Kitchen islands are a trend that we can get behind. They are a great way to provide more workspace options in a kitchen while often providing more storage and seating. At Out of the Woods, we’ve seen it all: kitchen islands that are large, small, simple, ornate, a block of cabinets, or not much more than a glorified end table. Whatever your preference and kitchen needs, we have nine kitchen island ideas to help you make the most of your kitchen space.
Having abundant or at least sufficient cabinetry in your kitchen island is a great way to guarantee that you have ready access to the things that matter. You can keep plates and bowls in a central location or store cookie sheets where you can easily get at them. You can also use kitchen island cabinets to store tools not always in use like the toaster or KitchenAid. This will free up countertop space, which can be a game changer in a smaller or tighter kitchen.
The same benefits that apply to cabinets apply to drawers. Many of our clients are eager to have the silverware stored in the heart of the room, easily accessible for daily use. You can also be a bit more creative with drawers, opting for pull-out cabinets and shelves. This is a great option if you want to have a readily-available spice rack or lazy susan that you can immediately tuck away. It’s also a great way to hide garbage and recycling bins while keeping them close during food prep.
One way to maximize your space with a kitchen island is to build the appliances directly into it. Leave a bank of cabinets along the wall and include your dishwasher or microwave in the plan of the island. For these two appliances especially, making them a part of the island has a way of tucking them out of sight.
Including a range or sink in your island’s design has the opposite effect. Because they sit atop the island and not flush with the sides, kitchen island sinks and stovetops have a tendency to draw the eye. If you have an elegant faucet or range top, consider making these the focal point of the room. Including them in an island also usually gives better access to ranges and sinks.
We highly recommend that whatever appliances you include in your kitchen island, you also incorporate an outlet. Especially if your island features a lot of countertop space, the ease of an island outlet can’t be overstated. Many people also work a light switch into their island design to shed a little light on projects happening in the middle of the room.
If you are looking to add more visual interest in your kitchen, consider adding display shelves to your island. This allows you to present books or dishes in an artistic way without cluttering up precious countertop space. You may elect for a wine rack over traditional shelving, but either way, island displays can be open or glass fronted.
For extra storage or extendable countertop space, consider a rolling cart that can be tucked under the rest of your kitchen island. This gives you flexibility: a larger workspace but only when you need it so it doesn’t fill your kitchen unnecessarily. If you want to be able to roll the entire island out of the kitchen, try a kitchen island on wheels. This must be done strategically with an efficient braking system, but if you want the flexibility of an open kitchen along with the work- and storage space that an island provides, you can have your cake and eat it too with a mobile kitchen island.
Your storage options mustn’t all be built into your island’s design. Use trays or baskets that hang off the edges of your island to add storage that can be easily removed or replaced. If your kitchen island is a hub of cooking activity, add a chopping block for an almost continental feel.
The kitchen may just be the central hub of your home. If it is a place people gather, whether to eat or just to visit, it is important to have enough seating for them. Even small kitchen islands with seating can lend a focal point and create a sense of home. Incorporate a bench or bar stools with or without backs. If you need more space, add seating to two sides, either as an ‘L’ shape or on opposite sides of the island. It is also not uncommon to completely replace having a kitchen table with just having an island with sufficient seating.
Don’t forget the space over the island. It’s prime real estate for storage if you want to add hanging cabinetry or display shelves. If you want to maintain a more open atmosphere, add lighting fixtures instead.
Add a Pop of Color
While adding color may not seem to implicitly utilize the space, using color strategically can make your kitchen appear larger. Paint your island in a hue to complement the rest of the kitchen’s color palette while making it stand out. If your other cabinets are already a highlighting color, choose a shade that will blend with the floor or walls.
For a custom kitchen island that will maximize your kitchen’s space perfectly, give us a call at Out of the Woods. We are here to help you find the best kitchen island for you.