Islands are an aspirational feature for most of us to have in our kitchen. The idea of copious bench space and the luxury of an island for serving, seating even cooking or washing is highly revered. We hear it countless times from our clients, “we would love an island.” Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to incorporate an island into your kitchen design.

  1. The importance of having room to move. We recommend anywhere from 1000 to 1200mm between an island and parallel cabinets/walls. This will allow enough room to move comfortably and open drawers, doors and fridges, etc. If you don’t have enough width in your space it might be an idea to consider an alternative kitchen layout. Too wide a gap and the island can seem out of place. It’s about balance.
  2. How long do you intend your island to be? This is important as bench top materials only come in certain lengths, meaning that you will most likely require a join somewhere on your island bench top. How will you design your island to minimise the visibility of your bench top join? Some things we use regularly for our clients are different bench top materials and heights. Some bench top materials and colours have less visible joins than others so consider this prior to settling on the bench top.
  3. How wide will your island be? Impala recommends anywhere between 900 to 1200mm width, pending space.
  4. Do you want to sit at your island? If so maybe a drop down area might work. Is it purely for food preparation, then ensure you have enough width and space to perform the tasks you wish to use your island for.
  5. Placement of appliances in the island or the adjacent cabinets is important too. Ensure that appliances used often like the fridge are not competing with floor space around the island with another oft used item such as the sink.
  6. Finally if you are having an island kitchen, make sure the materials, lights and colours are amazing as the island will set the tone for the rest of the space.

This is one of our most popular kitchen designs. The island is practical and met the client’s requirements of food preparation and a dining area. Although the overall island is long, there are no bench top joins required as it utilises two materials, Corian and recycled timber.


A gorgeous island with overhanging stone either side and warm timber panelling at the rear.
The overhang on the right meets two objectives, that of food preparation and dining.
Clever use of space as the kitchen in Sydney’s inner west was not overly wide.


Another one of our most popular kitchens features striking Onyx marble to be the hero of the design.


Another one of our most popular kitchen designs is this one, featuring neutral colours and a simple, practical yet elegant island. The island can be used for seating or serving.


Food preparation, serving and storage were the main requirements for this client.


An island for cooking, washing, food prep, storage and eating.



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