15 Small Kitchen Island Ideas That Inspire

Kitchen islands are the workhorses of a busy kitchen, but they also inevitably become a place where family and friends gather before and after mealtime. Whether topped with marble, laminate, or butcher block, a sturdy kitchen island provides a place to slice and dice, grab a bite to eat, store supplies, or stand around for conversation. A kitchen island doesn’t need to be big to perform its duties. Take some design inspiration from these small kitchen islands, then consider recreating the look in your kitchen, whatever the dimensions of your space.

By Katie Nolan | Updated Nov 19, 2020 10:53 AM

The Epicenter

small kitchen island with stools

There are a lot of challenges to having a small kitchen: a lack of storage space and cramped countertops, to name just a couple. In this contemporary country kitchen by Diana Kennedy Interiors, the island is central to correcting these issues. The top is wide enough to slice and dice on one side, while you can chat with company seated on the bar stools on the other side of the tabletop. Beneath the butcher block top, there are large shelves to tuck away kitchen essentials.

Related: 15 Fresh Takes on the Eat-In Kitchen

Diana Kennedy Interiors | Diane Anton Photography

Basket Case

Woods Of London Kitchen Island

Use baskets on the shelves of a small kitchen island for a sensible and attractive way to hide clutter in plain sight. In this kitchen by Woods of London the baskets add texture and warmth amongst the stone countertops and high-gloss cabinets.

Woods of London

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A Traditional Touch

small kitchen peninsula

Sometimes plopping an island into the middle of a kitchen isn’t practical, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the additional workspace or breakfast nook. Designs by Gia incorporated a short peninsula into this small kitchen. It provides a little extra space without hindering the flow of the room.

Designs By Gia

Tuck It Away

Kitchen Island Cart With Storage

Just because a kitchen island is small, doesn't mean it can't offer ample storage. This island by Acme Furniture has drawers, cabinets, and shelves for storing ingredients, utensils, and other supplies. Since the entire island is on wheels, you can load up the cart and take the goods from the kitchen to the dining room without making multiple trips. Available from Target; $219.99.

Related: The Best Kitchen Islands Under $500


Modern Beauty

Small Modern Kitchen Island

Consider adding a small kitchen island to amp up your style. The simple straight lines of this island add a modern edge to the elegant white kitchen by Rachel Madden Interiors.

Rachel Madden Interiors

Hot Wheels

Small Kitchen Islands on Wheels

A small island on wheels is the ultimate way to get more space without wasting precious real estate. Jen Woodhouse offers the details on constructing your own moveable island. Roll it into place when you’re cooking or baking, and then wheel it away when you need to make room for a crowd.

Jen Woodhouse

From Farm To Table

Farmhouse Kitchen Island Table

Looking for a spot to fit in a kitchen table? Consider adding a piece of furniture that can do double duty as a table and a kitchen island. Fluidesign Studio opted for a high-top table in the center of this kitchen instead of installing a traditional kitchen island. The piece amps up the farmhouse industrial vibe while providing a very practical place to sit and eat.

Fluidesign Studio

Small But Mighty

Small Granite Top Kitchen Island

The storage compartments on this kitchen island may be tiny but they pack a lot of function within their small dimensions. Only 33.86-inches by 22.83-inches by 15.75-inches, this island manages to hold a slim drawer, a wine rack that can fit four bottles, a wire basket for fresh produce, and a bottom shelf. Form wasn't forgotten for function, either. The piece has a sleek granite slab top and is available in gray, green, or white. Available from Wayfair; $269.99.


A Bright Spot

Tiny Kitchen Island

This island might be tiny, but it sure steals the spotlight. By hanging an eye-catching light fixture above the island, the functional workspace becomes the focal point of the kitchen.

Related: 25 Illuminating Lighting Ideas for a Beautiful Kitchen


In Plain Sight

DIY Kitchen Island

Corey from Sawdust 2 Stitches came up with a clever solution for hiding the uglier parts of a working kitchen. She transformed an outdated cabinet into an island with fold-out cubbies for the garbage cans. With wheels on one end, Corey can move the island out of her small kitchen and keep it in the adjacent hallway when it's not needed.

Sawdust 2 Stitches

Two Tones

two tone kitchen cabinets

A small kitchen island is a good place to add a pop of color to the kitchen. The Kitchen Company does just this in this warm neutral-colored kitchen. The olive island is just as soothing as the cream cabinets while the white marble island top compliments the black countertops in the rest of the kitchen.

The Kitchen Company

Separate Space

Small White Kitchen Island

In an open floor plan, rooms blend into one another. That's a great feature when it comes to entertaining, but it poses a challenge when you want to create definition between distinct living and work spaces. In this transitional kitchen by 514 Design, the island isn’t just a workspace but it also acts as a buffer between the kitchen and living area—and even though it wasn't built with the rest of the house, it fits right into the design of the kitchen. 

514 Design

Straight and Narrow

Slim Kitchen Island

A long and slim island provides additional countertop space that many space-starved homeowners want in a kitchen. In this kitchen by Kelley & Company, the tall butcher block topped island is a go-to spot for meal prep, and the spacious open area below makes it easy to add a stool or two. 

Kelley & Company

Shelve It

Kitchen Island Wood Top

A standalone island can inject new energy into the room. The lintel-oak colored top and white base of this island can fit in with a range of styles from chic beach to farmhouse fresh. Its diminutive size doesn't detract from its offerings. This unit has a utensil drawer, storage cubbies, wine rack, and ample leg room to pull up two chairs. Available from Wayfair.com; $289.99.


Sit and Store

Farmhouse Kitchen Island With Seating

Get your island to do a little bit of everything. Crafted by Salisbury Artisans, this stunning wood island has open storage, closed storage, and a place to sit. 

Salisbury Artisans: Fine Furniture built by David Bowen

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Find licensed kitchen design and construction pros in your area and receive free, no-commitment estimates for your project.

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