Stranded on an Island?

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When many homeowners the Upper Valley bring us idea books or mood boards with images of kitchen islands that have captured their imagination, most feature seating on one side of the island only.  Many islands only feature one sided seated because one-sided seating makes for a beautiful visual.  However, that often comes at the expense of functionality, and it does not always have to be that way.  We advise homeowners the Upper Valley to consider other options especially if the kitchen island is to serve multiple purposes that may include kitchen table, office, café, study, classroom and conference room.

Homeowners the Upper Valley that want to use their island as a dining area should give second thought to seating arrangements for meals.  When all of the seats face in one direction, it’s difficult to make eye contact or make for an ideal environment to talk with one another.  If you need to move seating to another side of the island, you run the risk of not have sufficient leg room and constantly bumping legs against cabinets and pulls.  One sided seated may work for two or three person families but is not ideal.

The amount of island seating is often determined by the space for the island and its design.  If there is insufficient space in the kitchen for multisided island seating, we often recommend an island with legs that can fit seating between them. Another option is to design islands without sides that provides for more leg room underneath.

Homeowners the Upper Valley that have the space for more comfortable and inviting island dining options can create islands with two-sided seating by extending an overhand on two sides, which allows family members and friends to face one another at mealtime. This design option allows homeowners the Upper Valley to achieve the visual of all seating in a line during most of the day and then moving seating when meals are served.  It’s the best of two worlds.

Larger kitchens may be able to accommodate three-sided seating without sacrificing storage space underneath.  Square-shaped islands can often accommodate seating on multiple sides.

The functionality of the island as dining table also will be influenced by the number, size and shape of the seats.  If space is at a premium, we often recommend homeowners the Upper Valley consider backless stools or armless seats that can easily tuck under the island.

Surfing for inspiration on Instagram, Houzz and other sites, you will often find glamour shots with plush seating almost always on one side of the island.  In reality, almost all of those arrangements won’t make for a pleasant dining or family experience.  To achieve the best combination of form and function and to learn how you island can be best used for your and your families’ needs, give us a call at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit our showroom at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.

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