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Portable kitchen islands are a more versatile option for additional prep space and storage, as opposed to fixed islands. While both provide additional workspace and additional storage space underneath, portable kitchen islands are less restrictive when it comes to kitchen layout as they are easy to move around.
Having the right size and positioning is essential when installing a static kitchen island, as it will remain stationary in that position. These factors will therefore need to be determined in the early planning stages. However, a portable kitchen island that is smaller, lighter and with no electricity or plumbing to consider, offers a more flexible option. A mobile unit can be moved as needed.
Portable kitchen island ideas
âSurface space is high on everyone’s wish lists right now,â says Claire Birkbeck, kitchen designer at Neptune Bath. âMore and more customers are asking for islands to be incorporated into their kitchen design – a place where they can cook, eat, work and socialize. “
âA freestanding island is perfect for a kitchen when you have less space to play. And also to create a more practical and versatile space, because they can be moved to the desired position, âadds Claire.
1. Add color with a painted kitchen island
Rather than trying to match your island with your kitchen cabinets, go for a contrasting color for a more casual look. A wood worktop will complement the wood cabinetry – just add a few wood bar stools to give a rustic, country look.
Don’t go overboard when choosing a square shaped kitchen island idea like this. You should be able to reach the middle, so don’t go over 1400mm back and forth.
Buy Now: Carlos Pine Kitchen Island, Â£ 625, La Redoute
2. Make it a mobile feast
For small to medium-sized kitchens, a portable kitchen island on wheels or casters offers a more compact option and is very easy to move around. It can be pulled out in action for extra prep space on the countertop when baking or baking and can be stored against a wall or counter when not in use.
Use a portable kitchen island as a serving buffet and stock it with dishes, a serving kit, and condiments so everything is on hand at mealtimes. This industrial-style cart features convenient drawers and baskets for cutlery and linen, with open shelves for bulky items.
Buy Now: Black Metal Kitchen Island / Storage Cart, Â£ 1,650, Notonthehighstreet.com
3. Combine storage with space to sit
Semi-portable kitchen islands have legs rather than casters and tend to be heavier than mobile islands, so they’re not designed for frequent travel. However, if you decide to change the layout, a semi-portable island can easily be moved to a new position.
Combine seating and storage with this rustic recycled pine kitchen island. It has a closed cupboard on one side and a glass cupboard to display the dishes on the other. There is also room for stools at one end so you can sit down and have your breakfast.
Buy Now: Greta Gray Recycled Pine Kitchen Island, Â£ 1,482, Maisons du Monde
4. Use an island as a room divider
In a large kitchen or open plan space, a freestanding island can be used as a room divider, helping to divide the space. It can be positioned in the center or on the side, like a peninsular island.
âA freestanding kitchen island is a lovely way to add character to a kitchen, while at the same time expanding valuable surface area,â says Paul Deckland, purchasing manager at The Cotswold Company. You can also move it around, so that the kitchen can be opened up, with the island easily configurable against a wall to serve as a buffet table. When you receive and treat a crowd of family and friends, the extra space is invaluable. ‘
Buy Now: Chester Dove Gray Kitchen Island, Â£ 945, Cotswold Company
5. Go mobile with a roller island
If space is tight, choose a compact kitchen island on casters. Keep it still or move it to where you need it. Having an extra prep area will expand the available space on the work surface – great if you run out of countertops or have multiple people working in the kitchen at the same time.
This neat black metal unit has legs on one side and casters on the other, as well as a grab handle for easy handling. With a shelf below and a deeper storage tray at the bottom, it’s perfect for a small kitchen or would make a great mobile cocktail cart as well.
Buy Now: Fulton Kitchen Cart, Â£ 99, Dunelm
6. Go for a multitasking island
An established-style island unit offers plenty of extra space for cooking prep, but with a few high stools tucked away to one side, there’s plenty of landing space for a laptop on those days you want to go. are WFH. Hang a dedicated kitchen island lighting idea above the unit to provide more directional work lighting.
Consider the material of the worktop when choosing a kitchen island. The wood is durable and a good option if you are on a budget. Stainless steel is hygienic and easy to clean, while marble stays cool, so it’s ideal for baking.
Buy Now: Suffolk Kitchen, from Â£ 8,000, Neptune
7. Double-up to create a longline island
Place two smaller islands side by side to create a large center island. These units have space for stools on one side and built-in shelves for storing cookbooks and decorative cookware on the other.
In an open-plan space, place an island with the side of the shelf facing outward so that it is cleaner when viewed from the living room. Keep dishes, pots, and clutter out of sight from the kitchen side.
Buy now: Tornviken kitchen island, Â£ 250, IKEA
8. Put a kitchen cart into action
âA sturdy cart in the kitchen or a mobile server in the dining room can be very helpful,â says Ikea’s design team. ‘A kitchen cart gives you extra storage space for fresh herbs, serving bowls and platters, or with a waiter-style cart in the dining room, you’ll have everything from bottles to napkins within easy reach. hand, so you won’t have to run to and from the kitchen.
Buy Now: Rashult Cart, Â£ 28, IKEA
9. Diaper storage with a two-tier island
In small kitchens, large islands can be too heavy and tend to dominate the space. Opting for an open-sided island will help create a feeling of space, with no doors or drawers to interrupt the flow of the kitchen.
This steel and oak framed island works wonderfully as a cooking station in an open kitchen. With two layers of shelves, there’s room for supplies, cookware or the kitchen mixer underneath with a spacious prep area on top.
Buy Now: Carter Kitchen Island, Â£ 2,635, Neptune
10. Install an island in a pantry
Use a portable island to create extra surface space and storage in a pantry or pantry idea. The open shelves below are ideal for storing jars and bottles or crates and baskets full of food and bulk items. Add a row of hooks above for hanging dried herbs or utensils, with additional shelves above for storing additional supplies.
Buy now: Vadholma kitchen island, Â£ 229, IKEA
11. Make a statement with an original piece
Choose a vintage-style piece to add character to a kitchen-diner. Placed against a wall, a portable kitchen console can double as additional storage or a buffet-style service bench. And when extra space on the worktop is needed, the casters put it into action.
This industrial-style portable island is made of iron and brass with four pull-out mesh compartments, a deep storage tray underneath and four heavy-duty casters.
Buy Now: Industrial Storage Console, Â£ 895, Graham & Green
12. Make room for the family dog
Pet beds can be a tripping hazard if not stored out of the way, so if your dog (or cat) likes to stay nearby, why not create a dedicated area for them. This multitasking breakfast bar features a pet bed underneath with a plush pillow for sleeping and a side cabinet for storing pet essentials.
Buy Now: Pet Bed Kitchen Island, Â£ 1,375, Cox & Cox
Can you have a mobile kitchen island?
Fixed kitchen islands are usually anchored to the floor with screws and brackets, so that once in place, they cannot be moved. A kitchen island with a sink, hob, or built-in outlets will also have plumbing and electricity installed, meaning it will need to stay in a set position.
Portable or mobile kitchen islands are a better option for small kitchens as they tend to be smaller, narrower, and lighter than standard kitchen islands, and therefore can be moved to a different position if needed. An island on casters offers even greater flexibility as it can be set up as needed, then stowed away when not.
What can I use for a kitchen island?
While ready-made kitchen islands are a good option and less expensive than a fully-equipped kitchen island, there are all kinds of items you can reuse to create a custom-made kitchen island.
A farmhouse style kitchen table, butcher’s block, or sturdy bench can all serve as a kitchen island. These can also all be moved when not in use. For an island with extra storage, consider repurposing a set of shelving, sideboard, or a few base kitchen units.