8 Features to Add to your Kitchen Island

Having a kitchen island gives you extra countertop space, more storage, additional seating, and improved flow – it’s no wonder so many homeowners are drawn to them! If your space allows, adding a kitchen island is a no-brainer, but designing your island might prove to be more challenging! Take it from us, there’s countless considerations that go into designing your perfect kitchen island so it looks and functions beautifully for you and your family. Rest assured; we’ll help you find the best configuration for your space! In the meantime, here are 8 features we recommend to our homeowners when they are planning their dream kitchen.

1. Seating.
Kitchens are a natural gathering place in our homes, which is why we highly recommend adding a seating area to a portion of your island. You may want seating on one side of the island if you’re expecting it to be used for homework, quick meals, or snack time. If you’d like your island to double as a dining room table, you may prefer seating options on 2 sides of your island. Keep in mind that however you intend to use your island seating will affect other elements of the island design. As always, we’ll walk you through your options and help you find what will work for your unique space.

2. Double-Sided Storage.
When planned correctly from the start, a kitchen island can add tons of storage to your space. Whenever possible, we add extra cabinets under the seating overhang of the island to maximize storage and create a more finished look. This area is the perfect place to store your less frequently used items, such as holiday platters, sentimental tableware, or special appliances. The ends of your island can also be used for storage. You can turn them into cabinets, drawers, or shelves to display your cookbooks.

3. Outlets.
Depending on the size of your island, at least one or more outlets will be needed to meet building codes. We usually recommend outlets be placed on one of the sides of the island, or tucked away in a drawer or cabinet. Like most things in our industry, the final locations are determined by our homeowners and how they plan to use their freshly renovated space!

4. House Small Appliances.
Islands make a great spot to house your microwave, beverage fridge, or other small, frequently used appliances. A great spot to place these would be at or near the island end that’s farthest away from the main kitchen area. If you’re upgrading your appliances during your remodel, consider an in-drawer microwave to really conceal it!

5. Durable Countertop Material.
An island naturally becomes the main prep space, gathering area, homework center, and more. You want the surface to be as durable as possible for this high-functioning space! The most popular material our customers love is engineered quartz – as it’s known for its heat and stain resistant qualities. Granite is another popular option, as well!

6. Pullout Trash and Recycling Station.
Gone are the days of having a chunky, ugly trash can in the middle of your kitchen! Trash and recycling stations are now easy to conceal within your kitchen cabinets. Since most islands naturally become the main prep space, it makes since to place your trash and recycling in the island. It makes clean up a breeze!

7. Targeted Lighting.
Overhead lighting is essential for having both a functional and beautiful kitchen. Similar to the right jewelry for an outfit, lighting acts as the perfect accessory to home design – it can be the star of the show or take a back seat and allow other elements to shine. Lighting is a design element that can make or break your kitchen – which is why we dedicated an entire blog post to this topic.

8. Something Unique!
A kitchen island should be both functional and fun. Most of the time, the island has a relatively small footprint so it’s the perfect place to take a design risk or add something unique to you. You could add a shelf for your cookbooks, create a charging drawer for your small electronics, add heat to your countertop to make it more inviting, or create a pet food and water station.

As you can see, the island is a kitchens secret weapon! We hope these tips are helpful as you start planning your dream kitchen. Feel free to download our free Kitchen Remodeling Guide to learn everything you need to know about remodeling your kitchen. We love making the remodeling process smooth for you and can’t wait to chat when you’re ready!