Kitchen trends come and go but one that’s been popular for years, and shows no sign of fading, is the kitchen island. The design might vary from scheme to scheme but the elements that give it across the board appeal remain the same. Even if your room is on the compact size, it’s worth making space for one of these marvellous multi-functional units. Here are some of the reasons for adding an island to your kitchen.
Plenty of prep space
While main runs of kitchen cabinetry afford some worktop room, chances are if you have wall cabinets or small appliances out on display, it’s a bit limited. Islands afford a much greater area of free-flowing space to prepare food, and, if you add a sink or hob to your workstation, to wash and cook, too. As well as having extra space, you can make it work harder by including several types of worktop, such as a slab of granite or marble for keeping pastry cool while you’re rolling it out or a chopping block in a different material for everyday slicing and dicing. Be sure not to make your kitchen island too large, though – you need to be able to reach the centre of it comfortably.
Image source: 1909
Kitchens tend to generate clutter (during a recent clear-out I found the beginnings of a serious garlic crusher collection), so the ability of kitchen islands to swallow it all is a boon. Depending on what style of kitchen island you’re choosing, you can vary your storage according to your needs. Wine racks, open shelving and curved drum cupboards turn your storage into an additional design feature or you can opt for deep full-extension drawers for pans, crockery and more, which are easier to access than traditional cupboards. Plus, if you don’t want to break up a sleek modern island with multiple lines but still have lots of smaller items to store, you can choose hidden pull-outs within larger drawers.
Image source: Leicht UK
Make a design statement
Practical considerations aside, kitchen islands create an opportunity to add some flair to your kitchen. Striking colour, sleek cladding materials or a large swathe of beautifully mottled stone worktop can all turn your kitchen island into something a bit special, making it a focal point of the room with minimal effort. While really bright colour may be only for the bravest, in a large room it can be a simple way of bringing a classic painted scheme to life – and can be repainted if you fancy a change.
Image source: Bryan Turner
Possibly the most persuasive reason for kitchen islands is that they allow you to chat to family and friends, or keep an eye on the kids, as you cook. Especially useful in an open-plan room, a central unit can face out into the space, so instead of preparing meals while gazing at solid walls, you can be part of the conversation. Add a breakfast bar or a worktop overhang and you’ll find that guests and the rest of the family will gravitate towards it, whether for casual dining, relaxed Sunday brunches or as a place to do homework. You may even find them offering to give you a helping hand with dinner or pour you a glass of wine – which is surely the best possible reason for installing a kitchen island.
Image source: Masterclass
Decided you need a kitchen island in your life? Post a job on Rated People in our kitchen specialist category to receive quotes from our qualified and trusted tradesmen.