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Kitchen islands - any tips?

(24 Posts)
Pinkje Thu 07-Nov-13 09:31:46

Hi, I'm looking for any advice on size/material/appliances on or off the island. Are you happy with your island, anything you'd do differently?

I'm planning a kitchen atm and would prefer a seamless island with no appliances simply to prepare and serve food and nothing more.


lalalonglegs Thu 07-Nov-13 17:03:23

My personal feeling is that an island with nothing on it other than worksurface looks a bit odd and unbalanced. I think it is a good place to put a sink (even if it is only a small one for rinsing veg etc). I don'thave an island - my kitchen's too small - but observing other people's, I would say they're hard to get right. They either end up interfering with the symmetry of the main run of units, blocking access to one of the kitchen "triangle" points, blocking the flow into the room or making the room too narrow to easily site a dining table.

TheSurgeonsMate Thu 07-Nov-13 17:07:26

I have just moved a house with a big kitchen with a massive island. It has the sink in it. I like the fact I can work there and just turn round and be at the cooker. So the effective advantage is that it makes the big kitchen more like a galley kitchen. Yes, it does kind of block the flow over to the fridge. A very good feature is a bin in it so I don't have to walk round it to get to the big bin.

Pinkje Thu 07-Nov-13 21:07:01

Thank you - it's so difficult to imagine how it'll function let alone look! I like the idea of a clean sink on the island (where I can have a fancy tap) not so sure I'd use a bin as we have to separate so much of our waste I couldn't just sweep it all down one hole.

Do you have electricity sockets? (wonder if the pop up types are useful or a nuisance).

Eastwickwitch Thu 07-Nov-13 21:31:24

I've got an island with an induction hob & ovens underneath but will probably just have a blank space next time. I love all the extra work surface & it's where guests naturally congregate. I do have a side panel ( supposed to be a breakfast bar but never used as such), I definitely wouldn't recommend as it fills up with junk very quickly.
I do think you need a big space for an island, I wouldn't squeeze one into a small kitchen, 1+ metre clear all round would be ideal.

Pinkje Thu 07-Nov-13 22:02:04

I'll avoid a breakfast bar then as I'm prone to collect junk. In fact I don't think I'm really suited to the uncluttered look - I will have to make room for a separate clutter room (I hear people refer to them as larders!). Luckily I do have quite a big space as we are converting a double garage.... well I hope so. Will take my ideas to a kitchen designer in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks all.

steeking Thu 07-Nov-13 22:08:20

Ours has only cupboards on each side. Nothing on top. Its used for food prep and nothing else. There's a double socket on one end just below the worktop, for appliances when i'm baking. It's exactly what i wanted and I'm really happy with it.

hillyhilly Thu 07-Nov-13 22:44:11

My island is central to the kitchen and has nothing on it, that's the best bit about it, it is always clear and tidy even when the other surfaces aren't!
The only regret is that there's no access to a socket so I have to clear a space near the kettle to use appliances.

LittleSiouxieSue Thu 07-Nov-13 23:25:59

My island is granite and is about 3m long and 1.5m wide. Yes it is one hell of a slab of granite! It has a stainless steel prep sink and tap at one end and lots of prep and serving space. I have two sets of triple sockets which rise up from the work surface and slide back in when not in use. My second oven is housed in the island as well as the hob. I also have two bin units and pan/cutlery drawers on one side and cupboards on the other side, and one cupboard houses the water softener. I have a large kitchen and other appliances are housed in wall units. The extractor is above the hob. I would not do anything differently. It is also has a circular wooden table at the other end, with cupboards under where I keep my cookery books, and it seats 4 which means we can chat in the kitchen. There is ample power for hand appliances and computers! Happy planning.

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 08-Nov-13 09:23:32

I have an ikea freestanding island -
It's full of baskets with my tinned soups and baking tins and other panty overspill - we changed the worktop to match in with the rest of the kitchen - it was something we had in our previous house and was too good to waste ! So I designed it in to the new kitchen - and that was 11 years ago ! And it still looks good ! Will try and add a photo to my profile ?!?
It's big enough to work on and not too big to walk around - works for us !!

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 08-Nov-13 10:10:30

Could only get one photo up ?!? So if anyone wants a sneaky peak into a real kitchen designers actual real home kitchen - I've added a link to some photos on here !! Hope you aren't disappointed !!

cq Fri 08-Nov-13 10:15:58

I have just moved into a house with a rather large central island with nothing on it. I try and keep it clear, with just a bowl of fruit in the middle. It's constantly cluttered up and drives me crazy. There are no electric sockets on it which means when I use things like the slow cooker or mixer, these have to sit on the side worktop and I run out of space.

