Kitchen Island Ideas You Need To Consider Before Picking One

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Modern kitchen island ideas

People love kitchen islands, so much so that designers and real estate agents say they’re a must-have in any home. This is why there are so many kitchen island ideas floating around.

They look incredible and offer more counter space, storage options, and all-around functionality. You’ll love all of the benefits that come with adding an island.

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1. Repurposed Console Kitchen Island

You can turn that old console table you never used into your next kitchen island! Console tables are designed for aesthetic value and storage in halls and entryways. There isn’t anything stopping you from repurposing it to improve your kitchen layout!.


  • Consoles don’t take up a lot of space
  • Many consoles have drawers or shelves built-in, giving you more storage area


  • If your console doesn’t have a lot of cabinets and drawers, you’ll need to get creative about adding storage potions
  • If you don’t have one or can’t find a matching one, you’ll need to buy a new one, even if that goes against the whole “repurposing” part

Cost: Kitchen island ideas like these can be free if you already have what you need. Or, a new console may cost anywhere from $10 to $200, depending on where you look. If you plan to paint or add hardware, you’ll want to factor in those costs.

2. Workbench Kitchen Island

That workbench in the garage that’s currently gathering dust can become your next kitchen island!

A workbench is usually the right size and shape for an island and often comes with perfectly sized drawers. Many of them already come with wheels, making them great for portability.


  • Many have a wide drawer, making them ideal for storing items that generally take up counter space
  • Workbenches are designed to hold tools and take a beating, which is precisely what you want if you’re planning on using the island for cooking


  • Refurbishing older benches means factoring in resurfacing costs like sanding, oiling, and possibly staining (you don’t want to cook on an old, dirty workbench)
  • They only tend to work in rustic or industrial-themed kitchens

Cost: If you have one, it’s pretty much just any resurfacing costs. Newer ones can go between $250 and $450.

3. Metal Rack Kitchen Island

For industrial kitchen island ideas, you can use almost any metal rack to create an island. These racks are often sold as “kitchen carts.” Just add a set of wheels, and your new kitchen island is ready to go!


  • Metal racks are germ-resistant and quite easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Moveable
  • Great for storing objects you also want to have on display.


  • They don’t usually have drawers
  • It may have minimal storage space
  • They only really work in industrial kitchens

Cost: Brand new ones can go from $126 to $750 or more. It mostly depends on how much effort you want to put into this project and what materials you want to use.

4. Antique Furniture Kitchen Island

You can upcycle almost any piece of antique furniture into a kitchen island. Side tables, end tables, cabinets, and dressers are great choices when it comes to antique kitchen island ideas. These will help add a cozy and nostalgic vibe to your home.


  • Great conversation starters
  • Have excellent interior curb appeal
  • They’re great for displaying or storing your best dishes
  • Most are sturdy enough to show off for years more


  • You may want to add a custom top for food safety and to avoid damage to your piece
  • It can be heavier and more challenging to clean or move around
  • Not great for homes with younger children

Cost: Antiques vary widely from piece to piece depending on the antique store’s quality, age, and location.

5. Kitchen Island With Painted Cabinets

Kitchen with white painted cabinets

You can add visual interest to your kitchen by painting the island cabinets! Kitchen island ideas like these are a great way to break up the standard uniformity found in kitchens.


  • Old cabinets are fantastic to use because they typically have plenty of storage space
  • Adds visual interest


  • Some cabinets might be very large and heavy
  • Smaller cabinets – like old kitchen cabinets – might not have enough storage space

Cost: You’ll want to use high-quality oil-based paint, paintbrushes, and painter’s tape. This can cost about $30 to $40 per gallon, with the other supplies ranging from $15to $35. There may be additional costs, such as a custom countertop, that can change how much you spend.

6. Round Kitchen Island

Round kitchen islands are rare when it comes to kitchen island ideas, but not because they look bad or lack functionality. Most people tend to choose square or rectangular. This is a great way to stand out from the rest of the kitchens people see.


  • Fewer corners in your kitchen can give it an informal look and a warm, flowing feel.
  • Saves some space
  • It fits into more kinds of kitchen layouts


  • If you don’t have one, you’ll need to buy one
  • The storage may not hold as many types of items as a typical rectangular island

Cost: $300 to $3,650, depending on the size and aesthetic you choose.

7. Kitchen Island With Foldout Table

Kitchen island ideas that make kitchens easier or better to use are indispensable. Foldout tables are a great space to use for extra seating and table area. But, some kitchens don’t have enough space for larger ones all of the time. Foldout tabletops, also called drop-leafs, are a great solution!


  • Get more countertop space when you need it


  • You can’t have any storage space where the foldout area is

Cost: Cheaper foldout islands are about $200, while the more expensive versions run $600 and higher.

8. Brick Kitchen Island

Rough wood beams, stone, natural fabrics, and other rustic materials fill the houses of design-conscious homeowners.

A typical brick kitchen island is actually a set of wood cabinets with a brick veneer. This means you can still get space for your pots and pans.


  • Brick islands are unique and charming; their appeal reaches across generations to enchant the older couple who likes vintage everything, the millennials trying for an industrial look, and the 40-somethings going for a country feel
  • They add a “wow” factor that can lead to a higher ROI when selling


  • If you have kids, the brick wall in the middle of the kitchen could be a safety hazard
  • Grout is hard to clean
  • Not easy to move or replace

Cost: You could go the DIY route and save a lot of money, though that means investing a lot more time and energy. Something more professional can cost several thousand dollars due to calling in a custom masonry expert. Depending on which of these kitchen island ideas you choose, a professional may be the best choice.

