Elizabeth B. Gibbons. Kitchen Islands. December 01st , 2017.
A drop leaf is another feature that you may want to have on your kitchen island. The drop leaf gives you some extra counter space which can be used for either extra seating capacity or extra work space. Any kitchen can always use extra counter space, whether it`s to be used for seating or working. If your kitchen needs storage capacity and work space, the kitchen island is the best way to do it for the least expense.
The normal counter top height of the lower cabinets, including the island is 36". One approach is to install a raised bar area along the living area length of the island. The standard bar height is 42" , making it 6" above the level of the island counter top. Seating required standard bar stools with a seating height of 30". Minimum bar overhang is 12".
Ok, let`s say an island is going to work well for your design. Now let`s move on to making it the envy of the neighborhood! Here are some suggestions for adding increased utility and original personality. Think about the seating. Do you need seating? If so, how many seats. Rule of thumb is 24 inches per diner but if you have smaller bar stools or smaller diners i.e. children...then you can fudge this a little. Don`t crowd it. One level or two? One level is best for entertaining and maximizing the work space. The space can double as a serving area when not used as seating. Hint: if one level works for you and you have a sink in the island, install an air switch for the disposal. This is a small flat button that is installed in the countertop and is far better than cutting into your side panels with a switch, or worse, having to open the cabinet door to turn it on. Try very had to have one slab of stone, granite or other solid countertop material if one level island. Seams are a no-no. I repeat, no seams. If you want two levels, then that is fine, if it works. Hint: Don`t buy into the conventional idea that the 6 inches of raised bar "hides" anything. It does not. No one is fooled into thinking the kitchen...is not really a kitchen. Make the island different than the rest of the kitchen. Try different cabinetry materials or different countertops, but not both. Or, think about two islands in one with two different, yet complementary materials such as the wood and copper in above picture.
The next thing on your agenda is to figure out the style you want your kitchen island to have. Naturally, it should fit in with the rest of the décor in the kitchen. If you have a country style kitchen a distressed wood or finished wood island might be the proper choice. A more modern or gourmet kitchen would be the perfect place for a kitchen island with natural stone or metal countertop. Just like with any other kind of home décor, there are no hard and fast rules you have to follow. It`s your house; you choose what works for you.
The large immovable kitchen islands may turn out to be a kitchen remodeling job, with the design work and planning that entails. Water, gas or electrical lines may have to be run for this type. It can be used for just food preparation, or sometimes seating may be added with counter stools, so that it has a work area on one side, and seating on the other. Either way, the 360 degree access that a kitchen island provides will make your kitchen a dream kitchen.
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