Kitchen Island Ideas for Solid Wood Kitchens
When you think about your vision of an ideal kitchen, it’s very likely to include a perfect kitchen island amongst various other stand-out features. Kitchen islands (or smaller kitchen ‘carts’) can offer fantastic additional counter space, storage and make for an excellent socialising area in solid wood kitchens.
Hopefully after reading through our information guide, you’ll be able to decide if your kitchen suits an island, and if so – which design will work best in your space.
Types of Kitchen Island
Custom Kitchen Islands – The most popular option in modern kitchens comes in the form of custom-built fixed kitchen islands that are intended to be in-keeping with the kitchen’s design and layout. Though they don’t offer the versatility of moveable islands, they are able to afford by far the most features, such as built in sinks, ovens, refrigeration, and almost everything else you could imagine. This quality has made this type of island the most common option for British kitchens.
Rolling Kitchen Islands – If you like the idea of a built-in kitchen island, but don’t want it to be tied down to a specific location, then a rolling kitchen island is the next best thing. Often resembling a smaller version of a fixed island, these island-on-wheels offer the extra counter-top and storage space offered by a custom kitchen island, but are generally smaller and don’t include handy built-in sinks or appliances.
Kitchen Carts – If you think your kitchen is simply too small to accommodate a traditional kitchen island, there are other options to consider. Kitchen carts are generally an end grain butchers block on wheels, with a couple of storage shelves and draws. They’re ideal for increasing counter space without being obtrusive.
Benefits of Kitchen Islands
Additional counter space – If you’re a bit of a culinary whizz, you will appreciate just how important an abundance of counter space is when whipping up a delectable meal. There are many different countertops available for kitchen islands, but it should come as no surprise that we’d recommend wood over anything else. It’s hard-wearing, elegant and adds unique style to your kitchen in a way no other material can. Our wide variety of solid wood worktops are ideal for kitchen islands, and if you’re after something particularly special, we can produce bespoke worktops in conjunction with our sister company: Worktop Express®.
Storage Space is Key – Kitchen islands can be configured with all manner of storage combinations, from drawers and shelves to cupboards and cabinets, but which combination will suit your kitchen comes down entirely to what things you plan to store in your kitchen island. If you’re planning on using the island for food preparation, then consider plenty of drawers for knives and utensils. Also make sure you have cabinets that are large enough to hold any appliances you might want to have close to hand. To allow you to create a versatile kitchen island, we offer a variety of specialist cabinets, including curved cabinets, wine racks and cabinets designed to sit underneath Belfast sinks.
Extra Features – There are plenty of great features to consider for kitchen islands, including endgrain butcher blocks and solid wood chopping boards. If you opt for a fixed kitchen island, then consider having power sockets installed to give you immediate power without trailing cables across the kitchen. Planning to use your kitchen island as a breakfast bar? We’d recommend that you consider an overhanging worktop with space to push stools out of the way when not in use.
Positioning a Kitchen Island
It is very important to consider your kitchen layout when planning your kitchen island. The positioning of the island should still allow for an efficient work triangle (the triangle of work space formed between the sink, fridge and oven), and should not impact the movement of traffic through the kitchen.
Do also evaluate how the island will work as another work surface alongside existing worktops, and decide whether it will be part of the ‘kitchen triangle’ or whether your kitchen’s design suits it being separated.
Most kitchen designers suggest a distance of three to four feet between the kitchen island and other work surfaces, though the correct distance will be unique to your kitchen, and should be carefully judged. Its setting will be dictated largely by the location of appliances and the direction of traffic flow within your kitchen space. Be sure to allow for plenty of space if – for example – the fridge or oven door is wide open, and consider how much space will be required if there is ever more than one cook in the kitchen at one time.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a kitchen island, but need some further design inspiration, then why not come along to our showroom? We have nine full kitchen displays on show and several islands; one of our advisors will be happy to give you a tour and discuss your project in more detail.