Size Planning Your Northern Virginia Kitchen Island

August 05, 2019

Planning a kitchen remodel can be daunting, especially if you have never been through a heavy renovation before. The key to size planning your kitchen island is to plan ahead and think about how you will use the space. It can be done through smart planning and preparation!

Check out our new blog this week on how to plan the sizing of your Northern Virginia kitchen island to meet your families needs for many years to come!  



1. The Right Size

When it comes to kitchen islands, don’t assume that if your kitchen is small, an island won’t be possible, or that you can’t include the options you want. There are many possibilities for making an island work, even where space is limited. Most kitchen companies or designers offer options with a reduced depth, a customized height or extra-large cabinets tailored to suit a specific design and the space it is intended for.



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Image via Passione


2. Clearance Zone

When clients ask if they have room for an island, designers must consider factors such as how many people live in the house and how they use the space. But first and foremost, they need to know the size of the room. The ideal distance for the clearance zone is about 3 feet (1 meter). This is best for enabling free and safe movement around the island and throughout the kitchen.

In a rectangular room that’s 16½ feet (5 meters) wide and 19¾ feet (6 meters) long, the main run of cabinets would be positioned along one of the walls. The depth of the cabinets from the back wall to the front of the cabinets will measure about 25 inches (650 millimeters). Within the design, you should leave a gap between the countertop edge on the back run of cabinets and the island’s countertop edge. This space between the two working areas forms part of the island’s clearance zone, which is the space surrounding the island. 


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3. Island Sizing

The average size of a kitchen island is about 3 by 6½ feet. This would typically have a surrounding clearance zone of about 40 inches. But an island’s size is usually determined by the distances around it, so it makes sense that larger rooms can allow for bigger islands. But something too large for the room could spoil your kitchen’s aesthetic.

By not keeping an island’s dimensions proportional to its surrounding space, you also risk creating a cramped environment with an impractical and inefficient workflow. Even navigating around an island can be a chore if it’s too big.



4. Multi-functional Islands 

A kitchen island can be extremely efficient if it is planned from the outset as a multipurpose workstation. An example is this island with seating, cubby storage, workspace and a gas cooktop. The layout was well-considered to accommodate the owner’s needs while maximizing space.




5. Clearance Safety

A safe distance for your kitchen island also includes the right amount of clearance between the island and the opposing cabinets and appliances, so that all doors, drawers, ovens and dishwashers can be opened safely and without obstruction. 

Potentially the most dangerous item is always the dishwasher door. These doors open downward, so if you walk past, you risk tripping, falling and hurting yourself or others — particularly dangerous if you’re carrying knives or hot food. As such, it’s best to leave more space. The minimum distance you should allow between two fully extended drawers on opposing runs is about 3 feet.




If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page.

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