Island kitchen design

The evolution of a kitchen island design

The LWK Kitchens team find it extremely useful to receive feedback regarding all stages of our design and installation process.  This helps us ensure we are meeting our clients needs in all areas, and can make any necessary improvements.  Furthermore sharing such information with future clients is helpful for them in gaining an understanding of who LWK Kitchens are and how we work.  So with this in mind I was delighted to receive an invite from Mrs Sinead Watts of Twickenham, to see her newly finished kitchen island design, and chat to her about her experience of planning her kitchen:

 The Design and Planning

Cashmere kitchen island design

The finished Cashmere kitchen island design

Jen: Thank you for inviting us today.  We love your new kitchen and can’t wait to hear all about it!  So if you could start by telling us what your previous kitchen was like and what were your main reasons for changing it?
Sinead: Our previous kitchen was a Shaker style shiny wood kitchen within a small galley kitchen layout that offered little worktop space for my husband and I to work in. The kitchen had been in place since the early 1990’s and we were planning to replace it as part of a large extension to the back of our house.  This would  involve tearing out the existing bathroom adjacent to the former kitchen and extending a side hallway to open out the space, allowing for a larger kitchen island design.

Kitchen island design and layout

Given it was part of an adjoining room, it was important for the design to leave enough space for a kitchen table, as well as clear passage to the back garden.

 Jen: Did you have any specific ideas or requirements for your new kitchen design?
We had seen pictures of kitchen extensions with kitchen islands and we really liked this look, and knew we would now have the space for it. But at the same time we didn’t want the island to take up too much space given the kitchen was now part of an adjoining room.   Whilst the room was blank we used masking tape on the floor to outline where our kitchen island and units would go, and this helped us imagine the size and layout.  Plenty of storage space and worktop space were also integral to our new design, and I also asked for an integrated dishwasher as this is something I hadn’t had before.

Jen: Was there anything you wanted to retain from your old kitchen within the new design?
Sinead: I had a pull-out food larder which I liked in my old kitchen so included similar pull-out drawers which are proving just as useful.   I also wanted to keep my washing machine and this has also been included within my new kitchen.

Kitchen design by LWK Kitchens

Our LWK Kitchens designer suggested additional kitchen units behind the door.  These would fill the empty space and provide suitable storage for tall items including a mop and ironing board.

Jen: How did you find the design process?
We had visited other companies to get an idea of what we wanted for our kitchen island design but then found LWK Kitchens and felt they offered the same quality but at better prices.   They were really helpful in revising and improving on the drawings we had.  For example there was plenty of storage included but Christina suggested a taller cupboard behind the door which is now perfect for my mop and hoover, and I simply hadn’t thought of this before.  On a more technical level, she was great in establishing the plumbing connections for the island and ensuring everything was in place and would work as required.

 Jen: Were there any challenges within your design and if so how were they overcome?
There was a soil pipe running through one of the regions where we were extending outwards, and our builder was concealing this within a stud wall.  I was concerned this might leave a space between the wall and the tall kitchen units immediately next to it but I was reassured this would be fine; and as promised the fit is exactly as it should be, with no spaces.

Island kitchen extension plan

Kitchen island design by LWK Kitchens

The Showroom

 Jen: How did you find the showroom visit?
We visited the Canary Wharf showroom and I think this was important to see the product in person, especially as there are so many varieties of the same material and finish amongst different companies, yet they can actually vary quite significantly in terms of look and quality.

LWK Kitchens London showroom

Seeing this arrangement of ovens within our Canary Wharf kitchen showroom persuaded Sinead that this arrangement would also work for her home.

I also wasn’t sure about the best arrangement for my ovens and was originally thinking of putting them side by side.  I was worried I’d lose space with them one above the other and that I would be bending over too much, but I then saw this arrangement in the showroom and  through opening the doors and having a good poke around I  realised this would actually work very well…and it does.

 Jen: How did you choose your kitchen colours and finishes?
Sinead: We visited a number of showrooms and looked at lots of different doors but we already had in mind that we wanted something fuss-free and easy to maintain, especially as the extension was creating one big open plan room. We knew that we didn’t want all-white and when we saw the cashmere we thought this was a lovely alternative, stylish but neutral.

The Verdict

Purple kitchen splashback

Sinead had the ingenious idea of hanging an aubergine pashmina in site of the glass prior to ordering.  This meant she could be sure of the colour and how it would look.

Jen: How about the splashback?
The aubergine colour was my choice of colours for my wedding so was always a favourite, but I actually hung a pashmina across the site for a couple of days to get a feel for what it would look like and help me make up my mind. The splashback was the last thing to be finished and it took me a while to choose a colour but I’m pleased I went for this colour and think it finishes the room off really well.

 Jen: How do you feel about your finished kitchen now?
I absolutely love it, and love using it!  The layout works really well and makes it really easy and nice to use, and the ovens are great! My favourite part is the kitchen island and we now have an extendable dining table to sit at the end of the island for when we have friends round.  We are also working on the garden at the moment so we can fully open up our new doors for entertaining in the summer.  In the meantime it has been lovely having friends round to see the new kitchen and they are completely wowed by the transformation!

Jen: Now you have been using it for a while is there anything you would change or might have done differently?
I did consider integrating the washing machine within the kitchen island but I didn’t want to lose any island space. Currently a door won’t fit over it but in the near future I would like to replace the washing machine with an integrated washer-dryer and add a door over this to fully complete the kitchen look.

The LWK Kitchens team would again like to thank Sinead for taking the time to discuss her new kitchen. We hope she continues to enjoy it for many years to come.

If you would like some help or ideas with planning a new kitchen, we would love to be of assistance so please don’t hesitate to contact us. 


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