If you are unknown to the term kitchen island-it is a small raised platform, as high as a table placed in almost at the middle of your kitchen space. It is a multipurpose element. These islands are usually recommended for a relatively large kitchen spaces.
When should you go for a kitchen island?
- A large kitchen with ample centre space is the primary criteria.
- You have an open kitchen with counters on three sides and substantial centre space.
- You have a combined kitchen and dining( as in the top second pic from the right).
- You don’t have a demarcated kitchen-a corner of your living space, with parts of two adjacent walls forms your kitchen. In such situation you can place a slightly elongated rectangular kitchen island to form a pretentious third wall hence demarcating a space as your kitchen ( as in the first top pic from the right).
- You cannot afford ample kitchen counters for some reason. You can install an island and perform certain counter jobs here (last top pic from the right).
- You need extra storage space.
- You need extra working space.
Why are kitchen islands recommended?
Kitchen islands are in vogue because they come with several perks punched together. With a little add on here and there you can achieve more than one benefits.
- They can be treated as dining tables.
- The “under the top” portion can be remodeled into a storage space.
- A few counter jobs can be done on the island so that the counters do not become too clumsy.
- You can keep off beat items like cooking magazines or a music player if your island is a dry zone.
- It makes working easy and things are available within ones reach, without too much of movement.
- If makes fruitful use of the centre space which otherwise would remain useless.
- Kitchen island, being a completely separate entity helps you organize your space, work and storage better.
The problems you face
Every household has a different need and every person working in the kitchen has his or her own way to get the job done.
So first it is necessary to realize and recognize the problems that you have despite having a counter. It might be a storage problem, space problem, you feel clumsy working, you got to store bulky commodities or things are too far from your reach-you think you have to move from pillar to post to get something.
The requirement might also be like you don’t have enough space to claim a separate kitchen and a dining room. In this case double up your kitchen island as a dining table by adding a few stools.
Therefore it is totally on the discretion of the user as to how he decides to design his or her kitchen island keeping in mind the purpose he wants to have fulfilled.
Design your own Kitchen Island
There are endless options to how you design your island. As is the saying-form follows function, once you have in your mind decided the kind of service you expect from your island you are ready to design.
There are several attributes to a kitchen island. And as I have been repetitively telling, mostly they come with more than one of these several attributes.
Two Tier Kitchen Islands:
These Kitchen islands are quite big and consist of a discrete level difference separating the two tiers. The slightly higher tier serves the purpose of dining table with a sitting arrangement consisting of stools. The higher tier has a projected top with ample leg space underneath.
The lower tier serves the purpose of a kitchen counter. Works like chopping, mixing, arranging and temporary storing is done here. However sometimes it completely replaces a kitchen counter when an added stove and sink is adjusted in the same. Such islands are generally big and require a lot of space.
The storage space is usually managed under the counter top and should be covered.
These two tier kitchen islands make work very efficient and work does not remain time consuming. Food can easily be passed from the counter to the table and arranged then and there; and after eating the dishes and utensils can be passed over to the sink.
They are structurally bulky and fixed.
Portable Kitchen islands:
These islands are not very big and structurally light, with a small storage space. Since these are moveable, it obvious that the user will not want to keep heavy stuffs inside the storage. These are usually single tiered and can also be used as a dining table.
These arrangements are used when the centre space is not enough to support a kitchen island with sitting arrangement- which means it cause hindrances to the free plying in the kitchen. Therefore if you have a free wall in your kitchen, the table can be sided towards the wall while working and pulled back in the centre while eating.
Since these are moveable it allows proper maintenance and cleaning of the floor.
The portion below the top is generally covered and arrangements are made to make full use of the volume underneath. There can be horizontal pull-out-drawers, vertically juxtaposed cabinets. Huge bulky drawers installed at the bottom can be used for vegetables. There might also be uncovered recesses to house microwave ovens, grinders or showy glass ware.
For kitchen islands coupled with dining table the storage space needs to be carefully crafted. The entire space cannot be used for storage. The table top is given projections to adjust the stools and so that there is comfortable leg space when people sit down to dine.
There are often table tops with folding projections or pull-out-tables on one end or opposite ends. To increase dining space these folded portions are pulled up or pulled out like drawers to form a longer continuation of the top. When working these can be folded down or pushed in to increase carpet area for movement.
Kitchen Islands are generally made up of timber and timber by products such as plywood, particle boards. Expensive wood can only be left with polish, others colored or covered with cross veneers.
Steel finished kitchen islands are sleek.
The counter tops should be made up of a sturdy material like stone-marble, graphite or polished wood.
The dining portion can flaunt a glass top but the counter portion should always be made of material capable of withstanding heavy work.
Stools and not chairs, are friendly as the high back of chairs adds to eating up of space. Stools are comparatively slender and light and hence easily portable. However if you have a really spacious kitchen you can go for chairs.
Add up to your island.
Kitchen islands can steal the show and give a totally different look to your kitchen if you know how to place and adorn it.
- Choose organic shades for your table top, they always go with any mood.
- If you have a small kitchen go for light colors, if your kitchen is large you can go for either dark or light shades.
- Keep a small potted plant or some light fresh flowers in a vase.
- If your island is a wooden one make sure you keep it dry. Any kind of wood product if subjected to moisture for a long period of time gets affected by termites.
- Keep matching stools, ones that go well with your rest.
Good Luck !