Chicago Kitchen Design: Ideas for Creating an Island You'll Love

Ron Nanberg | Mon, Mar 9, 2015 | Kitchen Remodeling

HirdesWeb3Kitchen islands have become a staple in Chicago kitchen designs. They work as food prep stations, dine-in eating areas and social centers. They also serve to enhance the stylish aesthetic of your design since their cabinet faces and countertops are a visual focus.

Use These Chicago Kitchen Design Ideas to Create a Kitchen Island You'll Love

When we work with clients to design and build their kitchens, we want them to be left with a kitchen they love, not with a list of, "we wish we would haves...." The following ideas can help you get the most out of your kitchen island space.

Use it to add color or additional cabinet style. Your kitchen island can break free from the style rules set by your perimeter cabinets and countertops. Use the island to add a bit of color by selecting a different stain or paint color for the cabinets. This creates a two-tone kitchen effect that is very desirable. You can choose a different cabinet door style for your island as well, which can be used to add a little punch to your design or can help to transition your kitchen's style elements. Consider using a different countertop selection for your island; butcher block style, reclaimed lumber, copper or stainless steel are all popular options that will work well with any kitchen design.

Create a bi-level island. There is no rule stating your island has to be all one height. Quite the contrary; your island can have one level for everyday food prep and another for baking. The seated bar can be slightly elevated from the rest of the standard island height. If you have small children or grandchildren that like to help in the kitchen, or you are interested in aging in place, consider a lower level of the bar that is more comfortable from a seated height.

Have two islands. If you have a large kitchen space, consider adding a second island for increased function and storage. They're great for entertaining, catering and for enhancing traffic flow, eliminating the large open space where groups can congregate or children can go whizzing by while your chopping with sharp knives.

Use them for appliances. Your kitchen island can be built to house appliances. Microwaves and wine cabinets are an excellent choice, as are open spaces to store regularly used appliances, like mixers, blenders or coffee makers, that you don't want cluttering up the countertop space.

Extra storage. The island should always offer additional, thoughtful and creative storage options to keep your kitchen as clutter-free as possible. This can include a mix of open shelving, cabinets with pull-out drawers or the housing for countertop appliances that we mentioned above.

Add a second sink. If your kitchen sink is located in the perimeter countertop, consider adding a second sink in the island. Even a small bar sink can be a tremendous help in food prep or baking and decreases collisions when two people are working in the kitchen at the same time.

Ready to design a kitchen island you'll absolutely love? Contact us at Kitchens & Baths Unlimited.

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