Cottage Kitchen - bespoke sustainable kitchen

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Kitchen Island Ideas and Units We Love

The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s a place where you’ll share dinners, parties, and conversations with friends and family for years to come. As a treasured space, your kitchen deserves a fitting centrepiece, and that’s where kitchen island units can make a huge impact.

Your kitchen island is an important feature that can help you entertain and will provide a special space for friends to chat the night away as you whip up dinner and share a glass or two. But the key to finding your unique design and perfect kitchen island comes from asking yourself these questions…

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING YOUR KITCHEN ISLAND

The first and most important question to ask is, what is important to you? Consider how you want your kitchen to work for you. What do you value most in your kitchen space? Do you want to host regular dinner parties? Would you like a space for your kids to be able to sit and do their homework while you cook? Or do you need some additional space for your kitchen?

Through our bespoke kitchen design service, we can cater to your every need. Whether it’s an open-sided island to display your dishware or a unit with beautiful hand-painted doors that keep everything tucked away, we can help. You might even opt to allow your island to make a statement. Contrasting colours and stunning worktops provide a serious ‘wow’ factor.

We’ve even built bespoke dog beds into island units – nothing is too much for our four-legged friends!

With this in mind, here are some kitchen island ideas to inspire you, as well as some of our favourite island units that we’ve designed over the years.

1. ISLAND STORAGE SOLUTION

The number one use for a kitchen island is to create additional storage within the kitchen. They are a golden ticket to hiding away crockery and keeping the kitchen space minimal and clutter-free. 

Mix and match storage solutions to maximise the possibilities and incorporate a mixture of cabinets, drawers and open shelving – Cookbooks, wine racks, and glassware display; your island storage can be personal to you. 

2. Kitchen Island Materials

The kitchen island is a great way to introduce new materials and colours into your kitchen. 

The island doesn’t always have to be the same style and shade as the perimeter runs, more often than not, the island can be a little more playful and be the showstopping centrepiece for your kitchen. 

Whether it is mixing up the design and using different, brighter or contrasting shades or as a way to introduce new materials and depths to the rest of the kitchen space. 

Go bolder and be braver, after all the beauty of hand-painted kitchens is that you can switch it up in years to come should a new shade be released that catches your eye. 

And if it’s not painted? Opt for a material to add a wow factor, fluted or slated panelling kitchen island brings addition textures to the room.  Or opt for a statement material for a showstopper. 

Alternatively, why not extend your worktop material down the sides of your island for a  statement look?

3. Kitchen Island Shape

Islands don’t always need to be the traditional rectangle shape, if you have the space, L-Shape islands can be a great way to create a social space so that the island can be used for both prep and social areas with one half used as a cooking zone whilst the other could be utilised for homework whilst dinner is cooking. L-shaped islands are also a great way to incorporate banquette seating within the kitchen.

Alternatively, you can throw the rule book out and create an island that contours to your kitchen, like the bespoke island in our Bristol Kitchen Extension project.

4. Kitchen Island Worktops

When designing kitchen islands, using a different worktop on the island can be a playful way to incorporate a mix of materials into your kitchen. 

Take our Steel, Marble, and Reclaimed Wood kitchen, we used a white Corian worktop on the perimeter run with the island using a Terrazzo Durat worktop made from recycled materials.

5. Mobile Kitchen Islands

The one question we hear the most is ‘Do I have space for a kitchen island?’.

If space is tight, we wouldn’t recommend an island to maximise the space you do have. Think about maximising ceiling heights and cabinet run lengths. 

What we would recommend if you do have your heart set on an island and aren’t sure about the space, why not opt for a movable island? From small butcher blocks to full-sized islands on wheels, you may well be thankful for the extra prep space whilst maximising floor space and moving the island out of the way should you find yourself hosting! 

6. Kitchen Island Appliances

Utilising your kitchen island to conceal appliances can be a way of freeing up space in your tall cabinets or perimeter runs.

Placing the hob on the kitchen island will make it a central focal point and a social hub, perfect for keen cooks and family cooking sessions. This will instantly make the space more welcoming creating an entertainer’s kitchen.

Why not add a wine cabinet? It’s perfect for entertaining and it frees up fridge space.

