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Whether your kitchen is large or small, one of its most useful components is a kitchen island. They are so practical and multifunctional that you will wonder how you ever managed without one when you see our modern kitchen island design ideas and get inspiration for ways to improve your kitchen by adopting one of our small kitchen island styles.

People who are building their home from scratch and those who are just remodeling their existing kitchen love kitchen islands. Not only do they offer a handy extra counter space while cooking but they are also now commonly used as a center for family life, providing a place to eat, chat and connect as a family.

Giving a focus to the traditional heart of any home, the modern kitchen island gives extra functionality to your kitchen as well as creating a special and homely atmosphere.

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It’s no surprise then that kitchen islands are one of the features most commonly requested of designers. They are the perfect way to give a contemporary feel while raising the status of the kitchen within the home to make it a comfortable and welcoming place to hang out.

The kitchen island is no longer just a basic rectangular space surrounded by chairs and used as a breakfast bar enabling a quick eat and run before work or school. Nowadays, the kitchen island offers a host of benefits and some stylish yet practical features. Available in a range of styles, shapes, and materials, they are ideal for enhancing your room’s appearance and increasing its ability to meet your daily needs.

Why Are Kitchen Islands Important?

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Even small kitchen islands can play an incredibly useful role in the home as they can:

Give you an extra counter top surface
Be used for dining or breakfasting
Provide further storage options through drawers, shelving or hooks
Be small enough to allow easy access to your whole kitchen

When thinking of kitchen island styles, remember to factor in practical open shelving along one side to allow stools to tuck comfortably beneath. Should you already have sourced the ideal counter that lacks the necessary knee space, you could easily add a larger counter top with a durable surface and at least 6″ of clearance one one side.

Long-Lasting Popularity

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We have all witnessed kitchen trends come and go over the years, but the kitchen island has always, and will always, stay in vogue as they allow your kitchen to become a truly social place, allowing you to mingle and converse with family and guests while you go about your kitchen chores, and allowing the kids to get on with their homework while you keep a watchful eye on their progress.

Where Should An Island Be Located?

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One of the most popular spots for a kitchen island is right in the center of the room, however the L shaped formation is also increasing in popularity in open plan spaces.

Although the standard clearance width is 36″, it’s possible to allow a width of as little as 32″ if you are not likely to need two people to pass each other too frequently. The best way to test your space is to mark out your potential island’s outline on the floor, marking the correct clearance and see if it will work for you.

If you discover that your space will be too tight for a permanent kitchen island, there is no need to be discouraged. A rollaway island could be the ideal solution. This will allow for your island to be moved around or tucked out of the way as necessary.

Ring The Changes With Color

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You can create a beautiful feature for your kitchen by opting for a colorful, contrasting kitchen island. Go for similar or identical cabinets to the rest of your kitchen theme but choose an unusual shape, finish or surface for your island to really catch the eye.

Counter Height

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There are many ways to increase the social nature of your kitchen island. One of the ways to do this is to include a cooktop in your design that matches the height of the person cooking. Another way is to customize different heights to meet the needs of the whole family including children.

Sofa Table Islands

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If you are really short of space in your kitchen, why not get a sofa table island? These are very narrow and can be kept behind your sofa or in your entry way until required. At around 30″ tall and available in a vast choice of styles, they are a practical option.

The Drop Leaf Island

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If your kitchen is very small, one solution to the kitchen island problem is to invest in a drop leaf design. This allows you to prop up one leaf of the counter when required and fold it back into place when it is not being used. If you have even less space, why not opt for a drop leaf on the kitchen wall or fixed to a cabinet rather than installing an island?

Storage Station

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You can always store appliances away in kitchen islands, but equally, you can install drawers on one side where you can conveniently place your utensils, cookware or table linen. Put open shelving on the other side to hold serving dishes.

Floating Island Ledge Or Butcher’s Block Island

You can create a simple small kitchen island by using a butcher block ledge. Alternatively, use a butchers block as an moveable island with its practical surface. Simply draw up a couple of stools and you’re good to go.

Simple Designs

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If you are looking for clean lines and space saving choices, opt for a slim design with minimal cabinets and drawers. There are lots of materials and colors that you can use to give your kitchen an original and creative look, such as glass, metal or granite for a contemporary feel. Another possibility is to choose wood, cast iron or stone materials to give your room a classic, traditional feel.

Get inspiration to modernize your kitchen from these exciting ideas and give your room a stylish new look.