The Kitchen Island is the most asked for element by homeowners for their new Kitchen.
And the L-Shaped Kitchen layout with an Island is the number one layout for today’s Kitchens.
Based on this, Kitchen Designers need to have more than one island solution to present to their clients.
Without options your Kitchen Designs will begin to look “cookie-cutter” and do nothing to bring in referrals.
And who really wants a cookie-cutter Kitchen?
Not consumers looking to hire a Kitchen Designer!
Read on to see how you can begin presenting Kitchen Island options to your clients that they will love.
Starting with an L-Shape
The L-Shaped Kitchen layout is a great starting point for building a Kitchen featuring an Island.
To illustrate the possibilities I am starting with two walls featuring white shaker cabinets, floating shelves, sink under a window, dishwasher, pro range, chimney hood, built-in microwave and counter depth refrigerator.
Basic Food Flow has been taken care of including a Food Storage Zone, a Prep Zone, a Cooking Zone, a Serving Zone and a Clean-Up Zone.
This functional layout will allow the island to supplement any of these zones or act as feature all on it’s own.
For reference, the footprint of this space is 14′ by 16′ and is planned to be part of a greatroom.
All of the examples I will present keep this layout on the two perimeter walls.
The first option presents a classic island with furniture details.
The size of the island is 8′ by 4′ with full depth storage cabinets on both sides.
Square posts were added on all four corners of the island and between the open shelves facing the great room.
These posts give the island some detail and add a substantial feel, that works well with the proportion of the space.
Placing wicker baskets on the shelves adds texture and keeps the open storage neat.
To contrast the white quartz perimeter counters this island features a solid wood counter.
Choosing two different counter surfaces for a Kitchen Design is a great way to get an individual look for your client.
In this case the two different materials can also offer added functionality.
If your client is a baker the wood counter is great for rolling out bread dough.
If you client loves the look of a patinaed surface it could also function as a vegetable cutting board.
The key to this island design is the details. It doesn’t look like a box stuck in the middle of the room.
This layout features another 4′ by 8′ island utilizing 24″ deep cabinets on the working side of the kitchen and 12″ deep full height doors on the backside.
The waterfall counter ends make the island a focal point in this Kitchen Design.
On the greatroom side of the island the counter was extended to provide a dining bar space but still accommodate some shallow storage.
Another feature of this island is the addition of a prep sink on the end.
Adding a beverage refrigerator under counter beside the prep sink would be a great option in this layout.
The prep sink could then do double duty as an entertainment center and an additional prep zone.
The overall feel of this space is Transitional with the counters in black granite and all the walls covered in a brick tile.
A great way to personalize a Kitchen Island is to specify it in a different finish from the rest of the cabinetry.
This approach is similar to not purchasing the complete showroom furniture set for a living room.
Mixing things up produces a personal statement for your client.
In this example the island is stained wood which stands out against the white cabinetry.
The main section of the island features a medium stain, while the dropped cabinet on the range end is a dark stained walnut.
Dropping a portion of the island is a great way to offer a specialized work area in the kitchen.
In this case, the lower counter is topped with butcher block and the main island counter sports a medium/dark quartz.
A lower counter is great for bakers offering the perfect height for roll out pie dough or kneading bread.
Specifying a prep sink at the end of the main island counter beside the lower counter provides a water source for a variety of Kitchen activities.
Another detail on this island is the turned posts supporting the counter for a table like dining bar.
This setup allows for stools on three sides making it easy for diners to interact.
Overall a great look for a farmhouse, country or traditional styled Kitchen.
By orienting the cabinetry differently, this Kitchen layout accommodates a double island.
The double island is an option you should definitely explore with your clients.
If the household has multiple cooks or the Kitchen is used for different activities, the double island could be the perfect solution.
In this design, each of these islands are 5′ by 3′ providing lots of counter space and producing great traffic flow in the room.
A double island setup also allows you to vary the counter heights of each island, giving your client Universal Design options.
By specifying a prep sink in the second island, this island would be ideal for setting up a bar while entertaining.
It would also be a great place to do salad prep.
The first island has storage on both sides and would offer a wide open prep space or a expansive area to plate the evening meal.
To give this Kitchen design a modern transitional look once again waterfall counter installations were specified.
These four examples are by no means the only Kitchen Island solutions that could be placed in this space, but hopefully it inspires you to present more than just one island option to your clients.
I’d love to hear what types of Kitchen Island solutions you have presented to your clients. Please leave me a comment below.
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Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.
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