Whether your space lacks a proper dining table or you’re looking to create a more casual bar-seating option, adding low-profile seating to the island is an easy way to increase functionality and make the environment more social for both guests and the cook. Create a breakfast bar or dining table, and leave a counter overhang that offers enough room to tuck the chairs or stools underneath when not in use.
Take advantage of being able to use the space above the island by adding suspended storage, where you can display a matching pan collection or your best stemware. You can also experiment with lighting elements, or if you’ve decided to install a stovetop with overhead venting you can use the space for the range hood.
In addition to creating more counter space, an island is also a way to add more storage and avoid kitchen clutter by using drawers, cupboards and shelves. This is beneficial especially if appliances take up a lot of cabinet room, or if you’re looking for a unique way to showcase certain items by using open shelving. Store dishes and pots within reach or keep less frequently used appliances out of the way. Another option is to use open shelving to display cookbooks or other items.
Here the catch: just because it isn’t a seemingly vital piece of your kitchen doesn’t mean it’s an easy swap. In fact, undoing the customization and permanence of a kitchen backsplash can feel overwhelming and daunting. Add a few mental images of chipping away at stubborn backsplash tiles and you may have one the messiest kitchens you can imagine.
The biggest real estate for a focal point is behind the stove. Create focal points by changing up the pattern or color scheme of your materials, whether that’s laying tile at an angle or mixing and matching complimentary colors. And if you’re on a budget, splurge on that stove-top wall and use a less expensive material everywhere else.
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