At Handcrafted Kitchens we love Kitchen Islands not only because they look great as a design feature but because they make cooking fun! Before you plan your kitchen island here are a few things to consider:

1. What will you use your kitchen island for?

It’s a good idea to identify the purpose of your kitchen island when it comes to designing and planning the kitchen so that it functions exactly how you want it to, aesthetically and practically.

Here are a few ideas for how you might use your kitchen island:

Social – To create a hub in the home for family and friends where you can eat and drink and entertain day or night.

Home office space – to create a working area for adults and children.

More prep/counter space – Kitchen islands are usually deeper than a normal counter work surface so you can spread out whilst preparing food.

Extra cabinet storage – You can never have too much storage space!

Sink/Hob – Adding a hob and/or sink on the kitchen island is a great idea if you want to socialise whilst preparing food.

Good design- kitchen island looks great, so why not if you have the space!

kitchen island

2.How much space do you need for a kitchen island?

Whether you are looking at a stand alone Kitchen Island or a peninsula Kitchen Island with seating, you will generally need to allow 3-3.5 m in depth in your kitchen. 3.5 m would allow for a kitchen island with:

  • a standard sized kitchen cabinet of 65cm
  • an overhang of 30cm for seating
  • 100 cm space around the island
  • 65cm for base units on the wall behind

However, at Handcrafted Kitchens, because we specialise in bespoke cabinets we can make a bespoke kitchen island with a narrower cabinets at say 50cm deep (if no appliances are required ). You can also choose to have a smaller overhang of say 20cm with a smaller space of 90 cm around the island, it’s up to you. The kitchen island below in Little Green ‘French Grey’ fits neatly into this medium sized kitchen with seating for two. Arranging the seating at one end of the island can be more space efficient.

kitchen island

3. What shape would you like your kitchen island?

Rectangular and square kitchen island are usually the most space efficient shapes but do not dismiss a T shape or L shaped island as this may be more efficient for your space when looking at the position of doors and windows. If space is not a problem you may consider a curved island to add a wow factor but bear in mind this will be a more expensive option.

kitchen island

4. What material do you want the work surface in your kitchen island?

The type of countertop you choose for your kitchen island may influence the size and shape and the cost of your kitchen island.

Most stone (quartz/granite) worktops come in slabs of approximately 3m x 1.4m, however, some slabs are larger at around 3.2m x 1.5m. This can limit the size of your kitchen island because a joint in an island can spoil the look.

You can obtain wooden work surfaces in much larger sizes up to 6m x 1.2m, these can easily be shaped and are more economic than quartz or granite, however they will take more maintenance.

An acrylic countertop material such as Corian can be created whatever size and shape kitchen island you choose.

Mixing two types of material on your kitchen island is a great option, having a timber breakfast bar section can create a fantastic looking contrast.

kitchen island

5. Do you want your hob on the kitchen island?

Having a hob on your kitchen can create a more social cooking environment, where you stand facing the room or those seated at the kitchen island. It means you can still lead the conversation whilst you are cooking or even just watch the television!

kitchen island

6. What type of extractor would you prefer?

If you want a hob in your kitchen island you will have to consider your options for cooker hoods/extractors:

Venting hob:

A venting hobs are a relatively new option combining the downdraft extractor into the hob itself, creating a two in one appliance (extractor + hob) vented out or recirculating. At Handcrafted Kitchens the Bora Hob below is our favourite as it has an incredibly powerful motor which captures cooking smell and grease at source and is very quiet. The venting system will take some of the cabinet space below but a small price to pay for a cleaner without an overhead extractor, particularly in an open plan kitchens.

Downdraft extractor:

A downdraft extractor sits in the worktop behind the hob and can be raised when needed through the touch of a button then neatly lowers itself down to be flush with the worktop when not required. Like the venting hob it prevents the need for an extractor above but needs a wide kitchen island as the vent sits behind the hob so if seating is required at the island, the island will have to be approximately 1.3m deep.

Hood extractor:

Traditional hood extractors hang down from the ceiling directly above the work surface and comes in a variety of styles either vented out or recirculating. These can cause a visual screen and it isn’t easy to use decorative pendant lighting with a hood but it can add to the atmosphere in an ‘Industrial kitchen’.

Ceiling extractor:

A ceiling extractor is designed to fit flush into the ceiling or if the ceiling is too high it would sit in a box a little lower than the ceiling to be more discrete than a hood extractor. It is operated by remote and can also be either vented out or recirculating,

kitchen island

7. A sink on the kitchen island?

If you aren’t able to fit a hob and sink on a wall run, then one of these usually has to go on the island and if safety is a concern for you, a sink may be a better option than a hob. However if your island is small, it may not be the best plan as dirty pots may take over! You will of course need to get a water feed to the kitchen island to fit a kitchen sink.

kitchen island

8. Do you want any seating at your kitchen island – how many seats?

Seating around a kitchen island creates a social hub in the kitchen and can be used by kids to do their homework and informal eating.

The number of people you want to seat will determine the size and shape of your kitchen island. As a rule, allow 50-60 cm per person. Consider a T shape or L shape island if necessary. If space is at a premium and you want an island but you don’t have room for an island and a kitchen table, you many consider an island combined with banquette seating and a kitchen table.

kitchen island

9. Do you need a power supply to your kitchen island?

It’s always a good idea to have power in your kitchen island for appliances such as dishwashers, hobs etc and additional sockets for small appliances such as a mixer or even telephone chargers/ipads.

The options are

1) having pop-up sockets cut into the countertop

2) having sockets cut into the ends of the island

o3) tucking sockets underneath the seating overhang section

4) Hiding sockets in cupboards

kitchen island

10. Lighting

Often overlooked but the icing on the cake for most kitchen islands, practical as well as aesthetic. The type of lighting chosen can sets the tone for the style of your kitchen and often delineate the kitchen in an open plan living space.

So many things to think about when planning your kitchen island!

If you would like some help to discuss your new bespoke kitchen please call us on 0161 4837821 to arrange a consultation and visit our workshop and showroom.

kitchen island