Favorite Uses for a Kitchen Island

The kitchen island. The centerpiece of every kitchen; if not every home. If you don’t have one, you want one. It’s the place where guests gather to snack on appetizers and sip on cocktails. The place where self-proclaimed chefs prepare meals for a crowd, or even just for themselves. It’s the place where children gather after a school day to do their homework and talk to their parents about their days. It’s the place where young couples dream about the days to come. These days, it might be your makeshift home office. It’s easily the most used area in the kitchen that comes with a lot of versatility. Here are some of the most popular ways homeowners are using their kitchen islands.

Storage, Storage, Storage

The best thing about adding a kitchen island to your kitchen is the ample amount of extra storage that comes along with it. The extra cabinetry you gain with an island is the perfect place for larger appliances that might be taking up counter space or prime perimeter cabinet real estate. Moving some of these items to your island storage opens other areas in your kitchen for storage—maybe you’ll consider converting some of the perimeter cabinetry into a custom pantry. Or maybe de-cluttering your countertops means you can take advantage of some backsplash storage—hanging some of your most used and aesthetically pleasing utensils on bars on your backsplash.

Another popular storage solution homeowners take advantage of on an island is a stow-away trash can. This keeps your trash and recycling concealed and out of the way. Depending on your kitchen’s footprint and how large of an island you can install, you might even opt into including a mini-fridge or a cubby for wine bottles too.

A Whole New Cooking World

Some people choose to bring the entire life of the kitchen to the island. Perhaps you want to put your stovetop on the island so your dinner guests are right in the action. Another perk to this is that you won’t have your back to them as you prepare the meal. Add a small sink to keep your prep separate from your cleaning. Consider adding a section of butcher block to your island to make chopping and cutting a breeze. You literally won’t have to leave your island for one thing until it’s time to clean it all up.

Really Dining IN

A lot of kitchens have a dine-in area or breakfast nook with space for a kitchen table to eat meals. What if instead of having space for a separate table, you made your kitchen island a place to eat. Simply adding an extended piece of countertop to tuck stools underneath makes dining in your kitchen a great option for those not-so-formal meals that don’t require gathering around the dining room table. With the shift in family dynamics and home design in general, many homeowners are opting to nix the dining room altogether. The kitchen is often the heart of the home so why not enjoy your family meals there too?


If you’ve chosen to extend your island countertop to create a space to eat, you’ll soon realize that people just start sitting there. Maybe your partner sits there to hear about your day while you prep dinner. Maybe your guests sit there to help chop an onion or other veggies for you. And if you have kids, you might find that they set up shop there after school to do their homework, talk to you about their day, or even to get in on prep as well. Invite your kids to be where you are even if they are doing something on their own. Having a kitchen island allows them to be near you and to share their lives with you.

With more and more people working virtually from home, you might find that you yourself are using your kitchen island as a workstation. Maybe it has become your home office from 9-5 and then is transformed into a functional kitchen when it’s time. Be careful though, working in such close proximity to the snacks (and the wine) can be dangerous.

As you can see, kitchen islands offer endless opportunities for function and design. Have fun with it! Create storage solutions that fit your specific needs. Add colors and materials that fit your unique style. And most importantly, choose a design that you know you’ll love for years to come. If you don’t know where to start for your kitchen design or you’re ready to make your ideas come to life, your local Kitchen Solvers is ready to help you make your kitchen dreams come true!