Is a kitchen island right for you?

shutterstock_217153567The concept of a kitchen island was first introduced during the 1970’s and as the size of American homes has grown, so has our love of islands. Once a sign of upscale elegance, today’s island is more about functionality than flare, but just because they’re more common doesn’t mean that an island is unequivocally right for you.

In this article we’ll look at the pros and cons of including an island in your kitchen remodel design so that you can make the correct choice for your needs and your home.

The perfect hideaway for all those extra gadgets

The biggest advantage of going with an island is all the extra storage space that it affords. With the plethora of additional appliances found in the modern kitchen, it’s truly a breath of fresh air to get those grinders, blenders and processors off the countertop and into your cabinets. And even if you’re more of a traditionalist, it’s great to have somewhere to stash away extra pots, pans and seldom used plates, glasses and utensils.

Caution: work zone ahead

Enjoy a little extra elbow room by moving your food prep station over the island. Every cook knows that countertop space is the kitchen’s most valuable real estate, but with the microwave, coffee pot, toaster and other countertop appliances taking up the prime locales, there’s hardly any space for your chopping board.

Two is better than one

Imagine having one sink for food prep and another for dirty dishes! With an island this is a distinct possibility. Big time baker? What about an extra oven for preparing desserts while the Sunday roast is on?

Whatever your lifestyle, an island provides the perfect opportunity for a non-traditional upgrade that’s just for you. What’s on your wish list? A wine cooler, a mini beverage fridge, an extra dishwasher?

Welcome to my kitchen

Add a few bar stools to your island and you’ve got the perfect place to feed the family. Having a party? Invite your guests into the kitchen for a drink so that the host/hostess can socialize while taking care of the prep work or washing up after the party.

Cost is a four letter word

Adding an island can be a budget killer, particularly if your design requires that you run water, gas or electricity under the floor. A kitchen island doesn’t need to be over-the-top superfluous and expensive, but choosing to put one in will certainly have an impact on your total cost.

Don’t get overzealous with your floor space

If your kitchen is too small to comfortably fit an island, then don’t try it. By trying to cram extra storage and workspace into a tight floor plan you can wind up creating a space that is cramped, crowded and difficult to work in.

Homeowners with smaller kitchens should consider a rolling coffee cart as an alternative to a full-sized island.

It’s not going anywhere

Remember that a kitchen island is a permanent fixture and can be costly to remove or alter. If you’re not 100% confident that you’ll be happy with your design choice indefinitely then it might be a safer bet to stick to a more traditional layout.

These contractors are becoming part of the family!

Adding an island to a home that doesn’t currently have the infrastructure to take one is going to add quite a bit of time to your renovation project. If you’re looking forward to an updated kitchen but don’t want to get to know your tradesmen on a first name basis then perhaps adding an island to your home will be a bit too much for your patience to handle.

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