Kitchen Layouts

Kitchens without islands – 7 alternatives to the conventional island

There was a time when kitchen islands, these typically massive and really costly items of furnishings, have been the ultimate piece of your kitchen design puzzle. When you owned a big room and had loads of house to play with then an island was deemed nearly sacred to the house.

However kitchen design is an ever-evolving craft and naturally, nearly all of us merely wouldn’t have an enormous space to position a big island inside, nor the funds, so what are the options?

Kitchen islands by their very nature, want a considerable amount of ground house, which might have a knock-on impact on the stream of a busy kitchen making a bottleneck for family and friends and visually demanding all the eye. So, what else may you contemplate as an alternative of defaulting to a small kitchen island and what in case your kitchen merely isn’t large enough? We have now sought out seven lovely and helpful variations to designing a kitchen that doesn’t function an island.


Awkward or small kitchen layouts aren’t at all times in a position to accommodate massive or cumbersome kitchen islands, however whilst you may assume choices might be restricted for small kitchen ideas, these smaller areas typically turn into way more ergonomically environment friendly.

Not all kitchens want a standard island, however even for those who nonetheless desire a house for prep and eating, you may discover that you could flip even probably the most unassuming desk or butcher’s block into a classy island with out the bulkiness of price related to one.

When you revisit a few of your favourite kitchen ideas, it’s more likely to embrace a plethora of beautiful kitchens, with out islands. Right here, designers share among the most-loved seems to encourage your subsequent kitchen remodel.

1. Go For A Galley Or U-Formed Format

Contemplate the ‘golden triangle’ of your kitchen as the muse. The golden triangle, or ‘working triangle’, establishes the important thing positioning of the fridge, the range, and the sink as the elemental foundation on your kitchen design.

LA-based inside designer, Meghan Eisenberg of Studio M.E(opens in new tab) believes {that a} galley kitchen is a good different for a smaller kitchen the place an island merely won’t match, she explains:

‘Whereas massive islands are en vogue, don’t underestimate the great thing about a small galley or U-shaped kitchen. If designed with the golden triangle in thoughts, narrow kitchens are the popular alternative of cooks who recognize the convenience of stream between fridge, range, and sink. Aesthetically talking, the important thing to designing smaller kitchens is to maintain the design easy and straightforward for the attention to grasp.”

2. Choose For A Freestanding Desk

It’s key to think about probably the most appropriate format choices on your kitchen relying on the scale and form. Motion across the kitchen and models must be simple, so making an attempt to squeeze in an island if the house doesn’t lend itself to this format will in the end impression the performance of the house.

If that you must use your kitchen as a eating room, think about using a eating or work desk instead of an island. A desk might be utilized as each social house, and extra workspace, particularly if it has drawer storage as nicely.

Merlin Wright, design director at Plain English(opens in new tab), explains: ‘Islands might be cabinetry constructed proper right down to the ground to include storage and home equipment however this will create a considerably cumbersome and over-fitted look so another might be to make use of as an alternative a desk or a worktable. A eating desk is seating top whereas a worktable is full-height. The benefit of the worktable is that it has the visible lightness of a desk whereas the additional top permits house for beneficiant drawers and possibly a slatted shelf for storing pans and platters beneath. Worktables may also be constructed with overhangs or empty bays for stools.’

3. Contemplate A Peninsula Possibility

kitchen peninsula‘, explains Elizabeth Sherwin, inventive director at Naked Kitchens(opens in new tab), ‘is a implausible different because it affords most of the similar advantages as a standalone island. Totally different from a freestanding island, kitchen peninsulas provide three sides of workspace, with one finish hooked up to a wall or counter, typically forming an L-shape which makes them a terrific possibility for narrower floorplans.’

A peninsula design will present extra work surfaces, in addition to room for kitchen storage and seating, and can act as a room divider between the kitchen and dwelling areas.

4. Prioritize A Good Format

Deciding what’s the finest format on your kitchen will make sure you profit from the house that you’ve. If house is restricted, contemplate different shapes for the kitchen somewhat than merely including an island.

Right here an L-shaped kitchen ensures every little thing is simple to entry and retains the stream of the kitchen open and pure. A small desk, that may be propped towards the wall however also can accommodate chairs, is a good different to an island in a small kitchen and the L-shape ensures that the utmost quantity of storage and workspace has been utilized.

5. Set Up A Banquette

Banquette seating affords a wide range of options in a modern kitchen or kitchen-diner and supplies a enjoyable aspect to the design.

Inbuilt seating, which might add a classy aspect of coloration and sample in a kitchen setting, will save house and is a key different to an island in a smaller kitchen.

The eating space doubles up as kitchen preparation house and a built-in bench can present a considerable amount of extra storage beneath the seats.

6. Select A Breakfast Bar Over An Island

Breakfast bars provide comparable benefits to an island as they supply extra storage and worksurface they usually function a symbolic separation between the kitchen and eating space whereas nonetheless permitting sociable interplay between cook dinner and company.

Liz Beal, design affiliate at Goddard Littlefair(opens in new tab), says: ‘Islands also can disrupt the stream of a kitchen, which serves a sensible function in your house. If you’re pushing previous folks in a congested space, or it is troublesome to wash or sit, the usability of the house turns into compromised. A modern breakfast bar for small kitchens will present an area to socialize in addition to eat and in-built options, comparable to a window banquette also can add a terrific personalised dimension to your kitchen to make it distinctive.’

7. Exchange A Conventional Island With Salvaged Piece

When planning a kitchen, it’s at all times very tempting to go for a kitchen island in case you are lucky sufficient to have the house for one. However far too typically, islands can really feel like a monolithic obstruction in the midst of the room.

Nevertheless, you possibly can take a unique method to typical island concepts: a farmhouse desk. ‘This may be all it takes to stop kitchens feeling too fitted, whereas additionally proving extraordinarily helpful,’ says Merlin Wright, design director, Plain English(opens in new tab).

‘The addition of any freestanding piece is a chance so as to add texture and selection as a counterpoint to the kitchen’s fitted cabinets, be they classic, vintage, or very crisp and fashionable; all add curiosity and character.’



Sure, you definitely can have a kitchen with out an island. The truth is, among the finest kitchen designs utterly forgo an island.

Kitchen islands shouldn’t be considered a default aspect in kitchen design, even you probably have the house. Working items of furnishings with a classic provenance, lovely eating tables, breakfast bars, or banquettes all provide a various and arresting dimension to make sure your kitchen is exclusive to you, while including the seating, social, storage, and additional workspace that you just need.

Smaller kitchens are much better suited to a design that’s thoughtful of the house out there, galley and L-shape kitchens proceed to accommodate the additional workspace, they will embrace breakfast bars and completely different seating and tabling choices to definitively provide what an island merely can not in a small room.

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