Kitchen Cabinet Islands

Kitchen Cabinet Island Benefits and Design Considerations

By Mark J. Donovan

Kitchen cabinet islands address two of the biggest complaints from homeowners, insufficient kitchen countertop work space and inadequate kitchen storage space. Besides its two chief benefits, a kitchen cabinet island also can serve as a divider between the formal kitchen area and the dining area or even a family room area. In some kitchen designs, kitchen cabinet islands serve a dual purpose, both as additional kitchen work space/storage area and as a breakfast bar.

Even in moderately sized kitchens, kitchen cabinet islands can be installed. And with today’s readily available in-stock kitchen cabinets, countertop surfaces, and trim molding, retrofitting in a kitchen cabinet island is easy to do.

One word of caution, however, a kitchen island should be sized and placed so that two people can easily work in and around the kitchen area.

Besides offering additional countertop workspace, kitchen cabinet islands can also include a second sink. Alternatively, a new kitchen design could integrate the stovetop or the main sink into the kitchen cabinet island, to create the traditional work triangle kitchen floorplan design.

When integrating a stovetop into a kitchen cabinet island an overhead vent or drawdown vent is necessary. In addition, including a sink in the kitchen cabinet island also requires the installation of supply and drain lines. Both of these requirements can create some serious construction and plumbing challenges so it is important to carefully consider these features first. Inclusion of new plumbing is of particular concern if your home is on a concrete slab.

Kitchen Island
When selecting kitchen cabinets, there are a lot of options to choose from. You may want to include kitchen cabinets with glass panes. Also, you may want to incorporate a wine rack into a portion of the kitchen cabinet island design. In addition, you may want to include kitchen cabinets with doors on both the front and back side of the island. If you plan to include a stovetop in the kitchen island, make sure to incorporate large pull out drawers for holding pots and pans.

Finally, make sure to include in your kitchen cabinet island design additional workspace lighting. Without proper lighting over the kitchen island the area will be less inviting and functional.


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