With kitchen islands you can create…

  • an extra storage area in your kitchen.
  • a place for work, where you can prepare your favorite food.
  • a place where you can clean your dishes and utensils.
  • a place where you can eat with your family.




Types of kitchen islands

There are two types of kitchen island…

  • portable kitchen islands.
  • custom kitchen islands.

Before choosing your type of kitchen island, consider carefully how you will use it. The kitchen island you will use as a storage area will be different from one you will use for washing, cooking and/or eating on.

  1. Will you prepare food on it?
  2. Will you eat with your family on it?
  3. Will you wash the dishes on it or just store them on it?

The answers to these questions, in combination with the size of your kitchen and the sum you can afford, will enable you to decide upon what type of kitchen island is best for you.

Custom kitchen islands review

Custom kitchen island made of wood and stone. Photo courtesy of Alpine Cabinet Company.

You can have this type of kitchen island custom-made by specialists. In addition to storage area, you can build appliances into it, such as…

  • a sink.
  • a dishwasher.
  • a small refrigerator or refrigerated drawers.
  • cooking tops, oven, microwave.
  • warming drawers, to keep food hot if necessary…

You can choose your own shape for this type of kitchen island. For example, rectangular, square, oval, round, L-shape or other broken lines.

You can make your island with a multi-leveled countertop; with, for example, a lower level on which to prepare the food and an upper one to eat on. The height of the place where you eat depends on the kind of seats you want: standard chairs, stools or bar stools.

It’s also good to match the design of your custom island with the design of your kitchen, in order to harmonize everything.

For the countertop of this kitchen island you can use wood, natural stone, stainless steel, etc. What material is suitable for your countertop depends on what you will use it for. For example, for safety, it is a good idea to use stone or steel around places you will cook because they resist the heat of hot pots and pans. You can also use these materials round the sink. A wooden countertop is suitable for preparing food.




You can use this type of kitchen island not only as a storage area, but also for a cleaning center or a place where you can eat or prepare food. However, not every kitchen is suitable for installing a custom kitchen island. You have to consider such factors as…

1. Space: there has to be at least 42 inches (107 cm) of space from the most exterior edge of the island to the objects around it, on all sides. Only then will you be able to walk around the island without difficulty, and open the doors of cabinets and appliances.

If you work with other people in the kitchen, you can avoid problems by increasing the distance to 48 inches (122 cm).

2. Ventilation: this needs to be considered if you intend to use your island for cooking on. A hood, suspended from the ceiling, is one solution. A downdraft, installed behind the cook top, is another. You should consult a specialist regarding the choice of an appropriate ventilation system.

3. Lighting: good lighting is closely related to the functionality of your kitchen island. One solution is a lamp, suspended from the ceiling and directed at the surfaces of the island. Another solution is to fix a number of lamps to the hood (if you intend to have one).

4. Electricity: consider this if you intend to use electrical appliances on your custom island. Place the outlets for these appliances in a location on the island where they will not come into contact with water and splashes from washing and cooking, thus avoiding electric shocks.

5. Water supply and drainage: this must be considered if you intend to use water on your island. The best solution here is to consult a specialist, because using water will require changes to the floor of your kitchen.




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8 Comments

  1. Article was very good. I am building a new home and I was wondering about having the same granite counter top as the island top, however I would like to put a different color wood for the island itself. Is that alright or is it a no-no?

  2. Hi Patricia,

    Although I will need some pictures in order to better understand your ideas, I think that it would be okay to use different colors of wood in your kitchen.

    Let’s know if you have any other questions.

    Regards,

    Ganka Vasileva

  3. In a good kitchen design the effective utilisation of space is of the utmost importance to get the best out of what you’ve got. An island can really maximise your space utilisation, and can serve so many purposes that it is a must have, rather than the more traditional kitchen table which in all honesty is not the best thing to prepare food on, etc.

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