Finding Paradise...on your Kitchen Island!

Traditional Kitchen Island Design

Staggered height kitchen island with sink and seating area

Kitchen Islands are the multi-taskers of the kitchen, capable of preparing, cooking, storing, entertaining and more. It can be an extension of your kitchen table, and in some cases actually be the kitchen table! A well thought out kitchen island can change the whole look, feel and flow of your space and provide you, your family and your friends with a favorite gathering or work spot in your kitchen.

To make sure you find paradise on your next (or new) kitchen island, consider the following questions recently suggested by Vanessa Brunner from

First and foremost, determine what the kitchen island will be used for in your new kitchen design…. Is it for preparing meals or cooking food? Eating or entertaining? Clean up? It could be all of the above, but consider your top priority for the kitchen island space and work from there. Cooking at your kitchen island will typically require more space to accommodate appliances, including venting or hoods for cooking appliances. Using it for cleanup means considering a dishwasher, sink, recycling and/or waste center in your kitchen island. You want to consider at least 7’ in your kitchen island if you envision multiple appliances in your space.

Kitchen Island in Modern Kitchen Design

3 tiered island offers elevated seating at far end and lowered seating at near end.

Identify how much storage you need in your kitchen island… If the kitchen island is going to be your main food prep area, you must make sure you have space for the necessary utensils, cutting boards and other food prep materials used, in addition to whatever storage needs you have, especially if you have a smaller kitchen and storage space is at a premium.

Be clear on how the kitchen island will it fit into your kitchen and layout… A kitchen island should work well with the flow of your kitchen and tie in with your sink, range and refrigerator work triangle. You must also allow for proper clearance on the working sides of the kitchen island as well as the ends. The National Kitchen & Bath Association recommends a minimum of 42” for one cook and at least 48” for multiple cooks. The shape of your kitchen island must also be taken into consideration. Will you go straight or L-shaped? One height or staggered to separate a cooking or cleaning space from an eating or entertaining place.

The paradise found on a well-planned and designed kitchen island is just one part of a successful kitchen design.  Consider the above questions about kitchen islands when you start planning your kitchen remodel and you are on your way to finding your own “island” paradise!

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