The kitchen island: how to choose the best configuration taking all living factors into account?
Providing a kitchen island is an ideal design solution for creating a room with a modern look. Specifically, kitchens that have an island are ideal both for newly built homes and for renovation projects for homes that are already furnished but need a more or less radical change in furnishings.
One of the strong points of the kitchen island is its enormous versatility: depending on the specific needs of the project, it can serve as a countertop, as an operative surface to be used for washing or cooking food, or even as a decorative element in the room. There really is plenty of versatility in this regard.
What do you need to know before choosing a kitchen island?
The wealth of available configurations and design solutions makes kitchen islands a great resource for interior designers. The presence of an island not only improves the design and appearance of the room in which food is prepared and eaten, making it more modern and welcoming, but also increases its functionality.
Depending on the needs that have emerged in the preliminary design phase, it may therefore be decided to install an island that only acts as a worktop or that has a more operational function. The island can also become the centrepiece of the room design : in this case, great attention must be paid to the choice of materials and the aesthetics of this component.
Precisely the design of the island is one of the aspects to be assessed most carefully. While islands made of a single material, such as wood or marble, give an elegant and sober look to the room, islands made of a mix of materials suggest more sophistication and refinement.
Depending on the space available and the final look you want to give the room, you may decide to place the kitchen island in the centre or in a side position. In these cases, it may be useful to choose a so-called “cascade” island, i.e. with the side parts covered in the same material used for the surface of the island top itself.
In smaller kitchens, the island can replace the dining table, or extendable or retractable elements can be used to add seating, which can be used when guests are present.
Why should you install a kitchen island?
Kitchens with an island are the most modern and functional solution available. Adding such an element to the kitchen is also a brilliant way to make optimal use of the available space and to make the room more comfortable and cosy.
For example, large kitchens and kitchens in open-plan spaces facing the living area are the ones that present the ideal conditions to host an island. In fact, environments of this type leave the interior decorator ample freedom to experiment with original solutions, which give the room used for preparing food a unique and highly refined look.
The versatility of the kitchen island is also appreciated in terms of style. Although in most cases furniture with modern and contemporary lines is used, very interesting projects can also be realised using classic and retro-designed furniture.
Versatility and the ability to meet a long list of needs are the two main reasons why, if there is enough space, you should always consider installing a kitchen island.
What are the best materials and configurations for a Kitchen Island?
When you choose to design an island, you must always carefully evaluate the amount of space available and then identify the best position in which to install it. One must especially make sure that there is enough space to move between the island and the furniture along the wall of the room. In addition, attention must be paid to the arrangement of the hob, sink and refrigerator to ensure good ergonomics.
The position of the equipment also influences the final decision on where to place the island and what shape to give it. Especially if it is a renovation, it may be decided not to change the installations and to use the existing ones, only modifying the aesthetics of the room.
The most common configurations involve the installation of a central or side kitchen island. In locations with unusual dimensions, L- or T-shaped islands could also be considered. Solutions of this type are particularly useful when there is a need to create a multifunctional island, with one part dedicated to food preparation and one part acting as a snack surface.
Wood is the most suitable material for those who wish to create a kitchen island with a warm look. On the other hand, steel is the ideal solution for creating a design that looks ultra-modern and sophisticated. Ceramic, marble and natural stone are positioned between these two poles: all these materials are a wonderful option for those who want to balance tradition and modernity and for those who want to create a kitchen that looks both elegant and solid.
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