Many homeowners love their kitchen islands. But an island isn't right for every kitchen. Why might you skip adding an island to your kitchen design? And what can you do to replace it with something that better fits your needs and goals? Here's what you need to know.
Why Homeowners Add Islands
Kitchen islands are usually added in order to solve a few common design challenges or for simple aesthetics. Most commonly, they're used in larger kitchens where work areas might be too far apart to be efficient — especially if the work triangle will be too large.
Islands are also a way to add more storage underneath and/or countertop workspace above. Open floor plan layouts may even use an island to give the kitchen more structure. And, of course, some people just like the look of an island.
When to Forgo an Island
While islands should solve these or other kitchen needs, they can sometimes create their own problems. One of the most common is squeezing an island into a kitchen that's not big enough to house it. The result can be narrow walkways and work areas and a cramped feeling. The same outcome may result if your kitchen is an unusual shape that doesn't comfortably fit a traditional island.
Even though islands are a popular kitchen design element, not everyone wants one. If you prefer an open, airy kitchen or need more unused floor space, skipping the island is the only way to go.
How to Adjust In Other Ways
Whether your kitchen can't support an island or you just prefer not to have one, what can you do to make up for the loss? This depends on your goals if you were to add one.
If you want more workspace, for example, you might design some or all other countertops to be deeper, wider, or longer instead. Worried about not having enough storage? Customize cabinets for more effective space usage, add built-in shelving, or reshape your layout to include more perimeter storage. Want a part-time island instead? Look for a mobile island that fits in as countertop space when not in use.
Where to Find Help
Although it may seem like every kitchen owner wants and installs an island, you actually have many choices for yours. Don't feel pressured into having an island you don't want or can't find the space for. Instead, consider the wide range of alternatives possible in your layout.
Contact a contractor to learn more about kitchen layout design.