An island in the kitchen is ideal for increasing work space and storage in a room that is perhaps the most widely used in the home. The style and design of these pieces vary greatly and may be made to suit personal style or preference. Island size, shape and design is going to depend largely on the layout of the kitchen and how much space is available. The preferred size will vary greatly depending on which style is selected.
The L-shaped island is among the most commonly used styles for modern kitchens. It is designed with two countertops aligned perpendicular to one another, and is perhaps the most diverse option when it comes to storage options. The size of the L may be customized to just about any length, meaning it works for small or large spaces. This style permits the addition of drawers or shelves, and the design provides space along the exterior for seating. A good rule of thumb is to make countertops no less than two feet deep, though a minimum of three or four feet is better if space allows.
Square or Rectangular
A simple, traditional shape, squares and rectangles are diverse enough to fit in most kitchen sizes and styles. It promotes good flow for cooking and baking, and allows for easy movement when entertaining. Average sizes vary greatly, primarily depending on the needs of the homeowner and size of the space. When customizing, either shape may include simple base cabinets, or a combination of cabinets, shelves and drawers as needed. One drawback is that it leaves little, if any room, for sitting or eating. The size of either style may be customized as needed, but generally should be no less than two feet deep.
Dual islands are common choices for customized kitchens. They require a great deal of space, and as such are best used in oversized kitchens in a home with an open floor plan. The style incorporates two islands which are placed next to one another. One side will feature a standard kitchen sink, while the other provides empty countertop space for working. Since this style is significantly larger than standard designs, a deeper countertop is the norm. A minimum of three feet should be made available, though this size is usually adjusted to fit proportionally in the space.
Central Styles and Customization
Central styles, like dual designs, are best used in large, open areas. The design may incorporate a standard square, rectangle or L-shape, or may be specially designed with a custom shape. Besides unique shapes, features including a sink, dishwasher, drawers or shelving may be added. The size and scale of these pieces will vary greatly, and minimum sizes are left up to the preference of the homeowner. For sizing on a custom job, maintaining a comfortable walkway all around is going to be key. Four feet is a standard walkway, though three and a half feet is generally acceptable. Anything less is usually too narrow to maneuver comfortably. According to builder Tim Carter from askthebuilder.com, the minimum depth for an island is two feet deep by four feet long, though a bit bigger is preferable. Six feet in depth and 10 feet in length is considered by Carter the maximum size for a functional island.
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