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Food brings families together so it’s no wonder that kitchens are often regarded as the heart of a home though it’s only recently that we have started to really pay attention to our kitchen design. Functional and thoughtful layout is given as much importance as beautiful design, materials and architecture. A feature that is starting to become more popular in Indian kitchens is the island. We usually think of a kitchen island as a luxury item but the practicality of having one outweighs the initial cost.
A kitchen island may not be the first thing that pops up in your mind when looking for kitchen designs but they can be very useful features in this space. They add counter space and storage which is always something you need. You can also use this feature as an eating area, prep and cooking space or even as a semi-partition in an open layout kitchen. Read on for our 7 fabulous kitchen island design ideas to completely revamp your kitchens.
Image courtesy, Ottimo
Image courtesy, KNS Architects
KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH A BREAKFAST NOOK
Closed kitchens don’t always have enough space for a large kitchen island design but that doesn’t mean you forgo this feature completely. A well-positioned island can be just the thing to complete this space but keep it minimal. In this kitchen, the island doubles up as a compact breakfast nook for two with enclosed cabinets for added storage. The top also serves as extra counter space if and when required.
Design tip: Notice how the island blends in to the rest of the kitchen by using the same veneer throughout. This is a great way to ensure that the island doesn’t become a jarring visual feature in a smaller kitchen.
DOUBLE UP ON SINKS
A feature not often seen in Indian kitchens is the bar sink. This is a second, smaller sink that is usually used for washing and prepping food. If you want a bar sink in your kitchen, an island can be the perfect place for it. This way the kitchen island works as extra storage but also counter space designed solely as a prepping station. It’s a great way to ensure the rest of the kitchen doesn’t get messy while cooking. With this design, you could use the under-island storage as a pantry.
Design tip: A kitchen island is a great way to add colour to the space. You can use this feature to uplift the kitchen design by choosing a contrasting yet complementary colour.
Image courtesy, Fritz Fryer
Image courtesy, Alsorg
OPEN UP THE KITCHEN
A kitchen island is the perfect addition for an open kitchen. It creates a highly practical semi-partition without breaking the line of sight. By placing the sink or the gas range on the island, you can create an efficient ‘working triangle’ even in an open kitchen.
Design tip: With this kitchen island design for an open kitchen, plan the island parallel to the main wall. A narrow yet long island works well in this space.
UP YOUR STORAGE GAME
In this kitchen, they have completely relinquished wall cabinets to keep the design uncluttered. But you still need storage in the kitchen and here is where the kitchen island comes in handy. If you don’t like wall mounted cabinets or for some reason can’t have them in your kitchen, an island is a great way to add that much needed storage.
Design tip: Plan your storage well in advance. Knowing exactly what you are going to use it for helps you come up with a design for both enclosed and open storage within the island.
Image courtesy, Fritz Fryer
Image courtesy, KNS Architects
PREP AND COOK IN STYLE
A kitchen island can also be the perfect surface for the entire cooking process including prep work. Here, the hobs have been placed on the island instead and a chimney mounted on the ceiling. The rest of the counter space can be efficiently utilised for prep work while the enclosed storage could hold all the utensils that you need for cooking so everything is focused in one area. An added bonus is the large, almost floor-to-ceiling window that the free wall allows for which brings in oodles of natural light and ventilation.
Design tip: When planning your layout, keep in mind an uninterrupted ‘working triangle’ formed by the sink, gas range and refrigerator.
SERVE IT HOT
Step up your island game by turning it into a full-fledged dining area as well. With this kitchen, the island serves as a cooking area along with enough space carved out for family dining. If you are keen on this design, make the dining zone comfortable by keeping enough free leg room and go in for a silent chimney. This is a great way to have the whole family enjoy cooking and eating together.
Design tip: Pay attention to overhead lighting for your kitchen island; pendant lights are perfect for this area.
Image courtesy, ADND
Image courtesy, Sleek
BREAK IT UP
A large kitchen can sometimes be inconvenient because of the distance between the work stations or counters and the refrigerator. When the ‘working triangle’ of a kitchen is too big, you might end up with an inefficient design especially when you need to carry heavy items to and from the refrigerator. A mini kitchen island could be just the thing to solve that problem. It breaks the distance between your refrigerator and work counter.
Design tip: Since lack of storage is usually not an issue in a large kitchen, consider open shelves for your island where you can keep cook books, decorative items or even a small herd garden.
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