Kitchen Consequential: Sizing Quartz for the Perfect Island

Kitchen islands are a design feature that embodies everything we love about open-concept homes. The popular, multifunction kitchen unit is the ultimate domestic symbol of our fluid and fast-paced lives, where multitasking is the norm and the boundaries between work, play, and leisure have been knocked down like the walls in closed-in rooms. Still, as property prices have risen, the sizes of houses have shrunk, leaving kitchens less “open” and kitchen islands one of the first places where space is sacrificed. According to LABC Warranty, kitchens in British homes have shrunk to levels last seen 80 years ago, while a recent report by UBS suggests that kitchens will be defunct by 2030. While it might be premature to declare “the death of the kitchen,” it does illustrate how important it is for architects and interior designers to look at kitchen space and create an island around that space instead of, say, color, pattern, or a homeowner’s ill-advised desire to recreate the urban farmhouse-style island that he or she saw in the latest edition of Architectural Digest.

Form Follows Function
A kitchen island is designed to be functional, social, and adaptable (a place for homework as well as buffet serving, for example), but it needs to be properly sized to the room. You don’t want the island to be dwarfed in a large room; but at the same time, you don’t want it to crowd a room with a smaller layout. Kitchen traffic patterns, work triangles, and access to appliances all need to be taken into consideration. And let’s face it, the number of high-end kitchen gadgets on our countertops has increased dramatically over the years, what with the bread maker’s, stand mixers, and Italian coffee grinders.

Dimensions Before Colors
When it comes to buying a slab of quartz for a kitchen island, you have the option of getting standard or jumbo size slabs. A standard slab is 56 by 120 inches, while a jumbo slab is 63 by 126 inches. If you don’t want an island with a seam, these dimensions are the maximum you can get. A seamless island is smoother and more aesthetically pleasing than an island with a seam. Still, it’s not impossible to create a large or extra-long kitchen island; architects and designers can make islands that are larger than the slabs of material by fitting several pieces of that material together. However, it’s best to have the dimensions in mind before you begin to choose colors. Finally, if your kitchen is less than 13 feet wide, it’s not recommended to add an island.
Before you begin choosing slabs of quartz for your new kitchen island, be sure to think through the island’s purpose. The width, depth, and length of the island will depend on what role or roles you want it to play – prep space, cooking station, storage unit, social hub, etc. A well designed and properly sized kitchen island should be self-sustainable as well as fit seamlessly into the kitchen’s spatial aesthetics. If you have a client that wants to start looking at stone for a kitchen island, contact Connecticut Stone or visit our stone yard to view our selection firsthand.

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