Kitchen islands and trolleys can have a huge impact on a kitchen’s ambience and usability, and are therefore at the top of many homeowners’ wish lists. As well as enhancing the look of your kitchen and adding visual interest, kitchen islands and trolleys increase the efficiency and functionality of your space.
Whether you opt for a kitchen island or a kitchen trolley will depend primarily on the dimensions of your kitchen and what you intend to use it for. A kitchen trolley is essentially a storage solution on wheels, therefore offering optimal flexibility in the arrangement of your space. This makes them particularly suited to smaller kitchens, as they don’t take up valuable floor space. However, free-standing islands offer many benefits that trolleys don’t, fulfilling any five of a kitchen’s main functions: storage, preparation, cooking, serving and washing up.
A kitchen island or trolley also offers a great opportunity to reflect your style. Experiment with different materials, finishes, shapes and details to create the look you want. Wood and marble create a country feel, whilst metals like stainless steel and copper add a modern edge. You don’t even need to stick to the same colours that you’ve chosen for your cabinets: let your kitchen island or trolley take centre stage.
What is a kitchen island?
In a nutshell, a kitchen island is a space-saving kitchen solution, providing additional counter space, extra storage, and a place for family and friends to congregate. A kitchen island with breakfast bar or stools
is also a great way of incorporating additional seating into your kitchen and dining space and transforming it into a comfy hangout area. Or, spread the workflow throughout your kitchen by incorporating a sink or hob into the island’s surface. And if you want a sleek kitchen aesthetic but don’t want to compromise on organisation, a kitchen island with lots of drawers for extra storage is the perfect answer.
What is a kitchen trolley used for?
The basic idea behind a kitchen trolley is to provide extra storage space on wheels. However, you don’t have to limit your kitchen trolley to just this one use, in fact, the possibilities are almost endless. However, we’ve whittled them down to four:
Cereal, spices, pasta, flour, biscuits… what you store on your kitchen cart is up to you! Trolleys that come with metal baskets can even be used to store loose veg such as onions or potatoes. Or, why not use your kitchen trolley as an express morning cart and fill it with everything you need for a quick breakfast to help save you time in the mornings!
Mobile surface space
Maybe your kitchen isn’t big enough for a free-standing kitchen island, but you could still do with some additional worktop space when you’re cooking. Opt for a trolley with a large top surface and wheel over all the ingredients and equipment you need to prep, cook and season. Then, when you’re done, wheel the trolley away or put it to another use. Or, choose a trolley with a marble or granite top and use it as an extension of your kitchen worktop whenever you need it.
Keep the drinks flowing by using your kitchen cart as a practical yet fun drinks trolley. Choose a stainless steel design for an industrial look, and ensure you have a plentiful supply of spirits, glasses and shakers. And, if the party moves on into the living room, simply wheel your storage trolley along with you. Wine connoisseurs may want to consider a kitchen trolley with integrated bottle and wine glass holders.
Additional dining space
Although you may automatically think of kitchen storage trolleys as slim and compact, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is your only option! Opt for a long, tall kitchen trolley that seats up to eight people and transform your dining room or kitchen into a multifunctional space: simply wheel the trolley away when you’ve finished eating and use it to store cutlery and tableware.
Where to install a kitchen island?
Where you decide to position your kitchen island unit will depend on the type of space you have and what you’ll be using your it for. In general, it’s best to place your island in the centre of the room so that it can be accessed from all sides. If your kitchen island includes a sink, it’ll need to be near the plumbing. You may also want to think about the orientation so that it complements the layout of your kitchen. For example, if your kitchen is rectangular, position the island’s longest edge parallel to the longest wall. The main thing to remember is to avoid obstructing what’s known as the “kitchen triangle”. This encapsulates the sink, stove and fridge and is where most of the action happens!
What size kitchen island do I need?
The size of your kitchen island depends on the size of your kitchen, how many people live in the house, and how many people actually use it. Unfortunately, this means that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The most important factor to consider is the “clearance zone”, i.e. the space surrounding your island. It’s recommended that there is a distance of at least 80 cm between the island and your kitchen units, however, make sure you also allow for the opening of oven doors and drawers. Conversely, there should always be a maximum distance of 135 cm, as any more than this could break up your kitchen workflow. Many kitchen companies offer tailor-made solutions so that the size of your free-standing kitchen island is 100% suited to your individual requirements.
Where to buy kitchen islands?
Find your dream kitchen island or trolley, along with a range of kitchen and dining furniture
on the Houzz UK shop.