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.
Book a table. Instead of opting for an island-breakfast bar, why not try a wall-fixed table? This one fits nicely at the back of this narrow kitchen and is the perfect spot for a glass of wine beside the window. And the curved design avoids the danger of sharp edges.
One-Side Seating. An island with seating on just one side is a common arrangement for a reason, and it can work well for some situations. However, if you’re looking to use the island as a frequent spot for family meals, it’s usually not ideal. Placing all seats on one side means everyone who is seated will be facing forward in a line, which doesn’t facilitate conversation.
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.
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.
Roll-out pantry. When drawers roll out, as they do in this English pantry cabinet, you don’t have to worry about digging behind things to find what you need. The glass drawer fronts and sides also allow maximum visibility of items in the drawers while keeping everything in place. The sleek design works well for a contemporary kitchen.
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