Create the perfect kitchen island

For many people, the perfect kitchen isn’t complete without the perfect kitchen island. But there are so many options and customizations to choose from; how on earth do you decide which one is the right one?

It’s a tough question, but the answer is surprisingly simple. To get the ultimate kitchen island, all you have to do is answer these questions.

1. What is the Purpose of Your Kitchen Island?

The biggest, most important question you have to ask yourself is: how is your kitchen island going to be used?


When properly designed, a kitchen island can be your one stop-shop for everything – including cookbooks! Photo credit: Laurysen Kitchen Design Gallery.


Many homeowners choose to use their kitchen island in lieu of a formal dining area. Kitchen islands can be cozy and comfortable places to have a meal and entertain, but only when designed for that reason.

If your kitchen island is going to serve as a dining option, consider:

  • Height – you’ll need to be able to eat and sit comfortably.
  • Width – how much counter space will you need to eat, and how much room will you need for your legs.
  • How much seating you want.
  • What type of chairs you would use.

This will help formulate the beginnings of your kitchen island design.


Opt for a multi-level island to serve your prepping, cooking, and eating needs. Photo credit: Laurysen Kitchen Design Gallery.


Your kitchen island, like everything else, should be multi-purposed. What’s more multi-purpose (and necessary) in a kitchen than storage?

To create the perfect kitchen island, you have to choose storage that is going to fill a specific need, and be most beneficial to you.

For example, you may want a set of cupboards on the end of the island for baking supplies because you’re the dessert person in your family. Or you may want deep-set drawers to hold all of your bigger cooking accessories because the island is where you’ll do most of your preparation.

Strategic thinking will give you storage you can use. And the best thing about using a designer to custom-create your kitchen island is that there is no limit to what we can think up for you.

We also have several organization accessories that can help you make the most of your island storage.


This island is packed with storage and space saving accessories. You won’t have to stir a step to get something. Photo credit: Laurysen Kitchen Design Gallery.

Prep Space

Your kitchen island will be used for extra prep space, no question about it. The key is getting more specific about what kind of preparations you’ll be doing.

For example, if you’re a cook who likes to lay out all their ingredients and tools beforehand, you’ll want a wide work surface.

Incorporating appliances into your island is a good way to take advantage of the space. This could include your microwave, or even just some electrical outlets for you to plug things in.


Incorporating your appliances is a smart way to save counter space, which gives you more room for wine and cheese! Photo credit: Laurysen Kitchen Design Gallery.

Tip: Invest in good lighting for all of your kitchen, including your island. This is a room that you spend a lot of time in, and good lighting will make all the difference. You should make sure you have lighting specific for different activities, including cooking and dining. We have some tips on how to choose the best lighting for your kitchen.

2. Where Should it Go?

An island, by definition, is unattached. As a solo structure, you can theoretically put it anywhere you want in your kitchen. But it doesn’t mean you should put it anywhere you want.

Think about your kitchen island placement strategically. You don’t want to cut off access to one part of the kitchen because your island is too far away; you also don’t want to have it on the opposite side of the room where it won’t do you any good.

For example, if you’re using it to prepare food, you will want it closer to the fridge or pantry to easily access ingredients. If you’re using it to serve food to your family, you may want it closer to the stove.

The purpose of your island will also help dictate which zone it should be near.

Size Definitely Matters

Even big, spacious kitchen owners have to watch out. It’s easy to get swept away by creating a large, luxurious kitchen island. But there really is too much of a good thing.

As much as you’d like a big, wide work surface and endless cupboards and drawers, you don’t want to overwhelm the rest of your kitchen. Your island needs to be proportionate, and not disrupt flow or function.

On the other hand, you can’t make your island too small. Otherwise, it won’t be functional.

The best advice we could give is to not treat your kitchen island as an island. It’s a part of your kitchen renovation, and it’s important to think of how its design will affect the rest of the room.


The size of your island depends on the size of your kitchen. Like Goldilocks, you have to find the one that’s just right. Photo credit: Laurysen Kitchen Design Gallery.

3. What Materials Should I Use?

You know what it’s going to be used for and how big it should be. Now – what’s it going to be made of?

You want to choose materials that will complement the rest of your kitchen, but you also want materials that are best suited to your island’s purpose.

For example, if you do a lot of cutting and chopping, you want may to think about have a butcher block as part of your surface space. You also may want something more durable and stain-resistant, like quartz.

Remember: Constantly be thinking about the island’s purpose, and use that purpose to help choose the perfect island.


Your materials don’t have to be an exact match. Use your island to add a pop of colour and different textures to your kitchen. Photo credit: Laurysen Kitchen Design Gallery.

4. What Do You Like?

A kitchen island can only be perfect if you actually like it. So don’t think about what’s classic or on trend – think about what you want!

At the end of the day, you’ll be happier with an island you had fun creating, and will have just as much fun using.


Don’t be afraid of designing something outside the norm. No two people are alike, so why should kitchen islands be any different? Photo credit: Laurysen Kitchen Design Gallery.

We’ll Create an Island That’s Uniquely Yours

Your kitchen island is one of the most important parts of your remodel, and you don’t want to make a mistake.

Our award-winning designers will ask you the right questions and help you custom-create the perfect kitchen island. It’ll do everything you need, and more.

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