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Are Kitchen Islands Out of Style?

Are kitchen islands in or out? If you ask any cabinet maker in Melbourne, you will soon learn that they are most definitely in. In a big way! It’s likely that if you’ve renovated your kitchen or built a new house, your cabinet maker has recommended a kitchen island as a space-saving and aesthetic solution for space to optimise your kitchen. But, as household dynamics evolve, will they still have a place in Australian kitchens going forward?


In this article, we’ll explore the kitchen island in greater detail, discuss its pros and cons, and see whether installing one in your kitchen is right for your household needs.

What is a kitchen island?

A kitchen island is a cabinet that acts as a storage and workspace area in a kitchen. But it doesn’t stop there. They can perform many functions – depending on your household needs.

Kitchen islands aren’t necessarily a new phenomenon though, having appeared in Australian kitchens since the early 1950s. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that kitchen islands took off as open-plan living grew in popularity.

Flashforward to now, cabinet makers specialising in kitchen renovation design and installation are continuing to recommend kitchen islands to homeowners as they provide space, style and practicality.

What purpose does a kitchen island serve?

Beyond the core features of a kitchen island, your purpose for having one is a very personal thing and will be unique to each household. So when you think about having a kitchen island installed, careful consideration of form and function to meet the needs of your household should go into your thought process. For example, kitchen islands should strike the perfect balance where preparation and cooking work can be done and also provide sufficient storage.

A kitchen island’s beauty also lies in the things you cannot see. It is great at enhancing the social element of a kitchen as this space is often where people connect and more recently, do other forms of work – beyond cooking and eating.

What do you need in a kitchen island?

Well, the short answer to this is that it depends on your household needs. Depending on what path you go down regarding design will determine how it both looks and functions.

There are, of course, a lot of additional considerations you might want to ask yourself when deciding on the right kitchen island for you. For example, if you are thinking from a practical standpoint, consider whether your sink and preparation area belong on the kitchen island or is it simply going to act as a bench with storage space underneath. This will end up determining factors like design and cost.

If you are looking to entertain family and friends regularly, then your kitchen island should consider space and adaptability that can facilitate extra seating at gatherings. Even something which can be moved around by casters to suit the occasion. It should also have the storage space to keep all those entertaining goodies required for home events.

On the other hand, if you just love cooking for the family, having the kids sit in the kitchen while you talk as a family, or as a place to do some occasional work from home, then having the right amount of space to make sure you can do these comfortably, will need to be a deciding factor.

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How big should a kitchen island be?

Again, having a conversation with your builder is the best place to start, as not all houses are built the same, meaning that your kitchen island will need to work in harmony with the size and shape of your existing kitchen floor plan so you can reap the benefits.

Before starting the conversation, have an idea of the dimensions of your kitchen and perhaps draw it out on paper, so you’re able to visually start plotting things out.

Should all houses have a kitchen island?

Unfortunately, not all houses have the luxury of space to accommodate a kitchen island. If you have a smaller kitchen, it could become a hindrance. You first must consider the size of the island, plus the size of all other aspects that goes into a kitchen – in addition to space used to pass through various areas of the kitchen and beyond.

With all of this being said, make sure you speak to a kitchen design and renovation expert before you cross the possibility of a kitchen cabinet off the list!

Need a little help with your kitchen design and renovation?

At H&H Cabinets, we can safely confirm that kitchen islands are most definitely in style and are here to stay.

Many factors go into a kitchen island design – like your purpose for having one and what function(s) it will serve for you and your household. Other deciding factors like materials, plumbing and electrical will also dictate your end design and how much it will cost, but this all comes down to what type of kitchen island you want to install.

Just remember that kitchen islands may not be practical in your space, so it’s always best to measure your kitchen area. Use the rule of thumb that if it feels like it’s going to be a challenge to move around freely, then it’s probably not the right way to go. On the other hand, if everything adds up, then it’s time to talk to us.

H&H Cabinets are a family-owned and operated business established in 1968. We specialise in kitchen renovations, design and installation for kitchens of all kinds. We take great pride in what we do and focus on seeing the smile on our customers’ faces when they walk into their new kitchens. If you’re looking for that perfect kitchen island or kitchen renovation, speak to us today!

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