Larger Kitchen Islands

Larger kitchen islands are as hard-working as they are high-functioning.
Spacious Modern Kitchen With Large Breakfast Bar

Spacious Modern Kitchen With Large Breakfast Bar

This midcentury modern kitchen designed by Pat Ives, CKD is a cook's dream. The large eat-in space includes a Wolf microwave drawer, a large prep sink and two remote-controlled appliance garages.

Is your kitchen big enough to accommodate a large kitchen island? In general, the larger the kitchen island, the more space you'll have for storage, eating and food prep. Keep in mind, though, that an island doesn't have to be big to be useful.

Mission Makeover: DIY Kitchen Island

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Before: Boring Old Console Table

It took less than 30 minutes of perusing craigslist.com to come across a well-made console table that was looking for a new home. (Cost: $75)

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Photography by Philip Friedman

After: Presto Chango!

With its long, slim top and lower shelf, the table could quickly be turned into a kitchen workstation — one that wouldn't take up much space. This makeover didn't require major construction skills, just some savvy shopping for a new surface for the top, hardware, casters and paint. (Cost: $265) See how they did it with this step-by-step guide.

Photo By: Photography by Philip Friedman, Created by: Anthony Santelli

Kitchen Tabletop

To make it a functional food prep space, it needed a new top. This one had 1/2 inch-thick polyethylene (a common material for cutting boards) cut to the dimensions of the console's top ($66 for a 48-inch-by-16-inch) piece, cuttingboardcompany.com). You can also try butcher block, granite or marble, but they cost more.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Photography by Philip Friedman, Created by: Anthony Santelli

Color and Casters

The entire table was primed and then painted with a semigloss latex, which can be wiped down in case of food splatters. After it dried, casters were added to the bottom of each leg. (Paint Color: Edamame by HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams)

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Photography by Philip Friedman, Created by: Anthony Santelli

Easy Organization

On one end of the table, a wall pocket ($20, www.containerstore.com) was screwed into the apron of the table. The pocket is great for holding cookbooks, magazines or a cookbook stand.

Photo By: Photography by Philip Friedman, Created by: Anthony Santelli

Cushion With Cork

A cork shelf liner was cut to fit the interior of the drawer. This helps cushion knives, peelers and other utensils stashed in there.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Photography by Philip Friedman, Created by: Anthony Santelli

Space-Saving Trick

A curtain rod was mounted using the hardware it comes with, between the legs at the table's end opposite the wall pocket. Then S-hooks were hung from the rod for utensils.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Photography by Philip Friedman, Created by: Anthony Santelli

Installing larger kitchen islands, though, has its benefits. A large island with ample space for seating (6 or more chairs or stools), for example, can eliminate the need for a dining table entirely, whether the seating is counter-height, bar-height, or built-in, banquette-style.

Depending on their shape, large kitchen islands can also provide a variety of surfaces and functions. An L-shaped island could have appliances like a sink, dishwasher and microwave on the interior for an efficient work space, while drawers or cabinets on the exterior might house seasonal or less-frequently used cooking and baking supplies.

Varying the height of the island countertops to add different levels (like for a breakfast bar) is another way to maximize space while adding interest.


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