9. Reclaimed Wood Kitchen Island

Reclaimed wood kitchen island

Reclaimed wood is wood taken from old structures and is being re-used. It’s prized because it is earth-friendly and for its uniqueness. Each piece has its own defects and weathering, telling the story of its former life.


  • Sustainable
  • Visually stunning
  • Lend a cozy warmth to kitchens


  • Have to get a new top installed, which can get pricey
  • It’s also expensive since you need someone with a lot of effort and expertise to gather the wood and rework

Cost: Pre-made ones can cost a few thousand dollars, though you can find ones for cheaper.

10. Marble Countertop Kitchen Island

Since kitchen islands are smaller than other countertop areas, most people can splurge a little when it comes to the material. This helps make kitchen island ideas more attainable!


  • Marble is pretty much the height of luxury
  • It’s heat-resistant


  • Sealing is usually required once a year to keep it looking its best
  • Prone to staining and scratching

Cost: A marble veneer can be as little as $650. A large island with an entire marble top may run as much as $5,295.

11. Recycled Desk Kitchen Island

Old desks are great for more than just being an excellent conversation piece. You can use kitchen island ideas that recycle older materials to get more from your older items.


  • Desks are usually the right height to work on and to sit at, so you won’t break your back bending over the island while cooking, and your bar stools will fit underneath.
  • The ample space where your legs go makes a great storage space for taller kitchen items like blenders, KitchenAids, and double boilers. It’s also a great place for hooks to hang long spoons or short pots
  • If your desk has a roll-out tray for a keyboard, you can use it for extra workspace


  • Desks are often too heavy and unwieldy, putting wheels out of the picture
  • You may have to sand, stain, and seal the surface depending on the desk’s condition

Cost: You may spend anywhere from $0 to $250 on a used desk. After that, your costs get even more specific to what you need to do to make your desk kitchen-ready.

12. Kitchen Island With Foldout Trash Can

Foldout trashcans are a must-have for any homeowner who loves to cook in their kitchen. Kitchen island ideas like this one make life way easier.


  • Keep the trashcan in a central location
  • Hide the trashcan so it doesn’t ruin the aesthetic of your kitchen


  • Odors can build up, so you may need to empty it more often

Cost: You can build one for $250 or buy one in the price range of $300 to $750.

13. Kitchen Island With Built-In Cold Storage

Under-counter refrigerators and beverage chillers are a popular trend for homeowners who want their kitchen to be sleek and contemporary.


  • Great for wine lovers
  • You don’t have to get up and walk all the way to the refrigerator


  • Small children will play with it and may help themselves to whatever’s in there

Cost: You can DIY one with a standalone chiller for about $750 and elbow grease. Buying them can run between $2,500 and $4,500.

14. Kitchen Island With Under-Counter Microwave

Kitchen island with microwave

Putting a microwave on your kitchen island is fantastic if you don’t want to use counter space or you have an over-the-range microwave. Any kitchen island ideas that help save space are always welcomed by homeowners.


  • Save kitchen space
  • Keep uglier appliances out of sight
  • Great for homes with wheelchair users


  • Like the under-counter fridge, this is not the best choice for families with children
  • Requires a power source near your island, which may be difficult if you have your island in the center of an open area
  • Have to bend over to open the microwave

Cost: Costs vary depending on buying a new island for your microwave or installing a new drawer. Microwaves for microwave drawers tend to run between $1,500 and $3,000.

15. Kitchen Island With Second Sink Or Stove

Kitchen island with sink

Either of these kitchen island ideas will make your kitchen more functional, which means it’s easier for whoever is cooking to enjoy it more.


  • Get twice the appliances for meal prepping or cleaning up


  • Another sink or stove means extra plumbing and electrical work, which ups the cost
  • More to maintain

Cost: You may pay $4,000 to $6,000 and higher.

16. Kitchen Islands With Hidden Spice Racks

Hidden spice racks are excellent for people who love to cook and need storage space. You can DIY this project.


  • Great space for organizing your spices and keeping them easy-to-reach and out-of-sight
  • Can DIY


  • It may be challenging to install a spice rack on your current island

Cost: You can buy a roll-out shelf for your hidden spice rack for about $130. Other spice racks have varying costs.

17. Kitchen Island With A Chalkboard Paint Section

Chalkboards are cozy and fun, even for adults. You may even find it helpful in writing down recipes, to-dos, and cute messages. This is one of the more fun and useful kitchen island ideas.


  • Use it for recipes, a calendar, events, messages, etc.


  • Chalkdust

Cost: Chalkboard paint is around $15 a gallon, so after that, all it takes is time and elbow grease. You can learn how to paint it yourself.

18. Kitchen Island With LED Lighting

Kitchen island with under lighting

Under-cabinet lighting is a great way to brighten the workspaces in your kitchen and give it a warm, ambient atmosphere.


  • The extra light may help you see what’s in the back of dark cabinets
  • Make seeing counter space, food, etc., much easier
  • Can be motion-sensitive


  • It can be a problematic and expensive upgrade, whether it’s DIY or you hire someone
  • Working with electrical components isn’t safe for non-professionals

Cost: Depends on if you go DIY or professional.

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