Adding a Functional Island to Your Kitchen

Follow these steps to create a practical, long-lasting and beautiful kitchen addition.

One of the most important features of any kitchen is the island. Not only does this structure serve to fill out the space, but it also offers a range of benefits for homeowners. These include an increase in available food preparation space as well as additional storage.

If you are planning on installing a functional island in your kitchen, follow this guide to create a long-lasting and beautiful addition.

Assess the Functions You Hope to Achieve

Before you begin to build, it’s important to determine what your priorities are for your island. If storage is top-of-mind, plan for a taller and wider structure. This will allow you to increase the amount of shelving inside the unit and maximize its capacity. Need a little inspiration to help organize this space? Better Homes & Gardens offers a guide to several ideas for thinking outside the box, including a built-in microwave nook, hidden cabinets and storage cubbies.

If food preparation is the focus, consider installing a wet bar into the island itself. The addition of this small sink will reduce the number of trips between cooking stations, which will streamline the process and condense any messes you may make.

Evaluate Available Space

You do not want your island to dominate the entire kitchen. Measure out the available space in the room and from there, ensure that you will be allowing suitable aisle space between the structure and surrounding furniture and walls. If an island is created too large, it can cause a room to feel visually cramped and make it difficult to move around the room.

Install Proper Lighting

It may be necessary to add additional lighting to your kitchen after installing the island. If you want to make the unit the focal point of the room, a hanging lighting structure will help draw the eye to the center of the space. For a more subtle look, consider adding an ultra-thin ceiling light or an assortment of electronic candles.

Add a Wine Fridge

Have you ever considered adding a wine fridge to your kitchen, but do not want to give up the square footage that it requires? An island is a perfect opportunity to install a unique element like this into a more compressed space, as the addition can be built around other features. Talk to your contractor early on in the planning process to learn how to best incorporate a unique touch.

Additional Seating

You can never have too much seating, especially when it comes to entertaining! By extending the edge of your island countertop off of one side, you can create a simple ledge that is ideal for bar stools. This provides a less formal dining area, perfect for guests to gather around while you cook. When these stools are removed, it leaves additional counter space for preparing, storing or serving food.