Top 10 Kitchen Island Must-Haves for 2023

kitchen island

Kitchen islands are the heart of the modern kitchen, offering extra prep space, storage, and a place to gather. But with so many design options, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here, we reveal the 10 features kitchen designers recommend most often to create a beautiful and functional island that reflects your style.

1. Seating for Everyone

Islands are natural gathering spots, so incorporate seating whenever possible. Consider how you’ll use the space: all-facing seats for conversation, or opposite sides for interaction while prepping food. Ensure at least 24 inches of space per person for comfortable seating.

2. Double-Duty Storage

Maximize storage by adding cabinets and drawers on both sides and ends of the island. Utilize the back for out-of-season appliances or display items. Hidden storage keeps the island looking clean and uncluttered.

3. Convenient Outlets

Plan for outlets on the side or back of the island to power appliances, charge devices, or even add a charging drawer. Consider outlet covers that match your island’s finish for a seamless look.

4. Beverage Center

A beverage fridge or drawer in the island keeps drinks readily accessible without disrupting the kitchen’s main workflow. Position it near the end furthest from the main prep area for optimal flow.

5. Built-In Appliances

Tuck away a microwave or warming drawer in the island to free up counter space and minimize visual clutter. This is especially helpful if your island is the main prep zone.

6. Durable Countertop

Choose a countertop material that can withstand daily wear and tear. Quartz is a popular option for its resistance to heat and stains. Explore other options like Neolith or Nano Glass for a wider variety of styles and functionalities.

7. Prep Sink for Convenience

A prep sink frees up the main sink for washing dishes while allowing for simultaneous prep work. Consider placing it near the refrigerator for easy rinsing of fruits and vegetables.

8. Easy Trash Disposal

A pull-out trash and recycling bin built into the island keeps waste disposal convenient and eliminates messes. Place it strategically for easy access while prepping food.

9. Layered Lighting

Proper illumination is essential for any workspace. Combine recessed lighting, under-cabinet lighting, and decorative pendants to create a bright and inviting atmosphere.

10. A Touch of You

Don’t forget to personalize your island! Add details that reflect your style, like custom shelving for cookbooks, a special drawer for gadgets, or a unique color or finish. The island is a great place to take design risks and showcase your personality.

Bonus Tips:

  • Integrate cutting boards into the island for seamless food prep.
  • Consider a heated countertop under the seating area for added comfort, especially in colder climates.
  • Create a dedicated pet feeding station with built-in food storage and a water bowl filler.

By incorporating these features, you can design a kitchen island that’s both beautiful and functional, making it the heart of your home for years to come.

Information sourced from Houzz blog written by Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff. 

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