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Design of a large kitchen island

(23 Posts)
timeforsomethingnew Fri 27-Jan-17 21:32:29

We are designing a family, dining and kitchen with a large kitchen island. Wondering if we should put the hob on the island, facing the dining area and family room. Or should we keep in very clean and put the hob on the back wall facing away from the room.

Like the idea of facing to room to be social ( we are past stage of little kids to watch) but wonder if it will be v messy.

Curious to know what you love or hate about your kitchen island.

PigletJohn Fri 27-Jan-17 21:40:42

put the hob on the wall with an extractor above it. Or it will spread a film of grease all round the island.

timeforsomethingnew Sat 28-Jan-17 11:43:40

Thanks PJ ... hadn't thought of the grease. I would really hate that. Since I don't want the sink there , we'd either have it totally clear or perhaps put a small prepping sink there.

OnePlanOnHouzz Sat 28-Jan-17 19:54:54

Prep islands seem to be becoming more popular at the moment in my experience. As long as you extract above your hob ( and you get into the habit of turning in the extractor as soon as you turn on the hob) you should be able to keep grease to a minimum - but obviously the less length the route for the extractor to plump out to the outside , the more efficient it will be !

PigletJohn Sun 29-Jan-17 12:20:46

If you have a prep island, it is possible to mount it in rubber-tyred wheels so it can be moved around. I saw one designed like that, and it was moved out from the wall for use. Very posh house. IIRC it had a bin on the concealed side, which was open, bottles of oil, knives, chopping boards etc, You can have doors, drawers or shelves on the "exposed" side for glasses, drinks, books, whatever.

I formerly had a peninsular to divide the dining and the kitchen end, forms a useful bar and had huge pan drawers and bin on the kitchen side and narrow cupboard on the eating side. At the time it didn't occur to me it could have been on wheels.

If you do go for wheels, you ought to get a chippy to build it for you, because ordinary kitchen units do not have strong enough joints to be moved around.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 30-Jan-17 12:06:46

I have a hob on a large island that is also a dining space. I don't really find problems with grease spreading that far, but having a hob on an island severely limits your choice of extractor and makes it a lot more expensive.

If you have the hob against the wall you have the choice of hundreds of extractors starting at less than £100 but above an island you need a ceiling mounted one which is a few hundred at least (ours cost £750 from Ikea) and 90% of those sold are unsuitable so choice is much smaller.

timeforsomethingnew Mon 30-Jan-17 12:38:55

Thanks for the comments and experiences - - the bit about being of wheels probably not needed in our instance - the island is going into a large kitchen/dinner/family room and think it will be about 3 metres long. There is plenty of room to use it for a hob or prep sink but just don't know if I will like it - want to keep the area fairly clutter free as it will be viewed from dining area and seating area.

The comment re expense of extractor is also helpful - I saw an amazing one that doesn't go above but sits along side and draws the cooking vapour away from the cooker. Haven't checked prices on that yet but bet it's super expensive.

Next stop is to get some professional help on the design so if anyone has additional loves and hates about their island would be great to know.


Difficultyear2015 Mon 30-Jan-17 13:02:36

If the island is big enough a hob on the island is a good idea along with a downdraft extractor.

They used to be really expensive, but are coming down in price. Neff and Seimens have started doing them at around £1500. You can find them even cheaper if you aren't worried about going for a decent brand.

Most people use them in recirculation mode, as its not easy to route the air out of the building from an island

minipie Mon 30-Jan-17 13:04:05

Parents have hob on island and an overhead extractor fan flush with the ceiling. The extractor works fine, no grease issues really, but they do have to have it up quite high (loud) when frying. I think they researched the alongside/pop up style of extractor fans but found they didn't work that well, however this was a few years back so things may have improved. So... do the research on extractors before you decide!

How big is the island - will there be room for prep space either side of the hob? If not then I would avoid because that's the prep space you use most. Basically have the hob somewhere where you can have decent prep space to the side. Also bear in mind that other clutter (mail, fruit bowl etc) tends to end up on the island. Esp if you have a breakfast bar.

gluenotsoup Mon 30-Jan-17 13:15:23

We did our kitchen a couple of months ago, and had planned to put the hob on the island with a downdraft extractor, facing the family area. However, I kept looking at that plan and wondering if that was the best way. I knew I wanted lots of prep space,
And wanted to put seating at the island too, and I knew any mess there would get on my nerves. So, we put the sink and hob both on the work sides and kept the island free. It's great, and I am so pleased we did it that way. It looks clean and tidy, and still has a function as a work area, and soon we will get the stools to finish off. I like it, it looks smart and contemporary. The only only problem is the kids dump stuff on it, but then they would have done it had there been a hob theresmile

namechangedtoday15 Mon 30-Jan-17 13:27:54

We have a big island unit and have a sink on there. I definitely didn't want the hob on there - even with good extraction there would still be steam / vapour / whatever coming off the pans and didn't want family / friends sitting at the island unit having a face full of that (even though its quite wide too).

