A kitchen is, for most people, the heart of the home. When designing a kitchen, people often ask our design experts here at RTA Cabinet Store if a kitchen island or a kitchen bar is right for them. For most, this answer depends on the size of the kitchen and the dimensions. They also do not have to be mutually exclusive, and many kitchens employ both.
The Kitchen Island
A kitchen island is a standalone countertop area, usually in the center of the kitchen. It does not touch or attach to any other countertop or wall. It adds a lot of functionality in the kitchen by adding a useful area to otherwise unused floor space in the kitchen center.
Seating can be added to it, stovetops, ovens, sinks, and just about anything else you can think of. It can really add a lot to your storage space, and even eliminate the need for a dining room table. Islands are usually used in kitchens that are more square than rectangular, due to a larger amount of space in the center.
The Kitchen Bar
A kitchen bar is similar in concept to the kitchen island, in that it adds storage space, more countertop space, and, oftentimes, seating. The main difference is that it attaches either to the existing countertop or comes out of a wall, having a maximum of three usable sides.
This is very useful for kitchens which are longer rather than square, as the footprint of the kitchen addition is against a wall, allowing for easier passage. It is also a very useful device in combination kitchen/dining rooms, in that a kitchen bar coming out of the wall like a peninsula can be a great separator of the two rooms, providing storage on both sides, a much larger amount of countertop space, and excellent bar seating.
Creating the Perfect Combination
Installing a kitchen island and a kitchen bar is the ultimate in kitchen design. It can really add a lot of useful work area and storage. It does require a larger kitchen though. If you have the space, a combination of the two can create a really unique and functional kitchen.