The Right Way to Incorporate an Island in your Kitchen Remodel

white kitchen with blue island and hall cabinetWhen planning your kitchen remodel, one of the most common requests people make is to include an island in the design. Many homeowners have their heart set on an island, however, the purpose of the island and size of the kitchen are really the deciding factors as to whether or not it will work.

Although high in demand, there are a few key items to consider before incorporating one into your space. Here are some tips as to whether an island will enhance or inhibit your kitchen:

Comfortable Clearances – Ensuring you have adequate space to move around the island is one of the primary factors that will determine whether or not your kitchen can indeed fit an island. hickory island with quartz countertopIf you need to open your dishwasher or pull out a cookie sheet from your oven, you don’t want the cabinetry behind you to get in the way. What’s more, you also need to consider traffic flow if you are looking to add seating. If it’s a high-traffic area, you don’t want anyone to have to get off their chairs in order to allow others to pass by.

Future Functionality –When it comes to the functionality of the island, we usually encourage people to think about the following questions…

Will the island be used for food preparation?
Will it require a cooking surface?
Are you planning on using the island for entertaining?
Do you envision this as a dedicated spot for family meals? If so, do you have additional seating when you are entertaining guests?Modern black and white kitchen

These questions help determine the right size and combination of features for the island. There are plenty of options to choose from, including primary sinks, prep sinks, cooktops, and seating. Depending upon the situation, the island can also have two levels, allowing it to serve more than one purpose.

But before you get your heart set on a multi-functional kitchen island, you need to make sure it will fit appropriately in your space. If an island simply will not work in your current kitchen footprint, all is not lost. A small addition to your kitchen or even borrowing space from an adjoining room can provide the additional square footage needed. Even if an island ultimately isn’t the right solution, a peninsula or small overhang designed to accommodate a couple of stools can bring you at least some of that much-desired functionality.

Set up an appointment with one of our Designers to kick-start your kitchen remodel. You can also visit our photo gallery or follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more kitchen ideas and inspiration.

Kitchen island in stained Alder wood  Eat in kitchen with island and wood hood

midcentury modern kitchen with waterfall edge island and blue backsplash tile   close up island with bead board panels and drawers

gray transitional kitchen with island in stained wood  black and white Orca pattern island in contemporary kitchen


Naperville Kitchen Remodel Filled with Southern Charm

Originally from the south, this Naperville mother of three wanted to create a kitchen that represented their vision of southern charm and hospitality, as well as a great space to enjoy her family. Before the renovation, their kitchen was extremely tight. In fact, it barely fit two adults and three children, let alone the guests they wished to entertain. Conveniences like a nearby pantry and mudroom were also nonexistent. To create a functional, yet stylish space for their family to gather, they relied upon the expertise of Normandy Designer Chris Ebert.

“Overall, the space was strained, which made cooking and entertaining a struggle,” said Chris. “The best solution was an addition, which made room for larger appliances, a pantry, and improved island placement.”

Appliances grew substantially in size. The kitchen went from a standard, 36-inch refrigerator to one that was 72 inches. The range was also elongated, measuring out at 60 inches. Additionally, the pantry was relocated to the inside of the actual kitchen space.

“Relocating the pantry was a big improvement. Prior to that, trips to the original pantry required a trek outside the kitchen footprint into a traffic area,” added Chris.

The island was also turned around. As predicted, making the switch from vertical to horizontal proved to be beneficial because it created a great big space for family and friends to congregate, seating for five, and great prep space on the back-side of the island.

When sitting at the island and looking up, you’ll notice a tin ceiling and pendant lighting. Its elaborate features like these give this kitchen some southern flare.

“Overall, you’ll notice more ornate finishes,” said Chris. “There’s also a more decorative style cabinet, pillars, and a lot of molding detail.”

mudroom with lockers and baskets for storageMoving on from the kitchen, the laundry room was expanded to better accommodate this busy family of five. To enlarge the space, a wall between the laundry room and back hallway was removed. From there, the room was outfitted with a custom mudroom and shelves for storing laundry baskets.

Are you interested in adding on or completing a kitchen remodel? Set up a time to meet with Chris to get started. Or, to prepare yourself for everything that a kitchen renovation entails, register to attend one of our free seminars.  For more design ideas and inspiration you can also visit the Normandy photo gallery or follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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