35-consumers-voice-cartoon-kitchen-islandWhere is your closest island destination?  If you didn’t answer “in my kitchen,” then maybe you should think about incorporating a kitchen island into your upcoming remodel.


There are obvious benefits to having an island in your kitchen, but first you need to make sure you have room for one.  A general rule of thumb is that you should allow at least three feet of space between the edges of your island and any existing counters, cupboards or appliances.  Remember, islands don’t have to be rectangular, so if you’re unsure of the spacing, feel free to get creative with your design.

Still hesitant about the space?  Bring in a temporary folding table, or stack boxes in the center of your kitchen to get a general feel for the addition.  This will also allow you to imagine the flow of your future kitchen while factoring counter space, appliance or stovetop location, etc.  If you want an island but can’t see it working, bring your kitchen measurements or blueprints to an expert and ask their opinion.

Your Purpose

Kitchen islands bring a lot of options to the design table.  Sit down and decide what your overall purpose for this addition will be.  Are you tired of facing the wall while cooking or doing the dishes?  Perhaps you want to feel like a hibachi chef.  It is easier to fling shrimp from a stovetop on an island than one facing the wall.  Maybe your purpose is to increase counter space and storage, or you want a place for the kids to sit for informal seating or homework time.  Whatever your reason, discover it and you’ll be that much closer to having your perfect island design.


Don’t forget the extra benefits of a kitchen island.  You now have the option to move your sink, dishwasher or stovetop (assuming your plumbing and electric are flexible), or even add that extra oven you’ve always dreamed of.   While you’re looking into electrical options, remember that this may be a great opportunity to add a few electrical outlets for your toaster oven or blender.  If you keep your garbage can and recycling bins out in the open, you can incorporate an enclosed cabinet for those.  Or, if you’ve always wanted a wine rack or chiller and your budget allows, you now have the space for it.

You can also upgrade the area above the island with custom lighting fixtures, a range hood, or even a rack for pots and pans.

Installed vs. Moveable

If you’re not ready to marry a professionally installed kitchen island, there are less permanent options available.  Moveable kitchen islands are a great option for more fickle remodelers.  Of course you can’t install a sink, oven or the likes in a moveable island, but you can get that extra counter space and storage, as well as the option to push the whole island out of the way when you’re not in the mood for it.  Another option for remodelers going for more work-room is to bring in a table that works with the room.  With so many sizes and designs, tabletops may be a great inexpensive option for a smaller kitchen.

Don’t Forget

As with all other major kitchen design choices, make sure you plan your island project thoroughly, staying mindful of kitchen safety, flow and functionality.  It is always a smart idea to consult professionals when you come across any installations or designs you’re unsure you can manage alone.  When all is said and done, you’ll be taking in the magnificence of your new island destination – at home.