When thinking about furnishing your kitchen, consider an island as it serves a number of purposes. They can increase efficiency and functionality, as well as act as a visual anchor within the space.

When choosing an island, you must first think about what design (custom or manufactured) is going to meet your need. You can ask yourself the following questions: What am I going to use the island for most? Are there any features it can include that will enhance my kitchen? What does my kitchen need? For example, if you don’t have a lot of cabinet space, you may opt for an island with more storage, or if you don’t have a table, you may want your island to include extra seating. Islands do take up a considerable amount of floor space, so it’s important to take the time and determine what will be the best design and functionality for you.

Enclosed kitchens should place the island in the center of the room, thus making it easily accessible and allowing for walking space. Keep in mind, that the layout of the kitchen will affect where the island is placed and it may not always be in the middle. For example, a perimeter island would work well with an open kitchen. Size and layout of the island are also determined by the kitchen’s floor plan. It’s important to remember to allot enough space in between the island and cabinets so people can move easily, this is between 36 to 48 inches.

Whether you’re looking for more counter space or extra seating, here are a couple of kitchen islands that have a lot of functionality. You can choose one or multiple design elements to encompass all the features you need.

Additional Seating

Having an island with additional seating can come in handing whether you don’t have a kitchen or dining room table, or would just like an additional casual seating option. Adding seating options to the kitchen island gives the environment more of a social vibe so guests and the cook can chat. To accomplish this feature, get an island with a counter that hands over enough to tuck some chairs or stools underneath when it’s not being used.

Incorporating Multi-Level Elements

Another feature that can be encompassed is multiple heights within the island, that are used for multiple purposes. Areas can be designated for eating and food preparation. Multiple heights enhance utility and feel like two different spaces. An example is using a lower height for a sink or stove and having a breakfast bar at the higher space.

Utilizing above space

The space above the island can be used efficiently as well! Above the island, you can add suspended storage for pots and pans or glassware, or you can incorporate different lighting. If you decided to put a stove top on your island, the above space can be used for ventilation.

Additional Counter Space

Additional counter space from a kitchen island has numerous befits such as more room for meal preparation, multiple people cooking at the same time, or a space for eating. You could add contrast by having the kitchen island color different from the rest of your kitchen. For example, the island could have a dark stain while the countertops are white.

Additional Kitchen Appliances

To equally space out the kitchen, the appliances could be incorporated into the island, such as sinks or stovetops. The downside of this is that installation can be trickier, so plumbing and ventilation needs to be taken care of. By including this feature, overhead ventilation may need to be included which can get expensive, pipes and wiring will take up extra space in the cabinets, and the island will have to run downward.

Additional Storage

Having a kitchen island help prevent clutter, as it adds more storage. Kitchen islands can encompass drawers, cupboards, and shelves. Having more storage allows for an additional way to showcase kitchen appliances through open shelving or store appliances that otherwise would take up precious cabinet space. Further, dishes used frequently can be accessed quicker, or open shelving can be used to display cookbooks

Smaller kitchens can benefit from an island, check out these ideas and incorporate them into your kitchen!

Pictures sourced from Pinterest