CREATING THE PERFECT KITCHEN ISLAND
Do you want a sink or stovetop? One level or two? Choose your options — and size — carefully
Interior designer Abbe Fenimore knew that adding a kitchen island was one of the most important decisions she’d make in remodelling her 1940s-era home. A well-designed kitchen island can offer storage space, a work surface, comfortable seating — even a cooktop or spare sink.
But like so many aspects of kitchen design, it needs to be planned with extra care. An item this large and central isn’t something you’ll want to replace within a few years. So Fenimore and her husband created a cardboard island in their kitchen with precise dimensions to live with it before committing. They tinkered with the details on its size and location. They debated which features were necessary and which were too much of a splurge or took up too much space.
In the end, that island “has become the literal hub in our home for socializing,” Fenimore says. We’ve asked Fenimore, founder of the design firm Studio Ten 25, and two other interior designers — Betsy Burnham and Jenny Kirschner — for their thoughts on great kitchen-island designs and trends.
MAP OUT THE DETAILS
Because careful planning is so important, Burnham suggests working with a designer on kitchenisland design or finding resources online for drawing up a floor plan. “You’re going to need about three feet of space around it — at least three,” she says. Homeowners sometimes end up with too crowded a kitchen if they choose an island that’s too large.
This urban farmhouse style kitchen, designed by Betsy Burnham, has an island that offers ample storage and an extra prep sink.