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Workhorse Islands for your Kitchen

August 23, 2016Kitchen Remodeling

Workhorse Islands

“Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful” — the Shaker Rule of Thumb

This simple statement sums up how we feel about design and building at Meadowlark— and it perfectly describes workhorse islands. Adding an island to the kitchen design has a long-standing tradition.  The functionality of more counter space coupled with the social aspect of gathering people together makes the island both necessary and useful. Adding in design components that appeal to the owner’s aesthetic makes them endearing and beautiful.

As a mom of a gaggle of children, I say, “Obviously!”  Three cheers for keeping your brood close while cooking dinner; multitasking (and now the workhorse island) is at the heart of every home. As a designer, I look at how we can make the island not only functional but also personalized enough to make toggling between family life, social gathering and meal prep a seamless transition.

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Red workhorse island with butcher block top

These days we ask the simple kitchen island to do even more work by providing additional storage and space for homework and family time, a mobile office and casual dining.  Workhorse islands are much larger and more customized to the homeowner’s family and lifestyle. A larger island is both a substantial mass in the kitchen and a focal point, which makes it a natural place for people to gather. Carving out space for casual seating breaks up the large mass architecturally and encourages homework with no complaints (now I’m dreaming!) with a dedicated seating area. Placing the workhorse island adjacent to the kitchen work triangle – that triangle between the sink / refrigerator / range –  also allows loads of interaction while defining the working space.

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Storage abounds in this workhorse island. Check out the easy paper towel access!

With cabinets on all sides of the island, a hallmark of the workhorse island, storage is condensed and maximized. This makes it possible for you to use less upper cabinets, which provides more visual lightness and an open feel to the space. Low storage in the island makes storing dishes, even glasses, easier. The single movement of opening up a drawer instead of reaching to upper cabinets saves space and strain on your already overworked back.  Plus, kiddos can get a glass of water themselves.  Bonus round!

Are you dreaming about the ultimate workhorse island for your kitchen that is necessary, useful and beautiful? Call or email me and let’s talk.

By Jen Hinesman