Every kitchen island is different but needs to be more than just about good looks; it needs to be functional too. With our background in design and experience in knowing that everyone wants their kitchen to be unique to their specific requirements, here are our top tips for what has become an essential component in many of our customers’ kitchens.
Big or small – every kitchen is unique and so is your island
The most vital aspect of designing your own kitchen island is to first understand what works best for your kitchen. It needs to be the right size for the space in your kitchen and you’ll need to decide what you really want to use it for. Does your island need to double as a breakfast (or cocktail) bar, or do you want additional storage space that helps keep things nice and tidy? Your island must complement and complete your kitchen. Not only will this give you the best result possible, it will streamline the choices you need to make.
You’ll need to have space between your island and the rest of your kitchen, because you’ll need aisles that let you move comfortably around but not so much that you can’t easily reach for essential items from other parts of your kitchen. Remember that your island must be a working part of your kitchen, it isn’t just there for effect. If you have a small kitchen, then an aisle minimum of 36 inches is best, whereas 42 inches between the counters would be ideal.
The right proportions
It’s important that you work within the existing space constraints of your kitchen. We’ve often heard customers say they wished they had larger kitchens because of the available space that they offer, however, huge kitchens can create some unique design challenges of their own. Any island that you choose must always be proportional to the size of your kitchen. If it is too big, then it will overpower the room and possibly make you feel ‘hemmed in’. Conversely, a small but ultimately impractical island, just for the sake of having one, is both ungainly and a waste of precious space. This is where our experts come in – we’ll get to work on designing an island that works perfectly within the proportions of your kitchen.
Curves in all the right places
There is no ‘one size fits all’ island – every kitchen is different, and we often have to think outside the box to find a solution to a potential design problem. The image of a square kitchen island is so popular that it’s easy to automatically gravitate towards this textbook shape. Yet there are lots of options. It might well be that an L-shaped or T-shaped island will work best in your kitchen, or a lovely circular or cool elliptical installation, to match curves in your kitchen. We’ll find the right solution, letting your kitchen dictate the shape and size of the island.
Love that island living
Storage units and clever cabinets are an essential part of the modern kitchen island. They allow you to tuck away the mess, organise your kitchen more efficiently, yet still make sure that everything you need is handy. We’ll make suggestions on what you need in terms of shelving units and cabinets to ensure it all works well with the rest of your kitchen. Small kitchens with limited shelving will benefit from extra-deep drawers and large fold-away inserts that will provide you with ample storage. Islands in larger kitchens could incorporate the latest trend – a double island! They can also feature display cabinets and stylish shelves with glass doors. In this case, creating essential storage space is not necessarily a priority, so can showcase some of your china or a couple of pieces of striking artwork, holiday memorabilia or your cookery books.
Islands are for getting together
As the kitchen is now considered to be the heart of the home, it’s a gathering place for family and friends. An island provides the perfect spot for a quick breakfast, mid-morning snack or a family ‘kitchen supper’ in the evening, so make sure to incorporate some seating space. Many modern islands come with a design that places the countertop for food and drinks a bit higher than the one used for preparing and serving meals. This also allows you to choose a wider range of kitchen bar stools or chairs. Also make sure you take into account the required knee clearance space for sitting comfortably at the island.
It’s all about chemistry…well, electricity
Whether you intend to cook at your kitchen island or not is a decision that you’ll need to make pretty early in the planning stage. If you plan on adding equipment for cooking, then make sure you allow for some extra costs and design constraints that come into play because of the additional electricity and/or gas line and possibly also plumbing. A kitchen island that doubles as your cooking space will also need a few smart appliances incorporated into its design. You might have to forgo a bit of storage space for that oven, dishwasher and maybe even a small fridge, but it will be well worth it, if as a result, your kitchen works well for your lifestyle and needs.
Start planning your new kitchen…and island
The Kettle Co team is ready at our showrooms in St Austell and Plymouth to start planning your new kitchen, with its unique island. With our Price Promise* and special discounts, we’ll match any kitchen you might find elsewhere and because we’re local, we’re right on hand to ensure the planning and installation of your new kitchen runs smoothly. This also means that we’re readily available to deal with any unforeseen issues that might crop up during the fitting process. Last but not least, because we’re based at the HBH Woolacotts showrooms, you can get their help in choosing a new kettle, toaster or coffee machine for your kitchen or very own ‘love island’!
At Kettle Co. Kitchens, we’re experts in kitchen design so if you’re planning a new kitchen, come and talk to our friendly team about how we can help you create your dream kitchen. All you need do is book your free design appointment at our St Austell or Plymouth showroom.