A kitchen island isn’t just for looks anymore. Not only can it provide style, but it can increase the functionality of your kitchen as well. Whether you have a small or large budget, or a big or small space, there are many ways to incorporate a kitchen island into your home.

Add appliances

Incorporate sinks or stovetops into your kitchen island to spread out the workflow or design a built-in microwave at the end of your island. Ensure that you allow 36-48 inches between the perimeter of the island and the surrounding cabinets- especially if you have appliance doors that will be opening and closing.

Make it two!

What’s better than a kitchen island? Two kitchen islands! If you have the room, you can put in two different islands but if not, you can simply designate two different spaces. One part of the island can be raised for a breakfast bar or lowered for an eat-in table, while the other area is reserved for your prepping and chopping.

Increase storage space

If your kitchen lacks cabinet space, including extra storage in your kitchen island is a must. Get creative and choose open shelving to display cookbooks or heirloom dishes. Even if your kitchen has a small footprint, there are plenty of extra storage options for your limited space.

Make space for seats

Leaving room for a high top bar or lower dining area is useful if you don’t have a kitchen table or dining room. Even if you do, you might just need the extra casual seating. Leave room to tuck the chairs underneath to clear up the space when it’s not being used.

Look up!

Utilize the useful but often forgotten space above your kitchen island. Create suspended storage for your formal stemware or hang up your quirky hand-me-down pot set.


Have a limited budget? Into DIY projects? Reuse a hand-me-down table from your grandmother or refurbish a garage sale piece into a unique kitchen island. Paint or add wheels- the decision is yours!

It’s in the details

Here are other design ideas for your kitchen island:

  • Butcher block countertop- Ditch the cutting board and start chopping those veggies!
  • Storable island- Include one cabinet piece that can be rolled out when you need it and stored away when you don’t.
  • Rolling island- An island on wheels is movable and adaptable to your ever-changing life.
  • Drop leaf countertop- Pop it up when you need the extra counter space and drop it down when it’s just you at home.
  • Granite waterfall- Make a statement with an eye-catching granite countertop that seems to flow over the side.

Whether you’re a single girl that loves to cook or a family of four that needs the extra space for cookie decorating, a kitchen island can be a functional and one-of-a-kind addition to your kitchen space.

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