Think carefully about the ergonomics of your island. ‘It’s a good idea to keep the ‘entertaining’ section slightly higher than the cooking and preparation area, and keep a safe distance from any hobs or hot taps when designing your kitchen,’ says Alex Main, director at The Main Company. ‘An L-shape seating area will ensure stools are not in one long line so users don’t have to turn their heads awkwardly to chat to each other.’


Use different surfaces on the island to suit the function. If your island is to be used for entertaining as well as cooking and washing, contrasting materials will help define ‘work’ from ‘play’ areas. ‘Granites such as Silestone and Caesarstone and the more unusual Dekton and cool-to-the-touch Zinc are ideal surfaces for cooking areas within kitchen islands,’ continues Alex, ‘as is stainless steel. Timber can also be used for a chopping area in the main prep zone, while a softened textured wood is perfect for sectioning off the entertaining area.’




Consider the functionality of the island. ‘A wet area can work well in an island, either as the main sink or a secondary one, but you’ll need to consider plumbing,’ says Graeme Smith, senior designer at 1909 Kitchens. ‘Plan your electrics right and you can even add a cooking appliance, such as an induction hob, which is a great way for the chef to stay involved in what else is happening around a room while meals are being prepared’.


‘Using the same colour throughout your kitchen creates a seamless extension to the units,’ says Gareth Atkin at Landau Parapan, ‘but choosing a contrasting colour or texture, such as high-gloss or exotic veneers with a stone or a wood worktop, can make a kitchen island the focal point. You can be smart with storage solutions by incorporating wine racks, an overhead saucepan rack or shelving. Great lighting will also make your island look very stylish.’



Shown from top to bottom and left to right:

Proline 128 grid kitchen, from £15,000, Pronorm

Light kitchen collection, by Modulnova, from £25,000, DesignSpaceLondon

Bespoke island, from £25,000, Holloways of Ludlow

Architectural kitchen, from £35,000, Martin Moore

Article by: Emily Peck