Kitchen island: benefits and stylish design ideas

A spacious kitchen is the dream of any housewife. However, an impressive space requires an appropriate design – aesthetic, comfortable, and rational. Today, more and more owners of houses and apartments can afford such premises, and therefore the growing popularity of such a solution as a kitchen island is understandable. If you are also interested in the “island” organization of space, it’s time to learn a little more about this design element – its advantages, features, and a variety of shapes and finishes that will allow your kitchen to sound in a new way.

What is a kitchen island: design and its advantages

In general, the kitchen island is a mini-set, placed in the center of the room – or rather, its lower tier. Its layout is quite diverse: it can consist of a wide table top with drawers under it and be used as a dining table, act as a work area, and be equipped with a sink and an induction hob, or it can even combine the functions of a cooking base and a storage system. All these features allowed the designers to highlight several advantages of the island:

  • Successful zoning of space. If you want to separate the work area from the dining area, there is hardly anything compared to the kitchen island – and especially in terms of ergonomics. You don’t need any redevelopment or the use of partitions – just install the furniture at the point you need.
  • Everything is at hand. According to the designers, the kitchen island does not take up space – it creates it. Indeed, it can hold just as much as you need and everything you need – from dishes and utensils to towels, tablecloths, food supplies, and cookbooks. You can determine the number and size of the drawers under the island worktop.
  • Multifunctionality. As mentioned above, you can design a kitchen island for anything you basically do in the kitchen. It is more convenient for someone to cook on it, for someone – to organize a wet zone on it, and someone sees in it a creative symbiosis of a dining table and a bar counter. Either way, its adaptability is impressive.
  • Stylish and contemporary look. A couple of decades ago, many saw such islands only in the movies, and their association with respectable and trendy interiors is still strong enough. Moreover, the choice of design options is sufficiently broad today, and you can order an island of any shape – a compact square and elongated rectangular, built with a broken line, or asymmetric, in the form of a trapezoid or semicircle. It already depends on your personal preference.

Kitchen island: how to understand whether you need it or not

The benefits of a kitchen island are undeniable. However, one cannot but take into account that this type of furniture has some features. To not turn them into disadvantages, it is essential to pay close attention to them and think over all the pros and cons of such a decision. We are sure that our tips will be useful to you:

  • Make sure you have enough space in your kitchen. The designers claim that the minimum allowable area on which the island will look appropriate and harmonious is 160 sq ft (15 square meters). If your kitchen is smaller or has a narrow and elongated configuration, then alas – you will have to abandon the island.
  • Decide if you need an island before renovation. This primarily applies to cases when you plan to equip a work area. You may need to install sewer pipes, waterproofing the field, installing electrical wiring for the hood and hob. All this needs to be considered even at the stage of rough repair.
  • Cost. A comfortable and high-quality kitchen island will not come cheap. Even if you have the opportunity to make its frame from the modules of the linear part of the cabinets, you will not be able to save money on the “filling” – a dishwasher, drawers, stove, sink. Plan your island expenses carefully – a detailed estimate will definitely come in handy.

Installing a kitchen island: some practical tips

So, the area of your kitchen is quite suitable for installing the island. The next step is to settle specific technical issues, which include the following nuances:

  • Finding a place for a structure. It is important to realize that the kitchen island is far from being mobile, and after installation, it will be impossible to move it. That is why it is essential to think over its location in advance and make sure that you are comfortable using it, as well as move past it to one or another corner of the kitchen. Also, plan out its shape so that you don’t hit the protruding corners later.
  • Plan the transfer of communications. Suppose you dream of arranging the hood and a working area. In that case, you need to carefully consider the installation of sewer and water pipes, as well as the installation of electrical wiring under the backlight, hob, and hood. It is better to entrust the solution of such issues to professionals – they will draw up a well-thought-out plan and competently perform all the work.
  • Consider lifting the floor. The supply of communications usually means constructing a podium, the height of which is sufficient to lay pipes and wiring in it. From what and how it will be made – it is also worth deciding together with specialists.
  • Develop a lighting scenario. If your island is planned as a work area, spotlights and extractor hood light may be sufficient. However, if the design combines the functions of a dining table and a bar counter, you can easily show your imagination using various models and quantities of ceiling suspensions.

The average area of a kitchen island is from 10-30 sq ft (1-3 square meters), although you can easily afford large sizes. In any case, focus on your own needs and convenience.

Kitchen island for different interior design styles

A kitchen island is a universal solution. It will be appropriate in any interior, and when made to order, it can be easily adapted to any design project. When deciding on the island’s appearance, rely primarily on the style in which your kitchen is made.


