Whether your space lacks a proper dining table or you’re looking to create a more casual bar-seating option, adding low-profile seating to the island is an easy way to increase functionality and make the environment more social for both guests and the cook. Create a breakfast bar or dining table, and leave a counter overhang that offers enough room to tuck the chairs or stools underneath when not in use.
Incorporating sinks or stovetops into the surface of the island is one way to spread the workflow throughout the kitchen. Installation can be tricky, so pay attention to details like ventilation and plumbing. This will require running downward (most common in islands) or overhead venting (which can be expensive), and allocating extra space to in-cabinet pipes.
Take inspiration from the professional cook’s practical countertop two-tone approach to create a one-of-a-kind kitchen.
When it comes to modern spaces, open any home design magazine and you’ll see many of the same materials: cool metals, smooth stone, and reflective glass. This makes the shine of a mirrored backsplash an easy choice for those looking to achieve a sleek design.
Given the numerous shapes, sizes and colors available, ceramic tile is probably the most versatile option (it’s also proven to be timeless). There’s plenty of room to play with patterns while still maintaining clean lines: stack tiles in columns, stagger them, or lay them at an angle. Most tile requires minimal maintenance, just be sure to seal the grout so it doesn’t get stained or absorb water.
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