Island-Only Kitchens

We visited an island-only kitchen over the weekend. And let's just say, it blew that whole kitchen work triangle thing out of the water:

We had never really considered an island-only kitchen before. That is, until we briefly experienced one this weekend. It wasn't something we thought we'd like, but we warmed up to it. We didn't get a pic, but it's large (say 12' x 5') and floats in an open living/kitchen/dining space. Pictured above are a few examples to give you the idea.

An island-only kitchen has countertop space only at a central kitchen island. There might be a wall oven or refrigerator in an adjacent wall, but all countertop work space is on the island.

What we love about this is the communal feel it imparts on the kitchen. If one or many are helping you prepare a meal, you can all gather around the island to do so. You end up experiencing meal prep in much the same way you experience dining - gathered around a large surface facing one another. Most kitchen layouts would have you lined up along one side of a counter or even facing away from one another (as in a U-shaped kitchen).

The all-island kitchen seems to be a contemporary movement. Maybe that's because it frees up wall space, allowing for more open flow between rooms and for more large windows at exterior walls.

This layout does make the sink-range-fridge triangle a bit less likely, but it can still be efficient from our brief impression this weekend. What do you think of an all-island kitchen? Would it work for you?

Related: Gain Cooking and Eating Space with a Kitchen Island

(Images: Boffi via Marin magazine, Laminex via Tara Dennis, 3 & 4: Record Cuisine)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.