La Isla Bonita: THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND HAVING A PLACE TO SIT, PERCH, OR PREPARE FOOD IN YOUR KITCHEN IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING, SO IF YOU HAVE THE ROOM, HELEN PARKER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT deVOL URGES YOU TO GO FOR IT
e call them â€˜islandsâ€™ if they have cupboards with storage, maybe a dishwasher or a fridge and sometimes they can even have a sink or hob. If your room is big and wide then an island can be the main part of the kitchen, the place where you cook and prepare your meals, where you sit up on a stool with a glass of wine and chat to family and friends, a kind of meeting point within the room.
Photography: Courtesy of deVOL
Big islands, if designed well, can really make a room, you can see why they are called islands, they are sort of middle ground between the walls! Somewhere to land when moving about the room. I love the idea of this place in the middle of a room where everyone gravitates to, kids doing their homework with laptops plugged in, someone unloading the shopping and distributing the wares into their rightful places. In fact there have been kitchens with nothing but an island, an all-encompassing piece of furniture that does everything, including being positioned so you can have the best view to the outside while doing your chores. Imagine a room filled with light from floor to ceiling glass windows, a beautiful big island facing towards the sea, yes I know, not very likely but still, it gives you something to aim for!
In Victorian times the kitchen would have always had an island or probably more appropriately called a prep table. This piece of furniture would be long - a little like a big refectory table, it would often have had some wood and some marble as a worktop, so there was a place for rolling out pastry and kneading dough amongst other things. A prep table, unlike an island, would be open at the bottom, but unlike a table it would have a slatted area towards the floor for storing all the big pots and pans and really big platters. There are similar pieces of furniture in Mediterranean kitchens, marble topped big expanses of work surface right in the middle of the room. There is often no need for too much storage in these Mediterranean kitchens as all their produce is fresh, collected daily and either bottled for the winter months or simply prepared and cooked that day. deVOL, Cotes Mill, Nottingham Road, Loughborough, LE12 5TL www.devolkitchens.co.uk
highlighting local luxury
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September/October 2016 Wedding Special - A local Leicestershire publication