4 weeks ago

Kitchen Islands – The Star of The Show


The team at O’Connors of Drumleck explain why a kitchen island is the real heart of the home, and what elements are essential when designing yours …

At the heart of the kitchen, the island is the star that is grabbing all the attention. Whether alluring and imposing or chic and small, curved or square, wood or laminated, the island is flexible in its role and adaptable to your layout. It demands focus on what you put there – oven, sink, storage?

The kitchen island

It adapts to almost all configurations and few kitchens would be without these days. A recent Instagram survey we held revealed that 100% of customers looking for a new kitchen would like to have an island. That’s a pretty definitive vote!

Seductively sitting in the middle of the kitchen, the island is a flexible piece of kit. Adaptive and accessible, it brings character to the room, the heart to the heart of the home, as it were. The island gives an extra work surface and storage area. However, if you plan to place to cooking surface or sink there, remember that there is a little extra planning required to ensure the electricity supply or water supply reach their destination.

Class and functionality

Once considered a work surface, the modern kitchen island is a breakfast bar, casual dining area and coffee with the pals zone. It seems altogether too formal to sit in the living space sometimes, so we naturally congregate around the area where the coffee is being made and where conversation keeps humming. Whatever you do, work with a good designer to ensure that the workflow between sink, cooker and fridge are aided rather than hindered by the island.

How do I decorate my kitchen island?

Too much decoration on your island will attract clutter. It is important to be accountable and neat. If you are prone to dropping sunglasses, keys and leaving recipe books floating around, then it gives permission to the rest of the family to do the same. To keep your styling eclectic and fresh, have a small tray with unique and unusual pots for condiments and some fresh herbs. This will add character to your home and inject personality into the styling. A scented candle never goes astray. Scandinavian hygge would have you light the candle every day to create a cosy atmosphere. Fresh flowers, locally grown scented sweet peas or geraniums are an alternative – adding a biophilic touch as well as glamour and a fresh scent.

Does the kitchen island have to match the cabinets?

You will quickly see in the images shared in this post that the kitchen island is a standalone piece and can add a touch of colour and contrast in your kitchen. It is acceptable to opt for an entirely different colour – in the case of the cream cabinetry and aubergine island below. Or you could consider a shade of difference – perhaps light green cabinetry and a dark green island? Typically lighter coloured cabinetry with a darker island will add depth to the room, and all similarly coloured will add symmetry.

Traditional kitchen designs with islands

In the images shared in this post which feature kitchens designed and created by O’Connors of Drumleck, you will notice the differences from curved edges and shapes, to the contrasting work surfaces within the islands. There are no rules here, and you can add appliances or not, according to your preference. It is handy to put a stove top into the island so that you can stir and chat at the same time, if it takes your fancy. And grouping the breakfast bar on one side, leaves you with plenty of storage space that can be accessed without battling through a sea of legs. Depending on the shape of your room, the kitchen island also acts as a divider between zones. Our kitchen designer can help you ensure that the island is not too big and works perfectly for your space, family and lifestyle.

If you would like some advice about designing our new kitchen, use the contact form on our website to arrange an appointment. We are happy to help.


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