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Kitchen Island: All You Need to Know

If you’re considering upgrading your kitchen or undergoing a home renovation, adding a kitchen island might be a good idea. A kitchen island is a standalone piece of furniture that provides extra counter space, storage, and seating. Here’s all the information you need to know about having a kitchen island in your home.

What is a kitchen island?

A kitchen island is a versatile piece of furniture that can be placed in the center of a kitchen to offer additional space for cooking, dining, or storage. They come in different sizes, shapes, styles, and colors to suit various needs and preferences.

Some kitchen islands have built-in features like sinks, faucets, drawers, cabinets, shelves, or even appliances. Others are simpler and can be easily moved around the kitchen as needed. They can also serve as a focal point in kitchen design, adding contrast, texture, and character to the room. Many homeowners choose it to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of their kitchen, making them popular in home renovations.

The use of a kitchen island in a kitchen renovation depends on several factors, including the homeowner’s preferences and the size and design of the kitchen. It’s advisable to seek advice from experts when selecting an island for kitchen for your kitchen. While buying a kitchen island may seem straightforward, it’s important to coordinate it with the kitchen decor and the design of other parts of the house.

Advantages of a kitchen island

At first glance, a kitchen island may seem like just an additional space in the kitchen. However, it offers many more uses and advantages. That’s why it’s one of our recommendations at Lavish Maison for house renovations. The main advantages are:

  • It improves the efficiency and functionality of the kitchen by creating a secondary work area and reducing the distance between work centers.
  • It adds style, character, and charm to the kitchen design, increasing the value and appeal of the home.
  • It provides extra storage options for pots, pans, utensils, appliances, and other items that may not fit in the cabinets or drawers around the perimeter.
  • It offers additional seating options for casual dining, entertaining, or doing homework, especially if it has an overhang or a lower table attached to it.
  • Depending on the island’s size and layout, it can accommodate additional features like a cooktop, sink, dishwasher, wine cooler, or microwave.
  • It creates a focal point in the kitchen by using a different color, material, or shape for the island base or countertop compared to the rest of the kitchen.


While a kitchen island can be a valuable addition to any kitchen, it is important to consider its disadvantages before installing one. It is recommended to seek expert assistance when choosing and installing a kitchen island to avoid potential issues. Some of the disadvantages of having a it include the following:

  • If the island is too large or not positioned correctly, it can take up valuable floor space and make the kitchen feel cramped.
  • Poor planning or blocking access to other areas of the kitchen can disrupt the work triangle or traffic flow.
  • The installation and maintenance can be costly, especially if it requires plumbing, electrical, or ventilation work, or if high-end materials or appliances are used.
  • Cleaning and organizing can be challenging, particularly if the island has open shelves or drawers that collect dust and clutter.
  • Due to limited space, certain kitchen styles or layouts, such as galley or narrow kitchens, may not be suitable for a kitchen island.

While a well-designed and strategically placed kitchen island can enhance the functionality and aesthetics of a kitchen, it is important to carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. Factors such as budget, available space, specific requirements, and personal preferences should be taken into account. In “Small Kitchen Renovation Ideas” article we also explained some tips for kitchen renovation that can help you to choose the best design for your kitchen.

Properly considering these aspects can lead to a kitchen island that enhances efficiency and enjoyment, while neglecting them can result in frustration and inefficiency. For assistance with designing, selecting, and installing a kitchen island in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, our experts are available to provide guidance. To learn more, please complete our pre-qualification form.

What is the standard size of an island in the kitchen?

There is no standard size for a kitchen island, but there are some general guidelines you can follow. The minimum size for a built-in type is 24 inches wide by 48 inches long, or 2 feet wide by 4 feet long. This will provide enough space for a cabinet or drawer on one side and some countertop space on the other. However, this size may not be very functional or comfortable for cooking or eating purposes.

A more common size is 40 inches wide by 80 inches long, or approximately 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. This will give you additional space for appliances, sinks, dishwashers, or seating on the island.

The maximum size of an island depends on the dimensions of your kitchen. Ideally, you want the island to occupy no more than 10% of the total kitchen area. For example, if your kitchen measures 150 square feet, the island should not exceed 15 square feet. You also need to leave enough clearance around the island for walking and for opening cabinet and appliance doors.

The recommended clearance is 36 to 48 inches on all sides of the island. If you have seating on the island, you need to add more space behind the seats to allow people to sit and stand comfortably. The recommended space behind the seats is 44 inches.

A kitchen island can be a great addition to your kitchen, but it needs to be sized and shaped according to your needs and preferences. You can personalize your island by selecting various features, materials, colors, and styles that align with your preferences and budget. A well-designed kitchen island can enhance both the functionality and appearance of your kitchen. Our experts at Lavish Maison can help you choose the best size of kitchen island that suits your kitchen.

Is the kitchen island dead?

This is a question that many homeowners and designers may ask themselves as they look for new ways to update their kitchens. Kitchen islands have been a popular feature in many homes for years, providing extra counter space, storage, seating, and even appliances. But are they still relevant in today’s modern kitchens, or are they becoming outdated?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as different kitchens may have different needs and preferences. However, several factors may influence the decision to have or not have a kitchen island, including the size of the kitchen, personal preferences, and kitchen design.

In conclusion, islands in the kitchen are not outdated, but they are not essential either. They are a matter of choice and preference that depends on various factors. Some kitchens may benefit from having an island, while others may be better off without one. Ultimately, the best way to decide whether to have a kitchen island or not is to consider the needs, desires, and goals of the homeowner and the kitchen.

Lavish Maison experts’ recommendation: Do you need an island where you cook?

Our experts and designers at Lavish Maison, with a track record of over 700 successful projects and more than 15 years of experience in home renovation in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, have some recommendations for using a kitchen island. By considering these factors, you can easily make a decision about an island in the kitchen.

The size and shape of the kitchen will determine if there is enough space for an island and if it will create a cramped or crowded feeling. The style and function of the kitchen will determine the type of island that would be most suitable, such as a sleek and simple island for a minimalist kitchen or a decorative island for a rustic kitchen.

The homeowner’s personal preferences and home renovation budget will also play a role in the decision, as a kitchen island is a significant investment that requires careful planning and maintenance. Ultimately, consulting with experts and designers is recommended to make an informed decision. If you have any further questions regarding home renovation, please feel free to contact us.

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