For most of us, a multipurpose, rich kitchen island is the pinnacle of our kitchen desires – after all, this is the single most sought-after element of the modern kitchen design.
Before you get yourself a kitchen island, the most important aspect to consider is the space available in your kitchen. Most people are under the impression that a kitchen island can only be installed in the larger, modern and typically open kitchens. While, of course, the kitchen island requires quite a bit of space to be successfully set up, let’s not forget there are many shapes and types of them – because of that, it’s possible to install a kitchen island of the corresponding size in almost any kind of a kitchen. If you don’t believe me, just read on to discover all there is about the kitchen island types and their sizes.
Types of kitchens
Obviously, the layout of your kitchen has the biggest impact on the verdict – whether or not you can fit the kitchen island into your kitchen, or not. Let’s see what are the requirements in the case of the kitchen concepts:
- Open kitchen – if your kitchen is an open one, you’re unlikely to encounter any problems when installing a kitchen island. After all, between your kitchen and the room, it’s connected with, there is usually plenty of space. Read on for the specific sizes of the different types of islands, and make your pick.
- Closed kitchen – this is a bit more problematic. Whether you have enough space to accommodate a kitchen island or not is yet to be discovered, so read on for specific sizes of the types of kitchen islands available, and do some math whether or not you’re able to squeeze it in. If not, consider a kitchen peninsula or changing the layout of your kitchen.
Types of kitchen islands
When we’re still at the planning stage of your kitchen design, it’s crucial that you answer yourself one simple questions – what kinds of purposes do you want your future kitchen island to fulfill? Depending on the versatility of your kitchen island, the shape of it will vary – so first, pick one that meets your needs:
- Countertop type – the plainest type of a kitchen island. If all you’re looking for is some additional work surface, that’s kept in the modern style, this is the type of a kitchen island you should consider. At the same time, this is the smallest of all the available kitchen island types, because it doesn’t serve any additional purpose, and as such is deprived of any additional appliances. While it might not be a versatile and multipurpose powerhouse of an island, it’s easy to fit one like that in most of the kitchens out there – the standard size is 80×60 centimeters.
- Bar type – again nothing fancy and complicated, this type works as a bar surface, mainly for serving drinks and other types of beverages. These types of kitchen islands are commonly crafted to be thinner, yet longer than the countertop type. Serving drinks do not require to be all that wide, yet it’s cool if it’s a bit longer, to allow more people to use it – great when throwing parties. Usually comes at the size of 80×40 centimeters, but as stated before, can be made longer without a problem. Just get yourself a corresponding set of bar stools.
- Cooking island – now, this type is a bit more serious. This type allows you to cook with it, and that means it has to be a bit larger, not only to accommodate your hotplate but also for the additional space needed for food preparation and for dishes to be kept at. Such an island usually measures at least 140×80 centimeters. Remember to get one with built-in storage options for all your cookware – this will offset the space you had to sacrifice for it.
- Washing island – another type of a kitchen island, this one focuses on your dishes and the need to clean and store them. Naturally, such an island has to be equipped with a sink, and ideally even a dishwasher on the bottom part of it. Similarly to the cooking type of the kitchen island, additional space is required for your work surface. All in all, it’s a bit bigger, usually measuring at least 150×80 centimeters.
- All-in-one island – now, this is the pinnacle of kitchen island technology, the one-man-army we would all love to have installed in our houses. The concept is simple – this one combines all the aforementioned types of kitchen islands, into a single unit able to do all the work. While, of course, this is the biggest of them all, keep in mind it’s where you will be able to perform almost all of your kitchen tasks. Because of that, while it requires a considerable amount of space, it allows you to free up tons of it everywhere else in your kitchen. Before you calculate of you will be able to fit one of these in your kitchen, make sure you remember that the rest of your kitchen will be less cluttered. In any case, these start at 200×100 centimeters.
While these are the standard types of kitchen island you can install in your kitchen, their sizes are not the only thing you have to consider. To be safe and be able to use your kitchen island comfortably, you have to remember about the clearance zone – it’s not enough to squeeze a kitchen island into a kitchen, you still have to be able to walk around it and work on it, right?
A lot depends on your kitchen layout, and where will you be installing your cabinetry and storage. The standard length of space that should be left free between the kitchen island and your cabinetry or appliances is one meter ( 3 feet) from each size. This will allow you to move around the kitchen freely, as well as convenient access when you want to use it.
However, it’s not enough to just leave one meter of free space from each side and call it a day – consider what kinds of drawers and appliances are situated around your kitchen island. Remember that when you open a cabinet door, or your dishwasher, the open door will be in your way. A potential danger, as you could trip on it and hurt yourself. Keep that in mind, and do your best to minimalize such risks. If possible, leave more than 1-meter free space on each side of your kitchen, where you will have appliances or cabinets that open downward or pull out. Better safe than sorry.
What if you don’t have enough space?
After we’ve listed all the different sizes of the kitchen islands, now you should already know whether you will have enough for one of them, or not. If you do have enough, then great and carry on. Unfortunately, some of you might not be so lucky – but don’t fret, that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to have it your way. After all, helping you out is the reason for this article, right?
Granted, such a situation will require you to take some additional measures, and probably pay extra to make it all work. Whether you’re ready to go through with it or not, is up to you, but let’s list your options:
- A custom made kitchen island – while we’ve listed the standard sizes of different kitchen islands, it doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself one crafted specifically for your kitchen. In such a case, we’re sure a professional will be able to tell you where you can work some numbers to make it all fit.
- Change the concept of your kitchen – whether you’re just at the planning stage of your future kitchen, or already have one and try to just remodel it, the most drastic yet effective way of changing it to accommodate a kitchen island is breaking some walls. Yeah, we know this is pretty heavy, but think about the possible result – connecting your kitchen with a living room or a dining room will not only grant you plenty of space for installing a kitchen island but also bring the modern feeling into your interiors. Expensive and demanding, but how effective.
- Consider a kitchen peninsula – a great option for smaller and shorter kitchens, such a variation of the kitchen island can be just as pretty, yet requires less space to be operational. This is because you don’t need to leave the one meter of clearance free space on one side of your kitchen island. This is especially good in the closed kitchen, as these are the ones that are usually shorter.
- What about a single-wall kitchen plus the kitchen island? – if don’t install the appliances and cabinetry on both sides of your kitchen island, and in turn move it all onto one wall that’s behind your island, you will gain plenty of space on the sides of the kitchen island – basically, you just got all the clearance space you ever needed. Keep in mind, designing the single-wall kitchen is not as simple as it sounds, and requires you to change your habits a bit, but can be very effective if you approach the subject prepared.
This sums up our guide to the sizes of different kitchen islands, as well as the required size of your kitchen that’s needed to accommodate an island.
The final thing to keep in mind is, remember that the more advanced the kitchen island you choose is, the more space you will be able to save around your kitchen, by getting rid of all the appliances and storage compartments which you will install in the kitchen island itself.
For that reason, do some accurate calculations, and if you decide to get the kitchen island, make sure you get one equipped with as much storage space and additional features as possible – the result will offset the investment.