For many, the kitchen island is where great meals begin and end. A variety of activities occur there, from slicing, dicing and rinsing, to dining, drinking and gathering with friends and family. Make sure your island is an oasis, meeting the needs of your family and matching your entertaining style.
Convenient meal preparation is the ultimate goal of any prep zone, so be sure to include a small sink in your design. A prep sink allows you to wash and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables conveniently while chatting with family and friends. It also allows for quick and easy dish washing and disposal. Moen has several undermount prep sinks available in a variety of configurations. Moen sinks are constructed from durable stainless steel (ranging from 18 gauge to 22 gauge), and many feature Moen's SoundSHIELD™ noise-protection undercoating for a quieter experience while working at the sink. To show off your new sink, update your faucet with the Camerist™ pullout kitchen bar/prep faucet, which has a high-arc spout, convenient spray options and a quiet fiber pullout hose, making it ideal for this type of use.
High-End Menu Items
Depending on your family's cooking and meal style, you may find you'd like to add one or two of these high-end additions to your island as well.
Fresh Food Station. If you cook with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, or you'd just like to have your eggs and milk nearby, consider adding a produce drawer or a mini-refrigerator to your prep zone.
Beverage Station. Wine chilling drawers or wine refrigerators keep your beverages close at hand and maintain proper temperatures for your whites and reds. If you love to entertain, consider adding an ice maker as well as space for mixers, blenders and other bar accessories.
Baking Station. Keep cookie sheets, cake pans and cooling racks in your prep zone. Special shelving can be raised or lowered to house your mixers without straining your back. You can even add an oven to your island, if baking is your passion.
Heating Station. Many specialty drawers are available to perform a range of tasks such as keeping foods warm while waiting for the rest of the meal to cook. Use the warming drawer for rolls, or for heating plates and coffee mugs to keep food and beverages maintained at the right temperature.
Good lighting is key to illuminating your island prep paradise. Use track lighting or pendant fixtures to shine directly on the work surface so you can see what you are cooking.
Don't forget to include outlets in your island so you can conveniently plug-in all your necessary tools.
And most importantly, add comfortable stools and chairs so that family members or guests can easily join in the cooking and dining while still socializing.