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As the holidays are quickly approaching, you may find you are scrambling to make room for more family members. Maybe you pull out the dining room table’s extra leaf or a card table for extra seating. However, no matter the amount of seats in your home during the holidays, everyone seems to congregate in the kitchen. The kitchen island has become the social hub of most homes. If you are planning on building or renovating, chances are you are incorporating an island.

How do you want your island to work for you? Do you want it to have tons of storage and be a working space? Will it have a sink (main or prep), a microwave, and a trash bin? Or, maybe you prefer to have your cooktop at the island with a nice hood over top to really make a statement!

Do you want the island to be all one level or two? How many people do you want to seat here?  Los Angeles based interior designer, Betsy Burnham loves the clean lines of a one level surface. In a recent Daily Herald article, To create the perfect kitchen island, planning is key (by Melissa Rayworth), Burnham states, “You’re going to need about 3 feet of space around it – at least 3”. I agree with this completely! Everyone has been in a too crowded kitchen and it is not pleasant unless you like being cozy and bumping elbows. These three feet give you the room to bend down, open a cabinet and slide a shelf out, and pass by with messy hands to the sink.

Sabrina Soto is well known from HGTV’s The High Low Project and TLC’s Trading Spaces, but she also has a love for cooking. In a recent article from Coastal Living by Marisa Spyker, 5 Top Kitchen Design Trends, According to HGTV Star Sabrina Soto, Sabrina states:

“Although white kitchens will never go out of style, you’ll begin to see more color – such as deep navy, olive, and grey – used in cabinetry,” says Soto. “By painting the kitchen island a different color than the rest of the cabinets, you can create a statement that looks like a piece of furniture and gives the kitchen a bit of contrast.”

I personally love a “two-tone” kitchen, and the island is different from the perimeter cabinetry. Color, hardware, and countertops can really show off your personality. A great way to play with the shape of an island and it’s size…get an appliance box or two and makeshift an island. This will give you a visual for space an island will consume, and you can play with the height, or pretend you are a child again building a fort!

Wherever you gather this holiday season, I hope your meal is yummy and your seat is comfortable. Enjoy the company of your family and friends.

Peace and blessings,

Jennifer Gorum
Mark Saunders Luxury Homes
Design & Construction Coordinator