Add storage and prep space with a kitchen island
If you can spare the floor space, kitchen islands are a great way to boost your kitchen's food preparation and storage capacities. Kitchen center islands can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be; you can add a simple stationary table with shelves underneath for storing commonly used items, or you can go all-out with large kitchen islands complete with functional plumbing and electricity.
Choose the Right Size for Your Kitchen Island
You can get both premade and custom kitchen islands. But before you even get as far as considering what style of island you would like, you first need to figure out how large an island your kitchen can handle.
Taking accurate measurements of your kitchen's floor space is the first step. As a general rule, you should plan to leave about 3 or 3½ feet of space between the outer edges of your island and your kitchen cabinets or countertops. This will give you plenty of room to maneuver around, even on busy occasions.
Remember that kitchen islands don't need to be bulky or even regular in shape. You can get long, narrow islands or ones that taper off at one or both ends. Being creative and flexible will help you fit a kitchen island into a space you never thought would be able to house one.
Specialized Types of Kitchen Islands
Stationary kitchen islands aren't your only option – if you do a lot of outdoor entertaining when the weather is nice, portable kitchen islands can help you socialize outside while you prepare a feast for your guests. Portable kitchen islands typically have wheels that can be locked down when you want the island to remain secure and unlocked when you want to move it. The simplest ones are made of durable plastic; more elaborate models incorporate wood or stainless steel.
Butcher block kitchen islands are made of wood, and are beloved by millions of homeowners for one key reason: they're always ready to use. If you have a butcher block kitchen island, you'll never have to fuss with cutting boards – just put the food right on the chopping block and get to work. When you're finished, they're easy to clean; simply wipe food scraps into a trash container and sterilize the surface using warm water and an approved kitchen surface cleanser.