Adding an island to your kitchen is a great way to gain some extra working space. Do you often find that you don't have enough storage and need to move utensils and cookware to other rooms? 

An island gives you much more storage and an extra surface to prepare your meals. It also helps you keep your kitchen essentials in a convenient place. The pros often recommend 10 different features for kitchen islands, and you can easily pick those that are best for you! 

“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." – Francis of Assisi

Microwave or Oven

A microwave is a helpful kitchen tool. Not only can you use it to reheat leftovers and make a quick cup of coffee or hot chocolate, but it also lets you make side dishes on busy nights when you don't have a lot of time. 

Many kitchen islands have enough space that you can add a microwave and get more counter or cabinet space.

Extra Fridge

One feature that works with a modern kitchen island design is an extra fridge. No matter how often you cook or what you do in your kitchen, you need a refrigerator. If you're like many people though, you may find that you don't have as much fridge space as you would like. 

Putting an extra fridge on your island gives you all the space that you need. You can easily pick one that is large enough for the ingredients that you use most often. A wine cooler or fridge just for drinks works well, too.

Prep Sink

The kitchen triangle is a term that refers to the area where you primarily work and that includes your sink. If you're tired of jumping back and forth between the sink and fridge to your counters, consider adding a prep sink. 

While it will take up some room, the sink makes prepping much easier and still gives you plenty of counter space.

Strong Counters

Whether you choose a permanent or portable island, make sure that you opt for strong and durable counters. There are few things worse than adding a cheap island and finding that the counters crack within a few months. 

You'll find different materials such as laminate and stone counters that are durable and fit any budget. You can talk to a local kitchen remodeling company to inquire about what are your best options before committing to the project. 

Overhead Lighting

Experts often suggest overhead lighting that puts the focus on the island. That lighting can operate separately from any other lights in the room. You can use them when you want to make a quick midnight snack or if you're in a hurry in the morning and don't want to turn on everything and wake your family.

Trash Storage

Many options use a kitchen island table design. However, instead of leaving the bottom open, you can add trash storage. Just imagine how much easier your life would be if you could toss the trash into a can right under your prep station. 

If your family recycles, you can also add a recycling bin instead of keeping your bin in a different room or inside your cabinets.

Personal Touches

You should always make your island your own with some personal touches. 

  • Why not add a small shelf that holds your tablet as you watch and follow cooking videos? 
  • If you have a cookbook collection that you want to show off, add shelving or drawers under the counters for those books. 
  • You can also choose a design that makes the island look like a traditional piece of furniture.
  • Add usb outlets or wireless charging spots so you can charge your phone while cooking. 
  • Do you have a favorite set of mugs and bowls that you often use? You can add a section to store your most used items so you don’t have to reach for the cabinets every single day. 


Don't forget about seating, especially if you have limited space. 

  • A small kitchen island with seating can serve as a breakfast nook that lets you eat meals quickly in the morning. 
  • It can also replace the dining room table that you don't have room for and give you a cozy place to dine. 
  • Smaller islands also come in handy when you host parties.
  • It’s a great place to sit and help while chatting with a partner who’s cooking. 


A useful feature that many people love and need is an electrical outlet. Do you ever feel as if you spend too much time in the kitchen because you can only use one appliance at a time? 

With extra outlets, you can run all of the appliances that you need such as a slow cooker and an air fryer at the same time. The outlets can also power your tablet or computer, or leave a coffee maker on a timer. 

Two Sides

People who design custom kitchen islands often make double-sided islands. Instead of having only one side you can use, you have the option of using both. You might build a prep station on one side and use the opposite side for dining or entertaining. 

Other designs allow you to organize your appliances and cooking supplies while still offering space for people to sit. 

Any of these kitchen island features that the pros recommend would look great and work well in your kitchen.


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