You can open up your space and add extra counters, shelving and cabinets with kitchen island, kitchen carts or a portable kitchen island. A kitchen island with seating also provides a place for your family to sit, eat and socialize. Top one off with butcher block and install a sink, and you’ve also got a lovely space for preparing food. We’ve put together a few tips to help you decide which style is right for you:
Which should I choose: a kitchen island or a kitchen trolley?
Your choice depends mostly on preference, budget and available space. Here are some pros and cons for each option to help you decide:
• Kitchen cart: A cart is smaller, portable and usually on wheels. A mobile kitchen island makes a great addition to smaller kitchens that might not have room for a typical island as they can be pushed aside when more space is needed. A moveable kitchen island costs less than a permanent island, as well. You can even get a portable kitchen island with seating. The options are endless.
• Kitchen island: If you’d like to use the additional space for food preparation, islands can be customized to your needs by adding a sink or even butcher block. They’re more expensive than their mobile counterparts, but can be a huge investment in the long run.
What size should my kitchen island be?
To determine what size you might need, survey the size of your space and determine how you’ll use the island. If you have ample space, are an avid cook and plan to use it as the food preparation epicenter, you’ll want a large model with a good amount of counter space and plenty of easy-to-access drawers and cabinets. If you have a smaller space and plan to use it occasionally, it’s possible a smaller cart with a few shelves will do the trick. Regardless, be sure that there is enough room to move comfortably around your island and open drawers and cupboards — the last thing you want is for your new addition to cramp your space.
What types of countertops can be added to kitchen islands?
There are several different countertop options to choose from, depending on your aesthetic preference and individual needs. If you plan to do a lot of cooking and cutting on the island, you might want to consider a butcher block surface. These are durable and aesthetically pleasing, and they take away the hassle of dragging around a cutting board. However, wood is porous, so it’s pertinent that you keep up with cleaning. A stainless steel countertop is sophisticated and sleek; they’re also durable, heat-resistant and easy to maintain. On the downside, they’re easily scratched, so it’s best to avoid cutting directly on the surface. Granite is a timeless choice that looks great in any space, and it is very durable and easy to care for. However, granite is often one of the more expensive options.
What additional features might I consider for my kitchen cart?
The great thing about islands is you can customize them as much you want, so think big picture when you’re planning your purchase. If you’ll need extra space only occasionally, seek one out with a drop leaf so you can set it up and tuck it away as needed. If you need a sink, be sure to attach towel racks, and if you choose a granite or stainless steel countertop, perhaps you’d like to add a cutting board.
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