• How to Design Your Own Kitchen Island

    by  • March 3, 2012 • Home Ideas • 0 Comments

    A kitchen island provides additional workspace and storage.

    A kitchen island provides functionality, convenience and style. It supplies an additional work surface, as well as storage for utensils, appliances or food. Designing your own kitchen island can be accomplished in a few, simple steps. Measurements are key. When you are done, take your design to your local carpenter or home center, and you will soon have the island of your dreams.

    Difficulty: Moderate

    Instructions

    things you’ll need:

    • Measuring tape
    • Yard stick, ruler, or straight edge
    • Pencil
    • Level

    1 The first step is to measure for the size of the island that can fit in your kitchen space. If space is not a factor, then decide on the size you would prefer. However, if you have a limited amount of space, then measure for the minimum amount you need to navigate around the idea. For example, if you have a dishwasher open the door and mark its location on the floor beneath. Opposite
    the dishwasher, measure, from the wall the minimum amount of space you need to walk on that side. That will give you the maximum width of your kitchen island. Write it down. For our purposes, we will say the island’s width will be 2 feet.

    2 Next, measure the maximum length that your island will be, by continuing to measure the walking space around the imaginary kitchen island, on the two other sides. You may also want to consider using the same amount of space that you used in the first step, for uniformity. You will now have the length of your kitchen island. Our example island will be 4 feet long.

    3 Measure for the height of your island. You may want to use the same height of your kitchen countertops, or you may choose to have a higher or lower work surface. Subtract 1 inch from the total height measurement. This will allow for adding the countertop later on. Write this measurement down. In our example, we will have a height of 4 feet.

    4 Decide on the style of the island. Do you want post legs or a cabinet look? Write down your choice. Decide on what style you prefer, whether it will blend in with the rest of your kitchen, or stand out as a contrasting accent feature.

    5 Next, choose a surface type. You can choose a butcher-block surface, a tiled surface, or even a solid granite or quartz surface. With your measurements, your local design center will help you choose the counter of your dreams.

    6 Will your island have open shelving? Open shelves are very versatile and work well on kitchen islands for appliances and cookbooks. Decide on how many shelves and whether your design will include both cabinets and shelving.

    7 Will your island have draws? You can choose small drawers for utensils or spices, or large draws for pots and pans, or bowls. Make note of your choices.

    8 Will your kitchen island be stationary or mobile? You can design your island to have wheels so that you can roll it to any corner of your kitchen.

    9 Do you want one side of your island to house a waste receptacle? If so, there are waste receptacle draws available from cabinet makers. Another option would be to have a tall, open shelf to house your kitchen waste basket.

    10 Will your island have a sink? If so, decide on which side it is most convenient, and sketch this design idea down, as well. There are as many sink options as there are sinks!

    11 Your island can also house special appliance shelves that pull out and up whenever you need to use that appliance. This may be a convenient feature for your island design, as well.

    12 You can also elect to have your island house a small refrigerator, your dishwasher, warming drawers, a steamer, or even a microwave. You have many options to choose from when deciding on kitchen appliances for your island.

    13 Will your island house your cooking surface? If so, you have a number of choices to choose from, whether source of fuel is  electric, gas or propane. Consider ventilation, as well, whether you will have an overhead hood or a down-draft hood that comes up and out of the island with the touch of a button.

    14 Do you need extra counter space for seating? Count the amount of seats that will meet your family’s needs, as you plan your kitchen island.

    15 What type of workspace does your food preparation require? If you cook often and in large quantities, you may consider more counter space. If your needs are minimal, then a moderate work surface may suffice. Take all of these factors into consideration when designing your kitchen island. In the end, your kitchen island will be the vacation retreat of your kitchen space.
    Tips & Warnings

    • Take some time to peruse your local kitchen design centers to see what your design preferences are. You may also get design ideas, as well.
    • Get free estimates from several places for your kitchen island design.
    • Double check all measurements before having your island built. Even consider having a professional come in to standardize your design.

    Resources

    Homemade Kitchen Island made from Reused Mess
    Eclectic Kitchen
    Kitchen Island Pt 2

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    About

    Naima Manal's articles on health, diet, nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, travel, home and garden and home improvement have appeared on eHow, Garden Guides, Trails, ConnectED, Livestrong, Helium and others. Manal received her B.S. degree in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994 and has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993.

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