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7 Best Kitchen Island Design Tips

Dark grey kitchen island with a white countertop.

We give you our seven kitchen island design tips to give a fresh spruce of life in your home. A kitchen is the heart of every home and a kitchen island is a great option to consider as a hub to entertain family and friends. It’s an exciting time designing your dream kitchen and who wouldn’t want to design their own bespoke luxury kitchen? When renovating your home, our glossary of kitchen design terminology will be useful to get you started on your kitchen design journey.

What is a kitchen island used for?

A kitchen island offers flexibility and versatility of use when designed for your needs. A kitchen island is predominantly used for the benefit of the added worktop, but it has many different uses, which are dependent on how they are best designed for your home.

A kitchen island is positioned most commonly in the middle of a kitchen as the focal point for entertaining or socialising. A kitchen island can come in many different shapes and sizes, but a rectangular shape is the most popular. If you’re looking to add more storage to your kitchen, a kitchen island is a great choice! Some are designed to include appliances like your sink, hob, oven, microwave and seating, making it multi-functional.

Bright kitchen with a grey kitchen island.

Kitchen island design tips:


1. Remember your kitchen needs

When thinking about designing a kitchen island, it’s important to remember why you want one. This depends on your personal situation but try and think about which elements excite you. When designing a kitchen from a blank canvas, try to think about whether you want your kitchen island to match the rest of your kitchen or if you want it to stand out in shape or colour? A kitchen island has endless possibilities, so take a step back and brainstorm about what you picture doing at your kitchen island. Do you want to be able to sit at it? Cook at it? How much storage do you need? Which appliances will fit better where? You can do all of the above and more when it’s thought through and custom-designed to your space.

2. Dimensions

With the dimensions of a kitchen island, there’s no one size fits all. Your kitchen size and shape is unique to your home, so keep that in mind when designing a kitchen island.

How long should a kitchen island be?
It’s best to try and match your kitchen island in length to your kitchen shape. For instance, if your kitchen is long and thin, then a rectangular shape will best suit your home and so on. Of course, a kitchen island can be as big or small as you wish in length, width and height. The main feature of a kitchen island is the added countertop and workspace, so when designing your kitchen island, try and picture how much countertop you would prefer in your kitchen.

How wide should a kitchen island be?
A kitchen island needs to be wide enough for your needs. If you are planning on including deep storage or appliances, then you’ll need to consider this in your design dimensions. If you wish to include seating, remember to include enough width of the countertop to make sure your legs can fit comfortably underneath. This should be around 60 centimetres deep and depending on your needs, around 90 centimetres in height.

How big should a kitchen island be?
When looking at your kitchen floorplan, remember that a kitchen island will take up floor space and you will need to be able to walk around it comfortably. It’s recommended to leave a gap of about 1 metre between the kitchen island and the rest of the kitchen cupboards to move around comfortably.

3. Storage ideas

You’ll want to make sure that your kitchen routine is as stress-free as possible; it’s important to design a kitchen island that considers your storage needs. A custom-designed kitchen means that you can have drawers and cupboards in the exact depth, width and position to suit your needs. This storage can also double up as a display cabinet or can be designed handless for a more sleek and integrated appearance.

Not only that but deciding on the appearance of your kitchen island doors is an exciting step. We recommend matching the kitchen island to the rest of your kitchen doors for a seamless and open aesthetic, or you can have it contrasting. Find inspiration for the perfect style and colour combination from luxury brands Mereway English Revival Kitchens and Nolte Kitchens

Modern country kitchen with a kitchen island and two stools.

4. Countertop type

Your kitchen island countertop is one of its many features, and there is an endless range to choose from. When designing a kitchen island, you need to think about which colours will compliment your interior and homelife. Finding the right kitchen style for you and family is important, with a darker countertop being great if you have young children to hide any unwanted fingerprints temporarily. On the other hand, a marble countertop would easily make any kitchen feel brighter and lighter.

5. Appliances

Depending on the size of your kitchen island, it could be a great space to add in more appliances. You’ll want to utilise every inch of your kitchen space, so make sure to think which appliances you want to have installed around the kitchen and which you’ll want in the kitchen island. This is an excellent time to envisage how you want your bespoke kitchen to look and to consider the location of appliances depending on how your floorplan is laid out.

Consider locations for these appliances that will make your life easier. To name a few appliances, consider where to place electrical sockets, the sink, hob, oven, microwave, fridge freezer and dishwasher around your kitchen. This is your opportunity to add in those luxurious extras you’ve been dreaming of… perhaps a wine fridge.

Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Do you want to have the hob, oven, microwave all in one place?
  • Are they integrated?
  • If your kitchen is open plan, do you want to have your back to your guests while cooking or washing up?

Cream kitchen with dark wood countertop.

6. Seating options

When it comes to seating, make sure to go back to your kitchen island brainstorm and deliberate if having seating is a viable option for your home. A kitchen island is a popular place to gather and entertain around, so it’s important to remember that you’ll need to make sure that the worktop is wide enough to comfortably fit as many seats as needed when deciding how big should your kitchen island be. This is dependent on the size and shape of your kitchen but choosing to add seating is a versatile and communal way to make use of your space.

If you’re looking for a space-saving option, sitting at a kitchen island is an alternative to a dining table. Especially during this time where working from home is a growing trend, it’s valuable to have the option of a change of scenery to increase productivity levels while working from home. Or, if you already have a dining table, then sitting at the kitchen island can be more of an informal meal as a breakfast bar. It’s totally up to you and your home dynamic, and the possibility of bar stools are endless to complement your kitchen!

Modern kitchen with a long white and brown kitchen island.

7. Countertop décor

So, how to style a kitchen island? Well, this depends on the atmosphere and kitchen design you are trying to achieve. Whether you are designing a kitchen island to complement your surrounding kitchen or are starting your design from scratch, we recommend keeping a kitchen island countertop as minimalistic as possible.

A minimalistic kitchen island means that you can appreciate the countertop for what it is. Of course, this depends on the dimensions of your kitchen island, as some are more unique in shape than others, and what your intended purpose for your kitchen island is.

But, what to put on a kitchen island? Have items on display that you know will be needed often at arm’s length. For instance, if you decide on a hob for your kitchen island, it would be practical to have your utensils at an easy length to reach.

A kitchen is where the majority of people entertain and spend a lot of time, so put something on there that will make you and your family happy! Flowers are always a trusted favourite and add colour to your everyday routine.

For ‘how to style a kitchen?’, you need to decide if you intend for your kitchen to all match in style or if you want your kitchen island to stand out as a unique hub. For example, if you have more of a farmhouse themed kitchen, then placing an open egg basket on top of your kitchen island will add to the rustic feeling and tie your décor together. Whereas if you live in a household that’s busy in the mornings, it would be useful to have a fruit bowl on there for convenience.

Large and bright kitchen with brown units and marble worktop.

Designing a kitchen can be overwhelming, so why not let the Inter Ceramica team design your own bespoke luxury kitchen? Trusted designers will custom design your dream kitchen to fit your exact household space, needs, and environment at an affordable price. This takes away any worry about those uncertain questions. To find out the many other benefits of bespoke kitchen design, or for more information, please contact us.