Kitchen Islands: Function and Flexibility

Kitchen islands are one of the most useful additions in today's kitchen. Most new homes come with kitchen islands and kitchen remodels (when there's enough space), often include an island.

Kitchen Islands for Meal Preparation

A kitchen island next to the refrigerator is convenient, and it saves time. It's easy to pull out more goods in the refrigerator and put it on the bench so you can visually think about how to combine leftovers with new items.

Kitchen islands provide lots of extra counter space when we cook, we can put all the ingredients there while we use each one of them. It also provides more storage in our kitchen that means a room for 2 trash bins - one near the sink and a second one near the stove.

Kitchen Islands at the Heart of Family Life

Many women work and spend less time at home and less time cooking. Afternoons and evenings are also spent driving kids to different after school activities so most families only gather for family meals a few nights each week.

Although these changes in lifestyle mean that kitchens are used less for cooking, kitchens are still at the heart of our homes as it is still use for some activities:

• Meal planning, cooking and baking.

• Preparing lunches to take to school and work, i.e. meals on the go.

• Family conversations in person, and on the phone.

• Handling the mail, bills and reading newspapers/magazines.

• Working on homework, paperwork or a computer.

For many families, the kitchen has become the family communication center where a family calendar, children's school paperwork and home responsibilities are posted.

• Hobbies and other relaxing activities like watching television.

• Entertaining friends and family.

A kitchen island for these activities works well as it provides more space to spread things out. It also offers enough space for several family members to work comfortably in the same room.

Kitchen Islands for Entertaining

Entertaining at home saves time and money. You may invite another family to join you, especially those with children the same age as yours as you prepare an evening meal for your family. Kitchen islands can be a:

• mini-entertainment area where guests get to know each other while helping out to prepare the meal

• perfect space for the kids to eat while adults go into the dining room, children prefer comfortably settled with their friends when eating

• allow several families to prepare a meal together and enjoy

Tina Gleisner, founder of the Association of Women Home Owners connects homeowners with concepts, terminology and advice to build homes that support today's lifestyles. Through the library and directory at, you can LEARN more about how to maintain and repair your home and more.


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