Additionally, utilise the back of the island by installing your oven. This helps to keep the rest of the kitchen minimalist with a sleek run of unbroken cabinetry, perfect for open-plan spaces shared with a lounge area.

There are plenty of integrated appliance options out to make use of your island.

Our Favourite Kitchen Island units - made by us!

THE RECTORY RENOVATION

THE FARMHOUSE KITCHEN

GRAND GREY SHAKER

PEGWOOD PLYBOARD KITCHEN

DARK GREEN SHAKER KITCHEN

COLOURFUL SHAKER KITCHEN

Lindsay Lillie
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I’m so glad that I chose Sustainable Kitchens for my new kitchen. They are a great team of people to work with with a great ethos of sustainability underpinning the whole company. The design process with Sam was a pleasure and I am so delighted with the end result. My new kitchen is exactly what I wanted it to be — stylish, functional, unique and a wonderful place to be. I recommend Sustainable Kitchens wholeheartedly.
Ian Chapman
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A great experience! Really open and friendly team that made the process exciting not daunting. Sam understood what we wanted and got the design perfect. Gianluca fitted it perfectly and Zoe was awesome to work with. I particularly enjoyed the tour of the workshop getting to see all the tools, care and attention that goes into creating beautiful kitchens. Would recommend to anyone!
Nicola Pocock
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Our kitchen from Sustainable Kitchens has been a complete triumph and has exceeded our expectations for the lift it has given to the whole house! Every member of the team was friendly, professional, reassuring and happy to answer any number of questions. It really couldn’t have been a smoother and easier journey and we absolutely love the end result!
David Cole
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We love our kitchen and really appreciate the effort Sustainable Kitchens put in to the design and execution. They are also very quick to respond to any questions and queries – even after the project has finished and account closed – great aftercare service! Top marks.
Julie Hitchcock
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We are delighted with the quality of our Sustainable Kitchen. Sam and the team guided us through the design process, really listening to what we hoped to achieve. They were very flexible in the face of our shifting building schedule and the fitting and painting team did a superb job. We should never need a new kitchen, but if we did, we wouldn’t hesitate to call on Sustainable Kitchens.
Laura Brocklesbery
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Highly recommend Sustainable Kitchens. We are so happy with our new kitchen. It is made to a beautiful quality, all custom made and fitting perfectly. From the design process through to the final product Sustainable Kitchen were professional, responsive, and really helpful in making our kitchen a reality.
Emma Bent
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Would recommend Sustainable Kitchens without reservation. Sam's design knowledge and skills set us up for the workshop and fitting team to provide us with a kitchen that has fulfilled all of our 'want' as well as 'need' list. Thank you!
Chris Booth
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I cannot praise Sustainable Kitchens highly enough for the fantastic quality of the kitchen they made and installed for us.
Hannah Family
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I can highly recommend Sustainable Kitchens they are such a lovely team to work with and their kitchens are beautiful. An added bonus is being able to see their workshop and the cabinets being made so you can see the quality of their work.
Abigail Whitten
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Sustainable Kitchens supplied exquisite, fully custom built kitchen cabinetry. We hoped for a 'forever' kitchen and weren't disappointed. Every part is beautifully constructed and finished. Absolutely no shortcuts taken. Really delighted.
Rebecca Simms
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The service from Sustainable Kitchens was first class from the initial design stage right through to the installation of my bespoke handmade kitchen. A year on I am still loving it!
Catherine Launder
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Couldn’t be more pleased with Sustainable Kitchens. They respected our very specific requirements, contributed some helpful suggestions, came exactly when promised and did precisely what was agreed. They completed even earlier than the time scheduled, were clean and efficient and did a perfect job – we’ve never had such a good installation experience and we’ve had plenty!
Joyce Fulton
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Our new kitchen is beautiful. The quality of workmanship is outstanding and it is everything we asked Sustainable Kitchens to do. Their understanding of how we wanted the kitchen to look was pitch perfect and their guidance throughout the process was constant and really supportive. One hundred percent recommend this vibrant young company.
Simon Muriel
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Kitchen supplies. Impeccable craftsmanship. Great ethos. Very pleased.
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