The Kitchen Island
Whether you use your kitchen island as an entertainment centre, a homework spot or a pastry prep area, getting the most out of this hardworking hub takes planning and the right professionals. Here are four elements to consider when planning a beautiful kitchen island:
Plan for Entertaining
If you host dinner parties regularly and love to entertain, it’s helpful to have a space that meets your needs. The addition of a wine fridge tucked into the side of the island not only looks great, it also comes in handy when serving guests. Moving the microwave and other small appliances into built-in lower sections can also free up precious counter space. If food storage is a challenge for you, consider adding a set of freezer drawers facing the sink to store extra food when your extended family stops by unexpectedly.
Remember, all major appliances in a kitchen, including microwaves, require a dedicated outlet. Consult your Licensed Electrical Contractor about the requirements for these appliances, especially if you plan to have more than one fridge or freezer in your home.
With additional space for food prep and a built-in cooktop, an island is a gourmet chef’s dream. One of the top-requested cooking surfaces is an induction cooktop, which is cool to the touch as soon as it’s turned off. Before you start measuring for installation, check the power requirements. An induction cooktop can draw a significant electrical load and will need to be on a dedicated circuit.
Create a Seating Space
If there’s room, incorporate a multi-use seating area. A breakfast bar makes a great homework station or spot for the family to gather for a quick bite before running off to work. Integrate outlets into the side or base of the island to power laptops and other devices. Child-safety outlets (also referred to as Tamper Resistant Receptacles) keep little fingers and objects out of electrical sockets, helping to prevent children from getting burns or shocks. USB-only outlets create a charging station for all your devices, and can be hidden inside a drawer, unlike standard outlets. Review your electrical plan with your Licensed Electrical Contractor early in the design process.
Light Up Your Island
Add a touch of luxe to your kitchen with statement lighting above the island. Opt for a sculptural chandelier for a modern look that will make your kitchen a stand-out. Work with a Licensed Electrical Contractor to achieve a lighting plan that includes a mix of ambient and task lighting to brighten up your space.
Whether you’re hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor directly for the electrical work or having your general contractor or designer hire subcontractors for you, make sure the electrical contractor is licensed – it’s the law in Ontario.
- Building an island for your kitchen from scratch? Carefully consider the size. Any wider than five feet and you may have trouble reaching the centre section to clean it.