By: Michelle Laurie and Colleen Mahoney
The kitchen is by far the most active area of the home. There was a time when the kitchen was small and out of the way. If you were cooking in the kitchen you probably felt separated from the rest of the home. Think back to the galley kitchens of the 1960’s – they were dark work spaces with limited storage.
Life is more communal now, and families young and old, use the kitchen not just for cooking and eating but for entertaining and working.
This is an island that everyone loves – it’s a centerpiece that provides a fabulous work surface with its marble countertop. It was custom designed for the space to look like a piece of furniture.
Colleen says “An island is an active working part of a kitchen.”
In this Orinda remodel, the peninsula serves as a sideboard to the dining room, anchored by a wine fridge at one end. A peninsula provides a sense of separation between the kitchen and dining area.
There are many ways to approach a kitchen island – do you want it to be a piece of furniture or a big working unit? We always feel the bigger the better, depending on the constraints of the space, rather than how it’s going to be used.
This 12 foot long island in Tiburon has a cooking surface facing out into the room, so you can cook and talk with guests at the same time while enjoying a world class view.
In this Novato house, we created an island is almost square, with an extra sink and a handy pull up tower of outlets for small electrical appliances. The bar stools provide a welcoming place for guests.
In this turn of century home in San Francisco the kitchen island has a wooden cutting board top. We paid careful attention to every detail unifying a modern kitchen with a classic home.
A double island in the Hartung house provides twice as much storage space. The island has areas for different uses – a food prep area has mixed surfaces of limestone and wood. The wood cutting board surface is great for food prep.
An island is more than just the infamous triangle between the cooktop, refrigerator and sink – with careful planning and attention to detail, it can be a gathering space, a work/study and dining area – a multi-purpose space for families to connect.