What Is Your Island Identity?

8 Min.

The kitchen island, if designed well, can be the most functional part of your workspace. The key is determining the kind of ‘Island Inhabitant’ you are…

Cupcake Connoisseur.

If you’re the go-to person in your family for birthday cakes, bake sale items and Christmas cookies then your island should incorporate some of these organizational gems.

Vertical storage racks for baking trays
Deep drawers for mixing bowls and bulk flour and sugar containers
Drawers with dividers for measuring cups and baking tools
Spice rack pull-outs, perhaps a few to store all those cupcake liners, sprinkles, and spices
Stone countertop for rolling out dough, soapstone is ideal as you can place trays straight from the oven to the counter
And finally, of course, the mixer lift.

Photo Jul 12, 1 50 10 PM   Photo Jul 12, 1 56 37 PM   story-nhb-s-1

Cocktail King.

Perhaps your island is most frequently used for happy hour – there’s no shame in that. Use these tips to make it the most fun and functional bar, er, kitchen island in the neighborhood.

A small prep sink.
Built-in wine fridge.
shallow drawers for rocks glasses and hanging racks for stemmed glassware.
Breathable fruit and vegetable drawers for your lemons and limes.
Consider proximity to your kitchen fridge and freezer so you’re never too far from the ice.
10″ or more overhang for all those barflies, consider embedded steel bars in the underside of your counter for support to avoid brackets or corbels.

island sq    Photo Jul 12, 2 32 57 PM.jpg   drawers-215x215

Molecular Gastronomist.

For the chef who enjoys pushing the boundaries of cuisine and walking the fine line between cooking and science.

Soapstone countertops – just in case you do err more on the science side…
Pull out utensil racks for all those crazy tools.
Gas range top for quick fires.
Prep sink to put those out.
Knife block built into a drawer, every technique requires a different blade.

story-nhb-s-2-215x215    Photo Jul 12, 2 58 13 PM   NOH Newburyport 10 14 kitchen 2-2

Tiny House Dweller.

In a small space, an island can be used as a cooking area, dining table, homework desk and social gathering spot as well as providing great storage. Consider these ideas to add functionality to your (small) island.

Integrated cutting boards – these are handy while you’re cooking and can act as extra counter space if needed.
Pull out spice racks that can be accessed on either side, there’s no need to use up a tall cabinet with short items.
Unique size, your island doesn’t need to be standard, a custom design will make the best use of the space you have.
All drawers, when space is tight you want to access every square inch of space, drawers ensure nothing is lost in the back of the cabinet.

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