Custom Kitchen Islands

Kitchen_islandsCustom kitchen islands can completely transform your kitchen and your kitchen remodel project. Whether you are looking for a contemporary design with glass bar top or a furniture-style piece with carved pilasters and a mesquite hardwood top, HousePro can help. We know the kitchen can be a great place to gather with family and friends and custom kitchen islands are always at the center of the activity.

Custom Kitchen Islands—Design Considerations

The shape, size, finish, counter levels, built-in features, and other details greatly influence great kitchen island design. It is very important to consider not only the island features and style, but the entire kitchen or great room’s functionality. You need to consider each area’s use, which determines the layout of the features, in order to design your island.

Island Shape

The shape of custom kitchen islands will influence the overall traffic flow and function areas of both the kitchen and island so it is important to plan this shape first. Shapes can incorporate free-form curves, angles, rectangles and many combinations. This is the primary way to direct traffic in the room, such as creating an area for table height seating, bar seating, grilling area, sink/salad prep area, etc.

Island Height

Once the shape is defined, you can further define your island with variations in height. Some common applications are achieved by using a counter height (36 inches) on one side of the island, for a cooking area or sink area, then extending a wall or panel to support a bar-height countertop with overhang on the other side for bar stool seating. A third height is sometimes incorporated, where you may have a round or other shaped top at 29 inches for dining height seating.

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Types and Features of Custom Kitchen Islands

There are countless layouts and features that can be incorporated into your kitchen island, so let your imagination soar. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Cooking Island

For those who love to grill year-round, a grill island is the way to go. If you add a bar-height counter behind the cooking area you can have a great place for friends to gather while you cook. Your techie friends will be impressed if you tuck in a retractable downdraft vent…a sure conversation starter with any group!

Remember to include some pullout trays for cookware and platters as well as a deep drawer with full extension slides for your grill-master tools.

Prep/Extra Sink Island

For extra-large kitchens or environments where you may do a lot of entertaining, custom kitchen islands can include extra sinks and dishwashers—just what you may be looking for. These islands will usually contain a small prep sink for salads and veggies, as well as a full-size sink. In areas where you have a lot of dish volume, this is a great place to incorporate a second dishwasher as well. The drawer-type units work especially well here.

Make sure you include a disposal on both sink and prep sink if it is allowed under your building codes. Another great item here is an instant hot water unit by the sink for a quick cup of tea, instant soup or cereal. It allows people to stay out of the way of the main kitchen sink area, which may be busy.

Extra Storage/Display/Desk Island

Custom kitchen islands are the ultimate place to incorporate extra storage, for those kitchens where storage is at a premium. Today’s trend is toward eliminating cabinet doors and building in two deep pot and pan drawers below and utensil drawers above. The drawers today also incorporate smooth-gliding, ball-bearing extension glides with soft close so you can access everything in the cabinets easily.

Have a lot of cook books, dishes or other collections to display? Try building in a bookcase with a decorative top valance on one side of the island or finished interior cabinets with glass insert doors and LED lights to show of your fine dinnerware or collections.

Custom kitchen islands provide that extra space to use for storage, food prep, grilling, dining or clean-up. When planning any kitchen project, it is important to consider including one of these multi-functional areas. They can add a lot of value to your new kitchen and to your investment.

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