Do you find yourself traveling from area to area when cooking in your kitchen? Are you short of storage space? Do you end up looking into a wall or having your back to your company while cooking? The solution to these problems is the centrally located kitchen island. The anchor of a busy kitchen, the island is a multi-talented fixture that provides a working surface and pivotal location for preparing food while helping to stylistically shape the room. Many of today’s kitchen islands are spectacularly designed in both the form and functions they provide. Alluring silhouettes, multilevel surfaces, and varied head-turning materials are imaginatively combined. Built-in wine racks, adjustable shelving, rinsing sinks, cooktops, and warming drawers are just a number of the “bells and whistles” that accompany the well-equipped island. Keeping the island appropriately scaled to the rest of the kitchen is important. Many islands appear too large for the kitchen in which they are placed. An island should not be so big as to hinder movement in the room or visually bully the space with its size. Like cabinetry, it should be considered a piece of furniture that is thoughtfully integrated into the space and design of the room.
In a roomy layout, you can shorten the distance between the three key work areas by adding an island or peninsula. A peninsula base and ceiling-hung cabinets offer convenient storage for tableware and linens. In an L- or U-shaped kitchen, an island can add visual interest, breaking up the space without confining it. It also provides an extra work surface, a convenient spot for snacks or informal meals, as well as a place for setting up a buffet when entertaining.
A kitchen island can also serve as an excellent location for a cook top or second sink, if plumbing and ventilation hookups permit. It could also prove the ideal spot for a wine rack or cooler, a wet bar, warming drawers, modular refrigerator units, or additional general storage. For maximum efficiency, be sure the design provides a clearance of 48 inches from the island kitchen to the wall cabinets.
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