Best Ways to Utilize a Kitchen Island

Years ago before I had a kitchen island, I always dreamed of having one. Our very first kitchen was a galley kitchen and the second one wasn’t large enough. But, the third time was a charm! In our third home, which was a custom build for us, we made sure and added an island into the kitchen design.

We just completed our sixth house and decided to go big this time around with a 4×10′ island. When planning our current kitchen design, I tried to think about the best ways I could utilize my island. Here are a few things we thought about during our planning process and of course how we ended up designing our island to meet our needs.

Kitchen Amenities

While talking through all the possibilities for our kitchen island, amenities such as a range, sink, and microwave all were discussed. I was set on doing a plaster hood on our back wall, so that knocked out using a range on the island. I did know I wanted to make sure and keep the symmetry of our kitchen, so we decided on doing our sink in the middle of our island which was lined up with the center of our plaster range hood.

The placement of the sink was perfect! The dishwasher was also placed in the island to the left of the sink which makes doing dishes much easier. We also added a pull-out double trash can to the right of the sink. This is also super convenient.

Not only were we thinking about function, you know looks were high on the list of priorities. Maintaining symmetry was very important. We placed the sink in the center with two huge pendant lights on each side.

The pendant lights paired with our American Standard Beale pull-down kitchen faucet were the icing on the cake, giving the island a modern, but classic design. Sometimes we do lean towards form over function, but I think our island is a perfect blend of both.

Extra Storage

Keeping with the functionality theme, we did add lots of storage within our island. This is and was truly important to us considering we did not have any upper cabinets – only floating shelves on the perimeter walls of our kitchen. Consulting with your kitchen design team should help you come up with several layout options. I chose to do more large drawers mainly because I like that look over lower cabinets, but I also think they are easier to use.

Cooking/Food Prepping

One of my favorite things to use our kitchen island for is cooking and food prepping. It allows for lots more countertop space during this process of cooking.

To me, it makes it much more enjoyable to cook and also allows us as a family to cook together with more space. Not to mention, clean up is also much easier. With having the sink and garbage disposal within the island, I can rake things right off into the sink for easy cleanup.


Something we do not do tons, but we hope to do more of, is entertaining. Having an island gives you an area for people to gather around and eat, socialize, and have fun. An island is a great centerpiece to place the food and drinks for a party. Having this extra countertop space makes the flow of entertainment centered and not directed to one side of the room. It creates a centralized area for people to gather and where everyone feels included.

Shop This Look

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Tori Paide

    How far did you space your island and counter?

    April 24, 2020 at 2:52 am
  • Reply Henry

    It’s 4 1/2 ft.

    April 25, 2020 at 2:26 pm
  • Leave a Reply