Kitchen Island Design Ideas
This year many of us are planning “staycations” but we wanted to make your staycation a fun time at your Kitchen Island! Having this feature in your home is highly desired among our customers, and for good reason—it’s great for entertaining, adds storage to your space, and is a must for cooks and bakers. Plus, it adds a strong design element to your home as a focal point.
In New Mexico, we live in the land of open spaces, so translating this to our homes is natural! Combining the kitchen space with your living space in your home is an open concept design—which is popular right now.
In this article, we will cover how to Plan your Kitchen Island ‘Staycation’, Key Functions of your Island, and Designer Tips, all curated by our team at the Poulin Design Center.
Plan your Kitchen Island Staycation
The real estate in your kitchen will determine if you can have a kitchen island (or peninsula), or if you will need to modify your space to add an island. Sometimes adding an island to your kitchen may result in eliminating your dining room table or another feature. Consider what your priorities are in the space you have now.
To help you with these decisions, you can consult with a professional designer to envision the possibilities of your kitchen—removing walls for expansion, changing the function of your kitchen for cooking or baking, or even adding/modifying your prized kitchen island.
Decide on the FUNCTION of your Kitchen Island
How would you like to use your kitchen island? Below are the most popular reasons our customers opt for a kitchen island, PLUS what features would complement these uses:
Many of our customers need extra space to prepare their food, making this their top priority when designing their kitchen island.
- Add a second sink to your kitchen—a prep sink on the island will give your helpers more space to work alongside you with you running into each other. Many times, this will add a second work triangle in your kitchen as well. See more about the work triangle under Designer Tips.
- Many of our customers add a cooktop on their island which can help design constraints.
- Consider changing the location of your dishwasher to the island—only if it makes sense! Make sure the flow of your kitchen is fluid with a professional designer.
Many people open their homes for get-togethers from small to large, so making sure their kitchen is suited for their guests will be higher on their list.
- When you incorporate an overhang on your kitchen island countertop, you have just made your island multi-functional. Add seats for your guests or take them away for a better traffic flow to use the space for serving.
- Create a beverage station that can incorporate a wine cooler. This is a nice feature when you entertain frequently.
- Adding a kitchen island will give you additional serving space, giving you the option to present your food for your guests.
A kitchen island will offer this to you regardless if you prepare cooking, entertaining, or both. So first determine how you would like to use your storage. Below are common ways kitchen island storage is used.
- Place your larger countertop appliances in your island in tall cabinets with pull out trays. You can even store a Kitchen Aide mixer with a lift for easy access.
- Store your cookbooks in open shelving on the end cap of your island
- A decorative element of your island could be used to feature your wine in wine cubbies.
- Have a second place to store your beverages for your family and guests with easy access to a beverage cooler.
Designer Tips for your Kitchen Island
Design with the Work Triangle in mind
This connects the stove, to the sink to the refrigerator where most of the traffic in your kitchen exists. When designed properly, this will give a good flow of traffic and food prep when cooking or entertaining in your kitchen. Working with a professional designer will address these basic design principles.
Two-Tone Cabinetry or Two-Tone Countertops
Consider design features like two-tone cabinetry and/or two-tone countertops. This is a trending style right now and allows you to pick complimentary colors of your kitchen countertops and cabinets. Sometimes you can accent your cabinets by making your island a focal point by changing the color. This is a great design feature to make your kitchen stand out but selecting the right colors can be tricky—be sure to work with a professional when finalizing your decisions.
Create tiered levels of your kitchen island which will add a design element with dimension. The benefit of a two-tiered countertop is to maximize the space on your island. This option will provide you with a multi-level serving option, great for entertaining.
Waterfall Edge Design Element
A popular style of a kitchen island is a waterfall edge. This is a unique way to feature your kitchen island, giving it a continuous look that connects your colors from floor to ceiling. To up the design of this style, add a second level for a double waterfall edge! You’ll have a ‘wow’ factor plus the extra countertop space to still prep and entertain your guests.
Storage: Drawers VS Cabinets
Decide on the use of your storage space– drawers vs cabinets. Since your storage space is now expanded, take inventory of what you would like to store in this area. Do you have more countertop appliances you’d like to tuck away? Then add more cabinets. Maybe you’d love to store your extra plates—then oversized drawers may be the best option. Don’t forget to add to your convenient pull out drawers, it’ll save your back a few aches! Many times, your storage space will be a combination of the two—but consider your needs BEFORE you finalize the design of your storage.
Add open shelving to your kitchen island. This is typically done on the end caps and is an excellent place to store your cookbooks or other decorative items.
Animal Feeding Station
If your furry friends love hanging out with you in the kitchen, think about incorporating an animal feeding station. This ensures your pets have their own space in the heart of your home and is a lovely touch at the endcap of your island.
Arrived: Kitchen Island Staycation
As you can see there are many possibilities of what could be done just with your kitchen island.
Making your kitchen functional for your needs is important and should be a top priority when designing your space. After all, home is where the heart is, and the heart is in the kitchen!
Take a cruise of the islands 🏝️ of the Poulin Design Center
Click below to see our gallery of 45 photos for your inspiration!
Need help with your kitchen island?
If you need help with your upcoming remodel, feel free to schedule a Free Design Consultation with one of our Professional Designers!