The Design Questions Everyone Asks… Island Edition

As a kitchen is an investment for many that often takes years to save for, and involves a lot of time, money and often is a very emotional process too- so it’s something you want to get right first time. When working on kitchen designs for customers, we get many different queries from customers about the flow and layout of their kitchen and they often need a lot of guidance on where to place their appliances, whether they need an island, where to place their seating area and many more questions.

So to help answer some of these queries we’ve created a blog series that is going to answer your design questions. The first design topic we’re going to tackle is about islands.

Islands are an element of kitchen design that generally contribute to a lot of the problems that customers face. Customers often feel that they desperately need an island in their kitchen even if it doesn’t really work with their room shape and size, and this can start to create unnecessary problems with the design of their room. You have to ensure that the room you are working with is the correct size for an island, and that you are not trying to squeeze a large island into a room that is simply not big enough. If your room is too small, and you haven’t got adequate spacing of at least a 1m clearance around the island, it’s going to feel clunky and cramped.

Equally, if you have a large room and are looking for island, it has to be of adequate sizing to ensure it doesn’t look too small or lost in the room. That being said, there is no need to have an obnoxiously large island in your room just to fill a void. The island is often a very big feature in a kitchen, but having one that is too large for the room will make it over shadow the rest of the room, and become the only thing that people ever see in your room, so size is a very important element to factor in.

If you are certain that an island is something you want in your room, then speak through your options with your kitchen designer before you fall in love with something that simply isn’t going to work. The designer will be able to ensure that you have sufficient spacing around the island, and that your island will be functional for what you need it for. Speaking of uses for the island, that’s the question we’re going to move onto next.

Once you’ve settled on the idea that you’re definitely going to include an island in your kitchen design, it’s time to decide what you want the main function to be of the island. Many people have an island as an extension of the main kitchen area, and therefore need it provide an extra function that there wasn’t space for in the initial cabinetry.

A cooking and preparation area is often a very popular choice for an island. Often islands are placed central in the room, and are often used as a bridge between the kitchen and the dining/entertaining area of the room. By having this, it allows the chef of the evening to still be involved in the conversation and continue with their tasks. Additionally, you’ll need to decide if you want some form of sink or dish washing area, to help with food preparation and also for washing hands- in which case you will need to factor in plumbing into the island design too. If the island also has a seating area, it can be impressive to have a hob on the island and to cook in front of family and guests!

By installing sleek, innovative technology like the BORA hob and downdraft extractor, this ensures that the look of your kitchen isn’t compromised and you can cook and entertain guests easily without having to have a large, clunky extractor fan on all of the time. Just a note however if you are planning on having this appliance, inform your kitchen designer early on in the process, as you will have to lose some internal space within your island to accommodate for it.

A seating and dining area within your island is a great way to entertain family and friends, as it means everyone can gather around the island comfortably whilst one person is completing the preparation,whilst still chatting and socialising together. A seating area can also be great if you have small children, as you can seat the children and/or highchairs at the island, and keep an eye on them whilst you complete other things.

We hope this helps answer some queries, please take a look at our Instagram for more images of the beautiful kitchens we create, and check back to our blog soon for the next topic in this series!