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.
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.
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Pantry cabinet. This pantry cabinet in Ireland brings a highly efficient storage area into the kitchen workspace. Pantry storage areas like this are seen in the U.K., where it is known as a larder. It often is hidden behind double cabinetry doors in the kitchen rather than being in a separate room. The doors open to a storage system with open shelves on top, spice racks on the doors and bottom drawers or bins. The shelves usually are shallow enough so everything can be seen at a glance. This larder has a pullout work surface and a tall appliance shelf as a stand mixer, turning it into a baking center as well.
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.
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.