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A guide to kitchen islands: Everything you need to know

If you're anything like us, you know the kitchen is the heart of the home. But did you know the island is the heart of the kitchen? A modern addition to kitchen design, kitchen islands are multi-functional surfaces where you can prep for those gourmet dinners, pour a glass of wine, gather with friends and family, or use it as a home office desk. Today, we’re diving deep into the world of kitchen island design, looking at the best kitchen island ideas for modern homes. Let’s go! Adding a kitchen island might mean you have to tear down some walls but believe us, it's worth it!

Gabriela Alvarado

September 5, 2023

A guide to kitchen islands: Everything you need to know intro

1. Kitchen Island basics: What is it? 

Simply put, a kitchen island is a standalone work table or counter, typically situated in the center of a kitchen. Not only does it look chic, but it also provides extra storage and surface space for food preparation or as a dining table.


2. Why every modern kitchen needs a kitchen island

If you’re looking to give your modern kitchen a touch of class, charm, and functionality, then the kitchen island is your go-to. It’s the nexus of food prep, casual dining, and even a homework station for the kids!


3. Modern vs. farmhouse kitchen islands: A quick overview

While modern kitchen islands ooze sleekness with their minimalist designs, farmhouse kitchen islands give a touch of rustic charm. Think of butcher block tops for the farmhouse vibe and polished marble for the modern look. This is an example of how a kitchen island design can add an unexpected element to your space.


4. Determining the right size for your kitchen

Before you dive into styles and materials, measure your kitchen. You don’t want an island that swallows the whole space or looks like an afterthought. If your space is small, work with a professional designer to create a small kitchen island that is efficient. Or, if you have plenty of space, there is more space for a large kitchen island that can be multi-functional.


5. Going beyond function: kitchen island ideas 

Kitchen islands aren’t just for food prep! Think wine cooler integrations, breakfast bars, or even a mini herb garden.

6. The farmhouse kitchen island: embracing the rustic 

If your style leans towards the charming farmhouse kitchen look, then butcher block tops, wooden accents, and perhaps some distressed paint are for you.


7. Butcher block: a closer look 

Butcher block is more than just stylish; it’s perfect for food prep. Think of it as your built-in cutting board. Treat it right, and it’ll age beautifully.

8. Modern kitchen island designs: sleek and stunning 

For the modern kitchen aficionados, think of clean lines, neutral colors, and a mix of materials like stainless steel and quartz.


9. The perfect work table: designing for function

If you’re a culinary enthusiast, your kitchen island can double as a work table. Ensure ample space, consider adding a pot rack above, and voila – it's a chef’s dream!

10. Wine cooler on your island? Yes, please!

 Modern kitchen island ideas now include built-in wine coolers. Not only does this save space, but it’s also the perfect addition for wine lovers.


11. Choosing materials: beyond just looks 

The materials you choose for your kitchen island should align with both aesthetics and function. For instance, marble is beautiful but can stain, so think about your usage

12. Colors: making the island pop 

While neutrals are a classic choice, don’t be afraid to go bold. A splash of color in your kitchen island can elevate the entire room's design.

13. Island Layout: maximizing space and flow 

Ensure that there’s enough space around the island for foot traffic. It should complement your kitchen’s layout, not obstruct it.


14. Kitchen island lighting: illuminating your space

Modern pendant lights or rustic farmhouse lanterns? Your choice of lighting can set the mood and showcase your kitchen island in all its glory.

15. Kitchen island storage: cabinets, drawers, and more 

A kitchen island is prime real estate for storage. Think pull-out trash bins, hidden spice racks, or even a bookshelf for your cookbooks.

16. Seating options: from bar stools to bench seats

 If your kitchen island is also your breakfast bar, then seating is crucial. Choose options that match your style and offer comfort.


17. Cost considerations: budgeting for your island 

Kitchen islands can range from affordable to extravagant. Set a budget, factor in materials and labor, and remember – it’s an investment in your home’s value.

18. Your kitchen, your rules 

Whether you’re drawn to the rustic appeal of a farmhouse kitchen island or the sleek elegance of modern kitchen island designs, the choice is yours. It’s your space. Customize it, love it, and most of all, enjoy it.

There you have it, kitchen lovers! Dive into the world of kitchen island designs and make your space both functional and fabulous. Until next time, keep cooking and decorating with passion!


"We believe that good design improves people's lives. We focus on personalization, performance, and peace of mind."

Co-founders Danny and Tom

Danny Soos & Tom Sherman

FORM Co-Founders

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