Add a worktop overhang to create a breakfast bar seating area, or a stepped-down surface for an informal dining table. To make the design more functional, position ‘working' elements along one side of your island so you don't waste time constantly walking around it. ‘Most people allow 900mm between a wall run of cabinets and an island,' says Nicholas Goldman, MD at Goldman & Rankin. ‘However, it should really be 1,100mm minimum to create a spacious feel, especially if you have more than one cook in the kitchen, so you can move past each other with ease. Get the layout right and you're a long way towards creating your perfect kitchen. Our kitchen island ideas will help you choose the perfect central unit. With the move towards larger, open-plan kitchen extensions, the kitchen island has become an essential feature. It can be long and slim, running parallel to the work area; neat and round in a compact room; or big and broad, housing a sink and appliances.
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.
For a show-stopping centrepiece look to luxury materials, from deeply veined marble and mottled granites to exotic timber veneers and gleaming mirrored glass or burnished metal. There's a trend towards more textured materials, think raw or rough-sawn wood, honed or flamed stone tops, as well as a contrast of colour or finish between the island and the rest of the kitchen. And don't forget kitchen island lighting – it can turn a good-looking unit into a showstopper of a kitchen centrepiece. Want more design inspiration? Take a look at these showstopping kitchen ideas and our pick of the best kitchen storage ideas Almost all kitchen islands incorporate seating – even the smallest space can usually accommodate an overhang of worktop and a pair of bar stools, although more of us are opting for long kitchen islands with integrated low-level, table-style seating at one end.
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