There are a few very distinctive design choices that date a home built in the late 1990’s- early 2000’s. One of them is the two-tier kitchen island.
I know what the designers and builders were probably thinking…”Let’s build a higher bar around the kitchen island so it will hide any mess that is going on in the kitchen and all the dirty dishes.” Not a bad idea- but you give up major functionality and serving space.
I love the way Houzz.com commenter Paula7658 phrased the problem with the two-tier island: “Two tier reduces the space efficiency on both sides, narrow eating area and narrow food prep area. Two tier also divides the room unnecessarily as opposed to allowing the eye to easily take in the expanse. I prefer one level, it’s also more comfortable unless everyone is very tall and likes high bar stools.”
A flat countertop offers much more useable space. You can roll out dough, spread out all your ingredients for meal prep, serve a buffet, or help the cook all without the awkward work around of a two-tier counter.
Updating Your Two-Tier Island
The perfect time to update your two-tier island is right before you install new countertops. It’s easier than you might think. We had our carpenter remove the current top level counter and cut out the supports. This left us with a level surface.
An electrician relocated the outlets. Then, when the countertop company came out to template the counters, they extended the counters an additional 12 inches. When they came back to install the new countertops, they installed a couple of support braces underneath to hold the additional weight and that’s it! Goodbye 2000-ish two-tiered kitchen counter and HELLO 2017 updated flat counter.
We actually helped this client by managing their whole kitchen redesign from the new countertops, to the updated lighting, tile selection and installation, hardware selections, new farmhouse sink, and kitchen cabinet painting and glazing. Here’s where we started:
And here’s where we ended up.
The client wanted to lighten and brighten the space. Here is a photo of our countertop, tile, and cabinet selections.
We went with Taj Royale Caesarstone countertops, Italian Calacatta Gold tile and Cream painted cabinets with a taupe glaze.
I love the way it all looks together.
We also removed the pot rack and added this beautiful linear lantern from Ballard Designs.
Did you know that there is a farmhouse sink that fits perfectly into the space of your old sink and the two fake drawers underneath? No major cabinet modification needed.
And one more before and after.
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We would love to help you with your kitchen re-design project. After transforming 100’s of kitchens in the Nashville area we have honed amazing, beautiful, money saving ideas to get the biggest impact for your budget. From stand alone kitchen cabinet painting to full service project management and design- we’d love to help. Just fill out the form below to get started with a free on-line estimate.
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Your kitchen is amazing. Very well done.
Your kitchen is amazing. This is a transformation very well done.
I wish all before/after shows would display their work like you did. Very well done and the result is amazing. My kitchen looks very similar. In fact, I’m sending this article to my husband now. Wish me luck!
Dana Tucker says
I’m so glad you found it helpfu! Best of luck with your husband!!
How much does something like this cost?
J. Richardson says
We just purchased a townhome that has this very style counter, in fact, my husband thought for a moment it was our kitchen! So, we fell in love with your remodel and will be transforming our kitchen counter with inspiration from your design! We will gain so much usable space and it will open up the rest of the living room area, which is all open concept.
Thank you, wish you were in my area.
Dana Tucker says
That’s awesome! So glad you found it helpful and inspiring. Best of luck on our remodel!
To where did the outlets get relocated? We are lowering our large peninsula and don’t know where the outlets will go!
Dana Tucker says
We usually relocate the outlets to the sides of the island. Sometimes we put one or two on the back so you can charge a device while sitting at the island.