A large island such as this one from the Fulton Homes’ Legacy community provides the opportunity to accessorize and still have space for functional uses. Let’s look at two versions of this island to see several approaches.
In this first photo, the yellow accessories combine with the green plants to add color to a neutral kitchen. The yellow pops against the dark kitchen cabinets and adds warmth to the view.
Notice that several collections of accessories are positioned on trays. Each tray contains several smaller objects which gives them more importance from a design perspective. More importantly, trays can be easily moved to allow the island to serve as a breakfast bar or buffet for a party or family gathering.
In the photo to the right, the accessories bring a darker tone into the light kitchen, linking the island with the backsplash and above-cabinet tiles and anchoring the island in the space. In this case the positioning of accessories provides plenty of room to use the front area as an eating or snacking area without having to move anything.
Both of these islands have a powerful presence in their respective kitchens. By breaking up the surface with carefully-chosen accessories, you can take full advantage of the space while using the area to add interest and charm. Notice that each island’s accessories vary in height and heft. This helps create balance.
You can also use this space to incorporate personal items that make the kitchen your own. If you have heirlooms from a family member or favorite kitchen accessories, islands such as these provide the perfect place to showcase them. And don’t forget these islands’ primary functional purpose – to add much appreciated counter space for food preparation!
Kitchen islands create a better work situation in a kitchen, particularly when you have more than one cook. For example one person can chop vegetables while another pulls seasonings from a cabinet.
Or with a sink in the island like this one in the Daylight model of the ____ community, one person can stay ahead of the dishes when preparing for a party or big family dinner.
But an island also plays a role outside of cooking. How about using it as a place for appetizers as people arrive for a party? It provides a central location to draw people together as they get to know each other – people will always follow the food. You can start moving appetizers into the family room as your guests get more comfortable and break into smaller conversational groups.
A kitchen island makes a dynamite location for a buffet. Traffic can move on all four sides, and the trip from the kitchen is just a step. This works particularly well for hot or cold food that you want to keep refreshing. Setting chairs and tables in other parts of your home will encourage people to help themselves to food and then settle elsewhere.
When it’s just a few family members, eating at the island opens up a cozy setting for two or three. It’s also a great place for breakfast when family members are short on time and have staggered departures. Just provide plates and platters of food and everyone can help themselves. Or how about a cereal bar – several types of cereal, bowls, milk and extras such as raisins and fruit?
Look at your island as the kitchen’s stage, and you can take advantage of it for all of your food performances.