Blog May 8, 2012

Kitchen islands aren’t going away

Better Homes & Gardens

The kitchen island is often the hub of the home, the place where family members and guests gather to eat and socialize. While the island’s function remains the same as it has been for years, its look and feel are changing.

“Pare it down to the basics, and anything else is a great addition but not necessary,” says Samantha Emmerling, a senior editor at House Beautiful, as reported in the Chicago Tribune. She notes that since most homeowners want an area for prep, additional counter space, seating, and storage, the form of the actual island ought to follow its function.

What about size? The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends a minimum of 3 feet by 4 feet. Maximum size should be determined by the aisle space that surrounds the island. A clearance of 42 inches is ideal for providing ease of movement. Kitchens accommodating more than one home cook, however, should have at least 48 inches of aisle space.

Homeowners can get creative with design, because the best islands are not necessarily custom-built. Better Homes and Gardens features furniture pieces that are up to the task — antique table, workbench, and stainless steel restaurant-grade shelf. Repurposing antiques and salvaged pieces or buying shelves that aren’t expressly made for the kitchen add unique style and charm to the single-most utilized room of the home.