Kitchen islands have become a standard feature in households across the U.S. They’re super versatile, and when designed correctly, can add to your overall kitchen experience. When working with your designer, the kitchen island is a perfect opportunity to add convenient elements that will make your life a whole lot easier. Here are five suggestions to ensure that your kitchen island works for you.
A Second Sink
One of the most popular features of kitchen islands is an additional prep sink. They tend to be smaller than the main sinks located around the perimeter of the kitchen. Many people use the kitchen island countertop space to prep meals, and having a sink nearby can help streamline the cooking process.
Reducing the amount of space between your prep area and your sink prevents you from having to spin around or move back and forth between different parts of your kitchen. This creates a safer kitchen space, especially if you have kids or pets who love to wander into the kitchen while you’re cooking. They’re also great for elderly homeowners who don’t have the mobility or agility to move around the kitchen like they used to.
Extra Storage Space – From Both Sides!
Building the base of your kitchen island with wide cabinets can help increase the overall storage space in your kitchen. Here you can store the kitchen items that you tend to use the most while standing at the island. This space can also be convenient for storing the dishes or pots and pans that you only use during special occasions. When designing the base of your island, don’t limit yourself! If space permits, choose cabinetry that you can access from both sides of the island, allowing for even greater convenience. You also aren’t limited to cabinets with doors. Large pull-out drawers tend to be even more accessible.
Space For Extra Appliances
Modern kitchen islands have become multi-use spaces that aren’t simply a huge storage center in the middle of the kitchen. With the advent of modern appliances, kitchen islands can now include small refrigerators. Wine fridges are great if you’re constantly entertaining guests. If you’re an avid chef, there are small refrigerated drawers with compartments to store prepped ingredients for your next meal.
Fridges aren’t the only small appliances that can make your island more convenient. Microwaves in the kitchen island can operate similarly to having an extra sink by preventing you from having to run between far corners of the kitchen while preparing your food.
Kitchen Island Outlets
If you already have a kitchen island, you may have run into a small problem. You’ve got these cool small appliances but you can’t use them on your kitchen island countertop because there aren’t any outlets nearby. Solution? Simply add an outlet to the island itself. Most kitchen islands will have the outlets located on the side, out of view. However, pop-up outlets that are located directly on top of the kitchen island are also an option. These are convenient for small appliances that have shorter cords.
An Ambiance Boost
The space above your island shouldn’t be neglected either. Targeted lighting above the island is great for safety, as it allows you to see better than general lighting alone. However, pendant lighting is also a great way to boost the overall aesthetics of your kitchen space. Pendant lights are available in a wide variety of designs that can really kick your entire design up a notch.
Want to take it a step further? Adding lights underneath the countertop and/or the toe kick can add gorgeous mood lighting for a romantic evening ambience. Glass cabinet doors with lights on the inside can also achieve the same effect.