Kitchen Island Design Ideas 2021

6 Creative Design Features for a Kitchen Island

One of the most popular ways to modernize your kitchen remodeling projects is the kitchen island, a wonderful and creative addition that can connect the kitchen workspace to the other areas of the home.

A well-designed kitchen island goes a long way in improving the functionality and beauty of your kitchen. Many luxury modern kitchen designs center around the kitchen island, which is often an essential piece in making the kitchen a combined working and living space.

If you’re looking at remodeling your kitchen in the near future, you may want to consider speaking with a professional kitchen planner. Even if you don’t end up working on the remodeling process with the assistance of a designer, you can still learn a lot about their process for creating a kitchen that’s customized to meet the functional needs of a household in addition to the requested layout.

Many design companies offer showrooms to inspire your remodeling project and help you find an arrangement that fits your budget and your home.

Choosing the right features for your kitchen island is one of the most looked over parts of designing a modern kitchen. In this article, we’ll review the top features of a kitchen island design that elevates the practicality and beauty of your new kitchen.

Classic White Kitchen Island

Seating Arrangements

To make your new kitchen a combination of workspace and living space, you’ll want to build a seating area separate from both the kitchen triangle area and the main walkways. These seats don’t have to be traditional; in many cases, they create an area with similar functionality to a breakfast table.

The outside edge of the kitchen island is a popular location for a seating area so that someone sitting in the kitchen faces inwards, towards the central kitchen workspace between the fridge, sink, and stove.

Bar stools are undoubtedly the most popular choice for creating a seating area along the sides of the kitchen island. Because the kitchen island is often at a higher elevation than a dining table (for functional reasons), these types of seats are a necessity.

If you want to include more traditional seats along the side of the kitchen island, you may need to build a multi-tiered kitchen island, which is often more expensive because it’s typically customized to fit specifically for your space.

When choosing seating arrangements for your kitchen island, make sure to choose materials that won’t be damaged in the event of a spill. While cloth upholstery might look nice at first, it only takes one stray wine glass to spoil its appearance.

Industrial Kitchen Island

Cabinets for Trash and Recycling Bins

One of the easiest ways to build a cleaner look for your kitchen is to keep the trash and recycling bins in an easy-to-access cabinet. The kitchen island can usually support this type of space with either a dedicated cabinet or an alcove.

Your kitchen will look and feel cleaner without visible trash and recycling bins. When designing this area in your kitchen island, make sure it’s accessible without having to touch the handle. You’ll need hands-free access to the bin more often than you might guess, particularly if you’re preparing meat or fish.

Contemporary Kitchen Island


Outlets are perhaps the most overlooked part of building a kitchen island. They may require special wiring, particularly if the kitchen is floating in a more central location within a larger room. If you’re preparing food with a blender or food processor, you’ll want a few outlets built into the kitchen island.

If you’re looking to create a dedicated coffee area apart from the food prep areas, you’ll need a kitchen island outlet. Even if you’re simply looking for a more out-of-the-way space to charge your phone while cooking, you’ll want to add a few outlets to the kitchen island.

In short, these are essentially functionality features for this kitchen centerpiece that are unfortunately often overlooked.

Sleek Black Kitchen Island

Extra Lighting

The centralized location of the kitchen island allows for the inclusion of creative overhanging light fixtures that draw the eye and introduce a modern appeal to the space. You’ll need to make sure that the lights are bright enough to serve as functional task lights, particularly if you plan to use the island for preparing food.

Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with finding a design that stands out. Make sure you find lights that feature both a beautiful design and a practical purpose. Visiting a kitchen design showroom is often the easiest way to see firsthand how these lights can function as a centerpiece for the island and for the kitchen as a whole.

Rounded Wood Kitchen Island

Bookshelf Cabinet

If you love to cook, then chances are you have a handful of cookbooks that serve as a reference and inspire your food creations. However, finding a space for these books in your kitchen can often be a challenge, and as a result, the cookbooks are hidden away in a drawer or cabinet.

An open bookshelf cabinet for the kitchen island gives these items a dedicated area within the kitchen and allows you to access your recipes more easily. This keeps your kitchen countertops clutter-free and goes a long way if you are utilizing a minimalist kitchen layout.

Sleek Modern Kitchen Island

Small Refrigerator

A small refrigerator or kegerator for your kitchen goes a long way in freeing up space in your main fridge. Most homeowners often use a smaller fridge for storing drinks and prepared food, while the larger central refrigerator is dedicated to storing ingredients, fruits, and vegetables.

If you’re using the smaller fridge solely for drinks, you may want to keep the fridge away from the central workspace, so it’s accessible for everyone without impeding anyone who’s cooking. While this might be a more expensive addition to your kitchen island, you’ll likely find it’s a worthy investment, particularly when hosting friends and extended family.

Wood and White Scandinavian Kitchen Island

Conclusion– 6 Creative Design Features for Kitchen Islands

If you’re remodeling your kitchen or designing a new one entirely, you may want to consider upgrading your kitchen island. There are several creative features that can add to boost the appearance of your kitchen and a handful of ways to improve the functionality of this space as well.

A professional kitchen design company can help you get started with your project and inspire your project’s planning process. 

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