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Make Room for a Kitchen Island

How Will You Use This Added Space?

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Kitchen Island- curve counter
Coral Nafie

You can't just put an island anywhere. If you're thinking of incorporating a kitchen island in your home, be sure you have enough room!

First, think about how you want to use the kitchen island. Will it be just extra counter space or add shelves and drawers for storage? Will you need an extra sink, refrigerator, or cooktop? How about electricity?

A good way to see if an island will fit into your kitchen is to stack up empty moving boxes in the size and shape of the island you'd like. Live with these boxes for a week or so to see how the size works in relation to your appliances and layout.

If the space is too massive, experiment with different configurations. Try a longer, narrow version, or one with cut-off or rounded corners. Think about using two different counter levels for storage and display space, and for design details and finishes.

The walkway between island and stationary cabinets should be about 36 to 42" wide. If the kitchen island will be located near a plain wall, 36" is sufficient clearance. But 42" or more are required if the kitchen island stands near a stove, refrigerator, or dishwasher to allow for safety and ease of use. You want to be sure that you can easily open and close doors of appliances without hitting the new island.

The height of the counter of a kitchen island can match that of other countertops in the kitchen. Or add a lower level for desk space or an eating area. A higher level offers bar seating or can help to shield food preparation areas from adjacent living spaces.

The area of movement between the sink, stove, and refrigerator is called the work "triangle". When thinking about installing a kitchen island, try not to interrupt this efficient movement from appliance to work center.

A portable island offers versatility and convenience to a kitchen. It can be a freestanding or rolling worktable. Often, a portable island has a steel, tile, or wood countertop. But you can have one custom-built to blend with your cabinetry.

A kitchen island can be designed in any style, to either blend with your existing kitchen or contrast with the space. Traditional, contemporary, or country style cabinets topped with countertops of your choice, whether installed, rolling on casters, or free standng, offer many options. There are choices to please anyone's taste.

If you're an enthusiastic and capable "do-it-yourselfer"you may want to tackle the job of building you own island. If you do, you should be able to get just the size kitchen island you want.

Kitchen Island Links

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