Reasons that you should include a kitchen island as part of a kitchen refitBecky Hinshelwood
When planning a kitchen refit or extension, the first step is to plan your layout. It’s now more common than not to include one or more kitchen islands as part of a plan. Why should you join the ranks of kitchen island converts, though? Remember that the kitchen island is more than just an aesthetic trend. There are a huge number of practical benefits to kitchen islands. We take a look at the advantages of this kitchen design feature and the different configurations to think about when you include it in your design. Then, if your space simply won’t allow for a full kitchen island, we look at how to achieve a similar effect.
Benefits of a kitchen island
There are really good reasons that kitchen islands have maintained their popularity. They are available in a huge range of shapes and sizes, so there’s always an ideal configuration for any kitchen design layout.
You can never have too much storage in your kitchen. A kitchen island provides plentiful additional storage in cabinets or drawers underneath. Depending on your configuration, you can also include open shelving, a wine rack or even a fridge under there. Don’t forget, too, that the additional worktop space offers storage opportunities. Pile wooden chopping boards on top of your quartz worktop to create depth and store at the same time!
As long as you have the infrastructure and piping to support it, a kitchen island can perform any kitchen function. Some designs position the hob or a preparation sink in the kitchen island. As electric points tend to be integrated, the kitchen island can be the home for various kitchen accessories. In this way, an island can ease the flow of traffic in your kitchen and make it a more functional space.
Kitchen islands look stylish and elegant. With the additional storage and functionality, a marble island worktop remains uncluttered and stunning. The space above a kitchen island is often where people choose to hang statement pendant lighting. This central point of the room therefore becomes the focal point to a design.
Our kitchens are increasingly the space in the home that we choose for socialising. From a quick coffee to drinks and nibbles, a kitchen island is an ideal social space. With so many sides to stand, and the fridge to hand for easy top-ups, it’s easy to see the attraction. When you’re entertaining at the kitchen island, it makes sense that so many people choose a bright and sparking quartz worktop to create a stunning ambience,
Different kitchen layouts use kitchen islands in slightly different ways. Depending on the layout that you are planning for your kitchen, you may choose a different shape or function to your kitchen island.
For large kitchens that use three walls for counter and cabinet space, a square kitchen island tends to offer a good balance to the room. The deep worktop space is really useful for bakers and social butterflies alike! Quartz worktops are ideal for these designs as they are cool to the touch, and super easy to maintain.
An island with a social focus works well for this kitchen shape. If your L-shape opens out to a living area, the island can form part of bespoke integrated seating. If it’s a smaller, enclosed room, the island provides ideal dining and social space. A sparkling granite worktop will bring a depth to the room design and create an elegant style statement.
Some kitchen designs lay out just one wall with kitchen utilities. In these situations, an oversized long island offers additional functionality. It also forms a zoning barrier between kitchen and living areas. Natural marble worktop slabs are ideal for kitchens that want to maximise natural light as they are so reflective. Marble also adds a sense of luxury in spaces that open out into a more relaxed living area.
For smaller kitchen floor areas, or specific design concepts, the prospect of a kitchen island may seem impossible. However there are certain design solutions that offer similar benefits to an island without taking up as much space.
This could be an area of worktop that is slightly deeper, or bulged out in shape. Or the end of the worktop of a galley style kitchen that is thrust out in a rectangular or circular shape. It basically offers a dining option as part of the worktop. You might want this as a more informal seating area that exists alongside a dining room.
This section of worktop juts out into the kitchen making a G-shape layout. It serves a similar purpose as a kitchen island but is connected to the worktop in a continuous surface. As there is no need to account for movement space along all four sides, it’s a great layout for slightly more compact square rooms. Quartz worktops look really striking in this layout because their regular patterning creates a seamless flow across the worktop.
For traditional or rustic kitchen designs, you may decide to have a farmhouse table in either the centre of the room, or at the open end of a galley style kitchen. Some farmhouse tables include shallow drawers, but otherwise you will not benefit from the same additional storage as a kitchen island. However as this is a freestanding piece of furniture, it is more versatile as it can be moved around.
One way to maximise the ‘liveability’ of your kitchen is to maximise the seating in your layout. Bespoke, integrated seating is a fantastic feature that some people choose over a kitchen island. This works well when your room structure already has an appropriate sized recess that can be used to install booth style seating.
A kitchen island is fast becoming a classic kitchen feature. With natural stone worktops you can enjoy uncluttered space that is both practical and elegant. Browse our ranges to discover a stone that suits you.