The Case for Installing a Kitchen Island

For some residents, the idea of luxury island living is usually the stuff of fantasy. Or, at best, vacations. Although our city is famed for the generous hours of sunshine it nourishes us with, beaches and fresh coconuts can be a little harder to come by.

However, tropical destinations aren’t the only type of island we can use to upgrade our lives. Adding a kitchen island is a simple way to enhance any home, and are no longer the preserve of those with swathes of floor space to spare.

In fact, cleverly designed kitchen islands can actually maximize space in a kitchen. Depending on your needs, this might be by providing more areas for food preparation or including extra fixtures and appliances. Including seating to double the island as a breakfast bar and adding extra storage are further ways to expand the usability of our new kitchen feature.

Despite taking up floor space, installing a well-designed kitchen could actually see a net gain in the space now available.

An island for kitchen activities

One of the most frustrating issues anyone who regularly cooks can have is a lack of food preparation space. This may be through owning a small or poorly designed kitchen. It may even be through the number of people who use the space at the same time.

Either way, installing a kitchen island is a quick and effective way to add more surface area for the all important washing, peeling, mixing and chopping.

To help make this new area as practical as it can be, consider adding the same fixtures and appliances you’d find in the original workspace. An extra sink with running water, a stovetop, electrical sockets for blenders and whisks, and space for garbage and recycling bins can save a lot of walking to and fro.

A multilevel, multifunction kitchen island

Despite being a single installation, a well-designed kitchen island can fulfill multiple roles. One of the best ways to make this as seamless as possible is to choose a multilevel design.

With the work surface and its appliances and fixtures at a lower level, a section of the island can be made to be a raised dining surface. Using a surface material more akin to that of a table top creates a real division between that and the workspace, with different colors also helping to keep work separate to leisure.

When utilizing part of the kitchen as a breakfast bar or other dining space, including a recess for chairs or stools to be placed underneath when not in use is another simple design idea that helps to maximize the space available while bringing extra features to the kitchen.

A kitchen island for storage

Aside from increasing the amount of workspace and providing a new dining area, a kitchen island can be designed to incorporate extra storage space for those who need it.

Cabinets in the body of the island can be used to store less frequently used appliances while open shelving filled with cookbooks or linen and towels can enhance the look of the entire kitchen.

However, the added storage brought by a kitchen island isn’t limited to inside the island itself. While nobody wants to suspend pots and pans from the ceiling above an empty floor, doing so above an island is a more than acceptable use of the space. Indeed, when using the kitchen island for food preparation, this only works to increase the convenience.

This means the footprint of the island actually extends from floor to ceiling; another example of the net gain in usable space it brings.

Island living may be the dream, but installing a kitchen island is a reality that is available to even those with smaller kitchens. In helping to extend the workspace, providing an additional dining area and bring more storage options, there’s a lot more to a kitchen island than meets the eye.

Discover Amelia Island – Florida’s Best Kept Secret for a Fabulous Vacation Paradise

Amelia Island, Florida is one of America’s few remaining unspoiled island paradises. If you haven’t discovered Amelia Island yet, you’re in for a wonderful surprise. Just a thirty-minute drive north of the Jacksonville airport, Amelia Island is situated in the southernmost part of the Atlantic coast barrier islands that stretch from North Carolina down to Florida. Amelia Island offers miles of pristine sandy beaches, world-class golfing and tennis, magnificent and luxurious resorts, charming bed and breakfast spots, and a rich and fascinating history that make this a truly unique and thoroughly enjoyable vacation destination.

A Fascinating History

Amelia Island brings a rich and cherished history to life in a present day charming seaport village setting. This is the only area in North America to experience sovereign rule under eight different flags, bringing together a variety of cultural influences that make Amelia Island so unique. The National Trust for Historic Preservation recognizes Amelia Island as one of the top distinctive vacation destinations.

Amelia Island is for Nature Lovers

For nature lovers, the island is abundant with stunning flora and fauna that embraces nature’s tranquility in every way. Experience the beautiful wetland marshes, the maritime forest, the cool shade under the canopy of the centuries-old live oaks, and the serenity of the wide stretches of beach and coastline. From May through October each year, you can observe the loggerhead and green turtles that nest on the shores of Amelia Island. Amelia Island State Park protects over 200 acres of unspoiled wilderness to enjoy and explore. This is one of the few areas along the Atlantic coast that permits horseback riding on the beach.

