Functional and Fun Kitchen Island Designs You’ll Want in Your Home

While home improvements like replacing an outdated roof, aging siding, or subpar windows will show incredible returns when you sell your home, kitchen remodels are also a great investment with both functional and fun appeal. Whether you’re gutting the entire space or doing minor upgrades, you can really increase function and personality when you remodel the social hub of your home. One aspect, in particular, can add more space and practicality to your room. So, let’s talk kitchen island designs.

A kitchen island is a great focal point and free-standing workspace. It also doesn’t necessarily have to exactly mimic the look of the rest of your kitchen. Additionally, it can serve a range of purposes, from food prep to extra storage, seating, and more. How can you make the most of your island with design options that meet your practical needs and personal preferences?

Types of Kitchen Island Designs

One of the biggest misnomers is that kitchen islands are only for large kitchens. That simply isn’t true. Our designers have worked with small and large spaces to come up with custom designs. And if a kitchen island is what works functionally for the area, we make it happen. Here are some of our favorites to consider.

1. Waterfall Counter

It’s not a surprise that the waterfall counter has become a popular choice for kitchen island designs. The visual impact of continuing counter surfaces over the edge and down to the floor is dramatic. It has a clean, modern look. Installing a waterfall counter is a great way to display luxury surface materials. For example, marble, granite, or even engineered quartz.

The unbroken appeal creates an upscale vibe. It also helps to make an island the undisputed showpiece of your kitchen remodel. Side note, it is easy to clean as well. However, they don’t pair well with more traditional or classic kitchen styles. Although, they can be scaled to size and include many different additional features.

2. Extra Storage (Not Just Seating)

A typical island might feature cabinets on one side and bar seating on the other, but you can do a lot more to make the most of your island. You could, for example, build in bookshelves on the ends to house your cookbook collection or add a towel rack, so you don’t have to hang hand-wipers on your stove.

You might install a microwave nook if you plan to add an elegant hood vent over the stove. Or you could tack on a drop leaf or pull-out to extend usable workspace and/or seating at the island when hosting a crowd. There’s no one right way to execute kitchen island designs, so make sure to speak with our designers to ensure you get everything you want.

3. Juxtaposed Design

If you have classic white cabinets or modern neutrals, you might want to use your kitchen island design to make a statement. There is no better way to do this than to have a big contrast in how it looks. This can be accomplished via materials and/or color.

For example, if you love the trendy blue and greens but didn’t want to take the chance to do that to all your cabinets, do it on your island! Because it’s a smaller area, it will be much easier and less expensive to update later on if you change your mind or want to keep up with the latest color trends. You can also do reflective surfaces, rustic wood designs, or stone/metal looks. These can all pop compared to what you have in the rest of your kitchen.

4. Keep it Minimal

You may see the island used for an extra sink, a stovetop, or other appliances. However, if it makes sense for your kitchen layout, skip these ideas. Leaving your island counter unbroken. This gives you more communal space for gathering, food prep, and other projects. In addition, it clears sight lines for a clean look. It’s an option that maximizes centralized workspace in the kitchen and makes for a more attractive island.

But we only recommend this if it doesn’t create a more cluttered look for the rest of your counter space. Usually, this is possible with large kitchens as chances are you have plenty of perimeter space to accommodate both a sink and stove.

5. Do It Double

Unlike the other options, this one is truly only for very large kitchens. But, if you have the space, a double kitchen island is not just functional but also adds incredible value to your home. While one island can serve as prep and storage space, the second can be all about seating if you have a large family or entertain frequently.

It also definitely gives a luxurious feel to your kitchen. Double kitchen islands can be side by side, parallel, or perpendicular. Having two can help you zone the room and get more functional space. We’ve even seen a second island used for laundry. When incorporated correctly, it can work great and take place of a laundry room.

Ready to Design Your Ideal Kitchen?

We can help! When you’re ready to get your kitchen remodel underway, the talented team of professionals at Friel Kitchen & Bath Design is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

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