Are you ready for a kitchen island?
Ever since I’ve got one, I can’t stop admiring it. Let me just tell you, I’ve been hesitant myself – remodeling your kitchen is not a light decision to make, that’s for sure. For that reason, it’s best you try to gather as much knowledge as possible before you actually take a shot at installing a kitchen island in your house. I, for one, am absolutely sure you won’t regret it, as long as you stay with me throughout this guide, which will help you make an informed decision. Are you ready for a kitchen island?
To find out the true answer to that question, let’s go through all there is to know about kitchen islands.
Is your kitchen compatible with a kitchen island?
As long as it is at least 240 centimeters long, and 180 centimeters deep, yes. Mind you, that is the absolute minimum you need to install the smallest kitchen island. Why is that so?
The smallest available kitchen island is one of 80×60 centimeters size. Sometimes, you can find 80×40 centimeter ones, but these are just kitchen islands designed to serve as a bar counter top. Anyway, you have to remember that you still have to be able to move around the kitchen – according to the safety standards, minimal space between the kitchen island and your appliances or the wall should be no less than 90 centimeters, but it’s better to keep it separated by 120 centimeters. Additionally, on the sides of your kitchen island, it’s good to have at least 80 centimeters of free space.
Add some space for the drawers, cabinets or appliances, and you will find out that the 240×180 centimeter kitchen is a must. Remember – your drawers also need some space to open.
Where can you install a kitchen island?
While installing a kitchen island in an open kitchen is the most popular choice, it is not impossible to incorporate one in a closed one.
- Open kitchen – offers us much more space to work with, than her closed sister. The only thing you have to remember about, other than the size requirements we already mentioned, is that your kitchen island is a link between your kitchen and your living room – therefore, its design has to fit both.
- Closed kitchen – should have at least 380×360 centimeters, to be compatible with a kitchen island. This is because of all the drawers and appliances that will likely be around the kitchen island, plus the space needed to move around your kitchen freely. However, if that is what you want, you can make it work with enough space, so cheer up.
Types and sizes
The type and size of your kitchen island are all tied to the purpose it’s going to serve in your house. Define what are you exactly looking for, and then pick the type that corresponds to your desires best.
- A simple counter – if all you need is a kitchen island to serve as a more fancy way to put your stuff at, while preparing food and serving it to your relatives or guests, then consider this option. Remember it’s one of the smaller solutions when it comes to kitchen islands, so it’s best not to keep any additional appliances on top of it. Such island should only serve as an additional space to put your dishes at. Lately, it’s a growing trend to divide such a counter – half of it fulfills the role of a counter for food, and the other half is for bar purposes. The usual size of such a kitchen island is 80×60 centimeters.
- Bar island – the only function such island plays is being a bar, which allows for it to be thinner than the more standard counterpart. This is because a bar does not have to be so wide – but can be longer without problems, and still present itself very well. All depends on your personal preferences, needs and the capabilities of your kitchen. A good idea, concerning bar island, is equipping it with a cooler for beverages. Additionally, if we want it to serve purely as a bar counter, there is the option of making it a bit higher, uplifting it from the standard 80 centimeters into 120 centimeters. If you decide to do that, you should buy yourself some higher bar stools. The standard size of a bar kitchen island starts at 80×40 centimeters.
- Island you can cook at – bigger than a standard kitchen, because on each side of your cooker or a hot plate, you have to leave around 40 centimeters of free, usable space, on which you will be able to prepare food. If the island has to serve only the cooking purpose, it’s worth it to make sure all the immanent cooking tools, such as pots, pans or even spices, have their place below the counter, on the built-in shelves, so you do not have to reach for them anywhere far. An island with cooking purpose usually measures 140×80 centimeters.
- Island designed for washing – as an island with the main purpose of washing dishes, it has to have a sink installed. Additionally, it’ll require a battery, therefore, it’s going to be a busy space. If we are to use some of space for a bar, it’s good to attach a small fence on the counter that will separate the washing area from the bar area. If we want to make it a complete, stationary washing unit, it’s good to install a dishwasher under the counter. As a whole, this option will measure around 150×80 centimeters.
