It’s not surprising that more and more kitchens are tending to include a kitchen island bench.
Not only does this focal piece of kitchen design add a stunning visual feature to any kitchen space, but it serves a range of practical functions too. From food prep area and storage to casual dining and entertaining and homework too, the kitchen island bench really is the versatile hero of the kitchen space.
Apart from the obvious appeal of its many practical aspects, what is it that makes kitchen island benches so popular and how can you create a truly special kitchen island bench in your kitchen?
A stunning feature in a range of materials
Kitchen islands benches provide the perfect opportunity for creating a visual focal feature in your kitchen space. There is a range of materials that can be used to produce a unique and stunning kitchen island bench in your home.
Natural materials such as stone and wood are popular choices. A beautiful piece of stone installed atop a kitchen island bench provides a striking classic and sleek-lined focal point. Wood provides a much softer and more industrial or rustic feel but is certainly no less of a feature.
In addition to the natural materials, manufactured or engineered products further expand the range of options when designing your kitchen island bench. Products that you might not expect to commonly see in a kitchen can be used to create something truly unique. Think concrete benchtops, and mirrored or metal paneling.
A kitchen island bench for every design and style
Not only do kitchen island benches lend themselves to a range of different materials, but they also are not particular to any certain design style either. Provided that you have the appropriate space, kitchens of any style can incorporate the benefits of a kitchen island bench.
Whether it’s a large timber country style, a traditional French Provincial, a sleek metallic contemporary, or anything in between, kitchen island bench compliment any kitchen style.
You can choose to have a kitchen island bench that seamlessly continues and extends the style of the rest of your kitchen, or you might opt for a striking contrasting piece to really make a statement. The seamless continuation approach is usually more common with the traditional and modern styled kitchens and the stand-out contrasts more typical of a contemporary style kitchen but that doesn’t always have to be the case. There are definitely no rules when it comes what you must or must-not do when designing your kitchen island bench.
Not just design, think about colour too
Just as there is no rule when it comes to complimenting or contrasting your kitchen island bench style and design, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the use of colour either. Are you looking for something dark and moody? Or light and bright?
It’s common to match the island bench top colour and material to the other bench top areas in the kitchen space. But again, you don’t necessarily have to do that. Similarly, most will choose to match the colour of the base of the island bench to the other surrounding cabinetry. You’ve probably guessed that you don’t have to do that either. Some truly amazing kitchen spaces have been created using contrasting colours and materials for the island bench. In saying that, of course, there are some amazing ones where complimenting and keeping to the style and colour of the rest of the kitchen works well too! It really is up to you and what story you want to tell and impact you want to create in your kitchen space.
What’s up top….
Once you’ve got the materials, style, design, and colours worked out it’s time to get into the finer details regarding the functionality and practical elements of your kitchen island bench. Of course, you want it to look great. If it only looks great but doesn’t improve the workflow and efficiency in your kitchen then it could just be a bit block that gets in your way.
Think about what kind of things you want to do at your kitchen island bench and what fixtures and fittings you might need to help with those tasks. You might choose to have a kitchen sink or a cooktop or you might want to leave the whole space open and clear for various other kitchen activities such as food prep, entertaining and home work.
Another option is a split or multi-level kitchen island bench. As the name suggests this involves having 2 or more different surfaces as opposed to one complete bench top area. You might have a lower area on the kitchen side that contains the kitchen sink, or other work prep surfaces, that is separated from the living area side by a small raised wall or barrier. Or you might extend a raised or lowered area from the main bench to differentiate the food prep area from the sitting and eating area.
Consider whether you would benefit from accessible power outlets in your kitchen island bench space, and how and where they would work best.
…and down below…
A kitchen island bench is a perfect tool for adding even more storage to your kitchen area. Can you ever really have enough? And having storage right there below your main workspace is certainly a benefit no-one would knock back.
You might opt for all drawers down below for maximum accessibility to those essential items. Open shelving is also great for quick access and provides an opportunity for creating interesting displays too. Or combine a mixture of both for the ultimate mix of function and design.
You might also choose to have appliances such as dishwashers or wine fridges or other amenities such as pull-out garbage and recycling bin station as part of your under-bench tool kit in your kitchen island bench.
…and around too!
It’s not just a matter of creating an amazing kitchen island bench and sticking it in the middle of your kitchen. In order to really make it an integrated and functional part of the space, you need to also consider what you need in and around your kitchen island bench.
Most kitchen benches are designed with the intention of having people sit at or around them at some stage so give careful thought to the types of seats, or most likely stools, that will work for the style of the bench that you have created. There are so many options available to suit each and every kitchen style.
And don’t forget to look up. Kitchen island benches are a great way to open up the space between the kitchen and living areas of your home. Doing this creates an amazing opportunity to create a stunning visual feature in the most popular and most used room in the home. Be sure to complete the look with carefully chosen feature lighting to really bring it all together.
At Harrington Kitchens, we can help you to create an amazing kitchen island bench as part of your kitchen space. We want to help you get the absolute best out of your kitchen and enjoy the visual and practical benefits of this popular kitchen feature, no matter the style or design. Contact our team on 1300 662 112, submit an online enquiry or visit us at our Narellan or Bowral showrooms to discuss your dream kitchen with us today.