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Kitchen Islands

Updated on September 6, 2009

Kitchen islands are excellent modern kitchen ideas and come in many shapes and sizes. There are custom kitchen islands designed by a contractor or a kitchen islands design program. You can buy a stationary kitchen island furniture that is meant to be used right out of the box. Finally, you can buy kitchen islands on wheels. This last kind of furniture kitchen islands can be especially useful in apartment kitchens where it is not possible to make permanent changes to the kitchen. Furniture reviews say that these portable kitchen islands can be used in other areas of the house as well. Different people use kitchen islands for different things. Their uses can be as varied as the designs available. No matter what you use it for, the kitchen island adds value and functionality to your kitchen.

One of the main uses of kitchen islands is for eating.  Kitchen islands with seating or kitchen islands with breakfast bar are a great addition to the kitchen because you can have people sitting at the kitchen islands with stools while you prepare a meal.  Your kids can do their homework or friends can engage in conversation.  One feature that kitchen islands that look like furniture have is a raised breakfast bar.  The lower surface on the kitchen island is used for preparing food or for the installation of a sink and the upper level or raised bar is used for eating.  The higher level allows people to pull stools up to the kitchen island and still have ample legroom.  If you try to sit at a kitchen island that is at a lower level then you might not be able to fit your knees underneath.

Large kitchen islands can be used for many things. It is very popular for custom built kitchen islands to have a sink in them and perhaps the dishwasher underneath. Then the counter top above the dishwasher can be used for food prep and the sink will be close by. But some people just use the island for extra counter space because they have a corner kitchen sink or a sink elsewhere in the kitchen. Other people install small wine refrigerators under their kitchen islands or have extra storage cabinets that are large enough to hold small kitchen appliances or large pots and pans. A kitchen cupboard like this can come in handy. In a country themed kitchen the country kitchen islands are topped with large wooden cutting boards because the natural wood goes along with the country theme. If you ever choose to remodel your kitchen and decide to use kitchen cabinet refacing then make sure you think about the top of the island so that the new cabinet faces do not clash.

If you do not own your home or if you do not have room for a permanent large kitchen island, then you might want to look into kitchen islands carts. These portable kitchen islands are a great solution if you have a lack of space because they can be pushed against a wall or into a corner when they are not in use. They are also a good choice for people who rent because you have all the advantages of a kitchen island without making any permanent changes to the rental property. Kitchen islands on wheels usually have a wooden counter top and a shelf or two underneath that can be used for storage. They are kind of like a complete kitchen center that you can move around to where you need. Another advantage of the kitchen island carts is that they are not regulated to the kitchen. You can use the kitchen island cart to push a cheese platter and wine or hors d'œuvre into another room when you are entertaining. You can cover the portable kitchen island with a tablecloth to hide the storage racks underneath and have extra supplies for the party hidden there for easy access.  Or you could hang curtains on the lower part of the portable kitchen islands so that they look like little kitchen door curtains and the kitchen island cart looks more solid.

Kitchen islands also provide an area where it is acceptable to hang items from the ceiling in your kitchen. Pot racks or hanging spice racks are great additions to any kitchen, but sometimes it is hard to find a place to put them if you do not have a kitchen island. Since you only stand around the perimeter of the kitchen island, the pots and pans can hang over the middle without being in your way, but still be within easy reach. You could install hooks underneath cabinets, but you would not be able to store nearly as much as you can from a full pot rack. In addition, if you are trying to dry your spices, they might do better in the middle of the room where they get more sunlight than under a dark cabinet or in a corner somewhere. The kitchen island opens up an entirely new area for storage in your kitchen that is not available if you do not have kitchen islands.


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