Kitchen Island Design Tips

Tamarack Plan 2A | Inland Empire | Pardee Homes

Kitchens are a home’s gathering place, and kitchen islands have become the hub for everything from entertaining to prepping meals to homework time. Here are a few design ideas to make your kitchen island the center of your home’s universe.

Getting seated.
You’ll want to design your island to encourage people to linger there. Think about how you plan to use the space. Do you want the entire family to be able to eat together at the island? Or, will the island be mainly for entertaining? In any case, you’ll want to allow for comfortable elbow room between seats. Plan for about 30 inches for each bar stool, but factor in your specific style of seating. For instance, if you want seats that fully swivel or ones with armrests, allow a bit more space. An extended island with oversized counter space can easily accommodate four for meals, with seating on each end and along one side.

kitchen with extended eating space

Pick your palette.
There’s a reason they are called islands. These functional combinations of work space, storage and seating areas literally stand apart from the rest of your kitchen cabinets and counters. So why not give them special treatment when it comes to paint colors, counter top finishes and even trim? An island painted navy or black can be eye-catching in an otherwise monochromatic white or gray space. Or reverse the counter and paint color scheme from the rest of the kitchen – if cabinets are white with black countertops, you might make your island cabinets black with white counters, for example.

Rid the clutter.
Today’s counter-height islands provide a seamless space at about 34 to 39 inches high. The single level provides large, uninterrupted work space and a clean, modern look. To carry through that designer-magazine style, keep island accessories and knick-knacks to a minimum. Deep kitchen sinks are perfect for hiding dishes, and the space behind the sink is great for a candle, glass, wooden bowl with fruit, fresh flowers in your favorite vase or even a potted succulent. A wooden tray displaying a few items is another way to achieve visual interest with a “contained” or deliberate feel. A good rule of thumb is to decorate in odd numbers – one eye-catching vase, or three candles of varying heights add visual interest without overdoing it.

Details, details.
Islands provide nearly unlimited options for adding finishing details that make your kitchen uniquely yours. Trim details, like legs on the island’s corners, turn it into a piece of furniture. And the space below the counter can be as multi-functional as your imagination is creative.  If your island features below-counter shelving, consider how you expect to use the island – homework, baking, a gathering place, all of the above?  A basket or two placed on the shelves can serve as a hideaway for homework or craft supplies, or a place to park mail and bills. Under-counter cabinets and drawers are useful for stashing baking utensils and kitchen appliances (think instant pot, stand mixer and blender).  Use your imagination with open shelves – perhaps your wine glass collection here, or your favorite cookbooks. The choice is yours.

Discover the endless possibilities to create your ideal kitchen island in a brand-new home from Pardee Homes. For questions, reach out to one of our New Home Specialists.

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