Functional Kitchen Island Design Ideas For A Home Remodel

Kitchen Island Design Advice For Home Remodeling

Kitchen designs are complicated affairs on every level! One of the most difficult design decisions you make will be your kitchen island design. Your island needs to be proportional to the space. You'll need to consider seating options and seating height, appliance placement and storage options while keeping within certain technical guidelines to allow convenient access to kitchen components.

Let's explore what goes into the perfect kitchen island design.

irst, Ask The Right Questions To Define Your Needs

When first planning your kitchen island design ask and answer these five key questions before you begin.

• What is your island's function?

Before you start thinking about storage and cook tops, decide what the islands main function will be. Will you be doing prep work? Cooking, cleaning, eating or entertaining? Will your kids be doing homework at the island after school? If you want a cook top, you'll need more space, if it's just going to be a place for quick family meals, focus on seating. Think about your work flow and lifestyle before you start.

• Do you want/need appliances in your kitchen island design?

If you choose to have appliances installed in the island you'll need to plan for function as well as space. If your main sink is in the island, consider where you'll place the dishwasher. If you're using your island for your main food prep area you'll want trash, recycling and compost bins nearby. If you're installing a cook top, will you use downward draft ventilation or an exhaust vent or hood?

• How much storage do you need? What kind?

A lot of this depends on your kitchen layout, the function of your island and its size. If you have a ton of storage in your perimeter cabinets, island storage might not be a priority. Likewise if you're planning on using your island for seating you may not have the room for a ton of storage. If you're including a cook top as a part of your kitchen island design, consider spice drawers, cutting board storage and a space for your knives to make prep easier.

• What about counter height?

First, determine your seating height. If you want bar stools, consider 36 or 42 inches in height. A 42-inch high stool allows you to create a split level island with a lower working side for prep and a dining side that accommodates the higher stools. The space in between the levels is the perfect place for electrical outlets.

A 36-inch high top provides seating that is between a bar stool and a table and can nicely define your eating area. Leave a minimum of 12 inches of overhang for seating, but 15 to 18-inches is more comfortable.

• How will your kitchen island design fit into your layout?

Your kitchen is a busy space. Every part needs to function with the way to work. Make sure the working side can function with the opposite counter. Make sure there's enough room to move freely and that placement of elements like the stove doesn't impede workflow. The open space around the island needs some thought as well. You'll need a minimum of 36 inches around ends of the island, with a minimum of 42-inches of space on the working sides at minimum.

Define your needs and consider your space when creating your kitchen island design. Design items like ball feet, columns, split level islands, and custom islands that look like fine furniture are all possible with the right budget. Think about your lifestyle as well. If you love to bake, a marble counter top can make baking a joy! If you're planning on sing the island for prep, consider a butcher block inset for chopping vegetables, with compost, trash and recycling bins built in.

Whatever your creative vision, speak with your kitchen designer, or design build firm. They can explain all of your options and help you to make the perfect choices to compliment your lifestyle and aesthetic vision.


About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.