Kitchen island ideas – create a focal point for cooking and socialising

Inspiration for a statement island at the centre of the kitchen, fit for all your needs

Smart kitchen island ideas have become an essential feature for modern kitchen designs – not surprising given the useable value it adds to a kitchen layout.

'When designing a kitchen, we'd always consider breaking up the area with an island,' says Alex Main, Director at The Main Company. 'It works as both a cooking and entertaining space, and we'd change the work surface materials to suit each area specifically.'

The first thing to think about when considering kitchen island design ideas is the main purpose of incorporating one into your space. Are you looking for extra prep space, or to form a boundary between the cooking zone and the living/dining area?

Almost all kitchen ideas these days incorporate seating – an even the smallest island can usually accommodate an overhang of worktop and a set of bar stools. Alternatively, you could pick a long kitchen island with integrated low-level, table-style seating at one end.

Kitchen island ideas

Functions aside, the change of pace offered by a kitchen island often encourages a variation in material. You can afford to be braver here with a bolder finish or colour, or perhaps a more expensive material that would be prohibitive across an entire room.

For a show-stopping centrepiece, look to luxury materials, from deeply veined marble and mottled granites to exotic timber veneers and gleaming mirrored glass or burnished metal.

1. Choose continuous surfaces for a sleek look

Choose continuous surfaces for a sleek look

(Image credit: Howdens)

 

Let a luxurious work surface take centre stage, with a continuous countertop that covers the top and sides of an island. Called a ‘waterfall’ worktop as it flows to the floor, much like a waterfall, it makes a luxe way of finishing off an island and will protect the sides of cabinets from damage too.

‘To introduce a high-end feel to your space, add a waterfall design to your kitchen island. This creates a continuous look, as the counter pattern extends down the side of the unit for a flowing effect,’ says Tori Summers, Director of Design, Product & Innovation, Howdens. ‘This idea works best with square-edged work surfaces, which have clean lines that ensure all joins meet neatly for a clean and professional finish.’

2. Include ample space for seating

Include ample space for seating

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Robert Sanderson)

Lack of leg room can be an issue with kitchen island seating and breakfast bar ideas, so rather than relying on an overhang area at one end, create a dedicated niche where you can slot in a row of bar stools.

Allow at least 60-70cm of space, per person, along an island so there is plenty of space for knees and enough elbow room for guests to sit comfortably. This could need adjustment depending on the style of bar stools you choose, such as bulky or thickly upholstered bar stools, while swivel stools will need extra space too.

3. Zone an open-plan space with a longline island

Zone an open-plan space with a longline island

(Image credit: Future PLC/Darren Chung)

Open-plan living layouts offer ample space for everything but without some division they can feel overly large and vacuous. Break up the space by using furniture to divide one large living area into smaller, more manageable zones.

A longline island creates a natural divide between kitchen and dining/living spaces. With cooking and prep surfaces on one side of the island, consider kitting out the reverse side with practical open shelving. Filled with books and display pieces, it makes a more decorative feature facing outwards as you enter the area.

4. Mix materials to create a multifunctional island

Mix materials to create a multifunctional island

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Brent Darby)

Although marble worktops throughout look luxurious, marble isn’t always terribly practical. Marble is porous, so worktops are susceptible to staining and pitting from dark or acidic liquids, as well as scratches and nicks from sharp knives.

Make a marble topped island more practical by incorporating a wooden butcher’s block into the design. A multi-layered island creates visual interest and raising the block just above the worktop keeps everything contained.

5. Extend an island to incorporate a dining table

Extend an island to incorporate a dining table

(Image credit: Magnet)

‘Adding a kitchen island doesn’t just create additional counter space and storage, but immediately creates a great dining area for friends and family,’ says Lizzie Beesley, Head of Design at Magnet. ‘Kitchen islands with seating options have become an ever-increasing trend, with many different styles to choose from.’

‘Smaller kitchens can incorporate seating into their island design, perhaps with a worktop overhang and bar stools. Other options include long islands with integrated low level, table seating at one end which makes a comfortable set up for family meals and entertaining.’

6. Squeeze in a moveable island if space is tight

Squeeze in a moveable island if space is tight

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

If you don’t have the luxury of a large and spacious kitchen, it doesn’t mean you have to forsake a kitchen island if prep surfaces are lacking. A portable kitchen island idea will give an extra work surface and seating space, plus the added benefit that it can be easily moved to a different position if needed.

