Know it all! The Ultimate Guide to the Kitchen Island
What is a Kitchen Island?
A kitchen island is a free-standing cabinet or shelving unit that enhances the functionality of your kitchen. It provides both additional preparation area and storage space. It can have a work surface and storage only, or include appliances, a sink and even seating for a breakfast bar.
The look and size of an island can be customised to suit the style of your kitchen. Choose matching finishes to create a seamless look. Or, choose contrasting ones to making your island the star of the room. Maximising both storage space and property value with the help of an island is a worthwhile investment. Whether you want a customized unit or craft a DIY-island, we have all the tips you’ll need.
Takes up space –You can’t squeeze an island in any kitchen. If the room doesn’t allow it, adding an island will do more harm than good. Have a look at these great kitchen design ideas for inspiration and advice.
Can be costly – Custom-built islands tend to be a sizeable investment, especially if it has extras like plumbing and electric ports.
Boxed-in – Because of incorrect placement, an island can seriously disrupt the flow of a kitchen.
Disrupt work triangle – A traditional kitchen work triangle includes the stove, sink and fridge. An island in the middle of this triangle can block this perfect flow, thereby making your kitchen less user-friendly.
Increased cleaning – More space means more surfaces to clean. Be prepared for a little more effort when it comes to keeping your kitchen neat and tidy. Luckily, a kitchen island with a sink can assist with the process.
The difference between a kitchen island, kitchen peninsula and a kitchen table
The main difference between a kitchen island vs kitchen peninsula, is the position. Both choices give you more prep area and storage. But while an island is freestanding, a peninsula juts out from the wall or adjacent cabinetry.
Kitchen tables have traditionally also stood in as extra prep space. Tables are lower than countertops, so they are not the ideal solution as an extra standing work surface. They can provide a seated work area though. This is especially great where kids or persons with disabilities are concerned.
Yes, you can have a mobile kitchen island! But is it the best option for your home? It is important to look at the pros and cons of a fixed and mobile island as well as your kitchen design. Look at the latest trends for modern kitchens to help you decide. And make sure that it fits your budget, home and lifestyle before choosing.
But don’t be overwhelmed by all the options out there! Here are our recent kitchen island projects for inspiration.
Choose a fixed kitchen island
if you have the space
and if you are confident that you can afford the investment.
Because a fixed island can hold a prep bowl, cooktop, work surface and appliances, it can add to the value of your home.
A fixed island with seating also increases the functionality of your kitchen by adding space for homework, socializing and mealtimes.
Choose a movable kitchen island cart when you’re short on space or need your extra countertop to vanish at a moment’s notice. A cart could also be a short-term quick fix that offers extra storage.
An island cart can be moved to another room or even outside when you are entertaining, making it a very practical addition to your home.
How much does a kitchen island cost?
Kitchen island costs range from €80 – € 8000+. The price depends on the type of island, finishes and the extras you choose. Electrical ports, plumbing, special drawers and built-in appliances are among the few additions that add to the cost of an island.
A substitute island like a kitchen cart is a highly cost-effective solution and can cost less than €80.Custom-designed and built islands start from €1000 while the DIY kitchen island can put you back €200 – €500.
Even the tiniest of kitchens can fit a mini kitchen island. Decide what you want from your island, and then consider the space you have available. You don’t want additional storage- or work space at the cost of feeling boxed in.
Stick to a slim kitchen island for a small kitchen but choose a peninsula if the room is too narrow. If your kitchen is too tiny, it is better to choose a kitchen cart with open storage space because you can move as necessary.
Luckily, finding ideas for your small kitchen should not prove to be too difficult. There are loads of sites that have inspiration and kitchen island solutions for small kitchens.
Space and function will determine the cost and process of your kitchen island project, but there is an island for every buidget! Make an island by reusing existing cabinets, buying off-the-shelf units, or by building from scratch.
Check out this video by Wickes to give you an idea of the kitchen island DIYprocess.
If you are making a kitchen island on your own, have a look at the below pointers to help you to get started:
Carefully measure your kitchen because you will need to determine the optimal size of your island. Allow a passage of at least 1m (1.2m for drawers and appliances like dishwashers and ovens to open.)
Use masking tape to plot a template on the floor and adjust the size as necessary.
An island is perfect for a garbage bin, especially if the island is your main work surface. Have a hidden bin in a drawer underneath to keep it out of sight and smell. You can even add a disposal shute with a lid to the countertop. This will make collecting composting kitchen scraps a breeze!
If the area is big enough, you can also allow for seating. Both a kitchen island stool and a bench can be used to create a breakfast area. Large U-shaped or L-shaped islands offer many surfaces at varying heights, which can be used for different tasks. It also works really well as a casual alternative to a dining table.
The design of your island provides the perfect opportunity to have hidden storage. Keep your kitchen clutter-free by hiding small appliances as well as bulky utensils in deep drawers. Open ends can be used to store cookbooks or even to display that favourite bowl or serving dish.
The height of the island is perfect for an under-counter microwave or drinks fridge – which works great especially if you have kids! Designing kitchens with kids in mind may be tricky at first, but it is worth the extra effort.
Keep your kitchen slick and super practical with seats that tuck underneath the island after meals. Or make the most of your work surfaces by adding additional ones that slide into the island when you don’t need them.
Install hooks, rails and other useful fittings to get all the little things out of the way. A recessed panel underneath the top will ensure that everything stays within reach while out of sight.
Once you have your kitchen island basics sorted you can move on to the most fun part. Choose your colours, décor and lighting to create a beautiful island focal in your kitchen
If you don’t know where to start with designing a kitchen island, we’d love to help! Whether you want a Shaker, hand-painted or in-frame kitchen island; let us take care of all the details. Simply contact us or visit our showroom to chat with us about your dream kitchen!