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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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What do you think of kitchen islands?

As a retailer, do you like them and do your customers... Do they try to shoehorn them into too tiny a space or is it a case of 'take them or leave them'? Or as a manufacturer, are you happy about producing kitchen islands or are sales not really adequate to justify the extra costs and other considerations of manufacture and distribution.

And what about fitters? Do islands enhance your role in the supply chain or are they a pain in the rear to get just right? What do you think of the clients who buy kitchen islands? Do they seem 'decent'?

I ask because a friend has emailed me an article from today's MailOnline, in which kitchen islands - and those who have them - aren't spoken of very highly. Indeed the headline reads: 'Why you should NEVER get a kitchen island: interiors experts reveal the many reasons you should steer clear of the middle-class status symbol'. I wonder why?

Reading the article, I learned that while in theory islands add space and functionality to a kitchen that may not otherwise have much workspace, they are perhaps not as useful as people think. They have also, apparently, become a status symbol for the middle classes.

The publication has enlisted the help of a handful of interiors experts to back up these claims... One says they're impractical, preventing those using the kitchen from navigating their way around it and keeping sink, fridge and other useful appliances out of reach. Another said they're uncomfortable to sit at and compared eating at one to eating in the office canteen, calling them 'clinical'.

One referred to them as 'the kitchen island mistake' and said that the accompanying lighting is often 'a disaster', while a couple suggested that the island will become a dumping ground for people's things. Another said that because the island acts as a natural hub, it becomes virtually impossible for whoever's tasked with the cooking, to open drawers and cupboards or use the workspace.

Not very complimentary then... Scanning through the readers' comments though, I became aware of another angle. Consumers appear to love them, provided they have the space. I wonder if this is where the 'middle class' idea takes hold, as middle classes are, perhaps, more likely to have a decent sized kitchen than those of limited means. Wish my kitchen was big enough!



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Jan Hobbs



2nd December 2016

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