Get more storage. In addition to creating more counter space, an island is also a way to add more storage and avoid kitchen clutter by using drawers, cupboards and shelves. This is beneficial especially if appliances take up a lot of cabinet room, or if you’re looking for a unique way to showcase certain items by using open shelving. Store dishes and pots within reach or keep less frequently used appliances out of the way. Another option is to use open shelving to display cookbooks or other items.
Island drinks station. Rather than let the space at the end of the island go to waste, this homeowner installed a beverage refrigerator. Since guests are forever congregating around the kitchen island, this setup makes it easy for them to serve themselves — without getting in the way of the chef.
A good general rule for enclosed kitchens is to place it in the center of the room. That way it’s equally accessible from all sides and won’t be an obstacle for people walking through. That placement might not work best for all kitchens, however. A perimeter island, for example, might work better with open floor plans. Size and shape are also determined by room’s layout; Allow for at least 36-48 inches between the perimeter of the island and the surrounding cabinets so there’s enough room for people to move around.
Pop out a ledge. You don’t have to go large to get a hardworking breakfast bar. Not only is this mini peninsula big enough for two bar stools, it also has a cabinet and shelves for extra storage. This end-of-counter surface even helps separate the kitchen from the adjacent living space.
Stow storage in the surface. This overhanging countertop is super clever. Not only does it create a seating space, but it contains three nifty drawers too. But it gets better — a simple partition creates storage for glasses above the built-in wine cooler.
Float away. To create the illusion of space, it’s a good idea to keep furniture off the floor. The countertop here is extended from the kitchen cabinets to form a floating peninsula breakfast bar. The lack of base cabinets gives the room a feeling of flow. The designers also have thought carefully about the bar stools, choosing white tops to “melt” into the surface and wooden legs to blend into the floor.
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