The Biggest Kitchen Island Design Mistakes You’ll Want to Watch out For!

So…you’re thinking of getting a Kitchen Island…

Kitchen islands often act as the superstar of every kitchen. It is the main attraction, the place where everyone gathers to enjoy a flavorsome meal or a riveting conversation.

Kitchen islands can serve as a place for additional storage, food prep space, or a work area for the other busy parts of life.

When designing one, it is important to choose the right place and size to avoid making your kitchen look wonky and disproportionate.

Keep in mind that because the kitchen is a work area, things that get in the way are going to make it an uncomfortable and unbearable place to be.

With our experience creating hand-made kitchens in Norwich, we’ve seen many mistakes that our customers look to rectify, so below we’ve listed eight of the  most common kitchen island design mistakes we encounter.

The problems

Going Way Too Big

Kitchen islands act as the center of the kitchen, so they get a lot of attention. This can make it very tempting to make it incredibly huge and overpowering since it is often the main attraction.

However, an island too big can easily make your kitchen feel cramped and disproportionate.

It is important to allow a clearance of at least 1-1.20 meters around to ensure this mistake is prevented.

If the kitchen is U-shaped, increase that number to more than 3 meters to avoid feeling cramped and claustrophobic. If the kitchen is narrow and less than 4 meters wide, a kitchen island isn’t going to be the best idea.

Going Way Too Small

This mistake is just as bad as having a kitchen island that is too big. When designing, always remember that a kitchen island is often used for storage and a space to work. With that being said, if it is too small, it won’t serve either of those purposes and will end up being a complete waste of money and valuable space.

Most people make this mistake because they want a kitchen island but don’t have a large enough kitchen to have one. Others make it out of fear of making it too big. A length of at least 1 meter is good enough. If you don’t have enough room, try a prep table instead.

Lack of Power and Plumbing

You don’t need both power and plumbing to have a great kitchen island, but one is always good to have to make it as efficient and useful as possible. People often skimp out on these options because they just don’t realize that they are needed. The world of interior design is becoming more modern by the day, so designers must implement this into their everyday life.

Power is essential because the kitchen island is often used as a space to cook or prepare food for cooking. Power can act as a source to plug in various appliances or things like phones and tablets for viewing recipes or background noise. Plumbing is only essential if the island itself comes with a dishwasher or sink, but it also adds to the functional kitchen triangle and balances everything out a bit more.

Consider what your needs are and what it would be like if you didn’t have either of these two things included with your island. Would it be burdensome or would it not matter at all?

Lack of Purpose

A kitchen island isn’t meant to be a huge square of building materials. This extra space in your kitchen adds flow and flavor to the space. It brings balance, interest, and sound to the kitchen. Think about the different purposes a kitchen island serves: cooking, prepping, serving, storage, etc. Each one of these requires a particular size and dimension in order to work well. This is especially true for those interested in adding appliances.

A very wide island can serve multiple purposes, but you have to have space for it. And some island features – like a sink for example – will need to be paired with other appliances like a dishwasher. This adds to the practicality, an essential part of a functional kitchen. Most designers forget this because they lose sight of the end goal and what every day in the kitchen is really like. That type of thinking results in unnecessary additions or a loss on very essential additions.

Too Many or Too Little Seats

Seating is a popular option with kitchen islands. Most of them have enough room for this feature, but how much is enough? When people design kitchen islands, they usually overdo the seating because they see the island as more of a table than an island. Remember, this is not a kitchen table. It is meant to act as a workspace and a place for extra storage, not necessarily as a place to sit.

It is also important to keep in mind that you don’t need to have a seat at the island for every single person in the house, as there won’t likely be enough room. Most homes have a dining room anyway, and seating at the island is more of a hangout thing and a quick place to eat instead of a place to sit down and really dine.

Lack of Good Lighting

Any area of focus should have a good light either right above it, below it, or nearby. A lack of good lighting can be damaging to the eyesight over time, and it can also make the kitchen feel imbalanced and empty, no matter how many things fill its space. Most people forget that the island needs just as much light as the other parts of the kitchen since it is a focused area.

Look at a few good lighting solutions that complement both the decor and the functionality or purpose of the island. Consider opting for dimmable lighting to adjust to preferences for cooking and dining.

Practical thinking is the bottom line when it comes to powerful and productive kitchen island designing. The best way to handle it is to keep your routine in mind. This can help you separate the needs from the wants and get you on track to walking through a well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing kitchen.