Kitchen Island Bars

Casual dining and kitchen island bar areas go hand-in-hand with this guide for discovering the perfect design for your lifestyle and budget.
Long Kitchen Island

Long Kitchen Island

and John Colaneri Kitchen Cousins

Photo by: Todd Plitt

Todd Plitt

By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik

The addition of an island to any kitchen area allows for more room to prepare food and store various appliances. But a kitchen island is also a prime spot for providing extra seating for simply kicking back with friends and family.

Party in the Penthouse

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Party in the Penthouse

This layout separates lounging and socializing areas from the prepping and serving zones, yet remains unified as one space. All doors and drawers open conveniently on a reverse slope bevel, which is reflected in the pure-white custom quartz countertop profile.

Photo By: Joshua Lawrence Studios INC ©Joshua Lawrence Studios Inc. 2012

Party in the Penthouse

The centrally located sink is seamlessly integrated into a custom fabricated stainless steel cube, situated between two high-gloss white peninsulas. A raised floating china buffet cabinet with custom grain and oiled Rose veneer contrasts with the high gloss finishes of the surrounding cabinetry.

Photo By: Joshua Lawrence Studios INC ©Joshua Lawrence Studios Inc. 2012

Party in the Penthouse

The dark Basalt tile flooring provides this bright and open space with a strong foundation. The tall cabinetry wall is divided into equal door widths and houses a walk-in pantry, refrigerator, freezer, breakfast pantry and a hidden TV. Party anyone?

Photo By: Joshua Lawrence Studios INC ©Joshua Lawrence Studios Inc. 2012

In order to discover the island that will work best in your space, it is important to first determine the style you are seeking. Typical island designs include a traditional center island that includes a countertop for preparing food, cabinet storage and a dining space accompanied by seating. Another option for creating a kitchen island bar area requires removing half of a wall that is enclosing the kitchen. The remaining half could then be topped with a counter and stools could be added to one side for dining.

No matter which design you choose, it is important to allow for walking room in order for people to easily move around the island. The bonus, of course, is that an island typically has three to four sides, providing room for storage.

Small kitchens might especially benefit from the addition of a kitchen island bar if there is not already a designated space for dining or food preparation. In this case, one side of the bar can be designed to accommodate a space for food preparation, while the other side will be reserved for casual dining.

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