How To Design The Perfect Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is an excellent way of expending usable space in a kitchen. In order to design the perfect kitchen island, time and effort should be taken to carefully consider how the island will be used and the current available space in the kitchen.

Here's how to design your own kitchen island:

Step 1–Evaluate the Existing Kitchen
Very often, a kitchen island is installed in an existing kitchen to add needed counter space and task areas. In order to design an island that will be well utilized, evaluate how the space is used in the current kitchen configuration.

An island needs a minimum of three feet around it for ease of access. The preferred space is four feet for clearance as people walk around the island performing various tasks.

Measure the existing floor space to determine where you could best fit an island. A good way of determining if this size and location will work is to take masking tape and tape off that area of the floor in the shape and size of the desired island. It may be necessary to adjust measurements several times until you find a configuration that works well.

Step 2–Determine Island Functions and Appliances
There are many different uses for a kitchen island. Some homeowners simply use the island as added counter space and underneath storage. Others choose to relocate sinks, cook tops and other essential kitchen tasks a centrally located island. An island can serve almost any function that a homeowner can imagine.

Newer appliances are being designed to be easily located in kitchen islands, including refrigerator drawers, warming drawers, mini or full size dishwashers, microwaves and more. If you decide to install one of these, make sure there is enough clearance around the island to open the appliance fully.

Step 3–Choose Cabinet Style
The foundation of almost any kitchen island is the supporting cabinets that are used to construct it. In today’s kitchen it is no longer absolutely necessary that the island cabinets perfectly match existing cabinetry. It can be designed to highlight or accentuate the overall style or flavor of the kitchen, or you may prefer to have all of your kitchen cabinetry match.

When choosing the base cabinets for an island, use the measurements for the entire island and consider the entire usage and function. These will be factors in what kind of cabinets you choose and the configuration of them.

Step 4–Choose a Countertop
Just as with choosing any kitchen countertop, there are many different materials and style choices available for island counters. The function of the island may be a determinant in what material is used for the counter. For example, an island that will be largely used for a baking center would be well served with a granite or marble countertop. Some homeowners prefer to choose a countertop that matches their existing counters. However, as with cabinets, others prefer to choose a countertop that serves as a decorative counterpoint to the existing counters.