Consider these savvy space-saving features to get your kitchen island working harder.
Designer: Emily Karempelis of EK Interiors
Size: About 365 square feet (33.9 square meters)
Homeowners’ request. Replace a small, narrow island with a larger one with more workspace and better storage.
Other special features. Recessed appliances that sit flush with cabinets. Wall-mounted sconces over the sink. Walk-in pantry. Reclaimed-barn-wood accent on range hood.
Designer secret. “As a designer, I am always looking to create balance and symmetry,” Karempelis says. “In this case, we were a bit landlocked, and recessing the appliances into the wall threw off the centerline of the island and the kitchen sink. Instead of drawing attention to this by adding pendant lights over the island, we instead kept can lighting in the kitchen and used some fun wall-mounted sconces over the kitchen window to draw your eyes through the kitchen space while also providing additional lighting for one of the main working surfaces in the kitchen.”
“Uh-oh” moment. “One of the final steps in a kitchen renovation is to install the appliance panels,” Karempelis says. “When it came time to do this, the panels that we had were not the correct size to fit the appliances. We knew we had to get the team on-site to come up with a solution. We took a step back and evaluated what had happened. We had a great team of contractors and subs working on this project, and we came together with a solution to get them right. While this part of the project got pushed back a few days, other aspects of the job were able to continue moving forward, and in the end everything turned out right.”
Contractor: New Rosslyn Construction; cabinets: Cabinet Resources; cabinet finishing: DeHuelbes Designs; appliances: Sub-Zero and Wolf; tile: Builders Floor Covering & Tile; countertops: AGM Imports; countertop installation: Inman Park Marble & Granite; hardware: Masterpiece Lighting; sconces: EK Interiors; plumbing: Waterstone Faucets; photography: Rustic White Photography
Designer: Rachel Koepke of Rafterhouse
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Size: About 245 square feet (22.7 square meters)
Homeowners’ request. For this spec-home kitchen, designer Rachel Koepke says she wanted “an open floor plan with the right balance of contrast and texture to make it feel warm and inviting.”
Other special features. Custom zinc range hood. Locally sourced reclaimed-barn-wood beams.
Designer secret. “The perfect balance of textures in this space really is the goal I wanted to achieve,” Koepke says. “With modern farmhouse in mind, I wanted to mix crisp and clean elements, such as the smooth white cabinetry and sleek quartz countertops, against the raw metal from the hood and [the] roughness that the barn-wood beams and wood floors give off. Add some fun industrial-style lighting and cabinet hardware, a little touch of the unexpected, and you have the recipe to a perfect modern-farmhouse kitchen.”
Island accent piece: Brothers Woodworking/Old Sol Lumber; Indian premium Black Satin granite perimeter countertops: Arizona Tile; island countertop in Calacatta Nuvo: Caesarstone; cabinetry: Crown Cabinetry; Build Brick ceramic backsplash tile in white gloss: Kaiser Tile; light fixtures: Shades of Light; cabinet hardware: Top Knobs; custom range hood and barn-wood beams: Porter Barnwood; Fossil wall paint: Dunn-Edwards Paints; furniture staging: Modern Manor
Designers: John Davies and John Ryan of Marrokal Design & Remodeling
Location: San Diego
Homeowners’ request. A kitchen fit for entertaining, with more openness between it and the living and dining areas.
Island. A ceiling-mounted range hood allows for the range to be placed in the 48-by-120-inch island, preventing the visual impediment of a bulky range hood hanging down and letting the homeowners face guests or other family members while cooking. The island also holds the microwave on the end for a cleaner look along the perimeter cabinets and countertops.
Ceiling-mounted range hood: Best; alder wood cabinets in Artesian style with full overlay in custom stain 76: Imperial Cabinets; Aequa Nix wood-look tile flooring, 8 by 32 inches, and Shimmer Abalone backsplash tile, 1 by 4 inches: Arizona Tile; TMD24JS microwave: Thermador; also on the team: Jake Laurie and Rick Clarke (design consultants) and Ian Nanson (project manager) of Marrokal Design & Remodeling, and Milan Kovacevic (photographer)