The 5 Laws for Choosing Your Perfect Kitchen Island

From on March 07, 2012 in Kitchen Remodel


Kitchen islands are an exciting addition to any kitchen. Compared to some remodeling projects that are less sexy (like a toilet replacement), or those that take months of upheaval (like a bedroom wing added to a house), an island can give your kitchen an instant makeover.

But there are things that determine the effectiveness of your kitchen island. From materials to how many people use your kitchen to how often you entertain can all be factors in your decision. Here are 5 laws for choosing the perfect kitchen island.

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1. Know what you want in a kitchen island

The proper kitchen island can double the functionality in your kitchen. More than simply another work surface, an island can work overtime for you as the chef. Evaluate how much you cook, what you like to cook, and where you feel the kitchen needs improvement for you to do these things better. For instance, if you’re more the baker than cook, consider getting marble countertop to help with your doughs. If you’re limited in sink space, consider an island that offers a large farmhouse sink and great faucet. kitchen-island-design

2. Pick a long-lasting, durable surface material

You have the amazing opportunity to add another kind of work surface to your kitchen. If you’re currently working with granite countertops, consider making the surface of your island something complementary but entirely different, such as concrete or even rustic wood. Make sure that it fits into the overall aesthetic of the kitchen.

3. Make your island do many things

Whether you’re kitchen remodeling or not, your island can be many things:

  • a separate breakfast space
  • brunch service
  • second stove
  • additional sink
  • storage for cookbooks and extra less-used dishes
  • drawer space for china and silverware
  • station for pet food and feeding
  • children’s cooking area
  • extra cooking surface
  • storage for pots (hanging overhead)
  • homework space while the table is being set
  • dessert and coffee bar for company
  • company cooking space


4. Look for great storage

An island offers added functionality in the form of storage as well as extra cooking space. While the top of an island might serve as a cooking and eating space (as in a kitchen island bar), the four sides of the island can do even more work. Add varying sizes of drawers and cabinets to your island to allow you to store things, from small pickle forks to that once-every-few-years fondu pot you don’t want to get rid of. Even if you want one side of the island to serve as a bar, guests can pull up directly to an island covered with drawers—no need for the overleaf for them to pull up to.

5. Make an island support your specializations

This is a great chance not only to add functionality, but aesthetic to your kitchen. One of our favorite island additions for a kitchen involved an embedded wine cellar of sorts. Yes, one side of the island design showcased an entire wall of shelved bottles behind a shielded glass to keep the temperature and lighting right, while showing off an impressive collection.