Kitchen Island Shapes and Uses
A kitchen island is basically a piece of countertop located away from the walls, often in the middle of your kitchen. An island is a great way to make use of all of the floor space in the kitchen and can be customized to improve your kitchen in many different ways, depending on the materials, size, cabinets, appliances, and other choices you make. Some kitchen islands are a focal point of the house that family and friends can gather around, and others are loaded with appliances and storage space for serious home cooks.
If your kitchen is open-concept and huge, an island can break up different areas of the room and lend a feeling of spaciousness.
Practical Benefits of Kitchen Island
There are many benefits to a kitchen island – the first being that they offer a wealth of customization options! Depending on your needs, you can tweak the island design accordingly. For example, those who love to socialize and host dinner parties might want an island that allows them to toast their guests while facing them during food prep.
Here are some great ideas to inspire your choice of kitchen island:
- Home chefs will love an extra prep area, with more cabinet space for easy access to ingredients and appliances. Add a cutting board or wood kitchen island countertop to the part of the area to allow you to do some meal prep while speaking with your guests!
- Appliance lovers should be excited! A kitchen island with a dishwasher, oven or any other popular kitchen appliance is a great choice. You can also add a stovetop, sink, and wine cooler – the options are endless!
- A kitchen island can be the social hub of your kitchen – a table for family and friends to gather around.
Types of Kitchen Island Shapes
When choosing the countertop for your kitchen island, there are a variety of shapes available. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Rectangle: A classic choice, a rectangular shape can be made to compliment the lines and angles of most kitchens easily. If your kitchen is very large, however, a rectangular island may either feel too small or may have to take up an inconvenient amount of space.
- L-Shaped: A very popular choice for large spaces, L-shaped islands offer tons of space, whether for cabinets or other storage, seating, appliances, and more. One part of the L can be used for one purpose, like a washing station or minibar, leaving the rest of the island for another use.
- Round: The most uncommon shape – a round island can be striking, but minimizes the amount of free counter real estate you’ll have access to.
Another choice for your island is open or closed. A closed island features cabinets or appliances, whereas an open island features one or more layers of open shelving. Open shelving gives you less space but can be convenient for some uses – for example, if you use a lot of countertop appliances.
All You Need to Have in the Kitchen Island
Still not convinced? Here is a list of some great features you can integrate into your island:
- Cabinets or other storage space
- Sink/washing area – big or small!
- Full cooktop
- Bar/Minibar setup
- Countertop space/chopping block
- Table or Work/Study area
A kitchen island can be a fantastic anchor point for your entire space. Whether your kitchen is big or small, there’s probably a way to incorporate an island to increase your storage space and countertop real estate. Particularly for kitchens that can feel too roomy or have dead space, a kitchen island can make the room feel more alive while increasing the usable area available to you.
Islands come in various shapes and sizes, from U and L shapes to basic rectangles. Choose your countertop from a variety of different materials, and fill in the space underneath with your choice of cabinets or appliances like dishwashers (or both).
Increasingly standard in modern kitchens, islands have become common places for entertaining guests or for the kids to finish up their homework before dinner. If you feel the need to freshen your kitchen up – an island can be a great choice!