A fixed island will often require plumbing and electrics so causes more upheaval, while a portable island is freestanding and moveable, so less limiting in terms of layout. Opt for one with a combination of storage plus stowing space for stools to maximise its footprint.

7. Refresh a tired kitchen with a splash of colour

Refresh a tired kitchen with a splash of colour

(Image credit: Future PLC/Douglas Gibb)

A central island is the optimum place for adding a pop of colour to a neutral kitchen or dated decor. Painting the island a cheery, contrast shade allows a quick and easy refresh that can work wonders on a tired kitchen, without committing to a full room redo.

In practical spaces like kitchens, always go for a hardwearing, water-resistant paint finish that can handle regular wipe-downs of splashes and splatters. To save prep time if re-painting a wooden island, opt for purpose-made Cupboard paint - try Rust-oleum or Ronseal - it's easy to apply to furniture and won't need primer or top coat.

8. Pick a practical stainless steel worktop

Pick a practical stainless steel worktop

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith)

Choosing the best countertop for your kitchen island will depend on what you’re going to be using it for. An extra work surface for prepping food will need to be hardwearing and easy-clean. If you want to incorporate a sink or hob, you’ll need a sleek integratable surface. Or if it’s more of a bar area where you’ll be socialising, think more in terms of looks and luxury.

Stainless steel counters are a practical option for kitchen prep spaces. Not only do they look the part, stainless steel is hygienic and easy-clean, as well as being heat and corrosive-resistant. Stainless steel is often the worktop of choice in professional kitchens and while it can scratch and dent, this all adds to its character and charm.

9. Plan a practical layout that flows

Plan a practical layout that flows

(Image credit: IKEA)

In an open-plan kitchen-diner, position the island unit so that it steers traffic away from kitchen hotspots, such as the hob and oven, and towards seating areas instead. Go for a storage-heavy design with plenty of drawers or cubbies as cluttered surfaces will ruin the look of a sleek, open-plan space.

Also consider how kitchen island lighting ideas plays a key role in creating a cohesive scheme. A triple row of pendants positioned above an island creates a focal point and helps to zone the space further. Contrast flooring gives the area a change of pace too, with an island as a neat dividing mechanism.

10. Incorporate extra storage at one end

Incorporate extra storage at one end

(Image credit: Mereway)

Maximise every inch of a kitchen island with well thought-out storage ideas. Instead of standard end panels, put this wasted space to better use by incorporating a set of slimline shelves. At less than 10cm deep, a narrow gap like this works perfectly as a spice rack or a spot for stashing condiments and oils.

Alternatively, just add a couple of steel rungs and the slimline space is ideal for displaying cookery books, with covers facing outwards so they're easier to identify.

Here would be the perfect time to use a few kitchen organisers to tidy this space and maximise storage at the same time.

11. Boost light levels with glossy surfaces and glass doors

Boost light levels with glossy surfaces and glass doors

(Image credit: Higham)

In large kitchens with lots of cabinetry, pale worktops with light-reflective finishes can help break up solid blocks of colour and add visual interest to a space.

For a central kitchen island with outward-facing cabinets, opt for glass door fronts in place of a solid bank of doors. Glass reflects light too, bouncing it across a room to further enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

12. Slot in a slimline island

Slot in a slimline island

(Image credit: Victoria Plum)

Even if you don’t have stacks of floor space to play with, a kitchen island needn’t be out of the question. Scale down its footprint by opting for an extra-narrow design made up of shallow depth kitchen cupboards.

Adding a small overhang on one side will give room for a row of high stools to sit at. Keep to a calm, subdued colour palette with glossy light-reflective work surfaces. And choose pale-coloured flooring with a large-scale pattern to aid the feeling of spaciousness.

13. Drop in a low dining table

Drop in a low dining table

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

Design a kitchen island that feels inviting for dining by dropping a lower height worktop, meaning you can use standard dining chair rather than high bar stools. It's great idea for family kitchens, where you might not want little ones clambering precariously onto bar stools.

Use the same colour cabinetry for the dining portion of the kitchen island but drop the height by just enough to make it useable as a dining table. Using an a contrasting worktop to the remainder of the island helps to make its purpose standout even further.

