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30 July 2021

Size Guide: Is my Kitchen Big Enough for an Island?

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Dave Hut - Content Editor

@red_roses_home

Kitchen islands are a great way to maximise the space in your kitchen. Not only do they provide an extra work surface, but features such as drawers, shelves, and pull-out benches are also perfect for keeping your kitchen clutter-free. But what if you haven’t got much space to begin with? Can you introduce an island to a smaller kitchen, without making the room too cramped?

If you’ve found yourself wondering “is my kitchen big enough for an island?” and whether or not it would even be a practical addition to your home, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’ve put together a handy size guide to help you decide whether you have enough space for a new kitchen island. 

How big is a kitchen island?

There’s no fixed answer to the question “how big should a kitchen island be?” As a general rule, however, the smallest kitchen islands typically measure around 4 feet long by 2 feet wide (that’s approximately 122 cm x 61 cm). Large islands are usually around 200 cm x 100 cm, although some are even bigger – especially if they have features such as an integrated hob or sink.

At furniture.co.uk, our handcrafted freestanding kitchen islands measure 150 cm x 91 cm x 90 cm. Part of our bestselling Florence range, these real wood islands are available in four chic shades: white, truffle, dove grey and navy blue. We can also colour match your island to fit the rest of your kitchen. Simply fill out our custom paint service form or email us at [email protected] to enquire.

Whichever design you choose, our kitchen islands are the perfect size for large and medium-sized kitchens and include a range of thoughtful design features to help you keep your kitchen equipment in order:

  • 2 slatted shelves
  • 2 large drawers with removable separators
  • 2 slots for your chopping boards
  • 2-door cupboard
  • Space for 2 matching bar stools

Is my kitchen big enough for an island?

Unless your kitchen is truly tiny, you should generally be able to install a kitchen island without too much trouble. Even with limited space, providing you choose the right design, you should be able to easily maximise your kitchen’s storage capacity without making the room too claustrophobic or inconvenient to move around in.

Prioritising safety is of the utmost importance, of course. This is why, when choosing your kitchen island, you’ll need to consider how much space you’ll have around it once it’s in position. You and your family need to be able to walk safely around the island once it’s installed, without the fear of tripping over opened drawers.

After all, obstructions in the kitchen can lead to potentially dangerous accidents – from dropping hot plates or potentially even falling over when carrying a sharp utensil such as a knife. That’s why it’s vital that you choose a kitchen island that will fit comfortably in the space you have available.

Wondering what the recommended distance between a kitchen island and cabinets in the UK is? Generally, the consensus is that the minimum space around a kitchen island should be 70-75cm, giving you plenty of clearance and room to manoeuvre as you move around the kitchen. Not only will this amount of space (or more) make it much easier and safer for you to move around the room, but you will also be able to open any in-built drawers and cupboards with ease, without creating hazards.

By this rule of thumb, the available space in your kitchen would need to be a minimum of 290 cm x 230 cm for one of our Florence islands to fit comfortably. (This does not include areas taken up by your worktops or cupboards). Our islands feature drawers on both sides, so you’ll ideally need to be able to access them from all directions.

Another factor you’ll need to consider is whether you want to sit at your kitchen island and use it as a breakfast bar. This is a great way to transform your island into a homely hub, where friends and family can sit and spend time together, sharing delicious food and laughter. If you do want to be able to use your island in this way, will you be able to tuck your stools underneath the countertop or will you need to allow additional space for your seating?

At furniture.co.uk, our Florence range includes everything you need to create a cohesive kitchen. Our solid acacia wood bar stools are the perfect match for our kitchen islands, whether you want to choose the same shade or mix things up a little and order your stools in different colours!

Can you have an island in a small kitchen?

If you have a particularly cramped kitchen and you’re wondering “Do I have enough room for a kitchen island?”, you may fear that the answer to this question will be ‘no’. Don’t fret! Even a small kitchen can potentially accommodate an island. In fact, if you make your island into a multifunctional space, you could even be doing your kitchen – and yourself – a favour by installing one.

It ultimately depends on your own unique requirements and how much storage space you need from your island, as well as the specific dimensions of your kitchen.  For instance, if you choose a freestanding kitchen island with cupboards and drawers, you’ll need a room that’s big enough for you to access them easily, which makes that particular design not so well suited to a smaller space.

However, if you only need a couple of extra shelves, you might not need to allow almost a metre on each side of your island. In this case, you can select a space-saving model that provides convenient extra storage, but that doesn’t intrude too much on your kitchen as a whole.

Of course, another option for people who are concerned that their space may not be big enough, is to opt for a smaller kitchen breakfast bar with storage instead. Simpler in design, they offer slatted shelving space, a pull out chopping board and an additional countertop for preparing food. Our breakfast bars also have room to neatly store two bar stools underneath. Learn more about choosing between a kitchen island or breakfast bar in our detailed guide.

If you’re after more storage space, you could also try a custom sideboard or kitchen display cabinet with shelves and cupboards. The extra storage these items offer will help you free up existing counter space so that you won’t need to accommodate a full-size island. Plus, they can be set back against a wall rather than taking up space in the centre of the room – just like our breakfast bars when you’re not sitting at them!  

In fact, kitchen and dining room sideboards are the perfect space-saver. They are also easy to personalise, as you can style them up to suit your décor. You can use them to display precious mementoes and family photos or even your favourite house plants. Plus, you can use them to store all your kitchen essentials such as cutlery and crockery inside their handy drawers and cupboards.

Create your dream kitchen with furniture.co.uk

At furniture.co.uk, we’re proud to make handcrafted furniture that’s designed to last a lifetime. Our range of kitchen furniture is made from solid hardwood, with a naturally antibacterial and heat-resistant finish. This makes our islands perfect for withstanding wear and tear in a busy family kitchen – whether you’re preparing a meal, enjoying your morning coffee, or simply spending time together in the heart of your home.

Want to find out more about our Florence kitchen islands? Browse the full collection online or get in touch with us on 01989 763343 to have your questions answered. You can also email [email protected] and a member of our dedicated team will be more than happy to help.

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Dave Hut
Content Editor

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