An island can be a boon to your kitchen routines. A well-designed island provides adequate food preparation and storage space. Indeed, it should facilitate food prep and even dining. The style of your island — be it modern, traditional, or eclectic — depends largely on your kitchen's decor. However, form and function can mix in your kitchen island with the right planning.
The first step to a kitchen island should be brainstorming. Consider your current kitchen situation, and think of how an island can alleviate any issues. You can also designate the island for specific uses. For instance, a prepping island should include a large surface area, sink, and built-in garbage receptacle. A cooking island can include a range, oven, and microwave. You should also have ventilation built in. A dining island ought to feature ample surface for dining as well as an overhang for chairs.
Consider the Countertop
You have many options for countertop material. Natural stone is beautiful for any countertop, while cultured stone and concrete can mimic the look at a reduced cost. Laminate and solid surface countertops are budget options that are highly durable and easy to maintain. You can also choose wood or metal.
When it comes to the color and material for your island, you should consider the rest of your countertops. An island is its own entity, so you can choose complementary colors or materials. For instance, pick a color from the main countertop, and use this as the base color for the island countertop. Alternatively, have the same countertop material installed for your island.
Include a lot of Storage
No one ever complained of having too much storage. As you design your kitchen island, plan for a lot of storage. For a task-oriented island, you might choose specialized storage. For example, if yours will be a cooking island, you may want cabinets designed to hold pots and baking sheets. Another option is having external storage, such as hooks and shelves, incorporated into your island design.
Add Adequate Lighting
No matter your style of kitchen island, you need specific lighting for that area — an overhead light isn't sufficient. If yours will be a dining island, consider attractive fixtures attached to a dimmer switch so you can change the mood easily. As Better Homes and Garden points out, any kind of work area requires being well-lit. Pendant lights can work for task lighting as long as you have them placed with food preparation in mind. Track lighting is a good option because you can train lights to illuminate specific work areas. Depending on your countertop material, you can even have lighting built into the surface or around the border.