Kitchen Island Design Ideas

expansive marble island with stove top and sink-kitchen island

If you are thinking about adding extra storage, more work space or extra seating. A standalone kitchen island might just be the solution you are looking for in your kitchen renovation. Read on to learn more about kitchen island design ideas.

Kitchen islands are one of the most popular updates that you will see in kitchen remodeling today. Adding this freestanding component to your kitchen you can bridge the gap from the kitchen to the other rooms connected to it. Since an island is accessible from all sides it can introduce a number of different elements into your overall kitchen design. This design option opens up and connects the kitchen, often to both the dining and living areas. Making it an integral part of the layout and design of the entire floor of your home.

marble and blue panel island-kitchen island design

Kitchen Islands are a cost effective design element

A kitchen island can be a great choice for any kitchen renovation. It is an especially good choice when you are looking to stretch your renovation dollars. Done right your kitchen island may accomplish a number of valuable things for your home. Storage maybe your priority is an additional work surface or seating and bar top eating. Whatever the goal and island can add style and additional design dimensions to your kitchen renovation.

modest kitchen island addition-kitchen island design

Because this is an important component of your overall design it’s important to get it right. You might be hiring a designer or developing the plan on you own.  Either way, here are few things to consider before you begin. With a modest investment an island will make a big difference in your overall kitchen design and functionality.

cost effective island idea-kitchen island design

Things to consider in your design:

There are any number of styles and types of material that you can use to create your kitchen island. So its important you recognize how your decisions will impact the rest of your home. If you are opening up a wall to expose the kitchen to another room you will want to consider how they come together. Make sure to consider the  flooring, ceiling and wall junctions. Along with style, the other rooms décor, paint color and lighting to mention a few. Your goal is to make sure the fit and style of your new island will integrate well into the overall décor.

room dividing island option-kitchen island design

Help with the size and function of your design

The kitchen is one of the most complicated spaces to design in a house. Figuring out how to design an island can be confusing for homeowners. You need to consider what size of island to fit in the new space and proportion is key. The material you choose for the island is also critical and kitchen cabinets also become prominent considerations when you open the space up. The cabinets now must fit not only with the island, but also with the adjoining living space. Kitchen islands, because they are transitional spaces, allow the opportunity to introduce contrasting cabinets under the island that move the eye into the adjacent area.

kitchen island with sink and stove top-kitchen island design

Hints for size and function of your kitchen island

While there's no set formula for figuring out how to size an island, but some measurement guidelines can help. Here are some basic considerations in your planning before you begin. First you need to decide on the main function of your new kitchen island. Before you start thinking about storage solutions and what range you want, decide what your island's main function is going to be. Most islands have a side devoted to cooking and a side devoted to eating, but what will your emphasis be? Prep work, cooking, cleaning, eating or entertaining? Or will you use it for everything, including homework and house projects? If you want appliances and sinks in your island, you'll need more space. If it will be used just for casual meals, seating should be your priority.Enter your text here...

nice sized island addition-kitchen island design

Have you decided to include appliances in your kitchen island design? If so, you need to plan for function as well as spacing. For example, if your main sink will be located in the island you will want to locate your dishwasher located there too. Is your island going to be your main food prep area? Then you will want to consider your waste, compost and recycling facilities as well. Maybe your island will include a cook top?  If so, you will need to have a space that can incorporate an appropriate exhaust vent and hood. It’s a good idea for you to list all the things you would like to have in your design. Then prioritize, and make allowances based on the space and budget.

kitchen island with sink and dishwasher-kitchen island design

How much storage space will you require? A lot of this depends on your kitchen layout. If you have space for a lot of cabinetry in the kitchen, island storage may not be a priority. If this is to be your main prep area, the sink and other appliances may have to come first, but try to make room for prep utensils and cutting boards near the sink.

What's the correct height for your island?

Another consideration in the whole size question is the height of the counter top. Depending on the use of the island, eating, food prep or cooking this a significant element. Perhaps you are considering multiple heights with a raise bar seating arrangement. The typical working height is 36” and a good height to accommodate the average bar stool is 42”. Many of these consideration are of course restricted by the space you have to accommodate these various design features.

marble island dual height-kitchen island design

Kitchens are the busy by nature and this space requires every part to be cohesively designed. Make sure that the working side of your island can function with the opposite kitchen counter. Take some time to review our past article on Kitchen design elements and the work triangle. This will help you to determine the correct placement of key elements in your kitchen and insure you design your perfect island layout.

Space your island correctly

Don’t forget to consider the open floor space around the island too. Keep your entertaining side open and at the same time insure there is enough working space between the island the other kitchen cabinet components. The working sides of your island should have a minimum of 42” of clearance and at least 3 feet on ends to allow correct access.

large spacious island-kitchen island design

So are you ready to go to the next step in your plan? Will you need a designer to help? If you have a good sense for space and can draw up a workable plan that may be all you need. If it gets to complicated than by all means bring in a pro but in most cases your planning ideas shared with a kitchen cabinet shop can your dream into reality.


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