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New Kitchens: Easy In The Islands

by Gabby Hyman
Repair-Home Columnist

When people remodel their kitchens, they want to change the design to fit their everyday needs. That's why so many home improvement projects centered on the kitchen are likely to be based on the homeowner's hard-won experience as they are around the latest trends. Home Depot's design expert Sarah Fishburne says, "It's about designing around your lifestyle." And one of the hottest designs made to fit today's lifestyles is kitchen islands.

With the kitchen serving as the central gathering place of any size family, space always becomes a major determining factor when planning any home improvement project. With storage space and available cutting and cooking surfaces at a premium, a new kitchen island--especially one on casters--can be a lifesaver.

Today's islands are designed for multi-tasking families. A kitchen contractor can add a portable refrigerator, sink, wine rack, or wet bar to any island, making the new addition an invaluable asset in a crowded room. Home Deport reports that there are new mobile islands with variable-height countertops that double as work surfaces and raise or lower into attractive dining tables.

Kitchen Planning for Island Living

It pays to plot out your projected needs for your island(s). Do you want a multi-tiered island with several uses, or a simple island with power for appliances? A contractor or design specialist at a home improvement store can help map out your options.

Once you have a sense of style and function, you can actually plot out the installation before spending a cent to see if the island can ease your troubled space. Stack cardboard moving boxes or existing furniture the approximate size of the island right where you plan on locating it in your kitchen. Walk around it a few days.

Some kitchens can profit from more than one new island. You may want to place a small one near the sink to double your food preparation space, as well as lend countertop space for stacking items at cleanup time. If your family eats in shifts, you may want to consider a dining island that rolls in and out when not in service--and slides directly over to the dishwasher or kitchen sink when the meal is over.

Many contractors these days are cabinet and island specialists and can help you create a custom kitchen solution that works best for your needs, with your existing décor, and within your budget. It never hurts to ask for a bid.

Sources

Home Depot

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.