Kitchen Island Ideas

Dark Grey Shaker Kitchen London - Herringbone floor with central island, open cabinet and wine rack


There are endless possibilities when designing your perfect kitchen island, it can be the focal point of the kitchen and easily adaptable to different looks and functions.

From a small two cabinet islands to extra large focal points, the beauty of kitchen islands is that they come in all shapes and sizes and open up a world of functionality and uses.

As well as looking fantastic and creating plenty of storage and workspace, islands can also improve the functionality of the kitchen space.


What to consider for a kitchen island

What will be the main function of the island?

Will it be for extra prep space? Will it be used for an eating area, working from home? Are you hoping to create a social space for entertaining? Or an additional surface area to house the hob or sink.

Do you have enough space?

Imagine how you will use it and how it fits into the space.  Make sure there is enough space around the island, we generally allow for a minimum of 1m on all sides. Using a bespoke kitchen manufacturer will allow you to design an island that suits the space, rather than off the shelf sizing to maximise every inch. 


If the island is for prep work, where will you be facing the majority of the time, what’s the view? Will you have your back to people or can the space be more social?

Is the island to separate zones?

If your island is designed to distinguish different zones within the home, for example splitting the kitchen from the lounge area, then visuals will be key. What will you see when you are sat on the sofa, where will your vision be taken. 

Grand Shaker Kitchen London - Hidden panrty and huge island

Kitchen Island Storage

The number one use for a kitchen island is to create and maximise storage space within the kitchen. They are a golden ticket to creating more storage space to hide away crockery to keep the kitchen space minimal and clutter-free. 

Mix and match storage solutions to maximise the possibilities and incorporate a mixture of cabinets, drawers and open shelving – Cookbooks, wine racks, glassware display; your island storage can be personal to you. 

Granada Green Kitchen - Cabinet details with mirror backing


Kitchen Island Materials

The kitchen island is a great way to introduce new materials and colours into your kitchen. 

The island doesn’t always have to be the same style and shade as the perimeter runs, more often than not, the island can be a little more playful and be the showstopping centrepiece for your kitchen. 

Whether it is mixing up the design and using different, brighter or contrasting shades or as a way to introduce new materials and depths to the rest of the kitchen space. 

Go bolder and be braver, after all the beauty of handpainted kitchens is that you can switch it up in years to come should a new shade be released that catches your eye. 

And if it’s not painted? Opt for a material to add a wow factor to your kitchen, fluted or slated panelling islands are a trend we are seeing over 2022. Or opt for a statement material for a showstopper. 

Contemporary White Kitchen With aged Brass London - Sustainable Kitchens

Alternatively, utilise the worktop material and extend your countertop material down the sides of the island, for a beautiful statement look.

Kitchen Island Shape

Islands dont always need to be square, if you have the space, L-Shape islands can be a great way to create a social space so that the island can be used for both prep and social areas with one half used as a cooking zone whilst the other could be utilised for homework whilst dinner is cooking. A great entertainer island!

L Shape islands are also a great way to incorporate banquette seating within the kitchen.

Alternatively, split level islands are great to incorporate breakfast bar seating with the kitchen. 

Freestanding Kitchen Island

Not all islands need to be fixed, we have recently developed our freestanding range which includes a luxury freestanding kitchen island. 

Suited to both contemporary and classic kitchen styles, take a look at this freestanding island within a farmhouse kitchen, taking on the role of a traditional cooks table while maintaining the authentic farmhouse style.



More often than not, when designing kitchens with islands using a different worktop on the island can be a playful way to incorporate a mix of materials into your kitchen. 

Take this kitchen here, we used a white Corian worktop on the perimeter run with the island using a Terrazzo Durat worktop made from recycled materials.



The one question we hear the most with islands is “do I have space” – Understandably.

If space is tight, we wouldn’t recommend an island to maximise the space you do have. Think about maximising ceiling heights and cabinet run lengths. 

What we would recommend if you do have your heart set on an island and arent sure about the space, opt for a moveable island. From small butcher blocks to moveable large islands, you may well be thankful for the extra prep space whilst maximising floor space and moving the island out of the way should you find yourself hosting that birthday party! 

Pegboard Plywood Kitchen by Sustainable kitchens


By adding a breakfast bar you can create an informal dining zone, somewhere to enjoy your morning coffee or a place where the children can sit and be part of the space. A drop-down design whereby a table extends out from the front or the side of the island would be perfect for a child-friendly design as it means they can sit on chairs rather than stools. 

Since the pandemic hit, we have all used our kitchens differently from home-schooling to working from home to catching up with loved ones over Zoom – A breakfast bar can really add additional seating space for all of the family and create a social hub.


Having additional cabinetry can be utilised for appliances, perhaps appliances that you’d prefer to hide away at the back of the island or create a feature from. 

Make the hob the centre of the room – Placing the hob on the kitchen island will make it a central focal point and a social hub, perfect for keen cooks and family cooking sessions. This will instantly make the space more welcoming creating an entertainer’s kitchen.

Industrial, reclaimed wood kitchen with concrete and brick from Sustainable kitchens

Add in a wine cabinet – perfect for entertaining and it frees up fridge space. There are plenty of subtle and integrated options out there now ideal for modern handless kitchens. 

Additionally, utilise the back of the island to hide the ovens keeping the rest of the kitchen minimalist with a sleek run of unbroken cabinetry, perfect for open plan spaces shared with a lounge area. 

The Chapman Kitchen - exposed edge plywood kitchen in farrow and ball sulkingn room pink

Not sure how to incorporate an island or what’s possible; get in touch to speak to one of our designers today at