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.
Undersink drawer. Given the plumbing fixtures that must go beneath the kitchen sink and the fact that there isn’t much room in that space for storage, this area can feel like a dank mini-cave. This drawer has a clever cutout that gently surrounds the plumbing, making available the good, clean space while keeping the plumbing hidden.
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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.
Focal-point shelving. This kitchen features a variation on the end-of-island storage idea, with built-in shelves on either side of the tall chairs. Because this kitchen opens to a seating area, the shelves and the items displayed on them — here, pottery and a cake stand — offer a place for the eyes to rest rather than just the chair backs.