There are many different ways you can approach this decision, and since an island takes up a significant amount of floor space it’s worth it to take time to make every element of its design intentional.
She requested a drop-leaf design, which gives her the flexibility to use the island for an occasional meal. But because she can fold down the leaves when not in use, she gets a little extra circulation space as needed.
Pantry barn doors. Here’s a lovely use of the barn door trend: opening a pantry. Because the doors slide on a rail, the kitchen or pantry doesn’t need clearance area for a swinging door, allowing more space for other uses. The wide pantry doors can also be left open for easy access. These barn doors create a pretty design accent with their gray paint and black hardware.
Create more seating. Whether your space lacks a proper dining table or you’re looking to create a more casual bar-seating option, adding low-profile seating to the island is an easy way to increase functionality and make the environment more social for both guests and the cook. Create a breakfast bar or dining table, and leave a counter overhang that offers enough room to tuck the chairs or stools underneath when not in use.
Add more counter space. Keep it simple while adding value by using an island to significantly increase the amount of counter space in your kitchen. Having more counter space adds obvious benefits: more room for meal prep, multiple chefs and can serve as an eating area. Create contrast by using a different material or color for the island counters than you did in the rest of the room. If your regular countertops are white quartz, try black or a dark stained wood for the island.
One-Side Seating. An island with seating on just one side is a common arrangement for a reason, and it can work well for some situations. However, if you’re looking to use the island as a frequent spot for family meals, it’s usually not ideal. Placing all seats on one side means everyone who is seated will be facing forward in a line, which doesn’t facilitate conversation.
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