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  • Writer's pictureKaren Hockley, Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer

Islands Creating Custom Storage

Updated: Feb 19, 2022

Each island I design for my clients is a Custom Built Island. When designing an island it's important to consider the function of the island and what cabinets and appliances and sinks are to be incorporated in the island. The placement of each cabinet is equally important. In the below island the sink is across from the island. I placed the sink and dishwasher so the trash can is able to open while standing at the sink. For Cabinet placement since the cooktop and downdraft unit needed a 27 in deep cabinet to house both, I created a 3 in elevated wall behind the downdraft unit. If we had kept the cooktop and pop up vent at the same countertop level we would have needed at least 9 in behind for safety. The elevated countertop behind the pop up ventilation unit, keeps diners a safe distance from the cooktop and has a 15 in deep countertop for dining. There is seating at the island, so when there's a cooktop on an island you need to keep a safe distance from the walkway or seating area to the heated surface of the cooktop.

This is a photo of the finished Island. You can see how beautifully the Traditional Baseboard molding wraps around the Island. With the induction cooktop and pop up ventilation it makes cooking fast and efficient.

Look at all the great storage options

What would you like on your Island. On this island there is a Trash and Recycling on the left, with a knife storage block with spice storage below. To the right of the Cooktop you will find Storage for tall Cooking Utensils and additional storage below. Each design I work on I incorporate your wishes to create your Dream Kitchen. Each Island I do is Custom Designed, and has different storage options. You could have a second sink, a microwave, Roll Out trays, or a Mix master Lift for your Kitchen Aid Mixer.

What a great island for meal preparation. In the below island there is a trash can on the left of the island. A base microwave cabinet with a deeper drawer below and on the right there is the pots and pans drawer with an extra roll out to house cooking implements. When you are using Granite or Quartz countertops there may need to be a metal support under the countertop. I always consult with the Stone Company that is manufacturing the countertops as to how many supports are needed. These are invisible and you can see are hidden below the countertop material.

Below are the cabinets we used in the above Island. This makes for great storage and a wonderful prep area. How easy to roll out dough for Cookies or Bake Bread using this Island as your prep area. We always have electrical on both sides of an Island for any appliances you may want to use on the island.

How about having Your sink on an Island. This is an island where the sink, dishwasher, dishes and trash cans are located. The client wanted to put their dishes into a drawer on the Island. We used the Deep Drawer Cabinet to the left of the sink and used a Peg Board organizer for the dishes. There is a 15 inch overhang on the back of the Island for Seating. This also keeps water from the sink away from anyone sitting at the Island. The Double ovens, Cooktop, and Refrigerator are on the Backwall across from the Island. What a Great room to cook and entertain in.

My thoughts when designing are always about safety and function.

Here are the fantastic storage solutions used on this Island. Who wouldn't love this island.

If you still use Cookbooks, sometimes I'll place an open base cabinet on an Island. This offers great storage for cookbooks, or even cell phones. If you use it for cell phone charging an electrical outlet can be fitted into the cabinet by your installer or electrician. I still have the Old Betty Crocker Cookbook and numerous other cookbooks, so this is a great way to have easy access to Cookbooks. This could also be a decorative cabinet to showcase a collection of decorative objects, or pottery.

For every kitchen that incorporates an island, there is always a perfect storage solution for each cabinet. I design each island to work with my client and their families preferences and needs.

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1 Comment

Oct 02, 2021

It's so interesting to see the way you approach custom island design! Thanks for sharing your tips.

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