A kitchen island is a popular kitchen add on but they are not for everyone or every kitchen. When working on a kitchen remodel or design you may be wondering if a kitchen island will work for you. As kitchens become more open the kitchen island is become more popular.
First you need to think about if you have room for a kitchen island. The National Kitchen and Bath Association or NKBA says that there should be 42 inches of clearance on each side of the island. This allows you to use the space as a work area and remain functional. If it is just a walking area and not a work area 36 inches should be enough space.
Next, the cost is a big factor to consider. The cabinetry and countertops are the big costs but there are also sinks, appliances and additional features you may want to install in your island that you need to consider. Running these numbers can help you understand if an island is a feasible option.
Consider the benefits and drawbacks of the open kitchen concept. One of the big advantages of a kitchen island is the counter space and additional storage. Also many island include a bar area for eating. The island can also house small appliances and the sink freeing up other island space. If you eliminate the island you can likely regain a lot this storage and counter space by creating a u shaped kitchen. The open plan also encourages more interaction so you will have to consider if this works well for your lifestyle. It can be a great way to interact with your children while they eat lunch or do homework at the counter
An island can disrupt the natural flow of a kitchen. Most kitchens flow runs off a classic triangle layout with the sink, cooktop and fridge. The functional space is much more important than the addition of an island so you will need to be sure the kitchen will function properly. Depending on how your kitchen flow is set and the design shape of your kitchen an island may or may not be beneficial.
There are alternatives to kitchen islands. You may want to look into the idea of a table in the space, a cart or leaving the space open. A table or cart are most cost effective and give you additional space without being permanent.
In the end the choice to add an island is based on what will work for your space, budget and lifestyle. Islands are a great choice but do not fit into all kitchens so considering the specifics is important to making the best decision.