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Graver's Angle | Planning your island

Now at the top of so many of our client's wish-lists, it's easy to see why islands have become so popular; practical storage, sociable seating and an impressive focal-point in the room. However, poorly planned, it could have the opposite effect and become an intrusive obstacle in the room. We share our thoughts on areas to consider when designing your kitchen.


Requiring a clearance zone of at least 1m either side; space is essential to ensure that the room can be navigated with ease, particularly when cupboards and oven doors are open. However, designed with care and consideration it is possible to incorporate an island into a less conventional space. Your designer may even offer some alternative solutions that you hadn't considered that could deliver even better outcomes for your kitchen.

Maximum storage From deep cupboards, wide drawers, wine racks and shelves, an island provides the opportunity to create an abundance of storage and preparation space. If you have dining and seating covered in another area of the kitchen, you may feel you want to leave the island free of seating in order for it to be a practical work-space and provide easy accessibility without anything or (anyone!) getting in the way of you preparing a delicious feast.

Sociable seating

An island often becomes the heart of the kitchen that people gravitate toward, and for so many it makes sense to include seating to provide a practical space for socialising, homework and casual dining. It's worth considering how you will use the area and how many seats will realistically be used at any one time to best utilise the space. Along with lighting, the choice of seating can accentuate the overall scheme and is worth considering carefully.


To really utilise the space, many clients opt for integrating appliances into the island; from hobs and sinks to dishwashers, wine-coolers and ovens. You can create a fully-functioning and sociable area that is the focal-point of the room. There are a few things to consider when planning such a space;

  1. Hob When planning an integrated island hob you will need to consider ventilation; this comes in the form of overhead extractor or a downdraft extractor (slide above images to see examples of each).

  2. Sink To avoid cluttering the space with sink paraphernalia i.e. washing up liquid and cloths, you may wish to consider incorporating a drawer underneath or next to the sink space in order to house such items.

  3. Dishwasher and oven Due to both of these large appliances typically opening downwards they pose a tripping hazard, particularly if carrying hot food and sharp knives. Therefore, in this instance there will need to be clear space between opposing units to ensure a safe clear distance.

With a long-standing relationship with Sub-Zero and Wolf premium appliances we understand the importance of high-quality products that offer precision and performance to rival a professional kitchen. With an extensive range of cooking and cooling products you can build your perfect island.

Dramatic impact

Naturally the centrepiece of a room, the eye is drawn to the island. If space allows, your designer can get creative and devise an utterly unique structure. The islands' featured above images were crafted with great consideration to the architecture of the properties, delivering a truly impactful statement with carefully considered functionality for the home-owners' everyday needs.

Stephen Graver is a family owned construction business backed by an exceptional team of master craftsmen who provide seamless and outstanding service and quality. In short, we do different. Discover more about Stephen Graver here.

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