How to design the kitchen island – useful planning ideas and tips

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There is no doubt that it is the island that is the focal point in a kitchen! Properly designing the kitchen island is an essential step to successfully design a functional and ergonomic kitchen. A real way of life, the kitchen island is now a must. It allows you to optimize the activity triangle and have more workspace! If well designed, it can replace the need for extra space reserved for the sink and meal preparation.

Functional and modern kitchen island design

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To properly design the kitchen island, there are a good number of questions to ask yourself such as: Which work plan to choose?; What should be put on the island?; What is the price of an island? Which style to choose?. It is also necessary to take into consideration the right dimensions, to arrange the kitchen with an island – adapted to the available space – neither too small nor too large! Read on and discover our tips and ideas for designing a functional and ergonomic kitchen island!

The elements to consider to succeed in the design of kitchen island?

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The surface of the kitchen: in order to achieve your dream of arranging a functional and ergonomic kitchen with an island, there are many factors to consider. And the size of the kitchen is among the most important! As a general rule, the larger it is, the better. But, in the contemporary kitchen, even fifteen square meters (and, in no case less than that) can be enough for the installation of a functional island.

Kitchen open to the dining room with a large functional island

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The function of the kitchen island: if your kitchen has a place to house an island, you still have a second point to consider – its function. Will it act as an additional workspace? Or will it house the hob and sink? And what about the extractor hood, piping and additional storage space? All these questions must be specified before the installation work of the kitchen island. Because, if the pipes are not installed where it is needed, solving the problem will cost you a lot of money. Also consider installing a convenient elevated bar, which will allow you to have a meal in the pleasant atmosphere of your kitchen.

Contemporary kitchen with plenty of storage and a functional central island

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Thesize and shape of the kitchen island: as for the size of your island, it depends entirely on the available space as well as on your own wishes and needs. If you live alone, you have other space needs than those of a family of four who like to get together and cook together. As a rule, the kitchen island with a size of less than 1 meter is hardly useful. A great alternative would be to enjoy a kitchen service. An island more than 5 meters long is not practical either, because it is too bulky.

Graphic kitchen in black and white with a large central island

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How far from the kitchen island should the rest of the furniture be installed: one of the most important aspects to consider when designing the functional kitchen island is how far away the rest of the furniture should be installed. A minimum clearance of 120cm is strongly recommended so that you can open both two opposite cabinets and so that you can move easily between the island and the storage. It is important to know that the installation of a kitchen island must be thought according to the activity triangle – this will greatly facilitate the movement.

The advantages and disadvantages of a kitchen with island

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The advantages

-A super functional element, the kitchen island is the heart of the room, allowing the harmonious separation between the rooms and the gain of conviviality.
-The kitchen island offers a lot of space, which allows the storage of pots, pans, containers etc. as well as the installation of larger appliances such as a dishwasher for example.
-Equipping the kitchen island with a table or with a bar and some bar stools, allows you to enjoy a very friendly additional room.

Small white marble island to optimize space in the small kitchen

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Cons

-The installation of an island in the kitchen
requires a lot of space -Difficult to plan and install, the kitchen island requires the advice of a specialist.
-Designed as a dining area, the island overlooks the dirty dishes and the mess so typical of kitchens.

Which worktop for your kitchen island?

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It’s on the worktop where you spend your time cutting and preparing excellent dishes! That is why this essential element deserves to give it the necessary importance! The worktop to be placed on the contemporary kitchen island comes in a wide range of designs and materials. We have the choice between wood, stainless steel, marble, granite, quartz, glass, resin etc. And for each of these materials, we can decide the thickness, the color, and the cut.

Natural stone worktop for the contemporary kitchen island

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The natural stone worktop is among the favorite choices of many people because it is a timeless and super-robust material. It is she who invites herself to the contemporary kitchen to offer you the desired superior quality, which will last several years without wearing out. Boasting excellent robustness and exceptional beauty, natural stone can be cut to measure, in order to meet all requirements.

Kitchen island worktop – dare granite

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Granite is among the most robust natural stones, which are increasingly found in contemporary kitchens. It comes in a wide range of colors which makes it the ideal choice for kitchens of any style. Its surface is resistant to shocks, scratches and high heat. It is the variable and often too high price, which is considered the main disadvantage of stone.

Marble worktop to highlight the kitchen island

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The marble trend invades contemporary cuisine with the elegance that noble stone breathes. The marble worktop on the kitchen island, turns out to be an excellent choice, because it brings a touch of nobility, softness and sensuality. Resistant to scratches and heat, marble comes in a wide range of colors and veins.

Wooden worktop to be placed on the kitchen island

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Increasingly popular in the contemporary kitchen, the wooden worktop brings a warm atmosphere to the space. Several types of wood are available to you, among which are soft and firmer. Before choosing the type of wood, it is necessary to take into consideration the atmosphere it will create, its particular appearance, its price and its maintenance. If you cook often, it is highly recommended to choose a firm and resistant wood (such as beech and oak).

Wooden worktop to develop a warm and cozy kitchen

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The wooden worktop requires regular maintenance. The wood must be treated beforehand so that it does not absorb liquids that have fallen on its surface. Sometimes sanding with sandpaper will be necessary and after that, the application of a protective layer of oil.

Kitchen island with quartz worktop

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The quartz worktop (a reconstituted stone) is an excellent alternative to marble and granite, the appearance and color of which can be custom designed. Modern and elegant, quartz suits all styles and furniture. Among its qualities we can list its lower price than granite, for example, its resistance to scratches and heat and easy cleaning thanks to its super smooth surface.

Resin worktop for the kitchen island

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The resin worktop is enjoying increasing interest. Soft to the touch and easy to maintain, resin is one of the materials that have excellent impact and heat resistance. It comes in a wide range of colours and finds its place in kitchens of any style. It is less resistant to scratches but it is simple to maintain with a cloth and conventional cleaning products.

Ceramic worktop for an elegant kitchen

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A harder material than granite, ceramic enjoys unparalleled strength and beauty that lasts a long time. The ceramic worktop has good scratch resistance and excellent heat resistance. Very easy to clean, ceramic does not require any special maintenance. Offering a contemporary aesthetic to any kitchen, the ceramic worktop is a good investment that you won’t regret.

Stainless steel as a worktop

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More resistant and easy to clean than ever, stainless steel is one of the preferred materials that are increasingly chosen as a kitchen worktop. Quality stainless steel is expensive. The material scratches is one of its main disadvantages. If you bet on a stainless steel worktop, you can be sure that it will withstand the heat perfectly and that it will only require regular cleaning with soapy water.

Which kitchen island to favor to better optimize the space

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The design of an island depends on the design of the kitchen and its area. If it is a closed kitchen, it must have a space of a minimum of 15m2 so that one can circulate easily around the island. On the other hand, if it is an open kitchen, the installation of a central island will create a friendly area, connected with the rest of the interior. In such a case, the dimensions of the kitchen island will depend on its functions as well as the size of the kitchen. On the design side, the contemporary kitchen island can be custom designed and therefore, it can adopt the shape of a square, rectangle etc.

Alternative to the kitchen island – the peninsula

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If your kitchen has an area of less than 15m2, there is an excellent alternative to the island of your dreams – the peninsula. Often confused with the island, the latter represents, in fact, an extension of an already existing counter. It serves as a breakfast bar or a workspace. Attached to the rest of the cabinets, it can house the cooking area or a dining table. It is therefore an excellent solution to maximize space.

White marble peninsula to furnish a functional and modern kitchen

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