What is a kitchen island?
A kitchen island is a freestanding workspace that is accessible from all sides. They are designed to be counter-top height so the surface can be used while standing. The addition of stools provides an informal dining area in the heart of a kitchen. Positioned in the middle of the room, islands are commonly rectangular in shape, but they can be square, oval, crescent-shaped and freeform – whatever looks best in the available space.
From giving you additional storage space to providing a casual seating area for morning coffees, there are many benefits of a kitchen island. Butchers blocks, breakfast bars, and islands are great ways to use wasted floor space, and they make the room more inviting. They can be installed as part of a complete kitchen remodelling, or added to an existing kitchen – islands are flexible, standalone units. And with a limitless range of styles, colours, and finishes available, they will complement all kitchen designs. To highlight what is a kitchen island and why you should have one installed, here are the top 7 benefits of a kitchen island:
1. Kitchen islands add wow factor
An island gives the room a focal point and if it’s beautifully designed, it will add a luxurious touch. When it comes to planning your island, you can be creative with your ideas. Choose to have everything matching perfectly, or you can add a different colour by selecting a contrasting hue. Worktops can be mixed or matched with your other surfaces, and you can add matt and gloss together too. So that your new island ties in somewhat with the rest of the kitchen, carry some elements over such as the drawer and door handles.
2. Gain a casual seating area
No matter what size kitchen island you add, you gain an area to sit. Pop a stool or 2 at one end, and you’ve got the ideal place to eat breakfast and friends can sit and chat while you cook, prep or make a cuppa. Of course, if you have space for a large island, you’ll be able to seat the whole family for casual dinners. And for entertaining, guests will be instantly drawn around an island, plus it’s the perfect place to lay out snacks.
3. Provide extra storage space
One of the biggest benefits of a kitchen island is the additional storage gained. Cupboards, drawers, baskets and shelves give you room for all those kitchen items you need. Choose to have some of your things on display by using glass-fronted doors, open shelving or hanging racks. If you have a deep island you can have storage on all four sides.
4. Enjoy lots of worktop space
Spread yourself out with a clutter-free island worktop. There’s nothing nicer than chopping, mixing and serving when you have counter space to spare. For star bakers, a large worktop gives you room to roll out pastry and ice dozens of cupcakes. And for couples or families who enjoy cooking together, you’ll have extra elbow room. Choose your worktop material carefully to make the most of your island – Shaw Stone offers quality granite, quartz, marble and acrylic with plenty of advice about the best one to use.
5. Place appliances more conveniently
Having a hob, oven or sink in the island could be the ideal solution to your kitchen layout problems. Sometimes, a kitchen just doesn’t work well if the white goods are badly placed. By installing one of these appliances into the island, everything flows better. You will also have additional workspace immediately around the hob or sink which makes life easier still.
6. Be part of the action
Working at a kitchen island allows you to join in with everyone else. Positioned in the centre of the room, you won’t feel left out and if you are facing the rest of your family, you can see what’s going on too. Perfect for keeping an eye on the kids while you prep dinner or for chatting to friends as you pour the wine.
7. A flexible piece of kitchen furniture
The benefits of a kitchen island include its flexibility. They can be used for all kinds of things and its function can change throughout the week. It’s a breakfast bar in the morning, a homework space after school and a food-prep table at dinner. Come the weekend, it turns into the mid-morning hub for coffee and a newspaper or the buffet space when friends join you for cocktails. If you have an island with wheels, you can even move it around the kitchen for times when you need the extra floor space.
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