Functionality is key in planning or designing a kitchen island to eat at.
Smaller kitchens should design the island with chairs that slide under the island space in order to maximise space when not dining. The surface material of the island should also be multi-functional as the island will likely be used for other purposes such as food prep or cooking using a material such as Corian or Silestone. Taller island tables will also add space to a smaller kitchen
Larger kitchens can make the island a central hub in the kitchen that is only ever used for dining and using the other kitchen surfaces for food prep and cooking. You can also add an integrated extendable island that can seat more people for parties or entertaining.
If your hob is designed into your kitchen island then there are a few options for extraction. First is to have an overhead extractor hanging above the island.
A more advanced option would be a built in retractable extractor that can be built into the kitchen island. At the touch of a button the extractor emerges from the island surface and draws unwanted smells and steam through a downpipe into the floor. This option keeps the ceiling clear for rooflights or ceiling lighting and creates a much more minimal kitchen design.
The most common option for kitchen lighting is recessed lighting, which is best for kitchens with standard height ceilings. However many people are now swaying to the option of pendant lighting, which hang from the ceiling over the kitchen island creating a unique design to the kitchen lighting.
If your kitchen is open plan you should consider smart lighting controls that allow you pre-program lighting ‘themes’ and sectional lighting. You can have a lighting theme for cooking, relaxing, background lighting or dining at your kitchen island.
Defining the function, location and size of the island
The function of a kitchen island will depend on the size and shape of your kitchen as well as how you like to use your kitchen. It can be used for kitchen dining, food preparation, cooking or a mixture of all!
The size of your kitchen island will depend on the space you have available. Kitchen designers will look at the overall space, also identify where doors are, what the likely movement path through the kitchen will be and the location of major appliances before deciding on the layout of the kitchen and the island.
· Smaller kitchens will likely benefit from a taller and narrower kitchen island whereas larger kitchen spaces can be more expansive.
· Some home owners will opt to have their kitchen island close to any rear patio or bi folding doors to create the feeling of cooking outside when the weather is warm.
· Due to modern open plan living spaces it will also be important to integrate power points into your kitchen island for phone chargers, laptop chargers and appliances. These can be retractable and pop out of the kitchen island surface
· Phone charging can be done directly from the kitchen surface with new cordless charging technology that can be integrated into Corian kitchen surfaces – perfect for a clean and minimal kitchen design.
A successful kitchen island will be designed as part of a full kitchen to ensure it works well with your space.
Using the island in a kitchen as storage is a real opportunity to gain additional space in your kitchen
This can be done by adding a shallow cabinet at the end of island to store pans or appliances, adding draws to the sides can allow for additional storage in other areas of the kitchen. Having a rounded end to your island are great to put in a Le Mans style sliding corner unit where pans can be stored on. Using this space for storage is a great way to give the kitchen additional storage.