Now more than ever the kitchen has become the modern epitome of a socialising space. Architects and Kitchen Planners know this all too well, which is why they pull out all the stops as soon as a client starts talking about their dream kitchen. And more often than not, you will see a new kitchen boasting an island, a convenient location which offers up so many options in terms of design, colour and size, not to mention the various benefits that come from having a stunning island in your cooking space. After all, if you have the space for one, why not flaunt and enjoy it?
Today, we talk about the various steps to go through as soon as you’ve made that all-important decision to add an island to your kitchen…
Your kitchen island needs to seamlessly and comfortably connect with the entire design, which is why the dimensions are nothing short of crucial. That is why it cannot be too far from your kitchen cupboards, nor be situated too close to them – what happens if there are multiple cooks in the kitchen, or people shuffling around while you’re trying to move from the stove to the fridge as you’re whipping up that five-course meal?
So, what are regarded as the ideal measurements?
The minimum amount of space from your kitchen cupboards should be 900 mm. Anything less could result in a space too small to comfortably open and closer drawers, cupboard doors, and the oven.
Keep in mind that you require 500 mm for the drawers and the doors. If there is an oven opposite the island, more space is needed for the oven door.
How about the maximum distance that island should be located away from the cupboards? That is 1 200 mm, as you don’t want the task of walking to and from the oven to be exhausting.
Got space to spare? Then you simply must have a seating area on at least one side of your kitchen island. And the ideal area for your stools should be at least 900 mm wide. That means about 600 mm for cupboard space and 300 mm for the stools.
Remember that sitting on a bar / kitchen stool requires less space for your legs than sitting on a regular dining chair – even 200 – 250 mm space will be fine.
Even though the centre of the kitchen is usually where one places an island, it can also be positioned against a wall in smaller spaces. Keep in mind that the position of your island depends on the layout of your kitchen and the walking space.
But which is better: a centre island or one placed against a wall? Honestly, it depends on space and personal taste!
Depending on your kitchen’s size and layout, you may have a range of different appliances in your island. The most popular of these seem to be a stove or hob, prep bowl or butler sink, dustbin, spice rack, tray rack, pull-out or side-mounted electrical plugs.
Should you want electrical- or water points built into your island, be clever about their placements and design the whole island around these points. Some people prefer drawers to doors in their island – again, this is all dependent on size and style.
And in case you want to opt for a unique touch in your kitchen island, a wine rack ought to do it!
Two types of cupboard bases can be picked: leg base and kick-plate base. To each his own, but the leg base design certainly offers a more practical and convenient option. Just think about the extra leg space you get to have, not to mention how much easier it is to mop underneath it.
Sometimes, though, the design of the kitchen will lean more towards the kick-plate base. In those cases, ensure that the professionals you hire for your island are well informed on how to correctly install it, plus secure the base against possible damage.
For someone who loves to cook, there can never be enough storage space in the kitchen. And by adding in an island, you get to add customizable storage such as drawers, cabinets, and shelves, reducing the chances of clutter lying around in the rest of your kitchen.
Love to entertain? Then a kitchen island is the perfect spot for friends and family to keep you company while finalising that dinner party’s dishes. Let’s not forget that an island can also be used for various other activities like a homework spot for the kids and a working zone for you.
For a home with little counter space, a kitchen becomes an invaluable addition thanks to the extra flat surface area it offers.
Last but not least, a kitchen island also offers you space for any additional amenities you have always dreamed of, but never had room for. For instance, you could add a wine / beverage fridge under the island, or use that space to install a pull-out fridge / freezer drawers for additional storage. Or how about adding a prep sink to the island’s top surface to increase its functionality?
Whatever you decide on, there’s no denying the fact that your kitchen island (and its design) will enhance the look, feel, and functionality of the heart of your home.
Let’s get the ball rolling on your dream cooking space with these 7 Sensational Kitchen Islands.