What do you love/hate about your island

10 years ago


I'm working out my new kitchen, but struggling about what to put in/leave off the island. I think I want a prep sink with fitting cutting board and colander. I also want a trash "hole" to sweep the garbage into. What other cool things have you seen? What things would you do or change about your island?

Comments (14)

  • marcydc
    10 years ago

    I think i should have put the heat mat thing under the granite. That's all I'd change.

  • plllog
    10 years ago

    I love love love my prep area refrigerator drawers. I also love that the only other storage in the prep area is for prep tools. I love my trough sink, even though I sometimes splash.

    Re the trash hole, some love it, some regret it. You might want to check old threads (use Google) to see what people find works well about it and what doesn't.

  • efc54
    10 years ago

    marcydc, sorry to hijack this but what is the "heat mat thing" under the granite? Thanks!

  • palimpsest
    10 years ago

    If I did the trash hole, I would want one of those stainless lids or even a custom lid made out of countertop material that fitted perfectly, and a plastic chute that could be removed for cleaning.

    The offices I work in have these in the countertops (its standard design in healthcare) and in the office without the chutes its pretty common for stuff to stray into the bottom of the cabinet. They don't have lids because that would defeat the "no touch" purpose but in a kitchen it would prevent things from being knocked in and contain odors in a bag that wasn't changed every day.

  • lisa_a
    10 years ago

    I'd also like to know more about the "heat mat thing."

    I hate the 16" of counter on each side of my cooktop! It might work for others but it just doesn't work for the way I prep and cook. It's one of the driving reasons for remodeling our kitchen. I can't enlarge the island (darn it) so we're moving the cooktop to the perimeter so I can have more prep room on each side of it.

    I'm torn whether my new island will be uninterrupted counter (had this in my last house and loved it) or if I'll add a prep sink. I'd likely put it in a corner of the island - don't want to chop up my lovely stretch of counter - but since I hate having so little counter space next to my cooktop, I wonder if I'll hate having very little counter on one side of a prep sink.

    I'm so glad you started this thread, GoofyYno! I'll be learning along with you.

  • ellaf
    10 years ago

    I totally love my island, it has nothing on it, just lovely unbroken surface and an outlet on the side.

  • laxfanmom
    10 years ago

    The working end of my island (as opposed to the drinking end) could have been designed better. I have a loonnngggg island which is perpendicular to my stove area (the stove area forms the top of the T). The short end of the island is 4 1/2 Ft. Wide but almost half of that is taken up by the prep sink (which needed to be as close to the stove as possible) so the useable space for chopping, prepping etc. Is about 30". I did get the custom fitted cutting board for over the sink but I find that it's off, it's on, it's off, it's a PITA. I do use the sink quite a bit though so I don't know how I could have made it better. The other end of the island (4 chairs on the long side an 2 chairs on the end) is great! And I LOVE all the storage in between!

  • rosie
    10 years ago

    Love that my island, and its wonderfully engineered storage, is entirely for prep, with all tools/storage needed for prepping there too and nothing else (like Plllog).

    Hate nothing. At 39x58 it's neither too big or small. Biggest negative is that since it is an island I have to carry food on my step-swivel to the stove behind.

    A trash hole, or better a pullout right under the prep area, would be nice to have (more desirable to me than the prep sink I never bothered to install), even though the garbage by the sink 3 steps away is...3 steps away by the sink I'm heading for at some point anyway. I'll never have one, though, because we're empty-nesters and don't produce enough for 2 waste sites. Plus, we have a big garden that appreciates the mulch when there's enough green waste to be worth walking outside to tuck under one of the shrubs. Still, prep means creating plenty of discards and 30 years ago that'd have been on my "necessary luxuries" list. Definitely pull-out to scrape into, though; much more discrete, and a hole in my workspace would be a hole in my workspace. :)

  • marcydc
    10 years ago

    I put a "Warm Up" in my bathroom. Contractor said he could have done the same to the countertop. I'm not sure it would have been the same product or not, but this is what is in my bathroom.

    It's cold here in SF year round ;) 48-58 degrees is pretty much the norm. Arms on granite can get cold.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Warm up mat

  • rhome410
    10 years ago

    Love my island. Don't have a trash/compost hole, but do have our main trash pullout there, so it's easy to sweep things right in.

    The only thing I haven't liked is that I designed it with doored cabinets to emulate an inspiration island I saw...Figuring it was not as big a deal to give up the storage function of drawers in the small 4 x 5 ft island. Wrong. I had DH change the doored cabinets to drawers, and we even filled in some of the generous overhang to make more storage.

  • alku05
    10 years ago

    There are two main things I love about my island:

    1. It's very spacious, all one level, and the only thing breaking up the top is a prep sink in one corner.

    2. All four sides are usable edges. The long side across from the range has drawers of prep stuff and the prep sink. The prep sink is 12" from the end of the island which provides landing space from the fridge and prevents spashing the floor as well as creating a long work space on the other side of the sink. The short side across from the cleanup sink has the main trash pullout (which doubles as a convenient place for prep trash), silverware drawer, and tea/cocoa/mug drawer (we have an instahot on the main sink). The other long end is seating with a "hidden" cabinet underneath that I store my good china and napkins in. The last short end has cookbook storage and a second trash pullout for non-food trash. In a nutshell, it is a perfect fit for my layout.

    The only thing I'd be tempted to change is the overhang...I wish it was a bit more arched. I wanted it that way from the start, but I gave in to DH's desire to have it deeper on the ends instead.

  • chicagoans
    10 years ago

    I like that I put a warming drawer in our island. It's on one of the long sides, on the side that faces the oven / cooktop wall. Very handy for holding food before serving.

    I also like the combo trash/recycle pullout. It's on one of the short sides that faces the sink and DW. It's handy to use from a couple directions: prepping on the island or cleaning at the sink.

  • timber.j
    10 years ago

    What I love most about our island is that the prep end across from the sink and dishwasher is lowered to 30" and the counter top is butcher block. I am 5' tall, and it is a great working height for me; besides, it is a great height for the kids, too. All our everyday dishes and silverware are in drawers underneath-directly across from the dishwasher. I can empty 90% of the dishwasher from one spot (even better, my preschooler can do it!).

  • goofyyno
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    thank for the response so far. very helpful.

    for the trash hole I was going to do SS with a sealed lid, but after reading several threads, it seems more practicle to just do the pull out bin and save a drawer.

    Laxfanmom- I have a similar situation as you. my island is going to be around 54" x 72+ with the stove area at the 54" end, and the refrigerator on the side. I was going to put the prep sink on the corner, but on the refrig side. My though is if two of us are working one can take the food out, cut and prep on the side, while the other can be on the range. of course with only one person working, prepping by the cooking surface would be best. But then It seems like I'd have all this empty space not being used while 54i was cramped bit on the end.