Sarah Beeny was very anti island units on Property Ladder and as I am
thinking about putting in an island unit in my kitchen (though it
won't be for a year or two yet) I thought I'd ask what other peoples
experiences are cos I've not lived with an island before.
My kitchen is quite large and at the moment I seem to spend a lot of
time traipsing from one side of the room to the other as I move
between sink and hob and fridge and an island unit would bring things
much closer together. I would design the kitchen so there is nothing
'kitcheny' on the other side of the island because I expect it would
be extremely irritating to have to walk _around_ the island all the
So what does Sarah Beeny have against island units? I find her ideas
to be mostly very sensible but I can't figure this one out.
~~ Anna Kettle, Suffolk, England
|""""| ~ Lime plasterwork, plaster conservation
/ ^^ \ // Freehand modelling and pargeting
|____| www.kettlenet.co.uk 07976 649862
Didn't understand it myself. I assume her concern was over filling up the
room too much, but that didn't seem to be the case there, circulation and
socialising space had not been impacted.
Can't really be that different to having a table.
That's exactly it - it's very different to having a table.
Her (very valid, IMHO) point was that when developing a property to
sell, you want to leave the space as flexible as possible, while
minimising your expenditure/profit ratio.
If you slap an island unit in the middle of the kitchen, you might
absolutely love it, but others may not. For those who don't, it
restricts what they can do with the floor space significantly. It means
they can't have it empty if that's what they want, and they can't put a
table there if they want to.
Obviously they can remove the unit, but it will either leave an
uncovered floor (who'd tile under their unit?) or leave fixing holes in
In Anna's case, because she's not selling the place, she should do
whatever she wants - flexibility is less of an issue, because it's for
I saw a great island in a mag somewhere. basically two 600 base units
mounted on a base with castors (big rubber wheeled ones like on a pallett
truck). It was only for storage and as a giant chopping block. With some
thought possibly the idea could be adapted for a fridge?
Sorry, can;t even remember when let lone whast mag. But I remember it had
six castors about 4 inches round with a rubber "tyre" for want of a better
description. They had locks on them so it could be made stable. It looked
like a thick ply base with the cabinets on top and that was about it.
| > > I saw a great island in a mag somewhere. basically two 600
| > > base units mounted on a base with castors (big rubber wheeled
| > > ones like on a pallett truck).
| > That sounds interesting. It was what I was contemplating. I don't
| > suppose anyone knows of any designs/photos?
| Sorry, can;t even remember when let lone whast mag. But I remember it had
| six castors about 4 inches round with a rubber "tyre" for want of a better
| description. They had locks on them so it could be made stable. It looked
| like a thick ply base with the cabinets on top and that was about it.
Habitat and Next do free-standing kitchen units; I'm not sure if they're
sufficiently braced to withstand being pushed around on castors.
They are on the pricey side though.
Actually its not.
We have our kitchen as a U shaped bit interruped by a door up one end of
the room I ended up bending the end of te 'U' inwards as a peninsula to
separate the cokking from eating area.
In the middle of the 'U' is a kitchen table.
Its fabulous, because all the prep work happens there not around the
edges. Isntead of teh classic triangle of cooker/food store/sink its a
star...with teh prep arae (or didrty dish stacking area) in the middle.
Contraiwise, sister in lwas place has bult in island, and dreadful
layout with not enough room around it, and yes, its vile because you
keep bumping into teh rddy cetral thingy, and due to poorly planned
storage, it is always covered with shite, and so useless as a work surface.
My comclusion us that it depends on wheher the space is large enough,
and on the detailed planning of the rest of the kitchen.
In a smalle to m,edieum kitchen avoid it like the plague. You need at
least a meter cklear walkway in a kicthen, and preferably nerarer two.
If that is not achievable with an island - which menas a kitchen at
least 4.5m square, then forget it.
Tables are in many ways more useful, as they can be moved, or removed if
they don't work out.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Anna Kettle) wrote in message
Her opinion was that it lost you flexibility in that (eg) it prevented
you from bringing a 20-seat table into the kitchen for Xmas dinner or
Whether you agree with that is up to you; but friends of ours have an
island unit (in an admittedly very expensive kitchen) which is
actually moveable if need be, although to look at it you'd never know.
I think it includes flush floor lecky sockets hidden underneath,
which feed sockets at worktop level.
I actually quite like the thing, not that I'm a cook but for social
reasons; people tend to congregate around them, using it like the bar
of a pub.
I find the same for peninsulars. Instead of people hanging around the
doorway, they tend to congragate around the peninsular. I think they are
better than sqeezing in an island because they leave the main working area
of the kitchen clear, and also divide the room nicely. It all depends on
the size and shape of the room, I guess.
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