14. Incorporate stylish storage

Incorporate stylish storage

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Look to use one side of a large island as kitchen storage idea, with enough concealed drawers to hide the majority for kitchen accessories. Then leave a sideboard-style surface to stack cookbooks and display colourful chinaware.

This is an especially effective open-plan kitchen idea, where you are directly looking at one side of the kitchen island. The broken design helps to make the block kitchen unit feel less imposing on the rest of the space.

15. Use wood as a worktop

Use wood as a worktop

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

This thoughtfully designed kitchen island offers a dining table and island hybrid. More than a breakfast bar, this design extends the wooden worktop down onto a fully-fitted dining table. The wooden worktop is ideal for use on an island where the purpose is primarily entertaining thanks to the softer qualities.

‘A wooden worktop is a soft material which can become scratched or scorched during wood preparation. Confine the use of wood to soft-use areas such as breakfast bars for eating or  entertaining' advises Melissa Klink at Harvey Jones (opens in new tab). 'Use a harder surface which is easy to clean, such as  granite or quartz composite, for food prep areas.’

16. Use each half of the island differently

Use each half of the island differently

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

Where you have the space, as is the case in this open-plan kitchen extension idea, use a kitchen island to bridge the gap between functional kitchen space and social dining elements.

Do this by 'dividing' the island in half in terms of usage, with purposeful kitchen elements such as integrated fridges and induction hobs one side and a breakfast bar with stools on the other.

A multifunctional design helps to unify the different uses within the space, while still clearly zoning each purpose.

17. Get the scale right

Get the scale right

(Image credit: Future PLC/Harvey Jones)

Choosing the right size to scale is key when it comes to planning a kitchen island, because while you want it to be the focal point you don't want it to be overbearing on the layout as a whole. So how much space should you have between a counter and island?

Matt Baker, kitchen designer at Harvey Jones offers his advice, 'The most important element has to be the walkways around the island. As a rule of thumb they need to be 1000mm wide in order to be safe and practical in a kitchen.'

'Many seem to think the bigger the better. Wide islands are sure to make an impact, however they're not the most practical solution because you have to be able to reach the middle when cooking. Try to keep it no deeper than 1400mm front to back.'

18. Position appliances away from your entertaining space

Position appliances away from your entertaining space

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you're putting an island into an open-plan kitchen you're most likely looking to create an engaging and inviting space for entertaining. Kitchen appliance layout ideas are therefore important.

It might not make sense to position cooking appliances on the outside facing walls of the space, as you'd have your back to guests for the majority of the time while you cook.

Incorporating the oven and hob into the island facing towards to the social space will help create a more engaging environment while hosting.

19. Make sure your island is well lit

Make sure your island is well lit

(Image credit: Future)

As far as kitchen lighting ideas go, the island is one of the most important focal points – some would say the star of the show. While you want the entire kitchen to be lit for your needs it's imperative to make sure the island fits perfectly within the lighting plan.

As it often serves as the main food prep station and the hub of entertaining it needs to be well-lit, most likely by multiple lighting options. Whether that's overhead spotlights or lanterns, which you can dim for intimacy or brighten for practical task lighting, ensure the main focus for good lighting is the centre of the island.

20. Contrast with your wall cabinets

Contrast with your wall cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Joanna Henderson)

Kitchen colour schemes are another thing to think about. Lots of people like to use their island to inject a warming splash of on-trend colour to uplift an otherwise neutral colour scheme.

If you like this idea, but are worried you may tire of your choice, ensure your cabinet is lade of wood or a high-quality wood veneer that can be easily repainted down the lime.

21. Balance the layout

Balance the layout

(Image credit: Martin Moore Kitchens)

Whether large or small, the key to getting a kitchen island scheme right is balance. This sophisticated grey kitchen idea demonstrates how to do the job perfectly, with a harmonious balance of grey cabinetry throughout with white walls and worktops to soften the look.

There's a symmetry with the seating along the island breakfast bar which adds further balance, making one end entirely dedicated to entertaining.

22. Blend in a breakfast bar

Blend in a breakfast bar

(Image credit: Future)

Multifunctional is all-important when it comes to kitchen design, to make the space as efficient as possible – large or small.

An ideal multifunctional kitchen island is one that functions as a food prep space with a sink, a storage space and a social space with a breakfast bar.

