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Kitchen Island Ideas for Great Custom Kitchen Islands
Use kitchen island ideas to better understand how to create a more functional and comfortable kitchen. Using custom kitchen islands means having the most suitable island for your home and kitchen area based on your kitchen space and needs. Kitchen island ideas take us back to the farmhouse kitchen, even in medieval times when a large work table was used to do most of the prep work.
In addition to preparing meals, the kitchen can become a gathering area for family and friends if there is enough space. Since so much happens in the kitchen on a regular basis, it’s important to get the design right. The kitchen island can serve as an additional dining area and food preparation can be easily done there. In a large kitchen, the kitchen island can shorten the distances within the work triangle (sink, fridge and stove or hob) and make it more efficient.
Here are kitchen island ideas to consider when planning your kitchen:
1. Kitchen islands work best in larger L-shaped, U-shaped or G-shaped kitchens. If the kitchen is too small, the kitchen island will become an obstruction and make it difficult to move easily. The best custom kitchen islands for small to medium kitchens are a portable butcher block or kitchen cart for food prep or extra storage.
2. Include a vent hood at the top to remove smoke, steam and cooking odors if your kitchen island will have a cooktop. The range hood should extend beyond the cooking area 3 inches or more on the sides for adequate ventilation. Using the correct fan size will ensure that the removal occurs as intended. You have a fan capacity of about 50 cubic feet per minute (cfm) for every square foot of kitchen area.
3. A second kitchen sink can be included in the kitchen island. Use a sink deep enough to wash large pots and pans, and consider equipping your kitchen island with a trash compactor, trash can, recycling bin, and even a dishwasher. Cleaning will be much easier when these appliances are close to the sink.
4. Leave adequate counter space on both sides (left and right) of the kitchen island if a sink or cooktop will be used. Include at least 15 inches of counter space on each side, and if your kitchen is large enough, allow even more space. You can never have too much counter space in a kitchen. Plus, the rounded corners on the counter help protect everyone from nasty bruises; this is true for all corners of the kitchen counter.
5. Additional kitchen island ideas are the ability to use the shelf space on the sides of the kitchen island for cookbooks, collectibles or storage. A built-in TV works here, especially if it’s facing the family room. Or a microwave can work well for heating up after-school snacks and cooking food quickly.
6. The countertop material for the island does not have to match the rest of the kitchen countertops, as long as it is harmonious with the overall design of the room. You might want to go for a solid surface here, for example, and use laminate on the other countertops. A butcher’s counter is ideal for chopping, while granite or marble work well for baking and rolling out pastry dough.
7. Maximize natural light by having windows and skylights, and keep kitchen wall surfaces light-colored to reflect daylight. Custom kitchen islands work great by using pendant or recessed fixtures to direct light to the kitchen island and other work areas. Electrical codes likely require outlets to be located on the sides of fixed kitchen islands, not on top, to prevent electrical shocks.
Use custom kitchen island ideas to help you figure out how to create an attractive area that performs a variety of useful functions. Properly designed, kitchen islands will make your work area more functional and efficient, and one that everyone will enjoy for many years to come. Read as many kitchen island ideas as you can about using an island to improve the functionality and convenience of your kitchen; after all, your kitchen is likely the most popular room in the house.
Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing
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