Kitchen island is a standalone cabinet utilized as an additional counter-top or working surface inside the kitchen. It also provides extra storage space for those who have many kitchen stuffs, whether they are consumable or not. A kitchen island has many other functions that will facilitate the use of a kitchen. Adding this item will definitely improve the dining preparation area’s value. It does not only serve practical purposes, but also aesthetics appraisal. If you decide on getting this kitchen feature, you need to find the best kitchen islands to fit your needs and tastes.
There are many kinds of kitchen cabinets and islands available in market nowadays. They come in varied sizes, shapes, added features, and materials. You must understand the benefits and possible disadvantages of having this furniture. After deciding that you are still getting the islands, you need to learn about various kinds of model, so you can make better decision when it comes to buy ones. Then, you need to pick the best suited kitchen islands to be placed in your home.
Wooden kitchen island will add a touch of hominess to the kitchen. It is better to choose solid wood for a kitchen island. Solid wood is transformed to a piece of furniture directly from the tree logs. It is very durable and can always be recycled or modified to suit everyone’s current needs. The examples of solid woods that are great for furniture building are oak, mahogany, and maple.
Oak kitchen carts and islands are sought after by many people. It gives rustic vibe to the entire room. Oak piece of furniture will last for years. Its availability is relatively high, so it does not cost too much. It has distinctive grain pattern which can add its aesthetically value. Oak is also easy to be varnished. However, this type of wood is quiet heavy. You will get a hard time when trying to move oak objects. If it is not maintained well, oak is also susceptible to blight which can deteriorate its presentation.
Moreover, maple is also a wooden material often found to be used as cabinetry. Like oak, it also has long durability. Maple has fine texture that makes a piece of furniture looking smooth and uniformed throughout. Because of its texture, this wood takes to paint and furnish easily. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of maple material is its high cost. Some people may not be able to afford it. It is also a heavy wood, so it requires a lot of energy to move the furniture from one place to another.
Some people may want to enhance modernity of their kitchen. Placing stainless steel kitchen islands can help serving that purpose. This type of kitchen island is often used in high end kitchen like restaurant because of its various plus points. Stainless steel does not only gives hygiene look, but also helps kitchen activities clean. It is easier to clean because substances cannot seep into this material. It is also durable and very easy to maintain. As we know, stainless steel has smooth metal finish that will just suit any type of decoration. This material is also quiet cheap.
Portable kitchen carts and islands are very flexible as they can be moved across the room. They can also be easily moved out of kitchen when you need more space. It is usually equipped with work surface and opened shelving units. You will have easier access to kitchen items that you need. Moving model can help when serving meals for many audiences, like in dinner party.
However, the free standing kitchen islands on wheels have its possible disadvantages. It is not as stable as stationary, unmoving one. If you do not lock the wheels properly, it may tip over and fall down. Moreover, those who have young children are advised against it because moving kitchen islands has potential danger. Children may climb or taking kitchen stuffs from it when unsupervised. You cannot use electric kitchen appliances on the cart without moving it closer to a plug. Therefore, if you want more resources from kitchen island, the moving one is probably not suitable for you.
Meanwhile, non-movable kitchen islands perhaps offer the biggest advantages to a kitchen. It definitely lasts long. It is designed to accommodate nearly all kitchen activities. You can do food prep, wash dishes, and even cook on this type of kitchen island. It can be equipped with various features not available for the movable center kitchen islands. You can even serve food on top of it.
Fixed kitchen islands, especially large kitchen islands with seating and storage, take up so much room. It can make the smaller kitchen look cramped and claustrophobic instead of creating open space. This type is also more expensive. Since it is durable, it is permanent. When people want to rearrange their kitchen, they will have a hard time to move it. Modifying non-movable kitchen island can be costly sometimes.
