06 Dec 2016

Island Dreams? 5 Considerations When Adding a Kitchen Island

Many kitchen renovations start with a desire for more functionality. Your vision for a more functional kitchen may include more storage space, flexible and high-quality cooking appliances, expanded counter space, or all of these elements.

In some kitchens, an island provides the perfect location for extra cupboards, appliances like a flat cooktop, and supplemental counter space. But does an island work in your kitchen? In this blog, we list five factors to think about before you add a kitchen island.

1. Features

Islands can be sleek and straightforward or integrate a number of elements. Common island features include:

  • Cooktops
  • Hideaways for trash receptacles or kitchen equipment
  • Integrated or hidden appliances, such as dishwashers
  • Pull-out tools such as cutting boards
  • Sinks
  • Under-counter cupboards

Your island may provide the components that are currently missing in your kitchen or help improve the placement or function of existing features and tools.

For example, your island is the perfect location for a drawer dedicated to specialized hand tools so everything you need when you bake is in one place. Or putting your kitchen sink on the island can free up the counter space necessary for preparing larger meals.

2. Movability

While most homeowners prefer stationary kitchen islands, you also have the option of investing in an island that sits on wheels. A moveable island may be preferred in a small kitchen where the extra counter space isn’t always more important than room to walk around.

If you decide to opt for a moveable island, ensure that you have a place to put the island when not in use. The island should also include high-quality wheel stops to keep the island from rolling away.

Avoid a moveable island if you have hardwood flooring that could be damaged by the wheels or if you do not feel comfortable maneuvering the island yourself.

3. Primary Uses

Many of your decisions about your island’s features, type, and location will depend on its primary uses. Common uses include:

  • Additional cooking or preparation space
  • Casual standing dining
  • Extra seating
  • Storage
  • Supplemental cleanup space

If you intend to use your island mostly as a place to cut vegetables and stack dirty dishes during cleanup, you want more usable counter space but don’t necessarily need more clearance around the island.

If, however, you plan to use the island for seated or standing dining, you’ll want to ensure that you have a large amount of walking and chair space around the island’s edge.

4. Safety and Functionality

In order to make your island safe and fully functional, you have to design for the island rather than simply placing it in the center of your kitchen. For instance, if you have a cooktop on your island, you’ll need an overhead hood or a downdraft fan for ventilation, which can’t be placed just anywhere.

Most islands also require dedicated lighting, usually in the form of an overhead light fixture. Also, you’ll need to ensure your island is properly installed and fitted with necessary safety components.

5. Space Allotment

As mentioned in section three, the amount of space you need around an island mostly depends on how you use it. Islands can fit into kitchens of many sizes, including smaller rooms. However, you must account for walking and seating room when deciding on a kitchen island size.

The smallest recommended island size is 40 inches by 40 inches. However, you may want to make your island oval or narrow and rectangular depending on the size and shape of your kitchen space.

Keep these considerations in mind as you begin to design your new kitchen to ensure that the final layout suits your needs and your space.


Ready to begin your kitchen renovation? Work with Luxcucina. As a full-service design firm, we can help you completely transform a drab, cramped space into the kitchen of your dreams.

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