News & Inspiration

Everything you need to know about kitchen islands

Mar 10, 2021 | Inspirations

“The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen.” – Julia Child.

Everyone knows that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Memories are made here, along with breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, and more. It is a space that adds value to your home as a clever, thoughtful layout has the potential to transform your life. 

Subtle design decisions can create a well-organised space that you will love. Kitchen islands remain popular choices for most. It will add an extra surface for prepping and serving as well as a focal point in the kitchen. 

How big should an island be? 

If you are choosing stone for the kitchen island worktop, a quartz slab size is typically 3200 mm x 1600 mm. As such the width can’t generally expand past 1600.  

Additionally, there are standards that you need to adhere to regarding the heights of units, distance from worktop to wall unit etc to make the design practical. This impacts the size of the island as you need to allow for a walkway that is at least 1000mm wide so people can move freely past each other and doors can open and not hit off each other. The island gets its size from the size of the room minus the cabinet width then minus your walkway.  

Can I have a large kitchen island? 

If you have space in the kitchen, however, and want to go bigger, there are options to add a 300 – 500mm wooden surface area or even seamless joints in stone. 

Should I put the hob on the kitchen island or against the wall? 

This is a personal choice, whether you would like to have the hob on the island with a downdraft or against the wall with a rangehood. There is no wrong or right answer, however, it must be decided early in the planning stage to ensure that the correct electrics are run to the correct place in the kitchen. Most people prefer to have it against the wall. 

Should I put a sink on the kitchen island? 

Including a sink in the kitchen island is a popular choice. You must ensure that the correct plumbing can be arranged to the island. You will also often see a kitchen with two sinks, one on the island and one against the wall. In this case, you can use one for food preparation and the other for washing dishes or a similar arrangement. Boiling water taps, such as Quooker, are also a very popular inclusion. 

Does a kitchen island add value? 

The kitchen island alone may add value, however, it is more the overall quality, layout and design of the kitchen that will attract buyers. 

How big does your kitchen need to be to include a kitchen island? 

Start by measuring your space. The kitchen cabinet width is typically 600mm, and the walkway (as mentioned above) should be at least 1000mm. 

For example: say the length of your room is 4000mm and you would like to include an island: Subtract 600mm for the cabinets = 3400mm. Next, subtract the two walkways from either side of the island (2 x 1000mm) and you are left with 1400mm space for the width of the island. 

Can I include a kitchen island breakfast bar or seating area? 

This will depend on the layout that you like and how much space that there is for chairs to come in and out. We often include a wooden section to differentiate the seating area from the stone worksurface. 

Should your kitchen island match your cabinets? 

Whether the kitchen island matches the cabinets or not is a question of style. The kitchen island is often a unique statement piece in the room. As such you can choose to have different materials or paint colours to allow its features to stand out. On the other hand, you may prefer it to appear as part of a cohesive look and keep the materials and colours the same. 

What colour island goes with cabinets? 

Our designers can help you with colour choices but ultimately this is a personal decision. Often a bold colour on the island with neutral kitchen cabinets will look amazing. 

Inspire me with kitchen island ideas? 

Be inspired to create your bespoke kitchen island. 

Mixing textures

Victorian Residence Kitchen Design, Killiney

Waterfall island 

Dublin Lansdowne Place Penthouse Contemporary Kitchen

Country House Charm

Country Retreat Hand-Painted Kitchen

Add wood, seating and storage

Georgian Home, Hand-painted Kitchen

Include appliances or a wine fridge 

Georgian Home, Hand-painted Kitchen

 Add a sink 

Grey Inframe Waterford Period Kitchen

Create colour pops

Contemporary Home, Malahide Inframe Handpainted Kitchen

Choose designer bar stools 

Add a butcher block for a farmhouse look 

Bellingham Inframe Kitchen, Wicklow

I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk around kitchen islands and that we’ve answered all your questions.

If you are ready to discuss your home project, we invite you to complete the contact form on our website to arrange a personal visit to our showroom where you can appreciate the craftsmanship and unique qualities in every piece of furniture. We look forward to discussing your ideas and plans so that we can improve the functionality and flow that you are currently living with.

In the meantime, on our blog, you will find a host of inspiring articles. Our most popular articles this month are Kitchen Styling TipsOpen Plan Kitchen Design and why to choose a Bespoke Kitchen

Follow our Instagram feed too, for daily posts featuring glossy kitchen images from our workshop in Co. Louth to beautiful homes across Ireland.