In a larger room, you might have enough space for an island or a table and chairs at the centre of the U. Or, in a classic kitchen-diner, the third leg of your u-shape could be a peninsula – a long island joined at one end to the wall, between kitchen and dining areas. If your room is open-plan and you spend a lot of time entertaining, you may want to think about having the bulk of your kitchen designed as a u-shaped island, which can then become a real cook's theatre. Or create a G-shape, with a peninsula joined to one of the walls. What is it? A common solution for medium-sized rooms is to run the units round three walls in a U shape. or ultimate efficiency, with everything at your fingertips choose an ultra practical U-shape design.
If you're planning a larger refit or build, you may also need Planning Permission or Building Regulations approval. Visit the Planning Portal (planningportal.gov.uk) for further information. Often your budget will dictate how much project management is needed. If you're buying off the shelf from a DIY store you'd expect to have to employ and co-ordinate an variety of craftsmen including builders, plumbers and electricians. A number of mid-price kitchen companies provide fitting services but often you'll have to get them to liaise with other trades for work outside their fitting remit. Always check with your kitchen company at the start about which services they can and can't provide. Even many bespoke companies will not undertake first-fit electrics or plumbing so you will have to co-ordinate these elements yourself. Some of the high-end bespoke companies do offer ‘turn key' services, where they will co-ordinate all building plumbing and electrical work but be prepared to pay a premium for this service.
An island unit has lots to bring to a kitchen design. It can provide extra prep space and form a boundary between the cooking zone and the living/dining area. A shaped island unit can also help direct the flow of traffic away from busy hotspots. Functions aside, the change of pace offered by a kitchen island often encourages a variation in material. You can afford to be braver here with a bolder finish or colour, or perhaps a more expensive material that would be prohibitive across an entire room. An island will define a kitchen, forming a division between dining and living spaces. For this reason, at least the facing part of the island should be in warm and welcoming materials to make a transition from efficient kitchen surfaces.
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