The kitchen really is the heart of the home and beating away at the center of it all is the kitchen island. Whether it is for working, eating, or entertaining, a kitchen island can be the hub of activity in your home. Despite it being a more efficient use of space in comparison to a kitchen peninsula, we do not always make the most of a kitchen island, especially in large family homes.
Even if you already have a kitchen island or if you are planning to install one, integrating family-friendly features into it is easily done. For example, you could add some storage space or seating for your pets. Here are five kitchen island ideas that will not break the bank and will add family-friendly functionality to the center of your home.Raise the Bar with this Kitchen Island Design
No matter how much desk or table space there is throughout the house, the entire family always seems to congregate in the kitchen. By separating the kitchen “workspace” with a raised bar, you can create a designated area for homework, after school snacks, and crafts – without the risk of interfering with food prep.
By adding a kitchen counter-height bar using unique materials, the space is divided and elevated making it ideal for some bar stools. Kids can have a place to hang out and do homework while dinner is being prepped. Casual weekday meals become more fun at the kitchen island, and the use of creative materials like stone or marble, add a bit of decorative interest to your kitchen.
Pricing for this addition to your kitchen island ideas will range greatly depending on materials used and the labor costs – hiring a handyman averages $100-$300 per hour.Built-in Mini Fridge Adds Function
One thing every family fridge usually has is lots of different beverages. In fact, it is easy to quickly run out of space for your food when all of the drawers and door shelves are filled with everything from milk cartons and juice to 24-packs of water. One of my favorite kitchen island ideas for this challenge is the addition of a beverage cooler!
A mini version of your refrigerator meant just for storing beverages in a convenient location, not to mention saving energy by not opening the larger family refrigerator quite as much! Adding a beverage fridge to your kitchen island lets you clear room out of your main refrigerator, which is especially helpful for large families. Nothing becomes buried at the back, and you can quickly see when you are running low. You can also keep it at a special temperature, just for beverages so that they are always cool and refreshing.
A beverage cooler averages $350-$900, and there may be delivery and disposal fees. Remember to factor in the additional costs for installation as well.Create a Kitchen Library
The typical kitchen is often the most popular room in the house. Tables and countertops become stacked with books, notepads, pens, pencils, textbooks, and mail. It can look messy and overwhelming, making it hard to want to actually cook in the kitchen. These kitchen island ideas can help restore order!
Adding a set of open shelves on one or two sides of the kitchen island makes the perfect space to store books for a mini–kitchen library. The low height makes it accessible for kids to choose their favorite book to read or keep cookbooks or coffee table books off the countertops. You can also add small baskets or lidded boxes to keep crayons, pens, pencils, and small toys to avoid using valuable kitchen drawer and cabinet space.
The cost of adding a storage element to your island will depend on the features you select. If you choose to add open shelving, it will require labor costs for a designer and a carpenter, which ranges from $300-$800 depending on design.Keep Pets & People Happy with this Built-in Kitchen Island Pet Bed
There is nothing a pet loves more than being right under your feet while you are rushing around the kitchen. Add a built-in pet bed under the counter to create a space for your family pet to stick close to you, without being underfoot. Add a custom cushion that can be changed easily with a removable cover for washing.
The costs for a pet station vary greatly. However, you can calculate a basic cost based on the materials you choose and whether or not you make it a distinct feature or create it out of the pre-existing design/floor plan of the island. A good rule of thumb is that a pet station is typically 30% of the cost of the overall kitchen island.Create Your Own Kitchen Island Banquette
Extra seating in the kitchen is always useful, and this clever solution is a great way to optimize your space. Instead of wasting the back or side of the kitchen island, that same space can be used to create a built-in banquette. A simple L-shaped bench combined with a kitchen table and chairs isa great option for family seating in the kitchen without needing a separate eating area or losing valuable prep space.
The same amount of square footage that might seat three or four at a bar-height counter can be turned into a banquette and seat seven to eight comfortably. Having the island counter space makes it easy for guests to serve themselves while keeping the food off the table. It is also a great alternative to bar-height seating for small children.
