Islands look great, and they turn kitchens from a place of preparation, to a space for entertainment. But some thought has to go into the island to make sure that it works in your space. Let’s take a look at the two most important points in this regard: getting the layout of the island and kitchen to work, and the design too.

Layout

Unfortunately, not all kitchens are large enough for an island, but you might be surprised at what you can squeeze in with the right consideration. The main worry will be taking up floor space. If you place a large island in the centre of the kitchen when there isn’t quite enough space, you can make things feel really cramped, and it’ll be awkward to prepare food. This is especially true if you have fittings like the range cooker and sink on opposite sides of the kitchen. You might find yourself having to go right round the island instead of across the floor. It might seem like a minor thing, but it could be irritating once in place.

The first rule then, is that you must make sure that you’ve got the space. Drawing out diagrams that show where the island might sit is one half of the job, but there’s no substitute for marking out where the island would be on the kitchen floor (which can be done easily with sheets of paper). This will really help to visualise how the space will be taken up. Alternatively, there are freely available 3D drawing programs and kitchen design apps that will help you figure out if an island will work, and what size it should be.

Always remember that you don’t necessarily have to go with a full island in the centre of the room either. You can create an island that extends out of one of the pre-existing worktops. This may be more suitable if space is at a premium.

Design

For the best look, it’s important that the island matches the rest of the decor. It is possible to have an island that has a different design to the cupboards and worktops, but this will take the eye of a professional designer, so the easiest thing to do is always blend everything together. This will be fairly straightforward if you’re renovating the whole kitchen, because you’ll be able to specify the whole thing with the same materials and colours from the outset.

If you’re adding an island as a retrofit, then things might be a little trickier. If your kitchen isn’t too old, then you may be able to easily source the same worktops, wood and fittings from wherever the kitchen was purchased from. If you’re having to start from scratch, then you’ll want to match things as close as you can get, using a similar colour palette, materials, fixtures and fittings.

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