Want to make the most of your kitchen space? A kitchen island or cart will provide additional counter space as well as storage for your many kitchen gadgets. Determine your needs before you make a final decision on your kitchen island.
What are the benefits of having a kitchen island or cart? Kitchen islands can increase the function of your kitchen exponentially. They provide additional surface area for food preparation and you can even install a sink in your island for extra convenience. Choose an island design that has cupboards, shelves or drawers for extra storage. Or, design your island with extra seating in mind so it can double as a place to eat.
What’s the difference between a kitchen island and a cart? A kitchen cart is essentially a smaller version of a kitchen island, and is generally on wheels. They make a great addition to smaller kitchens that may not have room for a typical island.
Should you choose a permanent kitchen island or a mobile one? This depends mostly preference, budget and kitchen space. Maybe you have a smaller kitchen and you’d like to be able to push your island to the side after use. If that’s the case, a mobile one would work best for you. However, if you’d like to use your island mainly for food preparation, you can customize a built-in island with a sink, which you can’t include on a mobile one. Installing an island is more expensive than a mobile island, but it may be a better investment in the long run.
What size should your kitchen island be? Survey the size of your kitchen and determine how you’ll use the island to get the size right. If you have ample space, are an avid cook and plan to use the island as the food preparation epicenter, you’ll want a large island with a good amount of counter space and plenty of easy-to-access drawers and cabinets. Or, if you have a smaller kitchen and plan to use it occasionally, it’s possible a smaller cart with a few shelves will do the trick. Regardless, be sure that there is enough room to move comfortably around your island as well as pull out things like drawers or cupboards; the last thing you want is for it to cramp the space.
What types of countertops should you consider for your island? There are several different options to choose from, depending on your aesthetic preference and individual needs. If you plan to do a lot of cooking and cutting on the island, you may want to consider a butcher block surface. These are durable and aesthetically pleasing, and take away the hassle of dragging around a cutting board. However, wood is porous, so it’s pertinent that you keep up with cleaning. A stainless steel countertop is sophisticated and sleek; they’re also durable, heat-resistant and easy to maintain. On the downside, they’re easily scratched so it’s best to avoid cutting directly on the surface. Granite is a timeless choice that looks great in any space, and is very durable and easy to care for. However, granite is often one of the more expensive options.
What additional features might you consider for your kitchen island? Kitchen islands can be as customized as you want them to be, so think big picture when you’re planning your purchase. Do you think you may need extra space occasionally? Seek one out with a drop leaf so you can set it up and tuck it away as needed. If you have a sink, attach towel racks, or if you have a granite or stainless steel countertop, perhaps you’d like a bread board for cutting.
Begin your search here for everything from a simplistic kitchen cart to a state-of-the-art island.