The Map to Kitchen Island Design

Explore islands' endless possibilities and trends for kitchen workspace.
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The farm table provided a much-needed work surface in the kitchen 100 years ago. In today's kitchens, islands perform the same function, as well as adding seating, storage and a personal design statement.

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Good island design follows the general shape of the room.

  • The island is currently the single most popular design element in today's kitchen. It offers endless design possibilities and a wide range of choices in styles and materials.
  • Islands can help define the kitchen workspace in today's open floor plans by separating the cook from the rest of the room.
  • Islands are used to help establish the traffic pattern by directing the traffic away from the work triangle.
  • The island should parallel the shape of the room and have plenty of clearance around all sides.
  • A variety of appliances and accessories can be built into an island: sink, microwave, dishwasher, trash compactor, cooktop and a warming drawer, which is especially convenient to keep plates and food warm when the island is used for buffets.
  • Islands can have several levels, depending on function. Counters can be high or dining table height. A raised level above the eating level can hide kitchen mess from the rest of the room.

Next Up

Kitchen Island Components and Accessories

Discover the best components and accessories for your kitchen island, adding flair and function to your space.

Kitchen Island Design Ideas

Design the perfect kitchen island with the help of HGTV.com expert advice.

Kitchen Island Inspires Design

Designer Kerri Kanter achieves her dream of an oversized kitchen island.

Portable Kitchen Islands

Get your kitchen rolling efficiently with a portable kitchen island.

Stationary Kitchen Islands

Increase countertop and storage space with stationary kitchen islands.

Freestanding Kitchen Islands

Make a design statement—and add efficiency to the kitchen—with a freestanding island.

Round Kitchen Island

Think outside the box with round kitchen islands.

Kitchen Island Options

Design a kitchen island that's as stylish as it is practical for your space.

Kitchen Island Legs

Kitchen island legs add furniture-like appeal to kitchen islands.

Portable Kitchen Islands

The portable kitchen island is an ideal option for small kitchens or a savvy chef who is always on the move.

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