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Edition 11

Kitchen Islands

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In every kitchen there is the potential of great storage, display, functionality but the sad fact is that most kitchens don’t have enough of these. A kitchen island solves these problems and looks beautiful doing it. From mobile islands to seating area kitchen islands, the amenity of having one or two in your kitchen is an added bonus. If you are fortunate to acquire a professional designer or choose a home with a kitchen island you’re in for a treat.

Ask most homeowners and they’ll tell you that there’s not enough counter space in the kitchen, no matter how much or how little they have.

If you are planning a kitchen remodel that will include an island, consider these tips:

Most importantly, there should be sufficient space between the island and other work surfaces to allow for opening cabinet and appliance doors, and for two people to work without jostling one another, a professional interior designer is in a better place to advice this.

Depending on your specific needs, the island can be located so it functions as an integral part of the work area. It can also serve as a divider between the kitchen and the family room.

Adding an island permits a reconfiguration of the classic “work triangle” of refrigerator, cooker top and sink, because it is an ideal place to relocate either the cooker top or the main sink, or to install a second sink as the focal point of a second work triangle.

If the cooker top will be located in the island, with a wall oven elsewhere, consider pull-out trays or drawers below the cooker top to store pots and pans. If the island will be a second work station with a prep sink for cleaning veggies and the like, a professional designer can suggest including a pull-out wastebasket in the cabinet below.

Be sure to plan for the mechanicals necessary for locating the cooker top or sink in the center of the room. For the sink you’ll need to supply drain lines, and for the cooker top, a ventilation system-either an overhead unit or a downdraft model. Both the plumbing and downdraft unit will require breaking through the floor.

If your island will separate the kitchen and family room, it can become a multi-purpose unit that shows a different face to the family room. The use of shallow, glass-fronted doors can be used as display space, while the kitchen side uses standard-depth base cabinets for no-nonsense storage. The generous countertop is ideal for staging a buffet.

And finally, don’t forget about adequate lighting. Without it, the island will lose much of its functional appeal.