• Kitchen Island Guide

    More and more kitchens these days are including kitchen islands. A kitchen island is a great way to add both counter and storage space to your kitchen. If you can put in an island and still have at least 3 feet clearance on all sides, this can be a wonderful way to make your kitchen more of a joy to cook and clean in.

    Kitchen islands may be divided into two basic types-fixed and moveable. The fixed type are installed as part of the home, just as cabinets and counters would be. The moveable type usually have four wheels so they can be taken from place to place, but sometimes they just stand on four legs.

    Moveable Kitchen Islands

    The advantages of the moveable kitchen island are easy to define. First, of course, it moves. When you need it out of the way to reclaim some kitchen floor space, you can take it into another room or put it in the garage. When you want it back, just wheel it in and lock the wheels. Second, it doesn't require construction work to have one put in your home. Just purchase the island and set it in place. (Some assembly may be required, depending on where you purchase the island and how much you pay.) Third, the moveable island is much less expensive than the fixed sort. Even the deluxe versions can be had for under $375. And finally, moveable islands don't have to take up that much space. You can get a simple one with a footprint of only 24 by 18 inches.

    Fixed Kitchen Island

    The advantages of the fixed kitchen island are also considerable, though. The first advantage is electricity. An installed kitchen island is usually wired with electrical outlets so you can plug things in. You can use the island as a temporary or permanent home for you microwave, toaster, blender or whatever else you need. There are no cords to trip over. The second advantage is size. Fixed islands can be designed to be exactly the size that fits in your kitchen. Get a square island for a square kitchen, or any dimensions of rectangular that you want. You can even get a triangular island with rounded edges. If you've got the space, a fixed kitchen island can be much larger than a moveable island. That will give you tons of extra counter space. As a third advantage, some fixed islands also come with a sink and running water or a dishwasher, increasing the number of tasks you can accomplish there.

    Storage

    Kitchen islands generally come with several cabinets and drawers to accommodate pots, pans, and various utensils. Some of them dispense with the cabinet doors and just have open shelving where you can store everything you need. In addition to that, there are several other items that you might find convenient in a kitchen island.

    Other Considerations

    You might like a drop leaf that allows you to extend the length of the counter or shorten it as you desire. This is a particularly nice feature in a moveable island where you may be using it in differently sized spaces. You might also enjoy a towel bar along a side under the overhang to keep a towel tucked out of the way yet instantly accessible. Some islands come with a knife block or utensil holder to keep those items within easy reach. Some come with a spice rack or wine rack. And some come with a stainless steel or butcher block top to allow you to do food preparation without a cutting board.