In spacious apartments and private households, kitchens with an island are increasingly being installed. Is your choice a modern kitchen with an island or a classic one? Or a non-standard option – a kitchen-living room with an island?
Island is the name of a large table located in the center of the kitchen space and standing independently of other furniture. What is the appeal of this work module? Of course, this unusual interior solution looks impressive – especially from elite Italian manufacturers.
Kitchen design with island
Italian furniture makers consider the island a real stimulus for the manifestation of design imagination. It can be different: majestic and extravagant, emphatically ascetic and luxurious, strictly academic and defiantly informal. In most cases, it becomes the center of the furniture composition and has a serious impact on the layout and content of the kitchen.
Shape, space, color
The shape depends on the chosen design solution. The most common:
When drawing up a sketch and then a working design project, the space itself where the island option is located is taken into account. A kitchen in a house with an island will most likely look different than in a city apartment: different square footage, other adjacent spaces (a city one can be combined with a living room, and one in a private household – for example, with a terrace), different degrees of illumination.
The choice of colors, especially the base color, is also important. A white kitchen looks elegant, elegant and at the same time airy. The colors of natural wood make the interior natural, but at the same time solid and aristocratic. Gray and black – severity and style. Beige tones make the environment cozy, homely, and relaxing. And absolutely any colors and shades “play” differently in various combinations and are visually perceived differently in daytime, evening, and artificial lighting. Kitchens with an island look even more expressive if you create a competent lighting scheme.
Classic kitchens with island
There is a misconception that classics, following the ideals of antiquity, are something correct, faded and dull. This misconception comes from ignorance. Classics often look surprisingly bright and luxurious! Are the capitals of the Ionic order “correct” and boring; weren’t marble statues painted with bright colors, applying gilding and purple to the “clothing”?
The classic style in island kitchen design is:
- the presence of symmetrical elements;
- the use of expensive natural materials – solid wood, natural stone – to create an island. They are beautiful in themselves, reliable and durable;
- the use of characteristic techniques and elements of decorative finishing – arched forms, pseudo-columns, figured balusters, stained glass, carvings are used;
- use of soft, restrained colors.
Italian island kitchens in a classic style look impressive: harmonious, luxurious and respectable. Magnificent island options from Pregno, Francesco Molon, Modenese Gastone, Angelo Cappellini, Andrea Fanfani in light colors and with gold trim elements are a true embodiment of the classic style.
Modern kitchens with island
Freshness, absence of stereotypes, dryness and pomp, clean lines and non-standard design solutions – this is what an Italian modern kitchen with an island is all about. The main principles professed by the designers of these kitchens are individuality, functionality, and ergonomics. Within one design project, the best features of several popular modern styles at once – modern, neoclassical, hi-tech, loft – can meet and mix into a single harmonious whole. Eclecticism is the norm for contemporary design.
Kitchen designs in a modern style from the Faoma factory with multifunctional islands make clear nods to the loft, and Fendi Casa to the high-tech. The monumental islands from Rifra and Key cucine look absolutely futuristic, Old Line, on the contrary, has an obvious nostalgic retro touch. Grattarola approaches minimalism, but experiments with the shapes of countertops and the functionality of islands. The variety of Italian collections is amazing, but the key points are common to all:
- simple geometric shapes are used;
- glossy, chrome-plated, varnished surfaces available;
- there are no traditional decorative elements (carvings, patterns, ornaments, stucco);
- At least two colors are selected from the color palette, and a contrasting range of shades is selected.
Every Italian kitchen in a modern style is a memorable work of art.
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Kitchens with an island: advantages
So, in addition to its interesting appearance, a kitchen island has a number of very useful advantages. How do island kitchens benefit from traditional ones with a familiar layout?
Multifunctional kitchen with island
The functionality of any piece of furniture is determined by its design features. It is impossible to build a sink or hob into a regular dining table – it is simply not designed for such experiments. A kitchen island, due to its serious size and stability, allows you to vary the design and use its entire volume in different ways. Its obvious role is the main or additional work area (it is believed that its installation adds 25% of the usable area for kitchen work). But it is also capable of performing other tasks – the design of each island is created depending on its future functionality.
Built-in devices and devices
If you want to expand the cooking area, it is possible to build into the island:
- freezer, mini-fridge.
If desired, a washing machine can also be built into the island (they are often placed in the kitchen area). If it’s so convenient for the owners, why not? When creating a project, it is necessary to take into account the built-in devices and methods of supplying the necessary communications to them – water, sewerage, electricity, gas. The most difficult thing is to install water supply and sewerage – the water supply will be located in the floor screed or hidden under the podium. Safety is also important – a hood must be installed above the hob and air ducts must be installed; with a built-in sink, you need to think about high-quality waterproofing of the floor.
The interior space of a huge table is often designed as a spacious and convenient storage system – for this, the island is equipped with:
- open shelves;
- traditional lockers;
- display cabinets with transparent doors;
- various combinations of these options.
All these options can turn the storage system into a striking element of interior design. The design and decorative features of open shelves, display cabinets, drawers and ordinary cabinets with blank doors can bring noticeable features of various design styles into the interior – classic and neoclassical, Provence, modern, art deco, loft, country, minimalism.
What is convenient to store in an island table? Practice shows that there are many options:
- bulk products (with open shelves or transparent doors – in beautiful containers);
- fruits and vegetables;
- in principle, any products (with a built-in refrigerator or freezer);
- alcoholic drinks (a minibar or wine refrigerator is built into the island);
- kitchen utensils, chef’s tools and accessories;
And combinations of all this – depending on what the owners need in the immediate vicinity while working at the island table.
Work area + dining area
The dining area with an island is organized in three ways: an island is designed with an additional tabletop for the dining table, with a folding tabletop, with multi-level surfaces (a few centimeters are enough to highlight the working and dining areas).
Work table top + seating area
The kitchen-living room with an island provides ample opportunities to organize a relaxation area. A common solution is to install a bar counter. This is possible in two ways: they create a two-tier structure that visually and physically divides the table into different zones, or they design a fairly long tabletop (U-shaped tables look great, with worktops on the sides and a bar counter in the center).
With an open plan, the island turns into an excellent zoning tool, separating the kitchen and dining areas from the rest. A kitchen-living room with an island involves the use of a large table not only for preparing and eating food – it is here that it performs the additional functions of an area intended for relaxation and communication.
Ergonomics of an island kitchen
Creating the right ergonomic solutions for the kitchen is usually based on the idea of the “work triangle”, a concept introduced by the German architect Ernst Neufert. The “triangle” is the principle of labor optimization, a movement pattern within the three most important areas in the kitchen – the stove, refrigerator and sink. If they are visually connected using straight lines, ideally a geometric figure in the form of an equilateral triangle is obtained. This is the best layout.
The optimal layout is easily achieved with an island. After all, the “vertices” of the triangle are also separated by an equal small distance – from 1.2 to 2.7 m, and ideally there are no obstacles on the way to any vertex. Work in kitchens designed in this way is comfortable and productive to the maximum.
It is also necessary to take into account the relationships between the elements included in the equipment of the kitchen and the island separately. They are placed meaningfully and according to safety rules. It is worth placing a worktop near the sink and hob – but not a dining or bar counter. Refrigeration units are not located next to heating appliances. It is wise to place a dishwasher and a waste container near the sink.
If you look at the photos of island kitchens created in Italian factories, you will notice that the “working triangle” rule is observed.
Modern kitchen with island: versatility
Current Italian island kitchen designs are absolutely universal. They are appropriate in apartments and private houses, made in different design styles, and have a variety of functionality. And they will definitely give your kitchen space a respectable and unique look!