- Multipurpose kitchen island – the ultimate kitchen island, we all dream of. This one has all the previous options, available for us in one form. It has a hot plate, a sink, a bar area – everything you need, so basically, it’s where you can do all you have to do in the kitchen. Also, there is enough space for everyone to sit around and eat. Usually, when installing such an island, it’s good to also install a proper ventilation hood above it, both for the practical usage and for decoration values. The correct size has to be at least 200×100 centimeters so that we can fit everything without problems of usage.
- Kitchen peninsula – for kitchens that are a bit shorter than the optimal sizes we listed, which still need additional counter top or usable space, it’s best to install a kitchen peninsula. It can be made by resigning from one of the passages on the sides of your kitchen island so that one side of your kitchen island is attached to the drawers. A great alternative, especially for people with smaller and closed kitchens.
Now that we covered all the different types and purposes, of kitchen islands, you should have the general idea about what you can get. But kitchen islands are much more than what catches the eye. Not everyone knows what can they really add to your everyday life – let’s try to fix that.
- Family cooking – the most commonly mentioned benefit, coming from having a kitchen island, is the possibility to engage in social activities with your family while cooking. In a standard kitchen, when you cook you’re usually setting your eyes straight on the wall in front of you. That’s no longer the case – in an open kitchen, and such is the kitchen that usually has a kitchen island installed, you can cook and still be a part of everything that your family is doing.
- Invite others to have some fun -an outstanding advantage of having a kitchen island is the opportunity to engage others in preparing your meals. With a big enough kitchen island, it’s easy to organize, so you won’t be getting in each others way.
- Additional space to work on -obviously, a kitchen island means more usable space – and that is priceless in any kitchen. Keep in mind, most kitchen islands have shelves and drawers located on the bottom side of it, which leaves the rest of your kitchen space free for decoration purposes.
- You’re going to love it if you have kids -whether your kids join you while cooking, or just sit around doing their homework – no longer will you have to leave them without supervision when you cook. You can also use the lower shelves for a place to leave breakfast for your kids if you have to leave the house early!
As we said before, depending on the type of the kitchen island you can afford to install in your kitchen, its capabilities may vary. Let’s try to list the possible solution so that everything is clear:
- Sink – you can install both sink and a dishwasher on your kitchen island.
- Cooker – or whichever other heating up system suits your needs, to cook your meals with.
- Bar – a perfect solution for people who love to throw parties in their houses.
- Counter top – if all you need is additional usable space and a place to keep your kitchen tools at.
- Drawers – bottom side of your kitchen island is perfect for keeping some tools, spices or amenities.
- Extra seating space – place some stools or chairs around your kitchen island to make the most out of it.
Whichever type of the kitchen island is up your alley, you will surely find the right materials that suit the rest of the design of your kitchen. The materials to make your kitchen island from are endless, there is nothing stopping you. Let’s just list some of the most commonly used, that will fit most of the interiors:
- Marble – kitchen island counter top made from marble will certainly be very elegant and add a modern feeling to your kitchen. Any other similar materials, like concrete or stone, will play the role just as well.
- Wood – a great choice for every kitchen, because of its natural feeling and healthy character.
- Plastic laminate – efficient and effective if designed well, this option is both practical and does not cost all that much.
- Glass – popular choice in modern designs, glass always presents itself great when used to make a kitchen island counter top.
Unfortunately, there is no real way to estimate the price of a kitchen island for everyone. It all depends on what you really have to do – overhaul the entire interior, or maybe you already have some place prepared for it to be installed at?
Ultimately, the final price comes from a plethora of factors – materials, functions, size, the conditions in your kitchen, etc. Therefore, we advise you to look for a professional nearby, invite him to your house and let him evaluate the price of installing a kitchen island.
That’s it – now you can make an informed decision and answer the question we asked you at the beginning of this article. Are you ready for a kitchen island?