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Ask a Designer: Island Pros & Cons


What are the pros and cons of a kitchen island?

Janice: An island to the kitchen offers more countertop space, more prep space. It adds design aspects. You can make it look like a piece of furniture so you can change the color of it. It adds interest to a kitchen. In some kitchens, it can have a disadvantage because you have to walk around it to get to … if you have a refrigerator on the opposite side of the room, islands can be a very good source for seating in the kitchen. People love to have their children in the kitchen with them to do their homework and they can still prepare their dinner and they can watch their kids; they’re sitting right through the island. That’s a good thing as well.

Christine: The big question that people ask is different island heights, should it be one height. I think that keeping an island at one level is nice if you’re more of a self-contained kitchen. If it opens up into a living space, it’s always nice to have the raised back because that way it blocks any mess that you have on the island. The one thing to think about is you definitely need a minimum clearance of three feet on every side. If there’s seating on the island, you’ll need more on the back side done. It’s really just the space constraints.