The kitchen is your pride and joy, all the elements of it crafted and compiled to help you get from a closed packet of ramen, to microwaved goodness as seamlessly as possible. An island, then, is a wonderfully utilitarian addition, and when implemented smoothly, fills those awkward gaps excellently; but why do they have to be the center of attention all of the time?
There are so many other great features within culinary spaces, why let a big fancy island steal their thunder? This ideabook will explore options and ideas offering a more minimal approach to the traditional centerpiece.
Simplicity is king. Take a look around the space you already have, identify the running themes: angles; colors; dimensions, and try and work within those parameters. For color scheme, choose either the same theme, a block of the most neutral color, or complementary colors to keep it understated. Replicate the style and angles of the rest of the surfaces as best as possible in order to maintain continuity.
Incorporate hidden and seamless storage, and more inconspicuous features like a flat electric stove top or small sink to maintain usefulness.
Perhaps use bolder seating, decorations or equipment around the island and other spaces, a little bit of color or boldness elsewhere will attract the eye to other features.
With the same method as above, take stock of your surroundings, what are the defining features? Got a glorious AGA? Or ornate plumbing? Or centuries old beams? Don't try and trump them; embrace them and keep them as the stand out pieces of your kitchen.
Bulky and ornate features are a no, no.
Don't incorporate weak furniture to accompany your centerpiece, either match it or be more creative. You'd be surprised at how much of a difference this can make.
Make sure the dimensions of your island don't outweigh the dimensions of the rest of the surfaces, keep the kitchen island in line or slightly shallower.
Great! More space for an even more useful, but minimal block.
Big things don't have to stand out, and chances are you'll have even more focal points in your kitchen to work with, such as, vents, big walls, sinks, windows, etc.
You can keep your island simple and still large, with well curated storage to show off the rest of your space, plus, there's nothing stopping you installing a stove or other appliance into your island and having a separate breakfast bar attached. These installations will attract the eye, rather than the surface's itself and will add massively to the utility of the piece.
Not if you don't want to; as shown with this tiny and super simple example. If the owner of this flat can make their surface useful, then almost anyone can.
In reality, there is only a handful of bulkier appliances that you need or use in a kitchen, the majority of items are small. Cutlery, cooking utensils, knives, chopping boards, etcetera. Vis-a-vie the actual space you need is minimal. If you can incorporate clever storage and hollow out the majority of your island, you can create a perfectly utilitarian block without actually taking up much space.
A sink may take up a bit of space, but if you partition the remaining available space well enough you could incorporate a small one and still have room for suitable storage.
You may be thinking that simplicity means you can't put a bit of style into your surface. Not true! This example even breaks the rules of the dos and don'ts, it's raised, a darker color and has a fancy frame, but do you notice it more than other features of the kitchen? No. The designer has incorporated a lot of blank space, meaning you have a near clear view of the room, despite it's ornate and tall nature.
A perfect example of looking at what you've got and thinking outside the box.
If you're still wondering how the pros of a minimal kitchen island outweigh the pros of a more showy one, then how about this?
Space – as was the case with modernism, space is imperative. If you have a more compact fixture taking up room in your kitchen, you'll have more freedom to move around, to chop and fry and toss pancakes and whatever else you like to do in your culinary center.
Cutting the fluff – you're only using what you need, and you're thinking very carefully about what that is. Your kitchen is now super efficient because there's nothing unnecessary in there. You're a minimalist master.
Simpler maintenance – less surface means less cleaning. We all work way too hard to spend that extra 15 minutes scrubbing spaces we don't even use, just to clear the dust. That's 15 minutes longer in bed, 15 minutes more with friends and family; and be honest who doesn't need more time for watching pointless YouTube videos.