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The Ever-Handy Barstool Look.

Get a Kitchen Island You Can Gather Around

Last Updated on July 9, 2010

Up in the Northeast they have the pleasure of enjoying the hottest temperatures in almost a decade. It’s a veritable scorcher and I doubt people are spending a lot of time roasting outdoors on their decks or patios – no sir, I don’t think many people will be doing much of that this weekend. Well, with the AC cranked and your home acting as your oyster you’ll probably find the kitchen being a much trafficked meeting place for family and friends.

Now is the time to think about installing a kitchen island, or ways to upgrade your kitchen island – they’re are great ways to transform a room built on function but short on comfort into a gathering space. Picking a strong, attractive surface is a start. Both granite and glass countertops come in a variety of colors and finishes, so whichever one you choose it will most likely be aesthetically pleasing to whomever sits and relaxes on its cool, countertop plane.

Try to capture the feeling of a cozy diner with stools lining one side of the island is a classic choice many homeowners employ. Whether it’s just a stool or two, or a full bar, it gives you extra space to relax, enjoy a light meal, or just congregate and talk over a drink or snack bringing the bar-stool atmosphere to your home is a warm touch.

If you feel like your island is becoming a bit stagnant, a bit redundant as a place to hunker down and congregate, try to spruce up the space. Many people choose to hang their pots and other kitchen tools from a rack directly above the island, creating a chef’s kitchen feel. This draws the eyes to the area and makes the island instantly the focal point.

Plants on the ground, wine cabinet, hanging pots...they've got it all.
Plants on the ground, wine cabinet, hanging pots…they’ve got it all.

Decorating the island in a simple and clean fashion can give it a boost in attractiveness as well. Perhaps a small potted plant – cacti are low maintenance – or a bowl of fresh, colorful fruit. Don’t let stacks of junk mail, piles of pocket change, or angrily strewn purses or briefcases litter the island. Let it flourish. Let it breathe.

Surround your island with greenery. In an effort to bring the summer to you during this oppressive heat why not set a few leafy plants next to and around your island? Suddenly, you’re kitchen contains its own oasis for sitting and dining (okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but it still looks nice). Building the look of your island from the ground up is a nice detailed route to take, maybe a mosaic surround fits the overall motif?

An elegant hanging pot display.
An elegant hanging pot display.

If none of these suggestions sound like something you’d endorse then there’s never anything wrong with keeping a plate of cookies out. Doesn’t sound like classic remodeling? Well, it’s just good old fashioned hospitality.  Everyone loves a good baked treat.

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