Our lifestyles may vary wildly from one household to the next, but despite this, the kitchen is almost always the hub of the home where the majority of our family activity takes place.
We expect a lot from our kitchens, not only must they be robust and durable, we also need them to be highly functional and of course stunningly beautiful!
An item that seems to be high on many people’s wish lists when it comes to designing a new kitchen is a kitchen island. A kitchen island can be a beautiful and functional piece to incorporate in your design but ONLY if it is well thought out.
Is There Really Enough Space?
First you need to ask yourself if you really have enough space to incorporate an island into your design without creating an obstruction you will regret later. If space is limited an island is probably not going to be the best use of the available space, particularly if it is going to leave you with no space for a table.
An easy flow around the room is vital and you must be able to move freely between the sink, cooking area and the fridge or the space will not be at all practical to use and work in. You ought to have a minimum of 110cm clearance around the whole island to ensure you will have sufficient room for everyone to work around it comfortably.
Design and Function
What is your island going to be used for? What functions do you want it to perform?
An island is a great way to create additional worktop space for preparing and serving up food and can also offer additional seating options and of course storage space, but all of these elements need to be thoroughly thought through from the start. For example you should think about whether you will need plug sockets and consider how any seating will impact on movement within the room. If you plan to include a hob in your island, which way will it face and where will you position your extractor?
A well designed island can offer a huge amount of storage through including drawers, cupboards, wine racks, book shelves and so on, whilst others can house ‘dead space’. Even in an enormous kitchen it seems pointless to create ‘voids’ in any of your kitchen furniture, after all there is no such thing as too much storage space in a kitchen!
Shape and Form
Square, rectangle, oval, circular or kidney shaped, your choice is only limited by your imagination. Kitchen islands can be purchased or built in all manner of shapes and sizes to suit the design of the room. Curved islands and cabinetry are often the perfect choice for maximising the ergonomic flow of the room.
Colour and Finish
Your kitchen island does not have to be exactly the same as the rest of the cabinetry in order to match or coordinate. Sure you could make it identical but you could also make a real statement with it by creating an attractive contrast with not only the main body of the island but the worktop too. You make the rules; after all it’s your kitchen right!?