There are about as many kitchen island options as there are houses in the world… so we decided to show off some of the trends we’re seeing.
1. If your heart is set on a luxury countertop material like granite or marble, but it’s stretching your budget, compromise by putting your first choice on the island, where there is an uninterrupted surface to show off a nice vein of color. Then choose a less expensive countertop material for the rest of the kitchen. The contrast is fun, and you still get a little of your heart’s desire without the large price tag.
2. A newer trend we are seeing is the multi-level island. Not only does this sort of island separate various zones by height, but by using a variety of countertop options, you can put a contrasting color in for a little pizzazz, or finally get that piece of butcher block you’ve always wanted. This also makes it easier for a chef prepping food to get their work done (and clean up) while staying face-to-face with guests. Family style dining space doesn’t have to be in a separate room this way, either!
3. No space for that new beverage cooler, all of those cookbooks, or the mixer storage you must have? Put your stuff under the island! With the advent of dishwasher drawers and microwave drawers, not to mention new options for recycling and garbage, islands have now become the storage multi-tasker of the household.
4. If you have a lot of room and do a lot of entertaining, two parallel islands might be a better option than one very long or very wide island. This of course doubles your storage. If wall space is at a premium (think about a large space with lots of windows, for instance), moving the majority of the countertop into the middle of the room might be a good idea. We have also seen some parallel islands with a “bridge” food prep area between them … not only does that give everyone their own workstation, it certainly gives a kitchen a fun “bar” vibe!
5. Not all islands are rectangles. Some are circular, oval, L-shaped, or even T-shaped. It takes a certain type of home and kitchen (and budget …) to pull off anything that’s not square, but if that’s your style, go for it! Tip: The L-shaped or T-shaped islands are great for a family that needs a lot of seating capacity (back to point #2).
6. “Mismatched” cabinetry (for the island cabinetry as compared to the rest of the kitchen) has been around for a while, and doesn’t seem to be a trend that’s waning. It’s fun to use more than one color of cabinet, especially if you have a decent amount of space to fill. Black and white, and mixing bright colors with earth tones is not out of the picture!
7. We are seeing a lot of new options in fixtures and hardware. Matte finishes and a variety of metallic looks are starting to be more popular. Rose gold, copper, and black stainless can be utilized in so many ways now. Explore what’s out there and see how you can make your kitchen unique.
8. Last but definitely not least: We recommend only putting in an island when it will be useful and functional for your family’s needs. Some kitchens don’t have the room; sometimes a simple peninsula is what will work better in the space. For very small spaces, a sized-down mobile island or just a slide-out cutting board might be the best option.