Kitchen island ideas that are guaranteed to make a statement

A statement island can be a spectacular addition that transforms a kitchen design as well as boosting usability.

With the move towards larger kitchens, in open plan spaces, the kitchen island has become an essential kitchen feature. It’s an easily adaptable piece which might be long and slim, running parallel to the work area, neat and round in a compact space or broad and spacious housing a sink, appliances, a seating area and oodles of storage – there as many kitchen island options as there are kitchens.

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From a functional perspective, an island provides extra prep space, cutting down the footwork between key areas of sink, cooker and fridge in an open plan space, and it also provides a boundary between the work zone of the kitchen and the neighbouring living/dining zone, keeping children and guests from getting under your feet. A shaped kitchen island can also help direct the flow of traffic away from hotspots or towards garden doors and a great view for instance.

Almost all kitchen islands incorporate some form of seating. Even the smallest space can usually accommodate an overhang of worktop and a pair or bar stools although more of us are opting for long islands with integrated low level, table-style seating at one end as a comfortable set up for family meals and entertaining.

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Functions aside, the change of pace offered by an island often encourages a change of material, introducing another dimension to your kitchen design. You might afford to be braver here with a bolder finish or colourway, or perhaps a more expensive material that would be prohibitive across an entire kitchen. ‘An island tends to define the kitchen, forming a neat and transparent division to the dining and living space beyond,’ says Laurence Pidgeon, Director at Laurence Pidgeon.

‘For this reason, at least the facing part of the island should be in warm and welcoming materials to make a transition from efficient kitchen surfaces. For a show-stopping centrepiece, look to luxury materials, from deeply veined marble and mottled granites to exotic timber veneers and gleaming mirror or burnished metal. ‘There’s a trend for an increasing use of textured materials – think raw or rough-sawn wood, honed or flamed stone tops – as well as a contrast of colour or finish between island and rest of kitchen,’ reveals Laurence Pidgeon. The latest trends for islands include long, generous work benches with integrated sinks and often a selection of worktop materials.