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.
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.
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Think about what kind of design (whether custom or prefabricated) is going to provide the most utility by asking the following questions: What will it be used for the most? What particular features will enhance the existing kitchen? What does the space need? If the room lacks cabinet space, you’ll want storage. If you don’t have a kitchen or dining room table (and even if you do), extra seating might be a priority.
Two-Side Seating: Adjacent Sides. Adding seats to even just one adjacent side can go a long way to making your island a much more inviting spot to dine. By extending the island overhang to two sides instead of just one, you allow guests to sit facing each other.
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.