1. Kitchen

Kitchen with an Island Ideas and Designs

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A kitchen island is often crucial to many kitchens. A multi-purpose surface area, they can be used for prep space, preparing food, eating, working, and entertaining. Because of that, they are also one of the most sought after features in a property, both when buying and doing a design makeover. Kitchen islands can differ tremendously, however, in size as well as type, and also may not be right for every home.

What is an island in a kitchen?

A kitchen island is a free standing item of kitchen cabinetry that is added to a kitchen to supplement the worktop space.

Does a kitchen need an island?

Whether or not your kitchen needs an island, depends on several factors including the size of your kitchen and the layout. Ideally, an island should be placed in a position to give easy access to the fridge, hob and sink, this often means it is made the centrepiece in any modern kitchen. It also has a natural tendency to become a hub for entertaining as people gather round. Because of this, many people would choose a kitchen island that also doubles as a breakfast bar.

How much overhang do you need for a kitchen with an island and how big should an island be?

The size of your kitchen island depends completely on the size of your kitchen. A bigger kitchen means a bigger island or even, in some cases, multiple islands. Additionally, if you want to create a breakfast bar then you would need a bigger island with more overhang. A kitchen island shouldn't be too small though as often they will have storage or cabinets built into them. In terms of depth, usually islands are four feet deep to accommodate two sets of 24 inch deep cabinets back to back. Ideally, an island would be three feet in length but at the very least, two feet to be of any use. A mobile butchers block is an option if you don't have enough space to allow this and need some additional prep space in your kitchen.

If you have a decent-sized kitchen now, adding an island too large will make your kitchen feel cramped. In general, the rule is that you will need at least 42 to 48 inches of open space around your island. Ideally the island would also not encroach on the pathway between the sink, fridge and stove - also known as the working triangle. If this is the case, either your kitchen would need to be re-designed, your island be smaller or your kitchen may be too small to fit in an island.

Ultimately, a kitchen designer or fitter would be able to advise you on what would work best in your kitchen, taking into consideration the layout, size and what it is you want. These ideas on Houzz will help you to see what is possible, and give you the inspiration you need.


Whether you want inspiration for planning a kitchen with an island renovation or are building a designer kitchen from scratch, Houzz has 756,383 images from the best designers, decorators, and architects in the country, including Dekor Kitchens and Marsh & Parsons. Look through kitchen photos in different colours and styles and when you find a kitchen with an island design that inspires you, save it to an Ideabook or contact the Pro who made it happen to see what kind of design ideas they have for your home. Explore the beautiful kitchen with an island ideas photo gallery and find out exactly why Houzz is the best experience for home renovation and design.
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