Make a Kitchen Island Work in Your Home

The current trend is for modern kitchens to have a kitchen island. These can be built-in or portable, and just about any size or style you can dream of. If you want a built-in island, then you could have a cooktop, sink and other functional things on top as well as a dishwasher or plenty of storage below. Or it could be something as simple as a table with a shelf and a butcher block counter top. The size and look of your kitchen should be your guide.

Sizing a Kitchen Island

You can use a kitchen cart or some other type of portable kitchen furniture that fits your space or have a built-in island long enough for several people to sit at. The only real guide is the size of your kitchen and your preferences. You’ll need room to walk through the kitchen and room to open things your dishwasher, oven, cabinet and refrigerator doors. Will you still be able to get your garbage or recycling easily out of the kitchen with your chosen island in place?

Don’t forget to account for room for kitchen stools around it, and consider the space they’ll take up when someone’s sitting in them, not just when they’re pushed up against the island. If you plan to have people sitting there but they have to move every time you try to walk around in the kitchen, you might want a smaller island or one that’s designed as a workspace and not a gathering space.

Hang it above Your Kitchen Island

A long island will look especially great with pendant lights in a row above it as task lighting. These hang down and can be a variety of lengths or they can all hang down to the same level. If you have a cooktop on your island, that will limit what you can hang above it, of course. If you have a cooktop with no hood above the island, then you won’t want anything hanging down over the space.

Range hoods aren’t absolutely necessary in every kitchen, but having that type of ventilation over your cooktop will help keep your kitchen cleaner. It will also minimize food and cooking odors. If you have a sink on the top, then you can choose to hang anything above it including lights, or even a pot and pan rack. Just make sure that anything you hang above it provides enough clearance beneath it so that no one’s in danger of a bump to the head when using the handy kitchen island.

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