Your Kitchen Island

A KITCHEN ISLAND PRIMER

The kitchen island, which was not even considered in kitchen floor plans until recently, has now become the center of the kitchen … and our entire home!.

If yours is like most families, you use the island for all sorts of things. Besides eating and meeting, its probably used for surfing the internet, reading, paying bills, balancing the checkbook, etc.

The drawing below shows the two sides of a kitchen island and their functions. Of course you don’t need all the features listed, but you can see that the two sides have very different jobs.

A well-designed island separates those who are cooking and cleaning from those who are just hanging out. If you’ve got the room, you really should consider it. Your kitchen must be at least 8’x 12′ to accommodate even the smallest island (4’x 2′ minimum) and needs to be at least 30″ from a wall, appliance or counter.

For more information and tips for designing, building and lighting an island click kitchen islands ideas.

Also, you must ventilate if you’re installing a cooktop! I know, I know, many states don’t require a vent hood or other exhaust system, but, if you don’t vent your cooking unit, you’ll regret it. About the tenth time you’ve had to open a window because of smells or had to deactivate the screaming smoke detector you’ll understand. And, if you choose to vent using a hood, be sure its installed high enough so that you can see under it comfortably.

Lighting is important. If you have a ceiling light, consider a track light system. You can simply use the existing box the old light is now using and have lights you can aim. In most states you must have a professional electrician do any new installations. See elecrtical permit.

As with any project in which you’ll be changing the space, you should do some drawing first. Graph paper is best to draw on because you can count the squares and make it much more accurate. Use graph paper so you won’t have to use a straightedge or ruler.

Art and drafting stores have templates, if needed with top views “to scale” of stoves,refrigerators, squares, circles, toilets, door openings and all kinds of things. Store them inside your graph paper pad.

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