Are Kitchen Islands Really Necessary?

Kitchen islands are usually a contentious design issue. Some support it, others strongly reject it, and there is no middle ground.

 We revived the conversation with an Instagram post about New Jersey interior designer Gail Davis' stunning remodeled kitchen without an island

User: "No island, not enough counter space. Function!" Another said, "No kitchen island, please! I put our dining table there during our makeover, which was perfect for our family.

You can find disputed opinions elsewhere besides Instagram. Even experts disagreed when we asked them. 

 "The restaurant bar atmosphere may be better than home life for sitting side-by-side without a neighbor. In the kitchen, I don't need an audience until you're cutting!"

She's right. Basting a roast chicken while visitors wait in line is unsettling. "Not every kitchen needs an island," Swanson says.

However, Connecticut kitchen and bath designer Sarah Blank says, "A well-designed island has never been a drawback.

An island with ample area adds value whether it has storage, sitting, cooking, or a sink."

We also spoke with Davis, whose islandlessness sparked the latest argument. "I have fond memories of sitting at the kitchen table with my grandparents," she says of her island-free remodel

she was inspired by House Beautiful's Whole Home 2021 kitchen designer Stephanie Sabbe's table-centered room

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