In the 1950’s the kitchen was a woman’s domain. It was a separate room and its function was solely for cooking and eating. Today’s kitchen is something much different! The room that once served only as a space to prepare and serve meals has truly become the center of most homes. A kitchen is now a multi-purpose space that must serve the needs of all of the members of the household. A gathering place for the family, an entertainment area, a homework hub, an office area – the list of uses for today’s kitchens goes on and on.
As the utility of kitchens changes and activities formerly reserved for other rooms in the home, such as living rooms and family rooms move into the kitchen, the look of kitchens has changed as well. One very easy way to update a kitchen to make it more modern and versatile, and to help it serve all of the functions that people now look for in a kitchen, is to put in a kitchen island.
A kitchen island can provide the functional benefits of an extra work surface and extra storage space, and also provide additional seating; it offers a central area for entertaining and the perfect spot for informal dining. A kitchen island creates a more versatile and useful kitchen and provides a tangible structure to anchor the intangible, “emotional,” center of the home.
There are many styles of kitchen islands to choose from, and it is important to pick a style that is consistent with your home’s, and specifically, your kitchen’s, décor. Islands can be simple, or they can be elaborate. An island can be nothing more than a butcher-block surface on wheels or it can be the highest-end marble or granite with a cook-top, a prep sink, a wine storage refrigerator, and multiple tiers for multiple functions. Islands come pre-assembled, or they can be custom designed; the possibilities are endless!
Before installing an island, it is essential to make sure that there is enough space in the kitchen to comfortably accommodate one. Most experts recommend at least three, if not four to four and a half, feet on all sides of the island to ensure adequate space to move around and work in the kitchen. A kitchen island should increase the function and comfort of a kitchen, not create an overcrowded and unusable space.
The cost of adding a kitchen island can range from very inexpensive to very costly. In some homes, in order to add an island, the kitchen area needs to be expanded by removing a wall, often between the kitchen and the formal dining room. Although the addition may require a significant financial investment, an island, as well as a more open kitchen space, can increase the value of a home significantly. Many home-buyers today are looking for a more open and versatile floor plan and creating such a space around the kitchen is very appealing to many purchasers.
Kitchens have become so much more than a room for cooking and eating. The modern kitchen must meet all the needs of a modern family; and a kitchen island may be just the way to enhance the space that is the heart of your home.
Good luck and happy home ownership!!!