A Complete Guide on Kitchen Island, Its Types and Uses!
Richa Parmar is an Architect by profession & blogger by choice. She gained her B-Arch degree since 2014. She leads the team Gharpedia. She is a Sr. Manager – Architect at SDCPL. She is a senior editor and also a core member of Editorial Team. She looks after Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape, Vaastu, & Best Home Design sections of Gharpedia, apart from overall supervision. Passionate in the field of designing & creativity, she loves doing researching in her field & implements the same in her all work. Apart from writing, she loves painting, reading & travelling. You can reach her at LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Quora & Medium.
Modern-day Kitchen Island has gained a lot of significance over the years and is being found in more and more homes. It has become a center of attraction in contemporary kitchens. A kitchen island can be considered the best thing to happen to contemporary kitchens because of how they seamlessly solve space issues. A kitchen island is a centrally located freestanding counter in a kitchen that allows access from all sides. It is used primarily for food preparation, storage of accessories needed for cooking and dining or a breakfast counter. It is an elegant solution to the problem of finding a usable workspace in a typical home kitchen which has adequate space. It can either match your existing kitchen or compliment it.
Generally, a kitchen island is an additional counter which has multiple uses. It is only recommended for kitchens having a minimum length of 4.50 meters (14.8 feet) and width of 3.60 meters (11.8 feet), which can include an island counter with the minimum dimension of 1.20 meters (4 feet) in length and a little more than 0.60 meter (2 feet) in width.
Therefore, for a small kitchen, an island counter is not an appropriate solution. It’s better to plan only a kitchen platform in the periphery of the kitchen wall to follow the criteria of a kitchen work triangle.
There are different types of kitchen islands that you can design for your kitchen. For smaller kitchens, additional movable islands (available in smaller sizes) are preferable. Foldable or folding kitchen island, portable kitchen island or a movable kitchen island will be useful in smaller kitchens when there is a mess on the regular counters.
Types of Kitchen Island
Here are some trendy types of kitchen islands for different kitchen layouts and sizes:
01. Permanent or Fixed Kitchen Island
This type of island counter is attached to the kitchen area and cannot be moved. While a fixed kitchen island can be designed to suit the kitchen, they can also be done in different shapes and sizes as per your choice and size of the room. You can also add kitchen island chairs or stools are per your design.
Fixed Kitchen Island
A fixed kitchen island can also combine two functions on one counter, as it allows for cooking or preparation at a lower level and eating at a higher level, literally!
02. Portable Kitchen Island or Kitchen Utility Cart with Wheels
Movable Kitchen Island or Kitchen Utility Cart with Wheels
Movable Kitchen Island Table with Countertop
This type of kitchen island has wheels attached to the under portion so that they can be moved from one area of the kitchen to another. This type of island counter is suitable for a medium-sized kitchen. Generally, this movable storage is made of wood or steel to make it light in weight so that it can be moved from one place to another with ease. After using the portable island counter, it can be moved to other areas and can also be used as storage in other rooms.
03. Folding Kitchen Island
Folding Kitchen Island
A folding kitchen island is suitable for kitchens that are smaller in size and can also be used outdoors as they are portable. They can be folded and stored when not in use. It is good for very small kitchen spaces.
Now that we have learned all we can about a kitchen island, let us have a look at some ways in which these island counters can be used.
04. Double Tired Island
Double Tired Kitchen Island
Double tired kitchen island is basically same as a fixed kitchen island, just that it has two levels of counters. The two tiers works as a divider works as a divider in open floor layout. The higher level is used as a wet bar and buffet table while conducting parties. It serves a dual purpose of cooking as well as dining such that cooking is done on a lower level and dining on the higher level.
The above-mentioned types of Kitchen Island were based on its function. But if you really want to deep dive & know the popular shapes for Kitchen Island, here we have a detailed & most readable blog for you: Popular Kitchen Island Shapes!
Ways to Use a Kitchen Island
Now that you have known the types of Kitchen Island, here are the various ways in which you can use a kitchen island in your modern or contemporary kitchen.
01. Preparation Area
Kitchen Island as a Preparation Area
A simple kitchen island design includes a smooth countertop made of standard kitchen material such as tile, stainless steel, wood, granite or stone. This surface allows a person to prepare items that need a lot of space like atta (dough) and pastas, or to transfer hot food items from the oven/gas stove to cool before serving.
02. Dining Table
Kitchen Island as a Dining Area
Kitchen Island as a Dining Area
One of the easiest ways to use a kitchen island, other than for food preparation, is to add some chairs to allow guests or other family members to sit and interact with the cook whilst they work. In smaller homes or apartments, this proves advantageous as they can’t fit a full dining room table. Depending on the amount of space you have, you can place a contemporary kitchen island with a couple of island chairs to make the kitchen more serviceable and comfortable not only for cooking but also for having breakfast and other meals.
03. Extra Storage Area
Kitchen Island as an Extra Storage Area
If you are running out of space for storage in the kitchen, then a kitchen island with storage space can solve your problem. You can equip an island counter with drawers, pull out shelves, and cabinets. Kitchen island designs also provide for a dustbin underneath so as not to interfere with the main preparation area of the kitchen.
04. Additional Kitchen Amenities
Kitchen Island designs may also feature a working sink, refrigerator drawers, cooking area and disposal unit for preparing or cutting fruits and vegetables. A cutting board may be pulled out from one end or can be placed on top of the island counter for handling raw food items.
Kitchen Island for Additional Amenities
Kitchen Island designs can also have a set of electric burners, a flat pan or even a grill. If such a countertop cooking system is used, proper ventilation is necessary. A kitchen exhaust fan/chimney should be provided above the heating elements which will remove smoke and other odours from the rest of the kitchen. A chimney also gets rid of hot air and allows fresh air to come in.
05. Work Station For Kids
Kitchen Island as a Work Station For Kids
Kids can finish their homework while sitting on the island chairs or can even pitch in to help make dinner while their parents cook. A kitchen island is a great place for kids to become part of the action and also remain in their parents’ view. A kitchen island is also fun for kids during after-school snack time and morning breakfast.
Concluding on a final note, kitchen island is a focal point used for varied purposes be it a gathering space, a breakfast space, homework space for kids, food preparation and storage. They are all about functionality and flexibility which makes a kitchen compliment with the kitchen island. It is a contemporary addition that totally transforms the space.
Since you are already reading about Kitchen Island and you are keenly interested in designing one such, we have additional information regarding its sizes and design tips: