Advice on Kitchen Islands

by Amy Biddle on Thursday 4th June 2015

Amy Biddle

An island needs to perform three functions; it should be practical with plenty of storage, it should host sufficient seating for guests and it should look good.

Before you begin planning your dream design, check that you have sufficient space for an island. The industry standard advises at least 106cm between the island and adjacent cabinets, or 121cm if there will be more than one person cooking in the space on a regular basis. If you’ve got seating on one side you’ll want to leave 112cm behind the seat to allow for spatial flow.

A social hub can quickly look messy for those gathered around an island once food prep gets underway, so it has to be designed to meet the needs of the cook yet remain visually appealing.

Using different heights and materials in one way of defining the three key zones: cooking, preparation and eating.

Think about incorporating a secondary prep sink for ultimate utility and function.

If cooking from your island you will need extraction for fumes, a hidden ceiling extractor is the perfect choice for a tidy, uncluttered look.

Hide untidy prep space behind a raised countertop bar and include a lower tier dining table off to one side. To maintain a streamlined appearance, install extra long drawers and incorporate cupboards behind sliding doors which can be accessed without needing to move bar stools out the way.

You could add some simple banquette seating built onto the back of an island - similar to a cafe bench seat. This creates softer, more comfortable and informal dining space.

Lastly don’t forget the important finishing touches such as statement task lighting - a trio of pendants works really well and pop up electrical sockets, perfect for using kitchen appliances on your island or for sitting up with a laptop.

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