Question: My girlfriend and I are considering two options for our open-plan kitchen and dining area. One has the cupboards and work surface in a U-shape, the other has wall units and an island unit. Which would you choose?
Answer: It really depends upon the shape of the existing space and how you live. U-shaped kitchens are good for creating a self-contained area that hides a lot of mess and keeps everything in arm's reach — great if you want open plan but with the kitchen slightly separate from the dining area.
The island option is good if you want the link between kitchen and the dining areas to have more flow and dynamism. If you're short of space, islands can seem extravagant, However, you can be clever by overhanging the work surface to create a breakfast bar while keeping storage space underneath.
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Peter Morris is an architect and interior designer and a director of Peter Morris Architects, which specialises in modern, innovative and practical designs (petermorrisarchitects.com).