Our recent story on how to squeeze a narrow island into a small kitchen garnered numerous contributions from readers who have managed to make a mini island work in their homes. These narrow and small islands cleverly bring extra storage, prep space or seating into a space-challenged kitchen. Here’s a look at some of the best.
And according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders more than 70% of buyers want an island in their kitchen, and of those, 50% consider it a must-have. Since it’s apparent that adding an island is a sound investment, we’ve gathered 60 of our favorite kitchen island ideas to use for inspiration.
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.
Butcher’s block and granite top. “Once you have an island, it is hard to go without,” Wanda Brown says. So after she moved into a home with a smaller kitchen than in her previous home, she fashioned a micro island using a small butcher’s block that she topped with a piece of granite. It gives her extra prep space close to the sink but, because of its compact size, doesn’t interfere with the flow of the kitchen.
Go around a corner. If your kitchen is located in an open-plan room with a partition wall, get your place to perch by making use of the space as these homeowners have done. One run of cabinets continues beyond the wall, and the countertop turns the corner to form a ledge for bar stools to sit neatly under. It’s a really efficient way to use an awkward, unused area.
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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