23. Get the height right

Get the height right

(Image credit: Optiplan Kitchens)

'As the heart of the home, plenty more goes on in a kitchen space than simply cooking and eating' explains Andy Briggs, interior designer for Optiplan Kitchens (opens in new tab).

'A kitchen island enables you to perhaps work or have children close by whilst preparing meals. It also offers a popular "standing workspace" for those working from home or doing hobbies – this is meant to be better for your posture than continuously sitting.'

'The height of an island is also ideal for families with small children, as a high chair can be pulled up and little ones can enjoy meal times at the same level as their family.'

24. Curve the edges for better flow

Curve the edges for better flow

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme)

If you're trying to fit an island into a smaller kitchen, it's a good idea to choose a design with rounded edges. This will inevitably cost more, but there will be no sharp corners to catch against as you and your family manoeuvre around the space.

25. Add an alternative worktop

Add an alternative worktop

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Brent Darby)

Create a hybrid of styles within your kitchen scheme by combining kitchen worktop ideas on your kitchen island. Use a different material to indicate a change of function for that portion of the kitchen island.

In this stylish kitchen space a hearty wooden worktop is extended out – over the granite worktop covering the remainder of the island – to form a dedicated dining area. Simple placement with bar stools helps to enhance the signals for its dining function.

26. Inject a bold accent colour on the island

Inject a bold accent colour on the island

(Image credit: Magnet)

A kitchen island is the perfect place to welcome a brave colour choice in a kitchen colour scheme. While the colour is permanent it is not as daring as choosing a whole kitchen with coloured cabinets.

You could always repaint the island at some point down the line, should you have a change of heart with the bold hue.

27. Power up your island

Power up your island

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Richard Gadsby)

It's vital you include ample plug sockets on your island. They're not only useful for powering small appliances like stand mixers and food processors, they'll also be handy for charging phones and laptops – as working from home continues to be a way of life.

The timber stools have bags of character, and work beautifully with the pale blue island, giving the overall scheme a subtle coastal feel.

28. And make smart choices when it comes to power supply

Make smart choices when it comes to power supply

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

More than just ensuring the island is connected to the power supply – think about the right kind of power. Harvey Jones kitchen designer Matt Baker advises, 'If you need power points in an island cabling will need to laid before screed is put down. Sockets can then be fitted before the worktops are installed.'

He goes on to add, 'I would personally urge every customer to go with sockets that have USB slots in them these days, as most of our tech uses these to charge.'

29. Raise the bar

Raise the bar

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachel Smith)

Adding an elevated shelf to one side of the kitchen island transforms the space into a functional dining area. Lifting the bar to a higher level than the island helps to define it's purpose as a dedicated dining space. Equally the higher height might suit as a working from home space, if standing is preferred.

30. Go with the flow in open-plan kitchens

Go with the flow in open-plan kitchens

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Veronica Rodriguez)

Open-plan living spaces often benefit from identifying dedicated spaces within the layout, for different purposes. Floating a kitchen island doesn't interrupt the flow of the floor plan,  but it does clearly define the kitchen functionality within the space. Just as a dining table sets the scene for dining.

31. Choose compact for a small kitchen layout

Choose compact for a small kitchen layout

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

Even the tiniest of kitchen spaces can welcome an island, so your small kitchen ideas needn't be compromised. Ensure the design is compact enough to fit but sizeable enough to fulfil its purpose.

Just ensure you have enough area to accommodate space between any hot kitchen apparatus and guests enjoying the breakfast bar.

32. Balance a layout

Balance a layout

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

Welcome an island into a kitchen to enhance the form and function of the space. The extra unit provides more work surface for food prep and dining when paired with bar stools.

Continue a colour scheme in an all-white space by choosing the same design for the kitchen island as that of the main kitchen design. The splash of central colour in the room helps to cement the look further.

33. Compliment colour throughout

Compliment colour throughout

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Snook)

Create a cohesive colour scheme throughout by using the same colour for every detail in a kitchen space. From the island to the wall cabinets, from lighting to the accessories, make it match to uniform a space.

34. Add in a shelf for cookery books

Add in a shelf for cookery books

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

The best place to store cookery books? In the kitchen of course! Adding a few kitchen shelving ideas into your island will ensure all your favourite cookbooks are easy to hand.

This is an easy hack for adding personality and colour into a neutral kitchen.

