Whether you are a chef, socialite or member of an extremely busy family, a custom island can serve as the hub of a well-planned kitchen. Finding a kitchen designer with expertise in furniture making as well as a keen eye for design and space-planning can make the difference between a cookie cutter island and a truly exceptional island that fits the bill for your individual needs and lifestyle.
A popular design for kitchen chefs is the cooking island which can house ranges, wall ovens and butcher block work tops. Installing a prep sink in the island is another convenience for quick access to water and washing vegetables and the like. A two-tiered island, where the back section is raised for stools and to shield the prep and cooking area, is often utilized in homes whose kitchens are open to adjacent rooms.
Many families love to entertain, so a gathering island is a popular choice in these homes. Frequently, these island will be one level so the countertop will have a generous area for serving appetizers and buffets and make for easy mingling. Utilizing backless stools is another convenient idea, so they can be tucked under the countertop and out of the way of party crowds. A wine or beverage cooler built into the island is a great way to keep drinks at hand for guests.
The third popular island design is the dining island. Many times when space is an issue, homeowners will forego the traditional kitchen table in favor of a custom dining island. These islands will usually have a generous countertop overhang on one or several sides, to accommodate stools. Installing a microwave at one end allows for quick heating and serving of snacks and meals. These islands are especially popular with families with children who find it convenient to slide onto a stool for a quick breakfast, after school snack or even to complete their homework.
In homes with very large kitchen floor plans, multiple islands or combination islands can be designed, with cooking, prep and sink areas at one end and seating and entertaining space at the other end. No matter what the size of the kitchen or preference of the homeowner, a unique custom island will serve the family as the hub of the kitchen for years to come.