How to Design a Kitchen Island

The kitchen is among the most complex spaces to style in a home — and figuring out how to design an island could be confusing for homeowners. ‘s discussion boards are filled with consumers requesting help on how best to decide on a kitchen island size.

While there is no set formula for figuring out how to size an island, a few dimension guidelines might help. Kitchen designers Thomas Ahmann and Steve Justrich provide very good tips for organizing your kitchen island, starting with asking yourself six standard questions.

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1. What is the island’s function?

Before you start considering smart storage alternatives and what variety you want, determine what your island’s main function will be. Most islands have a side dedicated to cooking and a side dedicated to eating, but what will your emphasis be? Prep work, cleaning, cooking, eating or entertaining? Or are you going to use it for everything, including assignments and home projects?

If you want appliances and sinks on your island, you are going to need more space. If it will be used only for casual meals, seating should be your priority.

“The conversation about a kitchen island is really only a small subset of issues that the total kitchen design and surrounding space has to solve,” says Ahmann. “In the general plot, what gets assigned to the island is part of the total flow of living and working patterns. The island is part of a remedy, and that is where the majority of the discussion needs to concentrate. Then the details will fall into place.”

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2. What appliances do you have to have in your kitchen island?

If you have decided you would like to integrate appliances into your kitchen island, then you want to plan for function as well as spacing. “If the main sink is in the island, you’ll want a dishwasher and need to decide whether the dishwasher is to the right or the left of your sink,” says Justrich. If that will be your main prep area, you are going to require trash, recycling and compost areas near, too.

How large is your kitchen? In case you have a huge kitchen and your refrigerator is not near the island, then you might want a bigger undercounter refrigerator near. If you’re installing a cooktop, take the space necessary for an exhaust port or hood into account. Create a list of everything you need on your kitchen island, in order of priority. You might be unable to get everything on your island, but try to get at your top five attributes.

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3. How much storage do you want?

A lot of this depends on your kitchen layout. In case you have space for a lot of cabinetry in the kitchen, island storage might not be a priority. If that is to be your main homework area, the sink and other appliances might need to come first, but try to make room for homework utensils and cutting boards close to the sink.

“Ordinarily, two 24-inch base cabinets back to back will adapt most under-island purposes,” says Justrich. “But ensure your island is not too large, with extra space in the center.”

Ahmann proposes making your island 3 feet wide, as that will look best — but occasionally a width of two feet is the ideal fit. The length could be as few as 4 ft, but he proposes opting for at least seven ft if you have to adapt a sink, a dishwasher and a cooktop.

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4. How high should the counter be?

First things first: Ascertain your seats height. If you would like to have bar stools at your island, you’ll want to determine whether it is 36 or 42 inches higher. A 42-inch-high bar stool and bar tend to get a little more flexibility — that the island could be designed in two levels, together with the functioning side set lower for prep work and also the dining side higher to accommodate pub stools. The step between is a convenient location for electric outlets, too.

A 36-inch-high pub supplies for chairs that is involving a typical pub stool and a table chair. It will not allow for as much versatility in design but can be a good selection for a specified eating place. Ahmann suggests leaving 12 inches of overhang for seats areas, but 15 to 18 inches will feel more comfy.

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5. How can it fit into your kitchen layout?

Kitchens are not anything but static — the busy nature of this space requires each part to be cohesively designed. Make sure the working side of your island can operate together with the opposite kitchen counter. Will it make sense with the rest of your kitchen? Can it finish the job triangle of the sink, stove and refrigerator? Or do you want another working place with a prep sink?

The open floor area round the island also needs some calculation. Ahmann indicates about 3 ft of floor space on the ends of the island. The functioning sides of an island ought to have 42 inches of space for a minimum, but over 5 ft generally isn’t essential. The entertaining and eating side of the island is usually dependent on the adjacent space — a dining area or living area — if there is one.

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6. Do you require a designer?

It is different. Islands are often the major gathering and work spot in the kitchen, thus a lot of thought goes into them. “Anyone that has a good sense of proportion and who takes care in planning for all the proposed uses will figure this out,” says Ahmann. “But that is not everyone. A designer or architect will help in working this out, especially when connected to more than just a working kitchen.”

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