Unless you’ve had the luxury of designing your home from the ground up, there are probably some features that you would love to change or get rid of entirely. And, chances are, at least one of these faults can be found in the kitchen. Unfortunately, kitchen design and home layout trends have changed dramatically through time, and features that may have at one point made sense may just feel inconvenient and cumbersome now. For example, you might wish that you could put a kitchen island into your small kitchen or that you had a better use for the vaulted ceilings in your loft-style kitchen. The good news is that modern trends would have you embrace your kitchen for what it is and utilize some fun and funky fixes to get the functionality you want without having to completely rebuild your kitchen. We’ll take a look at some great ideas to consider when you remodel your kitchen so that you can fit in the island you’ve always wanted or make yourself more at home in a tight or oddly laid out kitchen.
Rethinking the Kitchen Island
Kitchen islands have always been an in-demand feature for homeowners, and they are usually a hot topic of discussion when it homeowners decide to remodel. With a kitchen island, you substantially increase the usable space in your kitchen with additional countertop areas, storage, and possibly even a casual dining space. Of course, if your kitchen does not already have an island, you might be wondering how to even fit one into your space. If you do have a kitchen island but find it to be more of an inconvenience than a usable space, the following space-saving ideas might be right for you. With these funky new takes on the kitchen island, you can create clearer pathways around the island as well as more functional counterspace and storage that you’ll actually use.
- L-shaped – If you have a smaller, narrower kitchen, the L-shaped island might make the most sense. It offers an elongated and narrow countertop with extra width on one side, so you can still have space for chopping produce or kneading dough. You might even put a prep sink on the wider edge of the island, if you plan to do most of your prep work there, so you won’t have to run around the kitchen getting veggies cut and washed.
- Multi-tiered – The footprint of your island is only one of the things you need to think about. Island height is important too, and you might have different height needs for different tasks. For example, you might wish your current countertops were slightly higher for added convenience when working with food. However, a lower island might be better for setting up a dining space right in the heart of the kitchen. A multi-tiered island will give you the best of both worlds with a high section and a low section to accommodate both needs. You might also consider using different countertop materials on each section, to create more visual interest in the space.
- Curved – Adding a slight curve or bend to your island might help give you a little additional space where it’s needed most in high-traffic areas of the kitchen. It can also help you add in an extra chair or two, if you want to place seating around the island itself.
- Pentagonal – Pentagonal islands can work well in kitchens where there are more than just four walls. If you have an added breakfast nook or an odd corner in your kitchen, a triangular addition to a rectangular island can create a sharp island shape that mirrors the shape of the whole room. And, the extra space is great for more seating or open cabinets below with cocktail fixings or non-perishable snacks for guests or family to enjoy any time.
Working with Odd Kitchen Features
Figuring out the kitchen island is big, but you still have other features to consider to get your kitchen looking just right. If you’re working with an odd space that doesn’t have the layout you’d prefer, you might use any of the following fixes before turning to major demolition and remodeling work.
- Exposed brick and ceilings – If you are living in a loft space, you might have very high ceilings with various exposed features. Instead of covering them up, just go with the industrial chic look and design a professionally inspired kitchen that looks like it could fit into any hip downtown restaurant.
- Lots of natural light – In older homes especially, kitchens may be tucked away into darker corners of the home where windows just don’t bring in much light. This can create a drab and dreary kitchen that is craving natural light. You can incorporate that with the addition of a skylight, and you might also use bright white subway tiles or reflective mirror tiles to add more brightness to the space.
- Unique storage solutions – Custom cabinetry can be the answer to many of your kitchen redesign woes, because it can be fitted to the unique shape of your kitchen. If you have low ceilings, for example, you can work with your contractor to design low storage with pull-out shelves that are easy to access without throwing out your back every time you need a pot or pan.
- Using high ceilings to your advantage – While some homeowners find themselves craving more space in the kitchen, others will wish they had less—particularly when it comes to kitchens with high, vaulted ceilings. With high ceilings often come high cabinets, which might be hard to reach, so they become unused space in the kitchen. However, you can make this work by installing a sliding ladder or step stool that glides along a track in front of your cabinets. You can also work with your contractor for solutions inside the cabinets, such as vertically rotating shelves.
If you have ideas for a funky custom kitchen, Southwest Kitchen and Bath can help you bring them to life with custom cabinetry, countertops, and more. Check out our website to explore our portfolio of Tucson kitchen remodels, or call us at (520) 531-9187 to schedule an in-home consultation for your kitchen renovation.