Float away. To create the illusion of space, it’s a good idea to keep furniture off the floor. The countertop here is extended from the kitchen cabinets to form a floating peninsula breakfast bar. The lack of base cabinets gives the room a feeling of flow. The designers also have thought carefully about the bar stools, choosing white tops to “melt” into the surface and wooden legs to blend into the floor.
Don’t let a good visual get in the way of functionality. Before you renovate or give your island an update, consider these options for how to choose the best dining arrangement to save your household — and your knees — a lot of bumps down the road.
kitchen utility carts with wheelskitchen cabinet on wheelskitchen cabinet cartfan dusterportable kitchen islands for small kitchenskitchen counter on wheelsstainless steel kitchen carts on wheelsstainless kitchen carts on wheelsmuffin panskitchen workstation on wheelskitchen with 2 islandsoutdoor kitchen carts and islandscheap kitchen carts and islandsstainless steel rolling kitchen cartsmall islandsmall stainless steel kitchen cartsmall rolling table cartkitchen cabinets and islands
Roll-out pantry. When drawers roll out, as they do in this English pantry cabinet, you don’t have to worry about digging behind things to find what you need. The glass drawer fronts and sides also allow maximum visibility of items in the drawers while keeping everything in place. The sleek design works well for a contemporary kitchen.
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.
Butcher’s block and granite top. “Once you have an island, it is hard to go without,” Wanda Brown says. So after she moved into a home with a smaller kitchen than in her previous home, she fashioned a micro island using a small butcher’s block that she topped with a piece of granite. It gives her extra prep space close to the sink but, because of its compact size, doesn’t interfere with the flow of the kitchen.