Kitchen Islands – Buyers’ Guide

Broakoak Natural Kitchen Image

Kitchen islands have been a major feature in modern kitchen design for some years now. Kitchens have long since ceased to be rooms reserved for cooking and storing food. Instead, they have turned into hard working multi-functional and very stylish areas at the heart of the home. Whatever the size and layout of your kitchen, an island design can significantly enhance its functionality and ambience.

Here at Price Kitchens, we are experienced in designing and supplying a vast range of kitchen solutions for our customers. Why not pop into our Croydon showroom and be inspired by the different kitchens and island designs on display?

Florence Graphite and Light Grey Kitchen Image

Kitchen island benefits

Incorporating an island into your kitchen design gives you more flexibility in terms of your kitchen layout. You could put the sink on the island, perhaps with an integrated dishwasher nearby, or choose to have a hob with a statement cooker hood as a central feature in the room. Why not make the island big enough to use as a breakfast bar or dining space?

Adding an island can increase the amount of worktop space in your kitchen, which will give you more elbow room when it comes to food preparation and serving up, and is handy if several people are using the kitchen at the same time. Why not use the extra space to keep often used utensils or gadgets such as blenders, juicers or coffee makers, out on display?

One of the biggest advantages of a kitchen island is the additional storage space it provides. Islands can be designed with additional cabinets, drawers and shelving for utensils and crockery, pots and pans, small appliances, recipe books and other kitchen knick-knacks, making the most of the space on the island and give you all the storage and organisation you’ll ever need.

A kitchen island can easily double up as an informal breakfast bar or dining table where friends and family can socialise and relax over a meal. Replacing the traditional divide between the kitchen, dining room and living room, it’s a perfect design element to enable our increasing desire for open plan living in our modern homes.

Popular kitchen island styles

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Kitchen islands come in all shapes and sizes. The right choice for your kitchen will depend on many factors including the size and layout of the space, your storage requirements and how you use your kitchen on a daily basis. Popular designs include:

Galley Island – a straight, rectangular unit that is perfect for easily accessible, maximum storage. This typical island design for open plan kitchens is streamlines for efficient workflow, and looks great combines with bar style seating.

L-shaped or U-shaped Island – highly functional and very spacious in terms of storage and worktop space, these designs are great for large and multi-user kitchens. They are able to house a multitude of appliances and offer generous room for seating too.

Circular Island – Add personality and an interesting visual dynamic to your kitchen with a circular or half moon shaped island. This design is perfect for creating a central feature in your large kitchen or open space kitchen/diner, with plenty of space on the worktop and below.

Furniture Island – For a quirky, unconventional choice, a furniture island can be an antique chest of drawers, an opulent console table or a custom designed piece. Put a personal touch into your kitchen design by creating contrast and intrigue that will wow your guests.

Stealth or Mirage Island – If you’re looking to make a memorable and totally bespoke design statement in a contemporary kitchen, take a look at stealth and mirage islands that are true futuristic masterpieces. Made from Gemini Quartz or Corian, these islands combine practicality with stunning looks.

FAQs you should be asking

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If you are considering having a kitchen island as part of your kitchen makeover, careful planning is key to achieving the best results. Work together with your kitchen designer and make sure you address the following frequently asked questions:

How to best position the island?

The optimum shape, size and location for your island will depend on the size and layout of the room as well as the rest of your kitchen design. Important factors to take into account are the location of windows and doors, lighting and workflow considerations.

Which worktop material is best?

The choice of kitchen worktop materials is vast, including laminate, wood, natural stone and man made materials, all of which have their own characteristics. You can match or contrast your island worktop with the rest of your kitchen, or even combine contrasting materials for added interest.

Which appliances can the island house?

Whether your choose to put a kitchen sink, hob, oven, microwave, dishwasher or wine cooler on your island, it’s entirely up to how you decide to use your kitchen. Make sure that you liaise closely with your kitchen fitter so that plumbing and electrics are taken care of.

Should the island include seating?

If the space allows, a dining/seating area on the island can make for a sociable setting. Allow at least 50-60cm from the front edge of the worktop to the back of the chair, plus around 30cm of knee space for maximum comfort.

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I felt I must write to you to pass on my congratulations on the assistance with the design and supply of the units for my kitchen. My plans were developed to take into account my ‘no compromise’ view of some of the elements such as top hung doors to tall units and avoiding handles where possible. I confirmed the plans and the units were manufactured and duly delivery as arranged for me to install. The end result has been exactly what I had envisaged and expected.