How to install an island in a small kitchen

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The question of how to integrate an island into a small kitchen is a common question among homeowners. An island appears to be a real object of desire, as well as a way to increase storage and counter potential. But you might think you don’t have room for one … until now.

Our small kitchen ideas often revolve around getting into the room more than you might think possible, and we’re not alone. Blakes London kitchen designer Annie Ebenston is used to customers who want to have it all, but since they often live in townhouses, it usually requires smart management of the layout. “The owners of this side apartment wanted an informal, relaxed and sociable atmosphere with plenty of space to eat together when their extended family comes,” says Annie. “They also wanted an island with a built-in hob. »No small order in a 30ft x 16ft room.

How to install an island in a small kitchen

How to integrate an island into a small kitchen with built-in seating and floor-to-ceiling windows

Design by Blakes London and Joanna Williams Interiors

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

1. Combine the island with integrated seats

When it comes to small kitchen layout ideas, an island and dining table are often at the top of the wishlist. “Especially in open and friendly spaces,” says Annie. “However, this room is relatively long and narrow (30ft x 16ft), which didn’t leave enough room for both. The integration of benches in the island always saves space, because it eliminates the circulation space required around the chairs.

2. Place storage in unexpected spaces

How to integrate an island into a small kitchen with an oak pantry

Design by Blakes London and Joanna Williams Interiors

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

With utensils, appliances, and dishes all having to live somewhere, little kitchen storage ideas have to work especially hard. Because Annie built the bench on the island, she was able to use it as cupboards. “We took the opportunity to add drawers under the seat for storage – something you can never have too many of,” she says, having also managed to find room for a pantry. in the cupboards. “Combining the island and the dining room then left the other end of the room free to create a seating area. “

3. Use color to create an island design element

How to install an island in a small kitchen

Design by Blakes London and Joanna Williams Interiors

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

If you are planning on placing an island in a small space, chances are there is not much room left for other aesthetic gestures, except maybe for small kitchen paint colors. So make the island as pretty as possible.

“Done well, an island with an attached bench can also form a striking focal point,” says Annie. “Here we used deep veined Guatemalan green stone with incredible book matching and a cascading edge, as well as verdant forest green leather seats. This color scheme was inspired by the lush green views outside – sitting in the custom bench seat, you feel like you are nestled in a canopy of trees. For added comfort and ease, we always recommend ultra leather, which is synthetic and more durable and easier to clean than real leather. If you go for a fixed bench seat, with no removable cushion covers, I really wouldn’t use anything else. A firm, foam-based seat is also preferable to something squishy, ​​like feathers, when you dine, as it provides more support when you sit at the table.

4. Don’t be unrealistic about sizes

Some small kitchens are unfortunately too small for an island, and it’s good to know how much you actually need. “Size is critical when planning an island / bench combo – going too far can create a huge obstruction in the room,” says Annie. “This island is 80cm deep, which is about as narrow as I would suggest if there is a hob or sink installed, but a 70cm depth is fine if it’s just for. the preparation. A reasonably narrow table is also wise. Choose one with a center support (no legs in the corners) to squeeze extra guests at the ends. Not for everyday use, but you can make it work for occasional receptions. ‘

5. Avoid too much statement lighting

How to integrate an island in a small kitchen with lighting above a dining table

Design by Blakes London and Joanna Williams Interiors

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

When you think of small kitchen island ideas, it’s easy to get carried away by the trendy lighting. But too much can dominate this already little space. “When buying lights, avoid lights above the island and table – they’re too close together and will compete for attention,” says Annie. “We always recommend lower mood lighting to set the mood above the dining table, and more discreet but powerful (and dimmable) task lighting above the island. “


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