As a kitchen designer, my goal is to design a kitchen with style and functionality. In terms of kitchen islands, the bigger the better, right? Mmmm, not always. Whenever I see a design with a huge island, I always wonder how (and who) cleans the center? Large islands create great work stations because they offer so much surface area, but an island over 60″ one way can be difficult to reach, and who wants to get a step stool to clean a countertop? Here are some tricks that us kitchen designers use to make large islands work, and stay pretty.
1). Use different levels or heights to create display platforms for the center, end or portion of the island. It is always nice when a large island has a bit of visual interest with a raised cabinet or countertop surface in its center or on a side, these can be used to place fresh flowers, a potted plant, fresh fruits, you name it.
2). Design raised or lowered eating areas that help define an island and break up the surface area. This is a very easy and functional way to divide an island. You can also use a combination of #3 and #4 within your eating area.
3). Insert curves, angles and different shapes to create interest and definition. A curved end or angled edge can be interesting and create movement and rhythm within the space.
4). Use a combination of different materials to suggest different uses for each material. Butcher block with granite, quartz or marble, can create a cutting or baking area among your work stations.
Whatever space or challenges you face with your kitchen, use an island to create your kitchens character and personality, and if you have a large island use it in a large way!
By Nicolette Patton, CKD