During the process of designing a luxury kitchen, Artichoke’s design team will almost always allow for a large kitchen island.
In the 25 years that we have been designing bespoke kitchens for clients, we’ve never designed the same island twice. Islands almost always sit in a commanding position centrally within the kitchen space and they are therefore usually the first item of furniture that client’s focus on during the design process. They are also usually the first piece of furniture that visitors see when they enter the room, so they should be designed with care and attention to detail.
The design direction for a kitchen island depends on a number of key factors. First and foremost, is the kitchen island there to impress or do you want it to have a practical function? When designing the large kitchen island in the image below, attention was primarily focussed on drama. The contemporary bookmatched marble island offsets the regency sash windows perfectly. You can explore this kitchen and its large island here.
When pressed with the question of form over function, many clients are tempted to want both, but in our experience asking for both a dramatic and functional island simply serves to dilute both in equal measure; if you can, choose one and pursue it whole-heartedly. In the kitchen island below, care was taken to be far more subtle in the design process. This is a working kitchen for a London house, and as such the luxury of drama was over ridden by the need for a large practical island that functions well as a working kitchen space. The drama was introduced over the island with the large batterie-de-cuisine and also by introducing a large industrial extractor hood behind. See more images for this kitchen island.
Artichoke regularly designs kitchens for professional and semi professional cooks where function usually takes precedent over form. The large cook’s kitchen island below is one such commission. The worktop is divided in two, with basalt forming the main surface at one end of the island for more heavy duty food preparation such as washing vegetables, peeling, chopping etc, with a softer material, oak, at the other end for baking and pastries. Aesthetically this large kitchen island takes on the feel of an Edwardian Cook’s table.
Occasionally Artichoke will design a pair of large islands if the room allows it. Careful consideration needs to be given before two kitchen islands are designed into a space. It is first important to consider whether they are actually needed. In our experience one island can become a dumping ground for daily administration, keys, post and other items not considered essential to a kitchen. In the case below Artichoke designed two kitchen islands to aesthetically complement the over hanging roof lantern; the circle forming the centre of the islands matches the shape of the roof lantern above. In this case, having two islands also improved the flow of the space and was the preferred option over one large kitchen island for the client to walk around.
Finally, one striking option is to create one large kitchen island from a single appliance, as in this kitchen designed by Artichoke for an Art Deco inspired house in London. This option limits typical uses for a kitchen island as there is often little preparation space, but with the correct appliance, such as a La Cornue in this instance, it can look very striking.
Our portfolio contains further images of large kitchen islands. If you have a design project you’d like to discuss, please call +44 (0)1934 745270.