Designing a Kitchen Island with Both Style and Function

Posted by Brakur Custom Cabinetry

Jun 3, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Brakur_Island_function_and_styleOver the years the design and style of the kitchen island has evolved. It used to be a rectangular space that allowed for more storage and extra workspace. If you go into most contemporary kitchens today you will notice just how much the overall function and style has changed. Kitchen islands in many kitchens today are more than a little extra storage and can be used for many different purposes. In some kitchens they become the center of which a majority of activity revolves around. In other kitchens they can be a stunning focal point that draws people into their kitchen.

Before deciding on the style of the island you need to determine it’s function.  You want your island to work for you and fulfill its purpose instead of just taking up space. There are several factors you will want to consider when designing the overall shape and how your island will be used.

Things to Consider When Determining Function

  • Food Prep- Make sure you have outlets for small appliances and easy access to refrigerator and cooktops.  Possibly consider installing a small prep sink. You might even haveBrakur_Island_cooking a small refrigerator for those frequently used items.
  • Cooking – Should you decide to put your cooktop in your island make sure you use a heat resistant countertop.  Have adequate ventilation such as using a range hood. It’s becoming quite popular to have your microwave in your island or even warming drawers.
  • Storage – The great thing about an island is you have access to all sides. Make sure you take advantage of different storage options but also consider the placement.  If you want a pullout spice rack for cooking don’t place it on the opposite side where you have to walk to get it.
  • Clean up – Make sure there is enough clearance for the dishwasher. Possibly, consider a pullout trash can. Think about what activities will occur there most and make sure you have the right storage for easy access.
  • Brakur_Island_SeatingSeating - Not all islands allow for extra seating but when they do it is an added bonus. You will want to think about the height of the counter. Will you use barstools or lower the eating area and have two different countertop heights?
  • Lighting – You will want to consider the overall purpose of your island. If it is a furniture piece for storage than you may want some pendent lighting that is softer. You can also opt for some task lighting that is brighter, but make sure you put dimmers on for when you don’t need that extra light.  Many homeowners use layered lighting throughout the kitchen.

Things to Consider When Deciding on Style

  • Cabinets - The style and finish of cabinets you choose will have the biggest impact.  Consider using a different finish or color for the island than the rest of the kitchen.
  • Brakur_Island_EmbellishmentsEmbellishments - You can add corbels, posts, appliques, or even a bookshelf to store those cookbooks or knick-knacks. There are a variety of different moldings and furniture feet that can be added to your island.  Many islands today resemble furniture.

At Brakur Custom Cabinetry we have the ability to customize any island.  Our designers will help you determine your work zones. We understand that aesthetics are import but the overall function of your kitchen will make you the happiest.  We can help you design your dream kitchen.  If you would like to see more design ideas of what you can do with a kitchen island click here. If you would like to be contacted by one of our kitchen design experts to discuss ideas you may have for your future Chicagoland kitchen remodel you can click here.

Click below to download a free guide to cabinetry.

Cabinetry 101 Guide


Topics: Chicagoland Kitchen Remodel, Custom Cabinetry, Kitchen Style, Kitchen Design, Kitchen Island

Located in Shorewood, Il, Brakur Custom Cabinetry, Inc. has been providing high quality locally manufactured cabinetry since 1965. Brakur is the largest manufacturer of custom cabinetry in Northern Illinois with a 100,000 plus square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and more than 80 employees.

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