ISLANDS: How To Make Your Kitchen YOUR KITCHEN

     When thinking about your kitchen’s island, there are many different things to consider in order to make sure that everything is perfectly fit for all of your kitchen needs. While it should be functional, there are aesthetic considerations to be made as well. The island is typically the focal point of a kitchen, and it will catch the eye of whoever enters it. You need to make sure that is a good thing! Here is where your choices come in…

Do you want your island to match the rest of your countertops or do you want it to contrast?

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A matching island can make your whole kitchen feel like one cohesive unit...

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...While a contrasting island makes it more of a focal point in the kitchen and gives separation from the rest of the kitchen.

Another similar thing to consider is whether your cabinetry will be the same color in the whole kitchen or if the island will be a contrasting color. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Many people ask which is more common-the answer is it’s split pretty evenly.

What size should your island be?

A larger island is becoming a trend in kitchens, but it is important to keep in mind that slabs are only so big; any island that is more than ten (10) feet will potentially need  to have a seam in it because it is bigger than the slab. This also varies with the material that is chosen and the specific slab. Natural stone slabs are typically larger and have more variation in size. Quartz slabs are available in prescribed sizes, and the maximum length (only available in certain brands and colors) is 10’ 10”.

Seams can be done in such a way that they are well matched with the stone, but they will not be invisible. If your chosen material has veining, the pattern in your stone will need to be seamed in a way that the pattern will continuous. There are however, other ways  to make it look intentional rather than just necessary.

Another thing to think about with your island is the overhang: how much do you really need? The typical overhang for seating is 10-12”. 12” is the largest overhang that can safely sit without added support. So, if you decide to make your overhang larger, say 15”, there will need to be support added in the form of a strap (a flat metal bar attached to the cabinetry), leg, or other solution.

 

How do you give your island personality?

There are many different styles that can be done for an island...

One style is a curved island. Curved islands allow for a more casual setting. They are great if you like to entertain because people sitting at the island are all able to see each other and have conversations. Curved islands can sometimes offer solutions if there are sizing constraints in the walking space around it. Otherwise, a rectangular island typically offers the most useable space.

One style is a curved island. Curved islands allow for a more casual setting. They are great if you like to entertain because people sitting at the island are all able to see each other and have conversations. Curved islands can sometimes offer solutions if there are sizing constraints in the walking space around it. Otherwise, a rectangular island typically offers the most useable space.

L and U-shaped islands allow for even more space to work on your island. They can define the space a kitchen takes up even if there are not walls separating it from another room. These types of islands are wonderful if you do a lot of cooking and need the space or if you want to feel like you have your own space in the kitchen while still being connected to the rest of the house.

L and U-shaped islands allow for even more space to work on your island. They can define the space a kitchen takes up even if there are not walls separating it from another room. These types of islands are wonderful if you do a lot of cooking and need the space or if you want to feel like you have your own space in the kitchen while still being connected to the rest of the house.

Another style is a double-tiered island. This island has two levels and separates the sitting area from the cooking/prepping area.

Another style is a double-tiered island. This island has two levels and separates the sitting area from the cooking/prepping area.

Waterfalls are also popular option that you can choose to add onto any of the previously listed island styles. They quickly make any island become the star of the show. They give the countertop a very modern feel because of the fierce lines and strong structural elements. They also give you a chance to show off your beautiful and unique stone even more. A material that is very solid can look ultra contemporary, whereas something with veins can lend itself to many styles of design

Waterfalls are also popular option that you can choose to add onto any of the previously listed island styles. They quickly make any island become the star of the show. They give the countertop a very modern feel because of the fierce lines and strong structural elements. They also give you a chance to show off your beautiful and unique stone even more. A material that is very solid can look ultra contemporary, whereas something with veins can lend itself to many styles of design

What material should you pick for your island?

Depending on what you are planning to use your island for, you have different options for materials.

Granite, depending on the color, can take your design in many directions. It is a natural stone with a grainy texture. It is also very hard and durable. If you use your island a lot, this might be the stone for you.

Marble is the complete opposite of granite. It typically has a simpler background and a veiny look. It is also a softer stone and less common in kitchens because it is higher maintenance. It can be both modern and classic, depending on how the other elements in the kitchen and your home complement it.

Quartzite is a natural stone, and is a high-end combination of granite and marble. It has all of the veins of marble, but it is strong like granite. Because of this is is difficult to quarry and cut, and therefore is typically on the higher end of the budget than granite. One thing to note, however, is that while marble many times has a crisp white background, quartzite is often off-white or warmer toned.

Finally, Quartz: it is a man-made stone that is desirable due to it being low maintenance. It is difficult to scratch or stain this material. It also comes in a drastic range of colors. It is a good solution if you are looking for a solid color or a marble-like look without the durability issues.

All islands are different...

Maybe you want extra cabinet space or a sink; maybe you just want to be able to place some nice flowers from the garden on it. Make sure you think of what you want to use your island for when designing it. This is your kitchen after all!

For more tips on islands, check out Fabuwood’s post !

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