Planning A Kitchen Island

B&Q Kitchen

Want to centre your kitchen around a kitchen island? There's an art to getting it right - and what you have where will depend on how you use your kitchen on a daily basis, too. Here's how to get it right.

Planning A Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is the open-plan kitchen-diner's secret weapon. A well-planned one performs many roles - from housing and hiding appliances and providing seating space at a breakfast bar, to creating a divide between the cooking space and the dining area.

Where To Put It

The obvious place is at a central point in your kitchen, so that it allows plenty of space for manoeuvring around it. Before you plan it (whether in a showroom or with your builder), it's vital to make sure that there is actually enough room for the island in the space you have, and that when you're working at it, you won't continually clash with the units opposite - there's no point in placing your sink there if you have to move every time anyone wants to open the oven door on the other side of the kitchen.

Equally, shoehorning in a wide island that steals useful space from the rest of the room beyond it will only make your kitchen feel smaller. Our advice? If you can, make a large paper template of the island you've planned in your head, drop it on to the floor in the right spot in the room and live with it for a couple of days. If it's a squeeze you'll soon know.

What To Put In It

Assuming you're planning your kitchen with a good designer, they will give you plenty of pointers - but it's essential to go in with your own ideas. If you're a keen cook, an island that houses the hob will allow you to face out into the dining/seating area where your guests will gather. However, the island will need to be deep enough to allow some worktop space at the back of the hob, for safety reasons, if not practical ones.

If your island is narrow, you may be limited to a breakfast bar - a bonus if your kitchen is not big enough to house a dining area, too. Ideally, avoid putting the sink in an island - it's the focal point of the room and your eyes will be forever drawn to a pile of washing up. What goes beneath really depends on the rest of your kitchen - if you lack storage space, extra drawers will be a plus; if you've enough already, indulge in luxuries.

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