luxury home kitchen

Adding an Island to a Kitchen? Here Is What You'll Need to Know

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Incorporating an island into a kitchen can be a great idea if you are building a new home or designing one for one of your clients. It can add visual interest to the space. Homeowners often love the additional storage space and workspace that kitchen islands provide. Additionally, they find it easy to picture themselves gathering with family and friends around a kitchen island.

There are many factors to remember when installing a kitchen island in a space you are working on. Thinking through these items ahead of time will help you save time while ensuring the island incorporates beautifully into the space.

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Size and Shape

Ideally, 36 inches of free space will be on each side of the kitchen island. This allows people to move by those working at it efficiently. You should also consider the shape that will fit the kitchen best. While most are rectangular, considering other possibilities may make the island fit into the space better. If you intend people to eat at the kitchen island, you should incorporate at least 24 inches per person to allow for comfortable eating without anyone feeling crowded.

Decide on the Kitchen Island's Primary Purpose

When you are designing and building a kitchen island, it should have a primary purpose. Then, see how many secondary uses for the kitchen island you can add. For example, if the space's primary purpose is as a breakfast nook, it is easy to add a small cooktop where people can prepare breakfast food. On the other hand, if the island's primary purpose is to add storage to the space, consider incorporating a countertop where people can prepare food.

Consider Traffic Flow

Ensure that the island does not interfere with the kitchen work triangle. This area consists of the refrigerator, stove and sink. Do not build an area where people cannot quickly and easily move between these three areas. One way to ensure that you have the proper work area is to incorporate the cookstove or sink into the island. Then, put the other two items against the same wall across from where you place the cookstove or sink.


You do not want the kitchen island to stand out like a sore thumb. Therefore, consider the materials you are using in the rest of the kitchen when coming up with kitchen island design ideas. You can use the same countertops or opt for countertops that will complement them. In addition, think about the island's color and how it will look in the rest of the kitchen.

Since you are creating the space for family comfort, think about using neutral colors and textures so that family members can picture their place in the space. Consider the home's overall architecture. For example, if it is contemporary, consider using basic white cabinetsStonecreek cabinets, or RTA cabinets with clean lines to keep the overall aesthetic the same.


Another thing you should consider is if you want the kitchen island to be mobile or stationary. Many buyers prefer one that is mobile if its primary purpose is to add additional workspace, but if the primary purpose is cooking or dining, then a stationary one is best. If you decide on a mobile one, ensure the kitchen island is small enough to be moved easily.

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woman dancing by kitchen island

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Final Details

While you could build an island kitchen, using ready-to-assemble or preassembled options makes installing this space very fast and convenient. There are many fantastic choices that will look great in the space that you are designing. Choosing the right ones will help keep everyone happy with their new kitchen design. Taking care of the planning can make an island a great addition to any kitchen.

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