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Inspirational kitchen island ideas: Upgrade your kitchen with an island

May 26, 2020

Kitchen islands offer a whole host of additional benefits to the heart of your home. It’s often thought that you can only have a kitchen island in a large space, but they’re actually an excellent solution for all kinds of layouts.

To help you upgrade your kitchen in terms of both functionality and style, we’ve put together some inspirational kitchen island ideas to help you find the right solution for your budget and available space.

Create a multifunctional kitchen with these kitchen island ideas

Modern kitchens are used for more than just cooking. Kitchen islands reflect this beautifully, with extra space for dining, entertaining and of course, all-important storage.

They’re great for adding a multifunctional element to your space as well as a focal point where you can cook, socialise, eat and relax. Islands can also separate different areas of your kitchen from one another, with the creation of a more formal dining area and/or cooking area in an open-plan living space, for example.

A shaped island unit with curved edges or indents can also direct people and create a practical walkway around your kitchen space.

Sit at a kitchen island

Make your kitchen island work for you

Here are some kitchen island ideas to consider when redesigning your kitchen:

Install integrated appliances

Your kitchen island can hold extra kitchen appliances, such as an under-counter fridge or a wine cooler so that guests can help themselves to drinks easily without using your main fridge. You could also choose to install your hob on your island if you like to cook in a more social environment.

Kitchen island with fridge and sink

Add extra outlets to your kitchen island

A kitchen island is also a great spot to add some extra plug sockets or USB ports. These always come in handy for charging devices and using electrical appliances, such as blenders and steamers.

Add bar stools for an extra seating area

Bar stools are ideal when entertaining guests in an open-plan kitchen space or if you want to create a more informal dining area for breakfast time and quick meals. Using your kitchen island as a seating area also works well if you occasionally work from home or want to get the kids involved with cooking.

Add drawers and cupboards on both sides

To get the most out of your kitchen island, think about adding storage space on both sides with drawers and cupboards. You can even do this underneath a seating area with barstools, in order to store items that you don’t need to reach for often.

Kitchen island with drawers

Use task lighting to make your island a focal point

A great way of drawing attention to your kitchen island as a centre point is to hang task lighting above it. You could opt for two or three light sources and choose pendants that tie into the rest of your kitchen colour scheme. Or, go for exposed bulbs for a more industrial style element.

Kitchen island with task lighting

Go slimline for smaller kitchens

If you have a smaller kitchen, a slimline island is perfect and can double up as a workspace and breakfast bar with a small amount of overhanging work surface.

A slimline island can also make your small kitchen feel more welcoming to guests, providing a centre point at which people can stand or sit.

Use contrasting colours

When designing your kitchen, you can opt to match your island to the rest of your kitchen units or choose a different style or colour to really make it stand out. Many homeowners tap into the popular trend of choosing a darker colour for the units of their kitchen islands. Or, choose a different material, such as reclaimed wood panelling, to create a statement feature.

Kitchen island with contrasting colours

Round the edges

For smaller kitchens, an island with rounded edges can provide a better flow to the space. Rounded edges can make it easier to manoeuvre around your kitchen without catching sharp corners.

Find a local kitchen fitter

Portable and moveable kitchen islands

Kitchen islands on wheels can be so practical for busy family kitchens. If you don’t have a dedicated space for a kitchen island, a portable one allows you to change things up and move it to different areas of your kitchen.

There are several different portable styles to choose from, such as a classic style butcher’s block or something with cupboards and ample storage.

If you’re thinking about adding a kitchen island to your home or you want to upgrade your current kitchen, you need to find a trusted professional to ensure your requirements are met.

Using our simple Checkatrade Search, you can find hundreds of vetted and recommended tradespeople in your area to create an inspirational kitchen island you’ll love.

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