The first kitchen island was probably a table placed in the middle of the floor in a country kitchen. When it wasn't used for dining, the busy cook had an extra bench for working. Neglected for generations, when open plan kitchens came into vogue, kitchen designers
began to take another look at them. In many kitchens today, the island is the most important part of the kitchen. These kitchen island ideas from top designers may be just what you need to get the most out of your kitchen.
The Kitchen Island as the Cooking Centre
Whether we have a 'U' or and 'L' shaped kitchen with an island, when thinking about where to put the cooktop and underbench oven, the island is the last place we think of. With so many fantastic canopy rangehoods
available, there's really no reason not to make the island the cooking centre and it may be perfect for your home. Think of these possible advantages:
- From your island cooking station, you can keep up a conversation with family and friends instead of turning your back on them while you're cooking.
- The bench space around your sink is free for preparing foods for cooking. If you use a kitchen island for chopping and other preparation chores, you have to transfer all the waste across the floor to the sink and undersink waste receptacles.
- Instead of staring at a wall while you prepare meals, you have an unobstructed 180 degree view.
If your island is totally devoted to cooking, you can also arrange your drawers to hold all of your cooking utensils and vessels. That way, everything will be where you need it, when you need it. Your kitchen builder
can recommend heavy duty, fully extending drawer runners, drawer inserts and other accessories and fittings that will make your kitchen more efficient than you ever dreamed possible.
Kitchen Islands for Smaller Kitchens
Many homeowners shy away from having a kitchen island because they feel their kitchen is too small or narrow. While it's true that a full-depth kitchen island and cabinets may not be right for your kitchen, why not consider a narrower island table at kitchen bench height? It can have a bank of drawers, but instead of a solid base, can stand on legs. A good custom kitchen cabinetmaker
can create one that will fit in perfectly with your existing kitchen design and available space.
More Innovative Kitchen Island Ideas
Kitchen islands have become a standard feature today and most of them are designed to standard dimensions. A 60cm deep cabinet, for instance, will most often have a 90cm deep benchtop to allow space fro chairs. In many kitchens this works out fine, but in some cases a raised bar such as those found on so many kitchen peninsulas might be preferable.
While rectangular benchtops are standard, what's stopping you from doing something different and creating a curved benchtop? You may want to have a custom cabinet made to follow the same curves, but this will be considerably more expensive and may not be necessary. Ask your kitchen designer to help you on this one and you may end up with something spectacular at very little extra cost.
There's no rule that states the kitchen island benchtop must be identical to the rest of the kitchen benchtops. A timber island benchtop can be combined with everything from laminate to granite and can add just the designer touch you need to make your kitchen special.
Don't forget about the lighting
, either. Since your island may become the most important part of your kitchen, you'll want to have designated lighting for the kitchen island as well as the other kitchen areas.
Think outside the box and there's almost nothing you can't do with your kitchen island. In fact, you'll be amazed by the number of things you can do.