To determine how much a banquette might cost, consider the individual variables. Seating, as an example, will mean deciding on custom-built or prefab benches. Also, consider upholstery and additional seating as well as a center table that can be purchased or custom-made. Options range from $800 to over $5,000 for a customized design.Ready for Family Time
The kitchen island can serve many different purposes, and these five updates make it an even better place for the entire family to gather. Whether it is adding extra seating, space for homework, a spot for the family pet to rest, or a convenient kitchen library, these kitchen island ideas will have the family gathering in no time.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
LESLIE: Janet in South Carolina is looking for some kitchen wall ideas. How can we help you?
JANET: I have a kitchen. It’s not a very large kitchen but the walls have been painted numerous times and not the best paint jobs. So, I have decided to possibly add some type of wood to kind of give it a rustic feel, because I really like that, on the entire walls of the kitchen. And I was wondering, could you suggest to me something I could use or some kitchen wall ideas? I’ve had people suggest beadboard, the wainscot-type board. Could you suggest to me something to use on my walls to give it that rustic look?
LESLIE: Let’s talk about your style of rustic, because there’s so many different ways to interpret that. And beadboard’s a great way to do a really classic, more country look, especially if you paint it a white gloss. That just tends to be really clean. But if you’re looking for more something – you know, something more natural or an age-y piece of wood, there’s ways to do that, too.
JANET: That’s it. I want to go with a light, natural-looking wood. Not too light because my cabinets are the lighter color of wood.
LESLIE: Well, for kitchen wall ideas, what you can do is you can actually get – and this would have a nice finish to it. You can look at flooring – wood-plank flooring. And you can get one that has sort of a white, rustic, beachy wash to it. And you can even go with a vinyl flooring, because that’s going to be super easy to install. And you can install the planks directly to your wall. And you can do that with an adhesive, you can do that with a double-sided tape. There’s so many different ways you can attach it to the wall, depending on the weight of the product itself. And that – if you put that on with the planks running vertically or horizontally, that can give a different kind of rustic look in comparison to the beadboard.
Now, it seems to me like you want to go floor to ceiling with this. Is this correct?
JANET: That’s right. I do. Now, I do have cabinets that do not go all the way up to the ceiling.
LESLIE: Well, I think that’s OK, because you’re generally dealing with maybe a foot to 18 inches of space up there. And that’s really not terrible. You can keep that as a painted surface and just decorate up there with some very clean baskets or something just to give you a little bit of extra storage, plus to mask that space a little bit. But I think the beadboard is among excellent kitchen wall ideas and that’s a very easy do-it-yourself project.
Using a wood-flooring product, whether it’s vinyl or actual wood, there’s a company – Tom, is it Timberchic, I think, is the name?
TOM: Yes. Mm-hmm. That’s right.
LESLIE: And they do actual pieces of reclaimed lumber, almost like a veneer. And that you can attach to the walls. But I’ve done it with that VCR: that vinyl tile that looks like a wood plank. I’ve done that for an HGTV show in a variety of different finishes, horizontally on the wall. And that gives a great, rustic look. So it depends on what your interpretation of rustic is.
JANET: OK, OK. Would you suggest now – would you suggest to put it over the cabinets, also? Or you stated to possibly leave it just painted? Or could I cover that, also?
LESLIE: You can. If you feel confident – if you’re using a wood-flooring planking product, you’re probably going to get two or three pieces in there without having to do any cuts. If you’re doing a beadboard, that’s something you’re going to have to cut down to that exact height and put up there. It depends on how much of it you see from the floor and what you feel comfortable with. I think if you’re going to do it, do it full out. But if you’re not confident in your abilities or it’s too high or you don’t really see it, then I think there’s other ways to mask it with some decorative accessories.
JANET: OK. I understand. OK, great. Well, thank you for your ideas.
From Source Article: moneypit.com