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The Kitchen Island vs. The Kitchen Table

Aug 10, 2017 | by Carrie

The kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in your home and a place where people tend to gather. It only makes sense to take both functionality and style into account when deciding between a kitchen island or a kitchen table.
Both options are welcome additions to the heart of the home. 

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A Kitchen Conundrum: Which Is Better, the Island or the Table?

In our recent 2022 design trends, our In-House Designer & Product Development, JT Norman forecasted larger and double kitchen islands to create kitchens that serve multiple functions and needs - beyond cooking. These two trends go hand in hand because a well-designed kitchen island (or two, if you have the space) is part and parcel of a multifunctional kitchen. The island is not only a space for food preparation or appliance placement, but it also serves many more purposes. To help figure this out, we've asked the experts at Kitchen Magic to give you the benefits of each.

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The benefits of 'island' life

Here are some of the many ways an island instantly transforms itself to meet the household's needs:

  • Teen hang-out
  • Homework station (cabinet for supplies, charging outlets)
  • Buffet station for entertaining and holiday gatherings
  • Craft, scrapping, and art space
  • Happy hour or game time cocktail station
  • Extra storage
  • Extra seating and guest overflow area
  • Can serve as a boundary between spaces in an open concept kitchen plan
To aid with cooking, also consider kitchen-boosting appliances such as a warmer drawer or an under-counter wine cooler. If your kitchen is large enough to accommodate a kitchen island, it's probably the way to go for your upcoming kitchen remodel.

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Don't table the idea of a kitchen table

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On the other hand, kitchen tables can afford homeowners more flexibility than islands when it comes to floor space, design, and functionality. They provide a comfortable and convenient place for casual dining, and since most tables only require a 36-inch clearance, they really can save room. Plus, the open space under kitchen tables can create the illusion of a more open, larger floor plan—especially in smaller kitchens.

If you're working with a larger room or an open concept, kitchen tables can be used to separate and better define your space. Clearly separating the food-preparation area from the dining area can even help reduce a bit of mealtime chaos for larger families. Plus, many tables come with an extension leaf, so it's quick and easy to accommodate any size gathering, especially in smaller kitchens. Keep all this in mind when choosing a kitchen dining table.

Islands may be a 'fitting' choice

kitchen-islandKeep in mind that kitchen tables don't offer extra storage space underneath. As a result, a small, custom kitchen island, depending on your kitchen layout, has requirements to consider. For instance, the recommended distance between your kitchen island and perimeter counters used to be a minimum of 36 inches. However, our experts now advise at least 38 to 42 inches of space around your kitchen island to allow for easier access and increased size in appliances. If you're looking for more storage options, kitchen islands can add cabinets and drawers, and even shelves to display cookbooks, collectibles, and other decors.

Ultimately, it's what suits your lifestyle

We'd love to hear about your plans for your kitchen. We can help you transform your current kitchen into a space that blends both form and function with your own personal style. Schedule a free in-home design consultation and quote with Kitchen Magic today!

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Topics: Kitchen Design Islands and Peninsulas

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