In recent years, we have seen large kitchen/diners remain consistently popular as the trend for open plan living continues to grow. In our experience, kitchen islands are the ideal complement to the modern multi-use kitchen, providing oodles of extra, precious storage, seating, and surface space, it is no wonder island units are one of the biggest luxuries in kitchen design, and their popularity continues to soar.

Why are kitchen islands a good idea?

For many households, the kitchen is the hub of the home. Plus, modern family living tends to demand both parents to share domestic duties whilst trying to juggle work, children, and everything else in between. Our chaotic lifestyles call for a more practical, open space where more than one thing can be achieved at the same time – cooking the dinner whilst helping with homework, work from home whilst prepping packed lunches, or food prepping ahead of time to make getting children to their clubs and playdates an easier task during the working week. A traditional, closed layout would make all these tasks harder.

The Covid pandemic seemed to engrain this way of thinking even further – with more people working from home and entertaining at home more than usual, a practical space has proved pivotal. Customers seem to be paying better attention to how their living space is laid out and how conducive it is to productive working – the fact is, most homes cannot dedicate a whole room or loft to an office and are opting instead to zone off their open plan, light filled kitchen space to accommodate their needs instead.

The way we entertain friends and family has changed too. Back in the 80s and 90s the trend was to entertain guests in a separate, formal dining set up and to prepare food behind closed doors until the big reveal. The whole way we cook has evolved over the years as well, now-a-days, if people are not eating out in a restaurant, they prefer the kitchen and the cooking to be on display, and for the entertaining to take place casually whilst food is prepared (in full view) and enjoyed.

Integrating kitchen island designs into kitchen design planning has become a must, simply because they offer ideal storage solutions as well as extra kitchen cabinets and prep space without the need to change your ground floor blueprint. For homes boasting more compact space in the kitchen often find that adding a breakfast bar complete with a couple of bar stools, make a stark difference to the feel and practicality of their kitchen.

Pros and cons of a kitchen island

If you are currently planning your kitchen and considering kitchen island ideas, make sure you consider all the pros and cons. The main advantages include gaining more counter space, more storage, and eating area, and even room for an appliance or small sink. Islands are great for open plan design concepts because they allow you to interact with people not in the kitchen with you while you’re cooking. The disadvantages only really come down to the additional cost involved and, whether you have plenty of space available to house an island. You need your kitchen to be functional, so adding an island and causing dysfunction in a small space is not advisable.

If you are not renovating, consider a freestanding kitchen island option for a versatile way to tap into the trend. If you are looking for a unique piece of bespoke furniture for your kitchen project, we would love to discuss design ideas with you. Similarly, check out our case studies for inspiration.