Kitchen islands started becoming the rage in the 1970s. Larger kitchens caught on since people found it appealing to gather in the kitchen rather than the living room, family room or dining room. The refrigerator has always been the magnet that draws people into the kitchen and the island became the second focal point where people could gather round and enjoy each others company.
As the size of the kitchen grew, the concept of the kitchen evolved too. It no longer was detached from other living areas but was opened up so that the flow of traffic would easily move over to the living room area. Since the kitchen was wide open new kitchen furniture ideas were designed to blend with the living spaces that it shared. The cabinets and kitchen islands that look like furniture are what people find appealing today over thirty years later.
Another reason for the growing popularity of the kitchen island was the lack of work space in the kitchen of the 1950s. The concept of the work triangle where the refrigerator, sink and stove served as the main work area proved problematic since the cook had very little counter space. Out of necessity more counter space was created by adding it to the middle of the kitchen, the only place available.
The kitchen island continues to be a focal point and kitchen bar stool options are too numerous to count. Kitchen furniture ideas range from the very traditional Colonial style where the kitchen truly does start resembling formal dining room furniture to a minimalist Nordic look and feel.
The kitchen island also has a utilitarian function. Often it contains the sink or sinks, the stove top, drawers, cupboards, cutting board and wine cabinet. It invitingly offers others the opportunity of chipping in and helping the cook with meal preparations, or at the very least, share in a glass of wine or hors d’oeuvres.
Many people have tried to incorporate a kitchen island into their existing kitchen. Often times there simply is not enough room to do this. There needs to be three feet of walking space around the island and it should be no smaller than four feet long by two feet deep. A kitchen island smaller than this would not have much practical use especially when the kitchen bar stool options would also have to have room.
Kitchen islands can also be mobile such as a butcher block island. It consists of a two-wheeled cart with a butcher block on top. If the cutting area in the kitchen is cramped this additional feature is a bonus for creating more food preparation space. The caster wheels should have a locking mechanism to avoid a runaway cart. Spice drawers and a built in wine cabinet are handy practical features that can be built into the butcher block kitchen islands.
Kitchen islands can be freestanding or built over a raised foundation that the furniture fits over. Other popular kitchen furniture ideas include stainless steel, wood, granite, stone and concrete. Kitchen islands that look like furniture are here to stay and the evolution of design is ongoing.There is never an end to imaginative ideas for form and function and it is a treat to visit home décor fairs to see creative ideas designers have come up with.
Below are some kitchen islands that look like furniture that I personally think would be an asset to any kitchen. If you want further information on any of these islands, just click the image. I’m thinking of ordering one of these myself, I always need more space in the kitchen and with these on wheels, I can move it around as a serving bar into my breakfast area too. The last island has a built in wine storage, hmmmm that may come in handy too.