Kitchen islands have been around for so long that it’s difficult to imagine a kitchen without one. Although they used to be reserved for large or open design kitchens, modern designs allow you to include this functional and attractive piece in almost any space. Here are some kitchen island design ideas to help your design process come to life.

How to Design the Perfect Kitchen Island for Your Home

Kitchen islands can be custom designed to your exact specifications, making them one of the most useful features in your kitchen. Here are some things to consider when planning a kitchen design with an island.

Include Space for Seating

Kitchen island with seating in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

This is a great option in a kitchen dining space, especially if you want to do away with having a full dining table to make more room for entertaining, like in this Peckham home. The seating space at the kitchen island creates a breakfast bar, a homework space for the kids, and seating for your guests. It can also be an informal seating or entertaining space separate from your dining area, like in this Richmond Upon Thames home.

Zone an Open Plan Space With a Longline Island

Longline kitchen island in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

The secret to a great open plan living area is creating zones for eating, cooking, entertaining, and relaxing, working with how you use the space to achieve an open and spacious flow. A longline kitchen island is a great way to do this, as it makes a barrier between the cooking space and the rest of the room without isolating it. In this Tooting home renovation project, the longline kitchen island effectively divides the open plan space, while the marble finish adds elegance to each zone it borders on.

Extend an Island to Incorporate a Dining Table

Kitchen island with dining table in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

By simply adding a larger countertop surface to your kitchen island, you instantly create a dining space that’s convenient for everyday use. It makes the kitchen a more social zone, is perfect for serving meals directly from the kitchen, and means you get lots of company while you cook or entertain. We love this kitchen island design in East Dulwich for the cosy, informal dining table it creates.

Make Sure Your Island is Well Lit

Kitchen island with lighting in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Whatever you want to use your kitchen island for, make sure your design includes good lighting. This is especially important if you are using it as a cooking, prep, or dining space. It’s also a fantastic way to add character and style to highlight this feature. We love the modern, bold copper pendants in this Muswell Hill kitchen design, as well as these vintage-inspired industrial pendants in this Clapham kitchen renovation project.

Adding a Kitchen Sink to The Island

Kitchen island with sink in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

In most projects, the kitchen island is primarily about adding functional space in the form of a prep area. Having a kitchen sink plumbed into your island adds exceptional convenience while you are cooking and entertaining, especially if you add a boiling water tap too. It makes it easier to move between appliances and taps freely, and gives you an extra tap to use while the dishes are being cleaned. You can see just how attractive and useful this feature is in this Shepherd’s Bush kitchen renovation project.

Multifunctional Kitchen Islands

Multifunctional kitchen island in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Kitchen islands can add almost any additional functionality to your space, providing housing for everything from additional sinks to stoves, ovens, wine fridges, and more. This makes creating open plan living areas much more achievable and functional even in smaller spaces, as you can see in this Tooting home renovation project.

Large Kitchen Islands

Large kitchen island in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

If you have a large open plan space, a big kitchen island is a must-have. Not only does it help break up the space into functional zones, but it also makes it quick and easy to use your kitchen efficiently. You can create the perfect triangle for your kitchen design, moving easily between the fridge, cooking appliances, and sink. You can also add all kinds of luxury features, such as a wine fridge, boiling water and sparkling water tap, ice maker, and more. A large kitchen island like this one in Elmbridge is the ultimate luxury feature that adds a real wow-factor to your home.

Slimline Islands

Slimline kitchen island in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Many people come to our design and build company for a kitchen renovation thinking that a kitchen design with an island is beyond their reach. But slimline islands designed to your spec will fit perfectly into any home, including narrower terrace homes and flats. Not only are these islands attractive, but they also provide essential storage and counterspace which is often a challenge in terrace homes. In this Lewisham kitchen renovation, the slimline kitchen island design includes seating and storage space as well as an additional sink without cramping the overall design. And in this Wandsworth terrace renovation, it zones off the kitchen space, adds multifunctionality, and keeps the open plan area spacious and airy.

Use a Moveable Island if Space is Tight

Kitchen islands don’t have to be anchored in place, so remember to look for movable islands too if you want a kitchen design with an island. These are a great option if you want more storage and prep space for bigger events but want to keep your kitchen space free-flowing and spacious when it’s not in use. Wheeled options can be moved around as you need them – in the kitchen for prep, into the dining space for serving, or even outdoors as a bar area or barbeque prep space.

Practical Stainless-steel Worktop

Your kitchen island can have any surface you like, and making it contrast with your other countertops makes it a stylish focal point. Marble, granite, and wood are all good options, but don’t forget about stainless steel. Popular in restaurant kitchens, it’s hygienic, hard-wearing, and gives your space an industrial chic appeal. It wears with time, giving it character, but it won’t rust or harbour bacteria or dirt, which makes it the perfect prep surface.

Drop In a Low Dining Table

Traditionally, kitchen islands are the same height as countertops because this is best for when you’re standing. But not everyone likes bar stools or finds them practical. So, if you want a dining space on your kitchen island that’s easier to sit at, you can drop in a low table surface where you extend it for the seating. This gives you all the family-friendly benefits of a dining kitchen island with a lot of extra comforts.

See more kitchen design ideas here.

Your Kitchen Deserves the Leading Design and Build Company in London

PlusRooms is a full-service design and build company in London, creating elegant and functional custom designs for large and small spaces. We’ll work with you through the entire process, from designing your kitchen extension and managing planning permission to building the project and ensuring it is completed to your satisfaction. Please visit our website to see more of our kitchen extension projects, to be inspired by our kitchen island design ideas, and contact us to start the journey towards your dream home.