Stationary kitchen island with storage is possibly one of the most basic featured island that people know. Nonetheless, it is a very helpful piece of furniture to have around. This kitchen island can fit a lot of items inside. As the standard height is around 36 inch, the storage is suitable for keeping heavy items or stuffs that are often utilized like glasses or plates. People who have young children must prepare on child-proofing their island’s storage door though.
Kitchen cabinet islands with seating are also featured kitchen islands often found in many houses. Some people may find it tedious to move their meal from kitchen to dining area, especially if it is quiet far. They prefer to enjoy the meal directly where it is made. Well, the kitchen island that's equipped with seating area is also good for socializing. People can talk with their family and friends even as they are preparing meal.
The number of seats at kitchen island needs to be taken into consideration too. For smaller houses of singles or couples without children, two seats are enough. It can replace the dining table entirely if you do not have enough room for that. Free standing kitchen islands with seating for 4 are suitable for houses of nuclear family.
In addition to those features, you can equip kitchen island with electricity, gas, and water. That way, you can do various activities on the kitchen island. Drawer storage is also a great addition to keep silverwares.
However, having kitchen island free standing cabinet also has its downsides. The one placed in open space must have at least 36 inch clearance (42 inch from nearby wall) on each side as it is meant to be a working area. People who have tiny kitchen will have a hard time to fit that criterion. They must also consider their budget when thinking on buying a kitchen island. Choosing the one with many added features and high quality material can be very costly. Stationing it can also be disruptive to the kitchen’s flow. The most traditional kitchen layout is perhaps triangular form that's proven to optimize room's functionality. Kitchen island may disturb layout and hinder traffic of the kitchen if you did not plan well.
Now that you have understood everything you need to know about this furniture, you can start choosing the right one. Here are the steps on selecting the most suitable kitchen island.
1. Fitting Kitchen Island to Kitchen’s FlowAs mentioned previously, around 42 inch of space must be reserved on each side of the island. This will accommodate people to work and move around this piece of furniture. When a kitchen has U-shape layout, it is good to place kitchen island right in the middle. If the kitchen island has built-in sink, it will speed up process of prepping and cleaning.
2. Choosing Necessary FeaturesKitchen island can be designed to have desired features important to the owner. If there is much cooking done in the kitchen, stovetop and electricity are necessary features to be added. However, when you do not cook often, storage feature will suffice.
3. Preference for OpennessOpen shelving units in kitchen island are preferred because they make the item more accessible as well as given the chance to display beautiful plates or glasses. This model demands less material and labor too.
4. Considering Aesthetical ValueKitchen island is often a focal point of the kitchen. It will be a waste not to choose beautiful design for the furniture. Some people choose to emphasize the design on its countertop by placing high-impact material, such as marble or recycled glass. Another way to improve its aesthetical value is designing the legs. You can also paint it with distinctive color, so it will stand out.
5. Choosing the MaterialStandard materials for kitchen islands are wood and stainless steel. Those two are recommended because they last quiet long and have several features that will add to the island’s value. People who favor rustic vibe are suggested to choose wooden material. Meanwhile for you who like modern sense and hygiene looking kitchen may choose the stainless steel one.
6. Selecting the Best SeatsWhen opting for kitchen islands and carts with seating, you must consider comfort and functionalities. Chairs are best placed at lower height kitchen island, around 28 to 30 inch. While for countertop that is taller, stools are the best choice. Each seat must be at least 24 inch in width.
A width of 60 inch kitchen islands with seating is necessary. This is because the counter is not only used for cooking or other activities, but also for dining. You will have more freedom to move.
7. Choosing the ShapesAt times, conventional rectangular shape disturbs kitchen layout. You can opt for L-shape or half oval shape. In addition to prevent the traffic jam in kitchen, it also improves the kitchen’s look.
8. LightingYou must add additional lights when placing kitchen island. To reduce electricity cost, you can place it on a spot where natural light will fall during the day.After learning all this information about kitchen islands and trolleys, you can decide better and understand how to arrange them within your kitchen. Get the most out of this furniture!