Island or no Island: Should you have a kitchen island?

Find out the pros and cons of adding an island to your kitchen!

No man is an island

This literary advice from poet John Donne has held up in the 400+ years since it was written. But what if we’re talking about a kitchen island? Since Mr. Donne is silent on the subject, Trilogy’s offering our gentle readers a list of pros and cons to help you decide.

Pros of having a kitchen island

✔️Offers more counter space

✔️ Can provide extra built-in storage 

✔️ Does double-duty as a casual bar table for eating

✔️ Helps define the kitchen space in an open-plan room

✔️ Increases a home’s value

✔️ Can be portable if put on wheels

✔️ Creates a visual focal point for the kitchen design

✔️ Is a natural gathering place and the heart of the kitchen

Cons of having a kitchen island

✖️ Adds significant cost to the kitchen design

✖️ Takes up valuable floor space in small kitchens

✖️ Island sinks can splash more water on the kitchen floor vs. a sink against a wall

​​✖️ Can disrupt the traffic flow in narrow kitchens

✖️ Requires special planning to incorporate plumbing and electrical

After reviewing the Pros & Cons list, let’s say you decide to go ahead with a kitchen island for your new home. Here are some considerations to keep in mind before you build.

Preparing your kitchen for an island

👉 Measure your space. When building a kitchen island, make sure you have at least 42 inches of space on all sides to allow for easy movement in the area. If you’re planning to age in place in your home, you might want to add extra width to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. 

👉 Get out your measuring tape and ruler. Think you’ve got that 42 inches? Now map it out. Lay out your potential island on the floor with painter’s tape to see how it’ll work in your space. (Don’t forget to include space for the counter overhang!)

👉 Choose your countertop material carefully. Don’t forget about countertops for your island! Pick the right material for your everyday needs or goals, whether a kid-friendly house, entertaining, or something else. 

👉 Be mindful of maintenance. Consider how much maintenance is required when picking an island type and how much time you have to spend on it. For example, gaining extra storage from a kitchen island also means extra clutter and cleaning for the items inside. 

👉  Add clever solutions. Figure out what kitchen tips you can incorporate into your kitchen island design, like a pop-up appliance garage or a pull-out spice rack. 

👉 Research other options. Don’t have enough room for an island? Look for alternatives like an extended counter or a rolling island that can sit flush with the wall when not in use.

👉 Looking for design inspiration? Check out our online gallery of some real (and really fabulous) kitchens! 

Build it right with Trilogy

Whether you decide to go with a kitchen island or not, Trilogy is always here to offer expert advice for all our present and future clients’ needs. We’ve been lending a helping hand to our community for over fifty years and are proud to share what we’ve learned with others. It’s the Trilogy way! Contact us today to see how we can help. 

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