Large Kitchen Island
The kitchen island is now ubiquitous in the contemporary kitchen. Yet, its roots go back at least as far as the 18th century, when the island was typically a worktable but also served as a gathering space, similar to today’s kitchens.
With the emergence of the open floor plan over the last 30 years, the living room, family room and kitchen have melded into one space, with the kitchen island often the primary gathering area in the house. At Hoffmans Architecture, we’ve created new homes and have been remodeling early 20th century homes to accommodate the larger island dynamic.
The kitchen island is the central element to the open, modern floor plan. This enhanced function has required the island to expand to sizes as large as 4’ x 14’ (or larger!). The larger island also allows for new kitchen arrangements. A twelve-foot wide island can accommodate both a sink and a range along with the related tasks, making the larger island very popular with aspiring and accomplished cooks. (Don’t forget to consider the size of the sink—we’ve never heard anyone complain that their sink is too big.)
Entertaining in such kitchens is often as much about spending time with guests as it is about food preparation. As such, we often design kitchens so that most food prep can be done while facing guests or family members seated along the island or gathered in the kitchen. We prefer, if space allows, islands to be 4’ deep. The extra depth creates a buffer between cooking activity and guest.
Another benefit to a large island is it can increase lower cabinet storage. This can generally increase overall kitchen storage, or it may be preferable to those homeowners, and their children, who prefer not to or have difficulty negotiating overhead storage.