Kitchen island inspo: stunning ideas you need to see

Hands up, whose dream kitchen includes a kitchen island, or THE kitchen island I should say, as so many of the homeowners I speak to or read about in Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms magazine (our sister brand) have one right at the top of their kitchen wishlist – often alongside a boiling-water tap, good links to the garden and lots of space for the family. And I have to admit, that’s a good formula for a dreamy kitchen, right? I have Pinterest boards, Instagram collections and a whole host of screenshots saved of kitchens I like and so many of them are total kitchen island inspo, too.

So, for even more kitchen island inspo, I’ve delved into the latest designs from a whole host of kitchen specialists and oh what a treat. Let’s have a look shall we? Screenshot buttons at the ready…

This kitchen island by Naked Kitchens is designed to look like freestanding furniture. The legs help create a more ‘lived in’ look and also make the kitchen seem more spacious.

An island with a cutaway corner creates the perfect spot for a pedestal dining table in this Leicht scheme by Vogue Kitchens.

This Ledbury Studio kitchen island features zinc doors and a Quartzite worktop in Bianca Macaubas from The Metallics Collection by Charlie Smallbone.

Forget boxy islands, this modernist design is made in the UK by Wood & Wire. It is made from from birch plywood with a Corian worktop and shelving to one side. Ideal for cookbooks.

Oh and if you are thinking about a kitchen island, make sure you remember these things – the last thing you want is an island that’s too small, so is useless, or a one that’s too big and makes the rest of the kitchen useless. I know kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, so ensuring you won’t compromise your room is essential.

  • Think about what you’ll put on the island – do you want to cook there, have the sink there or have it clear?
  • Consider seating. Do you want seating on your island? If so, do you want bar stools at a tall breakfast bar? Or do you want a lower table with dining seating attached – a multi-level design? How many people will be seated?
  • Make sure there is enough space. Is there space around the island for seating to be pulled out and people to easily walk behind? Can you open drawers and appliances (such as a dishwasher) and still get around it? A good rule is to allow 1.5m clearance between the island and any other units of furniture. That’s all the way around.
  • What shape will work? You can get an island in many shapes, including curved options. L-shape can offer a good amount of seating, U-shape will provide a theatre-like cooking area with lots of prep space, while a box (square or rectangular) is the most basic design and can offer lots of storage and some seating, depending on whether you add a breakfast bar.
  • Think about multi-functional living. Can your island also be a place for home working or study? Add a desk area and plenty of plug sockets and you’ll be set up for your next Zoom call in no time.
  • Consider flexibility. If your space is smaller or you need extra worktop space that you can move around, a butcher’s block trolley which is on wheels can offer a good solution. You’ll have the option of using it as an island set-up and can push it out of the way when required.

You may also enjoy: Kitchen islands: which style fits you best?

This kitchen island by Charles Yorke combines painted furniture with accents of Santos rosewood veneer and Corian work surfaces. Its curved shape makes it a lovely feature.

The U-shaped island in this Mereway Kitchens’ Q-Line design as part of the Cucina Colore collection offers so much useable space, there’s room for appliances, a sink, preparation area as well as seating.

A neat peninsular island includes seating and storage plus extra work surface in this Kesseler design.

This island was designed for relaxing and dining. Overhangs on each end of the unit create two comfortable dining zones. Design by Life Kitchens.

This island’s timeless design fuses the owners’ love for cooking and entertaining all with a touch of elegance. Soft touches of pink add a playful touch. Design: British Standard by Plain English.

A spacious sink, neat storage and comfy perch for two make this Neptune island a multi-tasking gem.

This Marlborough table island by Masterclass Kitchens is painted in Mulberry and can be used for food preparation or cosy dining. I love how the tiles mimic a rug.

This is an extract of a feature which appeared in the October 2020 issue of Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms magazine. Download your copy here.

Featured image: Devol

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