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4 Useful Tips for Planning a Kitchen Island to Complete Your Dream Kitchen 

RTA Wood Cabinets

If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, incorporating a new kitchen island into your design may be one of the key features you’re most excited about. Most homeowners today do request a kitchen island as part of their perfect dream kitchen. 

However, a poorly planned island can turn your kitchen from a dream into a nightmare.

In order to help you plan and get your new kitchen island just right, our team here at RTA Wood Cabinets has put together these useful tips:

  • 1. Get Creative with Shapes and Materials

  • If you’re going to give precious space in your kitchen to an island, make sure it will make a statement and be a good fit with your needs and design tastes.

    There shouldn’t be any such thing as a “typical” kitchen island.

    A kitchen island can take any shape or size, and ideally it should be a focal point in the room. In order to design your perfect island, consider the size and shape that will work best both for your space and for all the uses you’ll have for the island.

    You may want to consider using unusual countertop materials or unique cabinet finishes in order to draw attention to the island – this is an especially useful strategy in larger kitchens. 

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  • 2. Make Sure There’s Aisle Room

  • Sometimes homeowners want their kitchen islands to be “as big as possible” – but that can create problems for you in moving through the kitchen.

    As a general rule, 36 inches should be the minimum distance between cabinets. However, it’s more standard to plan for 42 inches for a one-cook kitchen and at least 48 inches if there will be multiple cooks at once.

    That said, you also want to make sure there isn’t too much space. Especially if you’ll be doing significant prep work and cooking, you don’t want to have to walk 5 feet between the island and the rest of your kitchen stations.

  • 3. Plan for Seating

  • One common mistake in kitchen island design is to forget about the needs for seating.

    If people will be sitting at the island, you want a clearance for their knees of at least 18 inches if you have a 30-inch island and at least 12 inches for a 42-inch island. Also, you should plan for at least 2 feet between stools or chairs to give everyone enough elbow room.

    And how big are your desired stools or chairs? You want to make sure there will be plenty of space to pull them in and out and still give people room to walk and move around them.

  • 4. Consider Your Overall Layout

  • How will your kitchen island fit in with the way the rest of your kitchen is used?

    It’s important to determine if your island will have a sink or cook top or oven or seating area, and what the flow will be to the other areas of the kitchen. For example, if your island will have a sink, you’ll want to make sure the dishwasher and trash bin are located nearby.

    Another element that’s often over looked is available outlets. If you’re planning to do lots of prep work on your island, you’ll want to be sure you can easily plug in any necessary appliances. 

    Think about how you will flow between the different stations of your kitchen, and make sure your new island is well integrated into the design.

    If you’re looking for more inspiration for designing the layout of your dream kitchen, our team here are RTA Wood Cabinets will be happy to help. After all, the right kitchen cabinets will ultimately make or break your overall kitchen layout and design. 

    To get your FREE Kitchen design, give us a call at 800-788-7575.


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