And for me (I suppose it depends on how you cook / live) you don't need to be tending pans on the hobs all the time so when you're not, and they're on a hob on a wall run of units, they're out of the way, not interfering with socialising at the island if that makes sense. If you have the hob on the island, its always there with things bubbling away etc so kind of always in the way. Even though the sink is always there, we don't really use it much (everything goes in dishwasher) or if we have people round, in the utility room (off the kitchen). So the island never looks messy etc.

EsmesBees Mon 30-Jan-17 13:34:13

We went for an island with nothing on it apart from one of those plug towers. I wanted to keep it free as preparation space. In reality tends to get covered with paper work etc

GieryFas Mon 30-Jan-17 13:35:34

We have a big island - three units by two. It gives me a 5 ring hob (so an extra wide one on top of two ovens, a grill and a warming drawer) plus prep space each side, and still leaves the other entire half free. Or full of whatever random crap the kids have dumped there, but that's always a battle.

I like it because I can chop / prep, put stuff in the pans, check things in the oven etc all without moving around, and while still facing the kids and / or guests. I haven't had a problem with grease, though I don't deep fry anything, which probably helps. We do have an extractor, but I rarely feel the need to use it.

If I was doing it again, the only thing I would change is to add a few plug sockets - it's a bit annoying that I can't use the hand blender or the slow cooker on there.

timeforsomethingnew Tue 31-Jan-17 23:31:32

Thank you for all the fantastic responses. Lots to think about. Our current peninsula is a total junk ground - looking at it now ... left over homework, dog lead, a torch, money , family diary, phone, plug with various charging cables, opened and unopened mail , a couple of magazines .... drives me batty. In my new kitchen I imagine beautiful expanse of work top uncluttered by random objects. Perhaps a carefully placed bowl of fruit (one colour ...) and nothing else! Ha ! Only if I ditch the kids and DH who is the worst offender!

extra plugs excellent idea - think no to hob on island ... think pots bubbling away on back wall better idea. Particularly as we want gas hob which won't look quite as sleek.

All your thoughts much appreciated- going to print out to keep beside me as we finalise the designs.

Blankscreen Wed 01-Feb-17 00:21:29

We put our sink on the island and the hob on the run of units by the wall. We've got young children and we like the fact that the island creates a natural barrier to.keep them away from the hot dangerous areas.

Our island does get messy but not really from the sink just all the other crap that gets dumped on such as lego, homework, post,.craft stuff etc.

highclere Wed 01-Feb-17 00:33:10

Hob on island for me with downdraft extractor. I would not want the sink there - sinks attract mess and I want that tucked away facing the wall. Also nice to look into living/dining area while cooking.

minipie Wed 01-Feb-17 12:07:31

I think the only way to avoid the clutter on the island is to have a designated other place for clutter which is just as convenient as the island for dumping stuff.

Difficult bit is finding somewhere else that's just as convenient... the island is in the middle of the room so always going to be the easiest dumping ground!

Pagwatch Wed 01-Feb-17 12:11:01

I don't have a problem with grease from the hob on the island at all. I'm not sure how you would even get that unless you have a crap extractor fan or are really messy.
I got a desk with cupboard above put in my kitchen so we don't get clutter or anything non food related on the island - only exception is when DD is doing homework while we are cooking.

Pagwatch Wed 01-Feb-17 12:16:59

If you have room for it a desk is great.
I tried to ignore the fact that I do bills and school notes etc in the kitchen. It was so obvious when I just recognised it's something I needed space for rather than pretending I'm always going to move that stuff into a different room

HomeExtender Wed 01-Feb-17 13:43:47

I've read excellent reports about Bora ones. My island will not have the hob nor sink in it as I want to keep it for prep but then again I can see the advantages to aging a hob in it as can prep & add the ingredients without having to move! Ugh decisions....

Cacofonix Wed 01-Feb-17 14:21:28

Get a Bora hob - we have the Bora Basic on our island - it's a dream! Quite pricey though but if you factor in that you don't need to buy an overhead extractor I think its worth every penny. here

timeforsomethingnew Wed 01-Feb-17 22:47:23

Thanks everyone - rather tempted by the idea of the desk. Years ago I had wanted a long bench against a wall - bit like in an office for visitors - as a spot for all the computers etc. I didn't have room for it then and the family dynamic has changed - but a desk is a brilliant idea. Only think I fear is DH will put piles of junk on it - even more than he does now.

Pagwatch Thu 02-Feb-17 11:16:14

Yes, I know what you mean! DH does that too and, because DS2 has disabilities we get so much paperwork about him so I'm guilty of stacking it up too.
I've got two paper trays in the cupboard above and put our stuff in each. Once it gets full I dump it all on DHs table in his work area in another room and I make myself sit down and clear it. It doesn't make me more efficient but it makes me calmer because it's not all sitting there, looking at me.

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