It’s hard to believe that decades ago the kitchen was hidden in the back of the house. It was simply a utilitarian space where meals were prepared and dirty dishes were washed. Fast forward to 2018 and the kitchen is FRONT AND CENTER. Today’s kitchens are the focal point. Command Central. The hub of the home. Kitchens bring everyone together to start the day and gather everyone together at the end of the day. More money is spent on kitchen updates and remodels than any other room of the house.
While kitchens may have changed over time one thing has not – the need for a large open prep space. We call it the “island”. I’m not sure what they would have called it in the Downton Abby days of 1912 but the island was useful back then and it’s still extremely useful today.
Kitchen featured on the PBS hit show Downton Abby
We follow kitchen design and trends very closely and one of the changes we see emerging is the single level (counter height…not bar height) LARGE island. With todays trend toward less wall cabinets and more open shelving and windows (to let all that beautiful natural light in) the island is having to work overtime. Just a few of the island must-haves include: storage for dishes and appliances, room for a sink and dishwasher and seating for casual dining. To accommodate the increased size, we are seeing a tendency for the kitchen island to extend into living room…almost like a piece of furniture. This allows the kitchen island to be multi-functional without cluttering up space in the kitchen. It’s a win-win!
But bigger is not always better —when designing a kitchen island for your own home be sure to think about easy it is to clean. If the surface area is too large, wiping down the middle or serving meals and large platters across the space will be a challenge. Measuring how far your arms can comfortably reach is a good staring point in determining the size of your island.
Sheen options on the counter top of your island should also be taken into consideration. The spacious counters can reflect light beautifully, but there is a price to pay to constantly keep them shine-worthy. A lighter color can help hide smears and smudges. A honed or leathered finish on your island counters will give them a more rustic look. There is no one answer for countertops because everyone’s tastes are different but knowing how your family lives and functions will help you pick the perfect counter for your island.
Today we wanted to share some of our current favorite island styles and designs. Notice the resurgence of wood islands and cabinetry in most of these photos. We are loving wood cabinets…especially the lighter shades. There is just something about that natural color that makes us swoon!
House of Jade Interiors
What’s better than one large island? Two large islands of course! We are seeing trend more and more in large open kitchens.
Kate Market Interior
We love the trim detail and honey colored wood on this stunning kitchen island.
Kate Market Interior
If your kitchen could use a hard-working, functional island give us a call!