Kitchen Island Ideas

by Marcus Pickett

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Kitchen islands are an incredible addition to many homes and allow homeowners to get the most from large kitchen spaces. However, given that there are as many kinds of kitchen islands out there as there are kitchens, you need to plan how you're going to design and use your kitchen island. Here are some great kitchen island ideas to get you thinking about how your kitchen island will work for you.

Kitchen Island Cabinets
Kitchen island cabinets are a must for most homeowners and kitchen islands. Storage is almost always an issue in the kitchen, and kitchen island cabinets are a great way to alleviate this problem. The number and size of cabinets are naturally a function of need. For a kitchen island used mostly for cooking, large cabinets are probably the best idea to store larger kitchen items and appliances. For island used for sitting areas and extra counter space, a variety of cabinets can help you store your kitchen items most effectively.

Kitchen Island Lighting Design
The most common mistake most homeowners make with their kitchen island lighting is simply not making it bright enough. This is not the time or place to create a romantic, dimly-lit ambiance. Of course, there can be legitimate reasons for wanting subtle lighting above your kitchen island. For homeowners who tend to get up for a late night snack, they probably don't want the full force of their daytime lighting fixtures shining into their sleepy eyes. Light dimmers are the perfect kitchen island idea for this situation. A three-light pendant or track lighting setup with a dimmer switch will provide the versatility you need for both general and task lighting, sufficient light during the day and a dimmer substitute for the wee hours of the morning. Naturally, lighting fixtures are available to match not only kind of kitchen décor, but the size and shape of your kitchen island as well.

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Kitchen Island Styles
Kitchen island styles are as varied and versatile as kitchen styles. They can be designed with country, contemporary, traditional, or urban décor in mind. The biggest question you may need to answer is whether or not you want your kitchen island to match your main kitchen counters. A slightly different counter may accentuate the kitchen island and will still match your kitchen décor nicely, and an identical counter may not provide enough visual diversity in a large kitchen. Be sure to take plenty of time considering not only size but shape as well. Kitchen islands can be rectangular, square, or elliptical. They can act as a stand alone kitchen area or they can be incorporated into the kitchen triangle (the three workstations defined by the sink, stove, and refrigerator). Your biggest difficulty probably won't be in finding something that works, but choosing amongst the endless style options.

Other Kitchen Island Ideas

  • Adding a butcher block in the middle of your kitchen island counter.
  • Installing a stove or oven into your kitchen island.
  • Using your kitchen island as a home wet bar.
  • Install elements of decorative storage such as wine racks or open shelving.
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If you enjoyed this article, check out our free Kitchen Remodeling Guide, which features expert advice, design & material comparisons, and custom price estimates for your remodeling project.
Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.