How to choose the best kitchen islands

September 6th 2021


Kitchen islands are great! They give any home more counter space, more storage space, and they can even double as an additional space for you to enjoy your meals. Kitchen islands are exceedingly important in the functional workflow of your kitchen, but would you really want just any kitchen island? Or would you prefer one that’s tailored to the size and style of your kitchen? On this page, we’ll give you a few tips to help you find the best kitchen island for you!

#1: The best kitchen island both stands out and blends in

One of the great things about kitchen islands is that they’re highly customizable, right down to their appearances! This may seem unimportant, but the truth is that when a kitchen island doesn’t quite fit in with its backdrop, it’s extremely noticeable. The best kitchen island has enough unique visual aspects to capture the attention of the room, but yet it must undoubtedly belong in the kitchen’s design as a whole.

One good way to achieve this would be to think about the rest of your kitchen: what’s the main color that stands out to you? Use that color as the base of the kitchen island, perhaps with some slight variations here and there. What’s the main style of your kitchen’s interior design? Stick with that style when designing your island to unite your kitchen island with the rest of the room. And for the unique touches, add texture to your kitchen island in a variety of ways, like carvings, variegated surfaces, and so on.

#2: The best kitchen island improves your workflow

One of the classic rules about kitchen efficiency is the famed “work triangle” that should form between your stove, sink, and fridge. The best kitchen island should only enhance your layout, not disrupt it. In the lovely kitchen above, for example, the owners have incorporated a sink into their kitchen island, forming a beautiful work triangle with the stove and the fridge. This is sure to help any chef move easily between these three essential parts of the kitchen.

#3: the best kitchen island comes with the best countertop

Since kitchen islands also function as additional counter space in the kitchen, it’s important to make sure the countertop material suits your needs. Kitchen countertops might sometimes be subjected to much abuse during food preparation. That’s why heat resistance, scratch-proofing, stain-proofing, and price are highly prized qualities in the best kitchen island countertops. But since there is no perfect countertop that easily hits all criteria, you might have to prioritize. Looking for low cost? Laminate can be a stylish and cheap option, although they are difficult to repair. Marble and wood can both last a long time and look beautiful, but they also stain easily. Quartz and granite are hardy but can cost quite a hefty sum.

At the end of the day, you’ll need to consider what you’ll most likely be doing on your kitchen island to choose the countertop material. For example, you could prioritize heat resistance if you’ve incorporated a stove into your island, or you could also prioritize water resistance if you’d like your kitchen island to hold a sink.

#4: the best kitchen island comes with good storage options

Instead of only using the surface, try to fully utilize your kitchen island! The base of your kitchen island can be used as valuable storage space to hold all the kitchen equipment you need to prepare your meals. But in designing a kitchen island, be sure to consider what kind of storage you’d like your island to have: Cupboards or drawers? Do you have display pieces you’d like to place on your island? Then you might have an inclination towards open shelving and glass doors. If your kitchen island also doubles as a dining area, you might also want to account for some leg space as well!

#5: The best kitchen island is the right size for the kitchen

Since kitchen islands are essentially a workspace, it’s important that they are neither too big nor too small for your kitchen. A fairly safe estimate would be to leave at least a meter of clear space on all sides of your kitchen island. Any less, and you might find it difficult to maneuver your workspace. Of course, this varies from person to person, so before you choose your kitchen island, have a good idea of how you tend to work in the kitchen. Do you lean over the food as you prepare it? If so, then avoid low-hanging lights or décor above your kitchen island. Do you tend to move around a lot? Would you need more clearance? The answers to these questions can be quite significant when it comes to the comfort of your workspace.

#6: the best kitchen islands suit your unique needs!

Kitchen islands are highly customizable, way more than you might think! You aren’t limited to the traditional features of kitchen islands. Did you know some kitchen islands have chopping boards built right into the surface? Others have wheels so the island is movable. And if you want to show off your knife skills, some special kitchen islands have teppanyaki grills built into their surface! Special hollows can also be made in a kitchen island, to fit minifridges, sinks, and induction cookers, if you’d like.

At the end of the day, what makes a kitchen island the best kitchen island can be measured by one simple question: does it make your life easier? If it does, your kitchen island has done its job.

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