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Kitchen design trend: Waterfall islands

The form and function of a waterfall kitchen island
   Jen Wilson  |  written on: 29-05-2018 07:45am

If you’re looking to incorporate a wow factor into your kitchen, then a waterfall island is a simple but highly effective way of achieving this. Also known as wrapped islands, rather than the worktop finishing in line with the top edge of the cabinetry – as on a standard worktop – instead, it flows over the side of the island, extending vertically to the floor. Replacing the island’s end panels, this creates a fluid kitchen look and with its clean and minimal lines the style of the waterfall island is usually very contemporary.

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This trend has become increasingly popular in recent years and it is easy to see why; not only does it look stunning, but it adds an extra layer of interest to a kitchen’s look and creates a wider scope for design possibilities. Contrasting material, texture and colour is very on-trend at the moment and the waterfall island is the perfect way to achieve this. 

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It might be that you want to complement gloss or matt furniture with a contrasting colour, or else with richly textured wood or stone. Or a light-toned worktop might be just what you need to successfully balance darker kitchen cabinetry. Alternatively, the waterfall edges are ideal for showing off statement worktop designs such as on-trend veined patterns. Whatever way you choose to include it, the elegant pairing of an island with a waterfall edge is certain to make it an eye-catching feature within your kitchen.

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Waterfall edges are usually implemented on both ends of an island, creating a well-balanced look for the layout. But this style also works beautifully for kitchen peninsulas, making a feature of the peninsula’s end which isn’t fixed to the wall. An advantage of having a waterfall edge on a peninsula is you have one less side to finish and so the cost can be significantly less.

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Though principally decorative, the waterfall island edge is functional too as it’s in place to protect cabinetry and often conceals appliances as well. But another possibility for its use is to extend the worktop’s edge to create a casual seating area.  This is easily achieved by projecting the worktop horizontally over the back of the island far enough to create an overhang, underneath which you can fit some stools.

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Mulberry Street kitchen, Credit: Smallbone

Creating a casual breakfast bar in this way is particularly useful given that kitchen islands (or peninsulas) have become the new social hub for homes where not just cooking and eating takes place but work, family gatherings and entertaining too.

Credit: Naked Kitchens (Cover image)

Also read:
Must-haves: Kitchen islands
6 kitchen spaces that use their islands wisely

NEXT! Get some waterfall island inspo with the moodboard below - click any image below to begin browsing.

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   Jen Wilson
Jen Wilson has been working within the kitchen industry with LWK Kitchens for the last 9 years. LWK Kitchens is a London-based company that specialise in design, supply and installation of luxury German kitchens. She uses her extensive research, knowledge and experience of the industry to provide helpful and impartial advice to designers, clients and readers alike.

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