Island bench-tops

We don’t often think about where our kitchen truly originates from, and how it has revolutionised the way we engage with each other in the home today. Kitchen islands have an incredible story to tell, and understanding the evolution of kitchen design can bring increased meaning to the hub of our homes.

Societal, cultural and political influences have most importantly evolved the way we look at current kitchen designs. Time warp back to the 1950’s, and we see cultural influence on wives who were expected to prepare and cook meals from a separate dining area. The two realms – of preparation and dining – saw a distinct disconnection. Being in the midst of the baby-boomer era, society reacted to a demand for more family-oriented, communal living, and the island kitchen was born.

The journey from architecture to interior design

Architect and Interior Designer, Frank Lloyd Wright, discovered a reason and solution for our fascination and growing interest, by creating the ‘kitchen island’. As a “psychological centre of the home”, he states, the island shall become the “inner-heart” of this centre, integrating family values with architecture and space planning.

Progression coupled with new society demands called for a complete overhaul of the way we look at design within the home. Moving to the 1980’s, new technological influences allowed for shifts in design trends and the update of more advanced kitchen appliances. Suddenly, the need to remove smoke, grease and odour was discovered, and consequently, the extractor rangehood was created.

The birth of the new entertainment hub 

The concept of cooking as a way of bringing friends and family together to entertain and socialise, led to open-plan living – integrating cooking with dining. The traditional, separated kitchen has now become central to the modern family home, fitting into the hustle and bustle of the busy lifestyles we see today.

Naturally, the act of cooking is no longer a solo activity, and the design of kitchens now plays an important role in creating a certain atmosphere. The development of Interior Design has seen island kitchens form all different shapes, sizes and heights, reinventing the style of how we dine and utilise space. We see many designs now featuring integrated plumbing & electricity, furthermore making the island concept one of the most frequently utilised in our modern lives.

Appliance solutions that enhance your space 

Island benchtops have formed into various ‘work’ stations, with the most presently popular trend being the incorporation of the cooktop, allowing the highest amount of interaction with family and guests. Recently, this has caused an increase in demand for the correct ventilation to compliment this design concept.

Island canopies have proven to be the most popular, not only removing oils, grease and odours, but acting as a design statement to enhance any kitchen. Consequentially, the innovation of ceiling cassettes has become increasingly popular with kitchen designers travelling back to the original concept of creating space with open-plan living.

Revolutionising how we engage and interact with family and friends; the island kitchen has become the most popular design of kitchen living today. Providing purpose to cooking, and engaging others in the art of entertaining, it is no wonder that island kitchens have had such an incredible impact on the way we go about our day-to-day life.

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