Kitchen islands are popular additions in remodels because they’re so useful and so versatile. They provide tons of supplementary storage, plus you can use them for the extra counter space you need to make the big meals and batches of cookies your family expects for the holidays.
But what if your kitchen is small? Does that mean you can’t have an island? Of course not!
When doing a kitchen remodel, you must first list your wants, needs, expectations and budget. If you have a galley kitchen but want a gourmet kitchen with eat-in capability, that’s going to take more time and money (and space!) to achieve than a standard remodel. If your dream is a big kitchen and you’ll stop at nothing to get it, your options are to steal space from another room or break down a wall and make your house’s footprint bigger.
If neither of these solutions is within your budget, you’ll have to get creative. This is best done alongside a trusted, experienced professional who has remodeled lots of kitchens and can prevent you from making rookie (and expensive) mistakes.
Once you go through the basics of choosing new or refaced cabinets, new countertops and sinks and perhaps new appliances and flooring as well, then you can see what kind of island would work for you. Will you be getting any more space with your new cabinets and countertops? If not, see if you have much ancillary cookware you can store in out-of-the-way places to free up room for the items you use every day. Vow to keep countertops clear of mail, homework and other miscellaneous clutter. Now a small island seems adequate, doesn’t it?
Get What Suits You
Many homeowners choose a custom-built island when doing their remodel, because they want a perfect match that’s the correct height and size. If the 48-by-25-by-36-inch islands for sale in big box stores are two inches too long and not high enough for your comfort, this off-the-shelf purchase is not going to work for you. You don’t want to spend the kind of money a kitchen remodel takes only to have a wrong-sized, mismatched clunker plopped down in the middle of your new room.
Style and Function
Figure out what you want to keep in your island — will you need lots of drawers or mostly cupboards? Will they be on both sides, or just one? In a smaller kitchen, it may be difficult to open drawers and doors on all sides. You also may want to incorporate drop-leaf or pullout sections — these provide coveted extra space when needed, but neatly fold away when they’re not being used.
What’s most critical when adding an island to your kitchen is that it not be an obstacle in the work triangle (stove, sink, refrigerator), and no reputable builder would install one that was. In a truly small kitchen, this might be a challenge, and one solution is to put wheels on your island so you can move it out of the way when necessary. Make sure you get locking wheels, though — you don’t want it rolling around while you’re using it!
Here at Falk Construction, small kitchen remodels are our specialty. Not everyone has the budget — or the desire — to do major structural revisions, and it isn’t always necessary. We can show you how you can get the beautiful kitchen you’ve always wanted within the confines of your four walls. Call us today to find out more about remodeling your kitchen and incorporating a space-saving island.