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Benefits Of A Kitchen Island

Look at just about any high end kitchen built these days and you’ll find an island. It’s pretty much become a standard design feature in almost all of the most beautiful kitchens. If you’ve spent any time at all on Instagram or Pinterest looking at kitchen lately then you’ll know what I mean. No matter what style the kitchen, an island is typically part of the layout. And for good reason. They’re a fantastic addition to any kitchen with enough room for one. In this article we’ll discuss the benefits of a kitchen island along with some design tips,pictures and info from the builder.

A kitchen island has a variety of benefits ranging from aesthetics to function. Sure, they can be beautiful, but they also provide lots of storage, seating, space for appliances and potentially a sink. Island also give you a great spot to hang some fantastic pendant lights or to build a decorative ceiling. They’re a focal point of the kitchen that draws the eye and provides a place to gather around. In many modern kitchens the island has replaced the kitchen table as the go to spot in the kitchen.

Ahead we’ll look at some of the major benefits of a kitchen island along with lots of pics so keep reading.

Beautiful white kitchen island with a white countertop and lots of built in storage.

Beautiful white kitchen island with a white countertop and lots of built in storage.

Kitchen Islands Add Storage

A kitchen island is a great way to add additional storage areas.

With the option of additional drawers,  open shelves, and cabinetry, an island can provide lots of extra storage space right where you need it. And since the island is a stand alone unit you can be a bit more creative. Check out the beautiful white island shown above. The end shelves are left open which gives you a great area to decorate.

Other forms of storage are great for an island too like a drink or wine fridge.

You should layout your island storage based on what appliances you plan on installing and what you’ll be doing with the island. One of the advantages of a kitchen island is how versatile they are. If it’s just to have a large countertop with seating then you’ll of course have more storage. But if the island is more of a work station with lots of appliances then the storage should be functional. If you’ve got a sink then include a cabinet for cleaning supplies or a drawer for washed utensils. If you have an oven then include an area for pots and pans you’ll be cooking with. Try to match the function of your island with the storage you’ll need.

Large kitchen with an open floor plan featuring a center island and lots of seating.

Large kitchen with an open floor plan featuring a center island and lots of seating.

Extra Seating

A large kitchen island with plenty of seating is a staple of kitchen design these days. Almost every new home built has an open floor plan with lots of seating. One of the benefits of a kitchen island is being in the center of all the action. It’s a great place to eat a non formal meal, hang out, do homework or even get some work done. As a designer I need plenty of space to roll out plans and the only space I have that’s big enough is the island countertop.

It’s also a great place for kids to sit and do home work or eat. I like having the kids in site when I’m busy in the kitchen and the island is the perfect place. If they ever have large crafts to to an island countertop is typically more than enough space.

And those island seats can be moved around. They’re pretty much the same as bar stools so when I have people over watching a football game or a fight all those seats come in handy. They’re a lot more comfortable than a fold out chair and more fashionable too.

Another benefit of a kitchen island is the design opportunity they bring. Cabinets, countertops and the backsplash don’t typically have much color and can be a bit bland. With island seating you can be bold and bring in styles you wouldn’t ordinarily see on a kitchen.

Kitchen island with multiple appliances and a full size undermount sink. benefits of a kitchen island.

Kitchen island with multiple appliances and a full size undermount sink.

Extra Amenities

A kitchen island can be nothing more than cabinets and a countertop if that’s all you need. But one of their many benefits is that they be so much more.

An island can be loaded with additional amenities that combine to create a fantastic work station. Because the countertop is so large the cooking space can be big enough enough for multiple cooks to use at once. It’s a nice feature if you have a family cooking day or something with friends.

A sink, dishwasher, microwave, or even a cooking station can be added too. Or how about a wine fridge or even a mixer drawer. And don’t worry about electric because it’s easy to run outlets anywhere you need them.

Pretty much anything you can use in a kitchen can be added in some form to an island. However when those things are in a centralized island they become much more convenient and easy to use.

Light grey center island with marble quartz countertop and a beautiful chandelier pendant light.

Light grey center island with marble quartz countertop and a beautiful chandelier pendant light.

Lighting

Although the kitchen island itself typically doesn’t light up, one of their benefits is the opportunity for pendant lighting. It’s pretty much a standard to have pendant lighting or some sort of chandelier hanging above your island. This is not only a beautiful look but also a huge functional benefit.

Pendant lights or a chandelier gives off a lot more light to the kitchen and also provides more lighting options. I recommend creating multiple lighting zones. One for the main kitchen lights around the cabinetry, another for the island lights and one more for ambient lighting like under cabinet LED strips. You can even put each zone on a dimmer switch. Having more lighting options creates more versatility which is always an advantage.

Pendant lights or a chandelier are a beautiful thing to have in the kitchen which is possible when you have an island. The island typically sits in the middle of the kitchen, which when paired with lighting creates a fabulous floor to ceiling focal point.

Large kitchen island with marble countertops and an undermount sink with gold faucet.

Large kitchen island with marble countertops and an undermount sink with gold faucet.

Counter Space

We touched on this a bit earlier but just look at all that usable counter space. An island counter is very different than a traditional 30″ base counter. With your regular counter you can generally only use it from one side. However an island can be used from all sides which allows for so many more uses. The slabs some of these islands use are enormous. It’s basically like having a full size table in the room made out of stone. You can do just about anything you want with that much square footage. Here are a few common uses.

