When thinking about a new kitchen design an island could be a great addition if you have the room. Whether you plan on having it as a focal point, or to have it with the feel of a freestanding piece of furniture or as a workstation which will hold your appliances, there is no denying that it is hugely versatile, some people even use it as their table. Although space is important when considering a kitchen island, size isn’t everything and islands can vary considerably depending on the shape and capacity of the room. It can be tempting to make your island too big as it might seem like a good idea to have a huge centerpiece, packed with appliances but if you can’t reach the centre of it without stretching, or can’t open doors or manoeuvre around it because it’s too close to other furniture, it won’t be right. You should also try not to make t too small otherwish it will look out of place and end up being a pointless piece of furniture.
As well as working as a functional area of the kitchen it can create a divide between the cooking and living areas if you have an open plan kitchen sitting room. A specifically shaped island will also help direct people away from the busy areas of the kitchen during meal time prep, so important if you have little ones!
Having an island changes the space in your kitchen so you may feel like you can be a little braver with textures, colours and shapes to create a standout piece, perhaps in a material that would normally be expensive to use in the whole room. Your island will often act as a divider so it needs to look warm and welcoming as it merges from your lounge through to your kitchen. If your island is to be a hardworking as well as attractive centerpiece, it’s important to think about what you want to fit in and on it and where, before deciding on the final shape and position. If you want to have your hob or sink on your island you need to look at pre-planning to ensure you have the power and pluming supplies to hand as these will then be additional costs to have them fitted. If you want to use it as a seating area the simplest option is a row of bar stools but this could end up creating too much of a barrier, and may leave the island area feeling cluttered, particularly if it is adjacent to a dining table with lots of chairs. In this situation, an overhang to one side, with cupboards to hold crockery, glasses or even space for a wine fridge, that face out into the living area are all good choices. However if you still want to incorporate somewhere to sit in your island design, a work surface overhang with a couple of stools below can still work especially if your dining table is in a separate room. The current trend for long, narrow professional kitchen islands, which have the appearance of a restaurant ‘pass’ allows for plenty of seating space. On squarer islands, an integrated table and seating area at one end, set slightly lower, adds somewhere to work away from the food preparation. Make sure you add in plug points if your island will double as a work station for tablets, computers and phones.
At the end of the day, the modern way to go is by incorporating an island into your kitchen and there seems to be something for kitchens of all sizes and something to suit the needs of every family home.