What Is a Kitchen Island and Why You Need One

If you’re renovating your kitchen to make it more visually appealing, functional, and optimized for movement, it may be time to explore kitchen islands. These versatile work surfaces are among the most popular features in remodeled kitchens because of their functionality and attractiveness.

According to the 2022 Houzz Kitchen Trends Report, over 55% of property owners expect to have an island in their renovated kitchens. The study also shows that over 25% of its participants will upgrade or replace their kitchen islands.

So, what is a kitchen island? The guide below by NG Platinum Homes’ kitchen remodeling experts in Dallas explains everything you need to know about this unique kitchen feature and how it can enhance the heart of your home.

What Is a Kitchen Island?

If you’re wondering, “What is a kitchen island?” you’re not alone. A kitchen island is a freestanding structure inside a kitchen with a countertop and cabinetry that adds to the room’s usable space. Contractors and designers make many types of kitchen islands to match or complement the room’s aesthetics. 

Over time, these structures shifted from wooden farm tables people used as extra space for preparing and cooking meals to informal dining spaces. Today, kitchen islands are standout features in modern kitchens.

Kitchen island design possibilities are endless. People use movable kitchen islands in smaller kitchens with minimal floor space or install permanent structures with extended countertops to create a seating area.

The island’s countertop will enhance the room’s appearance and overall aesthetic. Popular materials for the tops of kitchen islands include:

  • Stained concrete
  • Butcher block
  • Granite
  • Exotic wood
  • Plastic laminate
  • Solid surface

Though you can learn a kitchen island’s definition, the answer to “what is a kitchen island?” can mean something different for every household depending on their needs, lifestyle, available square footage, and desired kitchen design.

Why Should Your Kitchen Have an Island?

Islands are must-haves for many modern kitchens because they can improve the room’s layout. As the name suggests, a kitchen island is accessible from all sides, unlike countertops and cabinets positioned up against a wall. The accessibility makes maximizing space while working and moving around the kitchen easy.

kitchen island in texas

Kitchen islands also act as statement features or focal points in the room. When you look at a kitchen with an island, your eyes immediately go to the island in the room’s center. With the right interior design and island construction, the room’s focal point will add to the overall aesthetic and ambiance instead of detracting from it. 

Below are a few other benefits you and your household can enjoy with a kitchen island installation.

1. Additional Storage Space

You could quickly run out of space with so much cookware, utensils, pantry items, and other goods in your kitchen. However, an island provides an excellent opportunity to create custom storage space for your household’s needs. 

Consider adding pull-out drawers, built-in spice racks, and traditional cabinetry into your kitchen island design. You could even add space for trash and recycling bins or a built-in wine cooler to give every item in your kitchen a designated home.

2. Space for Kitchen Seating

If your kitchen has limited square footage and can’t accommodate an island and dining table, you can add chairs to the island and skip the table. 

According to a 2020 Houzz survey, over 40% of people use their kitchen islands for socializing with family and guests, 23% use them as a working space, and over 50% of survey participants use their islands for entertaining. With so much activity in the kitchen, the island presents a perfect place to incorporate additional seating.

For many households, the kitchen is one of the property’s primary hubs for activity. With an island, you can create a comfortable space where people can sit on stools or dining chairs and use a counter extension as an eating or working space.

3. Surface Area for Kitchen Amenities

You can also maximize your island countertop for small appliances. Do you have an air fryer or coffee maker that you use often? If so, you can have electrical outlets on your new island to run small appliances and store them openly. 

The island is perfect for bakers who need mixers, blenders, and space for working dough.

How Can You Utilize a Kitchen Island?

Though you can use a kitchen island in numerous ways with countless design integrations, the feature has three primary functions.

Kitchen Cleaning Station

If you incorporate plumbing in your kitchen island to hold a sink, the station will primarily be a cleaning station. Maximize the space and its functionality by building pull-out compost, garbage, or recycling bins near the sink. If you have a dishwasher by the sink, you must have enough aisle space to open its door fully.

Food Preparation

A food preparation surface is mostly counter space with storage underneath it. The island will still need immediate access to a garbage or compost bin to clean messes quickly. Your kitchen island design should include enough outlets for small appliances and possibly a butcher’s block for cutting food.

Cooking Meals

An island can hold cooktops and ranges if you want to use the area as an open-space cooking area. If you intend to cook on your island, it must have a countertop with heat resistance, like tile or stone. Seating is still an option if you cook on the island’s range, but it should be raised and a safe distance from cooking splatters.

Add More Usable Space in Your Kitchen With a Kitchen Island From NG Platinum Homes

So, what is a kitchen island? With the right kitchen island design and installation, your answer could be, “The best addition to your remodeled kitchen.” As a family-owned, class-A contractor, NG Platinum Homes has a skilled team of in-house consultants, designers, and installers with the expertise to handle any kitchen and bathroom remodeling project or whole-house renovation. 

As one of the top-rated remodeling companies in Houston and Dallas, TX, with award-winning projects, we can fit the perfect island into any shaped kitchen. Call NG Platinum Homes at (281) 271-3838 or (469) 667-3334 to request a free consultation.

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