Before you start designing a kitchen island, you need to decide on key parameters, including size, style, and shape. The islands often become the center of home culinary theater. They act as a natural divider, connecting the kitchen to another space, the dining or living room.
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Do you need an island?
The kitchen island creates more seating for friends and family, as well as extra storage space. Before you start planning, you need to calculate the cost (materials can be expensive), anticipate the possible lack of space in narrow kitchens, and how to place appliances (some kitchen islands require special wiring and plumbing). Talk to a professional installer to see if an island is a good idea for your home.
Decide on a goal
If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, it’s a good idea to first decide on the purpose of your island. Whether you want an extra serving space or a dining area (or for kids to do their homework), make sure you think carefully about how this addition will be used. Top tip: Keep this in mind throughout the planning process. If you are working with a compact space, it is better to consider narrow freestanding units. If you are lucky with a large kitchen, it is easy to place bar stools for the dining area.
One important factor to consider is functionality, which will inevitably influence the design. Is seating required, will a breakfast bar be planned, or is it better to use banquet seating?
According to the planners, the desired distance between built-in cabinets and the island is approximately 1200mm, although additional space may be required in high-traffic areas (eg around the stove). Kitchen designers advise that kitchen islands be at least 1000mm wide to be safe and practical. Islands that are too large are not always the most practical solution, as you need to be able to reach the middle while cooking. Therefore, the distance between the edges is not recommended to be more than 1400 mm.
Bar counters are typically built into kitchen islands or peninsula layouts to create a laid-back, informal space. A breakfast counter is great if you have a small kitchen as it doesn’t take up much space.
Choose your surface material carefully
It is important to decide which surface to use for the kitchen island. Marble is also suitable for traditional kitchens where countertops are treated with care, while quartz and granite, used together, look good when creating a seamless finish. Large island tops may require splicing, so it’s possible to experiment with designs and choose additional material, color, or thickness. Adding wooden elements such as cutting boards to the breakfast bar can be a good way to zone the island as well as camouflage the joints.
Consider storage space
One of the biggest benefits of a kitchen island is the extra storage space. Whether it’s roomy cabinets or a wine cooler, don’t forget to think about how you can use this integrated system wisely.
Choose an unusual shape
Don’t be afraid to go against established rules and opt for something less traditional. For example, you can use a kitchen island with different levels, they are great for family cooking, and the design itself adds intrigue.
Mobile kitchen island
A movable freestanding island that can be used as a convenient work desk and dining table is perfect for those who need furniture that doubles as a mobile space divider. If necessary, it can be moved away to make room for entertainment.
Leave enough space for cooking
An island is a great addition to any kitchen that needs a practical center. If you plan to use it for cooking, make sure you have enough countertop space. Potted plants and cookbooks will give it a pretty look, but they will quickly take up surface space, especially if you have a lot of kitchen gadgets.
Zone your space
Incorporating an island or breakfast bar into your kitchen design also helps create a divider between the kitchen and living space. This will help define areas of the room without blocking out the kitchen or obstructing the rest of the room.
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