World Class Resorts

There are several world-class Amelia Island resorts where you can experience the ultimate in luxury and royal treatment.

The Amelia Island Plantation is an acclaimed AAA-Four Diamond, 1350 acre property located on Amelia Island. It was meticulously built in 1971 with the philosophy that every entity on the Amelia Island Plantation should preserve the beautiful sanctuary for native wildlife and tropical flora. This remains the mission today and is the primary reason that this Amelia Island resort retains its natural pristine beauty and tranquility.

Amelia Island Plantation offers three championship golf courses, a magnificent tennis facility with 23 tennis courts, the luxurious four star Amelia Inn & Beach Club featuring all ocean view rooms, fine dining, a world-class spa to pamper and indulge your senses, and a variety of fine shops and boutiques.

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is a magnificent resort renowned for their superb five-diamond service. Poised on a bluff of sand dunes overlooking the ocean, the panoramic views, feeling of tranquility, and seaside elegance will delight you in every way. The Ritz has a special way of making you feel like royalty from the moment you arrive.

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island offers championship golf, a beautiful outdoor pool, massage and fitness center, and nine ocean-side tennis courts including five lit for night play. Accommodations at this fabulous resort include private ocean-view balconies, 24-hour in-room dining, marble baths and provide the ultimate in comfort and luxury. And the award winning cuisine and fine dining will delight and please the epicurean in every way.

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a romantic getaway and still bring the kids along, the Ritz-Carlton Amelia island has a wonderful supervised program for kids, ages 5 through 12 and a kids night out program on the weekends.

Fun and Activities

When you visit Amelia Island, there are so many activities to satisfy everyone. Outdoor activities include great fishing, hiking, biking, sailing, river cruises, golfing, tennis, nature watching and nature tours. Of course, nothing beats simply spending a day relaxing on one of the beautiful pristine beaches.

Spend a day wandering through the 55 square block Fernandina Beach historic district. The Victorian style architecture will transport you back in time. Enjoy a narrated horse drawn carriage ride through the historic district as a perfect way to experience the charm of this Victorian seaport village.

Amelia Island is home to a variety of annual events. In February, visit the Restoration Foundation Annual Antique Show. In March, you won’t want to miss the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance – Antique Car Show, held every year at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. For tennis enthusiasts, the Bausch & Lomb Women’s Tennis Tour event is a favorite every year at the Amelia Island Plantation. In May, the annual “Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival” is going on its 43rd year. This festival celebrates Fernandina Beach as the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. Also in May, music lovers can enjoy the annual Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. June brings the Nassau Sportfishing Kingfish Tournament of Champions, held at the downtown marina in Fernandina Beach. October brings the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, featuring world-class jazz artists, produced and directed by Les DeMerle in recent years.

Island Paradise

There is something special about tropical islands. They have long been associated with a lifestyle of leisure and luxury. When thinking about this kind of life one conjures up images of endless white-sand beaches and lazy afternoons in a hammock. When thinking about this life, the picture in your mind is likely Barbados. This island paradise located in the Lesser Antilles chain of islands is a luxurious destination resort locale that offers unrivaled luxury and a relaxed style of life that is envied worldwide.

At only 430 square miles the island of Barbados boasts one of the highest standards of living in the entire world and along with that impressive fact comes one of the highest literacy levels anywhere. The island is a part of the British Commonwealth but runs as an independent state. The economy of this area is fairly diversified but the mainstay of the island’s wealth is the thriving tourist industry. Barbados is one of those areas that is heavily populated by beautiful destination resorts that capture the luxury of island living in combination with the culture that the Caribbean is famous for. In recent years there has developed a healthy vacation rentals industry that has been fostered by the development of numerous amazing housing/condo communities.

