Double island kitchens – the latest trend we're predicting will outlast the pandemic

Double island kitchens are surging in popularity as more of us plan to work, teach – and cook – in kitchen long term

Double island kitchen
(Image credit: Tom Howley)

Think you are seeing double? No, not in 2021; as the pandemic stretches on, the desire for double island kitchens is growing. 

Kitchen islands are a perennial favorite but are even more in demand as we want to use more and more of our kitchens as workspaces, classrooms, and food preparation areas,' says bespoke kitchen designer, Tom Howley. The designer, like many of us, has of course spent a considerable duration of the past 11 months in his kitchen.

As households continue to adapt to the fluctuating times, our homes are also evolving, and with this comes the surge in demand for double island kitchens. ‘We are now taking it to the next level and expanding our kitchen island space by doubling up as the extra counter space takes multifunctional living to a new dimension,’ Tom adds. 

‘Kitchens have become the hub of the home during the past year, and as our lives and habits have changed, so to have the demands that we make on our kitchens, and the double kitchen island can simply elevate a kitchen area to a multitude of social spaces to cater for all the family.'

Double island kitchen, WFH, multi-purpose space

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

Why have a double island kitchen?

Having a double island kitchen allows the space to become truly multifunctional, without any compromises having to be made.

‘Typically, one island serves a more functional role – great for food prep – and may include a second sink or even a dishwasher, streamlining the cooking process,’ continues Tom Howley.

'The second island is then dedicated to entertaining or eating. It often has an area for bar stools, allowing guests to relax as you prepare a meal or for your children to do their homework while you whip up an after-school snack. 

'I have designed kitchens where the island counter makes up just 15% of the worktop space but boasts 90% usage. When possible, do fit an island counter. They serve as impromptu dinner tables, bars, home offices, and food prep stations. Sometimes all at the same time.’ 

Double island kitchen, WFH, multi-purpose space

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

The idea that the kitchen is the primal gathering place for families, and friends in a post-pandemic world is further emphasized by Camilla Clarke, Creative Director of the London based interior design studio, Albion Nord, who encourages us to ‘keep traffic flowing smoothly in a big kitchen by opting for two islands instead of a single large one.'

'Minimalist lines throughout the kitchen create a simple and clean atmosphere. If you’re working with a smaller space, a dual island can make the most of a cramped kitchen. I would consider having a walkway between the islands as this will make it easier to get from appliances such as the oven to the other side of the kitchen,’ Camilla adds.

Alongside the functionality of the double island amid the current restrictions, Graeme Smith, Head of Retail & Commercial Design at Life Kitchens, expands on 'the durability of these twin spaces, whose versatile nature will far outstretch current demands. Instead, they will become an arena of social gatherings, informal lunches, and parties.'

Double island kitchen, WFH, multi-purpose space

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

‘A double island kitchen design is the ultimate luxury if you have space. It offers lots of work surface space without the imposing nature of having one very long island. It allows you to segregate and create clear zones for your kitchen functions,’ Graeme shares. 

‘Keeping all your worksurface functionality to the islands also lends the opportunity for using your back runs as wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling cabinetry banks to maximize the space and keep everything sleek and seamless. Having two islands also allows for the most practical use of a large space – giving you instant access to the whole kitchen without having to walk all the way round,’ the designer adds. 

Whether the double island kitchen is used for work, rest or play, it is easy to see why this dreamy duo is more popular than ever. 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.