One size doesn’t fit all. When it comes to kitchen islands, don’t assume that if your kitchen is small, an island won’t be possible, or that you can’t include the options you want. There are many possibilities for making an island work, even where space is limited, and most kitchen companies offer options with a reduced depth, a customized height or extra-large cabinets tailored to suit a specific design and the space it is intended for. This vibrant blue kitchen island came with wheels for flexibility.
From creating more counter space to adding additional seating, we’ve selected a few different kitchen island ideas that will help you get the most out of it. Choose one or combine multiple of the design elements below to create the feature that works best in your room.
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Make it multi-level. Add another dynamic by creating variation in the height of your island. Using the island for multiple purposes, like eating and food prep, will both maximize the utility and make it feel like two totally different spaces. For example, add an appliance to one level (like a sink or stovetop) and create a breakfast bar on a higher tier.
I recently heard a story about a homeowner who had a major design regret. During a previous renovation, she elected to put all four counter stools on the same side of her kitchen island, a frequent spot for her family meals. This left her with a beautiful look but turned out to be an unfortunate mistake from a functional perspective. That’s because she now has to choose between having everyone in her family face in one direction like strangers in a diner and having to pull around a stool to sit on the wrong side of the island, with her knees bumping up against cabinets for the sake of family bonding.
Add appliances. Incorporating sinks or stovetops into the surface of the island is one way to spread the workflow throughout the kitchen. Installation can be tricky, so pay attention to details like ventilation and plumbing. This will require running downward (most common in islands) or overhead venting (which can be expensive), and allocating extra space to in-cabinet pipes.