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
A Traditional Touch
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.
Tuck It Away
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
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.
From Farm To 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.
Small But Mighty
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
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.
In Plain Sight
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.
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.
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.
Straight and Narrow
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.
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
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.
Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newslettertoday!