Why Australians love kitchen island benches & what are the best designs

What we love

If you were planning a kitchen renovation or a brand new kitchen soon and had not considered installing a kitchen island bench, most interior designers, stylists, builders and kitchen design companies would urge you to reconsider. Why? Australians love them, that’s why!

So much to offer

While there are still plenty of kitchens without an island bench, those in the know say they add a wonderful dimension to the cooking space, describing it as a great social hub where families can sit together, eat breakfast, enjoy an evening drink, entertain friends and more besides. It can even be a place where kids can sit and watch (and learn) their parents cook.

Be practical

While it definitely serves as an area that can bring people together, a kitchen island bench also has other more practical functions such as offering more storage and extra work space.

Ideas & innovations

It is fair to say a modern kitchen would have to include a kitchen island bench, but the good news is you will not be lost for design choices – let your imagination run wild as there are some incredible design ideas and innovations available to you which will turn any basic kitchen island into an interior design showpiece. Popular materials used are laminate, engineered quartz and granite.

Most important features

What do you need to consider before going ahead with the installation of a kitchen island bench? Here are some of the most important features:

  • Make sure it is the right size for your kitchen; builders say it is wise to choose a wide island bench and think about things like workflow, how you will move around the kitchen (meaning you need to factor in elements such as where the sink, cabinetry, dishwasher and cutlery drawers are in relation to it;
  • In Australia you need a minimum of 1000mm of floor space between countertops, such as between a kitchen island and your kitchen bench;
  • Don’t be afraid to choose a kitchen island bench that will make a statement and offers you the chance to put your personal touches to it  – if your sink and sink mixer are to be included here, make them a feature with eye-catching tapware such as bronze, matte black or gunmetal;
  • If it suits the room, living space and home as a whole, use the kitchen island bench as a design contrast in finish and colour to the rest of the kitchen;
  • Ensure that it will include powerpoints, storage (large drawers for pots and pans) and plenty of space for seating;
  • It has also become the place where food prep often takes place, so be sure to factor this in during the design stage;

Design styles

Design styles and features are only limited by your imagination, but obviously tying it in with the rest of your home will enhance its aesthetic appeal.

  • A freestanding butcher’s block kitchen island can work really well in a country style home. These can be as big or as small as you want, and can be added to any kitchen at any time;
  • Another great design choice is to incorporate your oven and sink into a kitchen island and leave the space on your kitchen bench for working space or storage. The advantage of doing this is you will two sinks, oodles of work space and lots of storage. Consider also installing an integrated dishwasher here.

If you’ve been inspired to incorporate some of these kitchen island bench ideas for your new or renovated kitchen and need expert advice, read more about how to do this at www.aplan.com.au.