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Each side of this island is packed with storage, even beneath the eating counter. The side where the barstools are stationed houses roomy cabinetry storage. While accessing these cabinets requires moving the stools, the spot is ideal for stashing infrequently used items such as roasting pans, large serving platters, and some small appliances, leaving space in easier-to-access cabinets for everyday items.
Create seamless storage with door fronts that look like decorative panels. A push latch opens these panels to reveal a magnet board on one side and an icemaker on the other. The cabinets behind the magnet board left only a sliver of space on the end of the island, but it was just enough room to include a play station, which keeps kids occupied while Mom or Dad cooks. The panel on the left conceals a deeper nook that houses an icemaker.
Keep frequently used pots and pans on hand with easy-to-access pullout shelves. Stainless-steel shelving offers a modern look, as well as a sturdy material for bearing the weight of heavy cast-iron cookware.
An island can work in a smaller kitchen if it?s scaled to suit the size of the room. Though it?s only 2 feet wide (to allow plenty of clearance on all sides), this island offers a prep sink, a chef-friendly butcher-block top, and storage underneath and on the ends. Classic-look columns on all four corners of the island reflect an emphasis on furniture-style design.
To maximize this island?s use, a storage nook was carved out to hold favorite cookbooks. Built to chair height, the countertop offers a convenient working space while accommodating both food prep and casual family meals. Beaded board along two sides of the island adds cottage charm, and the textural granite countertop makes the island the centerpiece of the kitchen.
This three-in-one island combines a prep station with a banquette and a glass-front display cabinet. The working side of the island forms a prep station opposite the sink. On the other side, the raised banquette takes full advantage of the woodsy view and provides ample seating. Meanwhile, the back of the bench houses a glass-door cabinet facing the dining room. A drawer under the bench furthers the island?s storage capacity.
This U-shape island, topped with iroko wood, draws the family together for informal meals and provides the perfect spot for buffet-style service. On one end, cabinets offer storage; because the glass doors are visible from the dining room, the homeowners chose to make it a display area for antique blue-and-white serving pieces. On the working side of the island, the cabinetry offers a variety of storage options including drawers and traditional cabinets with pullout shelves.
Kitchen islands don't need to be huge to provide big storage benefits, as shown by this lean green storage station. This island's special storage features include a slot for a cutting board and a box corralling jars of supper staples such as pasta, beans, and rice. A compact hanging organizer makes use of open space beneath the work surface by holding rolling pins and paper towels. On the other side, a spice rack organizer keeps favorite spices and cooking tools close to food-prep central, and a wire drawer tucks away towels, dishcloths, and other linens.
You like to use your kitchen island as a location for mixing cookie dough and cake batter, right? So keep cumbersome baking pans and cookie sheets where you need them -- in vertical storage space below the island top (behind closed doors). If your kitchen island is in a fixed position (rather than on wheels), include electrical outlets behind tilt-down drawer fronts. They're perfect for plugging in a mixer.
Editor's Tip: If your kitchen island is big enough, install a handy roll-out recycling bin at one end.