Benefits Of Having A Kitchen Island

Back in February of this year I wrote an article entitled: The Top 10 “Must Have” Features In Today’s Homes. The results were based on a survey taken by Market Watch a consumer group at the Las Vegas Home Builder’s Show.  Number one on the “Must Have” list was Large Kitchens With Islands. No matter how many islands I have incorporated into my kitchen designs over the years– no two are ever alike.  It’s my job to ensure that each one takes on a personality of its own and compliments the kitchen and the overall architecture of the space.  Depending on the overall floor plan the island can be designed in a multitude of shapes, sizes, levels, and finishes making it truly unique to your home. A Kitchen island is a valuable asset in today’s homes.  It acts as the central meeting place within the kitchen itself, which we all recognize to be – the heart of the home.  This multi-functional piece of furniture wears several hats over the course of the day.  It can act as a food prep zone, family gathering spot, homework center and mobile office, just to name a few. Typically my clients expect these islands to meet a specific set of criteria. Here are the most common requests.
  • Uninterrupted surface area for food prep space.
  • An additional sink with disposal.
  • Extra storage drawers and doors.
  • Location for warming drawers.
  • Double sided storage accessible from both sides.
  • Comfortable seating/stools for 4.
Kitchen Islands can be successfully incorporated into many types of layouts – of course depending on your overall space.  Islands tend to work best in these 3 types of kitchen plans:
  • A Galley Kitchen. In a smaller galley-type kitchen, removing a wall and opening it up to a neighboring space will allow for a perfect island application.
  • An L-Shaped Kitchen. A very popular layout for the work triangle and is a perfect layout for adding an island to your kitchen plans (If you have the luxury of space).
  • A U-Shaped Kitchen. Again providing you have the space between counter tops and is open to another room, the U shape kitchen is a very efficient layout and an island would only enhance the overall function of your kitchen.
I want to leave you with a few last minute tips when re-designing your kitchen and incorporating an island into the plans.
  • Utilize different materials, surfaces and cabinetry on your island – creating a more unique piece of furniture and focal point within the space.  It keeps the eye interested.
  • Island sizes range from +36” wide x +72” long – depending on the space you have.
  • If possible allow for at least 42” between countertop and island counter top.  (36” is minimal – but work-able if you’re tight on space).
  • Also allow 42” clearance for aisles and traffic patterns.
  • Island heights can vary as well and be multi-leveled.  They can be designed at counter top height of 36” with a dropped eating area of 30” in height, or an elevated bar area of 44” high.  The choice is yours.
Renovating your kitchen and implementing an island into your space will undoubtedly increase your home’s value and could yield you a return on investment of 75% – 90%. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.