Kitchen Islands

Kitchen island ideas for form and function

It's little wonder that an island is right at the top of many people's wish lists for their dream kitchen. Kitchen islands greatly increase the counter space available for food preparation and serving, while providing stylish and structured separation of the kitchen from the living or dining area in an open-concept home. An open kitchen with an island is ideal for the family cook who wants to keep an eye on little ones at the same time, or for the party host who doesn't want to miss out on the fun while making appetizers or freshening drinks.

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Getting complementary kitchen island furniture is easy, too -- while small or portable islands don't require any accessories, with the addition of a couple of high stools or chairs, a large stationary kitchen island can easily double as a breakfast bar.

Butcher Block Kitchen Islands

A butcher block kitchen island can effectively eliminate your need for cutting boards. The countertop of a butcher block kitchen island is made of thick wood and, unlike granite or other countertop surfaces, is meant for you to cut food directly on it.

More Kitchen Island Ideas

Whether you are renovating your kitchen to include an island, or upgrading your current island to make it more to your tastes, there are many fun ways to customize it. Custom kitchen islands can include such features as:

  • Extra storage space. The island can be built with any kind of storage underneath, from open, two-sided shelves to cabinets with cupboard doors.
  • Plumbing or Heating. Rather than purely providing uninterrupted counter space, some kitchen islands are connected to the home's water or energy lines to include a sink or stove elements.
  • Mini Hutch. An island with an enclosed lower area can easily feature a cupboard with a glass door for displaying anything from your good crystal to your martini glasses to your favorite teacups.
  • Wine Rack. Similar to a rack for hanging glasses, a kitchen island can have built-in compartments for wine bottles.
  • Wheels. A mobile kitchen island offers maximum versatility for your kitchen space because it can be moved to the side of the kitchen or into a corner when not in use.