As you begin thinking of the features that are most important for your “dream” kitchen, what comes to mind? How about professional grade, stainless steel appliances? Ceramic tile flooring with a colourful mosaic pattern? New, energy efficient windows? Countertops made from Quartz or some other, easy to clean and durable surface material? And how about kitchen cabinets? Each of these are desirable elements in any remodelling project, but equally important is the design and how these features are integrated into the room and “interact” with each other.
These are difficult decisions to make under the best conditions, but are made easier when you work with the experienced and talented professionals at Parada Kitchens & Bathrooms. As one of the Greater Toronto Area’s leading kitchen and design teams, our staff is uniquely qualified to help you uncover hidden potential and breathe new life into any kitchen or bathroom in your house.
Kitchen Cabinets with an Island: A Winning Combination
One of the top trends in kitchen design for 2013 and beyond is the inclusion of one of two improvements that, while adding usable space, also take away from a kitchen’s floor plan. We are talking about a kitchen island, or a peninsula, both of which have been featured in large, custom kitchens for decades but are finally finding their way into smaller kitchens thanks to creative planning. But first, what are the differences?
New kitchen cabinets can be integrated into either, but the difference is an island is a standalone structure featuring cabinetry, an open surface area for food preparation and, possibly, a small sink. A peninsula, on the other hand, is an extension of an existing bank of cabinets and normally forms an “L” shape and often has the same feature as an island. In our experience over the years, both are requested features with new kitchens, but an island has the added benefit of offering a design element and focal point to the room that a peninsula does not.
How to Decide if a Kitchen Island is Right For You
Once a homeowner has decided on kitchen cabinets, flooring, and other features, the next choice is deciding if a kitchen island is the best way to utilize existing space. A number of factors are involved in the decision making process.
- The overall size of your kitchen. The hallmark of a kitchen island is four-sided accessibility. If you have a small, apartment sized kitchen and expanding the foot print is not in your budget, then adding an island is a near impossibility. This is especially true if your kitchen is a hub of activity morning, noon, and night.
- Figure out what the island will be used for. If more efficient storage is your primary concern, new kitchen cabinets featuring innovative designs — slide out drawers for trash receptacles, food storage, or even as a place to store small appliances — can replace existing cabinets without taking up additional space. If you need more counter space, then perhaps a wall blocked by a china cabinet can be used by adding cabinets and a countertop. If you need more seating for casual dining, perhaps a restaurant style booth is a better choice.
- Traffic patterns are very important when deciding if an island could work in your new kitchen layout. Typically a 3’ space between counters is required for a functional and comfortable distance.
- Your budget. Depending on its size and feature set, a kitchen island can be expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of new kitchen cabinets, electrical wiring, and new plumbing.
Whatever option you are interested in, the designers at Parada Kitchens & Bathrooms can help you pick the right features for your new kitchen.