So, I started guest blogging over at UsedEverywhere.com. Pretty stoked about that. For my first post I wrote about the current trend in kitchen islands: unique, open style farmhouse tables or workbenches. Something like one of these:
Design by Margot Austin
And of course, this one-of-a-kind vintage look is perfect for those of us who like to thrift! So check out the post over at the UsedEverywhere blog.
But you know, I’ve never really been an island girl. Well, technically I am. I was born on Vancouver Island. But a kitchen island - I wasn’t really on that bandwagon. But lately I’ve been researching a lot about kitchen islands.
I haven’t been researching the cool islands featured in the post above. Nope. In fact I’ve been looking for as many pictures as I can of the built-in island - a feature I’d previously never really wanted. You see, any house floor plan we looked at that showed an island was not for me. The islands were too small, or an inefficient use of the space (I usually wanted to swap them out for a peninsula), or had weird angular shapes that were clearly designed by builders, not designers.
But as we’ve been studying one particular home plan (that I think we’ll end up building on the farm) I’ve come across a kitchen where an island actually is the best use of space. And there’s space for a big one. We’re talkin’ the mothership. So now I’m pouring over inspiration pictures (in my old computer files, on Tumblr, and in that wonderful new addiction, Pinterest) for islands. And I’m scouring design magazine articles, blog posts, and design site forums to get the scoop on islands. So many things to consider!
One level or two? Ideal dimensions? Sink? Cooktop? Open shelves? Drawers or cupboards? Built in microwave or dishwasher? Multiple pendant lights or a single chandelier? Oy.
So here’s what I think I’ve settled on:
- One large island with a single height (counter height) - no second level for a bar or table height. I just don’t like the look of the split levels enough - especially since the island is visible on two sides (from the dining room and the living room). Also, counter height stools will likely be cheaper than the taller bar stools. So. Cheap’s good.
Island with counter-height stools, designer Mick de Giulio, via Decorpad
- No sink, and definitely no cooktop. This will give a cleaner look and way more flexibility in how the island is used - baking extravaganza? Science homework?Buffet display? Art projects? Board meetings? (Don’t know why we’d have those…) All possible with no sink or stove in the way.
A single-height island is so much more flexible. Photographer Chris Lewis, Architect D. Stanley Dixon, designer Betty Burgess. Via Houzz.com
- A combination of drawers, cupboards, and open storage. Just ‘cuz. I like all of those.
See? Open shelves, drawers and cupboards living together in harmony. Design by Erin McLaughlin via Style at Home
- And I’m thinking I like the microwave built into the island (on the sides facing the other kitchen counters.) Because microwaves are ugly space hogs. And I don’t like ugly space hogs. (Hey, remember the Muppets’ Pigs in Space? Total mental rabbit trail just now.) Any thoughts on this? (Microwave in the island, that is, not the Pigs in Space.)
(Wow, I’m a nerd. Design blogs should not involve doctoring pictures of Muppets in Apple Paintbrush…)
- As for the lighting above the island I’m still unsure. Have to ponder that one…
Island with three pendants
Do you have an island? Any keen design advice for me? Now, I’m going to get a measuring tape to see just how big 4’x7’ would be…