At the very least I would like some sockets on the side for occasional appliance use. Last house had the hob on the island which worked well but it wasn't also a breakfast bar so no safety issues.

furryfriends57 Fri 08-Nov-13 11:08:10

Hi Pinkje, can I hijack your thread slightly by asking what lighting people use over their islands. I am at the planning stage also and electrician has put one pendant over the island space and as its a vaulted ceiling I am now wondering should I have asked for 3 separate pendant as that would give me more options. Sorry again maybe it would help with your planning {hoping emoticon}. FF

fresh Fri 08-Nov-13 15:33:24

Our island has one rounded end which is used every day for breakfast/coffee/kids tea. We have three cupboards built into it, plus a space for a butcher's block/trolley on wheels. This gets used only once a year when I wheel out the turkey on Christmas Day a la Fanny Craddock.

It's shaped like a bullet, but with one of the right angled corners taken off in an internal quadrant shape to allow better circulation in our kitchen. This also makes a good place to stand to prep, so there are two sockets here. Also two wooden pegs on either side for teatowels/oven gloves. Units are painted, there's a stainless steel wrap around the curved end to protect the timber from feet/edges of bar stools and the worktop is walnut.

Overall size 2m x 1.2m.

Helliecopter Fri 08-Nov-13 20:20:44

OnePlan I love all the things around your island but my DDs would have a total riot taking stuff off, banging stuff...nightmare! Where are your pendant lights over the island from? Just the look I'm after.

I'm planning a kitchen with island at the mo. Nothing on top except a pop up plug socket. Deep drawers opposite the range. I do a lot of cooking and will really value the prep space. There'll be 1m all the way round it on 3 sides and it's between the fridge, range and sink, so I think it'll work well. I hope!

Selks Fri 08-Nov-13 20:30:30

OnePlan, I like your kitchen, really like the colour of the units, and I adore your window - such a lovely shape.

Roussette Fri 08-Nov-13 20:40:21

I love my island and it's huge... I waited a long time for a kitchen like this.

I have seating for 6 with barstools, cupboards and drawers and an induction hob that's flush with the granite so it looks like one clean unit, with a huge stainless steel extractor over. All I have on my island are ornaments and a vase of flowers at most! I have lights accessible underneath. I am lit by side lights and a fairy lit tree and candles...

hermioneweasley Fri 08-Nov-13 20:43:02

I have a double socket and it's a perfect worksurface

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 08-Nov-13 21:19:05

hi Helicopter ! thank you ! it's an eclectic space !! my best friend was a buyer for debenhams a few years back - and the lamps were in a sample sale - she bought them as a gift for us ! but I think you can buy similar in ikea this season ?

hi Selks ! thank you ! I love my windows ! I sketched them myself and found a local workshop to make them in Hardwood !

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 08-Nov-13 21:19:23

hi Helicopter ! thank you ! it's an eclectic space !! my best friend was a buyer for debenhams a few years back - and the lamps were in a sample sale - she bought them as a gift for us ! but I think you can buy similar in ikea this season ?

hi Selks ! thank you ! I love my windows ! I sketched them myself and found a local workshop to make them in Hardwood !

ElephantsEye Sat 09-Nov-13 13:10:38

I have an island. It includes a range-style cooker (ie, double the width of a standard one). Over that I have a cooker hood with lights in it, which provides the main lighting for cooking. There are also recessed downlighters which light the whole island.
There is a floor cupboard and open shelves (for pots and pans) either side of the cooker, with worktops above, flush with the cooker top. Each side of the island has a drawer unit under the same worktops.
Round the back are more floor cupboards. The cooker has a splashback which is tall enough to be higher than the cooker's fold-down lid (is that making sense?) and behind the splashback are shallow cupboards at worktop height, with another (junk-magnet) worktop above (it's about eye level).

Designed and built by DH, and it works for me.

ZooTimeIsSheAndYouTime Sat 09-Nov-13 13:20:42

Only skimmed the thread so not sure if it's been said, but if you plan to have breakfast bar type chairs make sure you can tuck them under the worktop, otherwise they wont ever look tidy.

spotty26 Sun 10-Nov-13 11:50:47

Whatever you decide make sure it has a plug socket so trailing wires do not strangle passing toddlers/trip adults!

spotty26 Sun 10-Nov-13 20:52:29

Cox and cox have some similar at £145 each not cheap but every now and then they have 20% off. If you google the description, weathered oak stool, some other companies do them for £115 I think...

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