What are the advantages of a kitchen with an island ?

The advantages of a kitchen with an island

The design of kitchens with islands has introduced a new way of interpreting the kitchen space, changing the balances and dogmas perpetuated over the centuries and changing the point of view of the end user. The perspective changes and the culinary experience changes. The advantages of island cooking are indisputable :
  • Enlarge the surface area : the island gives a pleasant optical effect, widening the perceived space; it is placed in the middle of the room, filling in areas that often cannot be highlighted and instils a feeling of increased available volume. An element in a central position is highlighted, while an element placed against a wall loses its meaning.
  • Cooking with a view : the classic "wall view" of the traditional kitchen is replaced by a "panoramic view" (if there are windows and patio doors facing the outside). This new perspective allows us to share the experience of food preparation with our guests or other family members, without turning our backs on them, and above all to have control and the ability to follow what is happening in the surrounding room.
  • Connecting without separating : in an open space, the island becomes a connecting element between the living room and the kitchen without physically creating separation barriers (walls, partitions, etc.). Moreover, it has its own function and utility, it is not an end in itself.
  • Increasing storage space and customization possibilities : the island, compatible with the available space, can be equipped on both sides, increasing the available storage space and becoming a piece of furniture that blends in with the surrounding environment, becoming a bridge between the elements of the galley and those of the living space (open compartments with shelves, doors coordinated with the furniture in the living room or with the floor, etc.).
  • Increasing the functionality of the kitchen : the island makes the kitchen more versatile, increasing its possibilities of use; this space is no longer just used for food preparation, but becomes a comfortable table for breakfast, aperitifs or quick meals, to be eaten in the comfort of being close to the ovens and stoves.

Precautions to be taken when installing a kitchen with an island

On the other hand, it is necessary to take into account certain problems that may arise if you wish to move towards this type of solution :
  • Hydraulic and electric predispositions : depending on the function of the island (lights, sink, simple work surface), it is necessary to provide hydraulic connections and electric power supply during the construction. The particular conformation of the island does not admit errors in the design. This element must necessarily be thought out upstream of the project.
  • Large space and functionality : the measurements of the island are important. An island that is too shallow (at least 90 cm of useful soil) or too small (at least 150 cm) loses its functionality. It is necessary to assess whether the environment is suitable for this type of element, which needs a relatively large space to allow easy movement to other furniture: kitchen, dining table and other furnishing elements. In addition, enriching the island with too many functional areas (cooking, storage, washing, etc.) has a negative effect on ergonomics and therefore on the quality of your kitchen experience.
  • Lighting and vacuuming : the kitchen island configuration requires more thought about how to light the "separate" area. Natural or general light in the room alone is not enough to ensure proper lighting at all times of day and in all seasons. It will be essential to have suspended lighting bodies or plasterboard with recessed LED profiles above the work area. 
  • Another important consideration should be made for the hood, if there are cooking plates on the island. In order not to make big mistakes, the best thing to do is to evaluate the different types of extractor hoods on the market and choose the one that best suits your needs. The predisposition to ventilation should also not be underestimated; leaving these details to chance could seriously compromise the final result.
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