Stuck in the Middle: 5 ways to use your kitchen islandRebecca Hinshelwood
Choosing to include an island in your kitchen design is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Your worktop and storage space will increase and the centre of the room is a great place to show off a striking stone worktop. Before you set your heart on a dramatic marble centrepiece, though, ensure that you have given thought to how you intend to use the facility. The most effective kitchen islands are those which have a dedicated use. So, once you have considered the possibilities, decide on the main use and stick to it.
If you’re planning to use your island as a wet zone, either with a dishwashing or preparation sink, ensure that your plumbing infrastructure can realistically support the function. Some of this will come down to your flooring and how straightforward it is to run plumbing to the right spot. An island can be a great vehicle to hide messy elements of the kitchen – especially dirty dishes. Choosing a dual height island means that your stunning quartz or granite worktop will mask the pile of dishes awaiting attention at the sink from both visitors and yourself!
A stone worktop makes a fabulous centrepiece for social occasions. Choose a contrasting or complementary stone to the rest of your kitchen to really mark it out as a feature. A social kitchen island isn’t just for special or festive occasions, but can equally be great for cups of tea or kids craft projects. If the main function is as a social area, keep the surface clear of appliances which will detract from the space. Don’t forget lighting: a flexible direct lighting solution over the space can be changed to suit the occasion and show off your stone to its best advantage.
Choosing to place your cook zone within your kitchen island is ideal for prolific cooks who want to remain part of the action. The right sized centrepiece can accommodate a range, hob and positions for appliances. The great thing about stones like granite and quartz is their durability under the stress of heat. So when you focus your stone kitchen island on cooking, you can be confident that the surface will look great for years to come.
Remember that a kitchen island should add to your kitchen worktop space, not detract from your kitchen floor space. So, ensure that the structure is correctly scaled for your size of kitchen. A smaller kitchen will benefit from a taller and narrower kitchen island, while larger kitchens should be bold in the size of their island. If you want to incorporate seating within the space, ensure that the height allows enough knee clearance. When not in use, your stone worktop is aesthetically appealing, showing off the grains of your chosen marble, quartz or granite.
If your main reason for choosing a kitchen island in the first place is to provide more storage, then consider how adding a cooking or washing function within it will restrict the amount of cupboard space. The proximity of your island to the rest of the kitchen will dictate ease of access, so ensure there is enough clearance to allow access to the storage space under the surface.
A kitchen island is essentially a practical addition to your kitchen; it will revolutionise how you use the space. That’s no reason not to let it be beautiful, though. Choosing a stone counter for your island, whether matching or contrasting the rest of the room, will lift an island from a utilised space to an aesthetic space. Where granite, quartz and marble offer such a broad range of colours and patterns, your centrepiece will make your kitchen truly yours.