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Kitchen Island vs Dining Table: Which Is Better?
Whether you're relocating or redecorating, the kitchen should not be overlooked. The kitchen is often referred to as the "heart of the home" because it is where family members gather and a flurry of activities takes place. Since there are numerous factors to consider when designing the layout of your kitchen, there is a lot to think about. A common question that people ask is whether a kitchen island or a dining table is better. Both offer additional workspace and can be customized to your preferences. It is an important question to ask as either one will eventually become the focal point of your kitchen space and must meet your daily needs. You wouldn't want to keep running into minor inconveniences every day because you overlooked something crucial. We hope that this article will help you in selecting the best fit for your kitchen.
What is a Kitchen Island?
The concept of a kitchen island originated in Europe around the 1800s. They come in a variety of styles, ranging from standard base cabinets to double-tiered islands. Most islands are built in but some homeowners prefer a movable island for more flexibility.
Benefits of a Kitchen Island:
- More Incusivity
- Extra Working Space
- Extra Storage Space
- Incorporate Fixtures and Appliances
The great thing about having an island is that it encourages conversation between the two spaces that are separated by the island. It is a more casual dining area where the person preparing the food will not feel left out because they can converse over the island while they are busy.
The drawback of having a smaller kitchen is that there isn't much space to prepare ingredients when baking or cooking for a large group. But having an island means having extra tabletop space near the oven or stove to place ingredients making them easily accessible. No more struggling to find an empty spot to set that mixing bowl down again.
A dining table, on the other hand, can provide the same benefit and even more table space than an island. The only considerations are whether it can be situated close enough to the cooktop so that you don't have to walk a long distance to take what you need while the food is cooking, and whether having it at counter height is a priority for you because dining tables would be shorter than your counters, making prepping food standing up uncomfortable.
When it comes to storage, the kitchen island is a clear winner. Most kitchen islands have cabinets and drawers underneath that provide much-needed storage space to stow away all the messy-looking pots and pans when not in use. It's also convenient to store eating utensils within the island if that's where you eat the most.
Because an island is highly customizable to your needs, you can add a sink or a stove to the surface. You can even incorporate refrigeration for your wine or other beverages, a dishwasher, or even a cozy space for the family dog Fido like this one from Ideal Home.With pets at home, dog and cat bowls are a tripping hazard and can look out of place when left on the floor. You can make a special food station alcove for your precious furball like this one by Kari Arendsen.
With so many options available, keep in mind that adding a sink or any electrical appliances will add to the hassle and cost of cabling and plumbing.
Limitations of a Kitchen Island:
- Uncomfortable and Non-Inclusive Bar Stools
- Minimal Leg Room
As many advantages and possibilities as a kitchen island can provide, they all come at a cost. Depending on the design and materials used, a kitchen island can cost between $3,000 and $5,000. Adding more fixtures and appliances will stretch your budget further. A dining table easily wins this category because it is significantly less expensive than something fully customized and built-in.
A kitchen island is taller than a dining table as it would need to match the kitchen counters. As a result, bar stools are required for the island, which is inconvenient for the elderly or children who will struggle to get on the tall stool. Because bar stools are uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time, using the island as a workspace may be less ideal.
Unless your island comes with an attached table which would take up more room and cost more, it is most likely blocked for storage and only leaves very little space for the purpose of pushing in the seats, which means very little leg room. Because the bottom of a dining table is empty, you can comfortably stretch your legs out whenever you want.