8 MARCH 2023
Kitchens with island by TM Italia are versatile and multifunctional custom solutions. The island becomes the centre of the entire living space: a separate world made of uniqueness.
The word “island”, as the dictionary reminds us, can have several meanings. It is a portion of mainland that emerges from the waters, but also a territory distinguished by particular characteristics of different nature. In a figurative sense, it can be an oasis of tranquillity and peace to escape from an uncertain, tormented situation.
The island allows you to combine functionality and aesthetics: a single central volume in which different elements can be contained and which can be used both for cooking and as a table for quick meals.
In TM Italia’s kitchens with island, the island can be enriched by an electro-assisted movement of the upper worktop or a partial movement of the worktops, both electro-assisted and manual.
The islands can be made by TM Italia from a minimum depth of 70 cm up to a maximum of 120 cm; the space around the island must allow easy passage, the opening of the doors, as well as a practical preparation of food.
The kitchen with island represents a multifunctional, modern and refined space that combines domestic life and design. Into the project of a 50 square meters kitchen, built inside a villa in Beverly Hills, the main element is the central island. Sober and elegant, the entire composition is enhanced by clever use of different finishes between the surfaces.
The kitchen island can have different shapes and positions based on design, space, layout or functional criteria. With regards to the tall units, it can be positioned parallel, creating a cozy and comfortable work area and defining the kitchen space with respect to the living room, or perpendicularly when required by the architectural space. In the second case, the island becomes the sole protagonist of the kitchen environment, catching the attention with its central positioning with a clean background.
The classic kitchen island usually takes the form of a cuboid, but in more complex projects there are no limits to its appearance. TM Italia has created various islands with articulated shapes, such as the island in the shape of the letter “H” where each part performs a different function, or a large island with a circular area in the center complete with leather seating. The limit exists only in the creativity of the designer. Even the usual square shape can be made visually lighter by means of metal bases as in the Rua or Miuccia models, or it can be custom made and take on irregular geometric shapes.
The kitchen island is usually perceived as the work area in plain sight. When combined only with tall units, the island becomes the only worktop in the kitchen where both the hob and the sink must be positioned. The spacious islands or those with articulated shapes allow to host all the necessary without giving up on comfort. An example of a kind is the “L” shaped island where one part is dedicated to the cooking hob, while the other houses the sink and worktop. While the Tel Aviv kitchen project features a spacious island with enough space for food preparation. To expand the working area, the island is usually flanked by base units with an additional worktop that can be hidden behind retractable doors or left in sight.
There are also living edge kitchen islands with an additional surface which can be rather limited in terms of measures or they can include a real table for eating.
An example of a multifunctional kitchen is the Avignon kitchen presented at the Salone del Mobile 2022. In addition to the island itself which, in addition to the hob, also houses a extractable and rotatable screen, there is a multifunctional table designed for the whole family. Each corner is dedicated to an activity – there is a vertically extractable bar compartment, a smart-working area with all the sockets and the necessary equipment and finally a PlayGround corner dedicated to games. Each location can be connected to the island screen which rotates as needed.
The kitchen island often becomes a place where the whole family meets – a multifunctional convivial space where to cook, work, have a quick snack or share a full meal. There are various solutions to make the island a perfect spot for sharing time together. Breakfast tables , fixed or sliding, in addition to expanding the work surface, also act as a comfortable additional worktop. Adding stools from the living room side, it creates a pleasant connection between the kitchen and the rest of the space, perfect for sharing. A living edge island can be created simply by extending the top itself, creating a protrusion that allows you to sit comfortably, or it can be added in a contrasting material, such as wood.
Kitchens with islands can also be complete with a real table. Sometimes, due to the needs of the architectural space or simply as an aesthetic choice, the island with table is an excellent solution for making the most of the square footage of the house. The table can be fixed, adjacent to the island, or, for greater flexibility, you can opt for a sliding table that appears only when needed.
The islands can contain various motorized mechanisms that transform their appearance and function. With voice commands or a smartphone application, the island can be transformed from a monolith into an operational space. Sliding mechanisms reveal the hob, create a convenient snack counter or double its surface.
The island can also be equipped with extractable pantries, screens that appear and disappear with a simple touch or a vertically extractable multifunctional compartments that can contain a wine cooler, a coffee machine or an oven. Once re-entered the volume of the island, only imperceptible carvings remain on the surface that presage its existence.
The combinations of materials that can be used for the islands is almost infinite. TM Italia offers over 350 standard materials and finishes that can be combined with different criteria. The entire island can be made in the same material when it comes to stone, stoneware, laminate, Fenix laminate or Ecomalta. They are resistant materials that are suitable for the worktop and thanks to the company’s know-how, they can also be applied to the doors. This allows to obtain a chromatic and material harmony. Alternatively, you can opt for the contrast between the worktop and the fronts of the island which can be matching with the tall units or on the contrary, by choosing dominant finishes, the island can assume the role of the sole protagonist of the kitchen space.
A kitchen project requires a lot of attention in the designing stage. It is advisable already in the design phase to define in advance the position of the individual elements and their relative size. The design phases foresee that, following an aesthetic-functional project, the plan drawings are accompanied by an electrical and hydraulic scheme; in fact, it must be kept in mind that unless the island only performs the function of a work surface, it is necessary to equip it with water and electric hook-ups.
It is important to bear in mind that the island requires sufficient space around it, ideally about 120 cm, optimal for the doors of the island and any elements placed in front of it to be opened simultaneously and comfortably. In any case, the minimum size required for the operating space is 100 cm.
If the island houses the hob, it is also important to design the aspiration system. There are several alternatives in this field. The least invasive solution from a visual point of view is to opt for a downdraft extractor which disappears in the volume of the island when not in use, or for extractors integrated in the cooking hob. Alternatively, there are also complanar ceiling hoods – an elegant solution which however requires the construction of a false ceiling. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a design solution, there are various suspended hoods for all needs. From different shapes and sizes, from the aspirating systems connected to the ceiling to the filtering ones that look like a chandelier.
In the design of a kitchen with an island, the lighting project is of great importance. The central worktop must be adequately lit to allow easy preparation of food and possible and comfortable consumption of meals. Even in this area, the limit is only in the imagination. From ceiling spotlights to pendant lamps, or using the light from the hood placed above the island worktop.