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  • Writer's pictureKori Steigerwald


Horizon Interior Design - bright new modern kitchen

Kitchen Island Pros & Cons: Is It Right for Your Space?

Incorporating a kitchen island into your interior design plan is a major decision.

If it’s the right choice for your space, an island can truly take your kitchen design to the next level both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

However, if you do not properly think through this decision as you factor a kitchen island into your space planning, it can have a detrimental effect on your kitchen that is not simple to rectify.

There are a lot of elements to consider when deciding on a kitchen island, for instance, the size of your kitchen, your design style, and how you use your space.

Let’s review our list of design tips and pros and cons of kitchen islands from our years of kitchen design experience so that you can make an informed decision for your home.

Benefits of a kitchen island

1 - Additional counter space 

One of the main practical benefits of kitchen islands is more countertop space. When appliances can take up so much of your counter space, finding enough cooking space to comfortably prepare food can feel a little frustrating.

Kitchen islands provide prime real estate in a kitchen whether you’re cooking, baking or entertaining family and friends. They also make the perfect breakfast bar if you are in need of additional seating in your kitchen.

Horizon interior design bright new modern kitchen

2 - More precious storage space

When it comes to appliances, utensils, and serving dishware, the need for kitchen storage never ends and can sometimes feel impossible. Kitchen islands provide a great opportunity for integrated storage that fits in seamlessly with your design and aesthetic and are a great way to get extra storage space for larger items you may need to store out of sight but want to be able to reach them easily. No more unsightly appliances and containers on display!

3 - Improve kitchen workflow

Kitchen islands are not just a stylish addition to any kitchen; they can also help achieve the coveted “kitchen triangle”.

The kitchen triangle is the perfect configuration between the sink, stove, and refrigerator, creating an efficient and ergonomic space for cooking and entertaining.

By placing your kitchen island strategically, you can easily incorporate all three elements into your kitchen design, allowing for maximum functionality and ease of use.

4 - Great for entertaining & gathering 

Kitchen islands provide a fantastic gathering space when it comes to hosting guests and entertaining visitors. People tend to spend most of their time in the kitchen at social gatherings in the home, so having the space for everyone to feel comfortable is essential. 

Horizon Interior Design, new kitchen/living layout

Typical u-shaped kitchens do not provide enough space for people to set down food and drinks and gather around to chat. Kitchen islands on the other hand, lend themselves to a convenient and relaxed setting that does not require table settings, saving you time and hassle and freeing you up to actually enjoy your company!

Kitchens are the beating heart of your home. When it comes to making a house a home, this is one of the biggest advantages of kitchen islands. A perfectly fitted island can make family life and entertaining friends easier, providing lots of opportunities for precious moments with your family members and an ideal space to make wonderful memories together.

5 - Stunning focal point

An island can take an already beautiful kitchen and elevate to it another level of stunning kitchen design. Aesthetically speaking, islands add so much to your space, especially when paired with statement pendant lights or a fantastic centerpiece.

What might otherwise be wasted space becomes something totally unique to your kitchen that can’t be achieved with a standard kitchen layout.

6 - Optional location for sink or range

If you have plumbing added, a kitchen island can provide space for a sink or for additional appliances. It’s a discreet way to integrate a dishwasher or drawer microwave into your kitchen without disrupting the design of the space.

Take it one step further by adding built in features like a coffee dock, baking zone, or phone charging station.

Cons of kitchen islands

1 - Requires ample space

Kitchen islands generally do not lend themselves well to a smaller kitchen. Your kitchen requires a minimum of 11 feet to be able to accommodate an island. You also have to factor in additional space for seating and leave enough room for walking around the island. A U-shaped kitchen needs to be at least 13 feet wide to accommodate an island and 14 feet wide if you want to be able to sit at it. 

If you do not have a large kitchen, an island can take up too much of your floor space and disrupt the flow of your room. If you’re interested in understanding floor plans, we delve deeper into space planning in this blog post.

2 - Disruption of kitchen design 

If you do not design your kitchen island carefully to properly fit into your space, it can detract from your overall kitchen design. It’s very important to understand the scale of your space before incorporating a kitchen island.

If an island throws your kitchen off balance it can be a nightmare to work around. 

The last thing you want is to have to maneuver around an island everytime you want to get a snack out of your refrigerator!

So, is a kitchen island worth it?

Whether or not a kitchen island will work in your space depends on the size, scale, and flow of

your kitchen. If you have a larger kitchen with ample open space, the pros of kitchen islands far outweigh the cons.

They are a fantastic choice for all styles of kitchens and design aesthetics, from open plan apartments to cozy family homes.

If a kitchen island won’t work in your space, you still have other options for interesting ways to add additional storage and countertop space. Consider a kitchen peninsula or movable islands for a more open concept home. 

Horizon Interior Design, new kitchen/dining layout

If you’re still unsure as to whether or not a kitchen island is the right move for your home, we’d be more than happy to help you figure out what will work best for your unique needs.

Our interior design team services Oakland and Macomb counties, including Rochester Hills, Oakland, Lake Orion, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Troy, Shelby, Macomb, Washington, and Clarkston.

Not from any of these areas? Get in touch, and we’ll see what we can do!


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