Kitchen islands are popular for many good reasons. They add workspace and storage options while giving structure to the space. But in many kitchens, the island has a front side and a back side. This back side often plays a much smaller role in day-to-day kitchen activities. So, how can you best utilize this part of your island so that it's not wasted space? Here are a few things to consider.
1. Focus on Oversize Storage
The back side of an island is a great place to put oversize or bulk storage. It can hold larger, less-used items handily without taking up valuable cabinet real estate in the primary work areas. Install large, customizable shelves or deep drawers to accommodate unusual pieces. Have bulky small appliances? Add an appliance lift for both convenience and maximum space usage.
2. Combine With Seating
Along with extra counter space, an island can provide additional seating. This seating is usually placed along the back side so that cooks can face their guests and those guests don't get in the way. However, you can combine both cabinets and seats. Simply customize your cabinetry to make it less deep, allowing a foot or more for stools or chairs.
3. Install Glass Doors
Glass doors add visual interest to the kitchen, but most homeowners don't want everything in their kitchen to be seen. An island whose back side faces outward to an open floor plan or the dining area is an excellent spot to utilize glass doors. Store anything that you're proud of or which might stimulate conversation — ranging from grandmother's fine china to your collection of vintage baking tools.
4. Use Open Shelving
As with glass cabinets, open shelves allow you to display items that you want to be seen. But many open shelves are more casual and rustic than glass doors. Because the rear of the island gets less traffic and use, items like cookbooks or bakeware have less chance of being disrupted or damaged than if stored openly in other areas.
5. Add a Second Workstation
Finally, consider whether your island should actually have two front sides. Instead of focusing all the efficiency on one half of the island, a busy kitchen owner may benefit from designing two functional, independent workstations. These could be mirrors of one another, or you might target each to particular cooking or baking activities.
Where to Start
Ready to start making the most of your island's back side? Start by meeting with a remodeling contractor who specializes in kitchen cabinetry today. With their help, you'll find the perfect role for every part of your new kitchen. For more information on kitchen cabinetry, contact a professional near you.