Contemporary kitchen with large island

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Kitchen Island Design Ideas

Creating your ideal kitchen island

As you seek inspiration for kitchen island design ideas, consider the following factors in order to determine the best types of cabinets and customization details to incorporate into your design.

Cooking and Entertaining

Kitchen island with built in oven cabinet and bar seating

If you love to cook and entertain, your kitchen island design can include a cooktop, microwave cabinet, full sink or bar sink, under-counter refrigerator or coffee station. It can have raised seating to create a bistro-like atmosphere, or cozy booth seating built onto one side of it.

Family Meals

Large kitchen with island seating and table for family meals

If you live in a bustling household and want to prepare and serve meals surrounded by family, your island can include eating space. Many families use an island instead of or in conjunction with a kitchen table, making efficient use of space, while allowing more than one cook to move freely about the kitchen.

Kitchen Island Shapes

Angled black kitchen island with open shelving and seating

The first kitchen island design that may come to mind is a standard rectangular shape, but islands can be created in all shapes and sizes, from rounded and curved designs to unusual angled versions designed to fit within the unique contours of your kitchen.

Configuration Within the Kitchen

Open plan design with island separating kitchen and living space

Your kitchen island cabinets can be freestanding in the center of the kitchen, positioned adjacent to a wall on one end, or used to divide the space between the kitchen area and the family room.

Customization Details

Whatever type of kitchen island design you choose, think of it as a blank canvas that you can customize with distinctive details to give it a special flair.


Close up of a kitchen island with corbels

Corbels can be used in kitchen cabinet design for practical purposes — such as island, bar or shelf support — or simply to create a beautiful accent that plays off your home's architectural style.

Legs and Feet

Close up of painted kitchen island with cabinet legs

Give your kitchen island cabinets the look of fine furniture by adding decorative legs and feet, available in styles from hand-carved looks to modern motifs. Use them alone or in combination with other details to create a personalized kitchen island design.