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The Map to Kitchen Island Design

Explore islands' endless possibilities and trends for kitchen workspace.

The farm table provided a much-needed work surface in the kitchen 100 years ago. In today's kitchens, islands perform the same function, as well as adding seating, storage and a personal design statement.

  • The island currently is the single most popular design element in today's kitchen. It offers endless design possibilities and a wide range of choices in styles and materials.
  • Islands can help define the kitchen workspace in today's open floor plans by separating the cook from the rest of the room.
  • Islands are used to help establish the traffic pattern by directing the traffic away from the work triangle.
  • The island should parallel the shape of the room and have plenty of clearance around all sides.
  • A variety of appliances and accessories can be built into an island: sink, microwave, dishwasher, trash compactor, cooktop and a warming drawer, which is especially convenient to keep plates and food warm when the island is used for buffets.
  • Islands can have several levels, depending on function. Counters can be high or dining table height. A raised level above the eating level can hide kitchen mess from the rest of the room.

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