I’m fond of my kitchen island...
...it’s a sociable spot with a nice view over the garden, but there’s a niggle - when people are seated at it we can’t open the cupboards behind - not ideal!
I’ve just mentioned this to Kahren Willis, Senior Designer at Charter Walk Kitchens in Haslemere who tells me there should be between 90cm and 1.2M clearance between an island and any neighbouring cabinetry or walls - less space can work but needs to be carefully planned. Clearly ours wasn’t, so I’m keen to learn more about Kahren’s top tips for niggle free island living...
1. Planning & Costing
2. Shape & Positioning
3. Materials & Finishes
Even given the restrictions of budget, personal taste and functionality, navigating the huge selection of available materials and finishes can be overwhelming, so I asked Kahren for her personal favourites. In terms of worktops, she is most impressed with manmade quartz from companies such as Caesarstone. Due to advancements in technology, this is an increasingly economical option, offering a huge array of neutral shades and honed finishes to suit both traditional and contemporary islands.
Kahren says it’s also worth thinking about using an island to create a contrast with the wider kitchen scheme. On larger islands, for example, you could introduce a variety of materials and textures from metals and marble to wood and concrete to create functional and stylish work/play zones. Alternatively, you might prefer to opt for a piece of free standing furniture, or chef’s table, to create a more eclectic feel within an otherwise fitted kitchen.
4. Appliances & Gadgets
5. Storage & Styling
The most successful kitchen islands ensure that the things we need are easily accessible right where we need them without compromising on looks and style. Whilst some storage options will be fairly straightforward - such as placing pots and pans near a hob - the choice of pot drawers or cabinets is largely down to personal taste. Here are some things to think about...
And don’t forget...
...the space above your island - in addition to task and ambient lighting, you might want to consider using suspended shelves for additional statement storage or something more traditional such as a hanging rack for your favourite copper pans.
Whatever you do, I wish you the very best of island living with not a niggle in sight!