  • Eating. This is an obvious one but one of the primary benefits of a kitchen island is the eating space. You’ve basically go an informal dining table in the perfect place to eat.
  • Cooking. Standard countertops aren’t great for food prep and don’t comfortably allow multiple cooks at once. That all changes with an island. Cooking with kids is especially fun when you can all work together facing one another.
  • Work. I do a lot of work on my island. It’s nice to have a huge area like this to roll out my designs. I don;t have a large dining room table so the island is perfect for my needs.
  • Stuff. If your anything like me then your island gets loaded with stuff. Appliances,my cutting board, knives, the formula maker and lots of baby stuff are what’s typically on my island. All the space gets used up in my house.

There are lots of advantages to having a kitchen island and one of the biggest ones for me is all that wonderful counter  space.

View of the house and backyard while standing at the kitchen island sink.

View of the house and backyard while standing at the kitchen island sink.

Sink View

One of the top requests we get when designing a kitchen is a view from the sink. Traditionally this was by a window above the sink but these days homes are a little different than they used to be. Now that floor plans are more open the kitchen is sometimes twisted to face a side or inside wall. In this case having an island sink to look out over can be a big advantage.

Take for example the kitchen island shown above. The main sink and cabinetry all face the side or an inside wall. Both of which means no view. But the island has a sink where you can stand and look out over the open floor plan and backyard. You get this same view when you prepare food, wash dishes, cook and even just sit at the island and relax. There’s no way to get this much versatility unless you install an island.

Beautiful black island with white cabinetry featuring a farmhouse sink and stainless steel appliances.

Beautiful black island with white cabinetry featuring a farmhouse sink and stainless steel appliances.

Two Tone Cabinets

A huge trend among high end kitchens is using two cabinet colors. One for the main cabinetry and a second for the island. It’s a fantastic look that brings color and variety into the kitchen. And it wouldn’t be possible without an island.

If you like the look of two tone cabinets then I recommend going with something bold for the island. Most kitchen colors tend to be white or grey with wood flooring. Marble or quartz with a marble or white backsplash. None of which brings much color. Even walls are typically painted with a light and neutral color. If you want something to offset all those pale colors then use the island. Here we see a fantastic black island which is the perfect contrast to all that white.

A black island is also a great look for the super popular Modern Farmhouse. If you’ve got black frame windows instead of white then a black island makes even more sense.

One of the biggest benefits of having a kitchen island is the versatility it brings. They’re beautiful, functional and give lots of countertop space. if you have the room for one why wouldn’t you want an island.

Beautiful kitchen with two different countertop colors, black and butcher block.

Beautiful kitchen with two different countertop colors, black and butcher block.

Multiple Countertop Materials

While using two tone cabinetry is a great idea, many designers take it a step further and use different countertop materials. It’s another design option that’s only available if your using a kitchen island.

As I keep saying, one of the biggest advantages of an island is how much you can do with it. Install a sink, use multiple colors, seating, appliances, amenities, lighting and now even using different countertop materials. A kitchen island is it’s own thing and a true focal point for the room so you’ve got the freedom to style it however you like.

In this kitchen we see a black granite main countertop with a butcher block island. The rich wood stain is such a beautiful coloring and adds so much warmth to the room.

I like including wood or some other natural material to my kitchen designs. Most people are using wood floors these days so that’s covered but in this kitchen they went with tile. Offsetting that with wood countertops is a great decision.

Beautiful white kitchen featuring a large island with seating, a farmhouse sink,storage and lots of seating.

Beautiful white kitchen featuring a large island with seating, a farmhouse sink,storage and lots of seating.

Entertaining

One of the best things about having a large kitchen island is entertaining. Having an island gives you a perfect area for people to gather around, eat, socialize, and have fun.

An island is a great spot to place the food and drinks for a party. It creates a central area for people to gather around and have fun. One of my favorite things to do is throwing a cooking party. My family gets together and cooks pizza, barbecue or tacos. An island makes it so much more fun because everyone can cook and prep food together.

All those seats really come in handy too. While I’m preparing dinner everyone can sit and hang out or have a drink where I’m at. And sometimes they even pitch in. Without the island they’d be in the living room or at the kitchen table. It’s great being able to entertain so close to where the actions going on.

The island is also where the wine fridge is so that’s a big convenience.

Summary: Benefits Of A Kitchen Island

Look at just about any high end kitchen built these days and you’ll find an island. It’s pretty much become a standard design feature in almost all of the most beautiful kitchens. If you’ve spent any time at all on Instagram or Pinterest looking at kitchen lately then you’ll know what I mean. No matter what style the kitchen, an island is typically part of the layout. And for good reason. They’re a fantastic addition to any kitchen with enough room for one. In this article we’ll discuss the benefits of a kitchen island along with some design tips,pictures and info from the builder.

A kitchen island has a variety of benefits ranging from aesthetics to function. Sure, they can be beautiful, but they also provide lots of storage, seating, space for appliances and potentially a sink. Island also give you a great spot to hang some fantastic pendant lights or to build a decorative ceiling. They’re a focal point of the kitchen that draws the eye and provides a place to gather around. In many modern kitchens the island has replaced the kitchen table as the go to spot in the kitchen.

If your considering installing a kitchen island I hope some of the info and pics above will help.

If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.

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