Making the Most Out of Kitchen Islands


Everything happens around the kitchen island. From food preparation for exciting get-togethers and daily socialization to nighttime study periods and quick family meals, you’ll always find people huddled close to it. So it’s important to build an island that fits the needs of your unique lifestyle. Islands are as specific and unique as the homes themselves — which is why we center kitchen island design on three main factors.

1. Seating

There’s no wrong way to do seating around a kitchen island. However, several options may better lend themselves to how you’ll use it.

The standard seating layout aligns the chairs on one side of the island. With all the chairs streamlined in one direction, this design fits well in numerous floor plans — so you get a functional island that doesn’t take up too much space.

Today’s growing trend is wraparound seating — using two or three sides of the kitchen island. This not only allows more people to sit, but also gives you more flexibility and choices depending on what you’re doing. You can turn toward the gathering room to watch TV or face the windows to take advantage of the natural light. Whatever best fits the day’s activities.

2. Storage

Over the years, kitchen islands have grown in size, making them more easily personalized. Traditionally, you’d have storage located on one side of the island. But with deeper islands, it’s possible to have cabinets on two sides of it.

Storage doesn’t stop at cabinet space. You can even place kitchen essentials like garbage bins or a microwave drawer in the island. Placing the microwave in the island can free up counter space or allow you to put a decorative range hood above the stove instead.

3. Functionality

Function and durability are vital parts of a successful kitchen island. Today, ultra durable and elegant quartz is the product of choice. So you get an island that is built to withstand daily use, while still retaining a clean, crisp look.

When it comes to function, don’t neglect your personal needs either. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, so consider your options. Would you like a sink in the island for easy access? Or do you want a flat, clean countertop so that you have more space for food preparation or at-home work needs?


Once the logistics are worked out, it’s time to focus on the finishing touches that will pull your kitchen together. This means it’s time to think about color schemes and aesthetics.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to the visual design of your kitchen island — especially the cabinetry. You can choose to match the paint or stain of the other existing cabinets throughout the kitchen. Or you can make it stand out by choosing a different color or medium.

If all of your other cabinets are painted, consider making the island pop by staining it instead. If you have neutral colors throughout the space, consider adding a splash of color.

It isn’t all about cabinets though. The countertop holds just as much design potential. One way to really elevate your island and give it an elegant flair is to add a waterfall countertop — where the quartz countertop continues down the sides of the island.

At the end of your day, your home should represent you and your needs. Pay attention to what your life holds, and remember it truly depends on personal preferences. So have fun with it. Find more inspiration for your kitchen here, or talk to one of our New Home Consultants about building your new home today