Island paradise

BPL442 28 November 2019

At this chilly time of year most people are dreaming of a getaway to a warm tropical island but at The Kitchen Partners, thoughts are with more practical islands – the focal point of anyone’s kitchen

If you are planning a new kitchen in 2020 and are fortunate enough to have the space for an island, do not overlook its importance in the overall design. Once you’ve established the role the island will play then the rest of the design will fall into place.  Below are some key things to consider when thinking about how an island can work for you:

1. What’s the main purpose of the island? Think about how the island will work in your new kitchen and what its main function will be. Most islands have an area for cooking and an area devoted to eating so decide what your priorities are. If you want the island to be your main cooking zone you will need to consider the amount of space you need. If the emphasis is more as a casual eating space then seating should be the priority.

2. What appliances do you need in your kitchen island? If you conclude that it is going to be primarily an entertaining space then keep it free of appliances such as hobs and sinks. Consider a wine cooler as this will not only enhance its entertaining credentials, but also take the pressure off the main fridge. 

If you’ve decided you want to integrate appliances into your kitchen island, you need to plan for function as well as location. If you want your hob on the island you’ll need to think about where to position it in relation to the seating to avoid any safety issues. You’ll also need to think about extraction – options include ceiling extractors, extractors integrated into the hob, downdraft extractors and those disguised as a fancy pendant light.

Sinks on the island is a contentious subject! If it’s going to be the main sink then imagine the piles of dirty and/or clean dishes piled up on the focal point of your new kitchen…

3. How much storage do you need? A lot of this depends on your kitchen layout. If you have space for a lot of cabinetry in the kitchen, island storage may not be a priority and if this is to be your main prep area other appliances may have to come first. 

Typically, you’ll need a minimum of one large drawer (900–1200mm) unit with at least one shallow drawer for cutlery and utensils. If there’s space, a pull-out bin unit is a must, with sections for general waste and recycling. Also think about having sockets on the island both on the cooking side and the seating side.

4. Final Thoughts… don’t forget bars stools, how many and what colour? Pendant lights and under-counter strip lighting can give you many options for mood-lighting your kitchen. Wooden breakfast bars add some contrast and soften the look of a solid worktop.

The Kitchen Partners
102 Whiteladies Road
Bristol BS8 2QY

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