Kitchen islands are becoming a staple in more and more kitchens because they take care of so many practical needs, while also adding a stylish element to the room. If you’re looking into installing an island in your kitchen or updating an existing one, you’ll find numerous options for kitchen island designs.
To ensure you end up with the island of your dreams, we highly encourage you to consider how you use your kitchen and keep that as your focal point. This will help you determine which specific functions the island will handle and then you can go about customizing it to suit your personal style and most important needs. Let’s take a look at a few popular island designs and ideas.
- Custom Cabinets
Cabinets are an excellent way to store kitchen equipment and other items, while keeping them out of sight behind closed doors. Design an island with custom cabinets that will best store the items you want to keep in your island for convenient access, such as pots and pans, bakeware and appliances.
- Cook Station
If you plan on doing a lot of actual cooking at your island, you’ll want to include a cooktop and, ideally, a large butcher block, a prep sink and a pullout waste container.
Depending on how many spices you use in your cooking, you may also want to add built-in shallow shelves specifically designed for storing spice jars, so you’ll always have them within easy reach.
- Unconventional Shape
While most of us envision a rectangular or square shape when thinking about kitchen islands, keep an open mind when looking at different design options – especially if your kitchen has a unique layout that may not be conducive to a more traditionally shaped island. L-shaped islands are increasing in popularity and bean-shaped islands are a fun alternative, too.
- Waterfall Edge Countertop
A waterfall edge countertop – where the countertop extends vertically down the sides of the island – provides a sleek, dramatic look, creating a focal point that constantly draws the eye to the center of the kitchen.
Providing strong, clean lines, a waterfall edge is ideal for contemporary kitchens. Islands with a waterfall counter down one end will create a strong 90-degree angle, while a waterfall edge down both sides of the island creates appealing symmetry.
- Open Shelves
Often, the spaces at the ends of islands are overlooked. Be sure to keep this space in mind when customizing your kitchen island so that you can best utilize every aspect of your island. These end spaces can be used to display items you use often, such as coffee mugs and favorite cookbooks, or to add thoughtful, welcoming décor like framed photos or artwork.
- Double Up
While installing two islands will certainly not be practical for every kitchen, if you do have the space and the budget, it can be an excellent option. By having two medium-sized islands instead of one larger one, you’ll cut down on unused space in the middle of the kitchen. Also, with the path that’s created between two islands, you’ll be able to move about your kitchen more easily.
A substantial benefit to this set-up is being able to create more efficient work zones. For example, one island can be dedicated to meal prep and/or cooking, while the other can be used for eating meals and snacks, working and, if you have kids, doing homework.
Find creative inspiration from these ideas for custom kitchen islands and tailor them to create an island that will be functional and stylish, while fostering connection with family and friends and bringing you joy and ease when cooking.