The kitchen island is often the hub of the home, the place where family
members and guests gather to eat and socialize. While the island’s function
remains the same as it has been for years, its look and feel are changing.
“Pare it down to the basics, and anything else is a great addition but not
necessary,” says Samantha Emmerling, a senior editor at House Beautiful,
as reported in the Chicago Tribune. She notes that since most homeowners want an area for prep,
additional counter space, seating, and storage, the form of the actual island
ought to follow its function.
What about size? The National Kitchen and Bath
Association recommends a minimum of 3 feet by 4 feet. Maximum size should be
determined by the aisle space that surrounds the island. A clearance of 42
inches is ideal for providing ease of movement. Kitchens accommodating more than
one home cook, however, should have at least 48 inches of aisle space.
Homeowners can get creative with design, because the best islands are not
Better Homes and Gardens features furniture pieces that are up to the task —
antique table, workbench, and stainless steel restaurant-grade
shelf. Repurposing antiques and salvaged pieces or buying shelves that aren’t
expressly made for the kitchen add unique style and charm to the single-most
utilized room of the home.