CAN I FIT AN ISLAND INTO MY KITCHEN?
HOW MUCH SPACE DO YOU NEED AROUND A KITCHEN ISLAND?
Now, when it comes to rules about dimensions we often say there's no right or wrong, go with what works for you in your space. But, when it comes to designing a kitchen island and the ideal space needed around a kitchen island, that isn't a rule we like to play fast and loose with. A kitchen island cost isn't cheap, and there's zero point in adding one to your kitchen if you don't have the right amount of room to do so. In order for an island to be a practical addition to your kitchen, you need to be able to actually move around it. And move around it easily. So, we know all you small kitchen owners want to know, what is the minimum space needed around a kitchen island?
'Just because a space is small doesn't mean that a kitchen island won't work! Depending on the size of the space, there are a few basic adjustments that can be made to a traditional island in order to make room for it.' suggests Magnus Nilsson, Lead Designer, Blakes London.
Tom Howley Designer, Emily Rumble adds, 'The dimensions of your kitchen island will always be influenced by the size and layout of your kitchen. The first thing I do when I start to design a kitchen island is plot out the depth of the cabinetry. I’ll then look at the walkways between the cabinetry and where the proposed island will be.' 'I consider what is happening in each walkway, such as placements of sinks, fridges and hobs and the amount of space required to open doors. If it is a high-traffic area, I recommend making the island slightly smaller – this makes the whole space feel much more comfortable and spacious.'
As well as the different functions of your space, you also need to consider how many people are going to be using it. Going for a smaller area around your island is all well and good if you are the only person who cooks in the space. But if you have a large family, or like to host so want the island to be more of a social hub, you want that surrounding space to be fairly substantial. 'When it comes to minimum clearance between work areas then consider how many cooks will use the space, user safety, as well as ensuring a clear opening to accommodate the swing angle of cupboard doors and drawers.' explains Simon Bodsworth, Managing Director at Daval. 'The recommended distance for a single-cook kitchen should be no less than 39", but if your kitchen caters for an entire family then you’ll need to factor in more free space so an extra 7"-11" will increase ergonomics massively and ensure there is room to cook and maneuver around the island more easily.'
HOW SMALL CAN A KITCHEN ISLAND BE?
So now we're clear on the ideal amount of space around an island, what about the size of the island itself? If you are tight on space and want to add a small island, how small can you go and still add something functional to your kitchen? 'The smallest kitchen island I’d recommend is 900mm (35") wide by 1500mm to 59"-90" long,' explains Charlie Smallbone of Ledbury Studio. 'But when considering the dimensions of your island, keep in mind that it should be in proportion to the overall size of your space. Don’t go too big or too small or your island will look disproportionate. And don’t try to squeeze in an island where there simply isn’t space (regardless of how much you want one). It won't look right, and it will make your kitchen feel very cramped, particularly if more than one person is trying to use it at a time.'