Kitchen islands have long been the hallmark of a serious cook’s kitchen. They don’t just offer extra storage, they offer much needed extra worktop space. In many kitchens, they also offer extra seating, generally in the form of bar seating. If your kitchen has the room, an island can turn it from a decent working space into a real workhorse.
As kitchen islands have become more popular, so have the diverse ways in which they are positioned and used. Nowadays, you can find anything from ovens, farmhouse sinks, microwaves, and even built-in espresso makers in a kitchen island. That’s to say nothing of popup appliance garages, trash bins, electrical outlets, and even wine refrigerators. If you can dream it, it can be incorporated into your island.
Islands do take up a lot of valuable kitchen real estate, so it’s important that they function well, and it’s always a bonus if they look great too! Whether you’re building from scratch, remodeling, or just interested in what to look for as you tour homes you want to buy, it’s a good idea to do some research and find out just what the current looks and trends are for kitchen islands. We’ve compiled some of our favorite kitchen island looks – perhaps one of these is what you would hope to find in your dream home!
1 – FULL KITCHEN LENGTH
Yes, we could call this one a long island (wink, wink). Full-length kitchen islands fill the entire center of a kitchen, whether straight as shown above or U-shaped. This kitchen is a perfect example of how much extra Space, storage, and seating can be created with this look.
2 – DOUBLE ISLAND
Sometimes you love your kitchen island so much you just want to clone it! This double-island look is perfect for open-plan living, especially for corner or L-shaped kitchens. You simply add a second island where a closed-off one-room kitchen might have a second wall. This way, your living space stays open and the whole family can interact no matter what tasks they may be performing, but you still get the extra storage and workspace an extra wall of cabinets and countertops would offer. It’s a win-win!
3 – T-SHAPED ISLAND
This island is exactly what it sounds like! Rather than a rectangle or square, this island has a peninsula that shoots out of the middle. This is the perfect way to incorporate open bar-height seating, or a traditional breakfast bar, without having to give up any space under the counter on the island itself. It’s also a great choice for square or oddly-shaped kitchens to maximize storage space. Not to mention that this look is simply stunning!
4 – SQUARE ISLAND
Yes, it really is hip to be square. This eye-catching island shape works to create lots of extra storage and work space. Ideal for anyone who bakes, makes candy, or puts up lots of preserves, this wide-open stretch of extra countertop space is really only possible with this unique island shape. This clever design has included cabinets even on the posts and under the seating area. This is how you maximize your storage space!
5 – BUTCHER BLOCK ISLAND
If you’ve dreamt of having butcher block countertops but have been concerned that they won’t work well for your entire kitchen, your kitchen island can help you get the best of both worlds. When you create a butcher block countertop on your island but use hard surfaces like marble or granite on your other countertops, you create specialized work zones that can help make your time in the kitchen more efficient.
6 – STONE SLAB ISLAND
We’re used to seeing kitchen islands rendered in wood or wood materials, but they can also be an excellent place to showcase other textures as well. This island is clad in the same stone slabs as the countertop and gives this chic modern kitchen real gravitas and luxury. It also functions beautifully in a kitchen, using surfaces that are easy to clean and sanitize.
7 – RECLAIMED WOOD ISLAND
Eco-conscious homeowners have long used reclaimed wood to bring rich wood tones to their home in beautiful and hard-wearing ways. That’s certainly the case here with this reclaimed wood-beam island built to add extra countertop workspace along with a ton of storage space. Rather than a built-in piece, this look can be added to an existing kitchen or purposely chosen for a new build or remodel.
There are other ways to make your kitchen island truly stand out as well. Think about using a contrast wood or paint for your island by choosing something different than what the peripheral cabinets are finished in. You could also use a high contrast paint on the island. Multi surfaces can be used and you can add an area for seating or not. The sky is the limit so let your imagination run wild and hire an interior designer to keep you focused for the best result.