5 Creative Kitchen Island Design Ideas You'll Love

by Joanna Stewart

Sun, Dec 2, 2018

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kitchen island designs Kitchen Island Designs - Photo

Why are kitchen islands so desirable? The reason is simple. A well-designed kitchen island can transform an outdated kitchen into a gourmet chef’s dream.

That’s probably why in a recent study by the National Association of Homebuilders, 80 percent of home buyers said they consider a kitchen island desirable or essential in their homes.

Not only does an island provide valuable workspace but it also expands your kitchen design options. For example, moving the range into the center of the island is a great way to interact with guests while cooking and increase your chi.

My Favorite Kitchen Island Ideas

Even though the majority of homebuyers believe a kitchen island is important, many will be left without one. Another study revealed that 50 percent of first-time home buyers want a gourmet kitchen, but only 9 percent end up in a house that has one. What does this mean for you?

While you may not have the kitchen of your dreams, there are many creative ways to remodel your kitchen on a budget. Here are my favorite kitchen island ideas:

Add Multiple Work Areas

kitchen island design ideas Include multiple work areas - Photo

The primary advantage of a kitchen island is the addition of usable counterspace. A simple and smooth kitchen island may be all you need to transform your kitchen. Oftentimes just a small workspace can make a dramatic difference.

Another important ingredient in island design is the countertop selection. Recently butcher block countertops have become popular in country style kitchens and even in a few contemporary homes.

On the other hand, quartz surfaces are long-lasting and affordable compared to granite or marble. Selecting a durable countertop will be essential to getting the most out of your new workspace.

As you can see there are many options available just in the countertop selections. This is why if you ask a handful of designers or homeowners for suggestions you’re likely to get a wide variety of responses about the perfect island design.

Range Relocation

kitchen island with range Relocate the range Photo

Relocating your range or cooktop into the island can be a quick way to rejuvenate your kitchen. This adjustment can turn a kitchen into the social gathering place in the house.

Even Top Chefs like Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin’s master chef, believe locating the stovetop in the island to be the perfect kitchen layout. He explains that with this style of design you don’t have to turn your back on guests, instead “you are with them, cooking and entertaining and talking.”

But, just because an island range is perfect for a master chef, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Many DIY kitchen remodelers have found that this arrangement tends to waste valuable kitchen workspace, rather than improve it. Also in this situation there are potential ventilation issues and design considerations.

Added Seating Areas

kitchen island with seating Add a few stools - Photo

It’s no secret that the kitchen has become the central gathering space in American homes. Families are busier than ever and are using the kitchen to have meals, schedule appointments and catch up with loved ones.

One way to make the most of these interactions is by adding creative seating onto a kitchen island. While not all islands have enough space for seating, there are a few creative ways to take care of this problem.

A seating area can take advantage of a two-level counter. This can create a visual barrier to the workspace to hide any potential mess during the cooking process. The raise counter area can also act as a convenient spot for serving.

Overhead Storage Ideas

kitchen island storage ideas Add storage above the island - Photo

The space above an island is ripe for creative storage ideas. Of course the most popular solution is to hang pots and pans. If you have a high-quality set of cookware, this may be a great option. However, if you’re anything like me, you might have a variety of pans that just don’t cut it for display purposes. That’s okay.

Other storage ideas include hanging fruit, vegetables and breads. You could also integrate decorative elements as well as lighting into the storage space. The main consideration is to keep all hanging elements high enough to be above eye-level, but well within arms reach for easy access.

Portable Kitchen Island

portable kitchen island with seating Portable Kitchen Island with Seating - Photo

In small kitchens where every square foot is valuable, a rolling island can provide functionality and flexibility. A small rolling island can act as a portable cutting board and storage space for all important cooking utensils.

With a little creative planning a portable island can be designed as an extension to your existing countertop to blend in, without getting in the way.

Multiple rolling islands can create separate work areas near the sink or stove top. The small space makes clean-up easy and are able to be moved completely out of the way or into another room when needed.

What Are Your Favorite Kitchen Island Ideas?

I just scratched the surface with these creative kitchen island designs. There are countless other way to make the most of your kitchen island on a budget.

Now I need to hear from you:

How have you used your kitchen island to make the most of your kitchen work space on a budget. Have you tried any of the above ideas? Please share in the comments!


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