Uses for Kitchen Islands
There are many reasons for installing kitchen islands, but all have one main goal; providing more counter space. From there, they can be designed for specific purposes as identified by the homeowner. Once the purpose is determined, extras can be added to fit needs like food preparation, cleaning, cooking or eating. Some of the most common uses of islands and how to design them to be use-specific are looked at below.
Kitchen islands for cooking
One reason for installing kitchen islands is to add additional space for cooking. This is a good option for small rooms where you have limited space for appliances. If this is your intent, here are some things to consider: How much space you have; how much more space you need; or if you would like to incorporate extra storage. They can be designed with cook-tops or even small ovens and refrigerators. Just keep in mind that the more appliances you install in the island, the less under-counter storage you will have as the mechanical and electrical parts have to go somewhere.
Kitchen islands for cleaning
Another use for kitchen islands is as a cleaning area. So you've decided you need extra space for cleaning and pre-rinsing dishes to avoid using the food prep area. Islands designed for this purpose often include small sinks, sometimes built-in dish drying racks, and other convenience features, such as shallow drawers for kitchen towels or special cabinet designed to hold cleaning supplies. Another idea is to install a dishwasher, which, though it requires very detailed planning, is a way to free up cabinet space in another area of your kitchen.
Kitchen islands as a gathering or eating place
One of the main reasons to put in kitchen islands is for adding an extra eating or gathering space. For some reason, everyone always ends up in the kitchen and this helps to keep those folks out of the way of the cook or cooks. With some clever design tricks, they can even be designed to virtually disappear. By making the eating side extend further out than the "working" you draw attention to that side and it often appears to be a traditional kitchen table, but with the bonus of added storage space underneath.