The Kitchen Island Bench


When I went to Milan in 2018 for Salone Del Mobile, I drooled over the beautiful and functional kitchens on display from Fendi and the like.

Something to note was the universal use of the large island bench housing sinks and stove-tops, liberating the cook from being away from the hub of conversation and activity.


If you are seduced by the  communal functionality of the open bench  kitchen, here are some key considerations to make it work.

  • Distance between the tap, sink and edge of the bench

This is an very important feature of the stand alone island, containing sinks or stove tops.  If you cut the space short, you end up with a lot of splashing over the top of the sink and onto the floor on the other side.

If there is a stove top, again you will have the problem of mess going to the floor.

This kitchen, in my own apartment, has this problem.  I am currently rectifying it by adding a short spalsh back, and a table height breakfast bar bench as a practical solution, as part of an overall kitchen make-over.


  • Overall floor space of the kitchen

The mistake in my apartment is that the design is not accommodated by the floor space.  Sometimes a builder or developer uses a high end idea without the skill of understanding how scale and space affect the particular look.  As you can see from the above photo, the result is dysfunction.

Fortunately my skill set allows me to introduce solutions into the space, which will achieve both function and style.


Scale is key when designing your kitchen island bench.  Think about the floor space you have available so that your island bench looks stunning and has the right amount of bench space between the sink or stove and other side of the bench.

Don’t use an idea that is not supported by floor space to achieve the wow factor.  Do something that suits your space