May 03, 2023

Stellar Kitchen Islands: A Recipe for Style and Functionality

Whether your passion is cooking, baking, or ordering in, a kitchen island can significantly improve your kitchen experience. From extra counter space to additional storage, a well-designed kitchen island can make a world of difference. 

There are various types of islands to choose from, and when designing your island, it’s crucial to consider factors such as size, shape, and placement to ensure it complements the overall flow and style of your kitchen. By carefully considering these factors, you can create a functional and stylish kitchen island that will serve as the centerpiece of your kitchen for years to come. In this blog, we’ll explore the most important aspects of kitchen island design to enhance the overall efficiency and enjoyment of your space.


Your island should have enough space for your kitchen essentials while allowing enough room for movement and flow and ensuring a clean, clutter-free, and functional workspace. Cabinets can be installed under the island to store pots, pans, and kitchen appliances. Consider incorporating drawers, shelves, or open shelving units to store frequently used items like plates, glasses, and utensils. 

The placement and size of the cabinets should be carefully planned to ensure that they do not obstruct the movement or functionality of the kitchen island. Additionally, the color and design of the cabinetry should complement the overall aesthetic of the kitchen. For the most efficient design that combines storage with style, we recommend you use high-quality cabinets from trusted brands such as Bentwood Luxury Kitchens, Crestwood, Dewils Fine Cabinetry, Diamond, Harmoni, or Primary Kitchen– all available in the cabinetry section of our Luxe Home showroom.

Size and Shape

The size of your kitchen island can significantly affect the functionality and overall flow of your kitchen. The ideal size of your kitchen island is best determined by the room and aisle dimensions. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least three feet of space between the island and surrounding counters and walls to ensure adequate circulation and avoid the island appearing excessively large. Choosing the appropriate size also depends on your specific needs and preferences, such as the amount of counter space and storage you require.

There are various types of kitchen islands to choose from, depending on your requirements. The most common shape is the stationary rectangular island, which offers ample countertop space and storage, making it ideal for large kitchens. L-shaped islands are perfect for smaller kitchens, as they maximize corner space while providing plenty of counter space. Oval-shaped islands add a unique touch of elegance to the kitchen and can be ideal for larger families or hosting guests. Finally, portable islands are an excellent choice for those who need flexibility and versatility in their kitchen. They can be moved around on wheels as required, making them perfect for smaller kitchens or those who love entertaining. So take your time and consider your options carefully.

Choice of Material

Durability and maintenance should be top of mind, as the island will likely see a lot of wear and tear over the years. So, it’s essential to choose a countertop material that is long-lasting and coordinates well with the overall style of your kitchen, whether it’s modern, traditional, or somewhere in between.  

Popular materials for kitchen island countertops include butcher block, metallic finishes, marble, granite, stone, and concrete – there are pros and cons to each of them. For example, butcher block is durable and offers a warm, rustic look but requires regular maintenance. Metallic finishes like stainless steel are sleek and easy to clean but can scratch easily. Marble, granite, and stone offer a timeless and elegant look but can be expensive and require regular maintenance. Concrete is durable and versatile but can be prone to cracking over time. Ultimately, the material you choose will depend on your budget, style preferences, and lifestyle needs, so choosing wisely is important. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our kitchen experts to help you plan the perfect material to suit your requirements.


There are various lighting options available, including recessed lights, pendant lights, and chandeliers. The placement and spacing of these lights should be carefully considered to ensure they provide adequate illumination while complementing the overall design of the kitchen. 

Incorporating lighting into the design of a kitchen island can have several benefits, such as enhancing the ambience of the space, providing task lighting for food preparation and cooking, and highlighting the beauty of the island itself. Whether you opt for sleek and modern pendant lights or a more traditional chandelier, thoughtful lighting design can make a significant impact on the overall functionality and appeal of your kitchen. Some of our favorite high-quality, reliable lighting brands include Arteriors Home, Currey & Company, Hammerton Studio, Hinkley, Hubbardton Forge, Hudson Valley Lighting Group, and Kohler Lighting, all of which are available in the lighting section of our Luxe Home showroom.

Seating Solutions

Kitchen seating should be luxurious and not feel confined, so it’s important to ensure that there’s enough room for everyone to enjoy the space comfortably. The first step is to determine how many seats will be necessary. Typically, couples are satisfied with having two stools at their kitchen island. However, families prefer having a stool per child, at minimum, so that it can function as a breakfast bar. As a result, it is common to see kitchen islands with two to five stools.

There are various types of seating available, including bar stools, chairs, or benches, and it’s essential to choose seats that are wide and comfortable and provide plenty of space around each chair. Overhangs or extended tables make seating spacious and comfortable. A long overhang, in particular, makes it easy for chairs to pull up fully – which is essential for comfortable eating.

Electrical and Plumbing Systems

When designing a kitchen island, it’s important to consider the electrical and plumbing aspects to ensure it functions efficiently and safely. Consider incorporating electrical outlets and switches into the island’s design, making it convenient to power appliances and charge devices. Similarly, planning ahead for plumbing needs, such as a sink or dishwasher, will help avoid costly and time-consuming modifications later on. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the island can safely support the weight of any appliances you plan to install. 

We highly recommend choosing high-quality brands that offer durability and reliability, such as BainUltra, California Faucets, Gessi, Graff, House of Rohl, Infinity Drains, and Native Trails, all available in the plumbing and faucet section of our Luxe Home showroom. The best way to ensure a seamless kitchen design and build experience is to hire a kitchen design-build company that can provide expert guidance on plumbing and electrical design and installation. This will ensure optimal aesthetics and functionality and that safety codes are met.

Appliance Integration

When designing a kitchen island, it’s essential to consider incorporating appliances to maximize functionality and efficiency. Including appliances such as a cooktop, oven, or dishwasher in your island can make meal prep and cleanup more convenient and efficient. Additionally, it can help create a more streamlined and spacious kitchen layout, reducing the need for additional counter space elsewhere in the kitchen. 

However, when incorporating appliances into your island, it’s crucial to consider factors such as ventilation, electrical requirements, plumbing, and the location of other kitchen elements such as cabinets and drawers.

Designing for Your Lifestyle

Planning a custom kitchen island design involves many aspects, including size, shape, storage, electrical and plumbing considerations, and more. At our Lafayette design-build studio, our team of experts specializes in creating custom homes that reflect the individual style and preferences of our clients, ensuring that every aspect of your kitchen island is carefully considered. With our commitment to excellence and attention to detail, you can trust that your kitchen island will be a beautiful and functional addition to your home for years to come.

Explore our services today to start designing the home of your dreams.

Douglah Designs Luxury Design And Remodeling


Douglah Designs, a premier home remodeling studio, manages every design and construction facet of your project. Our 3,000-square-foot showroom, Luxe Home, sits in the heart of Lafayette. We offer luxury home essentials, including cabinets, plumbing fixtures, tiles, lighting, and more. Homeowners, designers, architects, and contractors in the East Bay trust us for stylish, high-quality brands and professional in-store support.

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