Homeowners don’t want outlets to detract from furniture-look islands: “[Clients] are always imploring us to find creative ways to play by the rules but to do so in as inconspicuous a fashion as possible,” says Wisconsin remodeler David Pekel. Here are some examples of crafty ways with island outlets.

Rather than detracting from this handsome furniture-look island, the outlets are concealed behind a hinged drawer front that can be closed when the outlets are not in use.
courtesy E.M.Castle Construction Rather than detracting from this handsome furniture-look island, the outlets are concealed behind a hinged drawer front that can be closed when the outlets are not in use.

Faking It

Ed Castle, owner of E.M. Castle Construction, in Kensington, Md., hid outlets behind drawer fronts in a 6-foot-long island. He placed the outlets in 3-inch deep cavities at either end of the island base cabinet, using fluted panels to flank the cavities and camouflage the sides. A hinged drawer front, held shut by two magnetic latches, flips down to reveal the outlet. A faux cabinet door completes the look.

Old & New

The clients asked to have the butcher block, a family heirloom, incorporated into the design.
courtesy Pekel Construction & Remodeling Old & New The clients asked to have the butcher block, a family heirloom, incorporated into the design.

Raising the Bar

The backsplash of islands that have a raised bar-height area is a natural location for outlets. David Pekel, president of Pekel Construction & Remodeling, in Wauwatosa, Wis., recommends a bar-height section for islands open to living areas because they help hide the cooking area from view. The outlet on the right is placed horizontally to fit the narrow wall. For consistency, the outlet to the left is oriented the same way.

Remodeler Rob Baugher used to use flat strips, but now prefers Task Lightingís angled strips. “You can get the plug in without scraping your knuckle,” he says.
Task Lighting Remodeler Rob Baugher used to use flat strips, but now prefers Task Lightingís angled strips. “You can get the plug in without scraping your knuckle,” he says.

Hiding Out

Outlet strips can also conveniently be hidden under countertop overhangs. Rob Baugher, owner of Baugher Design & Remodel, in Birmingham, Ala., tucks 2-foot-long strips between the corbels under larger — 6-inch to 8-inch — countertop overhangs on islands. He places a strip at either end of the island so clients can plug in and set up a buffet for entertaining. Pekel usually places Legrand Wiremold outlet strips under deeper overhangs, but says that a 1½-inch overhang is sufficiently deep to conceal low-profile strips.

—Nina Patel is a senior editor at REMODELING. Find her on Twitter at @SilverNina or @RemodelingMag.