35. Drop in a kitchen sink

Drop in a kitchen sink

(Image credit: Future PLC)

A large sink in a kitchen island might be a little controversial, but is a great solution if you're struggling for space.

In this kitchen, the space that the sink would have taken up against a wall worktop has been transformed into much needed storage leaving the sink in the easily accessible island.

36. Dazzle diners with gold

Dazzle diners with gold

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Veronica Rodriguez)

Make a freestanding island stand out all the more with the addition of a luxe finish. A touch of gold on the underside helps to make the island take on a role of function and fabulous form.

37. Strike a balance with storage and seating

Strike a balance with storage and seating

(Image credit: Future PLC/ James French)

Work with a smart design that provides optimum storage space for all your kitchen needs on one side, while providing a bar of seating along the other side.

38. Create multi-functional storage with seagrass baskets

Create multi-functional storage with seagrass baskets

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

Deep shelves in an island can be tricky, however with the help of some seagrass baskets they can be transformed into picture-perfect storage. To recreate this glamorous vintage theme, alternate the shelves with storage baskets and your favourite vintage-style crockery.

39. Position an island opposite a window wall

Position an island opposite a window wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Alasdair Macintosh)

Floor-to-ceilings sliding windows in a kitchen extension look gorgeous but can cut down on the space available for storage. An easy solution is to introduce a slick island with space for drawers and cupboards just in front of the window.

Not only does this double the work surface and storage, but you can also hide breakfast bar stools behind it to keep the space looking slick.

40. Install a fridge in your kitchen island

Install a fridge in your kitchen island

(Image credit: Future PLC)

A small undercounter fridge is a great addition in a large workstation. It can hold fresh food to be prepped on the island or be filled with drinks for guests to help themselves to, without disturbing the chef.

An extra fridge in a central island is perfect for keeping fruit, vegetable and salads cool and close at hand for prepping. Lunch and breakfast time ingredients – jams, butter and cheeses – are best kept in this fridge for quick and easy meal preparation.

41. Go for a classic colour combo

Go for a classic colour combo

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Richard Gadsby)

Choose a Shaker-style island in on-trend navy blue and create a country kitchen with a very modern twist.

This design features a built-in sink, cupboard storage, a marble top, staging-style shelving and one side dedicated to breakfast bar seating. Combine with grey wall units and a range cooker for the perfect mix of classic and contemporary.

42. Make a statement with bright bar stools

Make a statement with bright bar stools

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Richard Gadsby)

New cabinetry is a big investment. So it's understandable that you might not want to be too experimental with colour. If that's the case, why not introduce a brighter shade through accessories that are easier to switch out if you get bored – like these statement bar stools?

For something less permanent, a vase of flowers will do the job!

43. Fashion bespoke bookends

Fashion bespoke bookends

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

Create your own book ends with a bespoke design. Either side of your seating, allow enough space to fashion shelving that can act as mini bookcases. The wooden stools in the same material as the bookcases helps to add warmth to the otherwise cool scheme.

44. Make it as multifunctional as possible

Make it as multifunctional as possible

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Darren Chung)

Look closely at this classy, understated kitchen island and you'll discover it serves a multitude of purposes – a place to wash, prep food, with a neat breakfast bar to eat at with tucked-under stools. There would be plenty of space to add a hob if you wanted, too. 

45. Keep it tidy with drawers

Keep it tidy with drawers

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Brett Charles)

Echo the homely feel of a country kitchen with a pastel blue centrepiece island. In an otherwise neutral scheme, this island adds a subtle injection of colour and draws the eye to its charming display of drawers and white knobs.

Fill them with everything you need to lay the table, but leave a few empty so that you have somewhere to hide clutter when unexpected visitors arrive.

46. Squeeze in a slimline island

Squeeze in a slimline island

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

You don't need a vast kitchen to fit in an island, as this skinny design proves. It even doubles as a breakfast bar, courtesy of a simple overhanging work surface.

Tongue and groove panelling integrates the piece with the rest of the Shaker-style scheme, while the light and bright colour scheme helps to make the room feel spacious.

47. Upcycle your own mini island

Upcycle your own mini island

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jamie Mason)

For an easy and affordable way to create a pretty and practical feature in a kitchen, upcycle a vintage table and use it as an island.

Choose any paint colour you wish to transform your centrepiece – this sunny yellow is a particularly cheery choice – and add a stool in a contrasting colour to complete the look.

