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Kitchen Trends Reflect Lifestyle Changes: Kitchen Island Designs

The kitchen is not just for cooking anymore. The kitchen has evolved into a space where families gather to converse, eat, entertain and do homework to list a few of many of today’s kitchen activities. As the kitchen has evolved; so have the elements within a kitchen. One that truly has come to high demand is the kitchen island. Kitchen Islands have probably become one of the most sought after features of a kitchen. They serve multiple functions: a gathering place for entertaining or keeping the chef company, laying out food buffet style, an extra work space and storage. The kitchen island has become the hub for multiple activities within the kitchen and quite possibly aided in the kitchen becoming not just a place to cook but a gathering place for socializing and bonding.

The kitchen island has evolved from utilitarian to a way to add another layer to the design; islands are now becoming feature statement or a piece of furniture within a kitchen. It is a way for some homeowners to express their character and flair without going overboard. Islands may vary both in size and function. They may incorporate various tiers or levels, contain different appliances and plumbing and different materials all tailoring to each unique client and their way of life and comforts.

Designing a kitchen island with flair and to stand out but make it work with the rest of the space can be done many different ways. It all goes back to the client, their needs and taste. Different finishes and tops are being used to juxtapose the rest of the kitchen cabinetry. In a kitchen island you see the tops in a stone or wood or sometimes partially wood and the rest are stone. Depending on the clients and how they are utilizing the space determines how the island is designed, what materials and finishes should be used and what type of cabinet accessories should be specked out. A different finish for the cabinetry in the island might be different from that of the main cabinetry. The main cabinetry could be a natural cherry finish and the island could be done in a soft crème or celery green with a worn finish in order to make the island look like a custom piece of furniture. Different countertop materials can be used or combined as well in the island area. Perhaps along with the granite countertop on the kitchen island there is a separate slab of wood on the end of the island which then could be set at a different height as well to customize the island further.

Multiple activities can take place as well within the island. The main cooking area may be place in the island as well as an eating area. The eating area could be raised up to separate the two zones allowing the cook their space while still be able to entertain their family or guests. The island could also be used as just a prep area where the cook would prefer to only have a prep sink and the rest of the island is work space. It can also be customized as the main washing zone where the sink and dishwasher are placed. Seating can also be incorporated which again welcomes people into the space and doesn’t alienate the host while they are preparing, cooking or cleaning. There are many elements that go into a design to specifically tailor to each individual client. Designing a custom kitchen island is one way of transforming an ordinary kitchen into a warm and welcoming space.

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