Island Life

An island can be a great feature in a kitchen design, but there are important factors to consider.

One of the first “must haves” clients often put on their wish when we are discussing a new kitchen design is an island. There is no doubt a kitchen island can be a key feature in how a kitchen looks and more importantly functions, but there important factors to consider first. The most important, obvious as it may seem, is will it fit ? We are often asked to include an island into a kitchen where on the face of it the room appears big enough but when you get into the detail of the design it just isn’t practical. As a rule of thumb you need to allow a clear space of 1200mm between an island and other kitchen cabinets, appliances and walls, although you can get away with slightly less depending on the individual situation.

Having established there is sufficient space the next consideration is how it will be used. Is it purely for food preparation and/or casual dining or will there be appliances involved. If there is going to be a sink positioned on the island then consideration needs to be given to plumbing challenges, and if there is to be a hob then the important question of extraction has to be looked at. We have two working examples of the Bora downdraft extraction system in our showroom which offer the perfect solution to this issue. Often an island will incorporate some or all of these functions – preparation space, cooking, dishwashing and a breakfast bar which will in turn lead to the next question – what is best choice of material for the worksurface ? Silestone, Corian, granite and solid wood can all be used, and often can be in complete contrast to the rest of the kitchen to make more of a visual impact.

Two different sections, often of different materials and thickness can work well especially in a breakfast bar situation. Often the furniture used to form the base of the island can be in a different finish to the rest of the kitchen making even more of a design statement. Electrical sockets, pop-up storage solutions, loose chopping boards and pendant lighting are all important features which add to the functionality and appearance of a kitchen island which with careful thought about design and location can make all the difference to the success of a kitchen design.

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