Inspiring kitchens with islands

For so many of us planning a kitchen extension, an island unit is a must have. With a range of styles, shapes and sizes to choose from, the possibilities are endless to make your kitchen unique. 

We pick some of our very favourite kitchens with islands to give you some serious renovation inspiration! From modern Scandi inspired looks, to classic shaker island units, we have covered them all.

Plus, we have also included some tips that will help when planning an island!


Choose a dual worktop

There's no set rule that you must have only one worktop finish - if you want to make your island unit a bit different, then go for a combination of worktop finishes. You can easily mix a marble and wood worktop to give a beautiful and practical finish, separating the food preparation and the eating area. 

The island unit below does a great job of mixing a wooden worktop with steel - this can also be a cost effective way of adding a new kitchen island unit as a wood finish is normally cheaper than others.

The overhang here is also perfect for the bar stool and will be perfect to sit and eat comfortably. If you want to incorporate seating on your island unit, the overhang should be a minimum of 300mm. If you have plenty of space, make sure you do allow for some practical seating as it's such a social feature on an island unit.

Kitchen by Sustainable Kitchens

Go as big as you can!

We are seriously inspired by the Scandi looking kitchen with the incredible island unit below. If you have a wide kitchen then be brave and go for a long island unit. It's a great way to break up the kitchen from the rest of the open plan living area. It's also really practical and let's you fit so much storage in at ground level too.

There are so many things we love about this kitchen below. The fun blue cabinets are the focal point and the large island unit looks so simple and minimalistic in the room. There is a really cool wooden bench in the middle of the island and there is also room to tuck the stools away underneath it.

Kitchen by Design A Space

A classic shaker will always be popular

The classic shaker will always be a smart choice and one that you will never get bored of. Longer term, a hand painted island unit means you can easily update the colour as the trends change. 

Wide drawers on island units are a great idea, like the one below. You can store everything in them, from pots and pans to plates and bowls. Access is far easier than a cupboard where things might be hiding in the back and not always within easy reach.

You don't always need to have seating in your island unit - this beautiful island unit is used for food prep only. The clever combination of island unit and floor to ceiling cupboards, make the kitchen practical whilst utilising all of the space. We also love this deep mauve colour - simply perfection!

Kitchen by Kingshill Furniture


Modern family island unit

This white gloss kitchen with island unit has been brought to life with the fun Portugese inspired tiles - a great idea to really brighten up a large kitchen and a perfect look in the otherwise simplistic kitchen.

We love the mixture of wood and white worktop - the wood is raised and segregates the eating area, giving some definition and adding something a bit different to the island unit. 

Remember, if you are fitting pendant lighting above your island, make sure you have a clear line of sight under them, like in the kitchen below!

Kitchen by The Kitchen Partners

Choose a movable island unit

If you are desperate for an island unit but don't want to make it a permanent feature, choose a movable island unit like this one below. The wheels are really discrete, so it looks like a permanent fixture, but can easily be moved if you want to create more space. This is perfect if you like to entertain and need to leave more room for a larger table for guests, or create a dance floor if you are prone to hosting a party!

This island unit works really well as it's small but still large enough for a couple of people to sit at and ample for food preparation. Remember with an island unit, the smallest you really want to go for is 600mm deep plus allow an additional 300mm for an overhang for friends and family to sit at. In terms of width you would want a minimum of 1,200mm wide, which would allow for a double cupboard - anything smaller than this would not be practical.

Kitchen by Mark Taylor Design

Add appliances for a grown up look

Appliances are big news for island units and there are so many options. It's popular to integrate your sink, cooker or even a hot water tap into an island unit. Think of pop up downdraft extractors or even an integrated extractor. Other great ideas are slimline drinks fridges, like the one below, or else consider a sunken cool box if you always want some chilled drinks (or bubbles!) on ice.

To make your island unit more practical, think of pop up sockets if you don't want sockets visible on your island unit.

Kitchen worktop by Coulon Stone

Think outside of the box

Looking for something a bit different than the conventional rectangular island unit? There are so many different shapes that you can choose now. Consider adding a round seating area at the end of the island, an L-shaped island unit or an oblong to add a bit more interest.

We love the beautiful island unit below, with the ultra modern blue gloss unit and the white modern worktop. It's fun and entirely different to anything else that we have seen!

Even if you don't want to opt for a round unit, do consider rounding the corners of the worktop if you have a young family, this is far safer with less of an opportunity to bump their heads!

Kitchen by Osborne Interiors


Make the island your focal point

This is another great example of how an island unit doesn't need to be rectangular. This island unit dominates this kitchen in a completely stylish and functional way. It's so modern and simple in style with the hob flush with the worktop, which blends in seamlessly. 

The simple seating area is cleverly positioned to look out into the garden whilst having the benefit of being on the island unit, so still so sociable.

We also love the very on trend worktop that is so slim, moving away from the chunky granite that has been so popular.

Kitchen by Hux London


Published: June 6, 2019

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