Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Kitchen Islands

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In 2017, the most common reason for remodeling a kitchen was a simple one: people were sick of their old kitchen. 43% of people remodeled because they were ready for a change.

Remodeling your kitchen gives you the chance to transform your tired old kitchen into the kitchen of your dreams. It also gives you the opportunity to try some features that you’ve not tried before.

If you’ve thought about kitchen islands in the past, then this could be the time to take the plunge. The hard part is deciding what type of kitchen island that you want.

Read on as we take a look at what you need to know about kitchen islands.

Styles

When you imagine a kitchen island, you’re probably thinking about a long straight island in the middle of your kitchen. The choice is much wider than that, meaning you can find a kitchen island that is most suited to your needs.

Galley Kitchen Islands

Galley kitchen islands are probably the most common type. These are the long straight islands we just discussed.

The reason that galley islands are so popular is that they require the least space to install. Once you move on to more complicated shapes, you’ll use up more of your kitchen space.

The beauty of the galley kitchen island is that your kitchen will always have a clear flow around the island. Without any additional corners or curves, you can maximize the storage space to take the burden off the rest of your units. They’re also ideal for bar seating.

L-Shaped Kitchen Islands

If you have space, an L-shaped kitchen island offers you both additional storage space and additional work surface area. It means you’ll have plenty of room for all of that food prep, even if you’re planning to cook together.

They’re also useful for ensuring that even if the bar seating is in use, you still have plenty of work surface left to get on with other jobs.

The downside to L-shaped kitchen islands is that they break up the flow of your kitchen, and require a lot of space to use effectively.

U-Shaped Kitchen Islands

If you love cooking complex dishes that require a lot of preparation, then the U-shaped kitchen island could be just the thing.

You have a huge amount of storage space as well as three sections of work surface so you’ll never run out of room for that extra chopping board. Even with people making use of the bar seating, you’ll have more than enough room to prepare even the most lavish of meals.

If you want a U-shaped kitchen island then you’ll need a very spacious kitchen. The flow of your kitchen can also be an issue. It can be frustrating when you need the frying pan from the cupboard all the way around the other side of the island.

T-Shaped Kitchen Islands

T-shaped kitchen islands are ideal if you’re looking for a more dedicated dining space as well as the benefits that an island can offer.

The classic design is to have a seating area that connects to the center of a galley island, forming the shape of a T. The seating area could even take the form of a traditional table, or you could settle for bar-style seating.

Once again, you’ll need plenty of room, and the flow around the kitchen will be broken up a little.

Circular Kitchen Islands

If you’re looking for something different then you might consider a circular kitchen island.

These can be full circles or just a crescent. They make a real visual statement and offer a huge amount of preparation and seating space. The downsides are that your storage space is restricted and that there is likely to be some dead space.

You will also need plenty of room if you’re considering a circular kitchen island.

Uses

The style of kitchen island that you choose may be dependent on what you plan to use it for. There are a number of purposes that a kitchen island can serve.

Storage

One huge benefit of kitchen islands is providing extra storage.

If you’re looking for a modern, sleek, kitchen design, you may opt to leave out any wall units. You can make the space up with the units in your kitchen island.

Food Preparation

A kitchen island makes the perfect place to prepare your meals.

If you want to use your island as part of a chef’s kitchen design, then consider including a sink in your island work surface. This will mean you can wash fruit and vegetables without having to trek halfway around the room. 

Dining

A kitchen island is a perfect way to add dining space to your kitchen.

Whether you opt for a simple breakfast bar or a more dedicated dining area, it can transform your kitchen from a place to cook to a hub of the home. Make sure you leave plenty of space for each place setting.

Cooking

If you’re looking to cook your meals at your kitchen island, then you’ll need to incorporate a cooktop.

It allows you to cook whilst being able to see the whole of the kitchen, rather than with your back to the room as is often the case. The downside is that hot cooking implements are more exposed.

Where to Put Your Island

You must make sure that there is enough room around your kitchen island for a free flow throughout the room.

Your stove, sink, and refrigerator should all be within a few feet of one another to minimize the time spent walking between them. Walkways should have at least 40 inches between your island and other cabinets, and you should add another 20 inches on top of that if you’re including bar seating.

Most units are around 36 inches in height which is more than adequate for the average person. If you’re having bar seating, the higher you put the bar, the less overhang you will need. This is because taller stools need less legroom as your knees do not jut out as far.

Are You Looking to Remodel Your Kitchen?

If kitchen islands have always been a part of your ideas for your dream kitchen then we’re here to help.

We have more than 40 years of experience in remodeling kitchens to the highest standard. We work hard to provide high-quality craftsmanship and materials, helping to turn your decor ideas into reality. There’s nothing we love more than turning your current kitchen into your dream kitchen.

Contact us today for a free estimate.