Add a Sink or Two: Adding kitchen appliances such as a sink to your new kitchen island will give it even more functionality and also serve as a gathering point when entertaining. A sink boosts the usability of any kitchen island by giving you another place to rinse off food and wash dishes. A sink can also be great when entertaining, so your guests can take part in the preparation of the meal without cluttering up your existing counter space around the oven and refrigerator.
Once you determine that an island will enhance your kitchen design, you have several additional options to consider. You can create another work space by adding a second sink and dishwasher into your island. This will allow a second cook to work in the kitchen or allow you to prepare two separate dishes without contaminating one with the other. The added counter space provided by your kitchen island will allow you easier food preparation by minimizing clutter and stacks of bowls and utensils.
If you live in an apartment or any rented home then it is not easy for you to make changes to the kitchen. Apartments especially, have very little space to work with and one thing that is often missing from the kitchen in an apartment is a kitchen island. Islands are very useful because they offer an extra workspace if you need more counter space and they have extra storage underneath in case you cannot fit everything in your normal kitchen cabinets. They also offer a place to pull up stools and create a small breakfast bar. Kitchen islands with stools area great way to have a mini breakfast bar for one or two people to sit and eat in your home. However, you often do not have room in an apartment to install a permanent fixture let alone the permission to do it. A nice alternative is the portable one on wheels.
Maximize natural light by having windows and skylights, and keep kitchen wall surfaces light in color to reflect daylight. Custom kitchen islands work great by using pendant or recessed fixtures to direct light onto the kitchen island and other work areas. Electrical codes will likely require that electrical outlets be located on the sides of fixed kitchen islands, not on the top, to prevent electrical shock.
Levels: If you decide to go the smaller-sized route when constructing your island that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to give up surface area. Adding a second level of a different height to your design will give the piece additional functionality. Multiple levels can be used for different functions such as: a place for a cutting board or book shelf, or as a breakfast bar with stool beneath it. These alternative designs can help give your kitchen island a more customized appeal.
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