If you have the space for it, a kitchen island is an excellent feature for your new kitchen. Offering a great compromise between functionality and sociability an island unit allows you to chat to the rest of your family while having easy access to the kitchen and the rest of the room.
With an increase in families extending the back of their homes into multi-purpose spaces bespoke kitchen islands are rising in popularity. And it doesn’t take an architect to see why this has happened.
It really doesn’t matter how big the room is, to begin with – there’s never enough space in the kitchen for everything. Adding an island allows you to enjoy a large counter surface – with no overhanging wall cupboards or shelves to shade your work. Modern island units incorporate power bars and can even have the sink or hob set into them to allow you to prepare meals in comfort. It will enable you to prepare food while looking into the room – rather than with your back turned to it – which can be much more practical if you have children or frequently have friends round.
When all that counter space isn’t in use as a food preparation area, it can double as a breakfast bar, or you could opt for a two-height island which includes table height as well as worktop height surfaces. You, therefore, gain floor space compared to having a free-standing table.
Think of all the different ways you will use those seats:
- chatting to guests while you prepare an informal lunch
- helping children with homework while keeping an eye on their tea
- somewhere for Granny (or Grandpa) to sit at Christmas so they can help with the veg
- a place to grab a quick coffee and cake and admire your sparkling clean kitchen
Three areas in a kitchen get the most use – the fridge, the sink and the cooker. Adding an island, (don’t forget there’s no reason utilities can’t be installed on an island unit) allows you to create a better “work triangle”. By adding an extra area to the design, you can ensure that teenage kids won’t be tripping over you when they raid the fridge, and you’ll have plenty of space when roping in the family to help prepare Christmas dinner or food for other celebrations.
All that space under your island isn’t going to waste either – you can fit cupboards and appliances there as quickly as you can against the wall. Double width units can be accessed from either side – improving your ability to find things at the back of the cupboard. The space above can be left open for an airy feel, or you can make a feature of a cooker hood or pan rack and have them suspended above. The only limit is your imagination!
Probably the biggest reason that islands are popular is not functional at all – they simply look brilliant. No other piece of furniture, no other fixture or fitting has the same ability to both clearly mark the edge of the “kitchen” and yet allow the food preparation area to merge into the rest of the room. Many modern kitchens are part of large multi-purpose rooms used as a daily living, dining and socialising space – even flowing into the garden with trifold doors pushed open. A kitchen island makes it clear where the kitchen is while allowing those working in the kitchen to be part of the rest of the activity in the room. With all these plus points it’s easy to see why they are so popular.
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