5 Tips for Designing Your Kitchen Island


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Kitchen islands are the perfect way to add extra storage and counter space. They can also be a great place for adding unique, custom touches like built-in drawers for utensils or pullouts for groceries.


Designing Your Kitchen Island

We've rounded up five tips on how to design your own kitchen island to get you started.


#1 Size It to Match Your Kitchen

As you're planning your island, it's important to consider the size of your kitchen. This may seem obvious, but there are a lot of variables that go into determining what size island will work best for you. The first thing to think about is how many people are going to be in your kitchen at any given time. Do you have kids? Do they love hanging out in the kitchen? Maybe your partner loves cooking elaborate meals for family dinners, or maybe someone else needs an extra workspace for homework assignments that require lots of desk space.


Whatever the case may be, it's important not only to consider how much space each person needs but also how much storage is needed per person so that everything has its place, and nothing gets lost.


Another thing worth considering is whether there will be storage needs related to entertaining. Maybe you consider having open shelving along a wall where guests can put down their drinks while mingling before dinner starts or space for guests to set their dishes down when gathering for a meal. When thinking about what size your island should be, there are many things to take into consideration.

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#2 Position for Access

When you're designing your kitchen island, it's important to think about how you will be using the space. You'll want to make sure that you can reach all the appliances and cookware on the island. If you have any mobility issues or other physical limitations that may make it more difficult for you to access these things, this is something to keep in mind when deciding where everything should go.


It's also important to consider where you will be standing while cooking on your stovetop or whether there are any other obstacles in your path, such as a wall or windowsill that would block your view.


Any pots and pans stored on an island should ideally be within easy reach so that they don't end up cluttering up countertops nearby—and don't forget about storage for food.


#3 Plan for a Sink

Consider the location of your water supply. If you have to run the hose across your kitchen island, think about how you'll stretch it without kinking or spraying water all over the place. You might need an extension piece that can be used when needed but stored away and out of sight when not in use.


Determine where you want your sink and how much space there is for a sink. There are two main shapes: round or rectangular undermount sinks, which take up less room than conventional cabinets that require double-walled construction; and drop-in sinks that rest on top of countertops (also called "undercounter" or "benchtop"). The latter are generally less expensive than their undermount counterparts since they don't require plumbing work underneath them—just make sure yours comes with mounting brackets for easy installation.

kitchen island

#4 Choose Your Countertop Material and Color

The countertop of your island is an important consideration, especially if you’re using it as a prep area. The material you choose will be the single most durable part of your kitchen, and it should also be easy to clean. You might want to consider a material like granite or quartz, which has the feel of natural stone but is harder than granite and more stain-resistant than marble or travertine.


As far as color goes, there are many options available, so you can choose one that matches everything else in your kitchen:

  • If you have white cabinets with light handles on them, you may want to opt for something lighter like light grey quartz or ivory granite (which has a subtle white tint).

  • If your cabinets are dark wood, maybe select darker countertop materials such as black or brown quartzite or chocolate-colored granite.

#5 Incorporate Drawers and Pullouts

Incorporating drawers and pullouts into your kitchen island can be a great way to keep items organized, especially if you have a lot of smaller things that need to be stored.


Consider adding pullout drawers as well as shelves built into the sides of your unit. You could also add a cutting board or other work surface on top of it—just make sure that it’s sturdy enough to stand up to regular use.


Consider what needs to be stored before laying out the plan for your drawers so you can get a better understanding of what size drawers will best suit your needs. Smaller drawers are great for smaller items such as silverware, measuring spoons and spices, but do you have a space for your toaster and larger appliances?

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Considering a Kitchen Renovation?

When it comes to designing your kitchen island, there’s no right or wrong design. You should take these tips and adapt them to suit your space to help create the kitchen island of your dreams.


At Ryan A. Jones and Associates, we provide top-quality home renovation and construction services and the knowledge necessary for the successful planning, designing, permitting, and construction of your home. We are ready to use our expertise as builders and renovators of luxury homes to provide you with the best possible service.


Contact us to discuss your vision and how we can make it a reality.