Kitchen islands began to be popular in the 1970’s and the trend is continuing. Before considering a kitchen island, there has to be enough space to incorporate it into the kitchen. Kitchen islands establish traffic pattern and should direct traffic away from the work triangle. The work triangle areas are the main work sites and include the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove. The work isle clearances for one cook should preferably be 42 inches and 48 inches for two cooks.
Kitchen Island diverting traffic flow away from work area.
Kitchen islands can also help to solve design challenges. For example, if two cooks simultaneously use the kitchen, adding a second sink in the kitchen island would help to avoid collisions while working. Other appliances such as cooktops, warming drawers, microwave, dishwasher, trash compactor, and accessories can be built into the island. Providing enough counter space on the island can not only provide extra prep surfaces, but can also function as a surface for serving meals. Kitchen islands can provide extra storage and instead of displaying your china in your wall cabinets, kitchen islands can display your special china as well. Islands can have several levels depending on functions. Kneading dough, for example, is more comfortable if the counter is lowered a couple of inches. Frequently, cantilevered seating is incorporated for casual dining. Islands can help to add visual interest in the overall design by using different cabinet and counter top materials.
Above is a multi level Kitchen island in North Albany, Oregon. The countertop on the left is ergonomically designed for kneading. While the upper counter is Caesarstone, this lowered counter is made of cool marble, the ideal surface for preparing pastry dough. Don’t forget to provide adequate task lighting for your island. One way of adding task lighting is by adding beautiful light pendants which can enhance the overall design aesthetics.