Tuesday 6 December 2011

Kitchen Islands

Just taking a quick break from the Christmas posts to share with you a great idea if you are considering an island for your kitchen.  I recently viewed a home that was for sale and what a beautiful home it was!  The photo below is of the kitchen that was open concept to the family room.

To centre a table under the ceiling fan would make it awkwardly close to the island. By placing a table closer to the family room side would look unbalanced with the ceiling fixture and impede on the family room space.

I immediately start thinking about furniture placement and the function of the space.  With the island configuration set up as it is, it can only seat 2 people.  This could be suitable in the mornings for a small family where breakfast may often be eaten in shifts between showering and the usual rush of a morning routine.  However, for a  family that wish to have dinner together in the evenings it did not function very well - unless of course you use the formal dining room on a regular basis, but for most families that just isn't the case anymore.  

I was concerned of not being able to place a table in this kitchen without crowding the space and still allowing easy traffic flow.  I was later informed that the homeowner who designed the kitchen, made the island a   'floating island' which simply means it is not fixed to the floor.  I have seen this done before and was pleasantly surprised at the thought he'd put into the design.

This space in the kitchen between the oven and the island was approximately 5 feet.

There are one of two things that you can do in this scenario.  Moving the floating island closer to the oven would still allow plenty of room to manoeuvre between both counters as well as leaving enough space to open the oven with room to spare.  This would then provide the necessary space required on the other side of the island to place a table within proximity without being too crowded. 

Another option would be to turn the island width ways and butt a table right up beside it.  As there are no elements such as fixed pendent lighting above the island in this specific kitchen and there is plenty of room surrounding the entire island, either layout  would be fine.    

Here is one example of placing a table firmly beside an island

If you have this kind of space, an island can truly make a grand statement

Its' a nice surprise when people think about the details and what a big difference the 'little things' make.  Kitchen islands are fabulous if you have the appropriate space and when they are designed properly to the right scale.  There is nothing worse than a teeny tiny island that serves no purpose or the over sized island in a space that is too small.  Getting it right can be tricky, so I recommend a consultation with an expert to ensure you get it just right.

If you are thinking of doing any renovations in the New Year and would like professional advice before doing so, please contact me and I will be more than happy to help make your dreams for your home a reality.  My contact details are on my website at http://www.creatingcontrastdesigns.com/

I hope you have been able to start your Christmas shopping, I pretty much started and finished mine all in one day.  I love getting it over and done with!  There will be more Christmas posts coming soon with delicious decor ideas for the festive season.


  1. Thanks for sharing this post Claire... I agree that maybe "a little more" could have been done with the design or layout of this island in such a great space. For me, I prefer seating in an island to incorporate people facing one another or are at least adjacent (much like photo 3 and 4) that doesn't have to be as big.
    For those wanting an island where there isn't one, an important recommendation from the National Kitchen and Bath Association guidelines, is that there is a min of 42" between countertop edges or island edge to an appliance for proper walkway clearance. Too often people "squeeze" one in that becomes too tight to be functional.

  2. Thanks for your comment and the information Elena, it is useful to know!