An island made of precious woods, with a polished worktop and expressive, decorative details will adorn the kitchen. Especially organically, mini-buffets and bars with well-designed lighting are built into such structures. Classic design islands are characterized by:

  • rounded corners or radius ends, oval or round shape;
  • stained-glass glazing in cabinet doors;
  • the elegant decor of the facades – carving, reliefs, graceful fittings, balusters;
  • expensive and practical materials – natural solid wood for the lower tiers, stone countertops;
  • spectacular hoods, often of the fireplace type.


When designing a kitchen island in a vintage style, it is unnecessary to strive for perfection and the so-called “sleekness”. Vintage implies a special attitude to antiques and their competent integration into the interior, and therefore you can find many attractive solutions for the kitchen island:

  • using an antique sideboard or wooden table as an island;
  • rough wood processing – careless sanding, brushing, minor cracks;
  • point use of decoupage;
  • wicker and wire baskets as storage systems.


The industrial-style kitchen islands blend harmoniously into the surroundings of casually plastered brick walls and leather furniture. The design of such an element must be thought over very carefully – designers recommend paying attention to the following techniques:

  • metal and black glass surfaces;
  • wood base or rough worktops;
  • glazed cabinets with smart LED lighting inside.

The selection of lighting for the kitchen island in the industrial style, which serves as a dining area, is a separate fascinating lesson. Several pendants with metal shades, black chandeliers with a sharp geometry, wooden shades, and just bulbs of various shapes on thick black cords – you will have something to think about.

Hi-tech and minimalism

In a high-tech interior, the kitchen island becomes a must-have – steel structures add ergonomics and visual balance. Most of the design projects in this style, as a rule, include such systems, which have notable features:

  • sharp, precise lines, impeccable geometry;
  • the use of shiny and chrome-plated surfaces – glass and steel, less often plastic;
  • equipment with the latest technology.

The last point deserves the most careful approach. Before equipping such a table, it is necessary to study the most current kitchen innovations thoroughly. Perfectly flat hobs, ergonomic hoods, remote-controlled faucets – often a high-tech island looks too monolithic and not equipped with anything – although it can significantly surpass traditional solutions in functionality.


A massive kitchen island made of wood with half-timbered decoration elements can play the role of a spacious storage system or a cozy bar for friendly gatherings. The designs for this style are quite recognizable for their charming features:

  • wooden cabinets and countertops;
  • the effect of aging (scratches and scuffs), rough processing, carelessly planed board;
  • curtains made of colorful natural fabrics instead of doors for the cabinets;
  • wicker storage baskets mounted on the open lower deck.

It is noteworthy that the island is rarely used as a full-fledged work area with kitchen appliances in country-style kitchens – maximum, as a cutting surface with a sink. According to the designers, this is due to village houses’ traditional compactness, where it is easier to remove the working triangle in the corner – and leave the lighter middle for communication and enjoying delicious food with the family.


Scandinavian style is the utmost simplicity and naturalness, which is reflected in the design of the kitchen islands. You can’t go wrong if you choose an element of your kitchen that has the following recognizable features:

  • simple, laconic forms;
  • the use of natural wood – including a combination of painted and untreated elements;
  • light colors – from natural woody to white, light gray, and milky;
  • open shelves for storage in the lower tiers.

Unusual kitchen island ideas

Such an element of the furnishings may well fulfill not only a practical but also a noticeably pronounced decorative function. If you are looking for something unusual, take a look at the impressive ideas from designers:

  • angled kitchen islands – an extravagant construction with an obtuse angle;
  • bases of an asymmetric or elegant shape – for example, in the form of a ship or a hemisphere;
  • arrangement of the aquarium in the lower tier;
  • equipment of an electric fireplace behind dark tinted glass;
  • a cylindrical island with an attached bar counter;
  • unusual finishing of the base of the island – natural stone, moss, decorative plaster;
  • using a single piece of untreated wood as a tabletop.

The carefully selected design, thoughtful decor, and competent installation will allow you to enjoy a comfortable and well-designed kitchen for many years.

online interior design service
Give a new look to your room with our professional online interior design service
Kitchen Trends 2024: Furniture, Colors, Materials, and Styles
Kitchen Trends 2024: Furniture, Colors, Materials, and Styles

Some trends come and go. Others stay for long and reach the status of timeless. We’ve seen a lot in…

Kitchen Appliance Trends 2024: Top 9 Smart Kitchen Design Ideas
Kitchen Appliance Trends 2024: Top 9 Smart Kitchen Design Ideas

The kitchen appliance range is continuously updated with new products from leading manufacturers of large and small appliances. Designers define…

Tableware Trends 2024: Dine in Style
Tableware Trends 2024: Dine in Style

“Burn candles, drink wine, eat from beautiful dishes, and never wait for a special occasion” is a well-known quote encouraging…