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The Benefits of Adding a Kitchen Island to Your Kitchen Renovation

The kitchen is the most popular room in the house to renovate. The majority of kitchen renovations (51%) open their kitchen space more to nearby rooms, reflecting the ongoing and growing popularity of “the Great-Room” concept. At Ekko Custom Cabinetry and Designs, we are firm believers that the kitchen is “The Heart of Your Home” and if you are fortunate enough to have the space to add a kitchen island – you are truly blessed.

Consider what is motivating you to renovate. Do your objectives include :

- looking for more family time,

- want to encourage more home cooking and baking

- wanting to enjoy more home entertaining

- wanting to facilitate and encourage more sit down meals with family and/or friends

- recently purchased and want to make this home your own.

At Ekko Custom Cabinetry and Design, we believe an island provides numerous opportunities for additional utility and opens up the options for the functions remaining in the original space. Consider the benefits enabled by the addition of a kitchen island in your kitchen :

  • the addition of a second “prep” sink / work station for your own convenience or to encourage and enable others to join in the preparation

  • separating your cooking functions so you have 2 distinct and separate zones (oven and cooktop)

  • to provide a hide-away pull-out garbage / recycling feature

  • provide “deep-drawer” storage and improved organization capacity

  • storage and easy access to small appliances where you are most likely to use them

  • storage for cookie sheets, trays, spices, pots & pans, cutlery, cooking and prep utensils – again, all likely more convenient to where you will use them

  • wine storage or bar fridge

  • extra seating for family and friends to visit while breakfast, lunch, after school snacks or dinner is being prepared …… and in many cases consumed. After all, how often do the day’s events get discussed or the party end up in, the kitchen.

  • Additional electrical supply capabilities for C/T appliances and food preparation functions

A recent and increasing trend towards a second kitchen sink is growing in new homes and major renovations. This feature provides better workflow and allows help without being in the way. Between clean-up and food prep, the sink is the highest traffic point in any kitchen. A second sink allows one for each function and enables the support components for each task to be more efficiently located closer to those specific points. No more dirty dishes in the way while you are trying to prepare items for cooking or serving ! Consider the work flow – from Fridge to Preparation Area to Cooking Zone to Clean-up Station and Serving – seems natural doesn’t it ?

Consider the significant additional design options that come along with the above practical benefits :

  • ties the kitchen together

  • opportunity to introduce a second colour & finish (in cabinets and countertops) and expand your decorating colour pallet

  • this fabulous new space faces “the action” and allows you to interact with “visitors” instead of just facing the wall – WECOME to the party !

- great “night light” opportunity -> LED strip lighting (on a dimmer) around the perimeter in the

Toe-kick space provides an awesome night light feature

Design Options for Seating at a Kitchen Island:

Kitchen Island designs are as widely varied as the space available and whims of our clients. A particular personalization can come with the inclusion of a seating feature in the design. Let your imagination run and encourage your designer to help create a design that makes your kitchen functional, unique and memorable – now is the time and this is the perfect opportunity.

There are typically (3) basic levels at which a seating function can be designed to :

1.) Lowered Eating Bar – this C/T height is typically set @ 30” which is the height of a standard desk or dinner table and coordinates to a standard 19.5” seat height. This is generally a better height for smaller children but an uncomfortable height for socializing. An adult will feel like they have their chin on the island top while visiting with a host standing above them.

2.) Extended Island Bar – this C/T height is simply a continuous extension of the island top @ 36”. The seating section is typically designed to an extended width and/or length of the island counter. There are a number of chairs built to this 25.5” height to facilitate this design. This has become the most popular design trend – great for dining and visiting while affording the cook a much larger and uninterrupted work space when they are not visiting.

3.) Raised Bar – this C/T height is typically 42” off the floor, hence the “bar” designation. This height sits about 6” higher than the rest of the island and provides a comfortable “eye-level” height to stand or sit and visit. It enables electrical boxes to be mounted horizontally on the kitchen side between the two C/T levels (typically in a 2 X 4 wall that the raised bar is mounted down on to). Bar seats are raised at 31.5” and often height adjustable

Room to Cook:

One of the most common reasons people choose to add an island to their kitchen is that it creates additional cooking, preparation and clean up space. Regardless of the amount of counter space you have, additional cooking space can be invaluable for the family that loves to cook and/or entertain together. A kitchen island can give you the room needed for everyone (family and friends) to work in the kitchen at the same time. At Ekko Custom Cabinetry and Design, we have created many “dream kitchens and spaces” where, initially the challenge seemed hopeless. Don’t be intimidated by the apparent space restrictions you have – we work with a number of quality renovators who are experienced in expanding spaces within the existing structure of a home. Often, even structural walls cab be opened up with the proper engineer approved modifications – to the dining room, living room or family room – the “Great Room” concept may be more attainable than you think.

At Ekko Custom Cabinetry and Design, we strive to exceed your expectations. Whatever the reason for your renovation, consider it as an investment in your life and home – do it right the first time – you’ll be rewarded in your quality of life and the ultimate uptick in your real estate value. Our custom kitchen and bath design staff can help or lead you through a design process that will give you the space you have dreamed of ………..

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