One of the most in demand kitchen layouts, there are many benefits to an island kitchen. With an island as its centrepiece, the space instantly becomes a flexible, multifunctional room that can be used for cooking, dining, entertaining, relaxing and even home working if needs be. What’s more, a kitchen island can provide plenty of extra storage and worksurface, too.
Plan an Island to Suit You
At its most basic, a kitchen island can be used as a room divider, keeping the cooking area safely to one side. This is ideal for families with young children, as it prevents little ones from coming into close contact with the cooker, oven and hob. Add a sink and tap, including a boiling water tap to save energy and time, and you have the perfect spot for rinsing and preparing ingredients as well as making a tea or coffee when it’s time to relax. Bauformat’s London 462 / Porto S 390-309 and Siena 147 / Amsterdam 557-284 collections show how even the simplest of designs can offer so much more with a kitchen island.
Store and Order
Kitchen islands are great for adding extra storage into the kitchen. You can have concealed cupboards and drawers to keep everything clutter-free or go for a glazed cabinet door or open shelving if you prefer quick and easy access to everyday items. The glass-fronted cupboards in the island of Bauformat’s Medina 641-448 range can also be co-ordinated with matching fronts on a dresser-style unit that provides even more storage. A mix of open and closed storage is great for displaying favourite ceramics, glassware and cookware while also keeping loose items such as utensils, crockery and knives safely stored away. The Cambridge S 550-249 and 248 is a wonderful example of this.
Dine in style
By extending the worksurface overhang and adding a couple of bar stools underneath, an island becomes an instant breakfast bar for casual dining. As you can see with Bauformat’s Porto S 390-308 collection, it’s a simple add-on that is ideal for kitchen-diners and family kitchens. Another option is to mix and match with two different worktop materials on the island to create a raised breakfast bar to one side. Bauformat’s Baku 239 demonstrates this perfectly with a chunky, stone-effect surface that appears to float above the island.
Island Cooking Zone
Take a kitchen island, add a hob, built-in oven, fridge drawers and dishwasher and you have an all-in-one monobloc mini kitchen that provides everything you need to prepare family meals or entertain friends. For energy efficiency and safety, a flush-fit induction hob is the perfect choice, as it’s the pan that heats up rather than the hob, ensuring anyone sitting on the other side of the island is safe from harm. The latest designs feature integrated extraction, so there’s no need to worry about having an overhead ceiling extractor installed at the same time. Another idea is to have a wine cabinet fitted into the island. This is convenient for enjoying a glass of wine with your partner or guests while you get on with the cooking.
While islands are highly desirable kitchen features, you need sufficient space around it for it be functional rather than impede use of the kitchen. There are plenty of compact island designs to choose from- or even peninsulas –but for an island the general rule of thumb is to ensure a minimum of 1m space around it on all sides. This allows you to open all opposing cupboard and cabinet doors and drawers easily, as well as any appliance doors.
The Benefits of Island Kitchens
· Kitchen islands are great for family kitchens, as they can keep all the cooking appliances safely to one side, allowing little ones to roam free on the other. They are also ideal for children to sit at while doing their homework after school.
Kitchen islands provide additional worksurface and storage space, enhancing your kitchen’s usability.
· Islands are perfect for casual dining and coffee with friends. Simply add a couple of bar stools or create more of a tabletop surface by extending the worktop overhang to one side.
· A kitchen island can provide the perfect room divider in an open-plan scheme, zoning areas for cooking, dining and relaxing.
· For those who enjoy entertaining, an island instantly turns the kitchen into a sociable space where guests can sit and chat while you carry on with the food prep and cooking.
· Turn your island into a multifunctional centrepiece with a built-in extractor hob, oven, sink, tap, dishwasher, fridge drawers and wine cabinet.