Ruach recommended replacing the island with a peninsula. It made the kitchen feel much more open and yet provided a clear demarkation between dining and cooking space. It also accommodated our second oven and provided a great space to store our cooking books.
We wanted a mantel around the Aga that would feel almost architectural, a space to hang coats, and we didn’t like the way that our existing island didn’t have much space down either side but we weren’t sure what to do about it. The mantle looks really great, and sets off the whole kitchen, and Ruach even sneaked in a cloakroom area out of sight, in an under utilised space above an annoying stop cock.