The kitchen is the heart of the home and you want it to be a room that is welcoming and cozy for family and guests. But kitchens tend to be busy places and can get messy and cluttered up pretty quickly with all of the appliances and gadgets, not to mention décor items, which can diminish the nice atmospheric state you're going for. One good solution is to install a kitchen island. Not only are they convenient as a means of additional workspace, but many are equipped with their own cabinets and drawers to help you prevent that untidy appearance.
Countertop material for the island doesn't have to match the rest of your kitchen countertops as long as it is harmonious with the room's overall design. You may want to splurge on solid surfacing here, for example, and use laminate on the other countertops. A butcher-block countertop is ideal for chopping, while granite or marble works well for baking purposes and for rolling pastry dough.
Besides meal preparation, the kitchen can become a gathering area for family and friends if there is enough space. Since so much happens in the kitchen on a regular basis, getting the layout right is important. The kitchen island can serve as an additional eating area, and food preparation can easily be done there. In a large kitchen, the kitchen island can shorten the distances within the working triangle (sink, refrigerator and range or cooktop) and make it more efficient.
For those remodeling and looking for an "open" feel where perhaps the wall or half wall separating the kitchen and the dining room is taken down, a strategically placed island acts as a subtle room divider mentally separating the kitchen from the dining room but with a much more open feel.
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