How to Design a Kitchen Island

How to Design a Kitchen Island

No matter the layout of the kitchen, most people choose to incorporate a kitchen island when possible. Why? Because a kitchen island can serve so many purposes! Before you get into the details of the material and color of your kitchen island, consider these factors so it is both functional and beautiful.


The kitchen is a room of movement, and creating the right workflow is essential. If an island is too big, it will disrupt this flow. Too small, and it won’t be functional. The kitchen island should be proportional to the size of the kitchen. Consider the overall size, as well as how much space you have between the island and other workspaces.

THTSMB kitchen island


Once you know the size, you can ask the most important question when choosing a kitchen island: What is the main function? Is it a gathering spot? A place for preparation? Cooking? Extra storage? It is true that your island may combine all of these things, but you’ll want to decide what is most important and design around that element. You may realize you don’t have enough space for everything on the island and will need to put part of the design somewhere else in the kitchen.


Many kitchen islands come with a place for loved ones or guests to sit. This creates a more casual place to dine, a space for paperwork, or a spot for an after-dinner conversation. Ask these questions if seating is essential for your island:

  • What height do I want the counter and chairs to be?
  • What type of seating do I want?
  • How many seats should fit?
  • What is the width of the eating space?

kitchen island seating


Kitchen islands come with extra storage space. If you want to keep small kitchen appliances in the island, choose cabinets with deep shelves. You could include a spice rack, silverware drawer, or drawers for dishes. If you know the main function of your island, you will be able to choose storage that makes the most sense.


You can also include larger appliances in the kitchen island. If you want your main sink on the island, it makes sense to put the dishwasher next to it. You could choose to put the oven range, a wine cooler, or microwave on the island. Particularly with the larger appliances, keep in mind your kitchen triangle flow between the sink, stove/oven, and refrigerator.

THTSMB kitchen island


You will undoubtedly use the island for some sort of prep space. If you plan to use it for chopping and laying out ingredients, you will want wide, uninterrupted counter space. If you plan on mixing or blending, include plugs in the island. Also, keep in mind how much space you have between the seating area and prep space.

In our current project, builders Macgruder Homes and Pitman Custom Homes designed the layout of the kitchen in The Hope House, but left some of the decision to you. Did you vote on the color for the kitchen island? Keep visiting our Facebook page for votes and updates!

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