Design focus – Kitchen Islands
The kitchen island has become a staple feature in kitchen design. It provides extra storage, extra food preparation space and offers a focal point in the room for family and friends to gather and socialise. Believe it or not, the kitchen island has been around since the 1930’s influenced by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, however it wasn’t until the 80’s that kitchen islands became mainstream. Today, this ‘social stage’, is considered an essential addition to the kitchen, especially when it comes to open-plan living or where kitchens and dining rooms merge. This also means that designs and innovations have come a long way to cater for the modern home. We take a look at some of the options available.
Raising the bar
If you are looking to incorporate seating into your island, the integration of a circular raised breakfast bar provides the ideal solution. This frees up space from the main part of the island while providing a defined zone for dining. This particular example below shows how the two parts of the island connect using the same material – anthracite oak. The curved cone worktop extension gives the island a unique shape adding a softness to the design at the same time as providing additional work surface.
It’s all about ‘u’
If you love showing off your culinary skills and like an audience while you chop and cook, then opt for a u-shaped kitchen island. Think about integrating a hob in the centre and other appliances to make it work functionally for you. The island in this kitchen has been strategically placed so the host can cook, while guests sit around without obstructing the preparation area. The host can also enjoy the views of the garden from their position behind the island.
Creating distinct zones on your island is a great way to break up the workspace and allows you to mix different materials. In the kitchen below, the sweeping, teardrop shaped island has a three tiered top, using an aubergine glass breakfast bar to create a dining area, white worktop for food preparation, as well as a singular timber circular worktop overlay which can be used to display food and drink or as an additional space to prepare food.
The next big thing rising in popularity with islands is the addition of the booth. Integrated at the end or corner of an island, a booth provides a stylish and cosy addition to the kitchen. Less formal than your dining area, a booth makes a great option for relaxing and socialising, with the ability to introduce new textures into the mix.
Dependent on the shape of your room and how you intend to use it, go for a large island as the main focal point of the room where you can rustle up a feast. Large islands like this one pictured have extensive worktop space even after integrating a sink and hob. There is also plenty of space for the homeowners and guests to socialise. Additionally, the sheer size of the island allows for ample storage underneath, and where worktops would usually be situated on cabinets against the wall, the owners have opted for floor to ceiling doors to optimise storage and to mimic the oversized island.
Show it off
Kitchen islands provide great storage, however you might not want all your storage solutions to be hidden away. Slatted shelves at one end of your island are both decorative and handy, letting you show off your wares, whether it’s your everyday cookbooks, baskets, ornaments or potted plants.