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Kitchen Islands: The Pros & Cons

Burlanes bespoke handmade kitchen island

Now more than ever, the kitchen island seems to be a staple piece in every new kitchen. There are many advantages to having a kitchen island, but sometimes it is not always the right thing to do. We have put together our pros and cons to having an island in your new kitchen...

Burlanes Wellsdown Kitchen In Saffron Walden. ©Sarah London Photographer.

Ultimately, the decision on whether to have a kitchen island or not lies solely on the available space, and if the layout of your new kitchen will allow for an island that will fit comfortably in the floorspace available.

As a rule of thumb, you should have at least 42 inches of clear space either side of the island, to allow you to move freely around the kitchen and open doors with ease. Any less than this, and the space will look cramped, crowded and you will struggle to enjoy your new kitchen.


There are so many advantages to having an island in your kitchen; not only will it create a central hub of the home bringing family and guests together in a communal space, it will also: 

  • provide additional worktop space. Sufficient worktop space in your kitchen is essential; whether it is simply for preparing food to be cooked, having space for appliances such as your blender or toaster, or creating a space to sit and eat your breakfast.

    Burlanes Wellsdown Kitchen In Underriver, Sevenoaks.©Sarah London Photographer.
  • provide a staggering amount of additional storage. If designed correctly, a kitchen island will be a hub of essential and useful storage for your kitchen. Whether you choose to integrate your appliances, pull-out rubbish bins or simply create additional cupboard space for crockery, pots and pans, there is so much useful space within the island.

    Burlanes Wellsdown Kitchen in Crystal Palace. ©Sarah London Photographer.

  • create an area to sit. If space allows, an overhang of worktop can create a breakfast bar area to sit and eat, chat, drink, socialise or even a spot for the children to sit and do their homework.

    Burlanes Wellsdown Kitchen In Maidstone, Kent. ©Sarah London Photographer.

  • open up your kitchen to additional appliances such as a boiling water tap and prep sink, induction cooktops due to more space for venting, and pop up charging facilities for laptops, the Amazon Alexa and other smart home devices.

    Burlanes Decolane Kitchen In Sevenoaks, Kent. ©Sarah London Photographer.

  • create a focal point and area of interest. Kitchen islands are known to be very appealing to the eye, breaking up a larger open-plan space into zones. This is very important to consider if you are planning on selling or adding value to your home. 

    Burlanes Decolane Kitchen In Essex. ©Sarah London Photographer.

  • allow you to be more social when entertaining guests. By integrating your cooking space into the kitchen island, you are able to stand and cook whilst chatting and socialising. Having your back to your guests is not ideal when entertaining! 

You may not think there are any cons to a having a kitchen island, but there are a few drawbacks that you should always consider before finalising your kitchen design:
  • A kitchen island takes up a significant amount of space, and if floorspace is limited in your kitchen, it will create a huge obstacle that you will find gets in your way. If you are unsure on whether your kitchen is big enough to accommodate an island, we would recommend using masking tape to mark out where the island would be on your floor for 2 or 3 days, and see how you feel having to manoeuvre around this space all day. A great alternative to a kitchen island would be a peninsula or freestanding butcher's block.

    Burlanes Wellsdown Kitchen In Sevenoaks, Kent. ©Sarah London Photographer.
  • If your kitchen island does not have a set purpose, it may disrupt your workflow and how you use your kitchen. With the kitchen being the most used used room in the home, ensure the flow, design and all elements of the room work for you.

  • If your kitchen is not the right size or shape to accommodate an island, particularly a small L shaped kitchen or a galley kitchen, an island could create the illusion of the room being much smaller than it actually is.

We hope this has given you an insight into the pros and cons of an island in your kitchen, and please do get in touch if we can help with absolutely anything at all. We are incredibly proud of the unrivalled design service that we offer here at Burlanes, and our kitchen designers will work alongside you every step of your journey.

Both Burlanes Sevenoaks and Burlanes Chelmsford are open for design appointments and browsing, but we ask that you kindly call ahead to let us know you will be visiting, so we can ensure our premises remain COVID secure, safe and clean environments at all times.

All of the Burlanes team take enormous pride in their work, go above and beyond and show an incredible level of client care.

Charley Davies - Essex


247 Springfield Road

01245 352 557
[email protected]