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How to calculate the distance between island and kitchen

How to calculate the distance between island and kitchen

Steps to follow when designing a kitchen with a dream island Focus on the distances to be observed to make it functional.

The kitchen environment offers many design possibilities, with its highly customisable functionality and aesthetics. In fact, there are countless solutions for creating a welcoming space, without overlooking practicality. A key consideration is the distance between island and kitchen. Let’s see how to organise the room step by step and take correct measurements.

Step 1: first of all, functionality

Step 1: first of all, functionality


The kitchen island is a dream come true: it expands the worktop surface and allows you to stylishly combine the areas of an open space. It is therefore essential to carefully evaluate the distance between island and kitchen for easy daily use and optimal aesthetics.


An impressive piece of furniture such as an island has certain must-haves to respect: it must increase functionality of the worktop, as well as being practical to use and impeccably styled.

For these reasons, it is usually installed in the middle of the room, from where you can keep an eye on the whole area and where it is always handy for preparing meals. Thanks to its versatility, it can accommodate so many functions.


The kitchen island is an indispensable accessory for:


  • Cooking on a hob with a view of the open space.
  • Increasing the surface area of the cutting and/or preparation area.
  • Providing extra space to separate the washing area, and/or the cooking and/or cutting areas.
  • Adding seating in order to eat comfortably in the kitchen.


Each of these possibilities involves a different management of the workspace, as well as a specific design based on the desired use. Once you have made these evaluations, you will then be able to have the tools needed to calculate the island-kitchen distance. Read on to find out what to do next.

Step 2: what to consider

When talking about the use of kitchen space, the work triangle is mentioned straight away. Management of the work triangle - i.e. the passage between the refrigerator, hob and sink - should always be unobstructed and convenient for those using this area. And the kitchen island, if not properly designed, can be quite a hindrance!

It is therefore essential to consider all the elements that could prevent or limit the use of the work triangle once the island has been installed, particularly in confined spaces.

The most important factors to look out for include: functionality of the oven and dishwasher, the opening of base unit and island doors and drawers, the presence or absence of pull-out worktops, any chairs and/or stools, and any other element that may permanently or temporarily obstruct the island-kitchen distance.

Once opened, any one of these components should still facilitate the movement of a person. Yes, even when the partner leaves the doors wide open!

But that’s not all. Even when the workspace is used by more than one person, extra centimetres are required so as not to get in each other’s way. So be careful when sharing cooking tasks!

Step 3: ideal distances

If the kitchen has a geometric layout with no obstructions (such as columns or other structural elements), ideally there should be 100 to 120 cm of free space around the island.

This measurement allows you to use the space comfortably, without hindering the functionality of the work triangle. If this distance between island and kitchen is not available, the island will have to be customised and evaluated with a professional interior designer.

An example of customisation could be the choice of a custom-sized island with unusual shapes that can improve life in the kitchen considerably, even if the island-kitchen distance is not always optimal

Once the distance from the kitchen has been calculated, it is time to choose the size of the island that best suits your needs: the standard depth is generally 70 cm, 96 cm or 120 cm. If, on the other hand, you choose irregular and/or non-rectangular shapes, you will need to evaluate a custom-sized project with Scavolini’s interior designers.

What is the ideal distance between island and kitchen for your space? Visit a Scavolini dealer to browse all the solutions.

How to calculate the distance between island and kitchen