Island units have been a statement piece of furniture in large kitchens for many years but, they’re so much more than just a functional space. An island is the linchpin of a kitchen design and creates a visually striking workable space which unites open plan living areas seamlessly. This blog will take you through the options available to ensure your island unit is the centrepiece of your new room.
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1. Mix it up
An island unit is a fantastic opportunity to allow your kitchen designer’s creative juices to flow. Coupling different colours, textures or materials can create a striking, unique kitchen space. Incorporating a mixture of finishes within the island unit will have a stunning effect, particularly if the materials are polar opposites, such as shiny metallic combined with grainy wood. Equally striking is if your island is finished in one material or texture and the remainder of your kitchen has a contrasting finish.
2. Form and function
An island unit is the focal point of the kitchen, but it’s essential that it’s multi-functional to complement the life you live and keep things running smoothly in the home. A popular choice is to have the hob in the island so that you’re facing others in the room whilst cooking. It’s also possible for the island to house your sink instead of, or as well as, your hob. A good designer will help you think about how you want to use your space and design your kitchen accordingly.
3. Take a pew
Bar stools sat up to an overhang of worktop are a popular design choice and offer a practical solution for adding extra seating to the room. They’re great for socialising with the person cooking or for having a quick bite to eat. Including seating in your island doesn’t have to be restricted to just a couple of bar stools though. A full-size table can be created with a piece of worktop installed at right angles to the main island or attached lower down at the short end of the unit, allowing plenty of space for the family meals. If you opt for a Corian worktop, a table can be formed from the same material and seamlessly blended to the main island unit, with stunning results.
4. Let there be light
Lighting can make or break a room. They’re an important design feature and should never be an afterthought. An island unit is crying out for statement lighting and there’s plenty to choose from. The industrial look and copper tones are particularly popular at the moment and suit most rooms. If your hob is in your island, you’ll need an extractor above and, because of the popularity of island units, manufacturers have responded with some stunning extractors which resemble a designer light fitting and become a centre piece in their own right.
5. Create a spark
When discussing your new kitchen with your designer, it’s important to think about how you’re ultimately going to use your new island as this will determine how many electrical sockets you need and where they need to be situated. Fittings have evolved from the standard double sockets and there’s much more choice and more subtle options to choose from. Types available include pop up sockets, flip over sockets or fascia mounted sockets and all are well disguised when not being used.
6. The hideaway
Some people can be concerned about an island unit being exposed with no place to hide…and everything being on show. A stylish yet practical solution to this is to have a raised piece of worktop which offers a little protection from the main working area. The raised level of worktop can be designed from a matching or contrasting material and looks equally impressive either way. It also gives you extra worktop space and, depending how you’d like to use it, another space to sit and have your morning coffee.
7. Alternative Islands
If you’re looking for something more unique and an alternative to a solid rectangular island unit, take a look at a cooking table. As the name suggests, this piece of furniture looks like a table but it houses a hob in the same way as an island and a unit sits underneath to hide electrics and store cooking essentials. The table top can be finished in a variety of colours and the unit below can either match or contrast with the colour scheme of the cooking table. They offer simplistic luxury and give a streamlined visual link between the kitchen and living spaces.
So, that’s the lowdown on kitchen islands. They’re a design feature that are as practical as they are stylish and the large choice of colours and finishes guarantees that an island can be designed to suit your lifestyle and individual taste.
If this blog has inspired you and you’d like to spend some one-to-one time with one of our kitchen designers, you can book an exclusive showroom appointment online.
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It’s your chance to spend a valuable couple of hours with one of our qualified interior designers so that they can understand your lifestyle and your ideas then go on to design the perfect Next 125 Kitchen for you.