ProSource | 10/10/2016 | Expert Advice
The kitchen has always been the heart of the home, and for good reason. Nothing brings people together like delicious food, and the kitchen is the source of all things delicious.
“The kitchen has become what we call the ‘activator,’ the main space in the residence, and the design requirements often include high functionality to accommodate multiple activities,” states James Walbridge, chair of the American Institute of Architects’ Custom Residential Architects Network.
While the functions of the kitchen space are expanding, home design trends and construction show home sizes shrinking. According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the average size of a new, single-family home in 2015 is around 2,152 square feet. That’s 10 percent smaller than in 2010.
These are just two of the reasons a kitchen island was ranked among the most likely features and amenities for an average family home in 2015, according to the NAHB.
Plus, kitchen islands are no longer simply places for food preparation. They’re also where family and friends are sitting down to enjoy that food. Whether that seating is in addition to or in place of, a table, the islands that are appearing in kitchen designs are reflecting this need to multi-task.
When space allows, homeowners are considering large kitchen islands that allow ample room for simultaneous food preparation and eating, with enough space between to keep these activities from interfering with each other. No need for the resident family chef to be alone in the kitchen – now cooking, serving and conversation take place on the same expansive counter.
Another way to define dining and food preparation areas on the same counter is by incorporating different counter heights. For example, a bar height countertops can serve as a breakfast bar, leaving the rest of the counter for getting the meal ready.
If you’re considering incorporating dining and eating space into your kitchen island, according to kitchen design guidelines published by Better Homes & Gardens you should allow 28-30 inches of width per diner. For 30-inch counters, allow 18 inches of knee space. For 36-inch counters allow 15 inches, and for 42-inch counters allow 12 inches.
Also, to make sure there is enough room for chairs and stools to move back and forth, allow 36 inches of clearance behind them, measured from the counter edge.
For kitchen designs that include a sit-and-eat island, peruse the inspiration images and add those you like to your myProSource Project Center. Then contact your local ProSource Showroom, whose experts can help you create a design that will enhance both your kitchen’s appearance and functionality – with an island that will become the dining destination everyone wants to visit.
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