Central to over three quarters of kitchen designs is the island. Whether it is a small transitional link to the living room in an open plan kitchen, or a large statement piece of furniture, the kitchen island is the heart of the kitchen and the home.
Following the pandemic, the kitchen has transformed into a place where food is prepared and socialising takes place, homework is done and home offices created, and above all it is the place to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. Award winning kitchen designers Kitchens International say the kitchen island has to be a multi-performance design to suit whatever activity or time of day.
On one side it will commonly be a major storage facility where long linear drawers can house pans, crockery and cooking ingredients. Flip to the other side where the breakfast bar or banqueting seating will provide the ‘social’ element of the kitchen. On trend is often a change in cabinet material for this function to provide a warmer style with timber finishes becoming popular.
As bar stools become more comfy padded chairs the social side of the island is the perfect place for working, chatting or simply interacting with those preparing food.
Gone are bulky overhead extractors to take away odours and very popular is downdraft extraction either incorporated into the hob or as a pop up. Most hobs are now located on the island as cooking becomes a more visual and social activity rather than functional.
If space permits a small prep sink is perfectly located on the island, complete with a boiling water tap to provide instant hot drinks or water for boiling veg, pasta etc. Small wine fridges are sneaking into the island too to enhance social times. Or go one step further and install a counter top cooler on the island for a really luxurious addition.
As you’d expect from such a key part of furniture in the home, the shape of islands has evolved. Curves, double connecting islands, floating islands and everything in between help make this vital piece of kitchen design steal the limelight. Consider accent lighting under the island to enhance its beauty and allow for changing the mood of the kitchen with different colours.
Activity space round the island is a key consideration as everyone must be able to move around freely. A good kitchen designer will look at all these aspects and design the island that works best with you and your family’s lifestyle.
Consider all these design features when designing your home centrepiece!