48. Go large

Go large

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Nicholas Yarsley)

If you've got the space, why be afraid to use it? At the heart of this spacious open-plan kitchen is an immense island with a glossy white worktop and dramatic dark grey Shaker-style cabinetry.

This multifunctional unit has everything, including the kitchen sink! There's infinite space to prep food, abundant storage and even an integrated dining area. If you have a generous kitchen that craves a show-stopping centre piece like this, think big, useful and above all, striking.

49. Upcycle reclaimed wood

Upcycle reclaimed wood

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Matthew Williams)

Remember those railway sleepers everyone used to put in their gardens? Well now they're creeping into kitchen design. The chunky proportions make them ideal for craggy, rugged shelving and their solidity works well for a breakfast bar too.

Consider a second-hand kitchen to give a new lease of life to used kitchen units and worktops that are big on quality, low on costs.

50. Supersize an island to make a big impression

Supersize an island to make a big impression

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Veronica Rodriguez)

If you have the space, fill it with a kitchen island. This produces a very modern kitchen design with an expansive countertop that serves as a casual eating spot as well as a practical worksurface for food prep.

Emphasise its importance with a run of low-slung industrial-style pendants on high and leather-upholstered stools below.

51. Update an existing kitchen with a traditional butcher's block

Update an existing kitchen with a traditional butcher's block

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

This simple way to add more prep space and storage into a U-shaped kitchen idea is also extremely elegant. A chunky end-grain surface will take a lot of culinary punishment and the open shelf at the bottom provides easy access to cookware. What's more the design would work just as well with slab-style units.

52. Hide the clutter

Hide the clutter

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Holly Joliffe)

A taller, or 'flying' breakfast bar like this one serves two purposes. Firstly, its height is great for more casual eating and drinking. And second, if you do make a mess in the kitchen, it's obscured from view of guests by the bar. Genius, no?!

53. Keep the design slimline

Keep the design slimline

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Alistair Nicholls)

Incorporate a slimline kitchen island to mirror the surrounding work surfaces, in order for the island to feel like merely a detached counter.

This idea is ideal for smaller kitchens to prevent surfaces from feeling imposing on the compact space. Use white worktops and materials to retain a light and airy feel. Add seating under one end of a slim kitchen island to save further space, allowing stools to be tucked away when not in use.

54. Make a statement with mosaics

Make a statement with mosaics

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

Make the island shine bright with a generous helping of iridescent tiles. Not only will they add decoration, they provide an easy to clean surface, ideal for a kitchen.

55. Pick out an alternative finish

Pick out an alternative finish

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

A freestanding kitchen piece of furniture allows you not only the freedom to incorporate an accent colour, it also allows you to add a different material and surface finish. If your kitchen units are classic Shaker-style you could introduce a panelled island to add further rustic charm.

Painting the wooden island in a shade of fresh mint green adds another design element of classic country style.

56. Disguise the design

Disguise the design

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Katie Lee)

There's no saying a kitchen island has to always be a block that stands out, as this example proves. This smart kitchen island feels more like a wooden dining table, where the worktop has been seamlessly continued over to form an extended dining area.

This clever idea eradicates the need for a separate dining table in the kitchen, yet it  doesn't feel like you're sat at the kitchen worktop for fine dining.

57. Double the size for dedicated dining

Double the size for dedicated dining

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Robert Sanderson)

Go all out on a bespoke design to allow for ample dining space. There's nothing worse than a kitchen island that  doesn't cater to your needs. If the heart of your home is a space for entertaining, ensure the island design is tailored to accommodate this.

58. Make the most of space with oversized drawers

Make the most of space with oversized drawers

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Richard Gadsby)

Allow just enough room for a breakfast bar at one end, to tuck bar stools under – utilising the rest of the island as valuable kitchen storage.

Choose oversized pull out drawers to store all your kitchen pans and crockery to keep everything central and within reach for any kitchen task. ask your kitchen design for ideas about in drawer separators and racks to make the storage work even harder.

59. Set tasks to one side

Set tasks to one side

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

Allow the use of your kitchen island to be a totally separate area from your everyday cooking area. Set it up as a Bake Off-style bench where you keep all your large kitchen appliances like stand mixers to one area.

Use the storage space within the island to house all your baking tools, away from the everyd