How To Keep A Kitchen Island Functional

how to keep a kitchen island functionalThe kitchen island is often the focal point of a room, and it’s important that it not only looks good, but has a purpose. Here are some tips on how to keep a kitchen island functional.

Storage

The best way to keep a kitchen island functional is to use it for storage. Whether it is open shelves or hidden shelves, be sure to have a kitchen island that works for you, not against you.

Large, stationary kitchen islands often have shelves behind cupboard doors. This is great except, depending on the size of the island, these shelves can actually be quite deep and impractical. If you find this is the case, don’t be afraid of creating extra doors on the other side. This way you can access the shelves from both side and keep everything better organized.

If your kitchen island has open shelves, be sure to invest in stylish bins and baskets to keep everything organized. Wire baskets will fit in a rustic-themes kitchen. Stainless steel bins adhere to a modern look. This is an easy way to add décor and add to your theme.

Whatever the design, the best way to jeep a kitchen island functional is organize is so that it works for you. Keep utensils that you use every day close at hand. Put larger, less used items, farther back. Function is the key to organization.

Portability

A Kitchen island is often stationary, but if you have the opportunity to create a movable kitchen island, be sure to take it. Portability gives you the freedom to move your kitchen island according to your needs. If you are short on counter space, then an island can quickly maneuver to be extra prep space. It can also be positioned as a place for appetizers so guests can nibble and watch you in action.

If there are extra bodies in the kitchen than normal, then moving the kitchen island out of the activity zone may actually be the best bet. Move it to the side or out of the room completely so that nobody accidently stubs their toes.

Kitchen islands that are portable can also serve double duty as a table. You can move it into an open area, add some bar stools, and a cozy table for two is set.

De-Clutter

The biggest downside to a kitchen island is that they can quickly become a dumping ground for all sorts of odd and ends. There are two approaches to combat this.

The first is to have a clean surface rule. Under no circumstance is there to be anything on the kitchen island except meal prep. Be sure, then, to have adequate homes for all the junk mail, keys, and miscellaneous that often finds its way to the surface.

The other solution to keep your kitchen island functional is to acknowledge that it will always be a place for clutter. Then, create an organizing system. Have small baskets with labels ready. Put out a mail slot to keep flyers upright and accessible. And be sure to go through everything at least once a week to weed out expired coupons and children’s permission slips.

Creative Ideas for Kitchen Seating

Creative Ideas for Kitchen SeatingAccording to a recent study, the average person spends an average of a little over 100 minutes in the kitchen every day.  Whether you’re cooking, eating, drinking, cleaning or just entertaining guests, the kitchen is one of the most active rooms in your home.  It’s important, then, to make it comfortable!

For your kitchen to be truly functional, you need somewhere to sit – something comfy and effective for allowing you to rest.  Sure, in smaller kitchens, this may end up being some seating placed immediately adjacent to the kitchen.  However, no matter the size or layout of your kitchen, seating is essential.  Here are some possibilities:

A Loveseat

Solid-surface kitchen islands are great additions to any kitchen, and you can get even more use out of them by making it a central place to sit and relax, as well.  As opposed to a raised bar, kitchen islands are often lower and more table-like, allowing you to use more conventional seating options as opposed to bar stools.  A comfortable loveseat, in whatever style best matches your kitchen’s décor, is a great way to say that the kitchen isn’t just a work space, but a space for relaxation and enjoyment as well.  We recommend using an outdoor fabric, as spills do happen in the kitchen, but all in all, a loveseat can be an ideal option.

Bar Seating

Many modern kitchen designs feature raised bars and countertops, making them ideal placement for elevated stools or chairs.   When picking raised stools or cocktail-style seating, remember that comfort comes first.  Many people go overboard, buying chairs that look great but simply aren’t comfortable to sit in for extended periods of time.  If you can’t imagine actually sitting in your seat and having a full meal, then you don’t really have a chair – you have a floor space-eating objet d’art.  Try before you buy!

