There are many different types of kitchen island designs available today. Kitchen islands are becoming more and more popular as the kitchen becomes the room in your house for entertaining, rather than your family room. They also serve as a great product which provides you with more counter space, more storage options, and also gives you the ability to dine right in your kitchen!
Deciding On Style
Before you start reviewing different kitchen island designs, the first thing you should consider is the style of the kitchen island that will suit your needs.
Here are the main styles of kitchen islands and what to consider before you choose your design…
Kitchen Island on Wheels
Having a mobile kitchen island has a lot of benefits. You would most likely choose this island design if you’re doing a small kitchen design.
Not only can they be moved around your kitchen easily, but they can be used as a multipurpose unit. What do I mean by that?
This image illustrates a mobile kitchen island with cabinets, drawers, and a wine rack.
A kitchen island like this would be great if you entertain often because the island can double as a bar which can be easily wheeled into another room to serve guests! That sounds like multipurpose to me!
Kitchen Island Table
I think this is one of the better kitchen island designs available. This would be a great kitchen island for a small to medium size kitchen.
This type of design is reminiscent of a french country kitchen island, or something that you would see in a traditional or rustic kitchen.
Although it is a stationary island, it can be moved, if needed. I really like the idea of having a kitchen island table, especially in a small kitchen. Why?
Because the design possibilities are endless since there’s no need (or room) to integrate a sink or a stove into the island.
See, without having a sink or stove integrated into the island, the space available is much greater allowing you to design your kitchen island to suit your needs. There’s room for drawers, shelves, AND cabinets!
Kitchen Island With Drop Leaf
if you’re working with a small kitchen design, or you feel you do not have enough countertop space, then I recommend kitchen island designs that have a drop leaf.
A kitchen island with a drop leaf, or two, is a must-have if you have a small kitchen space. In one of my first apartments, I had a drop leaf kitchen island and it really came in handy since I had barely any countertop space.
Now, since there’s nothing really supporting it once it’s popped up, I do not recommend using it to chop or prepare food on, or to put heavy objects…trust me…from experience…the kitchen island WILL topple over!
Use it only to serve light snacks or wine bottles and glasses if you’re entertaining in a small kitchen!
Deciding On Size
Once you decide on your kitchen island style, the next thing to do is to consider the size. Sizes range anywhere from as small as 20″ to greater than 40″! My recommendation is to make sure that you plot out your kitchen island on your kitchen design plan.
It’s very important to make sure that you have more than enough room on all four sides to move about your kitchen! Don’t forget to take into account the length of the leaf if you decide on a kitchen island with a drop-leaf!
Kitchen Island Countertops
So, you’ve decided on style and size for your kitchen island…now what? My favorite thing… countertop selection!
Based on not only the style of your kitchen island but also on the style of your kitchen in general, you should be able to choose a countertop for your kitchen island.
Some things to think about before choosing your kitchen island countertop…
- Will I be preparing food on this surface?
- Do I plan on chopping food directly on the surface?
- Will it be just for displaying kitchen accessories?
- Am I going to eat meals on this surface?
Here are the two basic types of countertops to consider while looking at different kitchen island designs…
Stone: a stone top is great for preparing food, chopping, and eating directly on. Make sure that you only go with the more durable, virtually maintenance-free surfaces, like granite or quartz.
Stainless Steel: stainless steel kitchen island tops are sleek, shiny, and beautiful. They’re great for a modern, contemporary style kitchen.
Design Note: If you decided on a kitchen island table with legs, which is more of a traditional style kitchen island, don’t get one with a stainless steel top, it won’t look right! Rather, choose a rectangular, mostly enclosed island with wheels, as pictured here.
Butcher Block: there’s almost nothing more beautiful than an island with a butcher block countertop surface. Natural wood, depending on the species is extremely hard and durable.
My only suggestion here is that if you decide to go with a wood top, try to stay clear of the lighter colors, as they are not very forgiving to scratches, chips, and burns!
Deciding on The Base Finish
Basically, we’re looking at two choices here…wood, or stainless steel. Make sure that the base, which is the largest and most visible part of the island, blends in well with the style of kitchen you’re designing. My suggestion, for most styles of kitchens, would be natural or painted wood.
Custom Kitchen Islands
If you have a mid to large size kitchen and are looking for kitchen island designs that will afford you the flexibility and space to integrate a sink, stovetop, oven, or breakfast bar…then your possibilities are endless!
When designing a custom kitchen island, use the same strategy I outlined above.
Design Note: Your custom kitchen islands can be anything your heart desires.
Remember to step back and take into account the style of your kitchen, the functionality of the kitchen island, and the use of space!