Yes, it’s cold and dark outside and you’re dreaming of a winter getaway. But we have a suggestion for some “island time” that doesn’t involve plane tickets or resort reservations.

We’re guessing that a good deal of your time is spent in the kitchen. And in today’s kitchens, cooking is just part of what happens there. In fact, kitchen remodeling means creating space not only for meal preparation, but for entertaining, homework, keeping family schedules, bill paying, TV watching, and even squeezing in a bit of work while waiting for the coffee to brew.

Where does most of this activity happen? The island, of course!

White kitchen with island idea

Custom kitchen by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

An Indispensable Kitchen Fixture

One of the hardest-working components of a kitchen these days is the island. When we design a kitchen remodel, planning the island is very important for the kitchen’s efficiency. You can’t just add one without considering some finer points of its design and the details of how you want and need to use it.

Island ideas: sink and bookcase

Custom kitchen by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

Island Shape and Size

When adding a center island to your kitchen, it shouldn’t be so large that it creates a bottleneck. This is often accomplished by opening the floor plan to the family room or dining room to allow kitchen traffic to flow easily in and around the space. The layout should also make it possible for more than one person to cook at a time.

island ideas: cooktop and bar stools

Custom kitchen by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

In addition, family or guests who are not cooking will feel more comfortable gathering in a kitchen if there is sufficient space outside of the work area for them to relax without feeling they are in the way. The island size should also leave plenty of room for the minimum space required for opening the refrigerator, dishwasher and oven.

Multiple Countertop Heights

island ideas: multiple counter heights

Photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet

With the kitchen accommodating so many different activities, it’s smart to have countertops at varying heights. Just match the height to the activity most often done in that area. For example, lower levels work best for food prep, while higher counters are ideal as a breakfast bar or a convenient spot to serve food buffet-style.

Built-In Appliances and Fixtures

An island is a great place to install appliances that can be used easily by one family member while someone else is working at a counter on the perimeter. A large island can accommodate an accessible microwave and an undercounter refrigerator for drinks and snacks. Other popular options are a cooktop, an extra prep sink, a butcher block cutting surface and extra storage shelves, drawers or cabinets.

undercounter fridges

Photo courtesy Jenn-Air

Get the Options You Need

Kitchen remodels, while exciting, can be challenging to plan. And trends in kitchen features, finishes and fixtures are changing all the time. That’s why we’re here! With our creativity, experience, and design know-how, we’ve got lots of island ideas and can explain your options for adding or updating a kitchen island. We can make recommendations to ensure you’re getting everything you want and need from your beautiful remodeled kitchen.

Think about what would make for some perfect “island time” in your kitchen and call us for a free consultation. Tell us what’s at the top of your list, then leave the hard work to us! It will be the best New Year’s Resolution you ever made!