By Angela Glancy
Opening up the space between the kitchen and an adjoining room by removing the wall and adding a kitchen island can add a lot of space and usefulness to your home. Not only will removing the wall open the space up visually, but it can help to integrate your kitchen into the rest of your home, making entertaining easier and more enjoyable. If you are contemplating this kind of kitchen renovation, there are some things to keep in mind to help the project go smoothly.
Planning is Important
Removing a wall from your home is never a trivial task. If it happens to be a load-bearing wall, there are structural reinforcements you will need to make in order to allow it to be safely removed. Even when it’s not a load-bearing wall, many do-it-yourself homeowners don’t feel comfortable doing this part of the project by themselves. Unless you have the experience and know-how to do the job safely and correctly, hiring a contractor to remove the wall is often the best choice. The cost of the professional contractor is often trivial when compared to the expenses that can be incurred by a costly mistake.
A contractor could also help you if you need to make other structural changes in the kitchen to get the most use out of your new design, such as adding new electrical outlets or moving plumbing pipes. While this isn’t necessary in all cases, many people find that using a kitchen island for a sink or a stovetop is a great option. If you know you want to remove the wall but are having problems visualizing the best kitchen layout, a professional kitchen designer could also be helpful.
Building an Easy Kitchen Island with Cabinets
Once the wall has been removed, you’re free to start planning the kitchen island. Utilizing standard kitchen cabinets can be an easy way of adding a handy island that includes plenty of storage space. Upper cabinets are not as deep as standard base cabinets, so they are a great option for this project. By using these shallower cabinets, you will be able to place them back to back so that there will be cabinet storage on both sides. Of course you’ll have to build a base for the cabinets to sit on, since upper cabinets do not come with a toe kick. Add a countertop surface, cover it with laminate and you’ll have a great kitchen island. Or, use cabinets on only one side of the island, covering the exposed back with matching wood laminate. Then you can create the countertop surface with a deep overhang on the backside of the island. Add a few matching bar stools and you’ll have a great kitchen island with storage on one side and a convenient breakfast bar on the other.
Islands with Overhead Cabinet Storage
In some cases, you might also want to hang upper cabinets over your kitchen island for even more storage. Regular upper cabinets can be used for this purpose, placed back to back so that there are cabinets on both sides. Although this method does cut down on visibility between the two rooms, it can effectively double the amount of storage space provided by the island.
Whichever method you choose, you’ll have a great new kitchen feature that will add beauty and usability to your kitchen space.
About the Author: Angela Glancy is a contributing editor and designer for AmericanArtisanArt.com. She offers tips on displaying contemporary metal wall decor and tree wall sculptures.
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