Larger Kitchen Islands
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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