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Kitchen island ideas for modern living

Whether you need more cooking space or want to create a stylish centrepiece, explore our kitchen island ideas to get inspired.

Is a kitchen island right for your home?

Offering valuable extra work space and a place for guests to gather whilst you cook, a kitchen island can transform your kitchen. To decide if an island is right for your home, consider your lifestyle and the layout of your room. 

  • Think about how you use your kitchen. Do you enjoy cooking with your family? Or do you regularly use the kitchen for catching up on work? A kitchen island can create extra space for cooking, working and socialising, turning your kitchen into a versatile, multi-functional room.
  • Consider your kitchen size. In a smaller kitchen, a breakfast bar is a good alternative to an island, providing a place for casual meals without taking up too much space. In larger kitchens, a kitchen island with seating will offer room for relaxed dining.
  • Consult professionals. Your builder will know what can be achieved in your existing space. Together with a kitchen designer, they will help you explore different layouts and designs to find an island that works for your kitchen. 

Things to consider when designing your kitchen island

So, you and your builder agree that a kitchen island will make a great addition to your new kitchen. Next, it is important to consider how you want your island to look and function. 

  • With a choice of cabinet options, door styles and worktops, you can design your island to complement the rest of your kitchen – or choose contrasting materials to create an eclectic look.
  • Decorative accessories can create a more premium finish for your kitchen island, like tongue and groove end panels for heritage styling or thicker end panels to enhance a modern design.
  • Your builder can include a breakfast bar within your kitchen island design to provide space for informal meals and a place for guests to perch while you are cooking.
  • Your kitchen island can also house appliances, like a hob and extractor, or provide a place to do the dishes with a sink. Lighting may be required to ensure the area is well lit.
  • Remember to ask your builder about installing energy supply to your kitchen island to power or plumb your functional features. 

Customising your kitchen island

There are lots of ways to customise your island so it suits the style of your home.

  • Choose handles that match those used throughout the rest of your kitchen. Handles can be easily updated in the future to refresh the look of your island.
  • Be bold with lighting. A statement light fitting will create a stylish centrepiece for your room and illuminate your new work space.
  • For additional storage, extra cupboards and drawers can be integrated into your kitchen island design. Adding a wine rack to your island will keep dinner party supplies close at hand. Your builder can also include open shelving, providing a home for cookbooks. 

Four top kitchen island ideas

Here are a few of our favourite kitchen island designs to inspire you when you are designing your own kitchen island.

1. All wrapped up

Your builder can create a bespoke kitchen island design by wrapping the base units in solid oak. Our solid oak block worktop can be creatively used to bring natural warmth and character to the island. 

2. A stylish double act

Combine two contrasting worktops to create a distinctive design feature. If your island includes a breakfast bar section, using two different materials will create a distinction between the cooking and dining areas. 

3. Storage on show

Open shelving provides additional storage and a place to display pots and crockery in your kitchen island. Keep clutter to a minimum and hand-pick accessories that complement the colour scheme of your kitchen. 

4. Simple and sociable 

This understated island made from our white and grey marble effect worktop is a sophisticated place for guests to gather whilst you cook. With the sink placed here, you can do the dishes without neglecting the conversation. 

To start bringing your kitchen island ideas to life, get in touch with your builder, and together you can book a free design appointment with one of our local kitchen designers. Our free design service will ensure every detail of your kitchen island design is right from the start, helping you make the best use of your space.