How to make island benches work in small kitchens
Island benches are one of the most powerful multi-purpose things in a kitchen. They provide extra bench space, provide extra storage space, provide a mid-point between a stove and a sink, provide additional table space for eating or they can create a focal point.
But typically the island benches we see take up space - a LOT of space. So most people with a smaller kitchen seem to miss out. However, they shouldn't have to because there are several ways to make an island bench work in a small space. So follow our guide and you'll find the perfect one!
What do you want it for? Consider the functionality and the things we mentioned above, is it for practical use or is it for aesthetics. If you need something for storage, then finding one with ample storage is your priority. if you want to use it for bench space, you'll need to find something sturdy with a good bench material. Purpose becomes the first thing you prioritise on your search for the ultimate island bench.
Consider the size very seriously. Start with the shape of your kitchen. Is it rectangular? Is it square? Is it a galley kitchen, long and narrow? You will want to try and mimic the shape of the outer-edge of the kitchen with the island. The exceptions are that rectangles can go into a square space, as long as they sit evenly in the room on the 'short' side (the side with the least walking space around it). Remember that at all times you want ample space around the island for multiple people walking and moving, otherwise it will be counterproductive.
Do you want to move it? Then it needs to be on wheels. Do you have small children? Then you'll want it to have proper doors, not just open shelves. Do you want to put stools along one edge? Then you'll need to have a cutaway to allow for legs and feet. Think about the little details so you don't miss anything.
Now is the fun part... get creative!
There are so many fun, interesting and creative ways to create an island bench. Bar carts, work benches, console tables can all be repurposed into an island bench. Or you can have something custom designed to match your existing bench tops in caesar stone or granite or there's plenty of options at every major furniture store.
But most importantly, stay true to your design ideas and you'll love your kitchen a little bit more when your island is in!