Available in a huge range of shapes and sizes, a bespoke island serves many purposes, making it a great addition to your kitchen. It’s also perfect for those homeowners wanting to add a personal twist to things as it can be designed to suit your aesthetic and space. Here we explore the versatility, purposes, benefits, and any potential issues of a kitchen island so you can determine whether it’s right for your home.
Do you have space for a bespoke kitchen island?
Firstly, you need to assess whether there is actually enough space to fit a kitchen island comfortably. One that is too large might make a space feel cramped, obstructing movement and accessibility, while one that’s too small could be pointless as it won’t be nearly as lovely or luxurious as you imagined. We recommend having at least a metre of space around an island so you can easily open cupboard doors, use appliances, and comfortably walk around. There also needs to be enough space to push back chairs if you want the island to function as a seating area.
What is the purpose of your bespoke kitchen island?
The purpose of your bespoke kitchen island determines the shape and size, as well as the appliances, plug points, and seating options you can include, so it’s crucial to think these things through when planning your layout. Kitchen islands don’t just have to be square, and can be designed in all shapes and sizes—you may even want a curved ‘s’ or a round shaped one.
A place to cook
A bespoke kitchen island provides additional countertop space which is ideal for both preparing and serving food and drinks for your family and friends. However, to do this, you need to make sure you have all the plumbing and electricity requirements for appliances like your prep sink, oven, and wine fridge.
Don’t be tempted to overcrowd your kitchen island, and leave at least enough space for more than one person to work comfortably at a time if necessary, which is essential for busy occasions like Christmas.
If your island faces the dining area, make sure the hob and all other appliances are on the working kitchen side to ensure the cooking area is contained. And if you’re planning to have a seating area on the opposite side of the island, consider using an induction hob (especially if you have young children). This is safer than a gas cooker as it has no naked flame and also makes the island look much more streamlined.
A place to gather
A kitchen island can be a lovely place to socialise with family and friends. Maybe you’re envisioning a space to enjoy food and drink with friends, or have it be the perfect spot for your children to do their homework or help with preparing dinner.
If you want a relaxing seating area for casual meals, consider a smaller island base with a work surface overhang on one or more of the sides, allowing people to sit comfortably. You could also attach a lower dining table, which is ideal for small kitchens as it means you don’t need a bulky dining table and chairs. However, do make sure there’s always enough space for people to sit back from the island without obstructing the walkways.
A place to work
Kitchens are no longer just for eating and socialising, but working too. If you want your island to double up as a desk for your home office, you need to make sure it’s designed with your technology in mind, whether that’s your phone, tablet, or laptop.
Easily accessible plug sockets with built-in USB chargers are a good idea, and if you’re worried about the wires looking messy, you can conceal these inside dedicated drawers or cupboards designed specifically to hold tablets and phones while they are charging. Another option is to include integrated wireless charging points on your countertops. For work purposes, you need to consider suitable seating and lighting to suit your needs. For example, if your kitchen island is doubling up as a workspace you may need a chair with a supportive back rather than a stool.
Extra storage space
A kitchen island can increase its functionality by offering a variety of storage options that are customised to fit your space. As well as being somewhere to store appliances, pots, and pans, you could include drawer inserts to store stationery, shelves for cookbooks, or have somewhere for your children to keep games. Meanwhile, run-end storage is fantastic for your spices and condiments, and you could even include a built-in drinks cupboard or wine fridge for entertaining guests.
Possible drawbacks of having a kitchen island
- Disruption of room flow if the island interrupts the space instead of complementing it
- Problems with appliance placement if your island doesn’t include electricity and plumbing parts
- Space constrictions in small kitchens
Unless you have any of the above worries or issues, a bespoke kitchen island is definitely worth investing in. What’s more, at Harvey Jones our bespoke kitchens are designed to last and can be repainted at any time, should you want to upgrade your kitchen again. By choosing a bespoke island, your personal designer will be able to work with you to address any concerns that may arise to design the perfect kitchen island to suit your home.