How big should a kitchen island be?
If you’ve got a large enough kitchen, the space that’s left once you’ve designed the layout of the rest of the room is what will dictate how big your kitchen island can be. For your kitchen island to be successful, it’s vital that you have the right-sized gap between the island and your other units.
Ideally this gap needs to be at least one metre – this will give enough space for people to comfortably and safely move around the kitchen, even when there are people sitting at the island, and it will also allow you to open doors and drawers with ease. 

Minimum size of a kitchen island

On average, kitchen islands tend to be around 1m x 2m, but they can still work well if they’re smaller. However, we recommend that if your available space is less than 1m x 1m, it is not sufficiently large enough for a kitchen island to work on a practical level. 

If you don’t have enough room for an island, but you still have enough room to create extra workspace, then consider having a peninsula instead. A peninsula is almost an island, but one end is fixed to the wall, merging with your other units. It will create more working space than simply leaving the units against the wall but won’t take up as much space as a separate island. 

So, as long as your room is large enough to incorporate a one-metre gap around it, your kitchen island can be as large or small as space allows. However, you don’t want to create an island that’s too big as it would make your kitchen look crowded and uninviting. The general rule of thumb is to make it no bigger than one-fifteenth the size of your overall kitchen space. 

What can you use a kitchen island for? 

Your kitchen island will provide extra workspace, and you can also incorporate extra storage by fitting cupboards beneath the worktop. But it is also a valuable area on which to install a sink or a hob. In practical terms, what you need is the best possible ergonomic working area based around the cooker, sink and fridge – known as the ‘kitchen triangle’. Ideally, you’ll be able to prepare food with everything in easy reach, and by placing either the sink or the hob on your island, you can work effectively, turning between the sink or hob and the other two elements of the triangle when need be.

If you have a large kitchen, you may want to create a gap that’s larger than one metre between the island and your units. However, don’t make the gap too large in the area where you’re going to be working as if it’s too large, it will be more difficult for you to work effectively, especially if you’ll be moving hot pans between the hob and the sink. 

When it comes to placing seating around your island, you will need to factor in a countertop overhang of at least 30cm to make it comfortable for people to sit at. You also need to be able to safely store your bar stools or chairs when they’re not being used so they don’t stick out and create a trip hazard. How many people can be comfortably seated at your island depends on the size. As a rule of thumb, allow a width of 50cm to 60cm per person so they don’t feel crowded. 

Planning your kitchen island

Contact us to book an appointment to talk to one of our experienced kitchen designers, who will help you plan your perfect kitchen island as part of your new kitchen fit out. We will help you create a space that’s as beautiful to look at as it is practical to work in, with lots of advice about what will work best based on how you want to use it.

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