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Need an additional storage and workspace in your kitchen without spending a lot of money and time with a complete kitchen renovation? A kitchen island is your answer. An efficient kitchen island offers fixes that are ideal for many kitchens – from the smallest condo kitchen to great room kitchens and everything in between.
From a movable kitchen island cart to seating area islands, the convenience of having this extra work and storage space in your kitchen can make all the difference.
Start with this question: What is your kitchen missing?
- A place to pull up a stool to have a snack or work on the next meal
- Counter space for cooking and meal prep
- Deep cabinets or drawers for small kitchen appliances, dishes or linens
- A design focal point
- A buffet surface for entertaining
- A separate station for your stove or your sink
All of these needs and more can be met through the design and installation of the right kitchen island.
Kitchen Island Design Basics
If you are like many San Antonio families, your kitchen is the hub of your home. Updating this all-important room is probably on your wish list, but you don’t have to wait for a complete remodel. Start with a new built-in island or movable island cart. You either use paint colors, and counters that match your kitchen’s current décor or you can turn a new island into a bold centerpiece by using complementary colors, surfaces and details. Updating your kitchen to include an island is far less expensive than an entire kitchen model.
An Island Sized to Fit Your Kitchen
Make sure that your new or updated island will allow for enough space to both move around your kitchen, access your current drawers and cabinets and use appliances. This clearance zone should be about three feet wide. Even if this clearance zone only leave enough room for a 40” x 40” island, that amount of cabinet and surface space can make quite an improvement in the efficiency of your kitchen.
Light it up!
Sometimes the success of a new space has a lot to do with how well the lighting achieves the function and mood of your space. Because most kitchen islands won’t have the advantage of a bright window, a kitchen island is perfect opportunity for a dramatic pendent light or even a pair of them. This will function as a task light for your prep or eating area and can also be a design feature in the room. This pendant grouping fits the modern industrial design and ads lighting right where you want it!
Hardware, Paint and Countertops
When you get ready to choose your hardware, paint and counters, use these design choices to help unify your kitchen, while making a design statement with your kitchen island. When exploring these finishes, decide how closely aligned in style you want your island to be with the rest of your kitchen. A butcher-block countertop and black cabinets like the one below looks fantastic paired with the granite and white cabinetry of the existing kitchen. It repeats the hardwood floor and ties the room together.
If you have painted cabinets, try a stain treatment on your island or vice versa. This will not only help your island become a design piece in the kitchen, but will save you the difficulty of matching stain and paint colors. If you can’t find the same style as your existing hardware, then use the same color and finish in a bolder or more distinct style.
Furthermore, consider giving your kitchen islands cabinets the look of fine furniture by adding pretty decorative feet and legs, available in different styles from the traditional hand-carved looks to modern motifs. Or repurpose an antique table like this one as a kitchen island.
Here are some last details to keep in mind when planning your new island
- Installed outlets for convenient use of small appliances
- Locking wheels for mobility
- Cabinets or drawers on front and back of island and shelves to display your dishes or accessories
- Custom drawers and cabinets for what you need most like serving trays, appliances, etc.
- Correct height for your meal prep and/ or seating
- Built in appliances like a stove or microwave, or plumbing like a meal prep sink.
There’s a reason that nine out of ten San Antonio kitchen remodels include a kitchen island. No matter what your design style or current kitchen size, you can add the functionality you need and the style you want to your kitchen with a custom kitchen island.