When planning a kitchen, there are two things homeowners always want more of: worktop space and storage. A kitchen island is a great way to add both of these to the room.
As an added benefit, kitchen islands are also great for entertaining and spending time with family and friends. Since they can often incorporate a bit of seating at one end, islands create the perfect spot for casual dining, grabbing a bit of breakfast, relaxing with a well-deserved cuppa, parking the kids to do homework or setting up a drinks station at a party.
More than a worktop and kitchen storage
It’s an easy mistake to make, thinking of a kitchen island as just an extra bit of worktop with some storage space underneath. But that’s probably not the best way to use an island. In fact, with some creative planning, a kitchen island can be home to some of the key elements of your kitchen.
An island can even form one part of the kitchen work triangle – the sink, the cooker or a bank of small fridges could all work well in the space, giving you more design flexibility and a more efficient food preparation area.
Is there enough space for an island in my kitchen?
We’d love to be able to say that every kitchen can have an island – that it just takes some careful planning. But, the reality is that some kitchens are too small to benefit from one.
It’s usually galley style kitchens that have to go without an island. With their narrow shape, these often just don’t have enough space.
If your heart’s set on an island but space is restricted, then maybe a kitchen peninsula might be a better option. You might also want to consider a piece of portable furniture – like a rolling butcher’s block – that can be moved out into the centre of the room when necessary. Another option could be to create a pass-through window that opens out into the dining room or living room.
Top tips for designing your kitchen island
If you’ve decided that an island is achievable and exactly what your kitchen needs, it’s time to start planning. Here are a few things to remember when designing the space:
● Don’t make it too small – If the island is too tiny, it’s probably not going to be particularly useful. And then it will just feel like it’s in the way, rather than improving your workflow.
● Don’t make it too big – On the other hand, if an island is too large, it could also be a problem. Make sure there is plenty of space to move around the island, that it won’t get in the way of your kitchen work triangle and that it won’t block things like oven doors from opening.
● Have plenty of light – Since the island is in the middle of the room, it probably won’t be getting much natural light. So, make sure there is plenty of light directed at the work surface. A rooflight over a kitchen island is another great option and will flood the room with sunshine during the day – but whether you can install one will depend on the layout of your home.
● Power up – If your island will feature appliances like an oven or refrigerator, then you’ll need to ensure the necessary wiring is run into the middle of the room. But even if your island doesn’t house any appliances, having an available electricity supply can be useful in case you want to plug in something like a blender or hand mixer.
● Have fun – Don’t be afraid to make a statement with your island – it should be one of the stars of your kitchen. Try using contrasting colours, or go for a high-gloss look to ensure the island really stands out.
It doesn’t seem to matter how big a kitchen is – we always seem to wish it was bigger, with more storage and worktop areas. A bit of extra seating can also be useful. The good news is that adding a kitchen island can be a great way to incorporate key elements of your kitchen, while also providing space for spending time with loved ones.
Here at Prept we can help you to create a luxury kitchen to suit your everyday needs. If you’re ready to start planning your Prept kitchen, then use our downloadable kitchen planner graph now.