With such development happening there are some fantastic opportunities for investors and buyers who know where to look. Barbados is truly an escape from the rigors of everyday life. Whether you are considering a purchase or simply a vacation then Barbados is a location that you should spend some time considering. The island’s close proximity to South America is also ideal for travelers who want to explore all that South America has to offer in addition to the other beautiful islands that share the same waters with Barbados. In fact you could easily find yourself staying here for longer than anticipated once you discover everything that this area has to offer. Many investors have purchased homes here only to realize that the area is so desirable that it’s worth moving to and end up living full or part time in their Barbados homes. This is an area that is truly hard to leave. Come to invest and you may just end up staying too.

Hornby Island, BC – Scenic Jewel of the West Coast

Hornby Island is a small island (approximately 30 square kilometres) off the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. For such a small piece of land, it is a place of significant natural beauty with an exceptional variety of waterfront beaches and extensive forested hiking trails. In the summer Hornby boasts some of the warmest ocean swimming waters North of California and other recreation opportunities abound. From hiking and mountain biking to sea kayaking and diving, Hornby offers much for the multitudes of visitors that find this island home in the summer.

Located about five hours from Vancouver, you need to take three ferries just to get to the island. This isolation fosters a unique local culture with a thriving creative community of varied artists, musicians, and actors. In fact, the very presence of all these creative types serves as its own drawing card for many other artists, musicians, and actors to find their home among the 900 full-time residents.

The weather on Hornby Island is very moderate, not too cold in the winter, and not to hot in the summer. Summers are normally dry and sunny with daytime highs averaging about 22 C while winters are rainy averaging daytime highs of around 5 C. Long summer days, lots of music, and laid-back island living contrast the wet winter times of quiet solitude with the visiting sea-lions and eagles.

Although Hornby Island is home 900 people year round, the population swells to over 3000 on busy weekends in the summer. It’s for this reason that experiencing Hornby’s scenic charms is arguably best left for the off-season where you’ll share an uncrowded island with only locals and wild life. In my opinion, few things are more beautiful watching than nature unfurl her beauty as the fall, winter, and spring seasons work their magic across the island. Everywhere you go during the off-season has a serene, spacious feel and offers some sort of unique flora and fauna for you to become enchanted with.

So if you are planning a waterfront vacation and want to visit a unique, special place I honestly can’t recommend any place nicer than Hornby Island, BC.

Island Shopping in Southern Florida

So you have already enjoyed fabulous vacation swimming in the ocean and walking the Sanibel Island beaches. Now is the time to go get some mementos (other than your gorgeous tan) to take back home to all your jealous friends. Yes, it’s time for something no vacation is complete without: shopping!

The Islander Trading Post? might be your first stop for some unpretentious doodads in Sanibel. This shop offers things such as vintage signs and post cards, as well as other antique items for your home. For those suds lovers in your life, the store offers a variety of beer items. This shop is big and you could easily lose track of time, but there is more island shopping to do!

Cheese Nook Gourmet and Gift Shop is another place to find some unusual gifts for friends and family in your life that may consider themselves “foodies”. The discerning palate will enjoy things here such as 5-year old vintage gouda, or the store’s best selling item, the double cream specialty brie. Other items available are gift baskets and specialty seasonings such as party dip mixes. There are dill party mixes like the “green flash”, as well as others such as Captiva Island sunset, playful dolphin, and even pink flamingo, which is a red onion dip mix.

Some of the best shops to buy t-shirts and beachwear in Sanibel Island, Florida are Paradise Boutique, Aqua Beachware, and Life is Good Synereget store. The Sanibel Sunglass Company offers some of the best brand name sunglasses such as Ray Ban, Oakley, and Costa Del Mar. Who wouldn’t love a gift of a pair of frames straight from the islands?

For more “island” feeling gifts you can check out Tiki Jim’s. This store carries all sorts of island shirts, as well as “Margaritaville” merchandise, and even “grandma loves me best” clothing for the grandkids. There are also beach tote bags and island-living wall signs. Shot glasses, stuffed animals, key chains and cards can all be found here as well. Before heading back to the Sanibel Island Hotels you may also want to check out the store called Island Style. Here you will find unique art that will remind you of your island vacation. Also available are island themed furniture, jewelry and even pottery items.

There is no end to the Sanibel Island restaurants or Sanibel events, and now you know there is also no end to the island shopping! Bring all your friends and family a little piece of your vacation by way of the perfect island themed gift.