The kitchen is arguably one of the hardest spaces within the home to get right. With so many practical and aesthetic considerations to work out, it is all too easy to overlook an element of the design and living with the consequences of poor design choices can be incredibly frustrating later on.
Kitchen islands are high on the wish list for many homeowners who know they want to incorporate an island in their design, but often give little thought as to what the actual function of the island will be!
When placing an island in a large scale room where storage and worktop space is at a premium you may not need to be too hung up about the functional aspects of the island itself, but in the majority of spaces it is crucial not to ‘waste’ space.
First Things First Define The Function
For example, will you be using your kitchen island for;
- Food preparation
- Homework / additional office tasks
- Washing up
- Additional storage
- Housing appliances
It may be that you want this piece of kitchen ‘furniture to perform several different tasks and do a bit of everything, but it is important to be clear about your priorities before you can plan the details and make sure the island forms part of the solution in the overall design.
If you are going to be including a sink, hob or any other kitchen appliance within your island you will have to consider various details to make this work.
Sink – will this be your main sink in the room? If so, a dishwasher, (assuming you will want one), will need to be positioned close by.
Hob – don’t forget to work out where you will position your extractor fan as this may be a little more complicated in a central position. There are however some incredible options on the market right now, many of which are a focal point in their own right!
Lighting – Task lighting is frequently overlooked when it comes to kitchen islands… don’t forget to include this in your design!
Plug sockets – Forgetting to include any, (or enough) plug sockets in your kitchen island is a mistake you will only ever make once!
Without sockets, the functionality of your island is greatly reduced and having electrical wires draping across the room presents a real hazard.
Prep Area – you will need a rubbish bin and composting tray if you use one close to hand to make this practical, along with storage for your chopping board and frequently used kitchen utensils. You may also wish to include a recycling bin, particularly if the sink is going to be in the island too..
Seating- You will need to decide whether you would prefer chairs or barstools in order to get the height right. Lots of designs include several different levels within the worktop of the island to accommodate different tasks.
Keep An Open Mind
A kitchen island will often provide a real focal point for the kitchen and add to its appeal in terms of looks and function, but only if it has been planned well!
What works perfectly in one space may not be a great solution in the next so it pays to consider whether an island is right for your design or not rather than include one regardless simply because you have your heart set on one!
Always make sure you are clear about an islands practical purpose and function from the start so that you can incorporate all of those vital details that will pull it all together.