As our culinary tastes have evolved over the last few decades, so has our taste in kitchen designs. Features that were once popular are now clear signs of an outdated space. Even how we use our kitchen has evolved to have a much greater focus on entertaining and being together. 

The constant ebb and flow of kitchen trends can make designing a timeless space seem really tricky. While you want your kitchen to be stylish, you don’t want to blow your budget on features that will date. This could make investing in a large statement fitting – like a kitchen island – seem risky. 

But you really shouldn’t worry about splurging on a designer island bench. They are a staple of modern kitchen design and won’t be going out of style anytime soon. 


Why are kitchen islands so popular? 


In many ways, a kitchen island is the perfect marriage of form and function. It is an extension of the rest of your kitchen design, helping to show off your cabinetry and benchtop choices. It also increases the flexibility and functionality of your kitchen, allowing you to better zone the space. 

Most importantly, a kitchen island suits the way the modern family lives. It makes the space more social and allows people to be together and interact as meals are being prepared. It also allows the cook to watch the kids or engage with guests while preparing their culinary masterpieces. 

With all of this in mind, an island bench is truly the linchpin of an open plan home. It helps break down the barrier between the kitchen and living spaces and affords a greater sense of togetherness. It can also make the kitchen more functional, providing additional bench space and limiting the distance between important appliances. 


What are the latest kitchen island trends? 


Kitchen islands have become such a “must have” fixture that the design of the bench itself has evolved. Over the years, we have seen a wide range of benchtop materials and shapes come in and out of fashion. We’ve also seen a desire for almost every possible combination of services to be built into the island. 

For example, not that long ago, thick waterfall benchtops were all the rage. This was particularly popular when using composite stone. More recently, we have seen a shift back to thinner, flatter benchtops and greater acceptance of high-quality laminates. 

Similarly, a lot of kitchen islands have been designed to include the sink or cooktop (or both). However, now more people want to further open up the space by not having services built into their island bench. This keeps the line of sight clear and allows the island to be used just for preparation and entertaining. 


What do I need to consider when planning my kitchen island? 


The perfect kitchen island is all about the proportions. Specifically, you need to make sure there is enough space around the bench to allow easy movement. Aim for at least 1 m between your island and other cabinetry (this is the Australian standard) and 900mm everywhere else. 

You also want to make sure your island is the right height. Generally speaking, kitchen benches are between 900mm and 950mm tall. However, your bench height should be tailored to the comfortable working height of the main cook. 

If you’re worried about whether an island is right for your kitchen, consider consulting a professional. At Zesta Kitchens, we have experienced kitchen designers who can help you plan your kitchen layout. Our expert team specialise in coming up with tailored design solutions to suit our clients, their family, and their lifestyle. 

So, if you’re considering adding an island to your kitchen, contact us to set up a free design consultation.