These days, it seems like almost every kitchen you see features a kitchen island. And so, naturally, if you’re considering updating your space, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. As kitchens have become increasingly versatile, social places, our needs have changed. Thus, the must-have focal point of the modern home, the kitchen island, was born. Kitchen islands offer many advantages, including providing extra storage, work surfaces, and even space for appliances and informal seating. They make a wonderful addition to many kitchens. However, they aren’t necessarily for everyone. Below you’ll find an honest guide to kitchen islands and their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide whether you should consider incorporating one into your new design.

The Benefits Of Having A Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands can offer lots of great benefits. Here are seven of the key advantages…

Gain Extra Worktop Space

Striking the right balance between worktops and storage space can be tricky. While storage is a top priority for many, no one enjoys trying to prepare meals on a cramped section of worktop squeezed between your sink and your hob. Kitchen islands can help you gain worktop space. They give you the freedom to create an additional self-contained workspace rather than limiting you purely to using wall units. Introducing an extra work area may even enable you to sacrifice worktop space elsewhere in your kitchen in favour of spacious tall cupboards.

And More Storage!

Kitchen islands also provide plenty of additional storage. They make the perfect place to install deep drawers for cutlery and crockery, allowing you to prepare food and serve meals with ease. They also offer a great spot to introduce decorative storage like shelves or alcoves. Displaying your favourite recipe book and ornaments is a lovely way to add character and personality to your kitchen.

You Can Install Appliances

Installing appliances like a sink or hob on your island can help you achieve a more practical working triangle. Alternatively, if you enjoy cooking as a family or often find yourself queuing for the sink, you might benefit from installing an additional prep sink. It’s certainly worth adding plug sockets to your island should you need to charge your phone or use small appliances. There are plenty of ways to personalise your island to maximise your space and complement your individual needs.

They’re Great For Entertaining

From catching up over a cup of coffee to hosting family gatherings, kitchens provide a lovely cosy and laid-back setting for social occasions. However, entertaining your guests while cooking or preparing drinks can be tricky. Especially when visitors inadvertently block your coffee cupboard or get in the way of your fridge. A kitchen island makes an excellent focal point for guests to gather around without getting under your feet. If you enjoy relaxing and socialising in your kitchen, introducing seating to your island could take your space to the next level. Casual bar stools are ideal whether you’re looking forward to enjoying breakfast with your partner or a glass of wine with friends.

Improve Your Layout

As well as preventing guests and family members from traipsing through your space and interrupting cooking, a kitchen island can significantly improve your workflow. Creating an arrangement like a traditional galley kitchen, kitchen islands can help ensure everything you need is within easy reach, establishing an ergonomic and efficient layout.

Peninsulas Can Be Great For Smaller Spaces

If you don’t have room for a kitchen island, why not consider a peninsula? They can be added to the end of a single run of cabinets or an L-shaped kitchen to enhance your layout and provide that all-important extra worktop and storage space.

Kitchen Islands Look Stunning!

Kitchen islands don’t just offer a host of great practical benefits. They also look fantastic! Whether you choose to elevate your island with a contrasting finish, statement worktop, or eye-catching lighting scheme, a dramatic island can bring a magnificent presence to your kitchen.

Things To Consider When Deciding On A Kitchen Island

While kitchen islands offer lots of fantastic benefits, they can take up a lot of valuable space. Below are some things to consider before rushing to incorporate an island into your design.

Have You Got Space For A Dining Table?

While a breakfast bar might make a lovely spot to enjoy a light lunch or casual drinks, there’s no substitute for a traditional dining table. Dining tables offer an excellent place to get together as a family and catch up over a proper meal. They can also double up as an arts and crafts space or somewhere to prepare food. If installing a kitchen island means sacrificing your dining table, you might want to think twice about whether that’s the right decision for you and your family.

Installing Appliances On An Island Isn’t Always Simple

Installing appliances on your island can be complicated and costly. For example, fitting a sink involves laying pipes under your floor, and ventilating a hob could mean incorporating ducting into your ceiling or below your floor. While an all-singing, all-dancing island will make for an impressive and practical centrepiece, you’ll need to ensure it works with your property and your budget first. We recommend discussing your plans with your kitchen designer before making a firm decision.

Could An Island Get In The Way?

As a rule, you should leave at least a meter clearance all the way around your island to ensure you have space to move around freely. This leaves room to open cupboards, dishwashers, and fridges without blocking any walkways. The island itself should be at least four feet wide and a couple of feet deep. Otherwise you won’t have enough space to prepare or serve food. If your island is too small or you don’t have enough room to move around it, it will probably end up getting in your way. You might find a peninsula or a portable island work better.

Kitchen islands can make a wonderful addition to modern living. And with so many ways to customise your design, you’re sure to find something that enhances your lifestyle and elevates your home. However, kitchen islands aren’t for everyone. There are plenty of other practical and stylish solutions to help you make the most of your space. To discuss your project with our friendly expert team, please call us on 0115 9308408 or email [email protected].