Island insights

Written by Shereen Lurie

Your kitchen island serves as both an aesthetic centerpiece and a functional piece of kitchen furniture, anchoring the room’s design while offering ample space for meal prep, dining, and socialising, making it a versatile hub for various activities in your home. Our experts share tips to guide you in maximising the potential of your kitchen island to meet your specific needs.

Shapes and styles

“Your choice of island depends on the available space. A rectangular-shaped island works beautifully for most kitchens, offering ample space for prep, cooking, and storage, with the option of adding a peninsula top for seating. While your kitchen island doesn’t necessarily need to be large to make an impact, if you have extra space and budget, consider going bigger and experimenting with different shapes. Additional storage solutions and functions can enhance your preparation and cooking experience.” – Ruan Pretorius, designer at Boffi Studio Cape Town

Boffi Studio Cape Town

Form and function

“Measuring the available space for your kitchen island will help determine the size and shape you can work with. Next, decide the island’s primary purpose – whether it’s for storage, cooking, or entertainment. Explore different style options that complement the rest of your kitchen. Take your time planning your island, researching different appliances, and considering the benefits of various countertops. Think about the storage units you want to add; this process will guide you to the kitchen island that best suits your needs.” – Ruan Pretorius, designer at Boffi Studio Cape Town

Boffi Studio Cape Town


“Set a budget for your kitchen island project and stick to it. Consider not only the cost of the island itself but also any additional expenses for installation, plumbing, electrical work, or customisation. It’s also advisable to consult with a professional to ensure proper installation and adherence to building codes.” – Selma Zaifoglu, director/architect at Linear Concepts

Linear Concepts

Seating arrangements

“If you plan to utilise your island for dining or as a casual seating area, consider incorporating seating options such as bar stools or chairs. Determine how many people you would like to accommodate and ensure there is enough legroom and space around the island for comfortable seating.” – Selma Zaifoglu, director/architect at Linear Concepts

Linear Concepts

Surface area

“Create surface space to prep and dice food, keep regularly used ingredients within reach, and plate dishes—all at the same time. A large kitchen island without a sink or cooktop built-in provides tons of extra counter space, and if you have the space, two islands are clearly better than one. Double kitchen islands allow you to zone prep and dining/work areas, break up the monotony of the layout, and can add much-needed interest in a large open-plan space.” – Audrey Selamolela, marketing director of Moremi Kitchens Rustenburg

Moremi Kitchens Rustenburg

Featured image: Boffi Studio Cape Town


Shereen Lurie

Leave a Comment