Among the various types of kitchens, the Island Kitchen is characterised by the presence of an island – hence the name – at the centre of the room, separate from the other cabinetry. It is the most contemporary choice, both for its aesthetics and for the opportunities to manage space and find a place for every utensil and appliance.
Island Kitchen Typologies
Island Kitchens offer a range of possible configurations:
- Island Kitchen with a work area and cabinetry for food preparation and storage in open cabinetry, with cupboard doors and deep or regular drawers
- Island with a cooktop and sinks: the island can be transformed into a functional workstation for washing and cooking food
- Island Kitchen with snack counter, raised or at table height for breakfast or a quick snack
- Wall mounted island: the island can be set against one of the short walls of the kitchen to create an unusual arrangement
A mix of functional solutions when furnishing an Island Kitchen creates a space that meets anyone’s needs.
The Advantages of an Island Kitchen
Of the many types of kitchens available, an Island Kitchen is one of the most popular among those who love to cook, because it facilitates movements and defines a truly pleasing space in which to spend time. What is more, the Island Kitchen offers a vast range of solutions that unite aesthetics with function.
Freedom of movement is ensured by an Island Kitchen because it simplifies the time spent cooking by providing space and freeing up movements. This type of kitchen generally requires a large amount of floor area.
The cook is never alone. Space for guests can be created by adding snack counters or tables for entertaining and preparing food at the same time: cooks will never miss another aperitif. A counter and stools are also an ideal solution for breakfast, for a quick snack or for helping out with homework in the kitchen.
The cook has a view of the room, rather than staring at a wall, and can participate in domestic life, to everyone’s benefit.
An Island Kitchen can be opened up toward the living room, making it a practical solution for modern homes, in which a single open living area is now quite common. This type of kitchen is also ideal for cooking and keeping an eye on small children playing on the couch.
Work Flow Ergonomics
In an Island Kitchen, work flows – the movements involved in cooking – are fluid, easy and unencumbered. A fair amount of space makes it easy to organise a rational set of operations. The refrigerator is close to the sinks, so the cook can grab fresh produce, wash it right away, and move on to the phase of preparation or cooking, thanks to the ideal placement of the cooktop and ovens. Deep and regular drawers, work tops and low cabinets are arranged to respond to the various activities in the kitchen to make sure that things are where you need them, when you need them. This approach is based on a triangular pattern of movements between areas along the walls and those on the island. The Island Kitchen requires minimum movements and offers the best configuration of work flows.
The suggested minimum distance between the island and wall cabinets is
- 120 cm for opening facing cupboard doors at the same time
- 120 cm to allow two people to work in the kitchen
For those thinking about purchasing an Island Kitchen we have a few simple and effective suggestions to be followed and, if possible, incorporated into the design of a home.
Think about the kitchen when designing a home. The island stands at the centre of the room, which means the house has to be designed to ensure the necessary electrical and plumbing connections, in addition to the need for a centrally located exhaust hood.
Plumbing and electrical power: if the house has already been built, floors may have to be demolished to make the necessary connections. To avoid these invasive works, consider using the island only as a work surface and storage.
Exhaust hood. When the island requires a ceiling mounted exhaust hood, consider a model with a steel structure. This practical solution can also be used to store utensils, expanding the available space; in general, the space of the kitchen should be easy to ventilate to help control humidity.
Pop up electrical outlets: an invaluable detail for a wide range of small appliances.
Pay attention to lighting: use suspended or recessed lighting to illuminate work surfaces.