Custom design to the space. In this kitchen-dining area the owners have managed to fit in quite a roomy island. The L-shaped footprint of the cabinets to the left could have presented a problem, as there might not have been enough room to pass between the “wall” and the island. To overcome this, the designers cut a corner off the island’s tabletop to provide easier access.
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.
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.
I recently heard a story about a homeowner who had a major design regret. During a previous renovation, she elected to put all four counter stools on the same side of her kitchen island, a frequent spot for her family meals. This left her with a beautiful look but turned out to be an unfortunate mistake from a functional perspective. That’s because she now has to choose between having everyone in her family face in one direction like strangers in a diner and having to pull around a stool to sit on the wrong side of the island, with her knees bumping up against cabinets for the sake of family bonding.
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.
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.
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