Breakfast Booth

If you’re doing a full kitchen remodel, and there’s enough space to bump a wall a little further out, then you can create the perfect breakfast nook!  These alcoves are perfect for diner-style booth seats – they’re comfortable, fit snugly into the nook, and are great option to squeeze as many as four people into a fairly limited space, rather than having seats surrounding a table.  If you have the space to create a nook like this, it’s a great way to add seating to your kitchen without eating up any of the functional space you need.  It’s a great solution!

For islands, breakfast bars and everything in between, trust the experts at SolidSurface.ca!

4 Dated Kitchen Designs to Avoid

4 Dated Kitchen Designs to AvoidMost of us don’t redo our kitchens every few years, so the primary goal in a major redesign is timelessness.  You don’t want your kitchen to look like a relic from a bygone era; you want to stick with ideas and concepts that have stood the test of time and are likely to continue to look great for years to come.

The latest trend may seem great, but be careful – some “latest trends” quickly become ridiculous looking.  As an example, here are some dated designs that were once considered hip and trendy, and now are regrettable.

Dark Brown Wood

Deep, dark brown cabinets can still work in some more classic and traditional kitchen designs – when you’re trying to evoke an older era.  But modern kitchens dump those in favor of lighter and cleaner choices.  Dark colors make spaces feel more cramped and dark.  You can still have a warm, inviting kitchen without going into the darkest colors of the rainbow.

Bright Cabinet Colors

In general, you’re better off using neutral colors for the large, dominating parts of your kitchen – the countertops, the cabinets, the big appliances.  Save the neon greens or the sunshine yellows for accents and accessory pieces – they provide those splashes of color without dominating the room, and can be replaced or repainted easily as trends change and colors fall in and out of fashion.

Florescent Lighting

In the 1980s and early 1990s, big, fluorescent light boxes were the trendy thing to install.  Now, they look garish – and bad lighting can make every other aspect of your kitchen remodel look worse.  Terrible!  Utility and ambient lightning – with dimmers – are much more practical and can easily be integrated into any kitchen design.

Linoleum

The best you can really hope for with linoleum flooring is a kitschy, throwback, retro look.  More likely, you’ll get faded, stained and outdated looks quickly – and it’s probably just going to hide a perfectly fine wood floor.

From avocado green walls to shag carpeting, what’s “in” one day may soon be well on its way out.  We recommend sticking to classic, timeless designs, so your kitchen will continue looking it’s best for years to come.

3 Tips for Adding Texture to Your Kitchen

3 Tips for Adding Texture to Your KitchenModern kitchens are typically smooth and sleek, with streamlined finishes being the watchword of the day.  That’s great and looks fantastic – but too much of a good thing can be harmful in and of itself.  It’s easy to plan all these great, smooth looks – only to realize at the end that your kitchen looks flat and boring without some varied textures.  Especially if you’re working mostly in one color, some added texture is crucial to giving your kitchen an interesting look.  Here’s our tips on some easy additions you can make to break up the smooth and sleek monotony.

Patterns

Any sort of pattern is going to create immediate visual interest, even if the tiles are similar in texture to the rest of the kitchen.  Small tiles, creating more lines and depth between tiles and grout, can give your backsplash a textured look, which sets it off quite nicely from smoother countertops, cabinet finishes or appliances.

A Variety of Elements

If your entire kitchen is one material, be it solid surface, granite, laminate or anything in between, it can all look a bit “samey”.  Wood, stone, metal, glass – there’s a whole world of options out there that can add splashes of different textures to your kitchen.  Wood flooring or window trim is a great way to set off stainless steel appliances.  I’m personally a fan of natural brick or stone, either as a fireplace or backsplash, to create a similar effect.

Bells and Whistles

The little details can be a great place to add texture without overhauling your entire kitchen plan.  The legs and feet of tables or chairs, the corbels atop your cabinets, the trim of your kitchen island – all are great opportunities to add texture and detail to your kitchen.  These are more prevalent in traditional kitchen designs as opposed to modern ones, but are a great way to give your new kitchen some character.

The experts at Solid Surface Canada can help you with all your kitchen needs, with beautiful solid surface countertops and applications.  Check us out today!