What is a kitchen island?
A kitchen island can be best described as a free-standing piece of cabinetry which is usually present in open-plan kitchens, but also in larger, closed kitchens. Kitchen islands are easily customisable in terms of size, colour, shape or materials used in making them, and therefore can fit into almost every kitchen.
Why are kitchen islands useful?
A kitchen island can be built into a kitchen for several reasons, which range from providing more storage space to defining the plan of the area. These can include:
- For more storage space
A kitchen island can be a great way to increase your kitchen’s storage capacity. Below the countertop, the entire space of the island can be usefully employed in the form of drawers, compartments or open shelves to keep utensils, cookware, food, etc.
- For additional worktops
Worktop space is always a struggle, no matter how big your kitchen is. A kitchen island can be a great way to add more worktop area, helping you manage your cooking better. An added space to chop your vegetables or prep your ingredients is always useful!
- For a separate washing space
You can use your island as a wash counter by fitting a washbasin in it. This way, you can have a dedicated space for dirty dishes – and freshly washed ones for that matter – and keep them entirely separate from your cooking utensils. Avoid the headache of navigating dirty dishes as you try to cook meals!
- As a wall replacement
It’s sometimes hard to identify where your open-plan kitchen ends and your dining (or drawing) room begins. Kitchen islands can be easily used as wall replacement, as if used right they act as a kind of half-height wall at the edge of your kitchen. If you have an open-plan kitchen which will be sharing the ground space with your living room, you can use the island as a partial separation between the rooms. You can also use the island surface for service or even as a breakfast table.
What are kitchen islands made of?
Kitchen islands usually follow the same material and colour themes like that of the rest of the kitchen. So, if you have marble countertops with wooden cabinets in your kitchen, your island will also have the same marble counter with the wooden cabinets or drawers of the same colour. The different types of materials that can be used to make a kitchen island are practically inexhaustible; you can use wood, marble, granite, steel, glass, high-grade plastic or a combination of all these in your kitchen island.
Can I cook at my kitchen island?
Yes! While traditionally the stove and main cooking space are located in the main part of the kitchen counter (invariably against the wall), today, an increasing number of kitchens are using their islands for cooking purposes. From adding the entire oven and grill setup below the island counter, to adding stoves, gas cylinders and chimneys, kitchen islands are being customised to add functionality to aesthetics. If planned carefully, you can easily move the cooking facilities to the kitchen island.
Can a kitchen island save dining room space?
Again, yes! The best part about a kitchen island is that you can easily turn it into a dining table and serve your guests food right out of the oven! Depending on size, you can place any number of chairs against your kitchen island and easily convert it into an informal dining space where you can interact with guests or family while preparing food. It is a total win-win! Typically, you’ll find barstools are the ideal kind of seating for these breakfast nooks, but there’s no real reason you can’t customise the seats to suit the comfort level of your guests. Keep in mind however that the kitchen island will be the same height as your kitchen counter – that is, taller than the average dining table.
So, if you are designing your new kitchen, why not incorporate an island? Just call up your contractor or interior designer and start work on the layout. If planned and executed right, there’s nothing better than a kitchen island. They can add huge value to your cooking, serving and hosting experience! Happy cooking!