7 Secrets to Design a Functional Kitchen Island

An island is an important feature in most modern kitchens. Most homeowners spend thousands of dollars to get this feature. But you don’t have to break the bank. If you choose to design your own kitchen, you can incorporate a functional island. You just need the right tools and a few ideas. And here are seven tips to do so.

Determine the Right Size

When designing a kitchen island, size is something that should never be ignored. You want a space that reduces distractions to a minimum when conducting various chores in the kitchen.
Contrary to what most people, a small island is easier to design than a larger one. Nonetheless, look at the space available and the space you need to determine the size that will bring out the best in your kitchen.

Function of the Island

Why do you need a kitchen island? Most people want to use one part for cooking and the other for eating. Knowing how you want to use it helps you a clear vision when designing.

Some kitchen islands are designed for general kitchen purposes like food preparation, cleaning, cooking and eating, while others are very specific. If you want to fit sinks and appliances on your island, then you may require more space. But if the island is just for casual meals then your priority should be the seating arrangement.

Storage Size

The type and size of your storage depend on your kitchen design and kitchen upgrades desired. If you already have enough kitchen cabinetry, then island storage may not be necessary. But if you intend to use your island as a preparation area, then prioritize the sink and food preparation appliances. Also, try to make room for cutting board close to the sink as possible.

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Counter Height

The counter or seating height is another important aspect to consider when designing or upgrading your kitchen island. Choose the right size depending on the type of stools or chairs you intend to use.

Most people prefer 42-inch to 36-inch high stools because they offer flexibility. But that shouldn’t limit your size. In fact, you can have two levels- the higher side can be used for dining while the lower side can be perfect for preparation. This also gives you a chance to accommodate all your stools.

Pick the Right Shape

Choosing the right shape can design can be overwhelming for most people, especially those who don’t want something common. If you’re one of them, take some time and think outside the box to create a unique stylish design that will give your kitchen a magnificent look.

Some shapes to consider include a T-shaped, cool elliptical or L-shaped kitchen island. Do these not fit for you? There are thousands of inspirations and ideas from several designers, so your homework. And while you research, keep in mind that your overall kitchen design and size has a huge impact on the size and shape of the island you choose.

Countertop Material

The materials you choose for your kitchen island countertop has a significant impact, and as such, choose wisely. Fortunately, there are multiple options to choose from, ranging from wood to marble to granite, and each one of them has their own benefits and cons.

Wooden countertops are considered hygienic because they have built-in protection against harmful bacteria. Unlike other materials, wood countertops are also easy to fix in case of any damage. You can just sand away dents or undesired marks. Their rustic look also allows these counters to fit in most homes.

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Marble countertops, on the other hand, evoke an air of elegance that can bring long-term ambiance to your home. Although they appear expensive, these countertops are relatively affordable depending on the type and thickness. Marble is also durable and is resistant to scratching, breaking or cracking. Most professionals also love marble thanks to its heat resistance and won’t catch fire.

Granite countertops are more durable and tougher than wood and marble. It is also heat resistant and doesn’t stain easily because it doesn’t absorb any liquid. You can use it for many years.
Regardless of the material you choose, make sure you consider functionality and stylishness. A rule of thumb is to choose a material that suits your needs, water resistant, and easy to clean.


Lighting is important for any kitchen as it helps you to perform your chores safely with ease. Therefore, design an island that offers sufficient lighting for your kitchen to be functional. You may need to consider having recessed or pendant lighting.

With these secrets in mind, you can design your kitchen island without spending a fortune. If you find it complicated, please consult an expert.

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