Once remodeler Debra Moore, president of Custom Design/Build, in Ann Arbor, Mich., and her clients decided to open up this small, isolated kitchen by removing walls and incorporating the breakfast area, they had to create a cabinet plan for the long, open room, which is now central to the flow of the home’s main level. Some of Moore’s preliminary sketches included an island, and others didn’t, but early on it became clear to the team that an island would solve several issues.

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Island Life

The evolving design of a multifunctional kitchen island

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  • Flow: The original work triangle overlapped with the circulation path, hindering the cooks while they entertained. An island keeps guests out of the work zone.
  • Space: The homeowners both like to cook at the same time. An island that runs almost the entire length of the kitchen offers plenty of preparation space.
  • Connection: Guests can perch on one side of the island, allowing the cooks to feel connected to what’s going on.

Modeling software is a key element in helping customers visualize their options, Moore says, especially for highly detailed elements of a remodel like this island. 

Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.

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