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How to design the perfect kitchen island

With 75% of UK adults preferring to socialise at home with their friends, rather than out in a restaurant or pub, it is no wonder that homeowners are seeking ways to make their kitchens, and in particular their kitchen islands, the perfect place to entertain. In our latest blog, we explore the features you might want to consider when designing the perfect kitchen island.

At Davonport, 90% of all our kitchens feature a kitchen island, with many of our customers citing the desire for the kitchen island to be a central area, where friends and family can congregate while the cooking and drink making is being taken care of.

As such, kitchen islands have to fulfil many roles. As well as being practical and functional to allow for food prep and cooking, they can often serve as informal eating areas, places to do homework and as a central point when entertaining.

So what features and design quirks should a kitchen island have to help it when entertaining?

Kitchen island shapes

curved kitchen island

Choosing to have a bespoke kitchen means that your kitchen island isn’t confined to conventional shapes or sizes, and instead it can be designed in a way that fits what you need it to do, while looking the way you’d like it to.

There has been a strong demand lately for rounded kitchen islands, especially from those that love to entertain. The ergonomic benefits of curves can infuse your kitchen with a softer, more relaxed feel, providing a more conducive way to entertain friends and family.  There is also the added benefit that it is a shape we’re not often use to seeing in a kitchen, which makes it visually more interesting and appealing and can be more of a statement piece that a traditional island.

Kitchen island seating

Kitchen island with seating

Typically, kitchen islands are square or rectangle in shape, with bar stool seating that can run along one or two sides to provide an informal eating area. However, consider having this style of seating, along with in-built banquette seating, where the seating arrangement resembles more of a traditional kitchen table.

Choosing in-built banquette seating within your kitchen island is a great way of allowing family and friends to be comfortable, while also remaining close to where the action is, and where you might be spending time cooking.

This style of built-in banquettes can be added to islands of all sizes, as long as there is enough space to navigate and use the island in a functional capacity. If space is tight, curved island and seating can be a good compromise.”

If you are considering this style of island/seating combination, ensure there is adequate distance between the seating as any hob/sink on the island worktop. Finally, choose

upholstered materials carefully. Being closer to food prepping action, they need to be easy to wipe clean and durable.

Think about the drinks

kitchen island with wine fridge

If you love entertaining, chances are you’ll be thinking about a dedicated wine or drinks fridge that can store everything you need.

Kitchen islands offer the perfect place to have a dedicated wine fridge and can utilise the space underneath. By placing the fridge in this location, it makes it easy to access when you have guests and also means no one is having to enter the main cooking area, keeping the two separate.


kitchen island lighting

When it comes to lighting your kitchen island, it is an area where you can be playful and make a statement – after all, you want to shine a light on your kitchen and in particular your island.

We tend to choose different lighting to the rest of the kitchen – which can often be spotlights – and instead look to choose pendants and nearly always in groups of three. There is an unwritten law in interior design that clusters of three nearly always look better than twos or fours, which is why you’ll often see a row of three over a kitchen island.

It doesn’t have to be three, just odd numbers such as five and seven, but this can often be overkill. The reason odd numbers work is that even numbers are considered formal or even artificial, whereas choosing to go with an odd number of lights can be considered naturalistic.

Once you have decided on the number of lights, the design is a personal choice, though kitchen designers can help source lighting that works with your overall kitchen design.

Davonport designs and manufactures bespoke kitchens that start at £50,000 including appliances.

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