Kitchen Islands

Learn about different types and use our checklist to see if this independent structure will work for you
Kitchen With Sleek Black Countertops

Kitchen With Sleek Black Countertops

Photo by: Lara Swimmer

Lara Swimmer

By: Kristen Hampshire
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You always wanted an island in your kitchen. It seems like the obvious missing piece. Modern kitchens have them, and yours doesn’t. But before you draft this independent structure into your design—and incur the expense associated with cabinetry, fixtures, surface and other bells and whistles—review this kitchen island checklist and determine if your kitchen can truly support an island. There are alternatives: the peninsula and a moveable island that rolls out of the way of foot-traffic and slides in place for entertaining.

Deborah Pierce, principal, Pierce Lamb Architects, West Newton, Mass., suggests that kitchens have 11x11 feet of extra space (14x11 feet is ideal) to accommodate an island, which should be no smaller than 4 feet long and 2 feet deep (5 feet is better). Pierce recommends 3.5 feet of circulation (foot room) between counter areas.

"Kitchens can often be 10x12 or 8x16, and these just won't work for an island," she says. "In a small kitchen, I would never sacrifice the work space."

Kitchens With Islands

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Island Paradise

Photo By: Designer, Gregory Augustine

A Better Work Triangle

From: Drury Design

Cooktop Kitchen Island

Photo By: Designer, Rouzita Vahhabaghai

Traditional Kitchen Island

Photo By: Designer, Candice Olson

Double Duty

From: Drury Design

Grab a Bite

Photo By: Designer, Phyllis Harbinger

Display Shelves

Photo By: Designer, Dave Stimmel

Make It a Galley

Photo By: Designer, Tina Muller

Give It Character

Chef’s Island

Photo By: Designer, Shane Inman

Gathering Place

Small Kitchen Island

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