10 Common Types of Kitchen Islands in American Homes

If you are due for a good remodel, think about adding a large kitchen island. Developing a plan and getting ideas of how you want it to look is essential before knocking down walls. However, there are many types of kitchen islands available to choose from.

Kitchen islands are an amazing addition to any kitchen. Permanent islands are the most common type of kitchen island installed in homes.

On the other hand, you don’t have to do construction if you don’t want to. A portable island or kitchen cart are budget-friendly ways to add additional space to work or extra seating for the kids. You can easily buy one for a couple hundred bucks at a home improvement store. They often have wheels making them movable where you would like!

Main Types of Kitchen Islands

Let’s go over the major types of kitchen islands so you can start thinking about which one is right for your kitchen space.

Kitchen Islands With Seating

A kitchen island with seating is always a safe bet. Having the ability to host breakfasts, apéritifs before dinner, and other small meals is a huge benefit to having a kitchen island. You’ll want to purchase some counter chairs or bar stools to ensure your guests are comfortable at the kitchen island!

Kitchen Island Stools via @virginia.farmhouse.project

There are lots of creative ways to install a kitchen island in your home and really make it your own! Here is an example of a standard kitchen island with a dining table attached to the end of it. This creates ample space for quick meals like breakfast without using a formal dining room.

Kitchen Island with Dining Table at the End via ThePalmCo
The Palm Co

Kitchen Islands with Storage

Another big benefit of having a kitchen island is the ability to have storage beneath the countertop. Kitchen islands with storage typically have cabinets or open shelves on all sides. You can find some with a mixture of the two which always makes for an interesting design. Sometimes appliances like a small wine cooler can be installed below the kitchen island for easy access, too. Let’s be honest; you can never have too much storage at home!

Kitchen Island with Storage via Faith Blakeney
Faith Blakeney

Double Kitchen Islands

Double kitchen islands are kitchens with two separate islands in one kitchen. They allow you to make use of different spaces for different purposes. One could be for making meals while the other one is for serving meals and light snacks. Here are examples of kitchens with two islands!

Double Kitchen Island Design Blue via @ohara_interiors

Small and Narrow Kitchen Islands

If your home is on the smaller side, a small kitchen island is perfect for you. I don’t make the mistake of thinking that kitchen islands are only for large homes. What are you go for a mobile kitchen island or a very small stationary one there are plenty of ways to incorporate a small kitchen island in your home.

Working with a small kitchen space can be tough and even more so if the area is narrow. Kitchen islands aren’t commonly found in galley-style kitchens but you can still make it work if it’s really your dream to have a kitchen island in a narrow space. You could tear down the upper cabinets of one wall and open that up to the adjacent room. The lower cabinets would be turned into an island (rather, a peninsula) and you could use it as a serving bar if space allows.

Extra Large Kitchen Islands

Large and oversized kitchen islands are great for large families and people who have lots of guests over often! These islands tend to be square since they can cover large floor space. Installing an extra large kitchen island at home will obviously increase your construction costs.

Kitchen Island Shapes

You can find kitchen islands in many different shapes, but the ones that I believe are the most beautiful are simply rectangular. Square kitchen islands won’t give you much space to work on, and I believe oddly rounded ones just won’t age well.


Rectangular kitchen islands are straightforward and I believe that they will stand the test of time for their simplicity and practicality. They offer the most amount of storage, too, when designed for your space.


Square kitchen islands work best in large kitchens that are shaped like a square. This design will certainly give you the most storage space since they tend to be on the larger side.


Rounded kitchen islands are typically rounded at just one side and they allow for a more interesting design in the kitchen. The big benefit is that they allow people to slightly face each other if they are said seated around the rounded edge of the island. This makes for an environment that is more conducive to conversation and community.

Kitchen Island Materials

Kitchen islands can be made from several different materials. The island cabinets are typically wood and the countertops can be made of different surface materials.

Marble Kitchen Islands

The hottest kitchen design trend is definitely installing a beautiful marble island in the middle of the room. Marble kitchen islands are stunning and practical for adding value to your home.

Butcher Block Kitchen Islands

Butcher block kitchen islands are similar to your standard kitchen island, but instead of a stone covering a portion of it, a large piece of wood is installed, which serves as a place to cut fish, meat, vegetables, and other household foods. Wood is perfect for preventing your knives from dulling, and it can be sanded down once it gets too cut up. Kitchen islands with butcher blocks are best for people who want professional elements in their kitchen!

As you can see there is an extensive selection of kitchen island design options available for you to choose from.

A kitchen island is a huge marketing bonus for home buyers. I would buy a home with a large island before I would choose a kitchen without one – simply for the fact of having a place for friends and family to gather and grab a quick bite or to come to share about their day as I cook the evening meal.

Kitchen islands keep everything right at my fingertips. I have a sink, a stovetop, cupboards, and drawers with all my utensils and gadgets. I can rinse my vegetables and fruits before preparing them and have the space to let them dry.

I simply cannot imagine living without a kitchen island anymore. Everything I need is right there. Some homeowners will hang their pots and pans above the island to allow for easy access. This also proves for more available cupboard space.

I personally love the look of an island with pots and pans suspended from the ceiling on a nice pot rack. It looks organized and expensive. Tons of counter space allows for nice decor and appliances like a stand mixer or toaster oven.

These are just a few of the many kitchen island benefits!

Whether you are remodeling or looking for a house, think of kitchen islands and their options for more space and centralized cooking and gathering. Design and space are extremely important to your taste and style.

Talk to a contractor and make sure your needs are met and you get your money’s worth. This is an expense that shouldn’t be taken lightly – to meet the needs of your family and make your job easier.


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