Since its introduction in the 1970s, the island has become one of the most popular features in kitchen design. An island improves functionality by providing additional counter space for meal preparation and entertaining and can help a kitchen look more upscale. Recently, many homeowners have adopted the belief that if one island is good, two must be even better. More and more homeowners who are building a new home or remodeling their existing kitchen are opting to include two islands in their new kitchen.
Having two islands in the kitchen offers a variety of benefits. Two islands provide more work space, more space for seating, and additional potential storage space. They also provide better flexibility, allowing you to dedicate each island for a specific purpose. If you frequently prepare large meals, having two islands will allow you to dedicate one island to food preparation and the other to clean up. If you like to entertain, you can use one for food preparation and the other for serving and entertaining, creating a gathering spot for guests. If your kitchen tends to serve multiple purposes, for example your kids do their homework in the kitchen or you use your kitchen counter space for crafts or hobbies, having a second island will give you a place for those activities without taking up space needed for food preparation.
Dual islands can also be used in place of one oversized island, which can become an obstacle and overwhelm your kitchen. If an island is too large, you will waste time walking around it to get to other areas of the kitchen. It can also be difficult to clean. Two smaller islands will give you nearly the same work space but will also provide a walkthrough, allowing you to access other areas of the kitchen more easily. If you think you may benefit from a single island at times, consider including a drop leaf that can be used to connect the two islands when needed.
The options for designing with two islands are nearly endless. You may opt to create two identical islands that are the same size and shape with the same design. They can be placed side by side or end to end. Or, you may decide to differentiate your two islands. You may opt for one to be smaller than the other. If you’re using one for entertaining or dining, you may choose to make that one more formal than the island dedicated to food prep. Some homeowners choose to use different counter tops, opting for a butcher block top on the island dedicated to food preparation and something more elegant, such as granite or marble, on the island used for entertaining.
While two islands provide more work space and storage space, they also take up more floor space. This two island trend only works for expansive kitchens with plenty of space. As with any island, you should leave a minimum 36 inches of clearance around each side of each island, but 42 to 48 inches is preferable. Depending on the size of the kitchen, it may be necessary to forfeit the casual dining area to create space for a second island.
If you’re considering incorporating two islands into your kitchen design, the experts at Mission Kitchen and Bath can help you determine the best configuration to fit your needs as well as the size and shape of your kitchen.