style, accommodate any size, and suit any need. Today we want to answer some common questions about the kitchen island, explore the many benefits, and why they will never go out of style.

Common questions about kitchen islands

During the initial consultation we receive multiple questions regarding what is possible for a kitchen, what dimensions work best with their layout, and a host of other things. Here are some highlights for you.

  • How narrow can a kitchen island be? This is a great question especially when it comes to custom work because there is no limit. We have designed and built islands as narrow as two feet to some so broad they had to be assembled in the owners home. Custom means that we make it to suit your needs and according to the best use of space. Some may think that having a narrow island is a waste of space but it is the opposite since it provides additional storage and prep area in what would otherwise just be open.
  • What shape should it be? There is the standard rectangle, the L-shaped, and the peninsula but it is not limited to that. The shape usually relies on the final layout of the kitchen for guidance. No matter the shape, custom still gives you the option to get the most out of your island. 
  • Can you extend the kitchen island? Sometimes we can get it in our minds that the island has to remain as it is but there are options such as adding a table to it and making it a dining area too like these homeowners did. It can be extended to the same height as the island but you also have freedom to make it with varying heights such as table height to make it feel more like a dining table.
  • What size kitchen island for 4 stools? A seating area is one of the most popular features for the kitchen island because it allows family and friends to gather around, relax, have a quick bite, or jot down a note before heading out the door. It is recommended that for each stool or chair you should allow for 30 inches meaning that four would require 120 inches with additional length needed for the ends. If you already know which chairs you are considering be sure to measure them so you can be prepared. Remember that there are also options that require less spacing and some more depending on your final selection.
  • Where to build a kitchen island? While it is standard to place it in the center of the kitchen between the perimeter, it can be moved to accommodate a particular style or look that you desire or what is best suited for the kitchen layout.
  • Should I include a sink? The sink is an important element in the kitchen and its placement should be where it is needed most which tends to be near the stove. This means that placing it directly across via in the island makes cooking much easier and less water drops on the floor. Some homeowners also decide to add a small prep sink which is a great option for washing veggies and fruit not to mention your hands.
  • What is a waterfall kitchen island? This is a beautiful option that has the countertops continue down both sides of the island though it can be done on only one side as well. It looks elegant in both a natural stone countertop or natural wood.

With over 20 years of experience in custom woodwork, our design team has to answer a broad range of questions so don’t be afraid to ask our capable staff anything that comes to your mind regarding your project.

Benefits of a kitchen island

We have completed multiple renovations, remodels, and new construction kitchens, with all of those projects behind us we have seen firsthand the amazing benefits offered by including a kitchen island in the design. Some of them include:

  • Additional storage: this is probably one of the top reasons homeowners chose to incorporate it into their design. Storing larger and heavier items such as crockpots, mixers, and pots fit easily into the large cabinets that can be effortlessly built inside the island. 
  • Trash can: no one wants to see the trash can but everyone needs it nearby which is why having it directly in the island makes it convenient but hidden. Trash can pull-outs keep everything looking neat and tidy while only a pull away when needed.
  • More prep space: if you enjoy cooking then consider a kitchen island an essential element because it provides a bigger work surface for you to create those amazing meals for your family. It is also perfect for family gatherings since you can place all the entrees out and make a self-serve buffet line.
  • Appliance layout options: islands allow the homeowners to have extra placement options for their appliances including the microwave, popular with the shorter members of the household since it places it in easy reach, a cooktop can also be installed as can dishwashers. This frees up space in the perimeter for other things where those items would normally go.
  • Second table: sometimes space is limited and there is no dining room option so several of our clients opted to turn their kitchen island into one. Others have chosen to use it as their everyday eating area, saving the dining room as their formal option. It is also very convenient because it is close enough to grab seconds and makes for a more relaxed atmosphere. 
  • Two are better than one: we have had multiple clients who opted for two islands giving them additional space for cooking, snacking, and family dinners. It also provides space for some members to do multiple things at once like homework or baking.

This is just a few of the benefits a kitchen island can provide you and your family. Here a few more you might find interesting. We enjoy helping our clients create an island that is perfectly suited to their unique needs.

Kitchen Islands are here to stay

There are many trends in the design world, with some changing from year to year but the kitchen island has remained a steady choice throughout the decades including with millennials. Due to the multiple benefits it brings to the space, it also allows the owners to bring a little of their sense of style into the space plus make a statement. An island can be used as a focal point in the kitchen, add contrast by painting it a different color, and allow for more layout options. Our design team would love to help you create your dream kitchen including the perfect island so connect with us today and let’s start planning your project.