Island Innovations for your Kitchen

The kitchen island has become the icon of the modern kitchen – the 21st century equivalent of the old-fashioned hearth.  Centrally located, islands are easily accessed and ideal for various kitchen tasks from food prep and cooking, to clean up and entertaining. They often are the focal point in the kitchen and typically blend in with the décor. According to our home improvement professionals, an island, at a minimum, should be 4 feet long and a little more than 2 feet deep.

As the attractiveness of kitchen islands continue to grow, so do the innovations. In fact, the number-one design feature on consumer wish lists is a central island cooktop. But cooktops aren’t the only island innovations. Following are the newest kitchen finds and options to consider when building or turning your fantasy island into a functional – and stylish – workspace.

Create Levels
When deciding on the layout for your kitchen island, why not customize your fantasy and create levels? Multi-level islands are becoming increasingly popular since most homeowners not only want a work area, but also an informal place for entertaining guests.

With the kitchen as one of the main gathering areas in a home, your guests will be able to sit, chat or rest their beverage glasses on the high-top counter, while the lower tier of the island should feature an ample work area for you to whip up your decadent cuisine. Additionally, be sure to incorporate enough drawers and shelves below the work area to keep key ingredients, utensils and your favorite cookbooks right at your fingertips. If you love to entertain, also consider adding wine chilling drawers or a wine refrigerator to keep your beverages close at hand and maintain proper temperatures for your reds and whites.

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
Turn up the heat and get cooking. Homeowners want a central island cooktop as part of their kitchen island, reports Kitchen & Bath Design News. Installing cooktops brings countertop burners within easy reach, while also creating room for amenities below, such as additional storage – or even warming drawers.

Topping It Off
Add character to your island countertop with a dramatic surface finish. While high-end materials, such as granite, metal, solid-surface and marble are still popular, new custom, hand-applied finishes with unique designs, such as full circles and waves, can add unique beauty to your island and set your countertop apart. And, be sure to finish off your counter with a thick butcher block. Not only will it be an easy spot for all your cutting needs, you’ll be sure to protect your beautiful countertop surface.

Finishing Touches
With your fantasy island now becoming a reality, spruce up your space with some finishing touches. Installing long, vertical drawer and cabinet pulls add some flair to the kitchen, while also doubling as towel bars. Offer your guests comfortable and stylish seating around your island with new bar stools that fit comfortably under your high-top counter. Finally, shed some light on your new fantasy island with pendant lighting. Manufacturers offer a variety of shapes, styles and finishes to illuminate and showcase your amazing new island.