Enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands is a great way to add more functionality and space. Kitchen islands can be constructed in various ways to meet design requirements.
Incorporating kitchen islands into a kitchen area is nothing new. Even before the advent of modern kitchen designs and kitchen cupboards, basic butcher blocks and separate islands serving a specific purpose was commonplace in kitchens dating back many centuries.
Today however, with the emphasis being on aesthetic design, incorporating kitchen islands offers many options and benefits.
Adding an island to your kitchen layout is a great way to add more work space and storage. Depending on the kitchen layout and design, a kitchen island can also be used to replace a table. There is no one specific island design, as each kitchen cupboard and layout design will dictate the size, shape.
Before we delve into enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands, it is important to realize that in order to accommodate an island in your layout, certain basic requirements will prevail.
Yep, it all has to do with adequate space. Depending on the island design, the most important requirement is whether the design and layout will succeed with the “walk-by test” and “door-test”.
- The “walk-by-test” is a simple measure of the human traffic past or around an island. The usual norm is a preferred 1,0 m, with a min of 800mm free space between the top overhangs.
- For the “door-test” it means that should an island be installed parallel to other kitchen cupboards and the floor cupboard door is open, can one “normal” person still easily move past the open door.
This is not cast in stone as many people with limited kitchen floor space are quite prepared to live with the fact that you cannot have an open door and move past the two structures.
Let us consider some popular ideas on enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands. Kitchen islands are usually free standing (island), island on wheels or an island that extends from an existing cupboard. The latter is often also referred to as a type of kitchen "nook".
Enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands – Extended Island:
This type of Island does not really fall within the category of what is normally referred to as an Island. However it is an ideal way to create more cupboard space, more work area and also a dining area. I normally recommend this option for a long narrow kitchen layout. This kitchen is 3m wide and cannot accommodate a loose standing island. The dining height of the lower level top is at 750mm (the same as a table/desk).
Enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands – Non standard Chairs
This lose standing island is has a granite top that extends 380 mm at two ends creating ample space to place 6 non-standard chairs. As the top is at normal worktop height of 915mm, the chair legs are also 140-160 mm longer than normal kitchen table chairs. The Island also cleverly houses the electric hob (at non-traffic end) with ceiling mounted extractor. The free space on 3 ends of this Island is 900mm.
Enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands – Typical split level Island Design.
The free standing structure has more than the usual free space between cupboards as there is sufficient space. This was done as the eye-level oven, hob and microwave is situated at the opposite wall. Typically the cupboards are used to store kitchen utensils and the everyday crockery used for meals. Provision is made for electrical points and comfortable accommodates 3 people.
Enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands – Multi-functional
Kitchen Islands are also made part of the design layout to create additional workspace and place essential kitchen components like special basins and prep bowls. This particular Island with Granite top, no provision was made for seating space as it is adjacent to a large family dining room.
Enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands – Extending functionality.
This particular Duco and Melamine kitchen design is complemented with a 2.6 m narrow island. The one end accommodates the prep bowl and water purifier, while the other end can seat up to 5 people. The stainless steel work top significantly extends the worktop area in a kitchen design layout that has less than usual work top area.
Enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands – Free- wheeling Island
This concept has probably been around the longest apart from the fixed butcher block. The “free- wheeling” kitchen island is the ideal kitchen companion when you need extra functionality with limited floor space. As this baby can be paced where ever you choose, it can add an extra dimension to your kitchen experience. Many retailers in and around Gauteng Johannesburg, market these type of islands in a variety of options in a “already assembled” or “knock-down” version. You are now able to buy an island or center block that can suite your specific kitchen needs.
The preceding discussion on enhancing kitchen cupboard designs with islands barely touched on the various options available to you to improve your kitchen's functionality.
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