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The Do’s and Don’ts of Kitchen Island Design

  • 4 minute read
  • Oct 21st, 2019

Islands can be the heart of the kitchen, where families gather to have casual meals and share stories of their day. Aside from their social function, islands should be designed and installed for a specific purpose. Homeowners today are opting for multi-functional islands equipped with sinks, hobs, microwaves and even mini refrigerators.

With so many expectations, homeowners tend to overcompensate for their excitement and make critical mistakes that they may regret later. That’s where Granite and TREND Transformations steps in. Our industry trained design consultants have the knowledge and experience to guide you every step of the way. Plus, our beautiful selection worktop overlays and etherium® by E-Stone surfaces can not only make your kitchen island dream a reality it just may be the talk of the town.

Here are some do’s and don’ts when designing your kitchen island:


  • Assign a specific task or function for your island: If its main purpose is cooking ,  install a hob,  drawers for utensils and storage for pots and pans. For a food/prep center, be sure to install a sink, chopping area and even a small refrigerator. If the main purpose is to provide an additional casual dining area, include seating and storage for dishware and serving.
  • Design the right size island to fit the space:  Determine how much space your kitchen will allow for an island (permanent or temporary). An island that is too small for the space won’t be functional; one that is too big may cause a disruption in traffic or workflow. Rember to ask your fitter for the maximum overhang to allow for sitting comfortably at the island.   For larger kitchens, two islands might work better than one large one.
  • Plan for electricity: Ideally, you want at least two electrical outlets – one at each end of the island (depending on its size). Also, be sure to follow electrical codes for kitchens.  There are now some great solutions for power socket towers fitted within the island

  • Design: It is always best for your island to match the overall style/theme of your kitchen. If your kitchen is modern with stainless steel appliances, then your island should be complementary – one of our trendy etherium® by E-Stone surfaces and aluminum stools would pull the look together beautifully.   When deciding your perfect colour and stone finish from the range of Granite, Quartz and recycled glass worktops, you will also need to consider the finishing touches, waterfall end or bevelled edge?  There is so much choice, make it easier but getting advice from your chosen kitchen designer.


  • Poor seating accommodations: We all come in different shapes and sizes, so be sure to consider the heights of all family members and guests if you’re planning on using seating around your island.    If you have a breakfast bar or kitchen island, the height of the surface will dictate how high seating should be. For a worktop height of between 890mm and 940mm, choose seats that are between 580mm and 720mm.  Worktops between 1,040mm and 1,090mm should be paired with seats between 740mm and 820mm in height and for extra tall worktops of between 1,100mm and 1,190mm pick seats between 840mm and 920mm.  Don’t forget to allow approximately 60 cm of width per person/seating and around 30cm of worktop overhang for leg and knee room.  Please consult your designer to see what suits your kitchen.
  • Not enough storage: Homeowners can get so caught up in the idea of the island that they forget to allow for enough storage to make it function efficiently. Planning for organised storage (like pull-out shelves in the cabinets, sectioned drawers for knives and other utensils and even spice drawers) can save you steps and make your island more functional and easier to use. Shelves for cookbooks or a built-in wine rack are popular uses for the sides of islands (without the drawers/cabinets).
  • Wider and bigger is not always better: Islands that are too wide are a common mistake that some design experts see in today’s kitchens. Islands that are too wide will prevent you from reaching the center of the island and make it more difficult to clean and utilise all the space. Instead, carefully plan your island’s size, placement and function based on the size and layout of your kitchen, and it should serve you well for years to come.

We recently updated Rosemary Shrager’s kitchen and she specified a kitchen island with our Arabescato worktop to be the centre of kitchen.  It had to be functional as this is where she will be creating her master pieces. Read our blog for more pictures from Rosemary’s kitchen makeover.

Are you ready to experience how beautiful our etherium® by E-Stone surfaces can look in your home? Contact Granite and TREND Transformations today for a complimentary in-home design consultation. or visit our website to see our range of worktops and replacement doors.  Your new kitchen island awaits.


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About Granite & TREND Transformations

We bring affordable luxury to life through home renovations, when people hear our name, they associate it with top-class kitchen and bathroom makeovers and high-quality materials. Since being established in 1996, we’ve become a well-known brand and a leader in the home transformations industry, with thousands of kitchen and bathroom makeovers taking place every month.

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