Choosing the Right Kitchen Island

Kitchen Islands can come in a wonderfully wide range of shapes, sizes and styles. They can offer multiple purposes depending on the needs of the individual. They are ever so versatile and can be designed and crafted to fit in with the needs of each kitchen. You can have them long and slim, running parallel to your counters, be small and freestanding, or large and be the home to certain appliances and sink. The options for a kitchen island truly are endless, which is why so many people have them in their contemporary kitchen designs.

A kitchen island often has two parts. The first is the “working” side, and the second is the “public” side. The working side should have deep cabinets and a system for food prep. The public side should be more decorative and neat. There is a typical rule that a kitchen island should be at least 4 feet long and slightly more than 2 feet deep. At the same time, there should be enough room for people to move and work around it. However, kitchen requirements are subjective to the individual, so don’t let these rules put you off if you don’t have a large space.

The Purpose of a Kitchen Island

Islands have multiple purposes depending on the individual. How you plan to use it will dictate how it looks. In most cases, a kitchen island is used to:

  • Provide more food prep and cooking space.
  • Create a boundary between the kitchen and living space in an open plan.
  • Help direct kitchen traffic away from busy areas.
  • Provide a space for dining.
  • Provide more space for appliances such as the oven or kitchen sink.
  • Offer extra storage.
  • Create a social environment.

Think about Size

The first and most important thing is to think about the size of your kitchen island. This will depend on the size of your kitchen and how much space you are working with. Bigger kitchens will obviously be ideal for bigger islands. These can house a sink or hob while allowing room for more storage.

Though you may feel stuck for ideas if you are working with a small kitchen, there are some clever design hacks to get the most out of your space. However, you may have to compromise some of the things you want. Bear in mind that a kitchen island does not have to be large, it can be tailored to suit the space you are in as well as your needs.

Height is also something you need to consider. Make sure it is the right height for what you aim to use it for. This includes things such as seating, cooking and cleaning. Duel height is an option if you need low seating areas on one side, but a food prep area on the other.

Consider the Shape

Again, this depends on your space. While most islands are slim, straight and run parallel to the counter, there are alternatives. You could, for example, consider a curved island. These are perfect for a contemporary look. What’s more, they are ideal if you have small children as there are no sharp corners.

Think about function

What do you plan to use your kitchen Island for? Knowing the answer to this will help dictate its design. If you are looking for more storage, then you will benefit from deep drawers and cupboards. If you have plenty of cookbooks, you will probably need shelving if you wish to display them.

You then need to think about what is practical. So, if you would like a hob with an island, you need to think about ventilation and how you would go about implementing this into your overall kitchen design. Likewise, will you need to implement lighting?

Style Considerations

Kitchen islands come with plenty of potential for style. You can use this extra aspect of kitchen space to get creative with colour, texture and materials. Islands are perfect for finding a way to implement colour into a neutral kitchen. They are also easier to switch up when you fancy a change.

Playing with textures is easy when you add a kitchen island into the space. Have a look at the available materials that come in different textures, such as veined marble, veneers, granites and much more. Choose something you know will complement your other surfaces.

You can even mix the materials up to suit the functions of an eating section. For example, if one side of your island is to be used for food prep, and the other for dining, you can have a combination of both wood and glass! The material you choose will dictate the overall feel of the kitchen. For example, a rustic wooden island with a chopping board counter will give your kitchen a vintage feel. A white marble countertop, on the other hand, will create a more modern atmosphere.

Talk to Euan Begg Kitchens and Bedrooms

Regardless of the ideas, you have for your kitchen island, you will get more from the space you have by talking to a team of expert kitchen designers. Euan Begg Kitchens and Bedrooms are here to offer a bespoke service that works with your kitchen goals. Contact us to find out more.


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