So you've decided to take the plunge and include an island bench in your kitchen renovation. It's going to take up a lot of valuable space, so how do you ensure that you get the best from your kitchen island bench? There are plenty of things to keep in mind and a few tricks you can use to make sure that your kitchen island works. In this guide we'll give you advice and ideas for your kitchen island.
Including storage space on both the working and public sides of your kitchen island will gain you valuable space. On the public side of the island, try installing cabinets for storing kitchen items not used every day - napkins, plastic knives and forks, or platters, for instance.
On the working side, it's a good idea to have storage for objects that you need to have readily to hand. A kitchen island is isolated from the rest of the kitchen and you'll waste time and energy if you need to constantly turn back and forth grabbing the items you need. The type of storage you need will depend on the sort of tasks you are doing - if it is a cooking island you'll need to have your pots and pans close to hand. If it's a preparation island, knives and cutting boards will be more important.
If you've got a dishwasher or a sink in your island, your storage options will be more limited. But by using drawers and clever ideas such as lazy susans, you can make the most of this space too.
If you are going to have a stovetop and oven on your island, it's going to be necessary to ventilate it - and this can be a tricky job. There are a couple of ways to do this. One option is to install a downdraft fan behind the cooktop, along with a ventilation fan in the roof. The problem with this method is that it may not be powerful enough to get rid of unpleasant smells.
The other option is to install a full overhead rangehood, which is expensive but can look great in the right sort of kitchen (that is, one with high ceilings and plenty of space). A problem with a full rangehood is that it tends to block lines of sight in your kitchen and can ruin the sense of flow.
A Restrained Island
If you don't want the workings of your kitchen island to be apparent to everybody nearby, try extending the face of your island on the entertaining area side by several centimetres, and using the same kind of material on the front as is found on your cabinets. A kitchen island that mimics other features in the house will be less conspicuous.