Islands are among the most requested features among homeowners who are creating the kitchen of their dreams. It’s not surprising because islands provide extra countertop and storage space and serve as the kitchen’s central hub for family dinners, entertaining and enjoying time to oneself. While the benefits of an island are obvious, designing islands to meet the individual needs of homeowners in the Harrisonburg area requires understanding how the kitchen is to look, feel and function.
We discuss with homeowners if they want their island to also serve as a dining table. We need to not only determine if there is adequate space for seating around the island, but also the number, type and location of the seats. As a rule of thumb, we recommend at least 2 feet of space between each seat and at least a one foot overhang on the countertop if space is at a premium. If not, most homeowners are better served with overhangs of 16 to 18 inches.
Because islands tend to be the central gathering place in new kitchens for homeowners in the Shenandoah Valley, we evaluate the functional needs of the island. These needs may include:
- full-sized or prep sink
- built-in cutting board
- beverage fridge or refrigerated drawer
- recycling center
- composting center
- microwave or steam oven
- Each of the components will add to the functionality and enjoyment of your new kitchen.
Storage is another functional consideration. Many homeowners favor dual sided storage for their islands. Providing storage on the side of the island with seating helps to maximize storage and provide a finished look to a new kitchen. Another technique to enhance storage capabilities of islands is to add cabinets, drawers or shelves to the ends of the island.
Strategically located outlets and charging stations are additional features of a well-designed island. Depending on the size of the island, many jurisdictions have code requirements for the number of outlets required. Once we know how the island is expected to perform and the tools that homeowners will use in their new kitchen, we can identify ideal locations for outlets and charging stations.
Quartz and engineered stone are the two most popular countertop materials specified for islands among homeowner. If you plan to use your island for meal preparation, baking, etc., you will benefit from selecting a highly durable countertop material for your island. Quarts is both stain and heat resistant and is virtually maintenance free. Other materials to consider for islands are slate, concrete, stainless steel, and wood, among others. Regardless of the material you select, ask your showroom designer about the care and maintenance requirements of that material.
Islands can provide a distinct and personal design statement by incorporating pops of color, contrasting cabinetry, furniture details, use of different textures and design features.
How can you create the island of your dreams in your new kitchen? Contact us, give us a call at (540) 437-1990 or make an appointment to visit our showroom at 1930 Deyerle Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 and start converting your dreams into a reality.