This mainly depends on the layout of your kitchen. If you have space for a lot of cabinetry in your kitchen, the island storage might not be your main priority. If the island is to be your main preparation area, the sink, and other kitchen appliances might have to come first, but try to make room for the cutting boards and preparation utensils near the sink.
Normally, two twenty-four inch base cabinets back-to-back will accommodate most under island functions, but you should ensure that your island is not too big, with some extra space in the middle. You should make your kitchen island three feet wide because that tends to look best — but sometimes a width of two feet is the best fit. The length can be as little as four feet, but you should plan for at least seven feet if you want to accommodate a cooktop, a sink, and a dishwasher.
How high should the counter be?
The first thing you should determine is your seating height. If you would like to have bar stools at the island, you will have to decide if it is thirty-six or forty-two inches high. A 42-inch high bar stool and bar normally have more flexibility and the kitchen island can be designed on 2 levels. The dining side would be set higher to accommodate the bar stools and the working side lower for preparation work. The step that is in between is a great place for placing electrical outlets, too.
A 36-inch high bar offers for seating that’s between a table seat and a typical bar-stool. It does not allow for a high flexibility in design but it can be a great choice for a defined eating area. You should leave at least 12 inches of overhang for the kitchen island with seating areas, but fifteen to eighteen inches feels more comfortable.
How will it fit into the kitchen layout?
Kitchen design isn’t static, but rather organic in nature – the busy nature of this important space requires that every section is designed cohesively. Ensure that the working side of your kitchen island functions well with the opposite counter. Will your kitchen island make sense with the other parts of your kitchen? Can it complete the work triangle of the sink, refrigerator, and range? Or do you require another working area that has a prep sink?
The open floor area that’s around the kitchen island also needs some calculation. You should ensure that there are approximately three feet of floor-space on the island’s ends. The working sides of a kitchen island should have a minimum of forty-two inches of space, but more than five feet normally is not necessary. The eating and entertaining side of the kitchen island is normally determined by the adjacent space — a living room or dining room— if there’s one.
Do you require a designer?
Simply put…yes. Kitchen islands are normally the main work and gathering spot in the kitchen, as a result, a lot of thought goes into them. Anybody who has a good sense of proportion and who also takes care of the planning for the proposed uses of the island can easily figure this out. But that is not everybody. A kitchen cabinet designer can assist, particularly when related to more than just having a working kitchen. Give us a call and our designer on staff will be able to help you through the design process.
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