Tips and selection of kitchen islands

Small Island of Clean Kitchen - De Marko Subotin, shutterstock

Trendy and user-friendly, the kitchen island plays both a functional and decorative role. On the market, it can take different forms, and therefore exists in different dimensions. For a successful development, various points as practical as technical are to be considered in this file.

Kitchen island: dimensions and shapes

The dimensions of a kitchen island depend on its function as well as the dimensions of the kitchen. Whether used as a simple storage or dining area, whether or not it has a water point or cooking, the model differs. The complexity of storage affects the space required for installation. A small island usually measures 160 cm with a standard height of between 85 and 90 cm. For a classic arrangement dedicated to a meal for two or four people, it must be at least 120 cm long and a depth of 90 cm minimum.

Regarding the shape, a kitchen island can be square, rectangular or L shaped or even rounded according to the configuration of the kitchen.

Namely that clearance is needed around the island to allow traffic. For this purpose, it is necessary to provide a detachment of 1m minimum to facilitate the opening of cupboards. In the case where the kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher or an oven, at least 120 cm of space is to spare.

Whether it's a simple storage space or a dining area, whatever its shape, an island is ideal if space permits - © AvivaWhether used as a simple storage or dining area, whatever its shape, an island is ideal if space permits – © Aviva

Kitchen island: dimensions and functionalities

The dimensions of the island must be determined according to its future functionality. An installation dedicated to the preparation is generally equipped with closed storage as well as an additional work plan. It is an alloy of low furniture, overlapped with a worktop. As for the cooking island, it allows optimization cooking-washing-storage. Therefore, this equipment is often provided with a plate, cooking dominoes and an oven. In addition, it has a preparation surface, a serving and large storage dedicated to cutlery, pans or dishes. Standards exist in terms of dimensions.


  • A preparation and storage space requires 80 cm long and 60 cm deep
  • A cooking space requires 140 cm long and 1m deep
  • A cooking and washing space requires 275 cm long and 100 cm deep
  • A dining area


To avoid cooking your back turned to guests, it is possible to arrange a dining area on the kitchen island. To do this, simply overflow the plane beyond the furniture and provide bar stools 65 cm high. Another alternative: a meal plan lowered compared to the island, a height of 72 cm. A corner snack can be arranged thanks to an elevation of 110 cm. However, seats of 80 cm high are necessary.

Stools around the islet and the trick is played to create a convivial dining area - © DartyStools around the island and the tour is done to create a convivial dining area – © Darty

What island for a kitchen:


  • Island for a kitchen of 2.9 mx 2.7 m


For a kitchen of 2.9 mx 2.7 m loft version, it is possible to build three small islets. The central furniture will host the storage cabinet while serving as a work plan and dining area. This type of island is dedicated to open flats and ensures good traffic. In addition, it offers a real gain of space thanks to a volume not cloisonné.


  • Island for a kitchen of 3,5 mx 2,4


For an open kitchen of 3.5 mx 2.4 m, it is possible to opt for a U-shaped central island, intended for washing, cooking and a convivial meal. However, it is important to anticipate beforehand the passage of the arrivals and evacuations of water from the dishwasher or sink.


  • Island for a kitchen of 4.7 mx 3.3 m


A large semi-open kitchen of 4.7 mx 3.3 m can accommodate a central island of 290 x 90 cm housing a circular sink and acting as a work plan. This installation can also count a meal table.


  • Island for a kitchen of 3.6 mx 4.4 m


A kitchen of 3.6mx 4.4m can accommodate a central island with hobs, various storage and a suitable work plan. The sink can be installed in front of the island to reduce movement. This space will remain functional, regardless of the number of people preparing the meal.

3 in 1 island: dining area, worktop and storage unit - © Lapeyre3 in 1 island: dining area, worktop and storage unit – © Lapeyre

Kitchen island: the layout

To ensure practicality and comfort of use, a kitchen island must have a well thought out layout. In this regard, for better visibility, it is best to place the storage side kitchen so as to leave the other side neutral. In addition, to establish a convivial dining area, the best is to arrange it in the direction of the rest of the kitchen.

The installation of a cooking pole requires a ceiling hood favorable to the evacuation of bad odors. However, these arrangements have certain disadvantages. Indeed, they are generally a disruptive element, especially visually.

Regarding the arrival of water, the operation is delicate. For this purpose, it is advisable to set up this type of island during heavy work. In the case where the slope is insufficient, the installation of a podium is essential. This kind of platform makes it possible to conceal cables and pipes while modeling the space.

A ceiling hood above the cooking pole promotes the evacuation of odors - © LapeyreA ceiling hood above the cooking pole promotes the evacuation of odors – © Lapeyre

Kitchen island: the decoration

Located generally in the center of the kitchen, the islet is at the heart of all attention, so its development is crucial. As such, the choice of materials is important to distinguish it from the rest of the room. The fronts and worktop can be matched to kitchen furniture or be offset in color. To know that an island standing out from the rest of the kitchen elements brings a touch of originality and avoids a decoration too homogeneous. It is for example possible to place niches between furniture by sliding color or decorative accessories. Finally, it is also possible to play with the work plan by focusing on different thicknesses: 20 mm dedicated to the cooking part and 40 mm to the preparation part.