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How to Design a Kitchen Island

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Kitchen islands add function, style and beauty to a kitchen, but designing one can be a challenge. There are several things you need to consider, from size to style and – most importantly – function.

Find a style that suits your home and lifestyle. Explore your options by researching a kitchen supplier in London, like Illya Kitchens, to see which styles you like.

How to Design a Kitchen Island

What is the Island’s Function?

One of the first things you need to consider is function. What is the island’s purpose? Will it be strictly for dining, strictly for cooking, or a mix of both? Will it serve as an alternative to the dining room table?

If you plan to use it for cooking and prepping, plan for a bigger island. Appliances take up quite a bit of space, so you’ll need that extra room to fit everything comfortably. If you’re installing a sink in the island, consider also installing a dishwasher right next to it for easy loading and unloading. 

For entertaining and casual use, the focus will be more on seating than size. The island should be at a comfortable height for chairs, and the island should have an appropriately sized overhang for knee space.

What to Look for When Choosing a Kitchen with an Island

The island’s function is one of the most important things to consider because it will dictate what type of island you choose. Once you have a better understanding of the function, there are other things to look for, such as:

Size

If you plan to install appliances, you will need a bigger island. If you’re only using it for entertaining or casual purposes, a small kitchen island may work perfectly well in your kitchen. Just make sure you have enough space for comfortable seating. 

Kitchen Island Styles

There are so many styles to choose from when designing a kitchen island. 

  • If you have a larger kitchen, an L- or U-shaped island will give you enough space for cooking/prep and dining or entertaining.
  • A galley style island works well in most kitchens regardless of the size. This type of island is common in the modern and German kitchen style.
  • Furniture style islands are commonly found in eclectic and traditional kitchens. They are usually the focal point and can be repurposed from old furniture.

How Will You Use the Island in Your Day-to-Day Life?

Will you be using your island only for cooking/entertaining, or will it also serve as a place for the kids to do homework and you to for work?

For cooking and prepping, kitchen island cabinets are a must. Island cabinets provide storage for your cookware and supplies.

If you have a large kitchen and your refrigerator is across the room, it may be worth installing an undercounter refrigerator for easy access to ingredients or drinks when entertaining.

Cooktops are also a great option if you’re using your island primarily for cooking and prepping. Just make sure that you have enough space to install an exhaust hood or vent.

Designing a kitchen island is all about your personal preferences and needs. Consider these tips when designing your island to make your shaker kitchen both functional and beautiful.