Take a U-turn. The owners of this bright, open-plan space have cleverly tucked their kitchen into the area next to the stairs. And the U-shaped design has created an instant breakfast bar.
Butcher’s block and granite top. “Once you have an island, it is hard to go without,” Wanda Brown says. So after she moved into a home with a smaller kitchen than in her previous home, she fashioned a micro island using a small butcher’s block that she topped with a piece of granite. It gives her extra prep space close to the sink but, because of its compact size, doesn’t interfere with the flow of the kitchen.
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End-of-island display. The end drawers on this island have glass fronts and false backs so the homeowners can display cookbooks, colorful fruit, pasta, candy or whatever they please. Behind the false backs is regular storage.
Make it multi-level. Add another dynamic by creating variation in the height of your island. Using the island for multiple purposes, like eating and food prep, will both maximize the utility and make it feel like two totally different spaces. For example, add an appliance to one level (like a sink or stovetop) and create a breakfast bar on a higher tier.
Don’t let a good visual get in the way of functionality. Before you renovate or give your island an update, consider these options for how to choose the best dining arrangement to save your household — and your knees — a lot of bumps down the road.