Extra storage, seating, and workspace. These are the reasons homeowners desire kitchen islands. According to the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI), three in ten homeowners polled have a kitchen island in their home with two-thirds using it to prepare food. Cutting up food and mixing ingredients topped the list of how the island is used in the kitchen (64 percent). Coming in third was conversations with family and friends (52 percent), serving food was fourth at 47 percent, and eating was fifth at 41 percent.
Another RICKI poll asked homeowners what would be most important to have in a kitchen island. the number one answer at 70 percent was "more storage." Nearly half felt the ability to seat family and friends around the island was a must. The third and fourth most popular desires were for a pull-out trash bin and sink/faucet. One in five wanted a cooktop in their islands.
There's no doubt that islands can serve many purposes. And there is no shortage of styles to choose from. Each style has something to offer (and may have its drawbacks, too), depending on how you will use it most and what your priorities are. So before committing to a particular style, it it's worth honing in on what you really want your island to do. Here's a look at some island styles (along with some pros and cons) to get you started.
A two-tiered island combines the functions of eating and cooking but still separates them so that eating takes place at a higher level while cooking is done on a lower level. While two tiers will reduce your cooking/prep area, this set up is ergonomically the best of both worlds.
L shaped islands are great options for households with more than one chef. They tend to be large and afford generous storage, but they can also chop up the kitchen design.
Circular islands can be visually dramatic, and like u-shaped islands, they usually have lots of prep and seating space, but efficient storage in the curved design can be a challenge.
Furniture Style Island
Furniture style islands definitely add character to a kitchen. You'll find them custom-made, store-bought, and even antique. But be forewarned that older pieces may not hold up to the inevitable wear and tear.